Rise Of The Machines


It is definitely a rarity during an international window for this site to actually discuss international football; even more so for me to make it the topic of an article. Recent rumours,however,suggest it is a topic well worth a mention-and one which should be nipped in the bud ASAP.

Let there be little doubt about it,anytime anyone in a position of power in football thinks about the game,their thoughts are driven by the amount of money available. This is the case when a player is discussing a new contract with his club,or an agent manoeuvring his client out of one club and into another. The same applies when clubs are wondering how to maximise their income via ludicrously tenuous sponsorship deals or floating the idea of new competitions.

And then there is FIFA,possibly the most corrupt organisation in the game for almost fifty years,ever since the arrival of Joao Havelange. Sepp Blatter took things to an entirely new level,enabling that corruption into each of the continental federations,and we were encouraged and heartened as grass roots football supporters when he was finally charged by both the Swiss and US authorities for his actions over the previous seventeen years of his reign.

Word to the wise-if you must be corrupt,do not use the Yankee Dollar as your preferred medium of kickback. That pulls in A LOT of powerful organisations in the US Government,who do not like their currency being maligned. And the Swiss are very protective too about their international financial reputation,so corruption while heading up a Swiss-based international organisation is just asking for trouble.

Havelange pretty much got away with it. To be honest,so did Blatter-though he is still suspended from all footballing activity till 2028. Many members of the international federations were not so lucky,and were made an example of.

Good-oh,and we all hoped for better things when Gianni Infantino was elected as supremo of FIFA. At the very least,we were unlikely to see the likes of Qatar being “awarded” a World Cup. And in fairness,he has largely been squeaky clean to date-even if only by comparison!

And then there is the latest plan being widely leaked,which is for The World Cup to move to a two-year schedule instead of the four-year schedule which has been in place for nearly a century,with the added bonus that The Euros will be “permitted” to move to the same schedule in the interim years.

And when I say it is being widely leaked,it is actually being openly discussed by one of the most respected-till now?-figures in the game over the last quarter of a century.

On Friday, Arsène Wenger, Fifa’s chief of global football development, outlined proposals that could see a World Cup or European Championship being staged every summer. He also hinted that qualifiers could be held throughout the preceding October, rather than over an 18-month period, and said he hoped everything would be decided by December.

I mean,really? Is this the same Arsene Wenger who,as manager of Arsenal,complained vociferously about the amount of international football his players were forced to undertake? And which includes plans for a total shutdown of domestic football each October and March in order to facilitate those qualifiers?

Surely not,as Arsene knows full well the probability of burn-out when players aren’t able to get proper down time during the summer. How many times did he bemoan the lack of same when players returned from international duties every two years,frankly fit for eff all due to their efforts in the summer? And he wants it to happen every year? And at a time when top players are being asked to play over sixty games a season as it is?

We all shudder when we think of the paucity of caps that The Lisbon Lions got-and with good reason. But Denis Law was practically ever-present for Scotland from the age of 18 to 34,at the 1974 World Cup. He was the record cap holder for Scotland for years with an impressive 55 caps in those 16 years.

Ronaldo is two years older,but also made his international debut at the age of 18. He has 180 caps!

That means that every season,Ronaldo is playing three times as many games at international level as Denis Law did-because there are three times as many bloody internationals!

And Wenger and FIFA want to increase this burden?

This isn’t just wrong,it isn’t just madness-it is plain and simple greed. It must,as I said earlier,be nipped in the bud. To play at the top level nowadays requires a footballer to be a supreme athlete,we all know that. The sheer speed of the game nowadays is breathtaking-even if some of us think Paddy McCourt is the most talented Celtic player in the last ten years!

But they are not machines,and they are not cash cows. They deserve their downtime,they absolutely NEED their downtime. That for too many,that downtime is only a biennial occurrence is bad enough.

The Wenger/FIFA proposals will deny them even of that.

At the moment,I suspect it is a bit of kite-flying. They know it won’t happen,at least not now. But the intent has been made plain,and they are like as not working to a ten year plan. After all,the 2030 hosts haven’t been announced yet. UEFA and the other continental federations need to be united on this,and tell FIFA where to shove it-in perpetuity.  The national associations need to back them up. And the players unions worldwide need to take a stand too.

