Thursday, October 22, 2020

New Digital Magazine

 


Today we officially launch The Front of The Bus digital magazine. It's a twofold strategy. The first is to continually update the three books I did that became films The Asterisk Years, Anyone but Celtic and Armageddon. This is because there are lots of stories out there not big enough for books but deserve an airing all the same.  The second is to provide a voice and platform to those who need them. There are lots of stories and opinions that the Scottish mainstream media refuse to acknowledge so we will.

We have set up a Facebook page @thefrontofthebus 

We want stories too, send to westillwon@yahoo.com 

We are delighted to have over 100 subscribers already which allows us to commit to four issues. 

To purchase those four issues, and get issue 1 emailed to you right away, Paypal £10 to westillwon@yahoo.com 


Thanks for listening.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

The Celtic List




There's a new novel by John Niven called The Fuck-It List. The premise is that it's America in 2026. Donald Trump was President for eight years and now his daughter, Ivanka, has taken over. Frank Brill, the main protagonist, has found out he has cancer and refuses all treatment, instead writing a list of people he intends to kill before he dies. Not that I am saying we are at the point (although judging by Social Media, I'm sure I'm on a few folk's lists) but it's worth exploring why we ended up with that clusterfuck at Celtic Park yesterday.

We were feeling good. Kindae. In the midst of a global pandemic, we were declared champions for the ninth time in succession. I was brought up with tales of our first nine in a row and it felt sweet now to have my own. Celtic announced an online celebration of sorts. I was working that day and only saw it on repeat but I had a message in my Twitter DM from a good friend, Paul, whose opinions on Celtic I have a lot of time for and he was saying he didn't feel it was appropriate for Celtic to have an online party whilst people were dying every day. I don't know if my mind went further than watching it, enjoying most of it, with a few beers. 

Then came the realisation that Celtic were sticking with the season ticket price increase. I thought that was wrong. Admittedly, they thought we would have fans back by September, but the realisation has crept in that fans won't be back any time soon. The club said they would add value to season tickets and this has consisted of an ability to watch all home league games, some European games (unfortunately) a digital programme emailed out and the chance to hear the likes of Gordon Strachan and John Hartson preview and analyse games. 

This came with a backdrop of a season ticket refund for games we didn't get last season being as easy to get as a flu vaccine right now (I'm speaking from experience on the flu vaccine thing) which left a bad taste some people's mouth and threats to murder those who took a refund from others.

On the park things haven't been much better. Damien Duff left the club and John Kennedy wanted to leave the club (For Dundee Utd) whilst Neil Lennon wanted Tommy Johnson and got Gavin Strachan.

The Leigh Griffiths fiasco erupted, with Neil Lennon the volcano, and he was banished from the pre-season tour of France with the manager telling us Leigh wasn't fit enough (something he repeated about the player yesterday-three months on)

Then came the football itself.

A half decent performance against Hibs apart, the rest of the season has not been of the standard that we normally set. Games at Rugby Park and Tannadice were very average whilst the performance at McDiarmid Park would have seen a Mowbray or Deila hung, drawn and quartered. Ferencvaros was the same movie we see at least once, often twice, a season.

Then came Saturday.

Lenny eviscerated the players after Ferencvaros and you wonder if some have got over it. It looked then, for all the world, that a few players would be out the door but none of them went. Missing six players on Saturday, we were always going to be up against it but I think the level of ineptitude coupled the complete lack of urgency, shocked even the most hardcore of supporters.

Where now?

I think Neil Lennon's time may be up. (I'm about 80% on that) I'm not sure if he has lost the ability to motivate the players or they simply don't like him any more but the harsh reality is we can't get rid of unhappy players this side of January, so something has to give. It pains me to say because I love Neil Lennon and what he has had to go through to be first a Celtic player, then coach, then manager should never be forgotten but right now we have history to make and however bad you feel now will be nothing compared to how you'll feel if we don't make that history.

You may even start your own Fuck-It list.


