What Are We Going To Do About Maria?


The news broke on Monday about a couple of charges being laid against Manchester City,this time not by UEFA who are subject to their own rules,but by the EPL/FA. If you remember,UEFA hammered them,but Man City took them through the Court of Administration for Sport. 

City had a watertight defence against the most serious charges,the main one being the one that counted. That they were time-barred by UEFA’s own rules,and therefore the CAS had no right to even hold the case in the first place. 

Perfectly true,of course. That’s what them Philadelphia lawyers are for,after all.

So after fifteen years of the club running rings around the articles of faith disguised as Financial Fair Play Regulation,and nobody being able to lay a glove on them,FA/EPL realised that…

“Something must be done!”

Imagine the conversations at that level. We need to stop this but how? Erm,none of our members are allowed to appeal to the CAS. Well,starter for ten then. What do we look into? Everything from when the Gulf State took over. Not time-barred? Nope,we’ve got our rules and they have theirs 

“Magic,throw the book at them,hit them with everything,get enough to stick. Then we can do them.”

The problem is,when you throw over 100 charges at a club,there isn’t really much chance of them being found not guilty on aall of them. Some will stick. Even minor technicalities,if necessary. And the penalties for each are clearly laid out. And if you decide to take on the biggest club in the country-(caveat,by income and not tradition)-you better know what you are doing. 

We can all draw comparisons as Celtic supporters to the subterfuge and downright lies of the Murray years,the likes of Goram pleading to a court that his fine should be judged on his (documented) £1000 pw. Or Ibrox being valued on the books at £120m. Etc,etc,etc. But I don’t think the case down here is comparable. 

Rangers got done by HMRC. NONE,I’ll repeat that,NONE of their other creditors ever felt confident enough to take them to court,ask for a winding up order as is their right. Probably valued their windows more than the fifty quid bill. And when HMRC turned upon their doorstep,you’ll remember how much coverage it got in SMSM. If you don’t,it was a lot less than the hearse and coffin being delivered to Kerrydale Street.

But that’s by the by,it certainly is not about them. Protected by the 5WA,Sky and the SMSM. Who have barely mentioned post-liquidation apart from promoting going for 55 
Oops what if someone draws comparisons here?

Going For The One is an excellent Yes album from the mid-70s. Just saying. 

Down south,the sports pages are full of it. It’s the main topic of discussion in the pubs. It’s everywhere. 

“Do you reckon they can do Man City?”

“I think they have every intention.”

“Lose titles?”

“Over 100 charges,they want something to stick.”

The establishment club in Italy,Juventus,were relegated when they won the league fifteen years ago. Titles stripped. The Italian Federation knew they were up to no good,but had difficulties proving it. Not surprisingly,it was to do with referees. 

Unlike here,they weren’t members of certain little social clubs-though they certainly exist there,after all it was the only trade where a man was “free” to practice his trade after he had qualified. Licensed by The Pope to build the churches and cathedrals that we admire today. Not that much of a secret society that they didn’t eventually know how to use a burner phone sending text messages. 

Barcelona are getting hammered by the local version of FFP,even to the extent of not being allowed to extend the contracts of players who have been with them for years. And I’m not just talking about Messi,with his alleged £200m a year contract,I mean a kid on £20k being bumped up to double that. 

Look at Spurs,over a billion to build an admittedly wonderful stadium. I must go there,the last time was about 1993. I tried the year before,but my sister took my ticket and the day did not end well due to being poisoned by Marksman lager. 

Or Arsenal,who wrote off their ambitions while looking at the big picture. And a big stadium for the future 

Or Chelsea…

And this is where I think the FA/EPL might struggle,where Man City might find that defence that holes the lot below the waterline. Having read through the legal stuff presented to the press,having read through their own interpretation of it,I think the biggest charge-in purely football regulation terms-is how Mancini was paid while he was manager. 

If you’re a Sovereign Oil State,money is no object. If you decide on the best manager that money can buy,go get him. But…

If he wants more than the rules say,how do you deal with that? Simple,a wee handshake,here’s the deal,fuxake we’re an oil state. No need for side letters,etc.

