Scottish Referees and VAR. Is it time for dialogue about the elephant in the cave?

With the introduction of VAR to Scottish football our football media,  On line, Audio or Print has been akin to living in Plato’s Cave where debate/discussion  concentrates on the shadows reflected on the wall by the light of a fire: (PLATO ON: The Allegory of the Cave – YouTube )  The shadows take the following shapes.

Was it handball? 

What is handball?

Was it a penalty?

Was it offside?

What are offside rules anyway?

Do referees know them?

Do they  apply them with any degree of consistency?

All of interest as they are delved into, dissected disputed,   but all ignoring the biggest shadow of the biggest animal in the cave:-  that of the elephant called ” trust”.

In the context of Scottish football, ever since the game became professional, referees in Scotland have never been trusted because of the demography of Scotland, itself created as a result of historical events in Scotland and its near neighbours Ireland and England.  In such a diverse populace tribal distrust of the other is a fertile breeding ground to grow and take life, like unattended weeds choke a garden.

In the Plato’s Cave allegory the commentator suggests the way out of the cave is by philosophical education and if you watch the video, one description of his guidance  on such education is “dialogue.”

So what is dialogue?  

“ Dialogue is a conversation on a common subject between two or more persons with differing views, the primary purpose of which is for each participant to learn from the other so that s/he can change and grow. This very definition of dialogue embodies the first commandment of dialogue. 

If we approach another party to either defeat them or to learn about them so as to deal more effectively with her or him, or at best to negotiate with him or her. If we face each other at all in confrontation–sometimes more openly polemically, sometimes more subtly so, but always with the ultimate goal of defeating the other, because we are convinced that we alone have the absolute truth, we are indulging in debate and not dialogue. 

But dialogue is not debate. In dialogue each party must listen to the other as openly and sympathetically as s/he can in an attempt to understand the other’s position as precisely and, as it were, as much from within, as possible. Such an attitude automatically includes the assumption that at any point we might find the other party’s position so persuasive that, if we would act with integrity, we would have to change, and change can be disturbing. 

The parties must be prepared to come to the dialogue as persons ready to put aside their own needs and wants, at least for a time. They must be ready to listen, without judgement, to the thoughts and feelings as expressed by the other person in the exchange. The parties must be prepared to accept that reaching agreement may not be achieved, although that might occur, but dialogue will lead to both parties, through a better understanding of the others’ needs and wants, to being able to live amicably with their differences.” 

How, then, can Scottish football supporters as key stakeholders in the game  via their own club supporter organisations and the likes of The Scottish Football Supporters Association (SFSA) as well as the clubs themselves effectively engage in a meaningful dialogue?

There are 10 “Commandments in the Original Dialogue Decalogue by Leonard Swidler that can be read at

 but the following two are particularly apt in terms of acknowledging the presence of the particular elephant in our own Scottish football cave in order to drag it out and into the light?

SEVENTH COMMANDMENT: Dialogue can take place only between equals. Both must come to learn from each other. Therefore, if, for example, one party views the other as inferior, or if one party views the other as superior, there will be no dialogue. If authentic relationship dialogue is to occur between the parties, then both must come mainly to learn from each other; only then will it be “equal with equal,”. This rule also indicates that there can be no such thing as a one-way dialogue. 

EIGHTH COMMANDMENT: Dialogue can take place only on the basis of mutual trust, which must be built.  A dialogue among persons can be built only on personal trust. Hence it is wise not to tackle the most difficult problems in the beginning, but rather to approach first those issues most likely to provide some common ground, thereby establishing the basis of trust. Then, gradually, as this personal trust deepens and expands, the more thorny matters can be undertaken. Thus, as in learning we move from the known to the unknown. So in dialogue we proceed from commonly held matters, which, given our mutual ignorance resulting from possibly years of misunderstanding and possibly hostility in the relationship, may take us quite some time to discover fully–to discuss matters of disagreement.

Philosophy/dialogue is all very well but what can it do to bring about the required level of trust?

The advice above is via small steps and one small step but with huge benefits would be the introduction of transparency to the VAR process. This could be done in the reasonable short term by making conversation between referees and VAR assistant audible to all.

