Friday, August 28, 2015

30 percent off Anyone but Celtic this weekend

http://www.lulu.com/shop/paul-larkin/anyone-but-celtic-inside-the-culture-that-created-the-lanarkshire-referees-association/paperback/product-22281187.html


Use code SAVE30 at the checkout to get 30% off. Offer ends Sunday night at midnight.

I know I have bombarded the promo for this book in August but that was always the intention. I also know that if you've purchased it already then you're sitting here right now going "Geez peace ffs"

When the launch happens on Friday in Carluke that will mark the end of promotion of the book for a few months save for the odd tweet with a discount code.

I always believe, with anything you do, you have to give it the chance to breathe a little and let the people decide. Pre-orders have gone very well and the feedback from those who have read it and got in touch has been very positive.

This project was beset with abuse on a scale that was unprecedented for me, with the "paranoid Tim" tune being played by many. I think the level of detail contained in the book has drowned out that little concerto.

Writing books is what I do for work. Often writers will be asked on various things to discuss topics related to what they write about and be paid well for it. The topics I write about though are ones the establishment want brushed under the carpet so there's an avenue with a stop sign right there. Point being, if you've bought the book, I thank you with everything I have.

I'm balls deep in my next book just now, a collection of short stories and that will be finished by Christmas with a June 1st release date. Although fictional stories, all have real people in them, no names will be changed to protect anyone, innocent or guilty (tee-hee)

That's for then though and this is now. If you buy this book, I hope you enjoy it and, if you do, tell a friend.

Paul


Use code SAVE30 at checkout to get 30% off. Offer ends Sunday at midnight.




Saturday, August 15, 2015

Anyone but Celtic-Discount code for paperback

If you've taken the time to click on this, you deserve a reward of sorts.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/paul-larkin/anyone-but-celtic-inside-the-culture-that-created-the-lanarkshire-referees-association/paperback/product-22281187.html

Use code GWW25 at checkout and you'll get 25% off the price.

You'll need to be quick though, offer and link will expire on Monday night.

Thank you for your support and I hope you enjoy the book, if you clicked on this link, then it was written for people like you.

Paul.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Aberdeen are the new Rangers

It wasn't supposed to be like this. By now, we were supposed fighting toe to cloven hoof with Sevco for the league title. If the narrative that was spun by the MSM in 2012 (and I know Grimm would have struggled with it), then their dream would be coming true right about now.

Reality is different but then we seethe and roar at reality in Scottish football don't we?

My relationship with Aberdeen started on January 30th 1982. That was the first time I set foot in the place and little did I know that day I'd witness the birth of a legend. Paul McStay made his league debut and scored in a fine 3-1 win.

After that they pretty much were the bane of my life, and that of all Celtic supporters too, for the next five years. I hated them but only because they were good. They had great players who knew how to win and had a spirit about them that's now embodied by a Luis Suarez type. They broke my heart in 1984 when a 10 man Celtic undeservedly lost a Scottish Cup Final in extra time.

They made up for it slightly in 1986 when they battered a demoralised Hearts team and ensured Gorgie would go quiet again for another 12 years.

In terms of their fans, I've had my ups and downs. I've met some good ones over the years in Aberdeen and I've met some ones who were bawbags, no biggie, that's life. On Social Media, I follow a few and they are good craic, I mean we don't like each other's teams but it's not the level of debate you get with Sevco fans (currently lower than a world-class limbo dancer) and banter often breaks up any red mist.

In terms of the media though, they are in vogue, they are go to place for aspiring Scottish MSM folk and their manager can do no wrong.

If I have a bugbear I need to release in this blog it is that certain people in Scottish football can say whatever they want and not only is it not challenged, it becomes an accepted truth no matter how ludicrous it actually is.

It used to happen at Ibrox, it now happens at Pittodrie. (Of course it still happens at Ibrox, it's just I don't follow lower league football)

Derek McInnes is the golden boy of the Scottish MSM. If Derek speaks, not only do they listen but they also churn, polish and apply glitter.

Nothing he says is ever challenged. He has assumed the role as leader of the opposition and the back benches are right behind him. Leaving aside his obvious hypocrisy regarding when John Collins said he wanted to bring back hanging (it was that wasn't it?) McInnes is allowed an unchallenged narrative to ride around Scottish football like an out of control supermarket trolley.

He was given kudos on Radio Scotland on Sunday for "Keeping hold of all his players over the summer". My question is: Did anyone actually bid for any of his players?

