The Big-Time Continuation Charlies

I am in two minds whether to retain or trash the previous article. It was only read by 6,624 individuals, which is inordinately low for this site. If it had not been for 33 comments, my decision to remove it would have been somewhat easier. A strong case for trashing the article has been made by those who choose to support their site by making donations. As they withdrew their support, should I follow suit by withdrawing the article?  If I’m quick to criticize what masquerades as journalism in the SMSM, should I not apply the same standards to my own output when my ‘sales‘ have reached an all time low and my ‘sponsors‘ have decided that this article should wither on the vine?

At the end of every week I review my statistics. In the period from 19 September until today, this site received 139,792 views. In the previous week the figures were significantly superior with 169,702 views. This drop of 29,910 readers has been reflected in a significantly downward trend in donations. If the latter was my only benchmark, I would fold the site and not just retire one article.

Having reviewed this article I have come to the conclusion that it’s a little mean-spirited. Derek Johnstone is a buffoon but he appeals to the simple-minded Bears who call in to Radio Clyde to hear his: Rangers then, Rangers now, Rangers forever narrative. This modern-day myth is a comfort blanket for the majority of the Clyde demographic, which indubitably helps them rest easier in their beds. The activity of Lord Hodge who put the corporate body and club that was Rangers into liquidation, is dismissed as the folding of a hitherto unknown holding company. Rangers, to many of DJ’s listeners, is eternal. They cling to this belief as vehemently as Roman Catholics believe in Papal infallibility (on matters that are ex cathedra, i.e. dogma). Derek Johnstone is the high priest of the great liquidation lie in which Rangers disposed of their debts and tax responsibilities but curiously retained their historical titles. When the CVA was dismissed by the creditors, bringing the corporate curtain down, Rangers, the son of God, rose from the dead but demurred from taking it’s spiritual place at the right hand of the father. It chose to grub around on Edmiston drive with occasional forays to its own Mount Calvary, which has been renamed  just as Rangers were prior to liquidation, to Mount Florida. This is the gospel according to Derek Johnstone.

Should I choose to respond to the overwhelming empirical data by burning the vanity that was my previous article, I will run in to the burning edifice of failed copy to retrieve the following comment by Don Gordon:

“The only thing that’s astonishing here is that Derek Johnstone is even mentioned in the same breath as ‘journalism’, far less have it described as his profession. For the truth is, he’s as much of a journalist as he was a footballer, i.e., he’s not very good at either, but he knows an easy ball when he sees one. The only reason the Rangers fans took to him is because he’s always been seen as a ‘Real Rangers Man’, except, as someone pointed out earlier, he was raised a Dundee Utd supporter. But he remains in the news because he personifies the oldco’s (simple) mindset. He never was any more than a totem to their collective gullibility and only ever had the wit to be a half decent poacher, at best. Maybe this is why his equally biased, but slightly more ‘journalistic’ colleagues, let him take Sutton’s roasting for so long. They’re probably as sick to the back teeth of his stating the blindingly bleeding obvious as all the rest of us.”

If Don Gordon, which is a pseudonym, had made a donation to this site I could have made a more educated guess that he was an Aberdeen FC supporter. But why should he be the exception to the pervading rule?  In defence of my poorly read and supported article, I could point out that I attempted to broaden its scope to highlight the Press Charity Lunch and the current rather poor crop of young journalists. But as the main thrust of the article is inferior to the comment by Mr Gordon, I will save his comment for posterity and put my article into room 101. I have also deleted the Twitter link to this article. If I continue to write poorly supported copy this site will be retired in one week.

A mere two thousand Rangers supporters are travelling north to Pittodrie as I write. I have only been to this ground on one occasion some time ago. I don’t recall the game but I have a vivid memory of being inordinately cold in what was paradoxically called The Beach End. The beaches I prefer have temperatures expressed in two digits. I guess I would probably be regarded as a soft Lowlander, even though I have run marathons in similarly cold conditions and at one time trained for The Mount Everest Marathon. If I had been allowed to run around the track I might have had a much more memorable experience.

