Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Phoney War

Like most summers, most football fans are bored shitless by this weekend. Even the thought of the Euro 2012 final tomorrow can't hide us from the fact that we are six weeks from season end but five weeks still from season start.

You young cunts actually have it easy. I remember the days of going through to Celtic Park mid summer just to look at the stadium, make sure all was ok, because you didn't see it at all anywhere from early May until Mid August.  In fact the biggest excitement you got was when you saw the new strip, which would normally be when the new team group appeared in Shoot or Match.

Then you'd get your League Ladders. This would be a bit cardboard, provided by The Topical Times Football Book and given away with Shoot, you could slot English First Division, as it was then, teams into little slots and Scottish Premier League ones too. The idea was you could move them up and down the league with ease week by week.

Pre season friendlies consisted of one game at Celtic Park the week before the actual season started, and they were always full houses.

*pauses for reflection*

Christ I'm auld.

The crisis engulfing Scottish football wouldn't seem half as bad if games were being played just now(I defintely think Celtic missed a trick not organising a friendly the weekend after Rangers died) and although you may not think it now, once the season does start, the phoney war will end.

When games start and reality hits every hick town in Caledonia, the rest of the game can get on with what we normally do at the start of the season, namely claiming we are unbeatable after one game, wanting a manager sacked after a half and noticing that the pies have gone up 50p.

That's when the real nightmare hits fans of the Newco, when they realise soon that no one will give a toss about them.

You know things are bad when someone announcing that they will open a bank account is headline news. (If he said he would go to a library, THAT would be newsworthy)

It's all the phoney war but don't worry, one day that war will be over.

Just like my youth.

look out for my 200th Blog on July 4th, for a special cause.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Can't keep running away

The letter sent out to Division 1 clubs was the final straw for a lot of supporters in Scotland. One Hibs fan I know cancelled his season ticket yesterday. His reason "Completely fed up with it all". I'm sure most rounded football fans in Scotland will echo that. With Jim Ballantyne-speak all over it, it went a long way to pushing even the most naive fans into a realisation of how rigged the game is in Scotland.

The two best CE's in Scottish football are Peter Lawwell and Rod Petrie. Neither of them are infallible but both have gone to the very top in Scottish football whislt maximising huge revenues for their clubs. Rod Petrie was able to sell players who had achieved sod all in the game for huge fees to almost wipe out Hibs debt. That takes skill. I know he has huge critics at Hibs and I don't blame them. Whilst Petrie has got the debt to acceptable levels and has a very good stadium in place, Hibs are absolutely dreadful and support is plummeting. See Rod Petrie is not paid for trophies, he's paid for figures.

Which brings me to Peter Lawwell. I've been in the camp for the last three weeks or so that Lawwell should say nothing. Rangers died and Sevco stumbled from one crisis to another, there was no need to say anything. I'm also fully aware that Peter Lawwell lives in Glasgow and the bearpit would love nothing more than a Celtic Bogeyman to pin all this on, and no one should have to suffer that.

However when that statement came out yesterday, proving the powers that be will stop at nothing to prop up a Newco, it is time for Celtic to act.

Jim Ballantyne(Above) has risen to the top of the Scottish Football League. Which says a lot about that league and given that Campbell Ogilvie remains as President of the SFA, you know what we are up against. I don't trust Rod Petire as far as I could throw him and the news that he is all over this "Newco to Div 1" comes no shock to me. Similarly Ballantyne has never hidden his colours and will always be an enemy of Celtic.

What I say now though is Peter Lawwell, this is your moment. Get out of your office and interact with the people you claim to represent. No more cosy chats with lickspittle blogs, no more no comments, your people demand leadership now more than ever. You have the power to destroy all this and if you don't, "January 2009" will be like a walk in the park compared to the reaction you'll get when supporters realise you had the chance and you blew it.