Stop it before it gains a head of steam.



Above article by BMCUWP

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The Real McCoy

Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men – machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men!


Puff puff

A wee wan for The Real McCoy.

Puff puff

Great read Bobby

Puff puff
Jobo Baldie

As a boy growing up in the 60s and 70s The World Cup was always something very special. One of the main reasons for that was that it only came around every 4 years. That’s the way it should stay.
It’s bad enough realising that Scotland have failed to qualify for the finals of the last 5 World Cups. But at least we only fail once every four years – let’s not make it double that!
On the subject of qualification I was looking at Scotland’s qualifying group and the remaining games. A win in Austria tonight would put Scotland in a great position to finish 2nd in the group. But a draw wouldn’t be a disaster given that our final 4 games are Israel(H) Faroes(A) Moldova(A) and Denmark(H).
Israel, who are currently 2 points ahead of Scotland in 2nd place visit Denmark tonight and are expected to lose. They then still have to come to Hampden and visit Austria as well as having home games against the bottom 2, Faroes and Moldova.
All to play for, eh?

Prestonpans bhoys

Some very good points you’ve made there Bobby. As you say they are not mechines.

I watched about five games over the weekend and only saw one to the end!

Might not argue that burnout attributed to the poor quality on view, personally think the Finland game would have been shite even with a considerable rest period😱

Saltires en Sevilla


Less is more – International fitba lost its lustre a long time ago – still get excited during games but not so much in build up or aftermath.


Agree everything to play for and expect there will be a few twists as per usual with Scotland – that performance on Saturday … good grief! Are there no centre forwards with Scottish grannies… anywhere?!


Wonder what tactic Clarke is working on for Austria game?
Is it the blooter high balls to the two lumps a wood upfront with the midfield told to hold defensive positions as neither forward is capable of anything other than conceding possession?
Or shall we go with one lump of wood and a headless chicken?
Creativity will not be contemplated but the midfield will run around a lot and Christie will continue to imperil anything flying in the vicinity of the stadium.
International football. Whits it like?


Unfortunately once tv and all the money it entails joined the football arena The Beautiful Game was on a slippery slope.
Still down sliding .
And greed has no limit.



And yet,the BBC is currently running a docuseries suggesting that Murdoch saved the game in 1992. Go figure…



Great article BOBBY!

A couple of points.

If those plans come to fruition, more players heading more balls. Not sure a lot of people will like that.

Celtic should withdraw players from the October and March slogs due to injury, imagined or otherwise.

Other teams will.

Be interesting to see how this develops.


A great article (as usual).

I just checked (on Wikipedia) the squads of the finalists of the last Africa Cup of Nations. Cameroon’s squad only has one player from a “grade A” European club (Choupo-Mutong of Bayern) and Egypt’s has two (Salah of Liverpool and Elneny of Arsenal). The ACoN is already biennial and has had to shift to a Euro-friendlier northern hemisphere summer tournament due to clubs becoming averse to signing Africans liable for call-ups during the previous January/February tournament time. It beggars belief that FIFA or UEFA are entertaining the prospect of biennial international tournaments and I suspect that the only way they would be able to ensure that top-rank players are released by their clubs would be through some novel licensing and insurance arrangements. Will the billionaire club owners obediently bend over and “take one for the team”? Colour me sceptical. Lots of Wattieitis call-offs and salary reduction clauses for injuries incurred on international duty are more likely than meek compliance.

bada bing1

Turkish Transfer Window closes tomorrow night, i hope we are trying to offload Barkas and Ajeti there…


Afternoon all & Packy.

Food for thought article Bobby. I was shocked when I heard something about it last week. Are they not aware that playing squads are already being stretched to the limit? They folk on FIFA & EUFA think differently to the rest of us!

A thing of beauty

Bada bing,
And bolingoli!!