It is a technical approach but with behaviour changing consequences because observed behaviour changes that of those being observed. It need not be live during a game but at very least released within half an hour of a match ending. It brings in transparency which is the forerunner to accountability and would be a game changer.

Longer term strategy for culture change to improve professionalism of referees, which the proposal by Sentinel Celts   Calling Out Scottish Referees – SENTINELCELTS sets out should be part of a longer terms strategy for changing the culture of the referee service with the ultimate aim of making refereeing a very rewarding professional career   and be fertile territory for dialogue between all stakeholders, not least referees themselves. 

A lesson that Scottish football authorities should take from events since 2000 through to 2012 is that anything done in secret, like the infamous  Five Way Agreement of July 2012 , no matter the reasons for justifying so at the time, is a recipe for unforeseen toxic consequences as the universe unfolds as it does when the dead bodies buried in secret rise from their graves like Zombies.”

By Auldheid

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Cosy Corner Bhoy

🎶 Well it’s 4 in the morning (or something like that)🎶, and old CCB is back in the arms of his beloved family.
Many thanks for ALL prayers, thoughts and anything else that was shown my way by the SCs.
There seems no timetable for being in hospital ( first time in longer than a day) so, I’m lying here ‘contemplating my navel’ which isn’t really that strange as that’s where the excavations were carried out!
I’ve read back so far it’s all a blur but my prayers to all that need them and my thanks to all that don’t
Great to see the return of Estadio
Thanks to Twisty for his compy and since I couldn’t give a shit who wins, Costa Rica will do for me as I like their coffee!
Like Sol Kitts’ ABE. I made a sign like that and took it to the expats pub in Spain when I lived there and the WC was on
Mrs CCB wasn’t best pleased with me😫
Mark you, neither were the Ingles. But I didn’t give a shit about their feelings anyway.


Bloody delighted that you are back home,you had us worried there. Best build yourself back up in the next four weeks because there is a bad influence heading your way to test your stamina and wellbeing. So do what yer told for the first time in yer life-ha,that’s good coming from me!-and get as much grub down yer neck as you can. Meantime,think of the money you are saving!

In other news,my family-and especially my Dad-cannot thank you all enough for the kind thoughts,good wishes and prayers during what has been a pretty worrying time. It does matter,you know,that there is heavy traffic upstairs,and it mattered a helluva lot to my Dad.

Now that he is hopefully on the mend,we can focus our thoughts on others from this site and elsewhere,and to their loved ones,who aren’t quite in the health that they would like to be. Maybe it is a demographic trend as we get older,but we all know people who need a prayer,a wee hand,or even some company. Any port in a storm can make a huge difference,you know.


Morning all

CCB. Welcome back. Great to see you’re up and about. Wishing a full and speedy recovery. Just leave the golf clubs in the bag for a month or two eh!

Sorry missed several posts last night. Went to my scratcher early. Been raining non stop here for over 24 hours now.

Sol kitts – the Tom n Jerry cartoon – superb . Gave me a right good laugh 😂😂.

To all the others – yer welcome. The 4 prizes per tournament ensure someone from each group has some sort of chance, whether it be winning the thing, runner up, most goals conceded or best placed third side. That’s the thinking anyway!

Bada – 😂. To be honest I’d no idea what ye were on about. No offence taken at all, but yer disqualified now. 😂

I’m shouting for Brazil or Sweden since they’ve generally got the most attractive support ( that’s if things are as they were when I was a bhoy)
I’m very reliably informed Sweden will not lose a goal or drop a point. In fact I’m told it’s guaranteed. Cmon Sweden 🇸🇪



Everything you say is correct. It usually is,and very much the voice of reason. But while I hate to sound like the paranoid bigot that Celtic fans have so often been accused of being,it will not work in Scottish football as things are at the minute.

Perfect example being…

” It need not be live during a game but at very least released within half an hour of a match ending. It brings in transparency which is the forerunner to accountability and would be a game changer.”

The Josh Meekings handball. Clear as day,with SIX officials that day-one of whom was about four yards away. And yes,they were miced-is that a word?-and apparently he was screaming into the mic

“Ball to head!”

Now,how do you deal with that? Call him a cheat or a liar? Well,yes. We all did then,and still do. Prove it. Sanction him? He called it as he saw it,try proving different.

