Salt ‘n’ Sauce ‘n’ Sour Grapes

annbudgehearts_1959821aA lot of Celtic fans were left scratching their heads after Hearts owner Ann Budge took an almighty swipe at them, levelling all sorts of accusations whilst mildly castigating her own fans.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned eh? Would you like some sour grapes with your salt ‘n’ sauce.

You never happened to lose a game and have your captain sent off Ann, did you?

The situation stinks of sour grapes. Her team was soundly beaten on the pitch and they felt aggrieved at Willie Collum’s inept performance.

Gomis was rightly sent off for his rash tackle on Scott Brown. If he had caught him properly it could have ended the Celtic captain’s career. An apology would have been nice. Too much to hope for I guess.

The “penalty” was never a penalty. Guidetti slipped which was wholly evident and did not claim. Collum somehow pointed to the spot. Never look a gift horse and all that, no matter what the greeting face of Neil McCann might have to say about it. For the second time this season he’s levelled diving accussations at a Celtic player and called for a discipline panel.

I wonder if there’s a discipline panel looking into his own behaviour, at Stranraer the day before?

When are Celtic going to have a wee word with his bosses, and let them know he’ll not be allowed back in the ground if he keeps it up?

As expected, the Hearts manager was less than pleased about the decision. Robbie Neilson’s bottom lip had been like a doo’s landing all week. He’s publicly called out Collum in the media, who have been only too happy to wield the stick for him. Perhaps he got the Ally McCoist DVD on Public Relations Skills. He ought to watch out, though. He’s done a brilliant job up until now, but this one could backfire. The refs could well close ranks on Hearts. God knows they won’t need an excuse to with Sevco floundering.

It’s a bad move for the young manager, who’s going to need plenty of goodwill before this season ends.

I didn’t hear Neilson complain about Commons’ goal being disallowed. Wonder why?

But back to his esteemed leader.

Budge, to be fair, has made one heck of a contribution to the Scottish game, at a time when we’re having this “Sevco needs to survive for the good of the game” nonsense. She saved Hearts bacon and released them from the clutches of Romanov, who’d run the Edinburgh club into the ground.

She has started the rebuilding, and they are making good progress and could win the Championship at their first attempt. They also did what Sevco was unwilling even to try. They bit the bullet and went with a mixture of youth and experience; something it’s now too late for other clubs in their position to learn from, even if they were capable of doing so.

Budge was “appalled” at vandalism she says “caused the destruction of close to 100 seats” at Tynecastle, plus “disgraceful” acts of graffiti.

No right minded football fan would condone this, but damage to seats, and graffiti, is commonplace and clubs tend to bill each other for the costs and do so privately. Why did Budge feel the need to publicly bleat about this? Was it an attempt to take the heat off Hearts and Neilson? Is she trying to make a name for herself in Scottish football?

She should save it. We’ve had all this “A big boy did it and ran away” nonsense already in the game, from the likes of Green, and the fixture is already being overblown by the media as a powderkeg. She doesn’t need to fan the flames of that.

See, I’ve got to laugh at her complaint of “intimidation” of Hearts fans and staff, with some young fans being “traumatised”.

Jesus Wept. Has she walked down Gorgie Road pre and post-match with Celtic colours on?

I’ve been to Tynecastle on several occasions and have witnessed running battles. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve been called a “fenian bastard” too. In what way were the young fans traumatised? I’d advise they never attend an Edinburgh derby.

As a parent, I would never take my kid to a Hearts v Celtic match at Tynecastle – it’s become too posionous, and, as I said above, all her petulent rant to the papers does is increases the tension.

Surely Ann should be addressing the problems inside her own walls before picking fights elsewhere?

She’s also wading into something she might not properly understand. It’s possible she’s simply been badly advised here, because I find it hard to believe someone would willingly walk into the kind of minefield she has if she was fully aware of what it meant.

For a start, is she aware of the group of Celtic fans attacked by Hearts Casuals before the game, two of whom were stabbed and one was left with a broken jaw? Luckily none of the stab wounds were not fatal.

Does Budge have any idea of the deep rooted sectarian hatred some Hearts fans have for Celtic?

Let’s not tar all Hearts fans with that brush. I know a few Hearts fans who abhor the sectarian stuff that emanates from the stands when Celtic and Hibs visit and are decent folk who just want to support their team.

But did she miss the home supporter who rushed down a flight of stairs to hurl abuse at a Celtic player only to fall over a gate? That he got back up and tried to get on the pitch speaks volumes for how volatile some of their fans are when we come to visit.

Celtic obviously didn’t miss this, and must be very concerned behind the scenes, especially after Neil Lennon was attacked whilst doing his job at the Edinburgh venue.