As someone said earlier the World Cup & The Olympics being every 4 years is part of the magic. I wish the Eurovision song Contest was only every 4 or 8 years!

big packy

AFTERNOON ALL and JIM, if scotland win tonight im going to buy jim and solkitts a rolls royce each, the new model the rollscan harley, rolls down hills and can harley get up them, solkitts told me that joke in 1964,,another true story😎


JTT 53,

Great post !!!

Boom Bang a Bang !!!!!!



Leggy LOL , I’ve met my Waterloo for a sense of humour! 🙂


Packy, LOL 🙂

big packy

JIM, what was your first car you ever bought, mine was a ford cortina mk2 i think, JTO 928D still remember the reg.


Packy, it was a Volkswagen Beetle around 1975. I put my L plates on it & my pal took me out about 3 or 4 times as my instructor. I hated driving! I gave it to my father who then took up proper driving lessons.
i never learned to drive until about 1989. My regional manager told me to do it because they had me in mind for an Area Manager’s job. Within the next year my first car was a brand new Ford Sapphire. Don’t ask me the reg No. I cant even remember my current car’s!

big packy

JIM,LOL😎,do you want to hear the true story behind that car i first bought, its a cracker,


Go for it Packy. 🙂

big packy

well i bought it on HP and because i was under 25 my mum and dad had to be guarantors, anyway was driving through knotty ash in liverpool one afternoon stops at the traffic lights, a police ford escort mexico remember them, pulls up along side me he keeps staring at me and looking at the car, next thing the lights change as i go through them the blue flashing light comes on 2 big burly coppers, is this your car yes i reply, dont believe you they reply, where is your documents, well i only had my driving licence with me the log book and car insurance had been posted out to my parents house, well i was put in the back of the police car and one of the policemen drove my car back to the police station, i was put in a cell for nearly 2 hours till they phoned up my mum and dad and they verified the documents, jim i was scared shitless, never had been in a police cell before, and i hope to god i never see another one again,another true story,


What made them suspicious? Maybe a very quiet day? I don’t think they’d have time for that nowadays!

I’m away shopping. catch you later.

big packy

JIM, the car was very well looked after, looked brand new to be honest, thats the only thing i can think of



I used to get stopped all the time in my old job. It got even worse during the first lockdown as hardly anyone was on the roads.

Worst one was probably being followed for about three miles before being pulled over. This was in central Swindon at about 3am. Accused of bad lane discipline-and also of pulling out on them.

Not at all,I said. You were 130 yards away when I pulled out,and in a 30 zone without the blues and twos-I’d paced that stretch off previously because I’d been accused of it before. That means that at 30mph you are nine seconds behind me.

As for Lane discipline,I indicated before and after every junction or roundabout as I took up the correct lane every time.

But,I’ve got nothing much else on-why don’t we head up to your HQ and you can download the content of your videocam in front of your superiors and my lawyer while explaining why you have stopped me four times in a fortnight?

They buggered off,and I swapped over to a different van the following evening.



Good stuff BMCUW.

This is all about sheer greed. Just as it was a supporter backlash, that stopped the introduction of the so-called European Super League, FIFA will now face a backlash from all member clubs…but particularly those clubs that supply the greater number of players, for their respective countries.

After all, when push comes to shove, individual players are employed by the clubs…players are only on loan from the clubs to whichever international side, they are eligible to play for.

I strongly suspect that Lawyers worldwide, will be rubbing their hands in anticipation of conflict…and a big feckin’ pay day.

Roll on Saturday.

Hail Hail

big packy

BOBBY, yes you said it basterts 👍

big packy

BOBBY, think i told you about getting stopped on london bridge enroute to regents park, had a load of airconditioning units had dropped off some near the elephant and castle ,and was going north when this lovely policewoman from the city of london police asked to search my truck, found nothing next thing my name was getting called all over the police radios, irish guy with the same name as me, next thing the met police arrive,and it was only after giving a description of me they let me go utter basterts.



I could compare notes with you all day on this particular subject,but suffice to say that my two Guardian Angels seem to be bloody good lawyers anaw!