Chelsea,though? When Abramovich bought them twenty years ago,he was basically getting out of dodge. And he genuinely loved his time there. It kept him alive,high profile and difficult even for Putin to get near. Cost him over £2bn all told right enough,but if I had that money and an extra quid,I would have happily done the same. 

Early days,he would go into the dressing room to congratulate the players-via a translator-and they would all cheer him. Followed by Makalele,Drogba and Terry shouting

Great win,more bonuses!!!

Do you see where I’m coming from here? I’m not an expert on anything,but if the rules haven’t changed and no sanctions were applied earlier,the FA/EPL might struggle to make that stick. An owner chucking the occasional tenner to a camel-coated manager at a motorway service station might have been accepted practice in the 70s. Strictly off the books,just like the Chelsea players with their extra bonuses. 

Nobody thought they were breaking any rule,they were just taking advantage of a rich and starstruck man. 

There has never been accepted practice about extra-curricular bonuses. As far as I know. Get a joiner round to your house,bung him a few quid  for a job well done after the fully documented receipt,he did well-is the liability for tax and other liabilities any of your concern? Is any tip or gratuity your problem?

Prove it. I know it and you know it. Tell me what your case is built on,I’ll just turn round and say-precedents have been found not in breach,every single one. A hundred or a thousand,doesn’t matter. Not if we win every one. 

Which they will.

The FA/EPL are all in on this. All of European football is backing them. But they haven’t got a hope in hell of delivering much more than a slap on the wrists.

Above article by BMCUWP

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Jobo Baldie
February 9, 2023 8:52 am

Good morning, friends.
A really interesting lead article Bobby even if it did take me a full bowl of cornflakes to read! Precedents can work both ways though. Yes, there’s an argument that long standing practices can be hard to change. Equally, if one so called giant was to fall there could be a domino effect.
An interesting development for me has been seeing my own social media timelines becoming full again with all things Sevco. Some brilliant history lessons on Twitter from Rangers Tax Case amongst others.

Angel Gabriel
February 9, 2023 9:37 am

Excellent article , with some very valid points Bob . Where’s there’s barrow loads of cash there’s always corruption, check what cuts the agents take .
There’s former managers that when giving memoirs or a funny story on Talk Shite Radio , actually confirm the corruption.
Loose lips sink ships .
It’s going to be an entertaining watch . Pep says he’ll walk if they haven’t been honest with him .

Citey , haven’t co-operated with the league for years regards sharing documentation, and have given zero transparency.
What are they hiding ? Is Pep squeaky clean ?
It’s going to be a fun watch. Nothing lasts forever.

Last but not least from the article .
Marksman Lager , ole pal ??? What the actual ####

What possessed ye ;-)))

February 9, 2023 9:47 am

Great piece. For all their chicanery, Guardiola’s influence on how teams play football should not be forgotten. Centre backs six yards from the keeper taking the ball, keepers as footballers, inverted full backs, false, false nines, archetypal nines. Some of these are not new and having ( buying) the quality of players to make it work makes a difference but I recently watched a fourth year school team try to implement this style of playing.
When Ange goes eventually, I’ll take Pep please !

Billy Bhoy
February 9, 2023 10:55 am

Interesting viewpoint Bobby.

I’d have thought that the FA would ensure that they have all their ducks in a row for this one, particularly given that Citeh managed to give UEFA a bloody nose when they tried to deal with them. They surely couldn’t risk a repeat of that? However, the points you’ve made have given me food for thought.

BTW who is Maria? 🤔

Awe Naw
February 9, 2023 11:09 am

I see the PSG owners want to buy Man United. To do so UEFA will have to change their rules. They will of course. It’s that simple

February 9, 2023 11:31 am

Morning all,

Excellent article Bobby 👏👏👏

You mentioned Marksman Lager in your article.

That’s a new one for me.

I remember the bad old days drinking

Norseman . All lager and absolutely shite !!!!!!

Still memories 😜😜😜

HH 🍀🍀🍀

February 9, 2023 12:01 pm


It was a hunner times worse than that,believe me! But it was the only lager available in the pub I’d arranged to meet my sister at after the game. It did have one advantage-it didn’t stay down for long. I think it lasted as far as Victoria station on the way home. Not my best memory,but unforgettable in its own way.

