Back In Yer Box-Until The Next Time.
One thing in life which never changes,IMO,is that true,proper friendship survives probably not despite differences of opinion but because of them. My best pal for the last forty years,well of course we have the same ideas in life,we both agree on what is right and what is wrong,etc.
But by ‘eck,we don’t half disagree on the details!
Same too with my pals in Swindon-I was out with a few of them the other day,for example,and we spent most of the day tearing each other to shreds and enjoying every minute. My pals back home,of course,need little introduction. You can guess how little we SHOULD have in common,how much we SHOULD vehemently dislike each other-but we don’t. Because the details aren’t important,you don’t bother about the route a person takes to get where he or she is,but simply that they are in the same place as you.
Three years ago when MAHE and I were discussing setting up a site which was more to our liking than our Alma Mater of CQN or the various alternatives to it,we were told that it wouldn’t be possible,that the days of a viable football blog were gone,that we would fall on our face. And besides,we both had such different ideas about things that we couldn’t possibly agree,or even come close to a degree of consistency within the site!
Well,they got the last part right,and in the thirty or so months since the site’s inception,the main consistency in the lead articles has been the consistency with which my co-host and I disagree on the details but rarely if ever on the big picture. Mahe sees the ESL as the natural way forward for football,citing American sports as the perfect example. Those sports though are essentially American sports,sports which haven’t the global reach of The Beautiful Game. For forty years,American Football in particular has been heavily promoted in the UK,the rest of Europe and worldwide. Given heavy network coverage,and virtually for free,in order to open it up to the masses. It failed miserably,as they all have,and apart from occasional outliers like Japan,they are still niche sports and always will be.
MAHE suggests in his article on Wednesday that the European Super League is the way forward for the game,the only and inevitable means by which it can survive and thrive,and indeed that it will lead to a democratisation of the game,one where the likes of Burnley can dream once more of winning the league again. He may have a point,but it will be a league hardly worth winning,and largely unnoticed by others. Who gives a damn about winning the English First Division when the likes of Liverpool or Man Utd aren’t playing in it?
As an example,in 1972 a provincial club rose from the depths to win The English First Division. The following year,they were kicked and cheated out of The European Cup. Five years previously,they could never have dreamed of such giddy heights. Nor could their fans-and nor could the envious friends and colleagues of those fans from the neighbouring city of Nottingham. But only five years later,those very fans from Nottingham were embarking on their own Road To Glory,one which would ultimately be crowned with not only the English First Division title but also two triumphs in football’s biggest trophy,The European Cup.
Football has undergone seismic changes since those days of yore,still only forty years ago. Many for the better,some not so. MAHE believes that the now dormant ESL will prove to be a change for the better,but I disagree. It is,as I said,a strength of the site and of our friendship that we can sit at the same table yet disagree on how we got there. ESL will not be a force for good in football. It will not lead to a democratisation of the game. He mentions Burnley,but who remembers where Burnley were forty years ago? Or that Wolves were in the bottom tier thirty-odd years ago? Bournemouth on the brink of extinction yet spending five years in the country’s top tier within the decade?
For all their faults,we can look at the top divisions in most countries over the last,say,forty years and ask-eh? Who are they,where did they come from? Or,alternatively-what happened to such and such that we played in Europe not that long ago? Yes,there is a lot wrong with the structure of the game,as MAHE correctly points out. But IMO,the proposed and now dormant ESL is not the way to fix it,not for the benefit of the wider game. It is only ever likely to be for the benefit of those invited to dine at the top table while the rest of the game survives on scraps before perishing altogether. And all the while,the people at the top table,the ones throwing the scraps to the serfs who will ultimately die of starvation? Well,they forgot who it was that fed them in the first place!
And that English First Division title won so memorably by Brian Clough for the fans of both Derby and Nottingham Forest? Well,it will linger long in the memories of those fans and of afficianados of the beautiful game. I’m not so sure that the same is likely about this year’s likely winner,Hull City.The monetisation of the game,that so-called democratisation,the drive for improvement,means that the title which will be won by Hull City now refers to the third tier of the game. Not that the likes of Man City or Liverpool are too bothered. Despite the fact that it isn’t too long ago that Man City themselves could only dream of winning that same third tier!