Know your enemy-Jim Ballantyne

This is Jim Ballantye. His fingerprints are all over the letter to Div 1 clubs. You could write all day about him but, as they say, a picture says a thousand words.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rangers are dead

Gone, vamoosh, done, over, extinct.

It's that simple. The intention to liquidate was made on June 12th. The liquidation process started on June 14th.

Players now are rejecting Sevco88.

They are not leaving Rangers.  They died. There is nothing to leave.

The Rangers strip brought out in May is now a piece of history, never worn and their last top ever.

Clubs are voting on whether to let Sevco88 into a professional league in Scotland. Not Rangers.

There is no "Old Firm"

Rangers are not trying to get "back" into a professional league.

Rangers timeline ended on June 14th.

Once Charles Green pins down what Sevco88 are doing, BDO will complete the liquidation of Rangers.

If you don't believe any of this, there is no hope for you, just do me favour, check the fixture lists.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The future is unwritten

I must admit it, I never thought I'd see this day. I knew they were going to die but thought they'd get a Newco in the SPL. Thank God I was wrong.

So what now is the future of Scottish football? Here's what I'd do.

Set ticket prices
If this fiasco has taught us anyting it's that the people at the top of the game are completely out their depth. I mean at clubs as well. When it finally dawned on them that Rangers were going to die, all they talked about was money, money, money and that was a massive error. Right now supporters are feeling good about their clubs, this is the time to get folk back through the turnstiles and set ticket prices at good rates would be a huge start.

Play offs
A must and proper ones as well with one team relegated and the top two and bottom two of each division in play offs. They are exciting, they add spice to leagues and the fans flock to them. There should also be incentives for non league teams to get in Div 3 and this is the ideal way to start it.

SPL Reserve teams in Div 3
This is now a no brainer given that a Newco will, eventually, be in it. No promotion for them and I'd also throw in that at least six players in each reserve team should be Scottish.

Spread TV money more
It's absolute nonsense to suggest that money in Scottish football is not spread fairly given that clubs get to keep all their own income. However Celtic should give up a slice of the TV money we get in return for us being allowed to sell our games to our supporters outside of Scotland in the inevitable new TV deal.

Summer football
The most radical change and most needed. With harsher winters and the need to get more younger peoeple through the gates, I think this is a must. Not to mention being mid season with europe comes around. Bigger crowds, better pitches, no call offs, lesser need for floodlights(bills), better conditions for supporters.

Right SPL, get cracking.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Scottish Football X

It is clear now that Neil Doncaster and Stewart Regan are absolutely hellbent on ensuring Scottish football is destroyed. We have had the likes of Douglas Alexander from The Sunday Times, that dour teetotal Rangers fanatic, yesterday say that the SPL is more corrupt than Rangers ever were. We have had the Rangers Fighting Fund deliberately withhold payments to Dundee Utd and have the SFA pay instead and we have had Ally McCoist show a staggering contempt for the truth as he slaughters the players leaving the now defunct club.

Despite all this, Doncaster and Regan are fighting tooth and nail to get a completely unworkable Newco, that will self destruct very soon, into Division 1. The message this sends out is clear: We will do anytthing we for the Newco, sod the rest of you.

The one thing that we can all learn from this fiasco is that whilst Regan and Doncaster want a blank sheet of paper for the history of Scottish football, the supporters telling clubs: Greed will kill you.

All Division 1 chairmen should remember that,

Friday, June 22, 2012

Yes we can!

When Barack Obama ran for President in 2008 very few people gave him a chance. It's was supposed to be sure road to a Hillary Clinton-Rudy Guliani showdown and then come January 2008 Obama shocked the world by winning the Iowa Caucus. As pundits all tried to figure out how this had happened Democratic strategist, James Carville, said "Well, people started voting"

Carville is my kind of a guy, a straight-shooter. He also coined the phrase "It's the economy, stupid" for Bill Clinton.

Bet Rangers wish he had done the same for them before they died.

