No Cigar

Should Celtic continue to be profligate in attack and inordinately vulnerable in defence, their chances of seven successive titles will be critically undermined. Since a football masterclass at Pittodrie, Celtic have dropped six points against Kilmarnock, Motherwell and Hibs. They have drawn five games from sixteen played. A mere five points separates Celtic from Rangers Lite despite the fact that the latter have lost four games and are being coached by a guy who should be out of his depth at this level. Lite have only drawn three of their 17 games played, and won just one less than Celtic. Should Celtic draw their game in hand against Partick Thistle, and on recent form this is not improbable, and assuming both Celtic and Lite secure full points from their respective visits to the Capital, they will go into the 30th December showdown with Lite facing the possibility of a three point gap, or even less should Celtic not prevail at home against Aberdeen.

If Celtic play as poorly as they did yesterday, their unbeaten record will not remain intact at the turn of the year. Had it not been for a Lustig clearance on the line, Celtic would have left Easter Road with nothing. Gaining one point from a fluked second goal was more than their play warranted. Their raspberry strip was the cue for many to blow raspberries at their performance.

James Forrest should take a long hard look at himself. With time to run round the ball to get it on his favoured right foot he could not hit the target. This is just not good enough. He was unmarked as he intercepted a suicidal pass across the 18 yard line, yet could not beat the goalkeeper. He should have been hooked against Anderlecht but Hayes was not on the bench. Hayes replaced him in this game and duly reinforced the point that he is Rodger’s worst ever signing. Celtic have to look to a loan signing, who is currently injured, for a cutting edge on the right flank. This dearth on the right flank, compounded by Lustig losing a yard and being constantly caught out of position, is being exploited in every game. Boyata and Simunovic remain unconvincing at the soft centre of Celtic’s defence.

If they don’t get their act together, Windass with Miller/Morelos and Pena will wipe the floor with them. Murty fashioned a draw against Rodger’s juggernaut last year. Could he go one better with a win at Celtic Park on the 30th December? Who needs McInnes when Celtic are this poor?

Carlos Pena, who has not featured in Mexico’s national team since his debut in 2012, is on fire. He is the Pogba of the Scottish Premiership. If truth be told he is the only member of the Lite squad who would warrant inclusion in a Celtic team who are not getting much purchase from Armstrong or Ntcham. Caixinha, who managed a title-winning team in Mexico, made an astute purchase when he snapped up Pena. He is currently valued at £2.25m. If he continues to improve he will be sold for 5 times this quantum or more to an English Premiership outfit. Those who turn up at Ibrox in their fisherman’s waders and red hand flies for some sectarian fishing have a new Baxter in their midst. Yes he really is that good. He’s a good looking boy and as a Rangers Lite player knickers will be dropping faster than a fireman down a pole. If he can keep himself out of the fleshpots and fashions a ‘steady’ he will continue to improve. The problem lesser mortals face is staying up all night looking for a click. Pena will be handed underwear with numbers in lipstick within minutes of entering a club; assuming of course that the Glasgow girls are wearing undergarments which in my experience is often not the case. A Bertie Bassett and a stick of liquorice usually suffices when they are on the pull.

I digress. The central thesis of this article is the damp squib that I included in yesterday’s piece as an adjunct. There were high hopes that the Fans For Justice movement would have its day in court. Saturday’s bombshell was as follows:

“Fans of many clubs were concerned by the SFA’s refusal to join with the SPFL in a review of the actions of both organisations over the last 10 years. Processes used by both organisations were clearly insufficient and rules were inadequate to properly deal with deliberate rule breaking, deception and financially irresponsible behaviour by at least one member club.

In response to the SFA’s refusal, a process was undertaken by fans to investigate whether a Judicial Review of that refusal was possible. A national firm of Solicitors was engaged, and they in turn instructed a prominent QC to provide opinion on the matter.

The Opinion, which we accept, is that the SFA were entitled to refuse the SPFL request. It is irrelevant whether this refusal was illogical, self serving or protectionist. There is not a case in law to force the SFA to comply with even a perfectly reasonable request which is in the best interests of the game in Scotland.”

Are we being played as fools? What a limp response. We were told to keep our powder dry. We anticipated a crowdfund appeal? And now this. Have we all been Fannies For Justice?

