Monday, 23 November 2015


I've mentioned the 1909 Scottish Cup final on here before but it's entirely relevant to the recent Celtic AGM. Even back then there was a gulf between what the supporters wanted and what the board wanted. There was a general feeling at the time that both Celtic and Rangers were just out to make as much money as they could and to hell with the support. The 1909 final had ended in a draw, raising everybody's suspicions, so when the replay ended in a draw as well, all hell broke loose. Both sets of supporters were convinced that it was a fix and invaded the pitch, with the intention of dragging the players back out of the changing rooms. A riot ensued, in which fires were lit and the mob fought with police and firemen. And, if you've read 'A Toast to Charlie Hanrahan', yes, somebody did go outside and steal a steam roller and then smashed their way back in with it.

The point I'm making is that, for those running Celtic, the bottom line has always been about £ s d. Since its inception, Celtic was subjected to sectarian and racist abuse in the press; Celtic said nothing. Referees, and other officials, made sure that decisions went against Celtic; Celtic said nothing. Only when Fergus McCann was around was any effort made to stand up for the club. Now, when it transpires that Rangers cheated all those years, Celtic, again, says nothing. In fact, for all the 'Rory Bremner' jokes, the Celtic board has made it plain that it considers Sevco to be 'still Rangers' and they want this club 'back' in the top tier. It's still all about the money.

It's hardly surprising, then, that we end up with Tories at the top table. It's stomach-turning to think of some cold-hearted, Tory bastard, who supports robbing the poor to make the rich even richer, sitting on the board of our club, but, really, there's nothing much anyone can do about it. Businesses, unfortunately, aren't democratic and all the agitation and petitions in the world will probably just entrench the board's position. It underlines neatly how out of touch rich people are with the real world, even if they're running a football club. They'll make appropriate noises about traditions, the supporters, the history of the club etc. etc. but, essentially, all they're interested in is money. We can only be thankful that we don't have a crook, like King, or a fraudster, like David Murray, in charge.

The behaviour of Ian Bankier, however, is a different matter entirely, although it's hard to find out what the man actually said, as the stories are conflicting. The Scotsman reports that Bankier said,

"The messages posted, in quite a few cases are criminally racist and in all cases the vocabulary chosen is base and highly abusive."

That sounds like a reasonably considered response and, if Celtic-supporting commentators on Twitter are to be believed, there have been more than a few offensive messages regarding the fact that Ian Livingston happens to be Jewish. If that truly is the case, then Bankier was quite right to point it out and the messages are far more disgusting and disturbing than his remark. Do we want to pretend that there were no racist tweets posted if, in fact, there were? Remember, we're not Huns!

The Daily Record, of course, decided to add some fuel to the fire. An extra, wee, sentence, made all the difference to the meaning of what Bankier is supposed to have said:

"This personal campaign against Lord Livingston is criminally racist."

If Bankier did say this then it is a slur against all Celtic supporters, who have been campaigning to get rid of Livingston purely on the basis of his vile political views. If he did not, then the Record is guilty of libel; after all, they put quotation marks round that sentence and reported it as his actual words. What happens next is entirely up to the Celtic Board. If they're claiming that the DR is lying, then let them sue. If they do nothing this time then it's practically an admission of guilt. Do they really want to alienate the whole support?

Speaking of lies in the media, if they're not lying then they're failing to report things that don't fit with their agenda. There was a minute's silence at all grounds at the weekend for the victims of the attacks in Paris. Not that you'd be aware of this if you go round the various media outlets' reports on Scottish matches. Usually, all we hear and read about is how impeccably such silences are observed, with the exception of one team. It was only two weeks ago that the media were full of condemnation of Celtic supporters, who demonstrated (outside the stadium, as our media failed to mention) against the Remembrance commemoration. So why no mention of the impeccably-observed minute's silence at Celtic Park on Saturday? You'd think they'd be desperate to contrast it with the situation a fortnight ago. Something must have happened to shut them all up.

I've heard a rumour that The Peeppul were, shall we say, less than respectful when the minute's silence was observed at Livingston. This is just a rumour, mind, but it would certainly explain how quiet our media is about the minute's silence. You'd think they'd be praising Scottish football to the heavens; after all, they've got French flags all over the place and even telling us how great the bigots of Larkhall are with their anti-ISIS sign. It's strange how they're so reticent about the minute's silence, then. The only reason possible is that the rumours are true. No doubt some of The Peeppul suddenly remembered the story of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre or some such thing. On a related note, I wonder how many flags we would see on newspaper banners, and on Facebook and the like, if ISIS were to attack Dublin! 