It's good to see the SPL clubs invoke the spirit of Obama by refusing to be intimidated by threats or see through arguments about money. Supporters are are evoking that change of attitude and it's fan bloody tastic.

Denziens of Social Media will know the feeling out there now. Time was folk used to say "Aye but we don't represent all the supporters feelings" Does that really apply now? I don't have a single friend who isn't either on Twitter or Facebook and most are on both and making their voices heard.

The question now is, with a Newco in the SPL a dead duck, and the revelations that £30m is needed just to fill a hole, is a Newco dead in the water altogether?

To quote Carville again: "You can call the dogs in, wet the fire, and leave the house. The hunt's over."

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Phil, Kano and Philly

You may have noticed that Celtic are playing Real Madrid in Philadelphia in August. Whilst that will be an epic game and weekend amongst The Celtic Family there, and a chance for @grahamdwilson to display a variety of facial expressions, there are a couple of important things not to be missed.

First of all The Rebel Journalist, Phil MacGiolla Bhain, will be in Fado on August 10th.

An event worth supporting and getting along to for a number of reasons that, frankly, if you're not aware of them by now, how is Planet Mars? Fado is great for a bite to eat and has a huge range of beers on sale as well.

Secondly, there has been an official T Shirt designed for the Philly Weekend.

As you can see the t shirts are superbly designed and with the add on bonus that profits will go to the wonderful Kano Foundation whose welcome presence gets bigger and bigger at Celtic Park.

Finally, going to Fado will give you a chance to meet to great friends of  mine. They are they forces behind @iceltic and @btwcelticshow. There will be @btwceltichshow after the Celtic match on the Saturday in Fado and that's also not be missed.

When you leave Philly with a smile, they will all have played a huge part in that.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Book Launch-details announced

Here we go again then. Another night for the Internet Bampots. With thanks to the wonderful @iceltic for the poster.

I should say about the book, it's a limited edition, 100 copies only, with profits going to

The book contains From Albert, With Love, Dougie Dougie and Wim's Tims. It also has a brand new story Channeling Charlie Mulgrew which is a 15,000 word account of how the books came about...perhaps. There's also a 3000 word postcript The Lengthening of David Seaman's Cock.

Finally there is a preview of my novel in it, out March 1st 2013, called The Last Pearl Diver.

We will have live music and some special guests, including ex Celtic players and even appearance from the first Celtic Mascot, Vincent The Parrot.

Plus, like always, there will be bampots aplenty.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Well, well, well

The news of Motherwell's intention to back a Newco will come as no great surprise to most Tims. With Stuart McCall distraught last season at taking the now defunct Rangers Champions League place and absolutely no challenge whatsoever from Motherwell regarding the second place that Ramgers cheated to get, it wasn't hard to spot where they would vote.

Many of you will have had bad experiences at Fir Park, none more so than May 21st 2005, but be aware that on that day a high ranking Celtic employee walked into the boardroom at Fir Park straight after the final whistle and watched two Motherwell directors dance with joy at us losing the league. Said Celtic employee spoke to a member of staff in the boardroom who was preparing food and it was established that the reason these two Motherwell directors were in there and not the directors box was the prospect of us winning the league.

So knowing my money won't ever be in the Fir Park coffers again is no great loss to me.

I feel sorry for the Motherwell fans who are trying to takeover the club, plus I am confident that will not takeover the current attitude.

Motherwell though have made a monumental decision in their history and, like Kilmarnock, will have every SPL club supporter, including their own, wondering if they should ever set foot in their ground again.

Hope you know what you're doing.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hear ye, hear ye, eh, hear me

So, I've been working hard this week. Getting a lot of things up to speed so I can focus on some new projects at long last. The first of these is going to happen tonight and I am so happy on the basis that it came from an email alert from someone else. About five weeks ago I was contacted by a guy called Sean who is a member of the blind Celtic supporters who sit just behind the dug outs at Celtic Park. Sean said he had heard about my books but had no way of reading them but wanted to wish me all the best anyway. A grand gesture indeed.

