I really used to love TalkSport you know.
I remember Christmas 2002, when I was stuck in student digs over the holiday period with a new computer, Command & Conquer Generals and TalkSport.
Everyone else on my floor had gone home for a fortnight. I was there on my jack jones, but I enjoyed much of that time.
The show has gone downhill since then, with people like yourself trying to carve themselves out celebrity careers.
We had our own Shock Jock up here for a wee while – Scotty McClue he called himself, the on-air persona of a guy named Colin Lamont. The difference is that his IQ is off the scale and he’s got a real devotion to creative endeavours.
A lot of his stuff was said to make a point.
Not sure I can say the same about you.
You come across as a troll mate.
Indeed, The Guardian called you exactly that once upon a time, after one of your self-aggrandising rants.
Do you believe half of what you say?
Like when you said Italy didn’t deserve their four World Cups and that the Arsenal team that finished a league season unbeaten was over-rated?
Man oh man, those aren’t opinions as much as attention seeking squealing.
That’s just if you ask me, of course.
Everyone’s entitled to their view.
You probably know why I’m writing this, coming, as it does, from what’s percieved to be a Celtic blog.
This won’t be the first time you’ve sparked a response from Celtic fans; on this you are, at least, consistent.
You’ve been talking utter pish about this club for a long time.
You’ve also talked some amount of garbage about the one across the city, and that’s where you and I are going to have a wee falling out, I think.
Because as smart as you are – as you clearly are – you’re also institutionally stupid to be stepping into the minefield you just did, writing the arrant nonsense that is running in Britain’s Favourite Brand of Toilet Paper today.
The thing is, normally I wouldn’t care what you wrote or said or where you chose to say it, because it’s pretty clear many of your “views” are so ridiculous they can’t be more than ratings chasing guff, and that’s alright as far as it goes.
But it’s not something I particularly want to listen to, so I don’t.
As a consequence, I’m not phoning your show and giving it even one hit.
I’m not posting this where the article was run, doing your paymasters a service they don’t deserve for commissioning this crap.
I’m putting it here, where I’m sure it’ll find its way to you somehow … you can give me the hits, and let our guys post replies that don’t line your pocket.
I’m not out to make a name though, or create controversy.
I just want to set you, and the record, straight and tackle not only some of the more fanciful (i.e. ludicrous) parts of what you wrote … but to correct the more dangerous bits.
Oh yes, dangerous bits.
See, nothing better demonstrates how stupid this intervention was than the way in which it promotes certain myths that Scottish football is better off without.
There’s just no way I was letting you away with that.
Let’s start from the top shall we?
First, you’ve mentioned how “embarrassing” it was for us to crash out of the Champions League before the Groups.
I don’t know, maybe it’s just me who thinks that a guy who’s bread and butter job is commenting on the most over-hyped league in the world talking about European football embarrassment is a bit rich.
Two EPL clubs, for all that hype, for all that wealth, for all the spending, are already out of Europe altogether.
The ease with which the top clubs are routinely beaten by the Barcelona’s, Real Madrid’s and Bayern Munich’s of this world should shock you and be cause for taking stock. Instead, you’re writing about the SPL.
The record of the Premiership collective last season was horrific … just horrific when you consider the status of that league.
For all the dough sloshing around, for all the over-paid foreign players (oh yes, the one profession where all of England is united in embracing the immigrant) those clubs can field … they’re just not at the races.
We’re a Scottish club, with a Scottish club’s budget.
Where should we be aiming to get? Quarter finals? The semis? Please ….
That said, I won’t hide behind that.
We were well capable of beating Malmo and we should have done.
We’re a better team than Malmo.
But there are things going on at Celtic right now which few of us are qualified to properly understand, not being there on a daily basis.
Is it a problem with the manager and his tactics?
Is it an issue with just not having the right type of players to fit into his system?
That could be it too.
But stop kidding yourself on that you can jolt us with your inspired realisation that we’re not a Champions League team right now.
Most of us sussed that out a while back.
I smiled reading those lines just the same, because in them you wistfully (sarcastically) looked back on our Champions League run of just three years ago, as many of us do.
You have rightly called it a memorable and wonderful night, but if you were there on that evening you must have been eating a whole cement mixer of humble pie (I’ve had to do it myself during the last few weeks) as Tony Watt put the ball in the back of the net.
Cause only a year before you’d said Neil Lennon was a failure.
Yeah … it’s those “expert opinions” that keep the punters coming back for more.
Your next assertion is completely facetious.
That somehow our decline as a club is due to the absence of a great domestic rival.
That’s one of the areas where I’m having trouble with your content, although you do get partial points for stating (at that point) what happened to that rival … “sunk into liquidation before resurfacing in the Third Division.”
