The Wheels Coming Off.

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.


Ballantyne in his retro replica top and what looks like an Emu’s nest covering his bald napper. Is he moonlighting as a tribute act to Rod Hull? Surely a man with his team colours nailed firmly to the mast would recuse himself from the decision to confer Rangers Lite with the titles won by Rangers?

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.



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13 thoughts on “The Wheels Coming Off.”

  1. I had a wee winning punt on the draw the last time these 2 met but I feel Celtic will be good even giving Hibs a goal of a start.

    One thing JJ I believe Ralston is recovering from an injury… Have a fab weekend all.

  2. Traditionally Celtic are below par after a tough game in Europe. They will have to play really well to beat Hibs. Despite this I still expect them to prevail against Hibs and the referee. Should be a good game and there will be several goals.

  3. Forgive the repeat but your point regarding BBC coverage. Stephen EBT Thompson being a mainstay of the BBC Scottish Football coverage I find absolutely despicable and is my own very good reason to boycott any coverage he is involved in. How many times is this tax dodger allowed to fleece the honest UK tax payer? Not only did he avoid taxes with his EBT he is now being paid for his services by the BBC, who are funded by the tax Payers!!
    Absolutely shocking by BBC Scotland and an affront to every honest tax payer that this tax dodging cheat is now taking from Scottish Taxpayers yet again!!
    Surely an organisation such as BBC Scotland would have more awareness of the public mood and reaction and have the decency not to rub peoples faces in this? Nowhere else would this be tolerated

  4. A good win today on the back of a mentally and physically challenging night on Wednesday. It was great to see Dembele come off the bench and make an impact: the jersey is once again his and he will hopefully be an asset against both Aberdeen and Bayern. He’s a class act and offers so much more than Leigh.

    The MIB demonstrated once again that “anyone but Celtic” is still their focus this season. The penalty awarded to Hibs today was nothing short of disgraceful with the near side linesman having a great view of Boyata’s perfectly timed tackle, a tackle that diverted the ball around 20 yards to his right for a corner kick.

      1. I watched it in real time like everyone else and he doesn’t play the man. If there’s an element of doubt it shouldn’t be given. Not in this country.

  5. Anybody that thinks BBC Scotland (or indeed the BBC on wider matters) is impartial is not up to date.
    I got wise mid-eighties (miner’s strike?).

    BBC Scotland is populated with the rule-britannia types…
    BBC Scotland Sports (fitba certainly, maybe others..) is populated with the WATP types…

  6. JJ, not bad, not brilliant.
    Great though that you give us information that would NEVER come out in the Scottish Mainstream Media.
    I hope you got my wee extra contribution, and the other recent one too.
    Whilst it’s nice to have access to content, otherwise subdued/avoided, I feel it’s critical
    that those who support you, are occasionally recognised . Just a wee nod?
    I’ve supported you from very early on; regular contributions and one-offs too.
    I do this in appreciation; I also try to encourage more support.
    Please, don’t ignore your other consistent supporters, as you’ve done me,
    regardless of however minimal their donation may be.
    I asked, recently, about having ticked boxes to receive comments, they were NOT coming.
    A response would be nice.

    1. TT, I have no control over WordPress. If they don’t follow through on a feature there is nothing that I can do about it. They provide the platform and in exchange they append ads to my pieces. I have no say in or any return from these ads. Your contributions may be modest but are most gratefully received. At this juncture I would also like to express my thanks to others such as Anne T who quietly go about supporting our site.

      As for your comment on the piece itself, were you aware of the machinations at new club Airdrie United who have now been given permission to revert to their previous title? Did I provide my readers with new information that is not in the public domain? Or did you take exception to me tipping Hibs to win? It’s easy to criticise. If you can do better, day after day, 364 days per year, then step up.

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