The Ungrateful Dead

v30jmwI don’t think it would come as a surprise to any of you to learn that I got some stick from the Children of Sevconia for what was in my last article.

The most common accusation levelled at me was that I obsess over their club.

Honestly, is there a more exhausted, contemptible comeback than that? The simple truth is that with Celtic being well run and with them doing well on the pitch there is little controversy in writing about them. Celtic is a boring club in comparison.

Some of our supporters need to get a grip, but they are a number so small they are not deserving of a full article, as it would give them more coverage than they deserve.

Alexander Tonev has been the victim of a truly scandalous decision which makes the SFA look like the Association of Witchfinder Generals and there is transfer speculation aplenty … but none of it holds a candle to the unfolding mess across the city.

As long as they continue to screw up, I will continue to write about it and judging from recent history they will keep me busy well into the next year and beyond into the new millennium.

Of the numerous possibilities being mooted for rescuing their future, one makes me laugh over and over again; the notion that a “fans takeover” could provide the answer to their prayers.

I consider it the ideal “best case scenario”, because nothing would give us more amusement than to watch the dysfunctional “voices of the Rangers support” trying to get it together enough to run a loss making football club with a superiority complex.

You want more fun than watching them trying and failing to accept Ally’s resignation? You want entertainment greater than a website link to a clown hire company? Something more unintentionally hilarious than a Charles Green Xmas message? You want to see something that literally takes your breath away and leaves you on the floor holding your sides?

This would do it. Jelly and ice cream sales would treble overnight.

Aside from an inbox full of hate, there were a lot of them who emailed to tell me that myself and the rest of the Celtic fans – all of Scottish football in fact – are “running scared.” Apparently, their future is much more secure than we’re aware. It seems that Ashley and others are queuing up to throw money at the problem of them having no money.

Or something like that. I can’t quite work out what exactly it is that they are predicting … but it involves them being back on top within a couple of years and the rest of Scottish football weeping into its beer.

Quite how this is going to happen none of them is saying, but I’m fairly sure I wasn’t supposed to find it funny. Yet I do. Because it is.

Some of these people are wired to the moon. Nothing encapsulates this better than what we’ve seen from them in the last week, since the SFA started to demand answers, and money, in relation to everything that’s going on over there at present.

For the last two years, many of us have been calling on the SFA to take its responsibilities seriously in relation to the Sevco boardroom. Our argument is simple, but I know why they find it difficult to comprehend. If the SFA had been doing its job properly, the spivs would never have gotten their mitts on the club, and they might be in better nick.

Recently, a couple of their supporters organisations stepped in to demand the same thing, in relation to Mike Ashely, realising that the guy now has them by the short, curly hairs.

The SFA are now demanding Ashley answer some questions, and they are ready to take action against him and the Sevco board because he’s broken some of those rules.

And are the fans happy about this? Are they happy the guy who they never wanted near the place, the guy who is the target of boycotts and boo-boys, is being taken to task?

Are they Hell. In fact, the Peepil are going radio rental about it.

It was so predictable, because we’ve been here before.

Every single time anyone tries to intercede, to help this club, to save it from itself, their reaction is to spit poison. They see conspiracies against them everywhere. They see hate in every gesture and every act. It must be exhausting being this consumed by bad thoughts.

The truth is – and I told some of them this via email over the last couple of days – that the Celtic sites they hate so much have done more for their understanding of these affairs than their own websites and their own so-called leaders have ever done.

Speaking just for myself, this website told them at the start of the Charles Green revolution that he and his board members were their enemies. We told them Graham Wallace was taking the piss with his 120 day review. We said that Mike Ashley was positioning himself to start sacking people and making cuts. We gave it to them straight about Ally.

Sites like The Scottish Football Monitor have scrutinised where the press and the association wouldn’t or couldn’t be bothered. Celtic Quick News has been singing the “Sevco is broke” song since before their major share issue under Charles Green … indeed, from the day and hour he waltzed into town with a business plan written on the back of a fag packet.

How did we all do it? Did we make it up? Was it just good guesswork?

Why aren’t we all sitting on lottery winnings?

Sevco fans could have been listening. They should have been listening, especially as we were 100% right on the money about Craig Whyte, even as the press was still calling him a billionaire. We were also right on about Dave King, the man who talks a good game but has yet to put one brass coin in the Sevco coffers, despite being a hero to many of their fans.

You know who has put money in? The people they hate most.

The Easdale’s shouldn’t take it personally. They’re not the first to be hated by this lot.

They hated Lloyds, who were trying to get a grip on the insane spending before it grounded them. They hated the BBC for breaking the story about the scale of EBT use, which could (and should) have ended in them being stripped of titles. You’d think they’d have welcomed being forewarned about that, but they reacted like kids who’ve been told there is no Santa.

It seems to me that the more you try to do for these people the more angry they get at you. The SFA’s demand to meet with Ashley, the threat to fine him for breaking the rules, has resulted in the supporters rallying behind him, when they should actually be welcoming the association’s move. It might well be the best thing anyone has done for them in a while.

They’re also losing the plot over the SFA’s handing down fines to them, and I find this most unusual because their rationale appears to be built around rejecting the Survival Myth.