He said Graeme Shinnie was the "best left back to come out of Scotland in many a year" Didn't someone recently sell a left back from Scotland for just under £3m?

He said "John Collins has a lot to say for an assistant manager"  A quick Google search of Tony Docherty, McInnes assistant and the man who takes an iPad to press conferences, reveals him quoted in the press at least 12 times over the close season.

Look I get what is going on, the press need to build up an opposition for us and McInnes is the current poster boy right up until Sevco, by hook or by crook, appear in the top flight. It's not the fault of the Aberdeen fans either, they have every right to back their guys. However, when you get a media top-heavy with Aberdeen fans, then you know something is going on. Dispute that? Ok, off the top of my head, Richard Gordon, Rob McLean, Liam McLeod, Derek Rae, Billy Dodds, Willie Miller, Graham Hunter, Michael Grant and Jonathan Northcroft all hold key positions in the media and have either played for or love Aberdeen.

Think I am protesting too much? Probably. I don't mind this kind of stuff really, I just hate when folk think we haven't noticed.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Spinners

It was inevitable in the world of PR and spin we live in in Scottish football that when someone broke from the norm to actually say something newsworthy the media and their pals would adopt faux frenzy mode. Let's address the John Collins comments first. Yeah, pretty stupid to say out loud. It's hard to complain about no competition when you've recently signed one of your rival's three best players. It also is disrespectful not just to your opposition but to your own players who are out there fighting for the cause in every game.

With that being said, like a street performer loves Edinburgh in August, the klaxon sounds and The Spinners all come out to tune up their Twitter accounts and assemble the kind of concerto that would make the 'Go Compare' guy seem like Placido Domingo.

Why are we afraid of telling the truth in Scottish football?

You've only got to listen to Sportsound or tune into Sportscene on a Sunday night to hear a bunch of soundbites and platitudes normally reserved for a party poltical conference. Last night was no exception on Sportscene, with Stuart McCall treating the gig like a job interview, it was left to Mark "Willo" Wilson to provide the insight. One of his gems was about Charlie Telfer of Dundee Utd who he was glowing about. Yet ask any Dundee Utd fan and they will tell you he has been a massive disappointment. Simple research. If that wasn't bad enough, he then went onto say Sevco will win the championship by "15-20 points" based on what Mark? I'm sure we would all like to know? But no, it's the party line so it's not challenged by Jonathan Sutherland who, let's face it, hasn't paid into a football match in his life. I was actually only hanging around waiting for them to talk about the other thing I've seen fans react to this weekend, the bizarre penalty from Steven Thompson at Ibrox. With "Thommo" being a Sportscene regular, I awaited what I thought would be good TV as his mates dissected his technique.

Not a single mention.

Then we have the continuing columns from journalists in newspapers which should just be amalgamated to one daily front page that says "WE WON'T BE HAPPY UNTIL SEVCO COME UP"

All this came on the back of the drowning Sportsound programme last week where, not for the first time, we had a dick measuring contest from The Sevco Spinners.  Rather than talk about the huge European games coming up that week, or analysing the opening weekend of the league season in the top flight, we were treated to a Jeremy Kyle show on the radio.

All this is all the more stupid because more or less everyone in Scotland loves football and they aren't stupid.

The rise of fan media has in part came because of the amount of PR work that goes on disguised as journalism and punditry.

Yet, like most teams being out of Europe before the schools go back, nothing will change.

*Speaking of fan media, a wonderful new app has appeared. @celticnewsnow (as well as providing a brilliant Twitter and Email service) now has an app which can be downloaded for free from the usual outlets, now. You'll never need a newspaper again.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Are the BBC biased against Sevco?

A fairly fierce, if incredibly dull, debate took place in BBC Sportsound last night. After the recent withdrawal of press privileges from a BBC reporter the accusation has arisen from various Sevco fan leaders that the BBC in general and certain individuals therein are biased against Sevco.

Hmmm.

Let's take a walk back in the history of Sevco. That three year period may offer a different story.

Remember that share issue?

Were any current or former BBC men in Imran Ahmad's secret MSM club?
 
If so, did they work directly with RIFC and break FSA rules by secretly engaging with fans groups in order to promote the 'failing' share issue after the Institutional take up?

If so, does this mean that the BBC can categorically state that the BBC Sports department is not as a whole anti - Sevco?

Did anyone at the BBC respond to Imran's plea for help after the supporters take up was poor?
 
We know Imran expected so much more, forgetting the fact that the open pledge beforehand had been infiltrated supporters from many other clubs, thereby artificially inflating the pledges.