Sol Kitts

Big Packy
Is it true your 1st car had a heated rear window so you could keep your hands warm when you were pushing it?

bada bing1

Celtic’s Adam Montgomery and Stephen Welsh start for Scotland u21s as they face Turkey, with the latter captaining the side Young defender Dane Murray also makes the bench for this one

Live BBC Scotland channel 5.15

big packy

SOL, you should know i bought it from you😎

big packy

SOL,just taking the dugs oot, but will be back all guns blazing😎😎

bada bing1

Kyogo down injured off the ball in their game, subbed off



That was shocking…but unsurprising. Have just been asked to add ‘Follow Follow’ to my home screen. Think I’ll pass on that wan.

Hail Hail.

bada bing1

Zero praise on Shortbread for Montgomery’s brilliant cross for the goal



IMO,that is bringing my party of choice into (further) disrepute. Thanks for the info.


Magua/Bmcuwp Note that David Graham was also present (bottom left of screen) at the Zoom meeting 🤔


Well said Bobby. Should that go ahead I expect some managers offering to sign players, but only if they retire from International football.
Players will have a stint at it, to save face and for pride, then bail on it early to focus on the club career. This would actually hurt rather than help the game, but then so does VAR most of the time.
Money does talk, but this won’t fly, the big clubs won’t allow it. For once UEFA is correct.
The players may soon need to take a stand, the PFA should speak up on their behalf a lot more, and we are at the stage were they need a union of sorts to back them.
They are effing up the world cup, first with Qatar and winter time, now with jaded players.
Idiots couldn’t run a bath.

A very big welcome Cortes, please stick around.

Hail Hail



I read that in the btl comments. By your friends,etc.



Jota has picked up the Stuart Armstrong hairdo mantle with his superb George Michael styled barnet 🍀


I agree, Bobby. The money people have ruined our game and the result is that squeezing even more cash is the ultimate goal. Our players are already knackered, with the internationals getting no meaningful down time between seasons.
Regarding traffic cops, a wee tale. I drove a minibusful of mature ladies home from a hen party. Gassed they were. I was followed from Troon to a housing estate in Springside by a patrol car. I asked why. We suspect your passenger door isnt working properly. I offered them a demonstration to prove it was ok. I explained to the ladies what was happening. They slagged the cops big style. I was pissing myself. The cops buggered off red faced. Turned out they had received a report of the driver of a similar vehicle smelled of drink. Why didnt they stop me in Troon? You allowed a suspected drunk driver to take 8 passengers?
I should have taken it further, but I would have then become a target for every traffic cop around.


Given most leagues are a straight toss up between a couple, the Euros and World Cup maybe Copa America are just about the last true who will it be spectacles.
Not touching those should be sacrosanct.
I fear for the sport at times.

As for Arsene he was a breath of fresh air once, then got salty and didn’t see anything ever, now he’s a sell out.
If that’s what money and fame does no thanks.
His first great Arsenal team truly were a thing of beauty at times. Can still name them.
Some team they were. Knocked Fergie off his perch for a while. They might have stayed there only Arsene would never spend big. Be should have bought top players instead of second tier players to develop.
Wilford, Edu, Fabregas, and even Henry were not top bracket when they signed. He spent money as if it was his own , a owners dream but it has cost them their place in the big four.
KT opted for a team on the down, and is sometimes exposed by his current managers tactics. Pity.

Hail Hail


I agree changing the frequency of the WC would be a cruel imposition on many players who are already asked to play too many games. Bobby, as you say, it is probably someone floating a kite.

The timing of such a suggestion is ill thought out. Firstly, many nations are still in the throws of a pandemic and have placed restrictions on entry through quarantine regs. See the Brazil/Argentina controversy! Secondly, the club versus country issues are surfacing once again in the current environment of WC and Euro Nations competitions.

Since you mention Denis Law, I remember Torino refusing to let Denis return to play for Scotland, stating that it weakened his club if he was unavailable. The size of his transfer fee was cited as a reason for the club needing his services for every game. Think of the fees paid out for players now a days. Why should a club take the risk of one or more of its assets getting devalued through injury? John Kennedy comes to mind.

I think the suggestion will go away.


Sol Kitts

Scotland creating some decent positions, being let down badly by our forwards.


Surely that’s the worst penalty decision this year !!

I’ll take it but come on !!!!! 😜😜