25 May, mad McInnes, Leppings Lane Legacy


Derek McInnes faced a difficult challenge.  How do you stop Celtic, who have swept all before them, on their way to a third consecutive domestic treble?  His choice was clear: get in about them, barge, kick and shove whenever close to a green and white jersey.

After Celtic’s opening onslaught came to nothing, this strategy worked for Aberdeen for around 30 minutes.  At that point, the already booked Dominic Ball flew dangerously into Ryan Christie.  The latter took 6 minutes to be stretchered off; the former collected his second yellow.

Aberdeen should have pondered the wisdom of their aggressive tactics, but by now the outcome was no longer in doubt and they went down with studs up and hurling abuse.

Two minutes after play recommenced, James Forrest created space 25 yards from goal before despatching a magnificent left foot shot beyond Joe Lewis into the net.  It was a goal to match the occasion.  From that distance, on his weaker foot, the chances of scoring were remote, but James seems to rise to these Hampden occasions.

Jonny Hayes evaded Mikey Devlin and moved clear through on goal but the Aberdeen central defender pushed Hayes from behind eight yards out, resulting in an inevitable penalty.  Odsonne Edouard made no mistake from the spot.

It went from bad to brutality from Aberdeen when Lewis Ferguson lunged at Tom Rogic’s shin.   Ferguson had both feet off the ground when he came into contact with Tom.  Referee Craig Thomson was five yards away and issued a straight red card.  Tom answered this attack in the best way possible, by scoring from a rebound attempt at the resulting free kick.  He was fortunate not to have been the second Celtic player to leave on a stretcher.

To illustrate the extent of Aberdeen’s demise into indiscipline, Derek McInnes was ordered to the stand, where he joined his already-red carded assistant, Tony Docherty.  His team were dirty and occasionally thuggish.  I do not know if there is a way for a Scottish club to plan to beat Celtic, but there are many better ways to lose.

Had this been Neil Lennon, had this been Neil Lennon’s team, he would be hung out to dry by pontificating critics.  Instead, Celtic rose above the fury.  For once, we did not even have to endure the perennial Hampden flares.

The Scottish Cup Final takes place on 25 May.  Your script is written, Celtic….

As we walked to Hampden yesterday the conversation eventually came round the 1937 Final between Celtic and Aberdeen, which attracted 137,000 attendees, and the crushing at pay gates some of us experienced in the 70s and 80s.

We talked about the 1985 Scottish Cup Final, a pay at the gate game, when police opened the gates, allowing thousands of Celtic fans free entry into the Hampden terraces, then the league clinching game against Dundee in 1988, when Celtic continued to take money at the gate despite crowds breaking over the barrier due to crushing.  There was no such thing as a full house in Scottish football back then.

The FA Cup Semi-Final at Hillsborough between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest in 1989 saw the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans, crushed into pens with no way to exit.  Police opened the gates to alleviate crushing outside the turnstiles, resulting in hundreds of fans funneling into a tunnel, unaware they were blocking the only exit from the two central Leppings Lane end pens.

After the initial mistake to open the gates, systemic failures exacerbated the death toll.  Lies were told, compliant journalists were co-opted into a conspiracy and it is only now, 30 years later, that criminal proceedings are underway.

Until 1989 football was killing its fans through neglect.  Rangers decided to rebuild their ground after the 1971 Ibrox Disaster, which claimed the lives of 66 fans, but the loss of two lives on the same stairway a decade earlier, or incidents involving multiple injuries in 1967 and 1969, registered little response.  Celtic Park never had incidents like this, but if you were a fan in the pre-Hillsborough era, you will remember moments of mortal fear at one turnstile in particular.

The legacy of those who lost their lives on the Leppings Lane terrace 30 years ago is a safer game for us to enjoy today.

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  1. Daily Ranger/Records TOP Football STORY for Tomorrow…



    Dave King in Rangers vow as he backs club to become ‘the dominant force in Scottish football’


    The Ibrox chairman addressed supporters as season tickets for next season go on sal





    ByRecord Sport Online


    11:55, 15 APR 2019UPDATED12:37, 15 APR 2019










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    Dave King believes Rangers are in “tangible reach” of becoming Scottish football’s dominant force.



    The Ibrox chairman addressed supporters in a wide-ranging letter as season tickets for the 2019/20 season go on sale.




    The South Africa-based businessman is bullish about his club’s chances of winning silverware in the upcoming seasons.



