Monday, August 26, 2013

Allow us to all #BeCeltic

The last few weeks have seen the Celtic support as divided as they have been in a long time. This will please many people but saddens anyone who cares about the club and everything around it. It was summed up to me when a friend in New York said to me "I've never known a club have so many fans vehemently defend the front office" That's the board to you and me.  It is a strange one to me I must admit. In Gary Nevillie's book he talks about the Glazers and mentions the fact that as long as he had been a Man Utd fan then the fans had not liked the board. First Louis Edwards then his son Martin had a real mistrust from the fans and then of course the support did everything they could to stop the Glazer takeover after successfully stopping Rupert Murdoch in 1999.

I always thought that making the board at any football club accountable was part of the job of a football fan.

This to me is what is creating the division at Celtic right now and it's at the point where a lot of people are completely and utterly fed up with it. Now, if we can discard with the extremes of both sides of the debate, from those who label anyone with a good word to say about Celtic a "sell out" (or variation of) to those start each day with a "What's the word today Peter?" email, these people will never change because they are dug in so far now they can't even remember where they came from in the first place.

It has to be said that a lot of people, both sides, have forgotten what Celtic are all about or at least should be.

The primary objective for Celtic is to put the ball in the net more times than the opposition they face. I think everyone will agree with that.

After that is where it gets messy.

I believe (and this is the number one thing I get abuse for) that after that objective the next one of Celtic should be to be the beacon of hope for the community in the east end of Glasgow and strive to spread that ethos as far and wide as possible. We ourselves should be the ones that are the positive change in the lives of the community that surround us,as was our intention 126 years ago.

Now, I know that statement is contentious. For every one of you nodding, there is someone totally disagreeing and saying "It's 2013, we are a PLC now, you need to move with the times".

Well, that's how I feel about it and I don't think Celtic are doing it but do feel right now we will never have a better chance to do it.

I am someone who believes passionately in the thought you don't need loads of time and dozens of meetings to make change, with the right will and the same amount of passion it could change today.

What holds us back in my view is that many supporters, especially right now, feel like they are banging their head off a brick wall with Celtic and the club must recognise this.

The appointment of John Paul Taylor was a good one but I think he would be first to admit that the sheer size of the task he faces is enormous.

The other thing that has been forgotten by many is that we are all Celtic supporters. I'd like to think that although I strongly disagree with other fans on varying subjects regarding Celtic, I haven't resorted to the sort of personal abuse I've seen flying at others and have encountered myself. I never used to be like that mind, ten years ago I'd have wanted to square go anyone after that sort of debate but even radges mature.

My point is that as fans we have a duty to be supporters of the team as best we can but also protectors of what we are and where we came from.

Celtic must understand that we are all on the same level and that there cannot be any re-birth of the culture of entitlement that was prevalent twenty years ago and plenty would be aghast at the notion of it not continuing.

The club is still owned by the fans and whilst that is vitally important, it's not owned by anyone more than anyone else.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

One rule for Sevco, One rule for Rangers

Ally McCoist is a strange character. For years he cultivated his "Cheeky Chappie" image but now he seems to be determined to be seen as Al Capone. McCoist comes from a time when his Rangers could do whatever they felt like. The rules didn't apply to them when they existed and McCoist seems to think this still applies to Sevco.

His ludicrous ranting about having a list of 100 players who bet on football, as usual, completely misses the point. Only Ally McCoist wouldn't have a problem with what Ian Black actually did simply because he is so entrenched these days he would rival Baldrick in Blackadder Goes Forth.

Rangers, as we all know, thought they were above the rules and in the main they were right. Their attitude extended to UEFA competitions and never more so in 1998. Shelbourne drew Rangers in the preliminary round of the Uefa Cup having missed out on a Champions League qualifier after finishing second in the league. The 22 July tie, ostensibly a home game, would be Dermot Keeley's first game in charge. Because of security fears, the first leg couldn't be played at Tolka Park. A number of alternative venues were considered, including Lansdowne Road – Kilmarnock's Rugby Park where Shelbourne played the previous season in the European Cup Winners' Cup – and Carlisle United's Brunton Park in the north of England. It was finally agreed to meet in the middle at Tranmere Rovers' Prenton Park outside Liverpool.