Or the infamous Jorge Cadete non-offside,and I actually met the linesman in question. He was a relation of close friends. I asked him how he could possibly have thought that was offside? His reply was that it didn’t matter what he thought,check the result in the papers. There was a wee bit more to the conversation than that,right enough.

The only means of improving the standard of refereeing in Scotland is by doing something that no country in the world has ever done,and that is to admit that it is not fit for purpose. I would go further and say that it is institutionally corrupt. Either way,that the game in this country needs to import referees from elsewhere,ditch the current lot,and use those imports as supervisors in the future to clean up the game.

Nothing will ever change,otherwise.


The VAR was the subject of much discussion prior to its introduction. Opinion varied, from those who thought it would bring transparency, to those who thought things wouldn’t change, due to the var referees being the same ones who we’ve known to be cheats for decades.

In my opinion, now that we’ve had the opportunity to see it in action, it’s made things a whole lot worse, in the respect that whilst we knew they were cheats before, VAR has proven they’re not even going to attempt to conceal it, even under the spotlight VAR brings.

Like the CCTV footage of the guy caught on camera knocking off goods from a store, we get a “ that’s not me guv” despite the evidence being there in front of us.

I mentioned on here recently I cannot watch us live on tv in competitive matches due to nerves. Stresses me out. As such, when the matches are on, I tell my kids, “ DONT send me updates. I’ll look in myself when I feel like I want to know.

They adhere to my requests. I think the last time one of them didn’t was to call me at Celtic 4 Huns 0 to say “ dad I know ye don’t want updates but you need to tune in now!!”

I can accept that sort of update😁

However, last week, my son who was at the match called me. My initial thought when I saw his number come up was “ we must be cruising”, but no.

He’s a qualified referee and phoned me to vent his rage. “ This ***^*^* referee dad is the *##*## worst I’ve ever f**%*^# seen. He’s not even trying to *^%**%# hide it”

Furious he was.

It’s only going to get worse for that very reason. As I said at the outset, they can’t even hide it now. They’ll act with impunity.


I would go further than saying what we are faced with is institutional corruption.

Celtic is representative of a culture, tradition, history, outlook that is anathema to those that consider themselves superior . In the Herrenvolk democracy of their organisations , committees, cabals they are in a position to disenfranchise.

It is generationally established fear and loathing, at all levels of society by a particular mindset, who see this as their land, their rules, their dominance.

We are allowed to stay and play but just don’t get too uppity.

Bigots don’t just wear red, white and blue scarves and watch football.
Their mindset is always ABC( and what that represents).



Great read – it’s amazing, and scary, how much still to learn.. thanks for sharing

CCB – superb post … “excavations” hehehehehehe I’m stealing that line … good feeling to know you are back !!

Jobo Baldie

Good morning, friends and a Big Happy Friday to all who post or lurk on here.
That’s a really good article, Auldheid which obviously applies to lots more scenarios than just football. So whilst I share the views of those who have already commented in relation to VAR I’m also now much more optimistic that I might start to actually get a say in things relating to how my own household is run! But only if I can convince Mrs Baldie to read the article first!!
Time for walkies…..


Was sitting wae a couple of friends of this site in Scruffys. Just as they left a fella frae Motherwell sat down beside me. “Here tae see Celtic?” I asked…”sort of” he replied “but I’m also keeping my eye on my girl…she sometimes goes a wee bit daft”.

“Fur fecks sake jist go up and hug her then”…

“cannae as she dumped me an disnae know I’m watchin….TWO FUCKIN YEARS I’VE BEEN FoLLOWIN HER!!”…

“You’ve been followin her fur two years frae Motherwell?”..

.”Naw Leicester!”

I changed the subject….

“Crackin news about Sunday. Sydney transport have made all journeys free for the game…and not just free but have set up an express train service every 10 mins from the city centre to the Accor stadium and vice versa afterwards for all ticket holders. Fuckin stunningly brilliant!👏👏”

.”….mind you” I continued “they didn’t mention if that included stalkers frae Motherwell🤯”


Wee idea for Kevin Bridges.
I’m sure BBC Scotland would welcome a programme highlighting Catholic/Irish issues.



Good idea. Get a few names together.

Been done in the press before. James McMillan went public a number of years ago on that very issue.
Was quickly swatted away.

The power of the Scottish ethnocracy.