One of the finest midfield players I have ever seen, Ian Durrant, had his promising career cut short by the 17th worst tackle ever in the opinion of the influential football blog, 90MiN :

“Neil Simpson – Aberdeen V Rangers, October 1988
The tackle that incited the rivalry between Aberdeen and Rangers that still boils to this day. The tackle is quite literally horrific. High, studs-up, premeditated, leaving Rangers player Ian Durrant unable to play for the next three years. Yet the tackle transcended boundaries between pitch and stand. It survived generations and is still an area of severe unrest between the fans of the rival teams 28 years on.

Durrant eventually sued Simpson for damages in relation to the incident. Simpson, in the face of much hostility settled with Durrant out of court and the man few had known about resumed his unspectacular career. The world was different though and the name of Neil Simpson will not be forgotten in Glasgow and beyond, for a moment of madness that he has lived to regret.”

I chose a social media report as invitations had already been extended to a dinner date that resulted in the advent of succulent lamb journalism.  Jim Traynor, whose career as ‘churnalist’ is on a par with that of Derek Johnstone, went so over the ball in his praise of all things Rangers that he would have pride of place in my top twenty of the worst reportage that I have ever witnessed. Traynor’ protegé, Keith Jackass, heads this list with his copy & paste of PR in regard to Craig Whyte.

However this incident only explains the enmity of the Rangers support. Why do the Aberdeen FC support despise Rangers? To my mind this is partially due to these fine football supporters having more spine than their self-serving chairman. David Murray was allowed to cheat and run roughshod over the aspirations and dreams of the Aberdeen support. They are not minded to forgive the manner in which Rangers achieved their ill-gotten gains. They have the good Highlands common sense to recognize that the Lowlanders in Glasgow are trying to pull some blue wool over their eyes. They have a proud history of being wary of snake-oil salesmen from the South and are not swallowing The Great Liquidation Lie Moonshine. They realize that the complicit SFA will never address the cheating of Rangers and they have seen through the LNS commission recommendations as the whitewash that they clearly were.

Aberdonians don’t suffer fools gladly. To their minds Rangers did the crime and now must do their time as a new club with no claim on the historical titles of the old club. With no claim on the historical titles, Aberdeen are only second to Celtic in terms of achievement. They are Scotland’s second club with a proud history of a UEFA Cup Winners Trophy from 1983 and a UEFA Supercup Trophy from 1984. The renascent Rangers are met with the suspicion shown by Highlanders to The Jacobites.

The majority of the Aberdeen support are giving the big-time continuation Charlies from Glasgow the same short shrift that was reserved for the eponymous Bonnie Prince Charlie. To their mind the renascent Rangers are a Young Pretender.

I’m indebted to the minority of readers who have chosen to support their site with donations, but should I continue when the overwhelming majority expect my thousands of dedicated hours for free? The UK Football Blogging Awards could present the perfect send-off for this site. Those wishing to vote may do so by following  the enclosed links:

Those on Twitter can revert to:




I apologize to readers that I don’t have the hypertext links that can be found on the excellent The Clumpany site. With only 6,426 readers and a dearth of donors I am under no illusions that this site will be nominated. CFC supporters have made their support of the Phil Macgiollabhain/The Clumpany axis well-known. Despite my best efforts this site will always be in their shadow. Only 6,426 readers will care, and only a minority of them will vote. In so many ways, this sums up this site.


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101 thoughts on “The Big-Time Continuation Charlies”

  1. Hi JJ

    I think this site is an excellent example of high quality research. Also, I feel it is much better than Phil Mac’s which, I don’t read as much now as the content at times is pro Irish and anti Scottish. I am a Celtic fan but have been living in the Middle East for a few years now. I look forward to your insights about Scottish footballs management and the ineptitude of the SMSM to do anything other than self preserve their failing careers. As someone posted earlier it is coming up to the end of the month and I will be donating to this site. Please stay and keep us all informed, entertain and lamb free.