    Rangers are all but certain to finish the campaign without a trophy for the third consecutive year.




    (Image: Daily Record)


    Steven Gerrard delivered qualification for the Europa League but has been unable to halt Celtic’s domestic dominance.



    Rangers were dumped out of both the Betfred and Scottish Cup by Aberdeen despite making a major splash in the transfer market.




    Gerrard recently spoke about the need to spend big and King says his side are ready to splash the cash this summer.



    King had kind words for the Ibrox manager and also lavished praise of youth supremo Craig Mulholland.



    But it’s his belief his club are on the verge of becoming the country’s top side again that has grabbed the headlines.



    He said: “It was never going to be easy and it is extremely gratifying to have witnessed the progress that has been made over the last year. We are now within tangible reach of Rangers becoming the dominant force in Scottish football again.”



    Dave King’s address in full


    “I begin by again offering my most sincere thanks to each and every Rangers supporter for the continued commitment and understanding that you have shown throughout the recent rebuilding of our club.



    “It was never going to be easy and it is extremely gratifying to have witnessed the progress that has been made over the last year. We are now within tangible reach of Rangers becoming the dominant force in Scottish football again.



    “Much of the progress on the pitch can be attributed to Mark Allen, Steven Gerrard and their respective management teams. Turning to a young manager was a risk but it was one that Mark and the board felt we should take because of Steven Gerrard’s football pedigree.




    Mark Allen (Image: SNS Group)


    “Steven’s passion, professionalism and winning mentality has been inculcated throughout the football activities at all levels and we have seen strong benefits from this. Of significance was our first, strong European campaign for many years.



    “The team was heroic at times in battling through four very tough qualifiers and went on to narrowly miss making the knock-out stages. However, the inconsistency that inevitably comes with another new management team and a new group of players was also evident. We saw periods where we were rightly regarded as title contenders, followed by periods of varying quality.



    “However, despite these periods of inconsistency it is clear that the playing squad is significantly stronger than in recent seasons and, importantly for future transfer activity, the overall value of the squad has greatly increased.



    (Image: SNS Group)


    “This is a tribute to the work that Mark, Steven and their management teams have done to improve the process behind player recruitment and their overhaul of the training methods and the general wellbeing of the football squad at all levels and age groups. The team requires a further upgrade and the board will continue to back Mark and Steven, who fully understand that Rangers must win titles and cups and plans are already in place for recruitment in the summer window.



    “Rangers has always been a leader on and off the pitch. Apart from the aim of amassing titles and trophies, being part of Rangers as a fan, player, manager or director means we conduct ourselves in a specific manner. Our club often comes under unfair attack and we are relentless in working hard behind the scenes, and up front when necessary, to make sure we are given the respect our club and our massive support deserves. But we will not engage in unseemly debates through the media.



    “Conducting ourselves with dignity is a part of who we are and it is up to us to set standards. However, in doing this, we will not allow ourselves to be treated differently or held to a different set of rules.



    “The institution that is Rangers Football Club is special and has a unique place in football history as having won – by quite some distance – more trophies than any other club in the world. We must now start adding to this record but can only achieve this by remaining together and being stronger in our unity than other clubs.



    “This season, a record number of season tickets were sold and it would be remarkable if we could again hit that number as we lay the foundations for what we hope will be the season which sees Rangers triumphant again. Your Board is committed to providing further funding and we are also asking for supporters’ help through renewing season tickets, which will increase in cost by only 5%. We feel this is not an excessive increase and every fan should know that the season-ticket revenue will solely go towards the first-team squad.



    (Image: SNS Group)


    “We have also witnessed a significant advancement at the Academy under the guidance of Craig Mulholland and his team. This was evidenced by our under-17s who went to Qatar and won the prestigious Alkass Cup. This triumph – and the fact that more than 20 of our players across all age groups were called up for international duty recently – are clear signs that the Academy is doing a terrific job.




    “Rangers is a massive club and our importance demands that we contribute to the broader community as a whole. No club in the country does more to help those less fortunate than we do.





    Rangers FC


    King backs Rangers to become top dogs



    Will Wallace get an Ibrox send-off?



    Steven Gerrard’s squad in full



    Rangers post-split fixtures – in full


    “The Rangers Charity Foundation’s work goes mostly unheralded but through its various education, health and well-being, employability, diversity and inclusion programmes (as well as many others) it continues to be a force for good and has eased the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who need help in so many ways. In order to further boost our charitable activities we are proud, for the first time, to have included a £2 donation for the Rangers Charity Foundation as part of the Season Ticket payment. I know that all fans will support this initiative to help others.