It took me about six hours from then for the penny to drop.

So after talking to a few of the @hailhailmedia crew I am now in a position to get the ball rolling and actually start to make this happen.

So tonight I am going to record a test sample of From Albert, With Love(and then of Wim's Tims and Poles 'N' Goals and Hesselink in future weeks) in 30 minute segments to see if it works and what would need tweaked to do the whole book.

I'll appreciate any and all feedback, good or bad, so it can be made as good as it possibly can for actual release.

The samples won't be perfect and I'll no doubt be stuttering and slavering in points but, as someone else said, it's just the beginning....

Stay tuned.

Friday, June 15, 2012

New Club, Same Mindset

Andy Goram has been very vocal recently. You'll recall Andy Goram, he was the guy who claimed Marseille tried to bribe Mark Hateley and that they financially doped their way to the European Cup in 1993. Andy was raging about that, so when I heard he was coming on the radio to talk about Rangers I fully expected him to be as mad. He was. Just at all the victims of dead Rangers.

Then we have good old Watty, the most untouchable guy in Scottish football. Even when he isn't in Scottish football. You see when the papers broke the story yesterday Ally McCoist was about leave, er, nothing, most were not aware of the sub plot. Namely that the story was a plant to further smear Charles Green and wouldn't you know just a few hours later, the bold Watty appears wanting to save, eh no, sorry, be the Newco. That's some coincidence eh? The guy he wants out smeared all over the press that morning.

Cut to Scotland Tonight and a full hour of sorrow but no apologies. Plenty cries of "We've been punished enough". Ok, let's look at the punishments laid out for all the crimes so far. Eh, none. Right.
Today all over the media we have the Laptop Loyal trying to get Watty the keys of Ibrox and stir up the level of intimidation from the citizens of Scotland who must have been deported from Alabama at some point.

The mindset remains "We Are The People" and you do as your told. The difference is that everyone knows your game now and, frankly, the rest of Scotland is sick of it.

Old and new.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Day The Rangers Died

I used to always tell folk that 1988 was my favourite birthday, that was when Ray Houghton stuck it in the net versus England. Close to that was 1992 when I turned 18 and my drinkiing session started at 9am in The Gunner and ended at 4am in The Liquid Room.

When you get to my age you begin to dread birthdays, mostly because everyone else always seems to have a good one and yours is a damp squib.

Those dog days are over.

When the news hit that the CVA had been rejected by HMRC I was in bed. Trying to combine reading a book, writing a book and tweeting. There was a twenty minute period where I wrote continuously and then saw a text from @pauloneil1874 which simply read "CVA Rejected?". Quick confirmation on Twitter revealed the news we had all been waiting on;

Rangers are dead.

It's at moments like I often reflect. Amid the frenzy of delight, I started thinking of the machinations of it all, then I thought back to my own key moments of realisation. That glorious Monday February 13th when, gearing up for an @homebhoys show, the news came in that Rangers were going to go into administration. The atmosphere on the show was electric that night, through @harper1888 intro and that fabulous moment when @pmacgiollabhain , the commentator on Rangers demise, called in and set the show on fire.

From that day until this we have been fed so much utter drivel from Duff and Phelps, David Murray, Craig Whyte, Dave King, Campbell Ogilvie, Bill Miller, Paul Murray, Brian Kennedy, Jim Traynor, Keith Jackson, Tom English and, of course, Charles Green, anyone with a platform would be questioned daily "What's happening?, have you heard this? it says this in the paper" and so on, and it was time for all The Celtic Family to hold their nerve.

Even up to June 11th I was sent a Daily Mail article where a "financial expert" told all who would read that a CVA was a certainty to be accepted.

Reading Phil and @rangerstaxcase was the only information people needed, because they were right, all along, they were right. The bloggers like Paul McConville were right, the shows like @btwcelticshow were right. All faced fierce criticism in this time, all now are totally vindicated.

