The Three Monkeys

I avoided the internet on Sunday, finally managed to wrangle a few hours to myself that night, grabbed a couple of cold ones and settled down to watch a game I was looking forward to.
90 minutes later I was shaking my head.
Celtic may have won, but football certainly lost.


The beginning is probably the best place to start.
For the first few minutes of pre match commentary I assumed I was watching a recording of RangersTV, no joke.
McCoist and Dodds (I think) as pundits, flat out blue. Then I noticed the Sky Sports logo, and I’m thinking this isn’t right, and it strikes me the broadcaster can’t invite any exCeltic player into the commentary booth because the person’s safety cannot be assured. Biased commentary for the biggest game of the season then, and first hint of the abnormal.


A camera pan then shows the phrase Old Firm getting splashed about here, there and everywhere. As if anyone needed reminding, but their board’s recent fetish for it is unsettling. We are the People, has become We are the Old Firm, they are even willing to take a financial hit for it, demanding its use for the fixture, or they walk. It’s almost as if they are clinging to it, somewhat desperately. It’s sad.


The atmosphere was electric, best in years claimed Ally, and then boom the early goal by The Great White Hope himself, and we genuinely looked there for the taking, with Juranovich seemingly ‘on the ropes’.
The early goal was the cue for an illegal song to reverberate, everyone involved judging by pictures and noise generated.


Our Captain then shows tremendous bravery going on a penetrating run past a few players, seconds later big Tam eases the ball home and a hush descends.
Some opening ten minutes indeed and it’s truly game on.


What followed was a very, very poor game from a footballing perspective. To say it was scrappy is a huge understatement, the amount of misplaced or intercepted passes for both teams was ridiculous, no team imposed themselves or their playing style on the other, there were almost no long periods of possession bar about ten minutes of blue pressure towards the end.
Mostly it was a case of you lose the ball, we lose the ball, rinse and repeat.
Pep or Jurgen would have cringed, it was a throwback, more a battle than a chess game, and an affair for the brave of heart rather than fleet of foot.


The biggest game of the season so far, the league’s flagship product screened around the globe, it’s a tragedy the derby fixture at Ibrox can’t evolve into a proper game of football after all this time, even with two football men at the helm. You can find football at Paradise because it’s expected, wished for, and appreciated much more than simply ‘standing tall’.
The Ibrox crowd spew venom, and almost demand full blooded tackles rather than flowing football, to the fixtures and the games detriment. The official usually responds to the roars but Willie Collum didn’t, was okay apart from a missed penalty.


Halftime comes and as mentioned only the blue take on things emerges.
So do the images of broken glass around Joe Hart, who of course wants a thorough check of his box just in case. It was evident some of the yellow jackets weren’t happy at the delay, the camera caught a few yelling at the big Englishman who just laughed them off and slowly continued his own appraisal despite their howls and presumably ‘there’s no more’ claims.
Player safety be damned then, despite it’s huge importance.
Can’t guarantee the safety of unwanted commentators or footballers, some flagship game alright.


Of course we took all three points and placed a hand on title, but since the final whistle I’ve learned,,,
There was a pregame display denigrating some Celtic legends.
Our physio took a bottle to the head and needed to be brought to hospital for attention, so we can add playing staff to the list above also.
The visiting fans had a terrible time getting inside the stadium, badly rerouted with no common sense involved, alongside being forced to enter obscenely early.
During the match they were subjected to glass bottles also alongside the usual spittle and piss.
I’ve seen footage of one supporter in blue attempting to storm the field of play with ill intentions judging by his face, only to be held back by a single supporter.
I’ve read of a cowardly attack on an older gentleman outside The Vogue which could have been much worse.
I’ve seen online calls for the refs windows to be smashed by fans of the home team.
Ally mentioned a rain of coins aimed at a Celtic player attempting to take a corner.
The First Minister had to address the sorry scenes, proving this goes beyond mere sport.
There’s screenshots going around of racist tweets towards Aribo by one of the home supporters.


This was another Shame Game in everything but name.
The sickness that pervades almost every facet of the Ibrox club is known, and it’s getting worse. Expect some hand wringing and cheap talk, but ultimately we shall all receive the three monkeys treatment as usual.