The SFA, which answers to their member clubs, will always refuse to comply with any investigation which puts them in a bad light. This should not have been the focus of this legal redress.

The LNS Commission, and its recommendations, should be challenged in a court of law. Is it just me or do I detect the unseen hand of someone on the Celtic board advising these well-heeled Celtic fans to back off and await the Compliance Officer’s decision on Resolution 12?

Allow me to put this bluntly. Any organisation that can come up with ‘imperfectly registered but eligible‘ apropos 55 players driving a coach and horses through SFA regulations will come up with a fudge. No SFA employee is going to hang his principals out to dry.

LNS was the Achilles Heel. Campbell Ogilvie’s lies in his personal submission should have been taken to task. Stewart Regan’s inclusion on the supervisory panel and his role in defining  the LNS remit should have been challenged. LNS’ conclusion that EBT were not illegal, and as they could have been used by other clubs conferred no competitive advantage, was unequivocally refuted by The Supreme Court.

The latter point is a slam dunk. Any advocate worth his salt would cogently argue that a fine of £250,000 was not fitting of the crime, namely systemic tax evasion on an industrial scale.

So why did these well-heeled Celtic fans pursue an argument they could not win? Are they all transfixed by Resolution 12? Not good enough gentlemen. Not even fucking close.

If the RTC blogger would care to contact me, and work in unison with me, I will initiate crowdfunded legal redress. Should we both continue to be mindful of our anonymity we will require a third party to front our consortium. I would invite John Clark who contributes to the SFM.

So why not go it on my own? I can barely raise enough money to pay the rent and I have not had a holiday since starting this site and being forced into exile. A kind reader has offered me a coach flight and free accommodation with his family in Buenos Aires, but I would not turn up without the means to buy him a bottle of red wine in gratitude.

If RTC and JC joined forces with me I have no doubt that we could rip the guts out of this whitewash. I am loath to praise the SFM as they harbour two small-minded guttersnipes who hang on my every word looking for a dipthong out of place. However in the best interests of my readers I have borrowed their latest editorial piece which has many parallels to the article I published on Saturday (jj passim: Caravansevco) –

This headline ( It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one) is a quote by George Washington, but it is also friendly advice to Keith Jackson of the Daily Record in response to his ‘exclusive’ today on the reasons Derek McInnes turned down Rangers.

May I begin by drawing people’s attention to two statements by the same organisation on what was essentially the same subject matter:

Aberdeen FC Statement 14th June 2017:

The club can confirm that early this afternoon Sunderland FC agreed to meet all the contractual obligations for both Derek McInnes and Tony Docherty and they have, reluctantly, been granted permission to speak with both of them about the vacant managerial position at Sunderland.
Aberdeen FC will be making no further comment at this moment in time.”

Aberdeen FC Statement 5th December 2017

Aberdeen Football Club has announced this evening that Rangers have contacted the Club asking for permission to speak to Derek McInnes and that permission has been refused.”

It is clear from the first statement there are contractual obligations that, when met, mean the club must allow their manager the option of dialogue with interested parties, however reluctant the club may be.

Although money is not mentioned, contractual obligations can only relate to the commitments on either side to terminate the agreement and these are usually financial. In the case of an interested suitor, it would be expected of them to pay this on behalf of the employee.

There is no mention of contractual obligations in the club statement on 5th December, from which one can only infer that Rangers either refused, or were in no position to meet, the financial commitments required. Aberdeen FC therefore exercised their right to refuse permission to speak to McInnes, a position they are perfectly entitled to maintain until such time as Rangers agree to meet all contractual obligations, just as Sunderland did.

The story for the press to pursue is obvious yet Keith Jackson wants to have us believe that the McInnes decision -and ultimately it was his decision – has nothing to do with money. Jackson even suggested that an offer of £1m up-front was on the table in a piece that was published on Wednesday:

In it, Jackson states;

“Dons chairman Stewart Milne made his hardball position clear last night after booting out an official approach from the Ibrox club – and turning down a cheque for £1 million in compensation.”

I’m not entirely sure what Mr Jackson means by an ‘official’ approach, I would have thought ‘formal’ to be more apposite but it’s a moot point in the grand scheme of things. Fact is, Jackson didn’t think long and hard enough about this statement because it contains not one, or two, but three glaring inaccuracies.

