Tuesday, January 16, 2018
I'm well aware that someone has uploaded Anyone but Celtic to YouTube. I don't know the person or have any affiliation to them. I also have no truck with the pathetic excuse posted regarding stealing the film. With that being said, I understand the way world is and I also understand the shelf life of any independent film. There are lots of things I could do right now and, having been in touch with my lawyer on another issue last week, it would be easy to pick up the phone again but I am not going to.
What I am going to do is tell you that you can now pre-order the Armageddon book and DVD.
The link is here http://www.ls86productions.com/armageddon/
All I ask is that you consider buying.
Saturday, January 6, 2018
Yesterday was a fun packed day. I had a day off so slept late, went to Leith for a few pints with an old mate and then came home to find two stories about me and my new film, Armageddon, in two tabloids. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't deal with tabloid newspapers. The fact is though none of them contacted me regarding the stories and that's among the reasons why there is very little story in them.
Firstly, and please stop me if you think I am patronising you, this film is not about the liquidation of Rangers (IL). I did that film, remember? Secondly, this film is not entirely about Newco. As I've said on numerous occasions, the film is in three sections, Newco, Oppression and Invincible. It comes from a book that I finished, also called Armageddon.
Secondly, I know the point of these stories. It's twofold. The first is they actually believe they are telling Celtic something new about me showing a film there. The other part is more sinister and is something I am well used to-expose the target on my back. Don't for one second believe "All publicity is good publicity" because it's hard to buy that when you wake up in the morning to yet more death threats.
The point is though, the show must go on.
See you in March.
Saturday, November 25, 2017
Phil was one of us.
I've spoken to his close friends who told me that when they went to console Eileen and his family, they felt like wee boys sitting on his couch, not knowing what to say or do. Would anyone know?
I don't want to hover over the sadness any more though, because Phil had a life less ordinary. He scored for Motherwell in a winning cup final when just a teenager, he fulfilled his lifelong dream of signing and playing for Celtic, he played in the English Premier League and he left a mark on all that knew him.
There are many stories of his life and soul nature but when that sticks out is him dancing on a table after Celtic had stopped 10 in a row, with wife Eileen in tow, and promptly falling off much to the amusement of all his watching team mates.
I think it is the least we all owe him.
Monday, October 9, 2017
I've fallen out of love with international football for a while now. In a general sense, tournaments bore me by the quarter final stage, the faux nationalism annoys me and the widespread corruption by FIFA makes me think I am watching a Mafia court case when taking in certain games.
In terms of Scotland, I was done going to watch them by 1990. That was after going to see Scotland play Poland at Hampden and witnessing incessant abuse of two Polish players who just happened to play for Celtic. I've probably been to six Scotland games since then and the record is lost 5, won 1, with the solitary victory actually coming at Wembley. I think most people reading this will know my views on the SFA as an organisation and I know all about the discrimination and treatment of Celtic players in the past too. I also have absolutely nothing in common with anyone who chooses to go to a football match in a kilt.
With all that being said though, I still want Scotland the team to win when they play. I also went to the pub to watch both the last two Scotland games for the first time in yonks.
Recently on Twitter, I responded cheekily to a tweet by a girl who said something along the lines of "If I ever split up with my boyfriend, I'll never want anyone else" So you can imagine the type of reply and when she saw it she responded "Who hurt you?" My reply to that?
"Probably Gordon Strachan the most"
Now I have met Gordon Strachan loads of times. We grew up on the same street, his parents lived in the same house for years, he returned to my scheme on loads of occasions and I've attended loads of local events he was part of. I also met him a lot of times when he was at Celtic, both at the park and in the area when he would visit his dad at the local golf club.
When he became manager at Celtic, I was having a bad time with my health. I resolved to write a book about his first year at Celtic. Average Joe Miller did a brilliant book cover (Trainspotting type theme) and I even got Adrian Chiles to do the foreword (if you remember back then, he and Gordon were a double act on MOTD2) and off I went to games and press conferences reinvigorated after a health scare.
It was two months later that I completely abandoned the idea.
My thought was that I could write about his first season, throw in some old Muirhouse stories, and finish with the sort of cult book (no typo) that I would end up writing many more of in years to come. Thing was, I had no idea what Gordon Strachan was like at press conferences. I discovered really quickly that he was only interested in engaging with one journalist (Jim Black) and anyone else who asked him a question was always looked at as if they just asked to sleep with his wife.
Over the years at Celtic, it became so bad that by 2008 he used the same golfing analogy ("From tee to green we are fine, it's just the putting that needs work") 8 weeks in a row. Now, I know what you are thinking, I am glossing over his 3 leagues, 1 Scottish Cup and 1 League Cup at Celtic and you are right, they were great. As were some of the Champions League nights where the likes of Milan and Man Utd were beaten.