Tom English makes the claim in his BBC column that the SPFL don’t have it within their remit to punish that club for sectarian songs/chants. For once I shall assume he’s correct.
That’s staggering, simply staggering.
The member clubs make up the SPFL and can instruct it via voting, but if the 5 way agreement can trump the governing body then what’s the point?
One member is untouchable, so it should come as no surprise boundaries are pushed, and warnings go unheeded.
The SPFL board might issue a sizeable fine for the glass on the field of play, but shall ignore the Billy Boys and may or may not get paid, they need Rangers much more than Rangers needs them and don’t wear the trousers in the relationship.
That’s apparent by that club’s simple rejection of the Cinch advertising, still unpunished.


The SFA shall refrain from getting involved unless absolutely necessary, and even then shall be very wary of appearing toothless having been negated by a secret agreement, or appearing to be against the establishment club in any way, shape or form. The wrong stance could see a disastrous boycott of the cups by the blues support, and Hampden needs to be filled several times a year to pay the bills.
A flagship Old Firm semi or final without one set of fans could scupper much needed television revenue and affect the odds of finding sponsorship.
They won’t rock the boat.


I say much needed television revenue but we all know it’s actually a pittance. It’s not hard at all to see why SKY won’t cough up the big bucks, because of the nature of the product. It’s not a normal product in that regular rules of business go out the window, such as no Celtic commentators at Ibrox and no away fans for a while. They must pretend one of the duet didn’t die, and they won’t ever mention the banned Billy Boys song so as not to hurt feelings or their product.


They must be aware there’s a lot unsavoury with regards to this particular fixture, but it’s never aired or analysed.
It’s apparent our club of choice don’t use the term Old Firm publicly and the support shun the phrase, yet they cant say it enough in their vain attempts to drum up interest, or stay sweet with the Ibrox mob.


More than happy to air the football, their interest ends at full time. They draw the line at bringing news of any ugly events that take place before and after the affair, despite this falling under the bracket of sports news. The fact Ange’s homecoming cup pays more in five days than a nine month season does says it all, they are part of the problem and certainly not the solution.
A revamped and rejuvenated SPFL would be worth much more television income and the clubs might just demand it, the last thing SKY wish to do is fix Scottish football or they might not get it so cheaply next time. They like the current status quo and will fight change.


Together, SKY, the SFA, and the SPFL are the three monkeys, seeing no evil, hearing no evil, and speaking no evil.
The sickness at the root of the national sport shall continue to be ignored and dismissed, despite every second weekend delivering a hatefest. Many policemen and hospital workers would have been dreading a celebration march into George Square, perhaps the biggest winner on the day.


Imagine you’re a proud dad and son bonding through the national sport, enjoying the twists and turns of the season via their club, the fabric of football.
You don’t necessarily need to be a supporter of either club to have an interest in a title decider, just as I’ll watch next weekend’s big EPL title decider as a neutral.
Son asks dad, are we watching the big game?
Does dad explain it’s an Adults Only fixture, 18+ viewing only?
Or smash his illusion and tell him that fixture is bad news?
Try explaining either to a child.
Many father’s forbade their boys’ attendance, wished for them not to get involved, prayed for them when they did.
Some associations have their own troublesome fixture, Chelsea vs Millwall springs to mind as does Swansea vs Cardiff.
When your actual flagship game IS the trouble fixture that is routinely accompanied by a litany of sin/crimes such as those stated above, well, you’ve really got a problem.

By Mahe

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Terrific article,which addresses many of the problems that surround this fixture. As I said yesterday,I was knackered just from watching it-but that hardly alters the fact that I firmly believe that we shouldn’t be having to play it in the first place.

I expect some form of wrist-slapping from SFA re the bottle throwing incidents,etc. What I don’t expect is any comment from Celtic Plc on the subject of the huns commandeering and highlighting to the max of the term O** F***,which I believe we purchased as a trademark in order that it not be violated.

