In a close season that has been dominated by the Supreme Court dismissing an appeal by the joint liquidators of Rangers, the green shoots of UEFA progress are apparent at Scottish football’s two pre-eminent clubs, namely Celtic and Aberdeen. Rangers Lite in their debut season in a UEFA tournament let the side down badly with what has been described as the worst performance in their history. It was certainly on a par with the time they had to cheat to earn a replay with Albion Rovers, which was one of the many low points of Ally McCoist’s tainted tenure. As we found out in Craig Whyte’s trial McCoist’s appointment was predicated on a pre – contract agreement that would have resulted in severe penalty payments had he not succeeded Walter Smith EBT OBE.
When one looks a the list of the cream of young talent being developed in the Scottish game, Auchenhowie’s Academy players are conspicuous by their absence. Reports suggest that there are two distinct factions at The Milngavie Dream Factory which is causing concern to the Poundstretchers Mourinho. Lee Wallace, who had to cancel his honeymoon plans to train for UEFA glory, is far from happy that Traynor is briefing against him. Traynor selected Jim Jeffries as his hired gun to shoot down Wallace’s firmly held conviction that he should continue as captain. Apparently Bruno Alves has been promised the gig.
Wallace and Miller are far from happy that Caixinha has brought in second tier journeyman on terms significantly better than they signed up for. Caixinha wanted to move Miller on, but was prohibited from doing so by a member of the board. The Bothwell Bantamweight knows that his days are numbered. It will be interesting to see who will score the goals this season should Miller be sidelined. The game at Motherwell on the 5th August will be instructive.
Unlike Rangers Lite, Celtic made short work of the part-timers of Linfield, whose supporters have been somewhat unkindly referred to as ‘Huns without the ferry fare.’ The throwing of empty half bottles of Buckfast Tonic Wine at Leigh Griffiths was significantly more accurate than the shooting of the Linfield forwards who seemed to have developed tear-stained eyes when approaching the onion bag. Six goals going on 16 suggests that Celtic have lost none of the potency of last season. The game at Celtic Park was a sellout, with fans queuing up to cast their eyes on debutants Hayes and the man missing a vowel, Olivier Ntcham. With Patrick Roberts returning to Manchester City after a successful eighteen month loan spell at Celtic, it will be interesting to see if Rodgers’ new signings can emulate the winger who was at times unplayable. The forthcoming season’s Celtic Park curtain raiser against Hearts is by far the pick of the opening weekend’s fixtures.
Word reaches me of a concerted campaign by Lite supporters to have Celtic suspended from UEFA participation. It would seem that what is good for their half-cooked goose is good for the gander. Tying a Celtic scarf on the Corner Flag Bottle Recycling Area may land Celtic in hot water. Training bibs emblazoned with the livery of Magners might also lead to a slap on the wrist. The unprecedented attendance at a game against part-time opposition is also causing concern apropos egress arrangements. However the height of folly award goes to the misguided individuals who unfurled a banner of an image of a terrorist. One can but hope that Celtic can weed out these supporters of a proscribed organisation more effectively than Lite have dealt with the ‘monkey mimicry’ at Ibrox last season, when Celtic took Lite apart.
Will tumbleweed be a feature in the unsafe enclosures of Ibrox this season as Celtic relentlessly pursue seven successive titles, or a Dave King treble if you exist in a parallel universe south of the Limpopo? How deep are Park’s pockets? The ‘laughing’ stock will not provide the £5m anticipated fillip. The next foray into Europe is no more than Stewart Regan’s wet dream. Lite are at more risk of going bust this season than at any time in their five years history.
I digress. Off the field matters continue to dominate the hearts and minds of Scottish Football supporters who are unsurprisingly spitting blood at former club Rangers going unpunished for thirteen years of cash bung cheating. I received the following comment from someone who has a ring-side seat at the developing governance debacle. He chose to remain anonymous:
” I have sent a message to you before regards SFA committee members. Further to that I have the following. There are a number of these “members” who are more than acutely aware that they should have “wiped the floor” with Rangers back in 2012, rode the wave of hate and let it all fizzle out in order that we could all “move on”. Some were scared of the loss of any form of Rangers and the mythical “blue pound”. Others were happy to sit back and let it roll as they still harboured fantasies of they themselves ascending the marble staircase. Back then there were threats, all of these main committee guys were briefed on security of their homes, families and businesses. Yet still some were prepared to step up to the plate. Others wanted to hide behind Celtic. They wanted it to become an Old Firm tug of war, they could then hide behind Celtic and say how they felt as all the incoming flak would go towards the pesky Tims and they would, in the main, escape further scrutiny from the baying hordes of incensed Rangers fans. The problem now is that it is too late for most of them. The pathetic wretch that is Regan and the grinning buffoon Doncaster have to brass neck this shit storm to the death. In any other society they could well face criminal charges or, at the very least, a visit from plod regards what clearly points towards a conspiracy to defraud. I have stated before any court cases started that the investigation was set up to fail as the truth would bring down more than just the tattered reputation of a dead football club. Knighthoods, chairmanships, jobs and a whole plethora of positions in society and business were, and still are, at stake. It is my contention that the police investigation was a smokescreen to placate the idiots who part with their cash at Ibrox whilst protecting the real “criminals”.
The problem now is that Celtic have only tentatively dipped their toe into the public swamp regards the EBT and DOS years. Privately they are crunching the numbers and the legal eagles are preparing to strike. The others involved, on both sides, are further briefed that the lunatic fringe of 2012 have grown in number to the degree that anyone who sticks his or her head above the parapet will be fair game for all of these nut cases. Maniacs who have been nurtured with lies by the media for five years in order to take their money and in a desperate attempt to stop the Tims.
The survival myth, the victim myth, the back where we belong crap. All of this means that there are grown men and women on the committees of Scottish Football who know what should be done but absolutely won’t do it due to the threat to their safety and to the safety of their families. Again, they have all been briefed on this. The police will not be able to prevent the maniacs from seeking their revenge on any perceived “haters”. It doesn’t help that most of the local constabulary have any of “1872 1873 1972 FTP 1690 RFC GSTQ” in their work passwords.
In short, they are all shitting themselves and they absolutely 100% wish “we could all just move on”. Not because they don’t want to apply their rules to redress the wrongs, but that it is ten times worse now than it would have been five years ago. “Not worth the hassle” is a phrase I have heard from one of them. Others have been much more explicit but will simply not go on record. “I’ve got children and grandchildren and this is supposed to be about bloody football. All of a sudden we all have to be f**king lawyers and tax accountants who can’t open their mail! F**k that!”.
This will end up as a Celtic v Rangers “fight” and the fact that cheating took place will be lost as the media revel in increased sales as they stir it to further incense the mentally unhinged “element” in the Rangers support. The only thing that can happen is that new Rangers go bust. That way the authority committee members can wipe their brow. The only subsequent problem is that a sneaky rule change means that a “spfl committee” can decide the fate of a defunct member. It won’t go to a vote. It will be decided by a few, potentially conflicted (corrupt?), individuals who would vote third Rangers back to 3rd in the top division at the drop of a bowler hat.”
One eagerly awaits the tug of war. I believe that one will find more than Celtic pulling the rope from their elevated moral upper ground position.