There are lots of other factors though and I don't just mean Artmedia.
His treatment of Chris Sutton, Alan Thompson, Jackie McNamara and Bobo Balde was a joke. He even blamed Jackie for that reverse in Bratislava despite the fact he had signed for Wolves a month previously.
His football was eye-bleeding at times and resulted in Celtic losing 10,000 season ticket holders whom the media branded bigots because they didn't like Gordon Strachan. I should say at this point, I am speaking for myself here, I know not everyone doesn't like him. I was taken to task on Twitter last week by a son of Tommy Burns for my views on Strachan and I know there is a side to Strachan that he will have seen that very few others do and I appreciate completely his friendship with Tommy. However, you cannot overlook the likes of his petty treatment of Aiden McGeady and the lengths he went to to get him out of Celtic. (Just look at all the "replacements" he signed never mind the singling out for constant abuse)
The problem is, Gordon Strachan is a product of his environment. I've asked a few folk from the area recently and they have all agreed: Pretty much everyone from the area is like Gordon Strachan. In Muirhouse, men of 6ft5 have small-man syndrome and not a genetic problem in sight.
When Gordon took the Scotland job, I did think he was the man for the job. I know he loves coaching and developing players and the lack of week to week press conferences would definitely suit him. Yet, all the old traits came back and another generation was damned. The first campaign was awful. A victory over Ireland at Celtic Park should have made progress fairly straight-forward yet Scotland managed to finish fourth in the group.
At that point, a PR campaign was launched to keep him in the job. His comments had fallen in line with SFA top brass ("We need a strong Rangers") and he was given another crack. Reality being, he lost Scotland the group in the first four games. I don't say that lightly. This was a winnable group with a truly awful England side as top seed. Yet as Brendan Rodgers Celtic tore up Scottish football it seemed that the only one who wasn't watching was Gordon Strachan. Indeed, Griffiths only got a game when Strachan thought he was done for and then the likes of Armstrong and Forrest were suddenly thrown into a Scotland team that thought qualification was as likely as an SFA admittance of being wrong.
Suddenly Scotland were playing well. Throw in the added bonus of John McGinn playing in the top flight again and Callum McGregor banging them in for Celtic and the future actually started to bright. So bright that Scotland put the play offs in their own hands. So what does he do? Goes back to a tired formation and picks his pals again. Even when the midfield is being overrun and Slovenia have equalised and looking likely to score again? He does nothing. With pacey, in-form players on the bench who can score goals regularly, he opts for none of them and the dream dies once again.
Thing is, I know Gordon Strachan won't give a shit about this blog. I am fan who never played the game professionally so my opinion doesn't count in his eyes. No, because he has the wealth of knowledge provided by Mark McGhee and Calum Davidson so why would us Kestrel drinking, devil dug owning monsters matter?
I don't see where Scotland go now. I fear he stays or, worse, Malky gets the job but whoever it is, just give us back our game, please, Mind you, as long as the SFA exist, I see nothing changing.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
I'm old enough to remember and to have attended the Neuchatal Xamax games in 1991. Liam Brady decided, in his wisdom, to go with a back three in Switzerland that badly exposed a defence that was already shakier than a Frank De Boer coat peg and we were battered 5-1. European football was changing then. We just didn't know it. Most fans expected us to still turn the tie around at Celtic Park, despite a reduced capacity, and hope sprung eternal when we were awarded a first minute penalty. Charlie Nicholas sent the penalty sky high and brought us back down earth with a bang.
Last night was always coming. From 2001, when we first took part in the group stages of the Champions League, every year since the gap has got a little bigger. Barcelona in 2012 was probably our last strong punch in a tournament that now belongs Oil teams and Oligarchs. I was in Dubai in the summer of 2015 and saw first hand the wealth behind a lot of these teams. This isn't a different ball game, this is a different sport.
There was a clamour to buy a centre half before the deadline but in reality who would have made a difference last night? John Stones at 49m? Virgil Van Dijk at 80? This was a team that cost almost a billion euros to assemble. They are about join Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in the elite of world football. (Fucking incredible we get two of them in our group) And by elite, I mean they can and will leave everyone else eating their dust, including the chronically boring EPL.
We've have seen Celtic lose six and seven in Barcelona and now five last night to PSG. Whilst it still majorly hurts, there is really very little we can do about it as long as we play in Scotland. That's a reality that every supporter needs to get in check. I'm not advocating a move to the EPL, I'm not for that at all, just trying to meet the new boss, who may well be the same as the old boss, it's just now he has Emirates or Qatar on his shirt.
I wouldn't want Celtic to sell out to the oil barons. I love our identity, I love our supporters (apart from maybe that one Bam last night) and I love that fact that we have guys like Tony Ralston coming through the ranks and already fighting for the jersey. I guess you could say I'm an idealist or a romantic (or maybe just plain daft) but I think games like last night are the price I need to pay to retain all that.