Mr Milne did not ‘boot out’ any approach – official, formal or otherwise. If Rangers had met the necessary contractual obligations then Aberdeen FC could not have refused McInnes the opportunity to speak to Rangers – that would have been a breach of contract on the club’s part and McInnes could sue.
Mr Milne is not ’playing hardball’. Playing hardball is about getting what you want. Mr Milne already has what he wants. He doesn’t need to play hardball – it is Rangers who, if they cannot afford the compensation or wish to alter the terms of the compensation, would need to attempt to play hardball. Jackson has this the wrong way around – a common failing when trying to justify a lie and pursue a biased narrative.
I don’t dispute that Rangers offered to pay £1 million in compensation, but I do not believe for one millisecond that it would be paid in a single instalment either by cheque, cash or bank transfer because the audited accounts published last month prove that such a commitment would not be possible. A shortfall of £4m was required in soft loans to see out the current season, with monies required immediately, and a further £3.2m after June 18. Furthermore, these figures did not consider the additional cost of a change of management at the club/holding company/engine room subsidiary/call it what you will.
It’s rather telling that Mr Jackson makes no mention of this £1m cheque in his ‘exclusive’ today. Instead, he offers another inaccuracy. He says’;

“When Milne made it clear he was unwilling to grant the move his blessing – and that McInnes would have to rip up his contract to pursue a return to Ibrox – the ex-Rangers player was boxed into a corner.”

Mr Milne is in no position to grant a move, whether with his blessing or otherwise. There is a binding contract in place and only if contractual obligations are met then – as is glaringly obvious from the Aberdeen Club Statement of 14th June – Mr Milne would have to, albeit reluctantly, allow the manager to speak to the other club, just as he did in the case of Sunderland. He cannot box his manager into a corner. There is no decision for Mr Milne to make if the requisite compensation is agreed to be paid in full to terminate the manager’s contract with Aberdeen FC.

More plausibly, Rangers could box McInnes into a corner. The job is his if he wants it, but he will have to resign his position to take it because Rangers won’t meet the contractual obligations. Once again Jackson has it the wrong way around because he is lying and pursuing a biased narrative.

Any reasonably minded follower of Scottish football knows why McInnes is not going to Rangers. It’s all about the money – or the lack of it – and no amount of lying or high-level fantasy by award winning journalists will alter that prosaic fact.”

To my mind this is the perfect riposte to Jackson’s PR-fed reportage, King’s ‘Massive Club’ bombast and Je Suis Graham’s lavatorial metaphor which implied that McInnes bottled it.

As I have stated consistently in a number of articles Rangers Lite do not have a pot to piss in. No amount of obfuscation and circumlocution can obscure this prosaic fact.



The End Of The Affair & The Judicial Review

Unrequited love and the pursuit of an ambivalent prospective paramour rarely end well. Our favourite pop-up director, Je Suis Graham, who within forty-eight hours of his elevation to the rogue board was forced to resign due to his history of Islamaphobic rants, is clearly addled by McInnes ‘giving Rangers Lite a dizzy.’ For those not familiar with the Glasgow vernacular ‘a dizzy‘ is a ‘date’ where the girl has no intention of showing up. It’s a device to fob-off the unwanted overtures of a persistent suitor. As the suitor cools his heels under the Central Station clock he soon realises that the object of his desire has no intention of showing up. This social phenomenon can be seen on any weekend evening in Glasgow.

Monsieur Graham, who had the good fortune to study at one of Glasgow’s most expensive fee-paying schools, Hutchesons Grammar School, is not taking the McInnes news well. In the medium of Twitter, the PR consultant without a mandate offered:

Can’t have been easy for the players or Graeme Murty after McInnes shat the bed on Thursday.”

Hutchesons Grammar School was founded in 1641. The Hutcheson brothers, Thomas and George, initially founded it as Hutchesons boys’ grammar school. Their main goal was to educate orphans. The school is familiarly called “Hutchie” and has around 2000 pupils.

As a day-pupil Monsiur Graham’s parents would be out of pocket to the tune of £11,082 per calendar year. Surely with that kind of money being expended on young Chris’s behalf, a more elegant phrase could have been within his gift.

How about ‘McInnes demurred?’ Or perhaps, in a nod to the arch criminal ‘The Concomitant Risk v Reward was not favourable.”