Monday, September 7, 2020

Paradise Lost

 


I went to Celtic Park today. That's strange for me as I hate going to Celtic Park when there isn't a game on. There's an eerie feeling about the place when there's nothing going on and walks from the station or city centre seem a lot longer when there aren't thousands of your own around you. Today was even stranger as most of the thoroughfares were blocked off and the only real places you could go were the Celtic Way and the new fangled Celtic Shop (which is exactly the same as the old one except Adidas is all over it) which made my trip pretty pointless in all honesty and I feel pretty deflated about it now. Thinking about it made me feel incredibly sad that football is going on without the fans and there doesn't seem to be any real impetus to have us back. I know Celtic want us back and I'm sure that would be the same for all clubs but, frankly, the media seem to be loving the fact that they get full access and can still do their jobs without those pesky fans bothering them./ 

It worries me.

When I look around the place, online and off, I see many folk who simply don't understand Covid-19 or the things we must to do to try and defeat it. The latest "I AM A MORON" Bat signal is those who refuse to wear a mask or plaster the internet with conspiracy theories about the disease. I've even had people say to me that it's a hoax because they don't know anyone who has had it. I do. 17 people just now. Five of them died over one horrible weekend. I can safely say that, after witnessing these events, if someone came up to me and said it was "FAKE NEWS!" I'd have smacked them in the fucking mooth.

I miss being around Celtic folk. Personally, since March, I've been to two pubs and one cafe,  that's it. Don't get me wrong, I'd love nothing more than to be in amongst it but that's just not possible just now and folk need to realise that.


Whilst I was walking about Celtic Park, I started thinking about all the times I've came out grounds and said "Never mind the game, what about the fans" That's what makes Celtic special, the fans. There hasn't been a player yet better than the fans (Although Danny McGrain comes damn close) and I could tell stories all night about occasions I had, even in adversity, when being among Celtic fans made me feel 10 foot tall. 

I can remember packing out grounds all over England and feeling like it was a celebration of Celtic and it's support. God I miss those days. Away early, all your mates, tanked up by 10.30am, invading a new city without a care in the world. This was before football became so corporate and cynical. And they needed us then (or at least that's what they told us)

Despite rumours to the contrary, Celtic isn't an easy club to follow. It costs a fortune, there's never enough tickets and you get treated like shit all over Scotland. Similarly, it's a hard club to defend when it increases the price of season tickets when no one can get in and creates a rabbit hole akin to Wonderland in order for fans to get a refund for games they didn't get last season.

Yet I still love it and all of you as well



Thursday, August 27, 2020

Take The High Road

Nostalgia can be a good or bad thing. Recently, STV have been plugging old episodes of Take The High Road. People in their 40's and over will remember all the characters and think back to a time when it was on and get a wee glow inside them. Right up until they watch it again.

I read today, admittedly from not anyone who knows about Celtic, saying that Neil Lennon should not be criticised because of the stuff he has gone through to be Celtic manager. Sorry, but that's bollocks. Lenny would not be the kind of man he is if he ran away at the first sign of criticism. 

And he does deserve criticism.

His whole demeanour this season is of a man who is fed up. I think I know a couple of the reasons why. Firstly, Gavin Strachan was not his pick as part of his management team. Lenny approached the board and asked for Tommy Johnson but was vetoed. This came after Damien Duff had abruptly left of course. The usual family reasons were trotted out which is fine but doesn't explain John Kennedy lobbying to get the Dundee Utd job when it was available.

The reality is though Neil Lennon can't really complain about any of this as he knew what he was getting into when he took the job and things reverted to the old way of things (Peter Lawwell doing everything bar picking the team and challenging decades of cheating) that had been banished under Brendan Rodgers.

Speaking of Rodgers, however you feel about him, it cannot be denied that he brought a level of professionalism to Celtic that enabled us to absolutely steamroller the league. I don't really know if this has been maintained under Lennon but his barb last night about players not wanting to be at Celtic doesn't exactly paint a good picture right now.

When I saw his team last night, I text a couple of friends saying "Cluj Mark 2" because whatever  anyone says, it was unfathomable picking that team and those tactics last night. (Something the manager himself admitted post-match)

Where do we go from here?