There is no interest from these clubs in the betterment of the game,nor of the democratisation of the game. These are plans which will not go away,but cannot be dressed up and given fancy names,the ultimate lipstick on a Sarah Palin. And yes,while a memorable soundbite,that is the woman who inadvertently laid the groundwork for Trump. That’s what happens when you take your eye off the ball-someone starts playing a different game and you are left wondering WTF happened!
I’m fed up with these “big teams” threatening,year after year,to do this or do that because they are the big teams and only they matter. They got a hefty boot in the bollocks from EVERYWHERE,with very little support at all. That took all of 48 hours to achieve,from grand announcement with a huge GIRUY to the rest of the game,to the humbling climbdown. The people who thought that it was a good idea in the first place need to be removed from a position where they have the potential for such damage again.
It is interesting that MAHE cites American sports as an example of how their planned system would work,given the background in those sports of so many of the owners. I’ll go further,and point out that the background of the other owners owes nothing whatsoever to democracy. Overall,none of them knows anything about the soul of the game,the romance,the history. Or even the simple joy and pleasure that it was created for. They know the price of everything and the value of nothing. They are a blight on the game,and there must be regulations put in place which will prevent such posturing from ever being threatened again. Simple enough,put your name to such a document and your eligibility to play the game anywhere is withdrawn. Status of “fit and proper person” is removed. All player contracts are null and void,with the players becoming free agents. The days of the tail wagging the dog must become just an embarrassing memory.
Above article by BMCUWP
Time to dig deep for charity,folks. A wee request from BRT&H for you all.
This is a barefaced appeal for support and sponsorship for a charity walk I am doing at the weekend.
All across Scotland this weekend various groups of people will walk, cycle or run for charity in the annual “Kiltwalk” – yes some do all of these things while wearing the kilt.
In Association with Kiltwalk, I am part of a team from the Celtic FC Charity Foundation Supporters Committee who will collectively cover a distance of 167 miles in an attempt to raise funds for the Foundation’s Football for Good project which was specifically set up on March 20th 2020 to tackle various issues arising out of the Covid crisis.
Since then, over £1 Million pounds has been raised to make a real difference to ordinary people who have struggled or need support as a result of the Covid crisis.
• Thus far we have provided direct support to
• 18,953 families
• 12,265 pensioners
• 9,107 individuals
• 7,155 homeless people
• 1,600 primary school pupils
• 11,000 hot meals and 17,000 hot drinks provided for NHS Staff
Ongoing projects include funding direct clinical and social support for those who are suffering from loneliness and isolation, mental health and stress issues, and helping people get back to work or finding new work following setbacks arising out of the crisis.
Much of this is done in partnership with local Government, The Health Board and various national organisations.
However, at the very heart of the whole thing you have ordinary half wits like me who give up some time and raise funds in the most unusual of ways, so this weekend I have to cover 12.5 miles for charity – and, yes, as a unique challenge I have to do it while wearing Cowboy Boots!
So, I am looking for MONEY – which I know you have in abundance (😉 – alternatively go and grab someone who does have money and get them to donate!
If you can please make a donation here
If you want to find out more about what we actually do and how we do it then you will find more information here News | Celtic FC Foundation
Thanks for your help.
I am with Mahe , especially as a Celtic supporter who is in his 70s and watched Celtic getting screwed left right and Center for as long as I can remember We all have examples of of how Celtic have been treated by their governing body in their offices or on the Park. The treatment of our supporters and fans is scandalous
Celtic need to find a way to release themselves from these governor’s who hate us, the genie is out of the bottle there is going to be a super league , and it will happen when the moneylenders decide it’s going to happen
The SFA are a prime example , where you have a Board of old blazers clinging to positions for self preservation and keeping their favourite team at the top
At least the NorthAmerican model is governed with regulations that are signed off by each team, not made up as they go along depending on how they affect sevco
When I heard about this new league I had a jag of hope that the door was finally opening to give us a route out of this league, maybe looking from overseas gives us a different perspective
Very good article. Here is a suggestion arising from your article and Mahe’s of yesterday. Why not have two authors argue two sides of an issue and publish on consecutive days? Or even on the same day?