Good morning fholks, grand day to be a Tim…

Good to see CCB posting, Estadio, maybe she didn’t believe him when he said I’ll follow you to the far ends of the earth, commitment as a virtue is overrated…

Well laid out Auldheid…

Like that chapter 8, the approach and attitude to dialogue is obviously key but that’s good practical advice.

Of course when you are talking of culture change it can be a fraught path up a steep hill and as Sisyphus could tell you it can be a thankless task, the weltanschauung forged in the institutions, fraternities and communities that the SFA officials come from are welded to the land like that hill.

Removal of that barrier is a starting point, will the SFA give up their weapons?

To do this you must convince the stakeholders that this is necessary, to do this you face a very Scottish dichotomy…

There’s two types of people in Scotland, those who think there are two types of people and those who don’t.

Great to see you ghuys pushing forward, especially with the first initiative, calling out Scottish referees

Hail Hail



James MacMillan-another Kilwinning lad,btw-composed the music for the opening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. Hailed as a hero,a local lad done good. A few months later,he raised he topic of anti-Catholic sectarianism in our country.

Well,that put him on the banned list! Or,as I believe the current term is,cancelled. Eveything is a one-day wonder if it doesn’t get the popular support to give it momentum. Which is a chicken and egg situation.


Sometimes…and it is only sometimes ….I think that Celtic blogs forget/relegate/fog the sheer delight that the team, club, history, myth, legend and dream make a rainbow of our fairly monochrone and regulated 9-5 existence.

There is a indubitable brilliance in expressing the perceived corruption, deceipt and underhand manipulation in the machinations of the egotistical turds who hold the levers of football worldwide…..but i think sometimes that the greatest weapon is not condemnation, exposure or ridicule. If they were ever effective we wouldn’t have the likes of english royalty, trump, xi jinping, putin, bolsanaro, johnson, ‘king’ charles etc etc sitting on thrones of unadulterated inhumanity and ridiculousness

Sometimes we need to grasp the simplicity about life that as we grow older we must not cloud and corrupt the sheer joy of those infantile moments when we learned to see, speak, dream and believe that what lay ahead was worthwhile….

The first time.

“No time to wonder what I’ve done. This mess is all my own
The judges soon will make their call, I’ll stand there all alone
Cos after all, it’s all my fault, I made the choice, it’s mine
I’ll take their sentence either way, no trembling, I’ll be fine.”

The door was chapped, last words were said, my breath was short but calm
I stood surrounded, then we marched, I called ‘know who I am!’
He turned and smiled, no smirk was seen, at least I thought ‘a friend’
Along the green mile, step and pace, soon agony would end.

I passed a thousand eyes and stares who had seen this trial before
But then I saw the man whose hand would pull the lever o’er
And as I thought ‘well this is it’ he stretched his hand to meet
my trembling thoughts, my melting soul, my heart in need of beat.

But as he touched, all terror flew for this would be my night
He pulled that handle and the stage was bathed in brilliant light
I strode with strength of giants of yore, bedecked in white and green
My first time with the hoops to wear, and me just sweet sixteen!

Written a million years ago …and rediscovered in a bar/var in Sydney.



That jet-lager is obviously strong stuff! I expect all of us have hung ourselves out to dry at some stage due to expressing our opinions in “polite society.” Sure,it probably chips away at the rotten edifice,maybe gets some people thinking. The problem is that the people who are open-minded enough to do that thinking aren’t the problem in the first place.


The allegory of the cave — interesting.
I much prefer the allegory of CQN — more in tune with West Central Scotland reality.


‘ They can chalk them all off ‘

On a scale of one to Jorge Cadette, the much anticipated (by some) introduction of VAR replaced the Portuguese striking icon with another Portuguese striking icon, and chalked off goal of the season, any season. Celtic carnage in a five game horror sequence and a Sevco sea of tranquility.

VAR was being screamed for in unbiased Scotland where there’s a reserved occupation and contract available for blue pundits. Piggybacked, and monitor handed, task find the Kyogo and Jota goals, go blind for other ‘ necessary reviews ‘ . Nearly affected outcomes? just Celtic coincidental controversy five games from five, ‘these things even themselves out’ and no adverse decisions over the river, into the after Seethen doldrums.