I still think we are more than capable of winning the league but it has been said ad nauseum, the biggest threat to 10 in a row is ourselves.

As usual, our forays into the transfer market have been pretty bizarre. We have had Klimala since January yet the manager tells us he's not match fit, why?

There's also the Leigh Griffiths situation. We were told he came back overweight, why? Surely the club were monitoring all the players in lockdown?

It all feels a bit disjointed just now and, in this season of all seasons, that should not be happening.

I don't know much but one thing I do know is if this continues, we will all be taking the high road.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

From Albert With Love review-From a Jambo

 


"As a Hearts fan, this is exactly the type of book I’d ordinarily avoid.  A story of the 86 season, culminating in Hearts chucking the league and Celtic pipping us to the post in heart breaking fashion.  And to be honest, I am in under no illusion that most Hearts fans would never even contemplate reading it, in fact I wouldn’t either if the author wasn’t a personal friend.  However, for that reason I did read it, and in doing so I was hit a great wave of nostalgia and a good insight into being a football fan in the 80’s.    

As much as the book is a bit of a love letter from Paul to Celtic and Albert Kidd in particular, it’s also a look back at an era of football that’s gone forever.  Travelling to games home and away by hook or crook (and being able to remember your whole supporters bus over 30 years later). Scotland actually being not bad and standing on the terraces, or outside the boozer waiting on the adults with your bottle of coke, is a warm reminder of a time when football never cost an arm and a leg.  It was an era I missed as a fan, when I started going it was coming up to the introduction of all seater stadia which has led to a bit of a sanitisation of the game, and reading this makes me feel like I missed out.     

  

It's also feels a bit more than just a football book, it's a throwback to growing up in the 80's in general and remembering all the characters from your childhood including the “famous” footballers from your area, and I'm sure a lot will resonate with people who grew up in a certain type of environment. I think it also illuminates the difference between now and then.  These days people will happily use social media to dehumanise whole sets of supporters and give the impression that they’d never even entertain hanging about with them.  But Paul’s stories of growing up with guys that were supporters of other clubs and they were in fact, just your mates, regardless if you followed the same team or not.  It is a good reminder that you don’t always have to show how much you dislike others to have your opinion taken seriously.  

 

I know it’s probably just through nostalgia tinted glasses, but Paul makes this season feel like a simpler time.  He tells a story about getting a radio cassette recorder for his Christmas which he used to get his mum to tape commentary from games he was attending.  The innocence of childhood where you’d happily relive run of the mill games over and again because it was your passion, it genuinely reminded me of how much football used to consume everything I done as a kid. 

  

In terms of reading this through the eyes of a Hearts fan it’s quite difficult so many happy memories from people around a subject you are so used to hearing horror stories about.  No matter your age the spectre of 86 looms large over Hearts fans, even for me growing up I was too young to grasp what it meant, but until we won the cup in 98 it was always levelled at us as a reminder we’d not won anything for decades and bottled the big chance we had.  

  

However, Paul’s done a great job though of while being clearly for Celtic fans, he’s included a lot of well researched information about Hearts and other clubs.  It's also good to see references that most Jambos would be familiar with including a warm look at the infamous China, “King of the Hearts supporters”.  

   

What really gives the book a good insight to the season is that it’s not just Paul’s stories which are enjoyable and relatable, which they genuinely are including a startling revelation for anyone that knows him about his time on the stage. It’s that it contains a collection of views, mainly from Celtic fans, but also nuggets from Hearts, Hibs and Dundee United supporters which helps give a more rounded view of how the season unfolded.    

  

The biggest compliment I can give the book is it’s an easy read.   I know that could be taken negatively, but it’s not intended to suggest there’s a lack of substance.  It was an easy read because of how well it flows. A review of a season always carries the danger of feeling formulaic, but I think this book speaks to Paul’s story telling style that each tale is woven into the recollections of games humorously and seamlessly.  The way he writes is almost like an internal monologue, it feels like you’re listening to him in the pub when he explains to the reader how he preferred Mark McGhee to Mo Johnston which wasn’t the popular opinion at the time, but obviously would be in the years that followed. Or how he resented Hearts fans for coming out of the woodwork when riding high. 