(I hear that you actually changed the article to read that, having previously wrote that they had been “demoted.” Someone, it seems, has already been setting you straight on the facts.)
So liquidation, yes, but I’ll correct you on the “resurfacing” bit.
That still sort of suggests that it was the same entity which appeared overnight like a particularly virulent form of the runs.
Here in Scotland neutrals call them Sevco; the name under which the new club was formed.
If you’re going to wrie about this stuff it’s best to have your facts right.
You then describe our policy as being about “weakening the other Scottish sides” to assure our claim on the SPL title.
First up, what would it matter if we hadn’t?
What if we’d left Mackay Steven, Armstrong, Christie and others with their respective clubs?
Would they have suddenly attainted superpower status and pushed us all the way?
You said only one club was “capable” of doing that … and it wasn’t one from the north of Scotland or the East coast.
So, I’m a little baffled as to what you’re suggesting.
If these clubs were already much weaker than ours, it seems a bizarre strategy to spend our resources just to weaken them further.
Is that the business we’re in?
Playing schoolyard games?
Should big clubs no longer sign domestic based players?
Is it an embarrassment when clubs in your own league do the same thing?
Maybe you missed Chelsea’s summer pursuit of John Stones. Or the way Man City splashed out on Raheem Sterling from Liverpool. Or Manchester United going and getting Morgan Schneiderlin from Southampton. These signings make three of the top four stronger at the expense of other clubs in England. Do you think that was the over-riding factor in those deals?
Does that make the EPL an embarrasment?
Your point is sheer nonsense.
You then launch into a gushing praise of Sevco and their new manager.
Dear oh dear, what were you drinking when you wrote this?
You do realise that their great start to the season – the one the media up here is hyping like it’s Arsenal on their famous unbeaten run (the one you don’t rate) … was achieved by a team playing part-time players for the most part?
A team with a wage budget some 20 times bigger than any other side in the league?
Your praise of James Tavernier as a “sensationally good player” is hilarious as it only makes sense to those who’re unaware that he’s had eight clubs in four years and is plying in his trade now in a league which is even less prestigious, or likely to produce an European class team, than the one the first half of your article makes out to be a joke.
The Ibrox club is only doing this year what a club with those resources should have been doing from the start.
This is all very nice, as far it goes … but it doesn’t go very far.
You mentioned their “winning mentality”, which again I find kind of unusual in an article which is hypercritical of a perceived failure at Celtic Park.
Do you know what our record is this season?
In terms of matches played, and wins?
We’ve lost once … to Malmo.
We’ve drawn two fixtures, including one of our European ties.
We’ve won the rest.
Five wins in the league. Four in Europe, for nine in total, against full time teams, with resources and means.
But I guess there’s no “winning mentality” to be had in doing that.
That was where your article lurched from being slightly daft to be plain barmy.
It’s the next bit that prompted me to write this article.
“Celtic will face a Rangers side with momentum, angry and fired up for revenge for what that club and its fans have been through …”
First, let’s get this straight; what that club has “been through” is purely a consequence of stupidity.
That of its own supporters in believing a rogues gallery of people taking them for a ride – in spite of warnings from a whole lot of websites and blogs, including this one; check the archives if you think I’m kidding – and third rate hacks like you, writing baseless, fantasy-land nonsense about how the future was going to be glorious and bright.
Maybe I’ve read this wrong, but having started out with the truth about their liquidation you seem awfully close to embracing the paranoid “Victim Myth” that is so prevalent amongst their supporters, and which even now won’t let them enjoy the sunshine of the present day but has them thinking about crap like “revenge.”
Revenge for exactly what?
Your radio station seems awfully keen to embrace the nut-job reality presented it, and your listeners, by hacks like Keith Jackson, who I’ve heard on there pushing this nonsense like a drug.
Some of you ought to know better than to listen to a discredited joke like him, but clearly there’s something slipping past you, so I’ll fill you in.
If you think the standard of our football is bad up here, you ought to take a moment and check out the standard of the journalism. It makes you and the other contributors at The Mail like look Woodward and Bernstein.
It was this media, asleep at the wheel or too craven or in the pockets of the Ibrox club to speak out, who sold the fans on “Motherwell born billionaire” (a quote from Mr Jackson himself) Craig Whyte when he bought Rangers from then owner David Murray for £1.
A quid Adrian.
For “the second biggest Scottish institution after the church.”
(Murray’s own words that time, which no-one in our media even thought to argue with.)
Money that if you dropped it you wouldn’t even bother to bend down to pick it up again.
That club was so scandalously run and financially doped to the gills that it had, effectively, been cheating the rest of Scottish football for years, buying players it couldn’t afford due to the largesse of a bank that nearly collapsed entirely and is still the subject of one of the largest corporate fraud investigations ever launched in the UK.