Jock Stein was a very shrewd man, and well on top of sectarianism he used deflection, and was being cute when he said both the referee shouldn’t matter and they can’t chop them all off, but VAR is a new charter for cheats, meanwhile waiting for Celtic to be on a level playing field, is taking it on the chin, a La Mowbrayesque

Cliches CSC



Exactly (I think)….Points of view are very much POINTS OF VIEW…an appraisal of something from the angle that you perceive it. But suppose you are brought up differently, sit in another seat in an opposite side of a stadium? Are you still right? Expressing that point of view to me is surely valid but only of real substance if you are willing to listen to another viewpoint and …imagine this …..appreciate the context from which it is expressed.

The referee’s view is his/hers…the bloke/blokess watching on telly, from row h, seat 44 is his/hers….long may it continue….but the dream as we kicked a stuffed bag of chicken feathers against a wall on a drab street dreaming of pulling on that shirt of whatever colours never changes.

long may rivalry continue…let’s start appreciating it…..

hail hail


Egg chasing is the way forward.
All their big game refs are mike’d up and the chat with the TMO is available to all.
Even if you go to the game you can pay £8 for an earpiece that picks up the chat in real time.

Given the glacial nature of the SPL and the tribal vibe of the MIB community that change may take some time.
One easy step forward would be to play the incident over the big screens so that the crowd can get to see the incident.
You know — explaining to the paying customer what is happening so that some sort of understanding can develop.

The crowd are in the worst possible position at the moment — they don’t fully understand the incident and just see the outcome with no level of information or explanation.

Silence from the MIB has to go.
They need to explain their decisions.

bada bing1

Twists- I actually got Brazil in pub sweep 😁


BSR @ 11.58

VAR is a godsend to us / football integrity.

It now offers a blockchain level of recording and analysis to all the “honest mistakes” / schoolboy howlers that happen all to often in the SPL.

Each VAR incident is highlighted within the games — discrete incidents that are now a matter of public record.
Available to all not just some partial fan boy list that can be dismissed due to its forced and slanted nature.
They can be collected / collated / combined and patterns can be recognised if any exist.

Performance of SPL VAR — world first?

Considered decision made using VA review / multiple angles / detailed analysis — and it was overturned by the old school review panel days later — the Scotch Botch is now world famous.



Yup. Not admitting there is an elephant in the cave is the problem. Its Step One init?


My final post ever….

Youse are all probably far too young to remember those days when as a wee boy, the groundsman used to leave the big corner gates on Janefield street open?

But I can.

A few of us used to sneak onto the train at Blairhill, jump off one door and back on another avoiding the ticket man until we got to Carntyne or Belgrove. We were maybe 6 years old at the time.

And then we’d make our way in to the empty stadium and……just sit there.

Not one of us had been to a game at this time; but our uncles and aunts, mammies and dads and a whole variety of important people like jannies, priests, teachers, polis, undertakers, meter-men, Provi man, ice cream men and rent-men talked incessantly about this magic called Celtic.

There was Tully, Fernie, Fallon, McStay, Evans, Peacock, Thompson, McGrory, Delaney, and myriad other giants clad in green and white hooped armour!

We just listened, learned, and stored it away for rainy housebound days when we relived the legendary exploits with an imaginary ball, on an imaginary pitch, in a real and all too inadequate bedroom. We would shoot into an imaginary goal, dive on the bed in a vain attempt to make a last ditch save, and then belt round all 6 ft of the shared bedroom silently screaming at the top of our open mouth, until we had to stop for breath and to prevent a burst blood vessel.

Get-togethers and parties were not complete without a rendition of the Coronation cup song, or my Uncle Peter’s favourite – Land Of The Pope and McGrory.

Day in, day out we had our own pre-internet blog where the conversations were posts, the descriptions were video links, the sun always shone when we won, the talk was short if we lost, but the crowds were huge, noisy and dedicated to the cause.

True or not? It didn’t really matter!

We had no telly, little radio, and no streaming. Only the waiting for the buses and trains to come back, the triumphant stride of singing witnesses to the latest heroic deeds, or the silent trudge of hunched pallbearers returning from the recent bereavement and interment of our hopes – for another week.