I’m looking forward to Saturday when we will have the chance to widen the gap to nine points. But with the same level of trepidation that is becoming the norm for me these days. Seven,hopefully eight games to go. After the first seven games of the season,and a mere ten points from them,few amongst us could dare have dreamed…

A thing of beauty

Good article Mahe and mostly correct especially regarding the horrors of the ibrox support but there was a Celtic presence in the commentary team and studio. Andy Walker was in the commentary box with McCoist and Stylian Petrov was in the studio.
Otherwise you are correct. We had a summit after the so called shame game yet after this game the only noise is the sound of carpets being lifted and brushes coming out the cupboard.
I said in the previous article that they don’t even care about the safety of their fellow fans as there are so many more people in there than have tickets. From a safety level that alone should be investigated but nothing will happen, it never does. I said previously if we can win this league (and it’s not done yet) it will be the sweetest of all my lifetime. I stand by that.


Get set for Thursday,folks. TWISTY Aintree competition time!

Jobo Baldie

Good morning, friends. That was a great lead article today, Mahe, thank you.
Us winning on Sunday had much bigger consequences for them in the long run. When their last accounts came out (just before Christmas if my memory serves me well) they were probably foolishly banking on winning the title and getting access to the Champions League pot of gold. There may be trouble ahead…

Saltires en Sevilla

Great item Mahe – spot on

As ATOB said there were 2 ex Celts covering the game on Sunday.

Belmont Bhoy – great link to Lloyd Cole ( didn’t know he played guitar ) saw them live a few times and didn’t recall him playing .. Ibrox and SECC

Saltires en Sevilla

Big Leggy/BRRB Magua & Craig76

Emails sent to confirm Thursday afternoon soirée- anyone else free and fancy celebrating 130 anniversary of Scottish Cup most welcome !!

Get in touch via these guys or contact me via Bobby


Prestonpans bhoys


Great article, the five way agreement makes scottish football toxic. When I watch Sky I have the volume at its lowest setting, not interested in their views or hear the hun songs.

However did break my rule and listened post match to have a laugh at Boyd😂


Saltires, my mate’s younger brother was the drummer with Lloyd Cole. Looking forward to Thursday and acting as carer for Leggy.


Mahe 🙈🙉🙊 👏👏👏👏👏


Excellent Mahe! Salmond jumped the gun and called it wrong re the Shame Game leading to an embarrassing U-turn re the OBAF Act. He’s subsequently made it difficult for government to get involved. But there’s no excuse for inaction by the game’s governing bodies and especially no excuse for the police not to assert their authority.
Bag searches and body searches need to be increased, I know it’s difficult but I’ve a sneaky feeling TRFC are likely to be employing less matchday stewards than other clubs. The number of bottles taken in must be significant given that the Celtic support apparently spent the game dodging all sorts of missiles being lobbed into their wee section and the 2 or 3 that made it onto the pitch/pitchside. Injuries to anyone is reprehensible, for a Celtic physio to require stitches due to a bottle thrown at players and officials heading to the tunnel at halftime is unforgivable. The cesspit needs to be closed for a game to make the point. There is surely grounds for Police Scotland to veto a security license on that basis?
My wee guy just turned 16 and has started going to Scotland games, he’s also been to Love St with his St Mirren mates. I doubt it’ll be long before he wants to go to Ibrox, Tynecastle etc. Who’s gonna guarantee his safe return if the Police and the authorities can’t?



I was at school with Stevie Irvine. Same year as Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill.

The Gombeen Man

The Old Firm Trademarks highlight the realities of the Five Way Agreement and the emails that Peter Lawwell and Eric Riley apparently never opened.

The reality is the Old Firm fixture was always a dangerous, toxic affair. Trips to any match involving Rangers were always fraught with danger.

What’s changed is Social Media, it heightens the intensity and immediacy of it all.

Everyone has access to a mobile phone, the toxicity is now hyped to unprecedented levels.

Every ill-considered tweet or post simply contributes to the cycle of violence.

Unfortunately, Celtic Plc are on the hook with this Old Firm Trademark business.

Last March Celtic tweeted, the Club were not “half of anything.” It then transpired that both Clubs has renewed the Old Firm patent a week previously.

This year we have the embarrassing planned Old Firm joint venture in Australia – and the Rangers cave in.

(You know the one where apparently Celtic didn’t know The Rangers were being invited.)

This isn’t a matter of questioning the wisdom of collectively protecting a trademark but the fact that Rangers went bust.

With Liquidation the history stops. A new timeline commences with a new Club.