 

Obviously this will appeal mainly to Celtic fans, but it’s a great read, and most importantly a fun look back on the game for anyone who wants to remember, or get a taste for, the joys of being a Football fan in the 80’s"


@pauloneil1874 



 

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Help, I need somebody.




This is not so much a blog but more a stream of consciousness that has been wanting to come out of my mind for about a month. It's all me, all on me and reflective only of me. It's a way of stopping myself drinking myself in a stupor (or more of one)

Ok so we won 9 in a row. I was completely against the calling of the league early but as time went on and deaths from Covid-19 got higher, I could see no other way ahead. I was also against anyone being punished by the league being called and the ongoing fiasco around it tells you why.

I wasn't exactly over the moon when Celtic decided to do an online celebration of 9 in a row. I know, working in a care home,  my perspective is different to most but I wasn't comfortable with it at all. I was persuaded to watch a re-run of it and it was well put together and all that but I feel we could have waited.

Then came the season ticket refund scheme which I was delighted with. I was worried that Celtic wouldn't give supporters this option and so was glad when they jumped that hurdle. The devil, of course, is in the detail. I only glanced at it but then @celticresearch took a scalpel to it and made those who skimmed it aware that you had to first fill out a form, print it, mail it in and then you would receive a cheque back (I believe no one has received these yet)

The bad feeling was rising among the support from what I could see.

Then came the season ticket announcement that the price increase would remain and that fans would get, in return for paying full whack, access to a computer stream until further notice. My household has three season ticket holders, it would cost us £1800 to retain our season tickets and get this computer stream. This in the middle of a Global Pandemic and upcoming Depression.

I asked questions, waited on answers and have heard diddly squat back other than links to statements.

I look at the Celtic SLO. A man I have known, loved and respected for 30 years but who, in my view, really begun to change in the last couple of years. I've seen him put out tweets, that I know he would never agree with, and be lambasted by the support. Over the years I would have always jumped in to back him up. I always had his back but not now because , in September of last year, I feel he didn't have my back when I needed him most. (and I told him that then)

Bhoys and Ghirls, I am helpless right now. I was at a juncture where, when the latest Celtic statement was released, I was flabbergasted when they painted a "All is well" scenario when I don't think it is. I slept on my feelings (never comfy) and awoke to them selling Celtic face masks for £8.

Yesterday I spoke to two comrades of similar age and background and they both, independently, told me they were as bewildered as I am.

I've loved and supported Celtic all my life and really have no clue what is going on.

So help me, do you?

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Celtic, we love you.

I was talking to a few mates, Tims of my era, and we were collectively berating the Celtic social media output. Our main criticism was that it appears to be run by 14 year olds who can't see past the end of their phones. At that point, I was going to blog and berate them but then I thought perhaps that's the way they deal with fear.

It is probably becoming apparent to folk at Celtic that nothing is going to be the same again and a lot of people are going to lose their jobs. Whether you agree or disagree with folk, that's a scenario nobody wants. I saw a thread yesterday where a lot of supporters were concerned that there is a season ticket deadline on May 29th and, by that point, they will not have had any income for three months. The response from the club, from the SLO, was to say "It will be reviewed when we get more information" which will be exactly what he will have been told to say and really is not very helpful to anyone.

The wake up call is simple.

There is not going to be any football matches with spectators this side of Christmas. I know there are folk out there who still don't take this pandemic seriously but let me break a few things down. First of all, there are people dying every day with no end in sight. Even when the curve starts to flatten, that does not mean we will all be heading to the pubs as many predicted at the start of this thing. What will happen when the curve flattens is that some restrictions on places like garden centres and DIY places will be lifted and your half hour exercise may be increased to an hour.

In Scotland, as much as we love football, it is the absolute last thing on the government's agenda right now. There is no chance any time soon that they will divert a single emergency service to a football match and, once all the squabbling dies down, clubs better get their heads around that.