Although their squad was made up of expensive footballers, in August 2011, shortly after you’d criticised Neil Lennon for failure (at a time, when our rival club was alive and well and we had the challenger you claim is necessary to give our success validity; in retrospect you just sound like a guy who doesn’t like Celtic very much) they were beaten twice in successive European competitions – ironically by Malmo first, and then by Maribor.
With no bank funding to bail them out, and no sugar daddy to take them forward, they collapsed because of their rampant debts and shortly thereafter they were gone.
No-one harassed them to the grave.
No-one was vindictive or punitive.
HMRC refused a CVA because of outstanding tax bills and a pending legal case (as is their stated policy, and which only came as a seismic shock to Rangers supporters because the media had spent months telling the fans that it wouldn’t happen) and when no-one came forward to take on the debts and assume responsibility for saving them liquidation followed.
As it had at Gretna, at Airdrie and at a host of other clubs around the world.
Sevco, which arose from the wreckage, a new entity entirely and which had to be granted a temporary SFA license to play its first game (unparalleled before or since) then made a cheeky effort to assume Rangers’ former place in the top flight, and for a while the authorities had been willing to go right along with that until supporters lobbied their clubs for fairness and sporting integrity to have its day.
In short, Sevco started life where all new clubs do – at the bottom – and even then the rules were actually bent in their favour as the whole club licensing and membership application process was turned upside down to get them into the league setup as fast as possible.
What the Victim Myth does is promotes an unhealthy concept, one of some great crime against Rangers and its fans.
It never happened.
I call it a myth because it has gained some kind of following, and people believe it.
But in point of fact, what we’re dealing with, what we’re really dealing with here, is a media and PR firm inspired lie, designed to give the new club some historical and psychological grounding with mug punters who would only buy season tickets if they believed they were following the same team.
We call that The Survival Myth and with The Victim Myth it makes a noxious combination which has the potential to do enormous harm to the Scottish game, above and beyond that which its governing bodies and the press actually did in 2012 when they tried to put Sevco in the top flight.
You know something about Lennon, I’d presume. You know what he went through up here.
You know there’s a lunatic element on the margins that thrives on this victimhood crap.
And you’re giving them legitimacy.
Will you take responsibility if they act on that?
I suspect not.
Like the hacks up here who do the same, I have a sneaky feeling that down deep you’re actually gutless.
You’re all too ready to stir the soup but you’d run – not walk – away from pot the second it started to bubble.
I expect this from the Scottish press, which has its own historical leanings and other reasons for wanting to push these ideas.
But from a journalist based down south, this reeks of laziness and bad research, that and listening to all the wrong people.
Some of us do know the limitations of the current Celtic side, and the running of the club, and we’ve been writing about it and not just in relation to one bad result.
Some of us know what actually went on at Ibrox, and were trying to warn our rival fans – yes, warn them, as odd as that might sound to you – about the people they and the hacks were embracing as saviours long before the wheels fell off for them.
Some of us do care about Scottish football, and see it as more than just a two club game and don’t particularly relish the prospect of seeing a duopoly again.
Furthermore, and I speak for a lot of fans here, I think that you and Jackson and the rest sound like arrogant arses when you blithely dismiss Aberdeen, Dundee Utd, Hearts and others from having any say in whether or not that will establish itself.
What you characterise as a “worthless” three years has seen St Johnstone and Inverness both win the Scottish Cup. It has seen St Mirren and Aberdeen triumph in the League Cup. Aberdeen and Motherwell had finished in the top three twice apiece, and St Johnstone and Inverness once each. Attendances have gone up at almost every top flight club.
Tell their supporters that the last three years have been “worthless.”
You really don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.
Finally, you’ve suggested that Celtic fans be somehow worried about the makeshift sides of Championship players and loanees which is currently beating part time teams in Scotland’s second tier.
Believe me when I say we’re not.
We’re more aware than you clearly are about the underlying flaws in the Ibrox superstructure.
Some of us have spent years looking into this.
We also know that Chairman Dave – Dodgy Dave King – doesn’t have the wealth to back up his grandiose claims, those on which you and others are basing this notion of them as a superpower.
Rangers was a club built on debt. That’s all.
Today banks and investors are much less tolerant of throwing good money after bad.
Why do you think my own club hasn’t come close to breaking its own transfer record – of £6 million – since we signed Chris Sutton fifteen years ago? Whatever else I might say about them, our board has some appreciation for how insane it would be to chase unicorns, and without that kind of spending Sevco is going to find us awfully hard to catch,
Maybe you know all of this. Maybe your article is just click-bait.
Or maybe you really are as ill-informed and stupid as it appears to suggest.
Either way, the radio is probably the best place for you.
I would say stick to what you’re good at … although it’s becoming increasingly difficult to remember just what that is.
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