There are those who follow Aberdeen who despise Rangers Lite with every fibre of their being. Conflating an involuntary bowel movement, I assume while in repose, with the knockback by McInnes will not be well-received. Perhaps Je Suis was influenced by an anecdote by Captain Incorrigible, Richard Gough. On an evening of gloryhole carousing and anal misadventure, would ‘shitting’ the bed be a concomitant risk?  Per chance the popular ditty apropos Gough came to mind:

He’s tall, he’s fast, he’s a fucking pederast, Richard Gough, Richard Gough.”

As Stewart Milne would say, surely it’s time to move on? Aberdeen secured a hard-fought win in Dundee and Rangers Lite prevailed after an early scare from Ross County.

The world did not fall off its axis due to a knockback from McInnes.

Of much more interest is the lunchtime kick-off at Easter Road. Neil Lennon will do his utmost to exploit the hangover from Celtic’s Anderlecht reverse. If Rodgers freshens up his team and starts with Edouard up front, it could be a high scoring cracker. If Dembele, who has not recovered from a savage lunge by Kipre, gets the nod their unbeaten record will be at risk, particularly if Sinclair continues his off-form streak.

I digress. Cool your heels Je Suis. A knockback is no reason for despair. Just ask your old mucker Darryl Broadfoot who is a knockback veteran. Just get back in the saddle and repair to Jinty McGuinty’s Irish Bar in Ashton lane. A bit of Craic for a broken heart is the perfect remedy.

Of more import is the latest news on a Judicial Review:

In response to the SFA’s refusal, a process was undertaken by fans to investigate whether a Judicial Review of that refusal was possible. A national firm of Solicitors was engaged, and they in turn instructed a prominent QC to provide opinion on the matter.

The Opinion, which we accept, is that the SFA were entitled to refuse the SPFL request. It is irrelevant whether this refusal was illogical, self serving or protectionist. There is not a case in law to force the SFA to comply with even a perfectly reasonable request which is in the best interests of the game in Scotland.”

The corrupt cabal who run Scottish Football for the benefit of one club can rest easy in their beds.

First Love – Last Rites

The Wrong Set and Other Stories by Angus Wilson was first published in 1949 to wide critical acclaim. One would have to wait another quarter of a century for a collection of stories that took one’s breath away. When I first read Ian McEwan’s First Love Last Rites I was both appalled by its subject matter and astonished by the brilliance of McEwan’s writing. As someone who always received a first prize of a book in advance of my reading age in every year of my primary school education, the challenge of reading demanding texts was not new to me. However McEwan’s collection of short stories transfixed me like no other. It also convinced me not to be a writer as how could anyone match McEwan?

The last blog was an entertainment. This piece will be much more measured. There will be no colourful metaphors nor ten dollar words. It will be a sober reflection on Scottish Football through the prism of L’Affaire Rangers and Derek McInnes.

Great writers are as rare as great football managers. When McEwan interviewed John Updike, the most brilliant man of letters of his or any other generation, it was not a meeting of equals. It was evident that Updike was McEwan’s literary hero. The latter did his best not to revert to fawning.

There will be no love lost when Mourinho’s Manchester United host Guardiola’s Manchester City tomorrow. Their reputations as the two finest coaches of their generation precedes them. City don’t have the European pedigree of United. Guardiola is not only competing against Mourinho. He is challenging the legacies of Busby and Ferguson.

As one looks back on the fateful events of Munich in 1958, and how Busby recovered from losing some of the best players ever seen in English football, and his own prolonged spell in hospital, to lead Manchester United to European Cup success in a few months more than a decade, he to my mind is without equal. He is the John Updike of football management.

Alex Ferguson was a much more irascible character than Busby. Ferguson was ruthless and uncompromising. He put the fear of God into players. His ‘hairdryer’ invective was coruscating. In his rage he kicked out at a boot which marked pretty-boy Beckham’s face. While in charge of Aberdeen, Ferguson threw a cup of hot tea at Strachan. Ferguson was an unconscionable bully. There would be hell to pay for any player who left anything on the park. His objective was to knock Liverpool off their perch. He achieved this and much more.

Liverpool’s success was underpinned by two of the managerial greats, namely Bob Paisley and Bill Shankly. Three of the aforementioned greats are Scottish. They are as immortal as my fourth choice of Scottish legends, the incomparable Jock Stein.