Hardly a fair decision given the reason their were security fears were solely down to Rangers fans reputation.

Despite shifting the Uefa Cup game out of Ireland, the Shelbourne/Rangers tie was still classified as a Category A security risk by British police, so a major security operation cranked up around Prenton Park. Not even the best-laid plans could account for those who travelled to the game intent on causing trouble though. This was borne out as the Shelbourne team bus came under attack yards from Prenton Park. Only the windows of the team bus separated the Shelbourne squad from their attackers. Winger Mark Rutherford ducked for cover inside the bus as bottles, rocks and beer glasses flew from all angles.
Mark Rutherford "There were hundreds of them on either side as we were driving in. I couldn't believe the hatred in their faces, shouting at us through the windows"

The hatred continued through the game, Shelbourne players were spat at, abused and had missiles thrown at them.

Striker Pat Morley had enough.

After scoring a goal against Rangers that night, Morley had an idea:

"I'm not a religious person in any way or form. It's just something that when Gascoigne played the flute there was murder over it. I'd always said if I ever played with Celtic and scored against Rangers I'd bless myself and I wouldn't care what the consequences were. It's not that I was sectarian or anything like that. It's just if you do something that you've always wanted to do in your life then you'll want to do something to remember it by. I just turned around and put my hand up to my head and blessed myself and, just as I finished it, I was mobbed. It's one of those moments. It was great winning leagues and cups and I've got all the personal awards, but that was it for me. I'd done it at the highest level, scoring in a Uefa Cup match against a serious team with a manager who had serious talent. I never got an Irish cap. I was close but, even if I got an Irish cap, this would outweigh it by a mile."

Needless to say it went down like a lead balloon with the hordes down from Scotland and the irony was lost on them.

This was never going to be acceptable to "The People". They had gone out their way to stop players like Amoruso, Porrini and Negri blessing themselves and warned Shelbourne to instruct their players not to do so at the return leg at Ibrox.

There's the mentality right there.

Not content with getting the game moved, all because of their fans, they cause mayhem at the moved game, spit at and abuse players, attack the team bus and after the game the first thing they are doing is telling the other team how to behave.

That's where Ally McCoist fails. No one is taking heed of anything he says these days, he's like the old comedian who is desperate for folk to laugh at his jokes just one more time.

By the way, Shelbourne didn't get mad, they got even. They agreed not to have players blessing themselves.

Instead they played Gaelic Football at Ibrox.

*Thanks to Paul Keane for parts of the text and Conor Fallon for the background.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Finding Minty-Part 4

So the book has been signed off on at last. That was the main point of my trip this week. I counted in the last eight days that I've been in Scotland, England, Ireland, Germany, France, Belgium and Holland.

If only I'd been sponsored by Ryanair.

I'm not trying to make it sound all jet-set by the way. The stress in the last few weeks and months of my life has been incredible. Not just with the book either, I have a lot of family and health issues going on just now and the emotional strain of it all has been tough. Almost unbearable if truth be told.

What this has done has made my new book a bit of a mission. This is why lawyers get involved in things like this. You see my previous stuff may sail close to the bone in terms of the graphic description of certain situations but none of the folk involved are the types who are litigious. (Well, none of them have sued me anyway)

The people mentioned in this book are different.

They are most powerful people in Scotland who operate at a level which is above even the likes of Alex Salmond.

As information about the book has dripped out, I have had a few people ask me if I am sure I know what I am doing? Similarly the sources I have and the lawyers I have spoken to have all said things of a similar vein and I'd be lying if I said that it hadn't crossed my mind on occasion.

The thought that always springs to mind though is "What is the alternative?" I believe I have the evidence that shows Celtic were cheated way beyond the EBT scheme.

Now, many of you reading this will be of a similar age to me and will have supported the club through the entire era that this happened in.

It was done by powerful and wealthy men who were untouchable and it was never supposed to end.

The most galling thing for me was that it was happening a brisk walk away from my house.