And so with the magic of our minds’ eyes when we stole into the ground, we just sat there, looked around this citadel, and closed our minds to the grim reality of a grey world. Suddenly the sights, smells, sounds, cheers, groans, passes, shots, saves and goals were as real as the day they had happened and for me and James, and Joseph, and Tommy it was as magical as we had imagined it would be.

Boy was that great!

Anyway I’m now in the winter of my years and such romantic nonsense can be cast to the four merciless winds.

We all know better now!

Don’t we?

A Whisper in Paradise

Your whisper enticing, as clouds leave the skies
Your warmth so inviting, is calling me home
I turn to avoid you, but you won’t let me roam,
Your heart pulls me closer to my Paradise

El Paradiso, yes our Holy Ground,
When life has deserted it’s there will be found
My ashes upon the green grass in bliss
A breeze soft caressing a heavenly kiss.

The days when you held me in your welcome arms
Those nights of great drama when we dared to dream
Of hopes and of pride in Celtic our team
No one can replace your spirit or charms!

El Paradiso, yes our Holy Ground,
When life has deserted it’s there will be found
My ashes upon the green grass in bliss
A breeze soft caressing a heavenly kiss.

A choir starts softly and starts to resound
Of Walfrid’s great passion to feed starving souls
Those seeds he sowed then have flourished in shoals
O’er St Patrick’s waters and St Andrews’s ground.

El Paradiso, yes our Holy Ground,
When life has deserted it’s there will be found
My ashes upon the green grass in bliss
A breeze soft caressing a heavenly kiss.

Big Jock is awaiting with Jinky to greet
With Bobby and Ronnie a welcoming smile
Till then I’ll just wait at this stage for a while
Where magic was conjured from mesmeric feet!

El Paradiso, yes our Holy Ground,
When life has deserted it’s there will be found
My ashes upon the green grass in bliss
A breeze soft caressing a heavenly kiss.

Enjoy life …enjoy Fitba…Enjoy Celtic…



The rugger is it ? Tartan blankets, drink in the stadium and Anne as patron ?
Vote Tory is it ?
Wee radio is a live feed


The allegory of the cave — interesting.
I much prefer the allegory of CQN — more in tune with West Central Scotland reality.

After reading Plato’s allegory on the cave I left CQN. 🙂



“My final post ever…”

Hope not,old son.

Mr G Southgate (its coming home)



Not even December but here’s the Christmas advert 🎅🧑‍🎄🎅🧑‍🎄


MadMitch @ 12.17

This is where you’re taking refuge?

The Jota video for sure, is recorded and archived but unseen like most reviews by followers of the game. Jota due for Government release when everybody is dead in 2099 unless it does a Zapruder .

There is a VAR pallor around Parkhead at home games, this comes from experience. Celtic supporters have seen enough in five games to know that these are not ‘teething issues’ .

Getting a Celtic supporter with a good word to say about referees never mind VAR is like getting the proverbial s@@@E from a rocking horse.


First class article.
Did you ever get a response from SFA to your email?

Mike in Toronto

2 days before the WC is to start, Qatari government do an about face, and say no alcohol will Be sold in WC stadiums. Wont be the last problem. They will not tolerate the behaviour of many football fans. Can see problems ahead.


SN @ 12.34

Egg chasing — where else was a fat bloke with bad eyesight going to get his sporting kicks from?
Along with the punches / stamps / gouges that came with it?

Regarding the Tory angle — you are a bit off the pace — at least regarding Scumberned’s legendary 4ths of the early 80’s.

My grounding in senior egg chasing was in the company of a card carrying Tankie who was a shop steward in the shipyards — always good for a chat regarding CIA influence in the yards of SK which was a military dictatorship at the time and which was causing issues regarding free and fair trade.

Plus two school teachers who wouldn’t hear a bad word said against the bold DC well before he fell out with TB / New Labour in 97/99.

Apart from that you are nearly half right.


Matt/Estadio 12.33

Afore ye go/Haste ye back

Well that brought back a memory of waiting until after gates were opened and nipping in to watch last 20+ minutes of a game.

It was in Tully, Evans and Peacock days and the time telescope in my head is at the limit of its range. I lived in the Calton near Glasgow Cross so it was a walk to Celtic Park.

One of the players at that time was Hugh Maxwell signed from Falkirk I think of whom big things were expected but he never lived up to those expectations and left.