So my final birthday wish is for all Tims not to get hung up on them keeping history. They are dead. That history goes with them, it really is that simple.

Now where did I put that jelly and ice cream...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Here we go again...

So there will be something old and something new out soon. On August 31st I will be releasing From Albert, With Love, Dougie Dougie and Wim's Tims in one book. What's more is that all the typos will be cleaned up and it will be professionally edited, (ooh, look at me).

There's more though.

I wasn't comfortable with just re-heating cabbage so there will be a couple of new things in the collection. The first is a 5000 word preview of my new novel, The Last Pearl Diver, which will be out March 1st 2013. This is a story set in 1994 and it is a love story with a huge Celtic influence.

The other new part will be a 15,000 word behind the scenes look at the making of From Albert, With Love, Dougie Dougie and Wim's Tims. Don't worry, it's honestly not as boring as that sounds as you will see when you read it, I may have to flee Planet Earth...:-)

There will be a launch, provisionally September 1st, in Glasgow, where I hope some other writers will join me and one or two celebs as well. Plus a band for your entertainment pleasure.

The cause is something close to me, and donation will go there.

The book is a limited edition with just 100 copies available.

David Seaman's cock may also put in an appearance.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

An Orange Labour of Love

The news that Glasgow City Council is funding the Orange Lodge's Jubilee celebrations will come as no real surprise to most Republicans and/or Socialists. Early in 2000 it was discovered that West Lothian Council was giving Orange flute bands a "Culture Grant" to travel over to the occupied six counties so they could lay siege to Catholic areas in the north. Sinn Fein were able to expose it and get it stopped but the entnagled web that features the Labour Party in Scotland and the Orange Lodge is one that is well worn.

Be under no illusion that this is the Labour party getting their foot soldiers ready for the Independence referendum. Who better to get onside than the one lot of people who just want a Union no matter what. For me independence isn't about being an SNP supporter(in fact the launch of the Yes campaign almost drove me to the No camp given how utterly dreadful it was) it is about the break up of the union and the pushing towards an independent socialist republic.

Currently we live in a country where kids from Thailand must remove their Celtic tops for fear of offending anyone yet anti-Catholic bigots are funded to spread their bile where they see fit. That's why I will be voting for an independent Scotland. That's also why I've never voted Labour, a party whose MP's cheered in parliament when they heard news of James Connolly's execution, in my life.

The battle has started in earnest, it's time to pick a side.

Friday, June 1, 2012

James Connolly, there's someone worth celebrating

If you're a lover of Downton Abbey, this is probably a special weekend for you. Similarly if you've never had to put back something on a supermarket shelf after seeing the price, I'd bet at some point in next four days you will be standing under red, white and blue bunting. If however you're someone with a mind of your own the chances are you won't be doing any "diamond jubilee" celebrating any time soon.

To lavish money on this nonsense at this time is akin to having Royal Wedding when political prisoners are on hunger strike. Oops, they've done that too. I don't like seeing Union flags at any time but lately every shop has been like Last Night of The Proms. In the UK just now it kind of feels like a Tory theme park with all sorts of Hooray Henrys all over TV and Radio, the frenzy over the four medals Britain will win at the Olympics and all this guff about a family who care as much about you and I as we do about them.

In a time where more people are living in poverty since, well, the last Tory government, plenty cash was found by the government for a four day holiday whilst millions of people prayed their money went in the bank today as there would be sod all they could do about it until Wednesday.

Thankfully friends, there is a cure in Scotland's Capital.

Tomorrow a real leader will be honoured. A man who Ireland needed yesterday, a man we all should look and aspire to, James Connolly. Tomorrow is James Connolly Day and, amongst other things, a wreathe will be laid at his plaque in Edinburgh's Cowgate

James Connolly once said "Don't rise above the people you represent, rise with them"

Residents of Buck House and No 10 take note.