Celtic the SPFL and the SFA are in denial. They conspired to protect the Old Firm business model by creating false legitimacy, namely continuity.

The problem is they are dealing with a rogue club, who don’t give a monkey’s about the courts, the government or anyone else.

Normal business protocols don’t apply with The Rangers. The problem is that the death of Rangers signifies the death of an illusory entitled mindset.

Anything goes to preserve the entitlement, WATP – illusion.

The board of The Rangers are just like Norman Bates, desperately pretending his mother, Norma Bates is still alive.

Unfortunately for Norman his mother wasn’t coming back. Just like the corpse of the Old Rangers isn’t coming back for Celtic Plc or the SPFL.

The Rangers Football Club Limited (id: 613862) were given carte blanche to make a mockery of Scottish football by the notorious Five Way Agreement.

If you wrestle with a pig, you get dirty.

This whole Old Firm business is built on deceit in the pursuit of money, it will keep on coming back to haunt Celtic and the other conspirators.

The one redeeming feature in the whole affair is that The Rangers have spurned their golden Five Way ticket and have spent their way straight back into another black hole.

Scottish football just couldn’t stomach the fact that Rangers went bust and have been making a bigger mess ever since…Just like old Norman Bates.

With the death of Rangers the noxious entitled mindset so prevalent in Scotland was dealt a fatal blow.

No matter the possible financial consequences the realities of Liquidation should have been adhered to.

Allowing Rangers to slip out of their misery in 2012 would have been the compassionate thing to do…

Instead we have the public humiliation of death by 1,000 cuts.

The chronology of the entries in the Trademarks highlights the sleight of hand behind the Five Way Agreement…

UK00002264673 Trademark has been renewed on 02/03/2021.


UK0002181523A (The Old Firm).


22 November 2018

Recordal registration. Recordal type: Change owner details


Change of owner details has been recorded due to recordal RC000116100 received on date 30/10/2018; owner(s) Celtic F.C.Limited (id: 218706),Sevco Scotland Limited (id: 613831) has been updated to owner(s):   Celtic F.C.Limited (id: 218706),The Rangers Football Club Limited (id: 613862)


22 November 2018

Recordal registration. Recordal type: Full assignment.


Full Assignment RC000115952 received on date 30/10/2018 has been recorded, resulting to the change of ownership from Celtic F.C.Limited (id: 218706, country: GB),The Rangers Football Club plc (id: 613657, country: GB) to Celtic F.C.Limited (id: 218706, country: GB),Sevco Scotland Limited (id: 613831, country: GB). The effective date of assignment is 14/06/2012.


CFC, I probably know you then. Alan Brazil was in your year at Holyrood as well.



He was, same form class.
Arthur Gordon?
John Rice?
Alan Cairnduff , John Milarky. And many others.

Govanhill Crosshill Toryglen Kings Park Bhoys.


CFC, I used to go to Alan’s house in King’s Park to listen to records. 🤣

Far and away the most serious incident took place in Rutherglen, where a busload of Rangers supporters attacked the Vogue public house, and left a Celtic supporter needing medical attention for a bleed on the brain.

No one, to my knowledge has been arrested, and the front pages, the radio and the television seem to have decided not to use their considerable influence to seek out the guilty parties with the attention such a serious incident demands.

The police haven’t made any appeals for information, although I may have missed that, though even if they have and I’ve missed it, it’s not a particularly enthusiastic appeal, is it ?



Those were great years at Holyrood.
Alan was a maverick. 😀 in Cuban Heels.
Also Gerry McElhone who managed his wee bro in Altered Images?


Think Alan was the singer in Johnny and the self abusers. Now there’s a band name. 😂


Pre Simple Minds.
Don’t think he lasted too long. Doune Castle gig maybe.


CFC, oops it was Cuban Heels right enough. Jim was the singer with Johnny. I lasted 70-74 at our alma mater. Still see Willie and Robert Irvine. Seen Stevie at his Mum’s funeral last year.