I can kid myself on and say that had I known about it when it was happening then I could have done something more than tanning of windaes but I know it's not true.  So showing Celtic supporters how it happened, who was involved and why history should be so, so different is my way of doing a wee bit to fight back.

Of course, I'm not expecting to change the world here. I know there will be a deliberate apathy from a lot of the MSM, I know the stuff will be attacked by others and I know this could be a testing time for me personally but I am going to try my best to get this story out there.

I've been asked a few times how many of this book I expect to sell? The answer is I've never gone into a book thinking about that, the goal is to make as many Celtic supporters as possible feel vindicated.

There is no hidden agenda. I'll leave you to read about those in the book.

The Asterisk Years-The Edinburgh Establishment v Celtic out November 6th

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Finding Minty-Part 3

When you're writing about someone in depth, especially someone you despise, it is important to find out what makes them tick. Wallace Mercer is someone who features in my new book. A ruthless business man, he actually wasn't someone who was turned on by fame. When you think back to the times you saw him on TV or heard him on the radio, he was normally in defensive mode, defending his team or manager at given times. Mercer actually was an immensely private man who guarded his family privacy.  Indeed when he made his ill-fated move to takeover Hibs, Wallace lived in a bubble that didn't even comprehend the force of resistance that would follow his attempt to buy Hibs. He was prepared to ride that out though until his family life was affected. His kids had to have guards taking them to school and his wife was abused in several places and within one month of the attempted takeover, Wallace was giving up not just on the move but with Hearts in general.

David Murray is different.

His family life has never been his prime motivation and he absolutely loves the limelight. The dynamic he created at Rangers meant that he was the face, voice and image of Rangers. There was no room for anyone else at his level. That's why someone like Martin Bain was able to move so quickly through the ranks at Rangers, not because of his ability, but because of his acceptance of being a glorified P.A. He was also, of course, one of the best paid personal assistants around.

Murray could simply never allow someone to come into Rangers that would be on his level. He was King and that was the end of it. Murray is motivated by power and fame. We know this already due to the multitude of Emperor-like interviews he gave to willing lapdogs over the years from behind his big oak desk at Charlotte Square in his Del Boy-like shirts  (always blue or red with a white collar) and his effortless way he would lay on the charm for a willing typist.

This was never more apparent the day six goals flew into the Rangers net in August 2000 when Murray, within hours of the final whistle, was working the phones, assuring his lackeys that a monster move to bring in Ronald De Boer and John Hartson was under way. He left out the part about how it would be funded (I don't in my new book however) and the lackeys were sent away to do their best to take the gloss off a monumental victory for the Tims.

Many people are taken in by people like Murray, in the same way they were taken in by Bernie Madoff, and it was partly down to his charm, his leased private jet and cocktail parties in Jersey that Murray was able to seduce many people into not looking closely at his whole operation.

Boy did he love being King.

We are all well versed in the ways that Murray seduced the media in Scotland, what I will show in my new book is how Murray seduced the Edinburgh Establishment, by some distance the most powerful people in Scotland, to try and achieve his two goals, put Rangers at the top of Scottish football and kill Celtic.

That's for November 6th though.

In the meantime, here's my succulent lamb (sandwich) from last night.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Finding Minty-Part 2

I arrived in Frankfurt on Thursday night after a particularly bumpy flight and was delighted to see Bob waiting at arrivals as I passed customs. There is never really any pissing about with Bob and before long we were purring along the motorway in his Mercedes with some sort of classical music playing on his music system, the kind of system Paul Oakenfold would be jealous of.

After we made small talk, I plucked up the courage to ask where we were going and "France" came back quicker than my question was delivered. Turns out Bob lives in France, a house high up a hill with neighbours a mile away and a last stretch of road that would make kidnapping, killing and desposing of body as routine as having your breakfast in the morning.

His house is speactacluar with a TV and cinema system that would make Cineworld jealous. As I complimented him on it he told me that back in the early 80s, David Murray invested in a laser disc system that was state of the art and cost a fortune. Only for it to be blown out the water by VHS and Betamax about three months later.