    P.S I voted for you in the up and coming awards hope you at least get a nomination or even win you truly do deserve it. Also forget about the haters and place them where they deserve to be….. in the trash.

  2. I am a west coast Aberdeen fan. I think many in our support would reject the notion that we hate Rangers any more than anyone else, as that would suggest Rangers are somehow special or noteworthy. Rangers are not special or noteworthy. However, no-one can deny there is ill-feeling there.

    It was interesting to see how most of the media coverage in the run up to sunday’s game was all about reinforcing the continuity myth. The durrant tackle was dredged up from the 80s, much was made of the two teams being “old rivals” despite Aberdeen never having played this new version of Rangers before.

    I tire of hearing about the durrant tackle. Yes it was really bad, but just one of many really bad tackles in football history. No-one would wish any player miss 3 years of his career, yet this fable of Durrant-as-Zidane (or similar) has grown up around the incident. The rose-tinted, gross over-rating of pre-injury Durrant is a method Rangers fans use to stir the pot and perpetuate their righteous indignation.

    For a sizable section of the Rangers support, resentment and conflict is all they have. It is how they both define and understand themselves, so incidents and flashpoints such as this are never allowed to fade into history, they are permanently in the present in the minds of such Bears.

    Its quite a remarkable siege mentality they have: everyone hates them and there is a grand conspiracy working against them at all times (even though history shows that it was Rangers who were the underhand schemers and cheats, as well as the only club to have prejudice as a significant part of its identity). These fans are gripped by a form of mass psychosis.

    The Durrant incident is simply an example of Rangers fans scratching around for something – anything – which allows them to perceive that they hold the moral high ground. This is in keeping with their absurd notions of superiority, dignity and class.

    Personally I feel the resentment of Aberdeen is chiefly down to the success of our club in the 80s, with the Durrant incident being the cherry on top. The big Glasgow clubs didn’t like a smaller provincial club turning up to beat them regularly and win trophies they regard as their own property. This resentment can be seen in Celtic colours too, though with them it is more from players-turned-pundits who lost out on medals to Aberdeen – Murdo Mcleod, Davie Provan etc – more than it is the fans.

    As for why Aberdeen hate Rangers, well, Rangers are a very easy club to dislike. It doesn’t take much effort or imagination to dislike Rangers. Any right thinking, moral-person would dislike Rangers.

    Who could possibly admire a sports club which openly and proudly ran a sectarian signing policy as late at the 1980s, and has failed to make any significant effort to combat the social harm this has caused?

    Who could over-look the bitter prejudice which oozes from their support to this day?

    Or what about the singing the name of a man (Billy Fullerton) who was not only a religious bigot, but a puerile racist and a fascist? (He founded a Scottish branch of the KKK and was involved with Oswald Mosely’s British Union of Fascists).

    Of course, the official line is that this is all down to a minority, but anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear knows different,

    The cynical cheating with the EBTs is a relatively minor point, compared with the disgust felt by ordinary people at the base prejudice which a significant portion of the Rangers support is renowned for. They have nothing in their lives, except prejudice.

    My Fathers rangers-orientated family came from Govan, so I have had a very close view of the culture surrounding Ibrox. My uncle was actually in the crowd on the day of the Ibrox disaster. So I know they are at least some decent people in the Ibrox stands, and I am not some glib “rangers hater” (which critics are normally dismissed as being).

    1. “Where did you get that hat? Where did you get that tile?
      Isn’t it a nobby one, and just the proper style?
      I should like to have one Just the same as that!”
      Where’er I go, they shout “Hello! Where did you get that hat?”

      Ah. I think a beloved Primary school teacher taught us that circa ’86 in deepest, darkest Rosyth. Thanks for the meander down misery lane.