Which brings us back to the season ticket question. I am "fortunate" enough to still be working in this crisis so I can afford a season ticket. Don't get me wrong, I've not been paid any extra, had overtime or received any kind of backhanded bonus, I'm just working full time and also am not spending on anything outside of the usual essentials. None of this makes me special or above anyone and nor would me buying a season ticket right now either. Yet that has crept into my Twitter timeline and I've had folk saying to me "You better buy a season ticket or the club will go bust"

I don't want the club to assume I will buy a season ticket with no prospect of football on the horizon. I want dialogue, I want leadership, I don't want pie in the sky interviews with the manager.

Also, imagine you have three kids, no income and have supported the club your whole life and a complete stranger  on the internet adds to your worries by telling you that you're also going to be responsible your club going bust?

That is a mentality the club needs to squash and needs to squash soon.

As supporters, we love Celtic. For the vast majority of us, it occupies our every step, our every breath and the reason we ride the rollercoaster of life. That's why we need leadership now. Supporters need our club, the biggest and most successful in Scotland to stand up and guide us through this. Someone said to me "Celtic don't have a crystal ball" and I totally agree with that which is why they should not be acting like it's business as usual.

I make this plea simply as a supporter who loves the club, Celtic, tell us what you think and how we can help guide the club through these treacherous times.

If you need help, think of Tommy Burns on that pitch at Hampden in 1988 and you're halfway there.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

The Corona Season

After I did my last film, Armageddon, I knew I wouldn't be doing another one for three years minimum. I'd also just finished my degree and was at a crossroads in my life. One night, whilst on holiday with my future wife in Berlin, I decided I wanted to get into support work. I did an HNC in Social Services, got my SVQ's and started working in a homeless shelter. I was dealing with people every day who had been alienated, had addiction problems,  had childhood trauma to deal with and were in an out of jail all their lives. In other words, people I can relate to a lot. The job was fantastic but the boss wasn't. She was an uncaring, unhinged, cleaning obsessive who if you told her a resident had chopped their own head off, her reply would be "Have you cleaned it up?"

I stuck with that as long as I could but eventually left and, after a few months of searching (soul and jobs) I got a job in a care home, starting at the beginning of the year. My job now is to get elderly people ready for home again after a fall or illness. Providing round the clock care, you develop a rapport with these people and get to know everything about them. All was fine until this horrible disease came along and changed everything.

It's because of that, I don't have any perspective on self-isolation, looking for things to do or the various listening parties and the like going on, as good as they sound. I've just been working throughout this and witnessing the indiscriminate nature of this thing.

It's also changed my perspective on Scottish fitba because I feel like an outsider looking in and have watched in bewilderment as silly wee men (and women) run about trying to squeeze every penny they can out of anyone daft enough to believe that a switch will be flicked and all will be well.

Anyone who follows me on Twitter will know I have been very vocal in my opposition to the league being called. I asked a well known bluenose in the media why he thought there was such a push for this and he replied "Peter wants the league for Celtic, it's that simple". Well, I don't buy that. I'm a well-known critic of Lawwell, I believe he and others at the club led supporters down the garden path with regards to the decades of cheating we endured, intimating they were doing something when in reality they did absolutely nothing about it.

The question is would Lawwell really push this just so we can get 9 in a row? You see the reaction of the angry mob (not something I give a toss about) and their desperation to add an asterisk to a season they had long since given up on whilst conveniently forgetting the honours "won" by Oldco by cheating therefore trying to equate a global pandemic with David Murray's financial doping is the kind of logic that creates no reaction in the mind of your average Sevco fan but rings a bell with anyone not hard of thinking.

I'd love to know Lawwell's thinking but, as usual, everything he is doing is behind the scenes and without consultation with fans leaving us leaderless and without the sort of clarification that his own statements normally ask for.

Football is changing forever and Scottish fitba better realise it soon or it will die. Fans need to ask serious questions like; Why are clubs selling season tickets now as if it is business as usual? If the league is called, what happens with the games fans have already paid for? I'm not saying I want money back for my 2019/20 season ticket but I don't want the club to assume that. They need to be talking to supporters on these issues because, whether they like it or not, the club will never be the same again.