    “I sincerely hope that you will renew your season ticket for 2019/20 and thank you in advance for your continued support.”





    Dapper Dave continues to give us all a good laugh…



    ” As a Rangers Fan, Player, director, we always conduct ourselves in a SPECIFIC manner” ?????


    Needless to say, King wasn’t too Specific in mentioning ANY aspects of their Conduct ?



  2. Again in Kings begging letter he tells the Hun Hordes about spending more Money next season…..FAILS to mention where that cash is coming from……….again ?




  3. The Battered Bunnet on




    I’m not aware of the case, so can’t shed any light on that. However, instinctively (and following repeal of OBAF) I’d apply the ‘Celebrate Identity; Challenge Intolerance’ principle in most cases.

  4. Fool Time Whistle on

    Very fine article Paul, thank you.



    Very quickly yesterday during his media session, McInnes made use of the Steven Gerrad Fallacy as part of his fabric of excuses.



    This Fallacy os also known as the Deflection Admission Fallacy and the first recognized appearance was on March 17, 2019 when Mr Gerrad, devoid of any rational explanation for his own side’s complete loss of discipline, chose instead to blame Celtic players because they refused to fight with his men. The essence of this fallacy is to appear to admit your guilt, but by simultaneously shifting blame to “others”, you actually imply your own relative lack of guilt.



    As you say Paul, it was evident from the start that in order to match a superior side AND club, their players were sent out with ill intent & a remitt to dig up Celtic’s footballers so as to neutralize them.


    Aberdeen were poor & it’s easy to see why they are wetting themselves at losing Shinnie to Derby. As he moves south they bring north Dominic Ball, a player who canpt get a game for Rotherham – themselves very likely to be a Division One side next season. Ball’s loan period at Newco under Warburton served him well yesterday as he duly collected his red card. Ferguson’s assault on Rogic was worthy of a criminal prosecution & his neddish demeanour afterwards showed that he too, knew exactly what he was doing. I stopped counting his spitting episodes after the first five, but his lack of remorse at almost breaking Rogic’s leg summed up the desperately sick attitude of his team & club.



    McInnes can deflect all he wants but the shambles that he brought to the game yesterday cannot be explained away by trite one liners & a compliant media.



    HH to the 96

  5. South Of Tunis on




    ‘Celebrate Identity ; Challenge Intolerance ‘



    Got an SMS from a home and away Hertz pal on Saturday –



    ” Had hoped to have a pre game beer in the Horseshoe but had to ditch that due to the presence of a large group of Gammons bellowing about being Up To Their Knees “

  6. The Battered Bunnet on




    That’s unusual in the Horseshoe these days. Generally the only offensive singing is upstairs in the karaoke bar…

  7. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Excellent article Pablo. Respect.



    Just had one of those moments when everyone turns and stares at you because of your uncontrollable laughter in a public place.



    Why? I read the “within tangible reach” story and totally lost it.






    Hail hail

  8. !!Bada Bing!! on

    CORKCELT on 15TH APRIL 2019 1:57 PM


    Full time. Beaten 2 nil. Must say I was pretty sure we would have won that one.



    A 4 page pull out in the rags tomorrow, and another fag burn on their jersey.

  9. TBB 1.52pm



    Again, totally agree…



    I have been called a wee fenian bassa since the age of 5, maybe even younger so a good 4 nearly 5 decades, personally I respond with “you better believe it”



    Again, the deflection has worked as most on here (myself included) aren’t posting about the football



    On the fitba, James Forrest is my player of the year but canny believe how not one fan/pundit are even mentioning Broony… so him or Jamesy for me :-)

  10. !!Bada Bing!! on

    DBBIA- Another tragedy was the masonic cover up,families still fighting for justice 30 years on.

  11. South Of Tunis on




    Mate said they were far right Hertz nasties looking for a fight . . . he says it is a growing phenomenon .

  12. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    TBB – thanks for the reply – appreciated.



    GFTB – never heard much of that patter until I started venturing out of The Plains as a teenager to hit the town (Airdrie !!!).



    Although St Davids was a much bigger school than Plains Primary, there was no particular history of internal strife within the village – snowball fights is about as bad as it got – plenty of good people from both schools.