Saltires en Sevilla


Interesting info on music stuff

Prepare for start of another Lost Weekend 😉


Once bumped into him at Glasgow Airport with Lawrence Donegan of the band.
Last time I saw him.
We went out with the same girl back in the day – at separate times, of course😀


TGM…despite the toxicity of the brand and the supposed/alleged/imagined cosy partnership of the two would you agree the Celtic as a business needs to have a certain amount of control over the Old Firm Trademark. It does still allow for years old marketing opportunities that would/could be easily exploited by either TRFC or any other party willing to capitalise on “the Brand”. I think CFC plc have no alternative, despite the unhealthy connotations, but to maintain some sort of ownership.


CFC…you’ve only got heard word for that!! 😳🤣


Ahh, memories. I can remember incidents in the 1960s but forget where I was yesterday. 🤔



Now you’ve got me thinking!
Too long ago for recriminations😀



The Gombeen Man


Yes agreed…

But the dates of registration of corporate ownership at Ibrox highlights the period 2012.

That was the Five Way Agreement.

The Old Firm died in 2012.

Celtic and The Rangers are bloated entities feeding on a defunct rivalry that’s built on sectarianism.

Both Clubs market an illusory Cause that leads absolutely nowhere, apart from misery.

By running away from the reality of Liquidation all they did is deepened the division.

Regrettably the disease of Old Firmisim thrives on bottles being thrown.

It creates the necessary momentum that keeps the wheels spinning.

Till Later…

I can understand your worries about your boy.

I honestly don’t know if the violence is any worse than our day?

There’s been so many awful incidents over the years at and after Celtic v Rangers games.

Sadly violence has always been a part of life, particularly at OF games

In my day you always a feeling of relief when you got home after a match.


TGM, thanks for the reply. The dates are irrelevant, really. The brand is massively marketable and of worth to anyone wishing to exploit it. Both clubs are open to misuse of the brand of they don’t have control. In 2012 Charles Green bought the package which gave him access to the historical beliefs of the Oldco support which he exploited fully, that shows how easy it is to exploit the brand!!
Regarding violence at the game, I’d like to think in general terms we’re a wee bit more civilised at games than 40 years ago and certainly since Hillsborough and the introduction of all-seated stadia. I know the behaviours of some fans, particularly the TRFC fans contradict that viewpoint. My point wasn’t really about the fans, though, it was about the responsibility of the authorities to ensure the game is a safe place to attend.

bada bing1

The Celtic manager was asked if Kyogo would be fit to play on Saturday against St Johnstone? “Yes he’ll be fine,” Ange replied. “He was desperate to play today but when I look at our run-in we’ve got some massive games. He’s such an important player for us and I thought today we could handle it without him.
“To be fair he tried everything. Everywhere I turned he popped up in front of me to make sure I knew he was ready to go. I couldn’t walk around Lennoxtown without seeing him. But we’ll keep him on ice. He’s ready to go, he’ll be fine and he’ll be involved next week.”


b b 1

Unleashing a fit n raring to go Kyogo is a mouthwatering prospect for the next 7/8 games.


MAHE, Fine article, cap doffed.
H H. JG.

The Gombeen Man

Listed below are the assets of Rangers FC Plc bought by Charles Green (from Duff & Phelps) after the proposed CVA was rejected by creditors at Ibrox in June 2012….

Goodwill £1
SPL Share £1
SFA Membership £1
Leasehold Interests £1
Player Contracts & Registrations £2,749,990
Stock £1
Plant & Machinery £1,250,000

“Rangers Football Club does not exist, it is an idea in people’s minds, a myth of continuity. No-one knows what the Rangers Football Club is, but it has no legal personality.”

Allan Dewar QC.

The Old Firm label is used at will, by broadcasters and supporters alike. It predates the death of the Old Rangers. If used it accepts the lie that a football club can enter a process of liquidation and somehow the new club can inherit any honours of the old entity.

Why did Celtic FC Limited allow the re-registration?

What the architects of the 5WA and subsequent myths failed to gather is that these laws evolved for a reason.

Scottish football and society will stagger from one crisis to another until it has the guts to face the fact that it is founded on prejudice and dishonesty.

The new Rangers have simply carried on with the thuggish behaviour in the boardroom and in the stands, of the old club.

What’s changed is the whiff of desperation. They have lost all credibility in the courts, any notion of respectability is gone.

The oak paneling and staunch fortitude of the Old Rangers has been exposed as formica and tendency to greet about invented injustice. A reliance too, on outrageous decisions, hilarious journalism and biased punditry.