It takes a special kind of business man to be blown out the water by Betamax.

After a great kip in a superb, ensuite, guest suite, it was up for breakfast and off to spend the day in Metz which iss about a two hour drive from his home.

Metz is beautiful.

It was a boiling hot day and watching the world go by (Ok, looking at beautiful women) is always a great way to spend any day. Especially accompanied by some great food which came with an apology "Sorry, no succulent lamb, maybe tomorrow"

Bob then told me that he had arranged for us to the Metz-Avignon game that night and I could definitely get used to this.

The seats were fantastic, right in between the two dugouts, but the football was unspectacular, Metz are only now climbing up up the leagues after a few years in the wilderness so the crowd was around 15,000 in a 26,000, bizarrely designed stadium, that saw Metz win 1-0 despite spending most of the game looking like they would struggle to beat the Celtic u16 team

Post game, it was back to the car and the two of us were pretty tired by then. Having said that, it is ok being tired knowing that, for once, you will be sleeping in a room that will not have drunken shouts from some headcase disturbing your sleep.

I am still off the drink you see.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Finding Minty-Part 1

So, today marks the start of a strange long weekend for me. Let me explain why, the new book I have out on Nov 6th, The Asterisk Years-The Edinburgh Establishment v Celtic, came about because of a source. I outline in the book the whole story behind the source getting in touch and so on but the last stop of the book was the source, let's call him Bob, coming to Edinburgh and looking over a finished copy, hopefully being happy with it.

That all changed this week.

Bob got in touch and suggested I come to him. Two main problems with that, I'm not exactly sure where he stays other than "Central Europe" and, secondly, I am not a man with the kind of means who can just hot-foot it to Europe at the drop my flat cap. "No problem, I'm paying for everything" was Bob's response.

An hour later a boarding pass arrived in my email with a flight to Frankfurt booked for today.

Now, if you're like me, you probably would be a tad alarmed by this as this kind of shit doesn't happen to folk like me. It was a mixture of excitement and suspicion I received the email but laced with the fact that I know I have to go.

Bob has told me the following:

-I'll be away til late Monday

-A flight back has also been booked but not from Frankfurt

-A guest suite has been prepared for me for Thu, Fri, Sat and Sun

-I'll be attending a football match

-I'll see our game at Aberdeen (He read my mind)

-I won't put my hand in my pocket the whole time

I've got a beard but hopefully the similarity with Terry Waite ends there.

I asked Bob if I could blog my trip daily and he said that was fine (Part interest/Part rallying call for help option for me)

Bob told me he wanted to give more insights into the stuff he told me about The Edinburgh Establishment, the figures involved and, of course, Celtic.

You'll read a lot more about Bob and his background in the book (Hopefully enough to find him should I disappear this weekend) and I'll hopefully be able to add some more stuff on the blogs as, whisper it, the book is done whether he likes it or not.

So my passport is ready, boarding card to hand and butterflies aplenty are fluttering in my stomach.

Hopefully the next time you hear from me (Which we agreed would be Friday night), I'll be much more relaxed and speaking from a position of strength.

Either that or I'll be sending out the Bat signal for Tommy and The Parrot to assemble the Fenian Defence League.

Monday, August 12, 2013

From The Green Brigade to The Dublin Brigade

When I flew over to Dublin early last Monday morning I had a few aims, some personal, some hard, some made very easy by others.

However, as I was working my way round a Dublin Bus strike, Peter Lawwell was issuing this statement:

Now, I happen to know that after the BMG on July 27th there was a hastily arranged meeting among board members to discuss potential things that Celtic could do and I am pretty sad that just over a week after that it got to this stage.

Thankfully I was spared some of the tripe that came on Twitter after this statement but was unfortunate to read nonsense about the Green Brigade being compared to casuals and getting chased out just like they did. There are few things funnier as a Celtic supporter when you read folk, who seem utterly appalled by almost everything our supporters do, congratulate the board on getting rid of a section they say was trying to change everything our supporters do.