February 9, 2023 12:48 pm


If they go down — who would notice?
The EPL have been very good at regeneration.
Bringing new blood to the chase / top half of the league.

Just a case that the winners over the 30 years have been a pretty small group.

Blackburn / Leicester / L/pool — one hit wonders.
ManU / the Erse historically plus Chelsea / MC aka City recently — have been the big winners over that timeframe.

Plenty of other teams would welcome one less rival for the title.
MC have few friends and the schadenfreude will be off the scale if they lose titles.
Plus the EPL knows that if the title becomes a procession they will lose local interest.

Four titles in the last 5 years is not good for business.
And business is all that the EPL understands.

The only question now is when will the Erse Hibs it?
A ManU win would be just what the EPL doctor ordered.

February 9, 2023 12:53 pm

Crap beers …

Breaker Malt Liquor.
Anything from Alloa’s it took hard work to produce that much tripe..
McEwan’s Lager — the pain that caused our friends in Govan was heaven sent in the 90’s
Split the support into the diehard mentalists who drank it and the nearly sane who didn’t.
You can guess what constituted the majority?

The Real McCoy
February 9, 2023 1:10 pm

Ooooft . Bad Lager 😱
At least it came out UP 🤮 the way.
Experience teaches me. Only had a couple🍺,🍺Why do I feel uncomfortable?
Queasy,sweats, cramps.
Rumbling, Oh ffs 🏃🏻‍♂️.
Toilet 🚽 if you’re lucky.
🤮🤮 💩 💩.
Right . Enough of that McCoy. People at their lunch 🥪 😂
We’ve all tried and tested various lagers over the years. Some good, some average and some that should stay unmentioned.
Got to say can’t recall Marksman.
Then there’s the impecunious years of trying supermarket own brand pishwater .
ABV 2% ffs. Old saying was ‘ ye would droon afore ye got pished’ 😂
Supermarket beer—


Enjoy lunch Bhoys

HH 💚🍀

Angel Gabriel
February 9, 2023 1:19 pm

BMCUWP. 12.01
If that’s the only lager they sold , it wasn’t a pub , you were in ! ! ;-)))

Btw , I admire your honesty in owning up to drinking a lager that I’ve never heard of . Thumbs up .

Leggy. Skol Lager. True tale , big New Years night party, in a big council house belonging to a family I’m very friendly with. Probably 1982 / 83 , maybe 84 . House is always heaving, always a top night .
Pals wee sister comes in with new boyfriend. We’ve heard he’s into amateur drama. He’s sings like he’s in the opera . He’s christened the pirate king.

He fails his 1st test. Hands his carry oot to my pal who opens the bag and says to him , yer having a laugh , then launched the bag , with cans, oot the back door.
Then says , who the f##c brings 6 cans of Skol to an all night party ? The pirate king then sheepishly retreats to the living room.

Fast forward 10 hours later . The pal who launched the cans of Skoll is crawling around in the dark, trying to find any cans of Skol that’s buried in the 6 inches of snow that’s fallen in the previous hours.

Despite nearly getting frostbite, a huge roar went up when he found a couple . Pish lager or not, they’re better than he haw . Bonus being , nice and cold .
Every cloud . HH

February 9, 2023 1:28 pm


They’d need to be freezing,you’d need to be blootert,to drink Skol.

Can’t believe it is still on sale.

Btw,worst lager I ever tasted was Young’s London Lager. Aye,even worse than Marksman.

Jobo Baldie
February 9, 2023 1:46 pm

Early nineties, 3 weans under 4 and one wage meant it was Safay’s own brand Eiger Lager for me. I still remember that a 4 pack cost 99p.
Angel Gabriel,that was a brilliant story and fits in with Leggys from a while back concerning g whether you drink the good stuff first or last. Anyway, I have my own personal story involving secret drinking, “something I ate”, heavy snowfalls and getting caught eventually. But it’ll need to wait till later, busy, busy….

February 9, 2023 2:00 pm

This may be an urban legend. Maybe some elderly bevvy merchant on here can confirm or rebut?
Wasn’t there a lager marketed years ago called Falcon Lager?
Which resulted in seriously pished said bevvy merchants asking for “Four pints o’ that Falcon Lager.”?
Which gravitated after a few pints to “Geez 4 pints o’ that Facking Lager”.
Which resulted in landlords and advertisers requesting a name change?
Which resulted in Kestrel Lager?
Fact, or fiction?