Yes, that’s right.

Their anger at the SFA fining them is centred on them no longer being eligible for those fines because … ahem … those fines were acrued under the old club. Or company. Or entity. Or whatever they are calling DeadCo today.

I’ve often said that it must take serious mental gymnastics to go from one point of view to the other like this, but you cannot have listened to this week’s barmy reactions from them without thinking that some of their support is at least half mad.

I don’t know whether Mike Ashley is capable of being philanthropic. I suspect not. His business history hints at a ruthless streak that doesn’t brook compromise, and he has to know that sinking money into Sevco is just throwing it away. Still, I don’t pretend to know what’s going on in his head, save for in one area. He hates ingratitude. He has slammed the Newcastle fans, on more than one occasion, for their temerity in accepting his initial monies and then daring to tell him how to spend the rest of his fortune.

No-one who deals with Sevco and its fans for any length of time, or who knows how the Scottish media operates, would want to be within 100 miles of the club or its supporters.

These people only hoist you onto a pedestal so they have something to shoot at later.

There’s an old political aphorism that says you get the leaders you deserve.

It applies brilliantly to Sevco Rangers and its fans.

They are the Ungrateful Dead.

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James Forrest

James Forrest is a writer and blogger from Glasgow, and the author of two books, Fragments and Believers, which are available on Amazon.

7 thoughts on “The Ungrateful Dead

  • 19 December, 2014 at 1:31 am
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    It’s the last bit that tickles the ribs….they have lied and cheated so much that they have forgotten their original lies…..everything was predicated on the OCNC myth…..but hey presto…..suddenly they can’t be liable for the bills/fines of the old entity as they were liquidated……..wow!!

    It reminds me of one of my favourite Vietnam War films …Jacob’s Ladder….delusional main characters, lots of demons, and a body on the slab at the end of it…..

  • 19 December, 2014 at 2:17 am
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    Sorry mate….Good article but strongly disagree about Celtic being a ‘well run’ club.
    Yes,in current corporate times they are a well run business but a shambles as a club.
    I have never felt such a disconnect between fans / supporters and our custodians, and this includes following the Hoops home and away for more years than I care to remember.
    It is an utterly soulless experience to attend Celtic Park these days thanks to the charlatans in the boardroom who are more obsessed with their bonuses than entertaining their customers………I think David Low got it bang on recently when he said we will be League of Ireland standard soon.
    The race to the bottom continues……sooooooo depressing.

  • 19 December, 2014 at 2:21 am
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    My last post should have explained that following Celtic home and away for more years than I care to remember was from the 70s to the 90s…….We certainly were more than a club back then……Now we are also rans with a board who want to downsize even from this.

  • 19 December, 2014 at 4:26 am
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    Ryecatcher….sorry but I think what you have said is so wrong.
    Ok fair point that home games are a bit dull these days but that is down to us supporters not the club, you have to take into account that today we have a fantastic 60,000 all seater stadium but the problem with that is when you get low crowds who have to sit in their own seat, it leaves gaps everywhere which in turn takes away the atmosphere. Now back in the 70s-80s and 90s it was all standing ( apart from the main stand) so everyone could stand together with their friends and have a good old sing and bounce while watching the game and generally the jungle was the place to go…so yes it was great back then but that had nothing to do with the way the club was run…it was just a different era and back then the average attendance was around 25,000-30,000.
    The main point I totally disagree with is that you think the club was run better back then……..What???
    The old board with the whytes and the Kelly’s??? Came on your having a laugh surely.
    The Scottish game was in a strong position back then and it was competitive and this also made it a more exciting time to watch football but again this had nothing to do with the way the club was run.
    Now today the Scottish game is in a poor state and their is no real competition for us as a club but that is not our fault or the fault of our board. I think considering this you actually realise that the fact that we can run at a profit, pay high wages, have a fantastic training facility, a world wide scouting network and continue to grow and expand as a club,to me shows you how well run a club we are…….just look across the city and you will see what a badly run club looks like.
    Hail hail

  • 19 December, 2014 at 8:13 am
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    Have to agree with you Ryecatcher….James to be fair has covered your sentiments in pieces before as have I.

  • 19 December, 2014 at 8:17 am
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    Ryecatcher: I yearn for the days when someone at my back was pissing down my leg and the club was being run by business geniuses like the Kelly’s and Whyte’s.

  • 19 December, 2014 at 12:32 pm
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    Guys, 2 things,
    first of all the state of Scottish Football I’m afraid is down to the survivors, not the death of one, or more to follow, clubs.

    Restoring a new club to the top, forgetting it all, EBT’s, WTC and BTC, LNS, fines, etc. restoring long departed players etc. will not fix the ills of any incarnation of a club from Govan, never mind Scottish Football as a whole.

    This will only fix the lunch menu for the SMSM.

    Radical changes are needed throughout football. Celtic spending more monies to win the league, qualify for CL, will only lead to another St Valentines Day disaster.

    No I don’t have the answers but Spend, Spend isn’t it either. Getting a strong league will take years, realistically…….Celtic will decline more than the New challengers will improve.

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