My own take is that the solution to this has to be the creation of a standing section. I'll be honest, a standing section was never top of my list of priorities over the years but I think now that is a must so this situation can be resolved ASAP. My concern would be how strong the will of Celtic would be for the creation of one. There does seem to have been an element of "and another thing" coming from Celtic regarding The Green Brigade.

Cool heads, progressive discussions and solid agreement are needed here I think.

My mind was elsewhere when this was going on I have to say.

I have a son in Ireland and was seeing him for only the third time in a year. Thing about that is you look forward to it so much and then, before you know it, it's over. Has to be said that I've not been in a good place since and want to pay tribute right now to @thesammcleod who got in touch to say hey whilst I was at my lowest point. Thanks mate.

Before long though it was time to meet up with The Dublin Brigade. Dublin is a place I love. There so much shite written about the place and the Tims there I am happy to have an informed opinion on it from the last week. First of all, whilst there are plenty EPL tourists there (and some hardcore fans of English teams, @graham_byrneLFC springs to mind) it has to be said that Celtic are woven into the fabric of Ireland. The number of conversations I had about Celtic with bus drivers (The strike lasted until the Wednesday), taxi drivers, bar staff, hotel receptionists, folk in pubs and so on was both incredible and heart-warming. These were dedicated and educated supporters who all had the stories to tell and I could listen all day.

I hooked up with @conorfbhoy (who has read my books and still put me up) @sheenie24 (who I am positive could have a fair crack at drinking The Liffey) and @DarH1888 (Who I could indulge my love of Love/Hate with)

The hospitality shown to me by these Bhoys was out of this world.

Their welcoming manner was matched only by their love of Celtic and they even put up with the fact that I am not drinking just now. That was another of my aims by the way, and I never touched a drop in the week I was there. To say @sheenie24 was perturbed by this was like saying Molly Malone has a wheel barrow.

There was a welcome surprise in the shape of @chibchenko who hooked up with us also and by the amount of Bulmers she sunk on the Friday, I'd say she regretted having a flight home on the Friday night.

I managed to do lots of tourist stuff during the week, The Writers Museum, Collins Barracks, St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin Zoo, Arbour Hill, The Four Courts, The JFK Exhibition, St Stephen's Green and many other things too but twice Conor and I tried to get into Kilmainham Gaol only for it to be packed out both times. Has to be a good sign that it is easier to get out of Kilmainham than it is to get in it these days.

Nothing could prepare me for the Friday experience though.

Conor had arranged a little walk on the roof of Croke Park.

It was amazing to hear all the history of the place, some I already knew, and fantastic to know that Hill 16, built from the rubble of the 1916 Easter Rising, still stands to this day.

So there we were harnessed up and being told a million times what buildings we could see from the roof of Croke Park (yer man that was taking us round seemed to be on a mission to get himself thrown off the fucking thing) when suddenly we were walking a long a metal path that had nothing below it until the pitch way, way, way down. It rocked and swayed like it was auditioning for a part in a Hitchcock re-make and put me the closest to God that I have been since Henrik Larsson left us.

After that brush with the clouds, we headed for an Irish stew in O'Neill's just off Grafton Street and then to Mulligans pub, which has stood on Poolbeg Street for nearly 300 years. It is said that James Joyce finished Ulysses here so, after visiting it, it is probably about time I did.

From there we moved to Cassidy's in Westmoreland Street, made famous by Bill Clinton visiting it in 1995, but it was too packed and @sheenie24 wasn't sure if he was barred or not given that a previous visit had saw him demand to know why the DJ wouldn't serve him a drink.

It was off to The Celt on Talbot Street (Yeah I know, I should have been given a gold medal for staying off the drink) which was targeted in the Dublin bombings of 1974.

After that, it was off to Murrrays on O'Connell Street to catch The Quadrofenians and the many folk who were now falling down for reasons other than the floor being like an ice rink there. Was good to catch up with Stephen Dodds in there and the ever charming Jo Laing. Once my heart stopped fluttering, it was time to head back to Conor's in Artaine and get some much needed kip.

It always good to be made welcome by someone so dialed in as Conor as the first thing he handed me on arrival at his house was the WiFi password.