Imran didn't take that into account.

Did anyone at the BBC offer ideas to Imran?
 
Did anyone at the BBC offer to work with leading supporters groups and bloggers to get the message out.?
I think we should be told.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Pre-order Anyone but Celtic on Kindle now and an ABC guide



Housekeeping first. You can pre-order Anyone but Celtic: Inside the culture that created the Lanarkshire Referees Association. For your Kindle/Kindle App right now. Paperback on lulu.com from Aug 21st.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Anyone-but-Celtic-Lanarkshire-Association-ebook/dp/B0130RHJI0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438501103&sr=8-1&keywords=anyone+but+celtic

Praise be for that.

Some of you will know I've been on the end of a fierce email campaign to stop the book being sold on Kindle. It was so fierce that some of those emails had over 20 exclamation marks in them.

This kind of thing always leads to a few folk saying to me "Why do you bother?"

This week has had me thinking a lot about that, what I do and where I am. It started on Wednesday when I jumped on a bus to go for the train to Celtic Park clad in the new away top. The bus driver clearly scowled at the sight of the top. So much so that he charged the bus away clearly infuriated. All the journey I was thinking about this and scrolling Twitter as the latest round of man made meteors were coming my way via Kindle investigating the "allegations made in a number of complaints about your book"

Not really sure of the nature of the allegations (unless book critics are now mind-readers) but at half time in the game yesterday I got an email saying the complaints has been rejected.

It's a strange one for me. In terms of writing, the first book anyone outside my circle gave a toss about was The Last Pearl Diver. That person was David Limond who urged folk to buy it. (The book is a novel and centres around the 93-94 era) and he would send me tweets telling me how much he loved me. Whilst he was still allowed to use the internet of course. It didn't really put me on the radar of the dark side though, save for the odd Scottish Tea Party member.

The Asterisk Years changed everything.

The hatred and threats went through the roof (some from people who proclaim to support Celtic) and go on to this day.  It definitely hardens you (Get your mind out the gutter) but you have to retain some semblance of normality.

I have some perspective on this. I know a guy who has experienced hate and threats on a grand scale. It was for standing up for his beliefs and taking the fight to streets of Edinburgh. A lot of this was pre-internet when threats came attached to axes rather than emails.

Mine have been pretty serious outside of internet land but the discernable difference now is they are more calculated, more sinister and more orchestrated.

My message in this is I know abuse is increasing all over the place and it is putting people off doing anything. I get lots of folk in touch who want to do things, things that sound fantastic, but are scared of offending folk.

It leads to having a set of basic rules, mine are:

Never respond to total vitriol. The only purpose of this is to engage you in a stream that they hope will end up drowning you.

Don't take abuse or praise seriously. I try to keep as balanced as possible in my projects, so I'm not down for long and inflating the cranium is always bad.

Never worry about offending anyone. You will offend folk. Even if you do the most non-offensive thing imaginable, someone will be pissed off by it.

If you sense humanity, grasp it. Sometimes someone will be having a real go at me and within that you'll sense just a shred of humanity, find it and go with it.

Be yourself. I'm not big on anonymous handles and a new persona every six months, go with who you really are.

I write those because a lot of folk see what I take and get put off. Don't.

None of these may work for you, they do for me most of the time.

This week alone I've been called a "fantasist" a "tramp" "smelly" "barely literate" "uneducated" and have had at least two keyboard batterers on me constantly.

In terms of ABC and the emails to stop it being on Kindle, the common theme folk have said to me is "How can folk complain about a book they haven't read?" the answer is simple, it's not the real world. The real world is worrying about your kids, paying your rent, having food in your fridge, a roof over your head and being as happy and healthy as you can be.

The way I work, I need to build everything from the bottom. I don't get instant success on anything and spend a shitload of time developing stuff behind the scenes. The only real success has been The Asterisk Years. I suppose By Any Means Necessary was successful given it has sold 12,000 copies and still sells around 20 copies a month three years after release but I hadn't really made a penny from books previous and was drowning in life's problems when it came out.

So if you have anything in mind and you give my advice even a crumb of credibility, then Nike. If a radge gadgie like me can do things, you certainly can.

What I have been able to do is paint by numbers, not just with work but with people too.

Especially "ra People".

You can pre-order Anyone but Celtic: Inside the culture that created the Lanarkshire Referees Association for your Kindle/Kindle App right now.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Anyone-but-Celtic-Lanarkshire-Association-ebook/dp/B0130RHJI0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438501103&sr=8-1&keywords=anyone+but+celtic