My short list is not exhaustive. Some would posit that Wenger and his Invincibles achieved greatness, however they pale to insignificance when compared to Stein. Those of a younger generation might look to Brendan Rodgers at Celtic, but I would demur.

Celtic lost to a more tactically astute Anderlecht on Tuesday evening. A great manager would have made short work of the Belgian champions.

The past week’s focus on Derek McInnes, whose team returned to winning ways and second place at Dundee last night, could be perceived as a desire by Rangers Lite to knock Celtic off their perch.

I listened to a podcast featuring Tom English, Chris McLaughlin and Kenny Macintyre in which they discussed McInnes’ decision to spurn the overtures of Rangers Lite. The latter was inordinately wise to do so.

The arrogance of the spurned club in reaction to McInnes’ decision took bombast to a new paradigm. Rangers Lite are not the club who swept all before them with instruments of tax evasion. Their Punch in The Punch & Judy conflict no longer has a loaded cosh. However domestic violence and battered wives are never far from the surface when things on the park don’t reinforce the supremacist mindset off it. David Low asserted that Lite’s statement was:

An incredible & incredulous proclamation that avoids reference to McInnes & his concomitant rejection & instead avers the massive club was too much for the preferred candidate in a somewhat fatuous and gratuitous juxtaposition.”

In the podcast Tom English inquired: “What did McInnes find under the bonnet that made him turn down the opportunity to manage a club that he had once supported man and boy.”

Nota Bene (Note well) : The editorial policy of BBC Scotland is to promote and uphold The Continuation Lie.

How could McInnes turn his back on his First Love?

Let’s look at the known knowns. Mcinnes did not meet the rogue board. The books were not opened for him. He solicited opinions from his network of contacts.

I would be surprised if McInnes did not seek the counsel of Stuart McCall. Did his insights give pause for thought?

The Continuation Lie is a rod for any prospective manager’s back. The supporters reared on the success of a bygone era have unrealistic expectations. The supporters of a club which is just over five years old should be buoyed by its current position in the Scottish Premiership. They are not amused.

Would McInnes have been the catalyst to usurping Celtic’s dominance? That to my mind would have been too much of a stretch. He and his coaching team would have added value to a squad that has a cumulative value of one third of Celtic’s intangible worth. Finishing second at Aberdeen is a qualified success. At Rangers Lite, second to Celtic is tantamount to failure. How long would it be before the supporters started agitating for McInnes’ dismissal?

McInnes has job security at Aberdeen. At Lite the honeymoon period of this wasted season would not extend into next season. One of two Scottish Cup wins or a League Cup would be a minimum requirement before the end of season 18/19. This prerequisite is a tall ask.

As we saw from the accounts, the current business model at Ibrox is predicated on a deep run in the Europa tournament and an aspiration to CL football. McInnes would have been smart enough to deem both unlikely.

Did McInnes seek the counsel of Gordon Strachan? Strachan was assaulted by Rangers supporters at a filling station in full view of his family who were cowering in his car.  The Lite support would turn on its own in the flick of a switchblade.

McInnes’ decision elicited surprise in the Red Top Hacks. Their influence like their sales is waning fast. McInnes was not of a mind to unilaterally rip up his contract.

The fact that Lite were unable to pony up the release quantum was the real game changer. Sitting down with Mcinnes and Docherty carried a £1m premium. Rangers Lite can only dream of that kind of liquidity.

Dave King, who almost certainly wrote the study in chutzpah in reaction to McInnes’ decision, could lay his hands on one million sterling via his ‘interest’ in a British Virgin Islands trust. However the arch criminal has never done anything by the book. He is always looking for a dodge and what is known in many parts of Africa as a dash. He wanted McInnes to tear up his contract and subsequently defend the indefensible with a legal and Freemasonry heavyweight, namely Baron Davidson of Glen Clova. If one pays The Baron enough he will extend his sophistry to paint someone worth a minimum of £10m as penniless. King’s MMI recently sold its trading division. Would anyone have any doubt that King reneged on his deal with SARS & the CPA by siphoning off an eight figure sum to The British Virgin Islands? A career criminal never changes his spots.

The future for Rangers Lite is not bright. A good manager and relative success on the field would distract many from looking under the bonnet. McInnes did not have to lift the cover on the Ibrox charabanc. He knew that it was running out of fuel and that its All Star card had been withdrawn. The Sevco project is on a slippery slope to its Last Rites.





