Sunday, October 16, 2016

What is going on with Jackie McNamara?

A question I've seen asked a lot on social media since the announcement was made that he is taking over as CEO of York City.

It should be said at this juncture that is not a new role for Jackie. It is effectively what he did at Partick Thistle and what he did at Dundee Utd before they brought in David Southern to effectively signal the end of the good times at Tannadice. None of this was well publicised but Jackie signed the players, did the deals and paid for things like nutritional experts and life coaches at both these clubs (Out of his own pocket)

When he went to York, the talks began almost immediately after being sacked at Dundee Utd (A move Steven Thomson would tell him last April was a mistake) and he turned down the Derry City job to go to York.

As an outsider looking in, it wasn't an easy task for him. A combination of Richard Cresswell and Jonathan Greening were undermining him from day one, bitching to the local press because they thought they would get the jobs he and Simon Donnelly got. Similarly, a lot of the players were on more than decent money for not much effort and were swanning about in big cars with bigger egos.

Jackie knew this had to change.

Relegation was sore but owner Jason McGill (One of the nicest guys I've met anywhere) had faith in Jackie but both knew a massive overhaul was needed and it would take time.

Bottom line though was results were not good enough and a 6-1 defeat at Guiseley was the final straw.


A statement was released and Jackie said he would see what happened in the away game v Braintree. This baffled me a wee bit and I asked what was going on? His reply was "Sometimes you just need to see who is behind you and who isn't"

A 1-1 draw followed (York conceded an 88th minute penalty) and so confusion reigned.

I had a feeling this wasn't the end. Even when Jackie announced he would be standing down.

So the CEO announcement didn't shock me. There is a strong relationship there between Jackie and owner and Jackie has an incredible amount to offer a football club (Dundee Utd sought a blueprint for the future from him way after they sacked him) so this kind of stuff is within his skill set.

Finally, I must declare an interest here. Jackie is a close friend of mine and someone I have a lot of time and even more admiration for. His knowledge of football is second to none whilst he remains a passionate Celtic man.

So remember that when you read this, I am not his PR man nor his publicist. I just always wish the best for him and always will, primarily because he gave everything in that hooped jersey.

Saturday, October 15, 2016


News dropped yesterday that gave Celtic supporters a jolt when it was announced John Park would be leaving the club. It wasn't a shock really. Park's role has come in for a lot of criticism over the years (particularly with the conveyor belt of dud strikers coming through the club) and as de facto Director of Football at Celtic, you know a man like Brendan Rodgers isn't going to tolerate that for very long.

Quietly and effectively, Rodgers is shaping the club to his standards and if you are not up to them, you are out, it really is that simple. I've personally heard of a few situations where Rodgers has asked questions that people at the club could not answer and they have been told in no uncertain terms they need to shape up or ship out.

This is an enormous change in the dynamic at Celtic and it is for the good. So much so that the manager is now talking a lot in the long term about what he wants to do. Despite the club's attempt to brush off Barcelona, Rodgers himself remains quietly furious with the performances of certain players and this will be reflected in the January sales.

It has privately irked the club that a lot of pundits kept comparing everything Brendan done to that of Ronny Deila. Especially when there is no comparison.

A review of the scouting network will see big changes and the youth development side of the club is under the manager's constant scrutiny.

The fact that all this is happening as the team are currently tearing up the league should give us tremendous satisfaction and leave us in no doubt who now holds the power.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Non story Tax Story

False equivalence. If ever a phrase summed up the media in Scotland's game these days, that is it. The latest in the Level 5 desperation is the attempt to smear Celtic in the pages of the Daily Record with a years old story about individuals and a tax scheme.

The point that should be made loud and clear is this has absolutely nothing to do with Celtic. Zero, zilch, nada.

This is wealthy people investing in a film scheme that took down a lot of people because they were badly advised and, five years after they invested, the tax law changed and some may be due a bill.

That's it.

The real question you need to ask is: why are these desperate attempts to smear Celtic going on?

Surely Newco aren't going to replicate Oldco...

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

ABC has wrapped but the LRA have a way to go

On Sunday we did our final shooting for 'Anyone but Celtic'. This film did take a lot longer than The Asterisk Years simply because it was a bigger production with a lot more people involved. That made my job (producer) a hell of a lot harder than last time but I also learned a lot more about the process. So much so that offers have came in for me to produce films with much bigger budgets and world famous cast members, so I can't complain.

The process now is in post-production with a final cut of the film pencilled in for October 28th. This is Jah's department. I say again, the magic in any film is in the editing. What we need is a documentary that folk will both understand and be entertained by and that requires talent and no little amount of training. So FFS don't interrupt him between now and then...

So where are we with everything else?

Well those intrepid brothers at the Lanarkshire Referees Association are still investigating me. They are celebrating the fact they have found the source of the film, a guy called Jim Larkins (pictured below)

This led to a good few jars in the lodge and plans afoot to discredit the film.

If you are reading this brothers, just one more thing as Colombo would say, my name is Paul LARKIN.

In terms of the tour, the premiere is completely and utterly sold out, end of.

Tickets for all other gigs are available from the venues.

Speaking of other venues, we are still taking gigs all the time and if you are interested, here is all you need to know:

Other than that, all the premiere preparations are now done and that is ready to rock.

We hope you can join us along the way.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

What Barry Ferguson won't tell you

I guess, like me, you've had your fill of Barry Ferguson this week. I've no problem with someone apologising for misdeeds in the past or trying to make themselves a better person as they get older (for obvious reasons) but see when you do it? Let's have the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

I've no real interest in "Boozegate", who liked who in the Scotland camp and whether or not George Burley is a good manager. To me it's all nonsense that just adds to the SFA Circus.

What I am interested in is what Barry left out the story he told on Sportsound this week.

He and Allan McGregor got captured bevvying.

They were both fined two weeks wages.

Both fines were lodged, if you'll pardon the pun, with the SFA.

The fines were then given to charity.

Ok, we know all this.

Here's the added info: Allan McGregor paid way more of a fine than Barry Ferguson. Why?

Cause Allan McGregor wasn't on an EBT and Barry Ferguson was, hence Wee Barry's wages were declared as a lot less than they actually were.

Funny how he omitted this information, eh?

With all the air time he has been given this week, I'm sure a journalist will ask this question, right?