Hugh liked a bet and was a regular punter in Kelly’s bookies just off Abercrombie St where my dad worked.

My dad told me that Hugh had told him he was sorry to leave but that Celtic had treated him with kindness during his time there and on leaving.

That left an imprint on me like a brand in my head that Celtic were a club who did the right thing. I suspect I’m not alone in that belief in respect of older supporters or younger ones with a dad like mine.

Time passes as you wrote and perceptions change and business needs have taken Celtic into murky seas where there be dragons and so doing the right thing in moral terms suffers and we all have to deal with that bruised perception in our own ways.

I’m either a hopeless romantic or an escapee from the time trap on a Tardis with an Infinite Patience engine and my hope is that doing the right thing has not gone

It has simply been parked somewhere in a Dr Who episode until the TimeNav has been recalibrate by events since the days of getting in for nuthin and doing the right thing will return.

Like the guy in the Guiness advert I sit and watch, and expect, that’s what I does.



I was born in Germany due to my Dad being in the Met Office and “seconded” there to assist the RAF. Quite a common thing apparently,if you were employed in that branch of the civil service. Sadly,it doesn’t mean that I am eligible for a German passport,as the hospital I was born in was officially classed as British territory.

Just like Qatar is Qatari territory,and not a FIFA enclave with westernised rules and values. Anyone stupid enough to head there for a month,despite the many warnings about the lack of accommodation,the outrageous expense of what there was,the lack of basic freedoms and a strict adherence to Islamic law deserves what they get. They are giving a rubber stamp to a corrupt decision by 22 men from over a decade ago,approved by a corrupt organisation in support of a corrupt country-yet one which guards its version of morals very highly.

Strangely enough,I expect MAGS to draw parallels with a decision made about the same time,but much nearer to home.

Big Audio Dynamite

Brigton —>Baltic street 🚶
Through hole in fence 🚷
Up railway embankment 🚂
Follow tracks along Kinnear rd 🚝🚞🚞🚞🚞=========🚶🚶
Over the wall at London rd 🏃
Run across car park 🏃🏃
Enter Paradise for the last 20mins of action ⚽⚽

Prestonpans bhoys

Good afternoon from the village of Mogan high up in the mountains , far away from the resort. Menu in Spanish, pigeon English service, so only have a rough idea what the six dishes are😵

However red wine is red wine in any language😂

Billy Bhoy


That’s a sleekit announcement from the Quataris! FFS they were awarded the WC twelve years ago and come out with this one the eve of the competition! FIFA are a shower of cowards!

The English, Germans, Belgians and Dutch will not take kindly to this at all and if its an attempt to limit fan behaviour it might backfire on the hosts!

Its just as well Scotland and Ireland didn’t qualify! 😂


That awkward moment

“ We won’t forget the people who were quick to dance on our grave. “

(Andy Kerr, president of Rangers Supporters Assembly, July 2012



The problem wouldn’t exist had Scotland and Ireland qualified. We would have drank the place dry by now.

A bit like our teenage party years,and asking where my kerry-oot was,only to be reminded that I’d tanked it on the way there.


BMCUW @ 2.04ish

That is cheating — they’ve got sticks.
Plus they have strips that match — we had the dregs / rags of the previous 10 years.
Missing a few vital ingredients — the restraining orders / the sending’s off / the court battles / the battles outside the court …

Apart from that it is a pretty good documentary of 4th team egg chasing.


Inspired by Estadio

The green white and how did that happen gold corporation bus dropped us at Beardmores via Shettleston then Parkhead for Celtic at home, once an iron foundry that helped mother Glasgow and the United Kingdom repel the other forces of darkness. An industrial Glasgow that gave birth to some lions, later of some Lisbon fame.

We used to walk up Duke St to Parkhead Cross in an age where you didn’t wear a jacket 10 months of the year, out-with sheer Glaswegian balticy conditions, it was a green Celtic knitted woollen garment dark bottle variation sometimes with gold hoops on the sleeve, or in summer with college neck’s of V? A Billy Connolly friction at the barbers, wrangler jeans, segs in your shoes, green and white ‘walk on’ scarf, and we were good to go.