Concomitant Risks

Despite a slew of messages from an inside source that McInnes was on his way to Ibrox, I did my utmost to demur. I eventually capitulated when Mcinnes downed tools and did not lead training. If truth be told I was never convinced. I highlighted my scepticism in a number of articles. My position that Lite did not have a pot to piss in is incontrovertible

I could not envisage anything other than the most poisoned of chalices at Ibrox. Being the man in charge when Celtic achieve 10-in-a-row would have been too much to bear. As Craig Whyte revealed, every incumbent of the blue room must give the impression that the diddy club is a global giant, despite occasions where the new club was third in the pecking order of Glasgow clubs.

The SMSM were relentless in their pursuit of McInnes. Singing from the same hymn sheet they all inquired:

How could any ambitious manager turn down Rangers?”

The answer is simple. It’s not Rangers. It’s a facsimile club that is heavily in debt. Rangers Lite are unable to gain credit at any bank. Even a WONGA loan where you borrow a bar of soap and repay a bar of gold is not within their gift. Could this be the reason that arch criminal King seems unperturbed about the impending cold front from London’s Paternoster Square?  Does he take the view that the City already regard the rogue board as Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves?

Rangers Lite’s courtship of McInnes, with mood music supplied by BBC Scotland EBT,  was far from subtle. One conjures up thoughts of ‘Hey Hen, fancy a lumber‘ at a Glasgow dance hall, with a concomitant rubber ear. The knockback to Lite was so unequivocal that they might be forced to change their PR representation from the gout-ridden old soak that is Traynor at Level 5 to Darry Broadfoot at Frame. Broadfoot is an old hand at the knockback game. Broadfoot is not too picky. Any girl answering to Michele that he can bench press will do. However he inevitably crashes  and burns when he approaches them. Some have suggested that he has the breath of a Komodo Dragon but they are probably being unkind.

One’s flabber was truly gasted by the Lite response to the knockback:

“The position of Rangers manager requires an ability to win football matches and the mentality to cope with the demanding off-pitch environment that goes with being the Rangers manager. This is a critical aspect of our assessment of any candidate during the interview process.

After the two games against Aberdeen, we requested permission to engage with their manager to assess his readiness and willingness to consider the Rangers position. This was declined. We were subsequently made aware by Aberdeen’s statement that, at this stage in his career, it would be best for him to remain in his current post. We endorse that position because moving to a massive club like Rangers is a big step with concomitant risk. We continue to consider candidates but will only appoint someone in whom we have full confidence and who feels he is ready for the job.”

Massive club: Check.

McInnes not ready: Check

Concomitant risks: Check.

The Gullibilillies will be led to believe that they have dodged a bullet when the prosaic truth of the matter is that the rogue board dodged a bullet as there was a concomitant risk that they would be exposed as not having a pot to piss in.

Lite were hoping that McInnes tore up his contract. Keith Jackson, prompted by Traynor, spelled this out to McInnes.

“Just rock up at Ibrox and we will engage The Baron (of Glen Clova) to give Milne’s counsel a bloody nose.”

The prosaic fact of the matter is that Lite put all their eggs in one basket and when they were removed from the microwave the yolk exploded in their faces.

The sour grapes that have transformed a leading managerial light to an unambitious greenhorn are fooling no-one. Paul Murray would have risked his bouffant to piggy back McInnes all the way from Aberdeen.

This ‘massive club’ is a sham. They have the pulling power of Kevin Spacey on a bare week. The rogue board are always an embarrassment, occasionally a disgrace. Where will they look next for their new manager?

A gloryhole in Richard Gough’s old haunts would probably turn Lite down. It’s getting desperate in Govania.


noun: caravanserai: a group of people traveling together; a caravan.

Just when one thought it had all gone quiet, a lull before the perfect storm, the dogs are barking at a caravan that has ground to a shuddering halt. Jim Traynor has put together a keyboard posse to flush out McInnes and force him to do the unthinkable.

High in the saddle is Keith Jackson who had this to say yesterday:

Derek McInnes has stayed away from Aberdeen’s training session this morning as he edges closer to a move to Rangers. Record Sport understands McInnes and right hand man Tony Docherty have chosen not to oversee the first team squad to prepare for Friday night’s top flight trip to Dundee. Instead, first team coach Barry Robson and youth boss Paul Sheerin took Dons’ training at Balgownie Barracks. The move comes after we revealed this morning that McInnes could have no option but to resign from his Pittodrie post if he wants to open signing talks with the Ibrox club – following Aberdeen’s decision to boot out an official approach on Tuesday night.