Is this ground she really feels comfortable on? Because I’d suggest there are elements of her own support who will do far more damage to Hearts than any visiting fans will, unless she sorts it out.

Budge also ended up with egg on her face when she claimed that the police report confirmed one home fan was arrested for sectarian abuse, while five away fans were arrested for sectarian abuse, coin throwing and disorderly behaviour.

However, Police later confirmed that none of the Celtic fans arrested were charged with sectarian offences.

So the only person arrested for such an offence was a Hearts fan?

Who told her otherwise? Where did she get her initial information? Perhaps she wants to have a word with that person before waving the big stick at Celtic Park. Ann, you really need to do your homework properly before opening your mouth.

Celtic striker Anthony Stokes also took to Twitter in reaction to Budge’s blurt:

“Maybe Ann budge should worry about her own fans,never had so many sectarian comments directed at me in a ground like tynecastle the othr day,” he said.

Stokes is not alone. Former Striker Charlie Nicholas let rip in the Express.

He wrote: “What is Ann Budge bleating on about?

“If she’s as devout as Hearts fan as she claims to been over the years then she will know how bitter her fans can be.”

Adding: “They are as bitter a fan base as I’ve ever came across in my football career”.

Meanwhile, over at the paragon of virtue and impartiality BBC Scotland’s Tom English Tweeted: “Excellent statement from Ann Budge. Strong leadership. Everybody should applaud her.”

What? Even when she omits certain facts from the record and gets others blatantly wrong? That’s leadership, is it?

Trolling at its best Thomas. Applaud her for what? Should we send her an award for “Whataboutery of the Year”?

She should be leading from within as I previously stated, not pointing the finger at another club. If Hearts fans are outwardly sectarian towards Celtic surely this needs to be addressed? No?

We have been here before, of course, and she ought to have a firm enough grasp on the situation to realise that at least. Sevco has made every mistake the old Rangers made, and her club has assidiously avoided them all so far. It would be tragic if this was the point where her club and that one converged. They too indulged in denial about their problems and pointed the finger everywhere else.

In the long run, it’s part of what destroyed them.

Does Ann Budge firmly believe that now she’s in charge at here beloved Hearts that their own sectarian problem has vaporised?

Ann, go and look in the mirror and ask yourself that, and answer it honestly. Don’t paper over your own cracks by deflecting blame to big, bad Celtic. You can cover 3 days old chips with as much salt and sauce as you like. The bitter taste underneath will turn your stomach.

Quote of the Season also goes the Tynecastle owner.

“The match was a disappointing football spectacle for both sets of supporters.

“It does not justify bad behaviour – on or off the field.”

Speak for yourself Ann – I thoroughly enjoyed beating your team 4-0. It was a great spectacle in my eyes.

And I behave impeecably dancing about the living room. i did, however, come close to spilling a beer.

We should give Ann the benefit of the doubt here though. She appears to be learning the ropes in football and could possibly learn from Celtic’s PR Department who issued a more level-headed, less inflamattory, and tactfully written press release.

It made reference to the attack on former manager Neil Lennon at Tynecastle in 2011 and “continued sectarian abuse directed at Celtic management, staff and players”.

They added: “Celtic supporter sustained injuries at the match after being hit with coins … We are also aware of a home supporter again attempting to enter the field of play at Tynecastle, this time to approach one of our players.
“We are addressing these matters with Heart of Midlothian and welcome the desire of Ann Budge to seek a positive and enjoyable matchday experience for all football supporters at Tynecastle.”

Budge later admitted that only “a tiny proportion of the 12,000-plus crowd” had been involved. Well of course. Was this overblown nonsense anything other than an effort deflect criticism from her club’s first home defeat of the season?

It’s a Hell of a reason for trying to provoke mass hysteria.

Once Budge has addressed her own fans and their sectarian problems, then she can direct her criticism where she likes, even at the Celtic support. But she better have her facts right first.

People in glass houses Ann …

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Comments on Salt ‘n’ Sauce ‘n’ Sour Grapes

  • Patrick

    I’ve been going to Scottish Cup fials for more than 50 years.

    The last one I

  • Tony B

    Mrs Budgie is an utter hypocrite.
    When the facts about her own foul supporters were pointed out to her, she went into hiding.

    Fearts fans are at least as bigoted and scummy as the zombies, just not in the same numbers.

    However, there appears to be an element of premeditation and organisation of the cowardly attacks on Celtic supporters both before and after games, usually involving large groups of them, often armed, and targetting individuals or men with kids.

    It is also noted that on the evening of the 4-0 drubbing a Catholic Church in Edinburgh was subject to an arson attack.