  3. This site is one of the best out there. Gives a real truthful insight into Scottish football with none of the cheer leading of the SMSM. I look forward to your blogs and this site is easily up there with the best of them. Would be tragic if you stopped producing thoughtful researched / truthful issues. I don’t agree with your politics but happy to read your views. Donation made last night and will donate monthly

  4. JJ,

    This saga is most certainly heading for another kick-point, by financial necessity if nothing else, and your inside, informed and researched view on that will be very welcome. It is perfectly possible to have an inside view, openly coloured as it were, but the skill is for it not to be presented as unnecessarily biased nor “snidey,” the latter of which your so called competition all too regularly fall into. Some more biscuit funds on the way. Ignore the volume, concentrate on the quality would be my advice, for what its worth.

    And as a complete aside – its funny the memories that come back. I too had cause to converse with a group of CFC players plus inevitable hangers on a works thing. I vividly recall Stilian Petrov taking me aside at the jackets-on stage and as good as apologising for them. Class act. Dived a lot, but still a class act nonetheless!!!

  5. Just because you perceive your articles are ‘unappreciated’ that does not undermine their validity. Glad to see that you have changed your mind on withdrawing the previous article. Judging by the comments and in my own humble opinion, the JJsite has to be the the must read site for what really happens in Scottish football ie off the park where jiggery-pokery abounds. Your work is appreciated and has inspired people to contribute to the debate who would otherwise be drowned out by the real ‘internet bampots’ whose number includes some of the SMSM.

    On a separate issue I caught a brief reference to Stewart Gilmour (St Mirren), at the weekend on the radio, disclosing the fact that there had been an aggressive bid several years ago to take over St Mirren with a view to a new Rangers club taking over the footballing licence. Perhaps some better-informed readers could help.

    I’ve made a contribution towards the blog and hope you take it as vote of confidence.

    PS Keep up the good work. I enjoy all your writings even when I don’t necessarily agree with your views.

  6. JJ, I’m afraid you’re a victim of a saying of my late mother: the more you do for people the less they appreciate it.
    We’ve come to expect a daily offering from you, in much the same way that we switch on the six o’clock news (albeit you provide more truth).
    I would echo the comments of some others, in that perhaps you should restrict your output to two articles a week, say, Tuesday and Friday. With the option of a bonus article should anything significant occur.
    This would provide a build-up of expecation on what you might tell us next, and might mean that people are more likely to contribute. Talking of which, I’m so far a non-contributor. The reason for this is that I’m not comfortable using paypal. Is there any other way that I can contribute? It might not be much, but I’d be happy to make recurring payments to help keep your site going.
    As we were getting biblical earlier, I’ll leave you with a further saying: Only in his hometown, and in his own household, is a prophet without honour.
    Your time will come.

    1. Paypal is simple, easy and safe. I was reticent like everybody when you first get on the web, now I won’t use anything else, when carrying out online exchanges. If it doesn’t have Paypal, they don’t get my business.

  7. Every time I read the title of this article for some unknown reason Bjork’s voice starts singing in my head.

    Even though the title doesn’t fit, somehow the lyrics do…….

    I can sense it
    something important
    is about to happen
    it’s coming up

    it takes courage to enjoy it
    the hardcore and the gentle
    big time sensuality

    we just met
    and i know i’m a bit too intimate
    but something huge is coming up
    and we’re both included

    it takes courage to enjoy it
    the hardcore and the gentle
    big time sensuality

    i don’t know my future after this weekend
    and i don’t want to

    it takes courage to enjoy it
    the hardcore and the gentle
    big time sensuality

    Anyway……… I’m going back on to the practice putting green

  8. Dear JJ
    I dont think the popularity of articles is directly proportional to the donations received, I have contributed in September and will do so again in October regardless.
    This site transcends football and gives me an insight into the corrupt ways of the so called establishment within Scotland.

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