    Always was some ‘friction’ with the neighbouring villages, right enough – we are a bit of an unusual enclave for this part of the world. Thankfully, all of that seems to have settled down a good bit in recent years, despite the hard-core of ‘fleg’ wavers and marchers that still polute the place.






  13. Paul67 et al



    Thirty years on it may be Paul but, barring a retrial, ‘criminal proceedings’ in relation to Hillsborough are all but over. As it stands only the Club Secretary of Sheffield Wednesday (the Club itself had no legal identity at the time) has been convicted as a direct result of the disaster, in his case for breaching the Health and Safety @ Work Act, for failing to ensure that enough turnstiles were available. BGFC take note.

  14. Big George



    The under current is always there :-)



    By the way I have never had any bother hope my post didn’t come across that way… spent many a Saturday night/Sunday morning in Plains after Scruffy Murphys/Blarney Stone in the brig back in the 90s … happy days :-)

  15. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    CELTIC MAC – noted – and that’s what I was thinking about yesterday. Risk of severe problems was much less, of course, but poor design/management/control nevertheless. One steward told us that three turnstiles had just broken the day before – presumably at the Hertz game. You’d think, for a national final, that theyu could have been sorted overnight – I wouldn’t think that would be allowed to happen at Wembley / Cardiff / Dublin or – more to the point – at Murrayfield. Stems back to the decision to keep a poorly maintained and always poorly designed Hampden as the national football stadium.



    GFTB – thought never entered my head ;-) Yes – gravitated to Scruffy’s having got fed up with the sticky carpet clubs in Airdrie – more agreeable atmosphere in Coatbridge, but a MUCH longer walk back home.






  16. Just after another fergus hun gets sent aff the park the following heading by Paul67 prior tae the final came tae mind: How Celtic lose cups: red cards and penalties. Had tae laugh as the opposite was why we were strolling it.



    So when Paul’s latest mentioned poor crowd control I thought back tae hunden and how much I hated the place and nothing tae do with being cheated in various cup finals, I recall leaving the Celtic end many a time and my feet not touching the ground, on one occasion one of my shoes came loose and yet I still managed tae retrieve it phew, with the extra 10,000 at the back of our end it was a nightmare with a huge majority of our support funneling down through the passage that separated both levels.



    And yet it wisnae the worst that dubious honour goes tae hades, there was only one exit there for us Tims and we had a full terracing plus half of their coo shed making its way tae try and get out. When the 1971 disaster happened, although I had sympathy with them, my first reaction was that it could have been worse with more fatalities’ if it had occurred at our end and I’m not being perverse here when I say that.



    After it occurred many grounds were looked at and ours was chosen as being one of the safest due to the way we exited, while most grounds usually funneled inward toward the respective gates thereby creating congestion ours funneled outward opening up space for the fans leaving, this worked well especially at Janefield Street where the Celtic end and Jungle met.



    Moving on tae the sad song, if for no other reason than it used tae be a hun one we should ditch it, we did have our own version of follow follow at one time and when I was in high school some of the Bankie lhads used tae sing “hello hello we are the Bisley bhoys”, they were soon ditched as should this one, there are plenty of good Celtic songs out there.



    We could still use the concept but rearrange the words i.e. “sheep shaggin bassa” or “sad slippy bassa” etc.

  17. Big George 3.03pm



    Coatbrig Asda to Plains would be a fair old hike indeed… even longer if a few refreshments taken :-)

  18. i'vehadtochangemymind on

    Jesus big Jimmy – what are they on? keep belivin the bullcrap stupid huns



    -Rangers ‘within tangible reach of becoming dominant force’ – Dave King-

  19. Tontine Tim 3.11pm



    If the song is to be sung I agree adapt it to “sad sevco bassa”



    That also reminds Del Boy he played for the first entity but probably supports the new mob or at least still has leanings towards them :-)

  20. i'vehadtochangemymind on

    I’ve only just looked back on yesterday’s lunge – TR’s lucky to have a career left.

  21. Again from that Hun rag…the record tomorrow…




    Rangers and Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley in fresh round of merchandise deal fight


    Mike Ashley’s firm claim Rangers’ bosses are in breach of obligations under a deal relating to replica kit.