On reading both articles, I suspect that there is some measure of agreement between you both. There is a common kernel in both articles. Simply put, there is a need for significant change in the game. What that change should be is at issue as is how change can be achieved.
One of the aspects of North American professional sports that I like is the draft system. The idea is to try to balance the competitiveness of rival teams. A team that finishes bottom or near the bottom receives the top picks of emerging talent from junior leagues. Teams can trade their picks for established players and thus become competitive more quickly. It is not perfect but it does signal what type of change is required in football. Namely, there needs to be a large measure of sharing of player resources in which the successful clubs give to the less competitive. As it stands at the moment, the rich clubs simply get richer(or leveraged), sign all the best players and create an oligopoly in the game. The super league would not have changed that. It was a rich clubs cartel just as the CL is a rich clubs cartel under different management.
What is needed is a system that takes from the richer successful clubs to help those that are less successful. It would, of course, mean that performances like 9 in a row would be less likely to happen but that is a price that needs to be paid to achieve a truly competitive league.
Good morning, friends.
Good article Bobby as was Mahe’s yesterday . Money took over football too long ag The billions that are ploughed into our nearest neighbour is the joint worst problem for Celtic. Joint with the different treatment that our club receives from the governing authorities in Scotland. But Celtic DID have a chance do something about one of those 2 problems but chose not to. And continues to just sit at the back of the bus.
Nathan Paterson has had an exceptional playing start to his career in senior football (although he still remains ‘only’ a prospect until he gets a couple of seasons under his belt). However, the fact that any player with COVID related misdemeanours has been allowed to play continuously (as they had noone else for the right back slot) without Celtic and indeed the others kicking up a stooshie is just one example of why I’m currently scunnered with the game and not planning on renewing.
What JOBO said! por cierto
” Overall,none of them knows anything about the soul of the game,the romance,the history. Or even the simple joy and pleasure that it was created for. They know the price of everything and the value of nothing. They are a blight on the game,”
American sports owners?
Bobby, that could have been the Board of Celtic plc you were describing!
I’d say you’re very much a disagreeable person.
I am an overseas supporter who is more in agreement with BMCUWP than Mahe.
American sports are wonderful for entertainment but are not true sports.
Money skewed the landscape.
New Orleans Super Bowl win was audience and advertising( officialdom) dollars facilitated.
Manning’s Super Bowl win with the Bronco’s was likewise and the officials made sure of that outcome.
Didn’t watch this years as i already knew the outcome was preordained for a Brady win and epic tales of redemption after a poor final season with Patriots and legendary status was an advertising dream.
I am a NHL hockey fan and the second half of season is the best when everyone is fighting to reach the playoffs.
Once playoffs begin the refereeing has an impact as big market teams get the benefit on all calls.
Unsurprisingly no Canadian team has won the Stanley cup in the modern era as the landscape is financially tilted in favor of the American based teams. Salary,taxation,tv revenue, advertising etc.
I understand your frustration with the blatant cheating in Scottish football and change being needed but the ESL was just a money and power grab.
TV destroyed the notion of sport and once the rich saw the potential for profit the game was lost.
Many years ago i read an article from an English journalist who said a Super League would happen but it’s appeal would dwindle and eventually the rich would move on to other more prosperous business ventures then the game ‘s best chance of survival would be a return to historical and parochial roots.
Perez of Real was at least honest for a change when he said they are losing the young audience.
I tend to agree and Celtic in it’s present form with our oligarch’s behavior is showing sign’s of such with fans losing connection and interest to a club that have been inherent for generations.
Entertainment is fickle and even the appetite for huge Hollywood franchises like Willis in Die Hard or Stallone as Rambo is gone and saves us being hoodwinked into believing guys in their seventies have the skills of 25 year old MMA fighters or Olympic gymnasts.
My point being the audience no longer finds it believable.
