Prior to writing an article to preview the Semi-Finals of The League Cup (I will not name the sponsor) I take pause to add a postscript to yesterday’s article on Level 5. Traynor’s so-called office at 26 Blythswood Square is currently occupied by Paul Hetherington, a man with interesting connections to Airdrie FC. Mr Hetherington shows all the low-life cunning that we have come to expect from Mr Traynor’s favourite client who resides south of the Limpopo.
Paul Anthony Hetherington seems to have a penchant for borrowing heavily from his company. One would like to think that this is not an elaborate EBT style loan to evade tax?
Was Traynor lying to the press when he borrowed Hetherington’s company’s HQ for the L5 launch, or is the latter sub-letting? My source, with a solid background in investigative journalism, is taking a closer look at the cosy relationship between Traynor and Hetherington. He unearthed a Herald piece from June, 2011, apropos Airdrie only paying a gas bill of £1.29 per month. Would it be unkind to suggest that with all the action going on in his marital bed ménage a trois Ballantyne had no need to keep warm? Did he get by on a post-coital flush?
Airdrie United’s ground is owned by Excelsior Stadium LLP, while the stadium is run on a daily basis by Excelsior Stadium Limited. It is the limited company that has responsibility for gas payments. The LLP members are Irene Greene, her husband Sam and Paul Hetherington, a trio that also collectively holds the full shareholding in the company that manages the stadium. Airdrie United is owned by a separate firm, one of whose directors is Jim ‘slam bam thank you mams‘ Ballantyne.
One wonders what artifice Hetherington was using to mininimise the gas bills. Surely with characters such as Traynor, Ballantyne and Hetherington forming their own ménage a trois, one would be quick to check pockets to ensure that they had not been picked.
I digress. As the wheels come off at Level 5 will Celtic’s invincible run come to a shuddering halt at Hampden today? There was nothing in Griffith’s performance in The Allianz Arena that would support him getting the nod over Dembele. If Rodgers prefers to bring Dembele off the bench it may be too little too late.
In midfield I would select Rogic and give the fresh legs of Forrest a run. If Dembele or Griffiths cannot find the net one should look to McGregor who scored a brace against Hibs at Celtic Park.
The problems at Celtic emanate from the back four. Jozo Simunovic and Erik Sviatchenko are both injured. The Lustig/Boyata axis looked ropy on Wednesday evening yet Rodgers has little option other than to play them. I would rest Gamboa and introduce Ralston. The former’s blood is probably still twisted by trying to mark Kingsley Coman. Rodgers should probably rest Brown and Armstrong who both looked leggy on Wednesday, but he is unlikely to jettison his captain.
Can Hibs win? Yes they can. They won’t have a better chance than against a team with only one day to prepare. Celtic have not been impressive of late. This game is too close to call but if you held a gun to my head I would plump for Hibs.
If one believed the Glasgow-centric Scottish media hacks, Rangers Lite are in the final bar a light training run-out against Motherwell. I beg to differ. I fancy Motherwell and should a fair referee be appointed they will have every chance.
I’m really excited by the Celtic v Hibs game. Two teams with great traditions and not an EBT cheat to be seen except in the BBC Scotland mobile studio.