On that, I've laughed at the notion that football will be back any time soon. People hear of a possible lifting of certain lockdown restrictions and, somehow, equate that with 60,000 people being allowed in a football stadium (That's another season ticket question btw, what if the government socially distance football stadiums and half the capacities?)

The SPFL board (Remember when Ian Maxwell of the SFA was all over the media? where has he gone?) have shown a complete lack of regard for the people in the game who pay to get in. Yet you can bet your bottom pound coin they will be all over us for money when the shit really hits the fan and that irks this fan. I hate the way clubs basically ignore us until season ticket renewal comes along in the same way politicians do until an election comes along. That has to change.

And so does the SPFL board.

Quite frankly,. appointing someone as unhinged as Ann Budge to be put in charge of reconstruction,  is akin to putting Boris Johnson in charge of running the country. There seems to be little in the way of reality at the SPFL and those who care, watch it all unfold through their fingers.

These are strange and bewildering times we live in. I've had a few dark moments. Yesterday the enormity of all this hit me hard and I took to Twitter to express that. I've also had long conversations with my wife (also a frontline worker but in a different department) and it's been dark at times.

One ray of light was in a big brown bag on our doorstep about a month ago. It was a huge selection of fruit. It baffled us at first but then a few weeks later someone left two Easter eggs on the door and a note just saying "thanks"

Maybe they should be on the SPFL board.


Saturday, March 7, 2020

Podcast No1-Scott Reid

I sat down yesterday with actor Scott Reid. You will know him as "Methadone Mick" in Still Game, "Michael Farmer" in Line of Duty, "Quill" in Carnival Row and "DC Mick Clark" in White House Farm.


Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Cars and Girls



It came as no great shock to anyone not hard of thinking that the "Morelos Attempted Murder" story was exposed as unadulterated pish. In a country that didn't take seriously the actual attempted murder of a football manager, you're not going to pull the wool (or the car) over the eyes of anyone who doesn't want it. When it transpired that it was actually a private investigator hired by Morelos wife to catch him cheating most folk thought "Can there actually be two women that daft?" I personally couldn't give a toss if he is playing with the entire Scottish ladies fitba tesm but I am concerned that Jim Traynor still has an iron grip on a lot of journalists in Scotland.

This is a man who became Director of Communications at Sevco, got sacked with a healthy pay off, and now works freelance at Ibrox doing the communications. Not a bad gig if you can get it (C.V. requires a list of where the bodies are buried) Now his evil ways are going into overdrive to brush away any and all pressure from Slippy G and his aversion to winning league titles.

Michael Stewart bravely called it out last on Sportsound when people put such dross in the media (and let's not forget that one Gerry McCulloch used to do it daily) it leads to maniacs on social media feeling enabled and thinking they can say things like "You are complicit in the attempted murder of Alfredo Morelos"

When that squirrel didn't work, the next dark art from Traynor was to set up a rare interview with Morelos and then get his pals in the press to use it as an attack on Celtic supporters. That also came as no surprise to any of us.

This is exactly a time when strong leadership from Celtic is required but posted missing again. You won't get any member of staff saying anything so bad is their fear of Lawwell that it edges closer and closer to being complicit as any criticism of leadership in there, or lack there of, sees a threat to all their freebie trips and pension plans.

Who suffers from that? Just us, the supporters, nobody important.

What should happen now is an expose of Jim Traynor and blowing the whistle on all his shenanigans but that requires brass balls and the only set I see in Scotland are the ones hanging from Morelos probable next destination.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Lie in their pish



Fitba is back at the weekend. Those of us lucky enough to have tickets for Firhill will be there glowing from an afternoon of keeping warm in the boozer whilst those who aren't have to subscribe to a pay per view channel and hand over the sort of wedge that only Lee McCulloch's Maw wouldn't baulk at to watch something on the telly.

And this is meant to be the national cup competition right?