His partner Mary could win awards for the breakfast she prepared on Saturday, and Sunday, morning, and I can't stress enough how much it meant to me to be made so welcome.

Saturday was another failed attempt at Kilmainham and then walk to Slattery's near Landsdowne Road. Fans mixed freely and the craic was superb and was made even better by the arrival of my HomeBhoys comrade @harper1888 who could light up blackout.

You know all about the game but I was delighted with the win mostly because of what it meant to the Tims in Ireland, saturated with the EPL, who can walk tall into their workplaces this morning.

There is something in the air for Irish Tims. Celtic's recent success has awoken a feeling that the hardcore Celtic support there always had and had been having to fight harder and harder to preserve and it is up to Celtic to help them with that fight. Inspired by this, I made a little plea to Celtic on their behalf, highlighting a few issues the support in Ireland have and was delighted to be met with a positive response that could well lead an easier life for the Tims who back the club to the hilt in Ireland.

It is that belief that also extends to the whole Green Brigade situation. I believe it can be rectified positively and that all hope is not lost.

Post match we ended up in the pub The Dubliners used to play in for some more craic but it was clear that the session of the day before was starting to take its toll on my companions and a day was called on it by 10.30pm.

Conor being Conor, drove me to the airport on Sunday morning and I was sad to go.

The week had seen many highs and lows for me but whilst family heartache was experienced, new family was gained.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A weekend is a long time in Scottish football

So, we're back. After what had seemed like an endless pre-season, BT Sport launched the new SPFLwith Partick Thistle V Dundee Utd. I had an interest in his game and an interest in BT Sport as I had subscribed way back on June 10th and eagerly awaited to see what kind of fist they would be making of their coverage. Thankfully it was a lot better than their customer service who I spent seven hours dealing with on Thursday before finally getting to see something, which was the not too shabby Bayern Munich v Man City game, and was pretty impressed with their whole set up save for the God awful Tim Lovejoy.

The Partick Thistle v Dundee Utd game was a spicy affair that had me chuckling a lot. Those Thistle fans a love a grudge (I've seen Thistle on about ten occasions in the last two years and some of the abuse dished out was up there with the funniest and most original I've ever heard from any set of fans, "Shitey Brown Shoes" springs to mind) So I knew that Jackie and Sid would get stick but I must admit that I wasn't preapred for the venom that they actually got and I don't think they were either. There were three main insults, the first was centred around the Thistle fans belief that Jackie had nothing to do with them winning the league last season. The second was that this was because Jackie did not want to be there. The last was their belief that Sid gratifies Jackie from on his knees. Ok, not exactly nursery rhymes there and pretty funny in most cases but the hate that came with it, I have to say, really added to the occasion. It was actually good to witness a game in Scotland that had so much passion and anger around it that it created a specatacle.

Of course I am biased on this subject, regular readers will know that, but it was funny playing around with these thoughts that Jackie had nothing to do with them winning the league (It looked like his team and his system that Partick Thistle played on Friday), that he didn't want to be there (When Dundee Utd came calling, sure, but before that? Not a chance, 70-80 hour weeks were the norm) and that these two great friends participated in (Well let's leave that one, this is a family show).

My bias probably showed there but because of things like this. One night I was at Firhill and Sid gave myself and my eldest son a lift to the train station (only car I've ever been in that tells you who is driving), anyway there was a guy who was hanging about looking for autographs. Jackie and Sid done the business and as we were about to pull away Sid said "What am I thinking? Jake could gie ye a lift right hame". At this point we heard the conversation between Jackie and said autograph which ended with Jackie giving the boy a lift home.

Things like that will always make bias (and raging at having to fork out for a train)

Onto Celtic Park yesterday and I felt a bit strange about it all if truth be told. A combination of the time I left the house, the thousands coming off trains as just me and my mate Evan were getting on one, the subdued atmosphere in the Gallowgate, the late kick off time or the sound of "God Save Ireland" belting out the Kerrydale Bar made me feel a bit out of place. Added to the fact that my attempt to gain some good health back, through non bevvying, has lasted a month now and it kind of made the day fly in.