For Celtic fans in Scotland our forefathers fought to overcome a dishonest landscape and stacked deck so the collusion by our board with people who tried to bury us has become a step too far.
Their ultimate failure to tackle the corruption and enforce an honest landscape in 2012 for a quick buck will be their lasting legacy.
Then begging at that table for big boy scraps would not have been necessary.
The connection is being severed and though a change in landscape may change minds as we are entertained for a while our historical value to the support will have been diluted.
Globalization has been a disaster for our planet and the vast majority of people and i believe it will be likewise for what was once The People’s Game.
Slight change of subject guys…but Turnbull was very fortunate not to be red-carded last night! I’d be surprised if he’s not hauled kicking and screaming into Hampden this morning and timeously dealt with. We can’t have young Tim whippersnappers throwing their weight about in such a momentous season for the Brotherhood!!
Another change of subject but it also involves fouling and possible red cards!!… I just had a call from my local PP asking me to repair a fence in the Church grounds as a dog walker filmed the local priest threatening to poison dogs as they have been fouling the grass area, where kids play, and not picking up the faeces!
Apparently a video of an altercation has gone viral on Facebook and been picked up by the DR who have published it! The filmmaker is apparently a wee Hun fecker!!
Shocking all round!
31003, I’m hoping you meant that in jest?
Good morningJim the Tim,
I was thinking that myself. If not in jest, he obviously hasn’t met Bobby
You have just highlighted the quality of this site.
Mahe put forward an excellent argument yesterday. You have countered it with an equally excellent article today. Having just read both articles again, I agree more with your viewpoint, but both Mahe and yourself have given me much food for thought. Brilliant stuff bhoys.
I’m auditioning for a straight man
Morning Senga, There is humour in the post so I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt.
31003, LOL 🙂
Okdokey Jim, apologies 31003
Wee tune for Senga & Jim the Tim.
Move your dancing feet.
Garry, I watched a programme last night about major fare dodging on London Transport. They were tracking a guy on the underground, he was the spitting image of Bob Marley. When they stopped him he done a runner, leapt over a gate and has not been seen since. Maybe that’s the true story of what happened to Bob! LOL 🙂
McCaff, I agree with you regarding young Turnbull.
I also thought he was very fortunate not to get a red card.
Them pesky refs give us all the decisions going 😭
Good morning Garry,
Great timing there, I was just lighting up my pre house work single skinner when you posted Mr Marley, king of spliffs!
Bob would be 76 if still alive.
He will be 40 years dead on May 11th this year.
Miss him still. My first childhood hero.
Jimthetim & Senga
You do know I want him to disagree with my statement?
We are on an identical page. 😁🇯🇲
Bob and the wailers gave a free concert in the castle that splits the old Benidorm town from the new.
I’d never seen him live so I said to the missus, “let’s go see Bob Marley and the Wailers. It’s free to boot”
Her reply, “Nah, we’ll catch him another time”
He died not long after
My marriage survived
31003, It’s just the usual thing about how dry humour comes across on print. If I was standing in front of you I would know within seconds it was meant in jest!
Good article BMCUWPS,
The Old Firm has never been about sport. It’s the addiction to and exploitation of primal fears ; Tribalism.
With the registration of Celtic as a private limited company in April of 1897 the first steps were taken from the purity of our foundation to the moral abyss we now find ourselves in.
Thinking about it objectively :-
To what extent do our Second 9 in a Row represent what we’d rationally consider as a sporting achievement?
Our budget dwarfed our competition. A well coached Celtic possibly could have fielded two sides and finished first and second.
The Oxford Dictionary defines sport as –
“an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”
“team sports such as soccer and rugby.”
By that definition we’re safe but it opens up the question of sport as entertainment.
The problem is that we see this perceived fault in the grandiosity of the Big 6 but are blind to it when it comes to Celtic.
Was the failed pursuit of 10 simply an exercise in ego inflation and righting long held painful resentments?
Whatever it was the emotional hangover and urge to blame are palpable.
We walked and cheered our way into this. We did it.
Could it be what we’re criticising in England are the same criticisms levelled at Celtic in Scotland?