Scottish fitba went beyond parody a long time ago. Nothing surprises me anymore and it is obvious to me that most supporters have adopted a chagrin and bear it kind of attitude because thinking about the game here too much is liable put you on a diet of moonshine and Valium and I take enough fucking pills as it is.

The latest pish they are asking us to swallow in a oner is the idea that Kevin Clancy booked Morelos after the game on Dec 29th for his throat slit gesture.

Ok then.

This reminds me of the time when Paul Burrell was going to court for stealing items from a dead Diana Spencer's hoose (not to be confused with that one on London Road) and someone said to Betty Windsor "You realise this cunt knows everything, aye?" and on the day of the trial, Betty miraculously remembered that all the items were merely resting in Paul Burrell's hoose.

The Huns 2.0 clearly didn't know this had happened or why go on an extensive PR campaign to paint Morelos as the second coming in order to make him escape an even lengthier ban?

Bottom line is, The SFA are ripping the piss out of us again. For his faults, John Reid wouldn't stand for "Dougie Dougie" and went to town on the SFA then.

Will anyone from Celtic do it now?



Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Rebels-The Film



Ok, so I am trying a way of life. It's what Elvis coined as "A little less conversation, a little more action" or Jim Slaven coined as "Do less, better"

Quite simply I am going to try a year with very little interaction on Social Media save for talking about work. I am a man who loves a good debate/argument but the subjects I like talking about are going round in circles and are, quite frankly, boring me.

Also, I'm 46 this year. I won't be on this planet anywhere near that length of time again so it's time to work and create.

The first thing coming your way is a new podcast in mid February. I will talk to writers and creators, agitators and innovators. So stay tuned for that.

Then of course there is the film we are producing, Rebels, which is now in pre-production. That has been my focal point, in terms of writing the script, for over a year now and the point we are at now is it is finished and I am going back forth with the director and actors making little tweaks to ensure we are as happy as we can be with it.

The crux being, you'll hear less of me and more of my work.

Must be half good at least, eh?

Check out our Social Media channels

Twitter @rebelsmovie

Instagram @rebels2020

Facebook Rebels Movie

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

This may be business, it's never personal but it's always Celtic.



I've seen a lot of stuff in the last week that has demanded action from Celtic and Peter Lawwell on various things from the SFA to Resolution 12. Whilst completely agreeing with the sentiment, I find it all a tad na├»ve because anyone that knows Celtic and Lawwell, knows they don't do action.  No, what they do is chats with pet journalists, phone calls on an old Nokia (because they think they can't be hacked on one of those) and a few co-conspirator "supporters" are fed the odd transfer titbit in order to distract some but not all.

I find it absolutely astounding that there are supporters out there who put out tweets, blogs and podcasts as if everything is just hunky dory at Celtic. We all know there is the old faithful blog that would hand Lawwell a lighter if he decided to set fire to the stadium but a worrying amount seem either completely oblivious to what is happening at Celtic or, much worse, they are complicit in it.

First of all, the supporters have no voice at Celtic. Save for a few hand picked folk (I know because I used to be one-in my defence, I always asked about big picture stuff but because of this I was excluded from things like a meeting with Neil Doncaster), no one that supports Celtic has any right to reply. We have a nonsensical SLO position which has a triple glazing glass ceiling above it and, if home truths were really out there, the current incumbent would admit that Peter Lawwell brought him in to ensure The Green Brigade behaved how he wanted them to. Forget any notion that the SLO is in there fighting for the supporters on the big issues. (In fact, my experience is the exact opposite and I know that is the same for a lot of folk who have dealt face to face with Celtic- I should also declare an interest here: About 18 months ago, I just stopped getting tickets for away games. I tried to get an explanation for it, through the SLO, and got nowhere. It all came to a head in September 2019 when he couldn't even get the ticket office manager to reply to me. It was then passed onto the "Club Lawyer" Chris Duffy who went back and forth with me, shared jokes with me and promised to resolve my issue before, just like away tickets, he stopped. I'm not special and I know many have suffered the same sort of treatment but the bottom line is this sort of treatment is now the norm at Celtic)

As for Public Relations, the old joke is when someone mentions the Public Relations department at Celtic, the other person replies "There's a Public Relations department at Celtic?" and the truth is, there isn't. As far as I can see, Iain Jamieson's job is to ensure the mainstream media get all the access to Celtic that they want and to ensure that the directors get to and from the games in as much comfort as possible. Peter Lawwell does all the phone calls to journalists and will often change all the plans at Celtic at a moment's notice. So if you're in the house, waiting on Celtic responding to the onslaught on the club since December 29th then I can tell you now "Extremely disappointed" is as good as it is going to get.