It’s understood McInnes is now locked in dialogue with chairman Stewart Milne as the pair attempt to resolve this stand off. But Milne appears unlikely to back down after being infuriated by a six week saga which culminated in last week’s double header defeat for the Dons in back-to-back games against their bitter Glasgow rivals.

And, unless Milne is talked into an unlikely change of heart, McInnes will have to rip up his own contract in order to be free to open negotiations with Dave King’s Rangers regime.

Record Sport understands Rangers will agree to pay more than £1m in compensation for McInnes and Docherty if Milne gives the move his blessing.

Should the management team opt to resign in order to force the move through, then Aberdeen’s lawyers would come after them for the money – with Rangers then obliged to pick up the tab in full if McInnes is appointed as Pedro Caixinha’s replacement.”

Was this piece put together by numbers? Did the beleaguered hacks, who are on the journalistic equivalent of death row, draw lots to write a line each? If Lite had tabled an offer of £1m McInnes would be free to talk. As Lite don’t have a pot to piss in they are hoping that McInnes resigns as they would prefer to negotiate with a lead-swinging judge than with Stewart Milne. Will the 32nd degree Baron of Glen Clova step up to declare the new club penniless and ask his fellow Freemason brother for time to pay with a peppercorn interest rate?

Milne will not force an unhappy management team to see out the rest of the season as this would be counterproductive. The three rounds of back-channel negotiations with McInnes’ agent will stick in Milne’s craw. There is nothing to discuss with Lite other than to go through the motions for the media. McInnes will have been apprised of his salary and objectives viz UEFA qualification, a cup win, one defeat of Celtic and no more than a 12 point gap to the 7-in-a-row Champions.

Lite are merely flying a kite to force McInnes’ hand. They have conducted this recruitment like fly-by-night spivs that feed off faeces on the Clyde river bed. Will the SFA intervene to charge Lite with manager tapping? It’s a stick-on that they won’t as they are as diligent as the day is long at the Winter Solstice. Slippery Stewart Regan will drop by Andrew Dickson’s desk at the SFA to agree a form of words. How about the ‘tapping-up’ had not fully crystallised? Admittedly an old chestnut but a good night watchman.

It’s blatantly obvious that the SFA will do everything in their power to engineer a parity between the two Glasgow clubs. The Punch & Judy model has worked for generations. If Punch is using a loaded cosh then Judy should be given an SFA-issue crash helmet.

Lagging behind at the rear of the posse is Chris Jack who was too small to mount a horse and had to revert to a donkey. Chris has been known to hump the table legs in the Blue Room like an overexcited pup. He had this to say:

It is understood that the Gers chose to do the honourable thing by waiting until after the double-header with Aberdeen to make an approach.”

“I can see an Ibrox Rainbow, see a Rainbow, can you see a Rainbow too.” Jack is a nom de plume. His real name is Chris Pratt.

What a fucking imbecile. One could not flush out a scintilla of honour in the rogue board if one applied a thorough enema. They are as bent as a Polo Club line dance. Does Jack still get paid in Milky Bars?

One can but hope that Mcinnes takes the job and is prevented from entering Murray Park when the Sheriff Officers have secured it. King will scuttle the ship should Bannatyne add the weight of the law to the Takeover Panel’s edicts.

It would be the perfect end to a particularly sordid episode.


Cold Comfort For Celtic – A Comforting Squirrel For Rangers Lite

Two narratives will dominate what passes for journalism in the SMSM today. One of these which I will deal with later in this piece will yield the most column inches. Celtic progressed to the last 32 of the Europa tournament and will be unseeded in Monday’s draw. Celtic supporters can look forward to at least one more European night this season. One can but hope that Celtic will play with more passion and precision in this game. One can but wonder why Rodgers chose this starting eleven as he evidently got it wrong and was forced to make three changes. Sinclair was off the boil again. Dembele looked leggy. Forrest had an off night. Armstrong was poor and eventually replaced by Rogic.