The problem is we’ve allowed confused notions about our identify to become entangled with Celtic Plc.
We’ve also developed a tendency to project our insecurities and vulnerabilities onto a convenient Aunt Sally…The Hun…
We don’t get that this Archetype. It’s a mirror. What we perceive as so objectionable about the Hun, is really what we haven’t accepted about ourselves.
The major shareholders know that the vast majority of their customer base are sleepwalking…
We’re not seeing how we’re being abused by Gombeens on our own side.
Instead of transforming our pain we transmit it onto our families, neighbours and communities. Look at the toxic narrative of many OF Blogs..
What we recognise as a sport is very much in the eye of the beholder. Boxers are divided into weight categories, horses are handicapped.
Football clubs have always prospered on the back of the brown envelope.
The problem is it’s global now, the profits are huge. There are vultures on every side of this debate.
The wealthy buy up football clubs and fleece the punter. Governments do nothing, content to let the unconscious fight among themselves.
It’s only when there’s a perceived threat to the establishment’s opiate of the masses that any intervention is made.
Even the Royals are swift to hoover up any goodwill by sudden concern for people’s game.
The Terms of Reference of Boris Johnson’s Review into football are expected to be published next week.
They’ll make interesting reading.
Is William Austin Nimmo Smith available?
Meanwhile, North of the Border we’re still too busy bashing 16th Century Aunt Sally’s.
Forgiveness is a virtue.
You make a good point actually.
Some banter, in print doesn’t always come across as banter.
I’ll need to learn to sit back for a bit before hitting the enter button
You can get too much of a good thing. Remember when I was growing up in the 1970’s and 1980’s it was such a thrill to watch a live game on the telly, any game! The whole day build up to the Scottish Cup final , the home internationals, even the Scottish Junior cup final with the guys with beer bellies chasing after the ball. Now you turn on the telly you can see live football from all over the World. It used to be a thrill to see terrific foreign players from places like South America for the first time at a World Cup. Now the magic and mystery has gone. You do get a bit jaded and cynical as you get older and understand how things really work. However, I do think that the younger generation of football fans can never have the same love of football or a club that was bred into us when we were growing up. I don’t know how you can put the genie back in the bottle now. One suggestion may be a quota on homegrown players in each team. I remember the 1980’s as a golden period with strong Aberdeen, Dundee Utd, Hearts. True competition is healthy and brings out the best in everyone.
31003, I can only mention it because I’ve done it myself! LOL 🙂 It happens a lot to be honest. I won’t mention names but there is a poster on here who’s posts occasionally come across a bit cutting, but I’ve met him and he is a gem. You don’t see the twinkle in his eye on here.
I’m not ignoring the imbalance in Scottish football at all. In fact,there is an article in today’s Daily Mail which suggests that the EPL are looking at another restructure,one which includes in invitation to Celtic and Rangers to join. I would be against that just as much as I am against the aborted ESL plans.
Football income is very badly skewed in Scotland,and a redistribution of the gate money,for instance,would be a start. Maybe the idea long ago proposed by AULDHEID to have an 80/20 split would be the way forward.
But even that skewing that we have in Scotland is a natural thing,one which is dependent almost entirely on the income that is derived from each club’s fans,and the ability of each club to have those fans turning up,buying the tickets and the merchandise. And as we have seen,overspending can have consequences even for the richest of clubs. To compare that to the ESL is somewhat stretching a point.
Only when it’s my round.
“Mick,it’s your round!”
Good post. I agree with most of it, (maybe not the home grown players part)
Back in the 70’s & 80’s the World Cup was special. Brazilian and Argentinian players you had never heard of were always the stars. Even wee Peru came up with a gem that tore Scotland a new one in Argentina. Can’t remember his name but he scored a double.
Wall to wall football on tv is slowly killing the game. It’s a turn off for me now. Lack of atmosphere at the matches doesn’t help either
Bobby, there is no link to donate.
