Turning Celtic Orange : the full story.
We would all surely agree on one little something. That the beautiful game has given us all many different memories to look back upon when the occasion calls.
I remember my favourite goal like yesterday, we all do. It’s why we love the sport and come back time and again seeking to be thrilled.
Favourite memory or not though, for a league used to scandal by now, Sundays scenes set a new low (or high depending on your stance) for Scottish football.
Let’s rewind one month.
Glasgow Celtics quest for an unprecedented tenth successive title was well under way with an exciting neck and neck tussle against their rivals.
So far so good.
And then came the first wave of what would become a tsunami.
When four online friends discovered a discrepancy that needed following up sometime around 2014, they could never have imagined the twists and turns of the path they had unknowingly tread upon.
That path ended at the London Supreme Court four weeks ago this Friday with what has been called an unlikely yet stunning victory for the four fans.
Lord Chief Justice Whitaker agreed with the plaintiffs that ‘once evidence contradictory to the published accounts became legally admissible, under Public Limited Company charter the board had a duty to all shareholders to enquire whether this new information might have impacted performance in any aspect of the club.
It’s clear there may have been a financial loss and as such the board should have appointed an independent body to perform an investigation.’
Noting obtuse answers where clarity had been asked for, the magistrate pointed out to the then CEO that ‘having a consensus to ignore company law, does not negate ignoring company law. There was no excuse for what happened whatsoever.’
The matter was referred to an Ombudsman to decide how to punish the breach of duty, when news broke that the entire Celtic board had resigned en masse.
A furious majority shareholder appeared the next night with RTEs media personality Eamonn Dunphy and did not hold back with his comments.
Noting that he was very much a ‘my way or the highway’ type of boss he insisted that fans must not be allowed to ‘impede operations and personnel like that’ by looking over their shoulder and ‘checking their homework like school again’.
Looking his host firmly in the eye he point blank insisted he was ‘done’ with the club and was open to offers.
A jubilant fanbase erupted and the four supporters gained instant notoriety.
‘The Resolutioners’ couldnt walk about downtown Glasgow for being asked for a selfie, quick pint, arranged marriage etc.
But thoughts had quickly turned to whats next?
One syndicate emerged as ‘the peoples favourite’ though.
Comprising an England based plastics magnate, a mainland Europe based actor, and a USA residing blogger they were soon the bookmakers favourites to strike a deal with the Macroom man, who by this time was sounding worse than a spurned lover on every radio station that would accept him. Negotiations were bound to be tough, all parties realised that and were prepared to fight their corner.
Little did anyone know though that others lurked in the shadows ready to pounce.
As the trio, now know as the Likely Lads, attempted to drum up emergency finance from the most obscure sources, including remortgaging a Cheshire pet groomers records show, they were beaten to the punch in truly outrageous fashion.
It happened timelined as follows.
Three weeks ago this Thursday Edinburgh International Airport received notification that a private jet from the USA would be landing. Protocol insists trans Atlantic flights are allowed to land and fuel, but from the minute the doors opened there was nothing ordinary about this flight. Or more importantly it’s passengers.
None other than the worlds most famous Incumbent President stepped off, was quickly surrounded by his entourage, and was immediately ushered into a private area with top level officials woken from their sleep to rush in.
Astonishingly his personal lawyer presented a bundle of papers to an immigration official and not a member of the nations diplomatic staff, as would be normal.
The on duty official was presented with a bill of sale for one hundred and fifty million Pounds alongside a complete application to enter and reside in the country legally due to the Invest and Inhabitat Visa offered by Scotland to businesses and business people worldwide.
To be presented with such paperwork at the airport was most irregular, but it was all in order.
The only question was what business had he bought, and the big answer revealed in one of a kind fashion has left people the nation over stunned.
As his staff worked to secure all necessary paperwork the former Commander in Chief had secured the penthouse suite of the nearby Sheraton Hotel, his media wing already assembling equipment in the hotels convention area.
One hour later, every hotel, bed and breakfast, and Airbnb within 100 miles had tripled its rates, and was booked out for months.
What followed ensured the national sport would never be the same again.
“Scotland, I’m home” he exclaimed to an eruption of flashes from 93 different nations press.
And with that he ripped off his jacket exposing a Basketball style top but with the Green half of Glasgows logo firmly in planted in the middle.
“I’ve bought the Celtic’s!”
And then he flashed that inimitable smile, and in that instant the hearts of every Hoop worldwide sunk, some dreaming it was all a big hoax, but their dreams where soon shattered when he explained how the deal had come about.
” I talked to Door-Mat. Great. Great. My kind of people. We played golf and struck a deal.” He proudly announced.
And then it begun in earnest.
” And not only that, now I have entered soccer will it never be the same, no one has ever or will ever do it like me, my way, You guys hear me, my way! “
One nod to an aide, the rear curtain dropped, and there was Hulk Hogan clad in the same shirt, which quickly disintegrated under a tug with a lions roar familiar to millions.
He may have aged, been through wives, operations, and court cases but to have The Hulkster involved with Scottish football was groundbreaking.
The Hulks ripped Celtic top meme quickly went viral and the online Superstore experienced a 90% rise in traffic within the next 24 hours.
When a Philippines based journalist asked why Glasgow Celtic the clubs new owner didn’t need held back.
” I’ve never liked blue, never ever. And red, they lost. They lost the election and they are losing me. So I’ve never liked red or blue.
But you know what colour I always loved.
Green. Green baby. Green all day long.”
When asked of his plans for the club by a Norwegian outlet he went on to state,
” You would not believe what we are gonna do with this franchise. It’s gonna be incredible, you people are gonna love it believe me.
World Series? The top and I mean it.”