Craig 76
February 9, 2023 2:13 pm

Skol Skol Skol skol


February 9, 2023 2:21 pm

Angel Gabriel,

Great story but as you say, when yir pished you drink anything 😜😜

And I always said to Jobo, you drink the good stuff first, and move on to the dregs later.

He disagreed and drank the shite first and would look forward to the good stuff after that.

Strange man, but I’d be interested to hear anyone else’s thoughts on the matter.

Anyone remember Kestrel Super Lager ????

It was total crap but blew your head off 😜

February 9, 2023 2:22 pm


Brilliant 👏👏👏👏

February 9, 2023 2:37 pm


When reading through a BBC report the phrase ” fair presentation” of accounts caught my eye but do you recall seeing it?

I’m wondering in which part of fair presentation were Man City delinquent and in what way?

On escaping sanctions under UEFA rules on an “out of time ” basis, this came up as part of Res12 as reason for UEFA not to dig and there was a discussion on when the Res12 clock started ticking and who was responsible for delays

The clincher was that under UEFA’s Statute of Limitations there was no limit on acts of fraud which was shown to have taken in the Res12 case once evidence to that effect turned up in 2018.

Is there any chance that what Man City did crossed the border between football law and criminal law in England or was there no sign that no other club or clubs lost finance by Man City taken up a CL place that would have reverberated down the qualifying chain to the club next in line for a place?

The Real McCoy
February 9, 2023 2:38 pm

Iniquitous 👋🏻.
Had a quick google.
Seems like Falcon is originally Swedish. Subsequently taken over by Carlsberg .
Kestrel seems to be Scottish from Glasgow 😱
Feckin Sheep-dip 😂


P.S. Drink the good stuff first.
Guzzle the pishwater later 👍🏻

HH 💚🍀

Addendum: just seen a picture of Kestrel Lager made by Younger’s .
Another quick look sees Younger’s ( Alloa ?) become , with McEwan’s , Scottish Brewers, then Scottish & Newcastle, then Heineken , and so on .

February 9, 2023 3:08 pm

The Real McCoy
Thank you. The urban legend probably emerged because Kestrel seemed to appear about the same time Falcon disappeared. I couldn’t abide either of them.

February 9, 2023 3:44 pm


Talk of lagers of yore, I recall being a guinea pig for various Clackmannanshire produce back in my mid to late teens. My dad had a professional connection with Ind Coope and S & N and would be given samples of new lines they were introducing. So if the women were out and there was rugby, golf or boxing on the box and he was enjoying bottled Guinness with a malt chaser I’d be fobbed off , on the grounds of Market Research with Kestrel, Skol and other abomibations like Jaguar which I think we eventually used to try and poison next door’s dug. There were also beers with Germanic sounding names ( as well as Holsten Pils which was being brewed under license) that would have failed all of Deutschland’s purity laws.

Happy days


February 9, 2023 4:04 pm

Burt Bacharach 🎹🎵 RIP

February 9, 2023 4:32 pm

Lager discussion — wimps the lot of you …

What about Harvey’s / Bertola Cream / Lanliq / Eldorado aka electric soup.
All the rage before the monks of Devon got their act together and introduced the cricket bat and the green trumpet.

The 70’s were a bit mental — thank heavens I was well underage.


Prestonpans bhoys
February 9, 2023 4:50 pm


I think most of those lagers were 4% or below, shockingly low, if it’s under 5% not for me.

Same idea for red wine, if its under 13% put it in beef Bourguignon 😶 then have a proper glass of 🍷with it.

The Real McCoy
February 9, 2023 4:54 pm

MM , too young? Aye right.
Anyway it wiz a hauf boatle
ay Four Crown 👑 👑👑👑 and a hauf boatle ay Scotsmac afore goin tae the pub .
Cocktails 🍹 anyone. Pip Pip 😂

February 9, 2023 4:55 pm


Jaguar? Nononono,don’t go there!