There are some out there who blame the press for everything and it's an argument I've never understood. They hate us, why do you expect them to treat us any differently than they currently do? I see people tie themselves in knots every day as if it is a surprise that some cunt from the Daily Record doesn't like us (I had my own experience of this a couple of days when the Daily Record had a "funny" dig at me. My response? Zero. I couldn't give a toss because, as they say in the good ole U S of A, "Haters gonna hate")

Onto the actual football, and a bumper transfer window for Celtic has already gone to "it won't be many" according to Neil Lennon.  Which alarms me. The centre of defence needs work, Frimpong badly needs a rest and we have one striker we can rely on who isn't really a striker to begin with. Added to that, the midfield needs a bit of bite and I'd say that we need some new blood pronto but again, Celtic don't do action.

You may call me a grumpy old cunt (and many do and much worse) but believe me when I say that none of this is personal and anything I say in a blog has already been said to anyone in it. I write like this because Celtic occupy my life all day, every day and they always have done. We are so close to making history again, I will not accept a drop in a standards from anyone.

And that's coming from me, who is no one.

Modern football pisses me off. I watched the lifeless FA Cup at the weekend and my toes curl at us ever becoming like that. However, to ensure we don't, everyone must put the good of Celtic before everything.

And that must start at the top.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Peter Lawwell and The SFA



Regular readers of this blog know how it works. You give any entity from Ibrox an inch and they take a million miles. This time, last year Morelos was able to stamp all over our players, the referee does nothing and then enjoys a pint among his own afterwards.

End result? Absolutely fuckall happens.

Fast forward a year and another Sevco win and it's an onslaught on Celtic as Peter Lawwell does his usual, phone a few folk, drip feed a couple of token quotes and sit back hiding behind his secretary.

In 2012, we should have dismantled the SFA. One thing I consistently said on tour was that the SFA knew about the huns cheating way before anyone else did and did nothing about it. When the taxman  got wind of it, the SFA told the huns they needed to comply with a full investigation. The huns, rightly in my view, said back "But we kept you informed the whole time?". When it reached crisis level at the SFA and the, then, SPL, Celtic, Peter Lawwell and Eric Riley, were deliberately kept in the dark as other clubs deliberated what they should do.

I said the above to Peter Lawwell, that being kept in the dark should have been the fuel we needed to raise the SFA to the ground and his answer was "we are working on that behind the scenes" His next card was to bring in the lawyer, from Harper MacLeod, who was dealing with it and a group of us were given the opportunity to question him. I've not named the lawyer because he may just have had a bad day but he was as inspiring and assuring as fire juggler with no hands.

I remember a feeling in my gut that day that if this the quality the SFA would have to face, they'd be safe for another 100 years.

Peter Lawwell then stepped down from all boards within the SFA and SPFL. He was questioned on this and his reply was "It frees me up to focus on things like this"  (the fightback against the cheating)

He was also, frequently, at pains to point out that on Dec 2nd, 2011, he wrote a letter to the SFA questioning Rangers (IL) right to a European Licence and Craig Whyte's ownership of Rangers (IL)

So at this point, now 2016, I, and others, were of a mindset of "Right, he's away from them, the metaphorical guns are being loaded" (or words to that effect, gies peace, it's new year)

Well, Peter, we are still waiting.

And as we told you at the time "we can't have a situation where Celtic's response to decades of cheating and corruption was to write a letter"

Yet we are still there now and the SFA, Sevco and all our enemies are rubbing their hands with glee right now.

And it could have been so different.