“Well let’s see we have reached out to Wayne Gretsky, one of the greatest.
Also Arnold Schwarzenegger and Pele, great people.
On the fashion and media side we have the best in the business.”
What followed was the first big sign of what was to come for the notoriously loyal fanbase who still dream of a side replicating their famous Lisbon Lions.
” Kanye West and his beautiful wife Kim Kardashian will not only be the public face of the company but they will help design the next kit with their mix of streetwise and hip. You’re gonna love it.”
Leaked information suggests at boardroom level we shall see his son in law plus daughter named to the board with the latter running daily operations, along with his personal lawyer, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.
All will reside in the city but report to his Aberdeen golf course and mansion every weekend. Local rent in both cities increased 10% upon the news.
But when pushed for details about his proposed board makeup he announced
” I work best alone, me calling the shots, so I bought the club lock stock and barrel. My people will come to me, we will sit down and talk about it, and you’re gonna love it believe me. We are gonna make this club great again.”
When asked specifically did he know the off side rule his response was chilling in it’s portent.
“That’s the rules right there ” had said while pointing his finger at his New York born personal lawyer.
“Trust me, Soccer won’t know what’s hit it.”
This seemingly abrupt flight from his homeland and venture into the sports industry for the first time may be explained by the New York Attorney Generals strengthening case which was touted to be close to completion.
But in exploiting a loophole so to speak, his team have in effect bought him the time he craves.
Scotland’s legal system is notorious not only for it’s no rush approach but also it’s co-operation at certain levels.
In having never been charged with any crime, plus having purchased a local club with his own money, native Immigration forces were in effect ‘strong armed to let him in the backdoor’ claimed one source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
This outlets Legal beagles informed that any nonviolent charges brought in the USA against an elderly ensconced resident deemed vital to his chosen business could take decades to drag out, which increasingly looks to be the end game here.
However there’s always someone caught in the middle, and in this case it’s the Celtic fans. Already horrified by recent events, some were pushed over the edge by their new owners more than occasional faux pas, something he is well noted for.
Three times he repeated he had bought one half of the ‘Old Friends’ before being corrected by aides, only to then proclaim there would be no kneeling during the anthem, showing a total lack of knowledge regarding his new profession.
However one statement drew audible gasps of shock from the assembled throng.
” That star, that star is me!” he proclaimed pointing to the clubs iconic European Cup symbol claimed by the legendary Jock Stein and his local lads.
He continued ” I might make it bigger, I like big stars like me, but that star is me and its almost as if they knew I was coming!”.
It was too much for former Captain Tom Boyd who was visibility restrained by security and then called a silly protestor by footballs most famous owner.
When the new media head was asked did he wish to comment directly to the support, Kanye offered the folllowing,,
“Less cloth, More speed. From now on we dropping the shoulder exposing those tattoos y’all.”
His famous wife had this to say about the iconic green and white hoooped shirt,,
“What’s this the 70’s? This is out.”
The Superstar continued,,
“Look, hoops were created to shame us into not exposing our bodies by naturally widening our bodies to the eye thus hiding our true form. Our new design will help you break away from that shame.”
The new regime is different even than any seen across the city at a Rangers, a club that has witnessed a numbers of chancers sit in the boardroom.
But the big question was always what would happen when his team were playing an important game, a derby match for instance.
This past Sundays Old Firm clash provided the answer, and instantly went down in sports history as a ‘where were you’ moment.
Following another Ryan Jack nibble at the heels of his opposing number around the thirty eighth minute mark, the one of a kind celebrity stormed the field with three lawyers in tow to a stunned silence. A quick whisper in referee Willy Collums ear, and he was directed to a lawyer.
The Distinctive Hairdoo ‘somehow’ found a mic in his hand that was linked to the stadium PA system, did a slow 360 with a smile saying ‘,you wanna do it with me, yes you do, Ok on three.
And the entire arena simultaneously chanted,, ” Youre Fired!!! “
Many felt that exact moment was when a line had been crossed.
In Scottish football terms it certainly was. Overnight the governing body received applications to screen games live from forty eight networks worldwide.
The replacement ref, Andrew Dallas, stayed mostly around the middle of the park once the new owner took up position beside his teams goalposts with not one foul given against the reigning Champions during the second 45 minutes exactly, the new regimes first Old Firm game negotiated without defeat, but not without talking points.
While the new owner settles,, his wife claiming to love the weather and food, he spared a few more words not only for his teams rivals but the entire nation possibly
“I like winners full stop. If you wanna be a winner come talk to me!”
Meanwhile the four supporters responsible for bringing down the previous board thus opening the door for the entire charade are still shell shocked about how events have unfolded.
One explained how it was always in mankind’s nature to open Pandora’s Box, while another released a 3800 word statement effectively saying ‘Oops’.
While they continue to receive support from fans who realize they did not envision what exactly would occur by ousting the previous operators, life isn’t really the same as before.
More than one has noticed the fish and chips seem a little smaller, the steak fattier than usual,sausage rolls a bit stale, and the pot of tea just never made fresh anymore.
They still get hellos when out and about, each claiming the level of personal support has been phenomenal by and large.
But there’s always one.
Before Sundays never to be forgotten clash, since dubbed the ‘Sold Firm Game’ a hastily scrawled bedsheet produced by a group of teenagers proclaimed “Executioners for the Resolutioners” for all of thirty seconds before being removed by supporters three times their age.
Such views were not shared by any fans spoken to by this outlet outside the stadium.
It is surely one of lifes great ironies however, that most fans feelings towards the four were inadvertently summed up perfectly by a current family member of the previous majority shareholder they forced out.
To the Celtic support they are, as Andrea Corr sang so beautifully, forgiven not forgotten.
reporting from East Glasgow