El-D,Four Crown,Bulls Blood,etc. For the discerning alkie before the advent of super lagers.

big packy
February 9, 2023 5:08 pm

AFTERNOON ALL /EVENING JIMTHETIM53, talking about lagers remember getting pissed out of my mind in benidorm circa 1985/#86 wee joan was drinking Bacardi and i was drinking feckin anything, think it was the equivelant of Spanish special brew 🤩🤩 woke up in the bath, but wee joan was not with me🤩 another true story.LOL.

Cosy Corner Bhoy
February 9, 2023 5:16 pm

Now here’s a thing… Just found out that I came out the hat for a ticket for the final which I had to buy by 3/2/23…. The only thing is they’ve never had my email address as I’m hopeless and depend on Paddy’s Maw and ATOB for these things
They’ve now admitted they didn’t/couldn’t tell me but no tickets left following second ballot! Will be sorted by next time!!
Also found POTY was going to space when I got an acknowledgment on Sunday game.
Me and emails no bosom buddies😩

bada Bing 1
February 9, 2023 5:21 pm

Never too earlt for a Fusilier….

February 9, 2023 5:59 pm

“What about Harvey’s / Bertola Cream / Lanliq / Eldorado aka electric soup?”
You forgot Four Crown.
I remember being invited to a cheese and wine party circa 1966. My mate brought Lanliq and Gorgonzola!

February 9, 2023 6:05 pm

Mid 70’s,

Standing in queue at Celtic Park, half bottle of Old England and can of Tennants Lager, in the back pocket, both purchased for a pound 👍

Only problem, we’re in the Boys Gate queue and trying not to get rumbled.

All in the mid to late 70’s !!!!

99% of times we made it in, which is not a bad average !!!!

That pesky 1980 Cup Final has a lot to answer for😜

Before anyone asks, I was at that game, but not on the pitch !!!!!

ArmageddonCSC. 🍀🍀🍀

February 9, 2023 6:10 pm


Aye,it’s five o’clock somewhere!

When I lived in Irvine for a bit,I was on 12 hour shifts,7 till 7. There was a pub on the bus route home,opened 7am till 10am before reopening at 11am. The licence extension was meant for shift workers,but I’m sure I was the only one in there.

Mind you,it was a dive!

big packy
February 9, 2023 6:46 pm

FFS who mentioned lanliq, drunk them all in glenboig,. lanliq, el dorado, buckfast, and that was before we got on the muirhead celtic supporters bus to parkhead,,another true story.hh

February 9, 2023 6:57 pm


I had a mouthful of Buckfast about twenty years ago. Spat it straight out,it was bloody vile.

big packy
February 9, 2023 7:06 pm

BOBBY you dont know what you missed🤩 ask SOL he put me onto buckfast,,another true story🤩

The king TAL🍀🍀
February 9, 2023 7:10 pm

Buckfsst nectar of the gods.lovely 🍀🍀

The king TAL🍀🍀
February 9, 2023 7:10 pm

Buckfast sorry 😂😂

big packy
February 9, 2023 7:27 pm

THE,KING TAL hi ;pal, you know a great drink when you swallow it🤩🤩 another true story.hh

February 9, 2023 7:50 pm
February 9, 2023 7:53 pm


Coatbridge born and bred, superb.

Off the gantry, ‘a bin’ please, a double, double of Torquay’s finest. 🙂

February 9, 2023 7:55 pm

The one legged monk use to make the half bottle. 🙂

February 9, 2023 7:59 pm


Was it the legless one who dealt with the empties?

February 9, 2023 8:06 pm


Me after a ‘mini hoot’ with the usual culprits, 😉


The king TAL🍀🍀
February 9, 2023 8:25 pm

Double bin way ice please 🍀

big packy
February 9, 2023 8:47 pm

Friday night in glenboig get an empty pint glass, pour in some lanliq then some eldorado.then some buckfast ,top it up with some Guinness, talk about the lost weekend 🤩🤩,another true story.hh,

February 9, 2023 8:48 pm

The best ‘square go’ ever.


February 9, 2023 8:48 pm


I can just imagine! The Scottish version of Sleepless in Seattle-Legless in The Lauriston.

February 9, 2023 9:00 pm


Mixing grape and grain? Tsk,tsk.

big packy
February 9, 2023 9:02 pm

BOBBY, its good while it lasts🤩🤩