    Coincidence or something more sinister?

    Aye Mrs Budgie, you would do well to clean out your own midden before looking to cause trouble elsewhere..

  • Forever Green

    Great post James & spot on. It shows the brains (or lack of) to make comments like this after the treatment of Neil Lennon at tynecastle . My brother (a top man in the scottish police) told me that sectarianism was rife among the hearts support. Not many of course have the guts to admit to it. Yes annie, sort out your own fans (good luck with that) before you attack any others.

  • Finloch

    James Forrest is a fine writer and fields of green while it is a Celtic site is a good and usually positive alternative to the MSM
    Once or twice I have found it to be petty introverted and quite disappointing
    Usually when Gavin writes like here
    We have a situation where a new and refreshing owner of hearts makes an honest and sensible move against both her own fans and the mindless idiots that spoil our game
    And Gavin responds with whataboutery of the most tedious kind
    Instead of welcoming a chance to move our game forward
    Gavin I hope the blue team get promoted this year
    I know you and yours are missing the bile that makes these wonderful cultural occasions special
    I in the meantime wish Anne budge well and know she will make a real difference
    Your scribbling won’t!

  • Tony B

    Honest and sensible? I don’t think so.

    Mrs B was at best disingenuous and economical with the truth, and the whataboutery actually came from her.

    The fact that she got hers in first was calculated and designed to divert attention from her club’s own particular problems with sectarianism bigotry and thuggery.

    Her intervention was unbalanced and heavily biased.

  • Scott

    Poor effort Gavin.

  • Forever Green

    Sorry Gavin, i said earlier ‘great post James’. Careless of me, meant EXCELLENT post Gavin. As I said earlier some (v. many) people will never admit to the level of sectarianism vented by fans around football grounds in Scotland against Celtic players & support. When hello hello & up to ur knees is being heard LOUDLY & CLEARLY it’s widely ignored by police & the game commentators however should Celtic supporters have the nerve to sing an ‘Irish’ song then they are supporting terrorism. Tommy Gemmel commented in his book that the we experienced worse verbal abuse at tyncastle than we did at ibrox. FIFA presented CELTIC fans with an award for exemplary behaviour following a heart wrenching defeat for a good reason. I’ve taken my grandson to many grounds including hamburg where the atmosphere was hostile but never would I bring him back to tyncastle to be subjected to the abuse encountered there both inside & outside the ground. Again mrs. B, sort out your own lot first, you’ll be there a while!

  • The Silver Fhox

    Poor effort Scott

  • The Silver Fhox

    The only person scribbling nonsense here is you Finloch. This does NOT move anything forward.

    Gavin is spot on with his assessment and has clearly argued his point. He is also correct with regards to the after match police report.

    However, you have given your less than balanced feelings away in 3 different sentences. That is, if you can call them sentences, as there is no punctuation anywhere.

    There is nothing wrong with supporting your own team, but your comments appear to be more sinister.

  • willmacufree

    I’m not in the country. If I was I still would not read the excretions of the Smsm, or listen to the nonsense put out by radio and tv, including the tax payer directly financed supposedly neutral BBC. So I get my information from reasonably balanced web sites including this one.

    I read first Ann Budge’s opinion, and thought it was a decent comment on the goings on, since Celtic have clowns following us as well. Since then I have read other comments, and begin to wonder if I’ve got it straight.

    I’ve now read the comments on here including Finloch’s, and I have to wonder at his robust dismissal of those others. I have read, respected and agreed with many, and disagreed with some, of Finloch’s thoughts as expressed on TSFM, for instance. But here he dismisses out of hand the thoughts put forward by eye witnesses. He gives no reasons for so doing and advances no evidence for his dismissal of their opinions. He simply dismisses them out of hand as whataboutery.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the term whataboutery is now in wide use to dismiss out-of-hand any argument which might try to expose continuing injustices and misrepresentations taking place then, now, and possibly forever.

    Maybe we should describe this by what it is, outofhandery. That’s no worse a word than the other one.

    Sorry Finloch.

  • Tony B

    Anyway. There’s got to be something seriously wrong with people who put brown sauce on fish.

    Yuk!

  • Tim Buffy

    “Tynecastle is s sectarian cesspit,” said Gerry McNee many years ago.
    True when he said it, and true now.

  • http://andy_doc55@hotmail.com andy docherty

    I’ve a friend who was a Hearts supporter as a youngster, but gave it up as he could no longer stomach sectarianism directed towards catholics.
    I’ve also worked with numerous hearts supporters who hate Celtic, but have no logical reason for doing so. Was told by a hearts ST holder last year that beating Celtic was more important than beating hibs.

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