The flag went up, quicker than Forster's hand, and we sat back to see us claw back a 1-0 reverse for a deserved victory. I think my weird feeling got worse as there is just something not quite right about this Celtic team, anyone else get that feeling? They seem a bit heavy-legged, like the zip isn't there and that no one at the club has yet grasped the enormity of the game on Wednesday.

I hope I'm wrong, it's entirely possible, I'm only blogging, this isn't the Ten Commandments you are reading here, feel free to tell me I'm talking shite, that's the point of blogging sometimes, so folk can let you know where you have went wrong.

I'll just go and find the healthiest substitute for a Bridie that I can lay my hands on.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Flag it up

Another flag day is upon us and for Celtic supporters worldwide this is all about pride in a job well done. It is fitting that John Keane is raising it. You will all know the back story and as the Keane family have devoted their lives to Celtic, I know they will be smiling from Edinburgh to New York via Donegal today.

I would hope that supporters would never get nonchalant about these days and John Keane himself provides an insight into the darker days that were not so long ago. Things are different now, the propaganda and prejudice that went against us then can now be exposed and is on a daily basis. It wasn't then, if it was, it may have saved John Keane one million pounds...

It took most people by surprise when Charles Green made an appearance again yesterday especially when before you could even digest that digestive, Paul Murray was trying to oust the entire Sevco board. Now here's the thing, what you need to do here is flip the timeline, Green is back because Murray is trying to oust the board.

He has realised what a clusterfuck it has been at Sevco since he left, even more than when he was there, so is back to address the obvious shortfall in cash that is going to happen in January-February time. This is a nightmare for Green because that is when he had earmarked the dumping of all his shares (The falling share price means nothing to Charles because it's all profit to him anyway) and so he's back to see what the fuck is going on.

It's great to see nowadays that we can track these stories because, without us, Sevco would be getting away with murder right now and that's what they will need to get away with to survive.

Remember all this when a man with Celtic running through his veins raises that flag for the 44th honest title.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Asterisk Years-Lorenzo's reaction

So I opened a Twitter account today for the new book @asteriskyears and posted this video on it

One of the reactions moved me so much that I have decided to post it here.

"The Asterisk years".

As an Author and writer Paul Larkin commands a powerful grasp of the written word, he displays that power in ink, type, story-line and symbol. The Asterisk years are indeed all about those symbols and yet more. 

I decided to stumble blindly down the path of 'stardom' in connection with the Asterisk as will be revealed below, with a take on an upcoming work I have not yet had the pleasure to embrace, but as with previous works, am convinced, disappointment will not be on display. And so...

For the Scottish football fan the importance of the Asterisk for one who writes on the subject cannot be downplayed, it, the Asterisk *, is one of those little things with huge implications, none more so than in the current footballing and business climate. 

It has many meanings for such a small symbol * all of which are at play in the Rangers Sevco play. 

Let me explain just a little...

The asterisk (*; Late Latin: asteriscus, from the Greek: ἀστερίσκος, asteriskos, translates as "little star") and we all know the lengths some went to to achieve that status, none more explanatory than the tree topping accolade of knighthood. 

The Knighthood, Sir Thingmybob. 

The title stands out from among the crowd of little people, it's quite simply the cream of corporate and managerial crop. A champion of chairmanship, a cherry on the cake.

It's a title worth attaining and retaining, apparently in the face of any risk. 

So far that title in footballing terms, has indeed shown it's worth as one becomes Godlike, untouchable and beyond reproach, the little star is above us all. 

In the World of business it's simply, the business!.

In English, the asterisk is usually six- or eight-pointed when handwritten. 

It can be used to censor swear words and vulgar or objectionable text, one cannot but help feel it must feel right at home in the offices at Ibrox park for example, where over the years many an objectionable description has been foisted onto opposition supports only then to be denied in print by the media friend. 

I know because I have bore witness to if not been the victim of such, as I am sure, have all of you.

It is also used used on the internet to correct one's spelling, in which case it appears before or after the correct word, but you won't see much of that in 140 characters and in my opinion, never from the sevconian hand for that would take a skill we do not readily associate with our previous rivals.