A few days before the ‘78 World Cup final, my then future mother in law had her car stolen. It was a beautiful mark 3 Cortina GXL. Vinyl roof, 2l engine, alloy wheels, (unusual and much sought after at the time) and all the extras. On the day of the final she got a call from the cops to say her car was located in some scheme in Edinburgh. They gave the location and advised she gets a garage to arrange for it to be picked up. To save that expense I told her son (a plumber) to drive me there in his works van and I’d drive it home.
When we got to it it had been stripped. Strangely enough the wheels hadn’t been touched. Radio gone. Wiper blades and arms gone. Even the steering wheel was stolen. My brother in law decided that we’d need a low loader. Worried we’d wait a while for that and miss the final, I had an idea.
The car was still working minus a couple of “essentials”
“Do you have your tools in that van?” I asked him
“Yup” he replied
Long story short, I attached a set of mole grips and a shifting spanner to the steering column and was able to fashion a handlebar type steering system to the car.
Got back to Glasgow in time for the final!
Beat that for a true story Big Packy
Bloody links don’t copy very well from an e-mail,sorry about that!
Teofilio Cubillas (Peru)
Holy shit 31003 you were a brave man!
The Gombeen Man
Fan a tic
When you step back there are signs that the universe is unfolding not just as it should but as it does.
There is a great novella by Theodore Sturgeon called the Microscopic God, a synopsis of which can be read here https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcosmic_God
that saves me explaining but the parallel is that we are living through constant change but dont appreciate it and need the occasional Microscopic God nudge to change our understanding of reality.
Thus fan a tic’s comment about what will happen to football and interest in it is likely to become true.
The hypocrisy in the backlash cannot be contained, as in the motivation of the big six is self interest, as you say self interest (driven by fear) permeates human behaviour so none of us are free until we recognise it in ourselves.
Next week there is a CST AGM and one of the proposals for discussion incudes a challenge to Celtic supporters of what is truly in their self interest and in my opion goes to the heart of the matter. The tension in football is that it is interdependent by nature and to set up an exclusive Super League out of self interest challenges the underlying nature of football itself.
The backlash is not confined to football because the inherent self interest hypocrisy knows no bounds. (Val Kylmer as Doc Holiday to Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earpe in Tombstone.) and I note a Tory minister has resigned because of the lies that permeate governance. The same kind of lies that permeate Scottish football governance and Celtic governance.
We live in interesting times.
Or as the wee guy in a German soldier helmet said in Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In said “very interesting” ( I threw that in for the oldies).
Necessity is the mother of invention!
I had a brand new works van broken into one Friday evening in Manchester. Broke the bloody steering wheel off while trying to wrench the steering lock. I had a load of electrical switchgear in the back,so I kipped in the van overnight,delivered the next morning via a few taxi runs,and arranged for the van to be picked up by the local Vauxhall dealer.
Went into Manchester for a wee sesh and caught the train back to South London in the evening. Reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses and paid from the start of shift on Friday till I got back home the following evening. And he paid me overtime rates for the following Saturday when I went back up to retrieve it.
I always liked that boss!
The new CEO will be delighted.
Shares are trading at 128p atm.
A ytd high.
£67k worth bought this morning.
Not bad going for a company in the Tourism and Leisure sector with a fleeting interest in “soccer.” 😉
Good luck next week.
I’d just like to echo what Garry posted at 9.58 .
Two excellent leaders on consecutive days, giving different opinions on a subject close to everyone who still has a fondness for what was once a beautiful game.
The other posts are generally of a very high level.
It helps with my levels of being scunnered , that many on here share the same distaste for Celtic Plc , the lack of governance , greed & self interest that dominates the game here and abroad.
Hats doffed to all involved. HH
McCaff can’t condone your PP threating to poison a dog. It’s the wee Hun fecker he should be poisoning.
I would have no problem joining a British League, we are hated in this country by every club, with a couple of exceptions, all they want is our support to fill their stadiums twice a year.
If you think Celtic are hated in Scotland what do you think the welcome would be like in England with our songbook. There would be trouble at every away ground if fans were allowed to travel
Nana…I thought he was hoping the dog would eat the poison and then kiss the Hun, kill two birds with one stone!! 😁
Time to go all Spanish Inquisition on these Hun dog foulers