– Dishonesty –

Unfortunately, the Old Firm isn’t quite as marketable as some seem to think out with the dishonest, sectarian swamp of Central Scotland.

It’s a 12 noon aperitif on a Sky Super Sunday with very limited impact outwith the expat population.

The Old Firm relies on an undercurrent of violence for it’s survival.

Every post of Hun or Taig is an act of violence. Every connection of football to religion is an act of violence, irrespective of the intent. Rebel songs, particularly in a soccer context, are an act of violence.

The Green Brigade are being disingenuous when they claim not to participate in violence. Much of their songbook is rooted in violence. These songs, especially in the charged arena of Scottish football, are acts of violence.

Concentration on overt physical violence subtlety neglects the underlying violence that fuels the disease Old Firmisim.

Sadly, supporters of both sides appear to revel in the localised toxic drama the game generates.

The Establishment are quite happy to allow a biased, prejudiced Scotland to stumble on. The Old Firm narrative is a cornerstone of the corrupt establishment.

We all have a responsibility here.

I suspect many are secretly addicted to the noxious drama of the environment. It rarely disappoints.

It’s a symptom of a centuries old conflict between the Gael and the Anglo Saxon in Scotland. Complicated by selfish feuding between different interpretations of Christianity.

The problem is one for Scotland to sort out. The transition to a functioning State less encumbered by the manipulated divisions of the past.

Nothing to do with the politics of Ireland or England.

Ourselves alone.

Peel off the layers, Cause, Religion, Heritage, Politics for the myths they are…

Back to the grindstone.


My apologies, that wasn’t meant for you. More of a general thing really.

Margaret McGill


” The problem is they are dealing with a rogue club, who don’t give a monkey’s about the courts, the government or anyone else.
Normal business protocols don’t apply with The Rangers. The problem is that the death of Rangers signifies the death of an illusory entitled mindset. ”

Prestonpans bhoys

There was extra semi-final tickets but don’t waste your time, all gone😕


Celtic fans inside the ground also had eggs thrown at them.
There is footage on Twitter, posted by ” The Rangers ” fans, of a Celtic fan covered in egg yolk and shell.
The fan has replied to them with a picture of him celebrating at full time, albeit visual egg stains still over his clothes.
Mags. 1.49.
Spot on.
Generous, as ever.
Many Thanks.


2 minutes and 17 seconds of absolute heaven.


ASWGL, Well done with the Ange background! 🙂


Cheers Jim, hope things are good with you 👍


Anyone taking raw eggs to a game has as much chance of them breaking in your pocket as them surviving to throw. A strange choice of weapon.
Take it easy.
Hail Hail

Hello everyone. Just been reading some of the blogs and comments. Absolutely excellent, informative and well thought out. Good to see some familiar names amongst the posters too.


There are ‘a lot of people’ at #ManCity who ‘really rate’ Celtic manager, Ange Postecoglou. People at @ManCity believe the 56 year-old is ‘really, really good’ and say he is ‘a really gifted manager’.

[@RorySmith via @5liveSport]

So it begins, if it’s not the players, they are trying to sell, then it’s the manager.
Well done Ange, though, in being recognised.


SadiesBhoy. 3.19
If that’s your first post, welcome and enjoy.
If it’s not, it just means i’m wrong again!
I hope you and your loved ones are all well.



Rory Smith is the European “soccer” correspondent for the New York Times. Man City have a team in the city,so I reckon he speaks with some authority.

AP is probably at an age though where one big contract,say three or four years,might be right up his street. A definite concern.

Welcome back,of course-and good luck with the competition!



Thank you,and welcome! Any site is only as good as its contributors,and we have some great ones here.


BMCUW 3.26.
Thanks for that, I wasn’t aware of who he is.



He writes some really good stuff. My £2 a month to the NYT is the only subscription I have,and well worth it.


This is brilliant.
A ticketless Celtic fan applied for a job at the Ibrox food kiosk and on the day of his first shift, Sunday, he hid in the toilets until the Celtic fans started arriving at the ground.

Incredible 😂


Here’s a recent one of his,and his second point about the World Cup might be of interest to us gambling types.


The Limbs 😍😍

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