One of the guys I went with moved down sarf’ escaping nae jaiket winters, but him and his boy still support Celtic, he’s Celtic crazy, born 400 miles away from Parkhead and is his fathers image. When we went on a Saturday, Parkhead was one step from the city biz, but had its own community thoroughfare. It was as good and better than London town, earthy and alive, and where you went to see the Celtic by birthright from every street in Glasgow.

Just another Celtic Saturday and always, always a Saturday up to Parkhead we passed there were women in a steady queue always, for that afternoon’s Granada experience all praying for a wee win, “ Look at that ” every week my down sarf mate would say ‘ bigger crowd at the bingo ’ he predicted. Arriving early on a Saturday by Janefield street he sometimes wasn’t far wrong. We’d progressed to the Jungle by that age, underneath the panoramic wee podium that housed Arthur or Archie in their second home, blasting a commentary that was fair, but bland.

Sheep we were, all Tims because you did what your big brother did, and got yourself along to paradise to see that team they call the Celtic, there was no such thing as herd immunity back then, it was Parkhead for you my bhoy . Pick your spot, any spot 18,000 proclaimed the Evening Times, only on a good day, for the visit of real sheep the crowd went up. If it was verse the old Rangers, all bets were off, normal arrangements were abandoned it wasn’t a match day experience, travel was restricted and public transport was avoided.

If ‘the cameras’ were there it was a weekend changing experience, fair made the day with the thrill of knowing you’d seen your team win and would see them again on television that same night, from the jungle you knew your voice was among one of the bhoys. Had there been a Christmas without a Celtic present, it wasn’t Christmas at all.

Mike in Toronto


Only reason FIFA might care is Budweiser has been their sponsor since 1986, and cant imagine Bud will be too happy about this.

But in the end, Budweiser will sue FIFA, FiFA will sue Qatar … Qatar will pay a billion or so … and think ‘we spend more than that for breakfast this morning, so who cares?…


I watched the documentary on FIFA on Netflix last night and was familiar with most of the characters from reading ” Foul:” by Andrew Jennings.

A shower of rogues led by a guy ( Blatter) who has convinced himself he was doing the right thing.

Reading the alcohol ban today it’s like the biter has been bitten. The universe keeps unfolding as it will and it ain’t whistling Dixie.

One for TLR. The FIFA documentary reminded me of a letter of May 2012 PL sent to SFA and copied to Infantino at UEFA.

This was an unknown until 2017 when it was revealed under correspondence Celtic had with SFA and I often wonder what Infantino advised Celtic as it never came up during any meetings on Res12.

Afternoon all.

Not surprised Qatar invoked a booze ban. Travelled abroad with Celtic quite a few times going back 40ish years and cannot recall ever being able to get an alcoholic drink at the stadium With Scotland at Italia 90 the cities the matches were played in – Genoa and Torino- the bars were banned from selling booze on match day. An order largely ignored by local bar owners mind you.

Pip! Pip!


Mike in Toronto

In response to Qatar’s last minute ban on selling alcohol at the stadiums, Budweiser reacted to the announcement by tweeting ‘well, this is awkward….’ before the tweet was deleted…



Re the booze ban,my Uncle Jim worked month on,month off in Abu Dhabi when it was introduced here. 1980? Anyway,strolling up to Easter Road one day with him and my Dad,I pointed out to him that he wouldn’t be allowed into the ground with his cargo-shared between the three of us,obviously! Which he poo-pooed,as they had always got the booze into the stadiums. In fact,I used to stand on their empties when I was a kid,just to get a better view!

Sure enough,spotted and told to bin it in the skip. My Uncle Jim had a better idea. For once,The Growler didn’t argue-he just opened the cans and his gullet and threw the empties into the skip! Not to be outdone,so did we.

Can’t remember which one of us had the half bottle,but it came in handy during the match.

After that,I looked forward to a match for the obvious reasons,but also as a two hour sobering up period. Which might not always have been successful.


In the long term, your hope of supporters of other clubs calling out the cheating, may come to fruition. In the short term, we are on our own. The referees will continue to cheat our club on a weekly basis, and allow our players to be booted off the park. Nicholson must come out and publicly call this out. Name names if necessary. Threaten legal action if necessary. Such a course of action may embarrass this mob into fairness.


Great post.


I just love posts, where special memories of following Celtic are shared. That was a great read.


Tis grand indeed to see you back.

Hail Hail.

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