Edouard who replaced Dembele should have started. With Roberts injured Rodgers had no other option than to keep Forrest on the park. His performance merited the hook. Hayes who was bought to compete for this spot was not even in the squad. Is he Rodgers’ worst signing? Ntcham came on for Sinclair but did not pose any questions of the Anderlecht defence.

Celtic looked jaded. They can have off nights against domestic rivals yet still prevail, but not at this level. Rodgers needs to rethink his starting eleven and what to do when both Sinclair and Forrest don’t ignite. Looking at the bigger picture they are through but some of the hidings will leave scars.

In Glasgow’s rust belt of Govan, Rangers Lite can only dream of Champions League nights and continue to be thwarted in their attempts to secure a manager. Jim Traynor – who has the gait of a man who has stolen a pumpkin and has secreted it down the back of his trousers to avoid the attention of the store detective – has been engaging in a dirty war to unsettle Derek McInnes. As I exclusively revealed yesterday he even used the Ladbrokes Twitter account to add fuel to the fire just before the game at Pittodrie.

Every Level 5 Lickspittle worth his salt has frothed at the mouth and keyboard to his master’s voice. Every Hun and EBT recipient at BBC Scotland EBT have joined the chorus. The West Coast media juggernaut wants McInnes to ‘do the right thing‘ and take the reins at Murray Park.

However it is my contention that Traynor’s Phony War had only one objective which was to unsettle McInnes prior to the two back-to-back games with Aberdeen. If Murty had lost four games on the bounce the clamour to replace him would be deafening as would be the clamour to replace Stewart Robertson for his part in hiring the imposter.

Yesterday’s approach was a squirrel. A sop to the Gullibillies that Lite are a big club despite the prosaic fact that they don’t have a pot to piss in. If Lite genuinely wanted to secure the services of McInnes they could deposit one million pounds in an escrow account at which point Milne’s hands would be tied.

Lite don’t have a million. The approach was as phony as Traynor’s Blythswood Square address.

The release quantum will not be negotiated. Milne should call their bluff and ask to see the colour of their money. He is not prepared to sell McInnes cheaply on the never-never.


A Level 5 Ladbrokes Hoax

Was there a puff of smoke emanating from behind a picket fence at Auchenhowie? Was Jim Traynor seen fleeing the area on a space hopper or was that just his fundament? At times like this some  ‘Zapruder‘ type cinefilm would be instructive. Could one revert to Richard Gough’s gloryhole webcam footage or will this be suppressed by the Traynor Commission? There can be little doubt that Traynor has control of the official Ladbrokes Twitter account. He is paid to push puff pieces on Labrokes behalf.

On Sunday he chose to serve his landlord Dave King with a somewhat interesting missive:



Danny Wilson puts Rangers ahead.  Fantastic news for Derek McInnes 



Is the use of five ‘L’ a coincidence? Perhaps Traynor thinks he is on the set of Kubrick’s The Shining and is dropping hints that he is the author of this controversial tweet. Kubrick made reference to the Apollo 11 Moan Hoax being filmed at Lot 237. One small step for man, one huge hoax for mankind.

Traynor is fond of a hoax as was evident when he borrowed some prime retail space in Blythswood Square from a Ménage A Trois acquaintance and passed it off as his own. He even paid The Cardigan and Murdo Rent-A-Mouth to turn up to flash their dentures and blind us to the fact that Traynor and Kerr would be ‘impartially‘ working from Murray Park. Would any club Chairman other than Diamond Jim Ballantine give Reservoir Hun Traynor the final word on their PR?

This was a serious own-goal by Ladbrokes. One could infer that McInnes was engaging in match fixing. They quickly removed the offensive tweet but some enterprising social media correspondents screen grabbed it prior to its removal.

I reconstructed the tweet from The Clumpany’s screen grab. Or should I refer to him as Phil Macgiollabhain? It would be a Pandora’s Box of hoaxes if I have revealed a hoax from a hoaxer.

I have always had a good relationship with TC. I asked him privately if he and the denizen of Donegal were one and the same. He would not confirm nor deny it.

I decided to let it go and confine myself to a lower Earth orbit. Just like Neil Armstrong and the entire Apollo space programme. The Apollo Hoax cost $20b which would be circa $120b today. One wonders what Traynor was paid for his part in unsettling the Aberdeen FC manager and his team? Are Ladbrokes currying favour with the blue pound?