The asterisk is derived from the need of the printers of family trees in 'feudal times' for a symbol to indicate date of birth. 
Isn't that a strange Irony indeed, when one associates the Asterisk with print and then old Rangers football club, who are locked in a present day battle over their true identity. 

They battle with the persons or opposition who reside in the real World and believe in the date of birth as a landmark, not a forgetful or uncomfortable mistake easily ignored.  

The original asterisk shape was seven-armed, each arm like a teardrop shooting from the center and let me tell you there have been many tears shed from both factions of the footballing divide, Celtic fans and most every other of opposition with tears of joy, sadly for the Sevconian not so enjoyable a pain. They is what they is you see, in denial.

In computer science, the asterisk is commonly used as a wildcard character, or to denote pointers, repetition, or multiplication. 

'Oh the footballing Irony as denoted by the Asterisk, continues unabated.'

You see they say they are the same club in repetition, yet multiply from one company to the next, they indeed required a Wildcard handed down from the footballing hierarchy in an attempt to convince us not so convinced, that they are in fact the same, the Asterisk indeed gives us pointers to a different realism. 

Rangers are dead and the Wild card was created for another entity entirely, we know it and so do they !. 

The asterisk can be used to call out a footnote, especially when there is only one on the page. Less commonly, multiple asterisks are used to denote different footnotes on a page (i.e., *, **, ***). 
Who knows for a fact but the guess is many a shredded document may have displayed such symbols, as re-written sentences where stockpiled again and again for use at the proper time, the appropriate moment. 
Alas we can never truly know, but our guess is as good as it gets going by previous history.

Typically, the asterisk is positioned after a word or phrase and preceding its accompanying footnote.
Three spaced asterisks centered on a page may represent a jump to a different scene, thought, or section, which again is as close to the bone as it gets with the club with the confused identity. 
A different scene and thought?.
Wow, the leap from one to the other is undoubted.

A group of three asterisks arranged in a triangular formation ⁂ is called an asterism.
(Isn't that asterism symbol unfortunately, a somewhat recognisable sign when one equates the Asterisk in conjunction with the footballing troubles of The Rangers / Sevco.)

One or more asterisks may be used to strike out portions of a word to avoid offending by using the full form of a profanity (f**k), to preserve anonymity (Craig W***), or to avoid profanation of a holy name, as many on the banks of the clyde might be internally and externally screaming on a minute by minute basis as bad news upon bad news piles up with each layer of true identity being exposed.  

Holy s**t, oh my f*****g G*d !.  

'Indeed, Yer a different club and company pal'.

A double asterisk indicates a form that would be expected according to rule, but is not actually found. I cannot resist the temptation of guiding you to the SFA manual as an example of what not to expect, said manual does seem rather devoid of any such rules wouldn't you say.

Since a word marked with an asterisk could mean either "unattested" or "impossible", it is important in some contexts to distinguish these meanings. 
The word 'impossible' bears most relevance when aligned with the Sevco-gate fiasco, a quick scan through any writings on Sevco by themselves or indeed media should show no sign of any such asterisk. 

'They still think it's possible you see'.

There are many links to the Asterisk over the years and the 'Asterisk years' define what has past, what is present and what the future may hold.

In liturgical music, an asterisk is often used to denote a deliberate pause and that is exactly what this journey to the top of football from the bowels is, for new Sevco.

It's a deliberate pause forced on them as an end by the supporters, but deliberated into a pause by the governing bodies. 

It will though be, to no avail. 

These little Stars or * sparkling Asterisks are on show at a different venue in a different arena on a different stage, Celtic park is lit up with them. 

Many creative forces are using these little stars * to bring you the truth. 

There are millions of uses for the Asterisk and millions pertaining to old Rangers and new Sevco, but I am sure when you read the book "The Asterisk Years" the most important for us, will undoubtedly appear.

This book "The Asterisk years" is a part of that process, it's helping to spell it out. 
(pun intended).

Thank you Mr Larkin.


No, thank you Lorenzo.