Meanwhile, there have already been disgusting, physical attacks on Muslims in Scotland, including one poor man being beaten half to death in Fife. Of course, the police are investigating these hate crimes, but the Deputy Chief Constable of Police Scotland had the following to say:

"We have noticed a number of incidents that are a direct result of what happened in Paris last Friday. They would not have happened if that (sic) attacks hadn’t happened."

Now, that sounds to me as if it's excusing all the bile and violence that's being directed toward Muslims in Scotland. The Daily Record forum is particularly shocking and many folk have abandoned all pretence of not being racist. There are idiots complaining that they can't get a council house but refugees are being housed with no problem. I don't know exactly where the refugees are being housed in other areas, but, in Ayrshire, they're all being put in Stevenston. I apologise if you happen to live there, but the place is a fucking dump! As I said to one clown on the DR forum, if he approached the council in Ayrshire and was prepared to accept a place in Stevenston, they'd bite his hand off and hand him the keys there and then! The way these racists go on, you'd think that the refugees were all being housed in Troon, Milngavie, Jordanhill, Barnton and Cramond.

Because of the reports about Bankier, many Huns are accusing Celtic supporters of posting this filth. It's easily checked, though. The ones that are berating Muslims and moaning about refugees can usually also be found elsewhere on the Daily Record, keeping the Big Lie going and defending the Cheating Years as best they can. I can see comments being banned again. Although the DR agrees with most of the shite The Peeppul post on their forums, it can't be seen to be agreeing. 

Which brings me onto the new argument against stripping the titles. Apparently, if a player is ineligible to play for his club, then he's also ineligible to play for his country. This would mean UEFA and FIFA going over past results with a fine-toothed comb. There's one glaring flaw in this argument: what the fuck did Scotland win during the Cheating Years? In fact, when the hell has Scotland ever won anything? I'm afraid they're going to have to come up with a lot better excuse than that! No doubt The Peeppul will be comparing Rangers squads to World Cup and Euro winning teams as we speak!

And Sevco 'missed out' on signing James Eustace, who has cited family problems as his reason for pulling out of 'negotiations'. Sevco's loss will be...well...somebody's gain, I'm sure. Never mind, according to Gary Ralston, 'Warbie' is going to have some difficult decisions to make come January. Does he stick with the shite he's got or 'splash the cash'? The question needs to be asked: what cash? And as for 'splashing' the only splashing we'll see is the continual ejaculation of our agnivores when it comes to discussing their new club.

Jackson, meanwhile, does his bit for 'the cause' by trying to focus attention on Celtic. He bangs on with undisguised glee about the Livingston and Bankier affairs. His hope seems to be that this story runs and runs; anything to divert attention from the Cheating Years and the Tainted Titles. Oh, and Peter Lawwell has apparently 'backed himself into a corner' by voicing his support for Ronny Deila. Has anybody ever heard a club chairman say anything different about a current manager? Even Sooperally was praised to the sky and backed to the hilt by everybody that took on the poisoned chalice at Ibrox. As for what Lawwell actually said about Deila, it's not as if he claimed that he's a billionaire with wealth off the radar, is it, Keef?

Finally, the Sunday Mail yesterday was full of wailing and gnashing of teeth. It seems that Scottish football is in crisis. Can anyone remember a time when it wasn't? As far back as I can remember this has been a common theme in our sports media. I recall old 'Candid Cameron' going on about this, as well as Jimmy Sanderson and even Jabba. I have no doubt it goes even further back. In the 1970s somebody had a bright idea. "Wull hiv a smaller toap tier. That means the big teams kin play each other merr. That'll bring the punters in!" Now it's, "Wull hiv a bigger toap tier. That means aw the teams playin' each other less. That'll bring the punters in!" What a waste of bloody time!

There's only one thing that's going to save Scottish football. More and more disillusioned punters are going to abandon the game unless a clear message is sent out that cheating will not be tolerated and be punished. The only way to ensure this is to strip the titles and trophies of proven cheats. The 3rd of December will do nicely!

Ian Bankier yesterday.

"I'm free!"
Naw, yer no' oot the jile yit, pal!

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