    ByBrian Farmer


    14:46, 15 APR 2019





    Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct and Rangers are embroiled in a long-running High Court battle (Image: PA/Twitter



    Bosses at Rangers Football Club are embroiled in the latest round of a long-running High Court battle with Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley centred on merchandise sale



    inRead invented by Teads


    Lawyers representing a company in the Sports Direct Group say Rangers’ bosses are in breach of obligations under a deal relating to replica kit.




    They say SDI Retail Services are having to bring “serial court proceedings”.



    Rangers bosses dispute claims made against them.



    A judge began to oversee the latest in a series of hearings at the High Court in London on Monday.




    Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct Group say Rangers’ bosses are in breach of obligations under a kit deal (Image: PA)



    Judge Lionel Persey is due to finish analysing evidence later this week.



    Mr Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United, was not at the hearing.



    Rangers lost a round of the fight in October.



    Another judge ruled that Rangers had breached the terms of an agreement made with SDI.



    Mr Justice Teare concluded that bosses at Rangers had made a new agreement with another firm without giving SDI a chance to match that firm’s offer.



    SDI bosses have subsequently made further complaints about Rangers not complying with commercial obligations.



    Barrister Sa’ad Hossain QC, who is leading SDI’s legal team, outlined the history of the dispute to Judge Persey and listed five sets of proceedings.




    Rangers bosses dispute the claims by Mike Ashley (Image: SNS Group)




    He said another company was continuing to sell replica kit, contrary to a deal.



    “SDI is having to compel Rangers to comply with its obligations through serial court proceedings,” he said.



    “Rangers seems unwilling to do so voluntarily.”




    Ben Quiney QC, who leads Rangers’ legal team, said “key battlegrounds” revolved around disagreement over the definition of certain commercial “activities”.



    He said a main dispute centred on the meaning of “distributing”.



    Mr Quiney told the judge: “SDI have put their case too wide and it doesn’t make sense.”





    MON the Ashley !



  22. The Battered Bunnet on

    If you’re going to take on Mike Ashley over a few million quid, best not do it the week after he’s just dropped £150 Million on his Debenhams investment…

  23. Willie Miller summed up the Aberdeen “performance” thus: the chairman of the board should have a talk to the manager about he and the team’s lack of discipline. Willie wasn’t being reflected.



    Michael Stewart called out Ball for his reckless challenge on Ryan Christie (and had the photographic of just how reckless it was). The only thing that annoyed me about his take on the whole match was his seeming licence of lesser team’s being allowed to use force to create a level playing field. I thought he was better than that.




    Thank you, Celtic, for overcoming the nonsense that passes for football and it’s reporting in Scotland.

  24. GFTB on 15TH APRIL 2019 3:16 PM



    Tontine Tim 3.11pm If the song is to be sung I agree adapt it to “sad sevco bassa”



    That also reminds Del Boy he played for the first entity but probably supports the new mob or at least still has leanings towards them :-)



    *When I was gainfully employed I would periodically listen tae snyde or that other station which broadcast fae “the shores of the Clyde tae Loch Lomondside” especially when I was doing something tedious like number crunching.



    One afternoon mcsleekit, at that time manager of St Johnstone, was a guest in the studio, Peter Martin McGuire jokingly referred tae his gers name possibly being the same as BFDJ, he responded with aye derek kai johansen mcinnes and frequently referred tae naesurname as the gaffer.



    Although Paisley born like chic dung he’s nae buddie and in 5 years at hades only played around 50 games scoring once, but as my da used tae say “once a ger always a ger”.

  25. South Of Tunis on

    Mike Ashley has been losing lots of money —Findel / Debenhams / Iconix / French Connection etc . . Many of his ” strategic Investments ” in the Stock Market have failed big time .

  26. Tontine Tim 3.57pm



    Funny you should mention “sleekit” both mccoist & mcinnes cut from the same cloth methinks



    My da also said “once a Hun always a Hun” :-)

  27. Any lovers of Real Ale been in The Griffin in Bath Street? If so, verdict, please.




  28. TRADITIONALIST88 on 15TH APRIL 2019 12:26 PM


    The strangest thing is how Lewis Ferguson slipped through Sevcos net, maybe they got complacent and just got to the stage where they assumed that every ugly wee clugger, especially one called Ferguson, would gravitate to them.



    Just catching up so apologies if already covered.


    Lewis Fergushun didn’t slip through the Rankers net, he started there….he was released…ended up at Aberdeen via Hamilton.


    He is showing all the qualities to merit a return to his roots.



    The Onlooker.

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