It was also still better than that night in Switzerland.
Sunday, September 10, 2017
I've wanted to blog a few times this week but was stopped by those who slaughter "Bloggers" yet claim to hate the MSM. (Sarcasm, come on in) Right now we are getting to the heart of the battle to save Scottish football.
On one side there are the supporters who paid into a rigged game, Celtic FC, The SPFL Board(bar one dope) and a few people within the game who want an inquiry but fear the same treatment that Ally McCoist ensured Eric Drysdale and his family got back in 2012. There's also the sad reality that at least four clubs in the top flight of the SPFL live in hand to mouth and put money above pretty much everything (especially when it comes to spending it)
On the other side is The SFA, The MSM, Sevco, Fans of Rangers(IL) and Sevco, various bigots who run football clubs and all being led by Daryl Broadfoot (Not now officially employed by The SFA but on a retainer from The SFA) who has been tasked with firefighting this thing for The SFA (Probably should mention Chris McLaughlin here who, although banned from Ibrox and not paid by The SFA, is doing his level best to ensure there is no inquiry and is praying for a total whitewash and lifting of his ban from Ibrox)
Let's deal with this nonsense that fans are "sick of all this". You would only be sick of this if you had a vested interest in there not being transparency in Scottish football so who gives a flying fuck what they think? Propping up a corrupt game makes you as culpable as those who corrupt it every day so you can spare us the crocodile tears. I know it is irking certain parts of the media gravy train that this isn't going away but if they had done their job properly, we wouldn't be here now.
I've listened with interest as Daryl Broadfoot has attempted to build his profile again and wondered why? On a good earner from the SFA and part of his new PR company it may seem that he has played a blinder and to a certain extent he has but don't be fooled by his jokey demeanour on Sportsound. He is working every day to ensure no transparency in Scottish football. And you can be damn sure he has a vested interested in that.
Stewart Regan is a man who just wants this drawn out as long as possible. Of course he is highly culpable in this sham but he is also acutely aware he is in a job with a salary and profile that he will never get anywhere else so the longer this goes on, the happier he is.
And what of Celtic? I've known for a long time that Celtic have been all over this. I've told people this when they have asked me and was usually met with scorn. I can understand the scepticism in the same way that I can understand Celtic not making every utterance public. Celtic, internally, can drive me mad at times but I've said it before and I'll say it again, Celtic want this as much as we all do. They play a long game and try to be measured (sometimes too much in my view) but ultimately the statement on Saturday was clear and concise as to the position.
The question is: So what now? Sadly, I've never believed any fan-led movement will bring the change we want in Scottish football. Because the only thing clubs would act on is a long boycott of their grounds and that's never going to happen. This has to come from within the game and I was delighted to see Celtic vocalise that. This is not a Celtic v Rangers (IL) thing though, This is a justice thing and a few folk would do well to remember that.
Thursday, August 3, 2017
In a climate of continual chat about how you should support Celtic, it was nice to see two of the Boo-Bhoys silence their critics last night. James Forrest and Nir Bitton played massive parts in Celtic's progress into the Champions League play offs. Supporters know, every generation has players who get it in the neck from the fans more than most. In my lifetime I can remember Pierce O'Leary, Paul McGuigan, Derek Whyte, Mike Galloway and Peter Grant, to name but five, who all got it. None of these players were ever going trouble the Ballon D'or judges but all of them gave everything they had.
I was talking on @HomeBhoys on Tuesday about how when players got barracked in a game, this normally ensured greater support for them in the next game (Similarly I always remember fans being even more keen to go on a Saturday after a Wednesday defeat) Many moons ago, The Jungle used to chant the name of every player in the team before a game. It was routine. If I think about it, I can still hear it. Indeed, it was also how you knew the team back then (One Packie Bonner, there's only one Packie Bonner, One Chrissy Morris, Anton, Anton...)
Davie Provan, not brought up in the Celtic tradition, always spoke about how the affinity between the players and fans was what drove the team on (Why else do you think we go the reputation for last minute goals?)
In recent years, Calum McGregor was a target. Ronny Deila said it really affected his game as he got scared. Think about that, a Celtic player scared of his own fans. Nowadays, it's Forrest and Bitton. Some of the comments aimed at Forrest after the first leg against Rosenborg would have seen a ban from Follow Follow never mind be befitting of Celtic supporters whereas the collective gasp on Twitter when Bitton came on was akin to a vaping convention.
Yet, guess what?
Bitton strolled through the game at centre half and Forrest scored a goal so good that it dropped Rob McLean's bitterness to a new level.
The moral of the story is, a lot of us forget, we aren't the coaching staff or judges on some sort of Football Factor, we are supporters and it is time a lot of us remembered that.
Or shut the fuck up.