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  1. eddieinkirkmichael on

    Good article on Scots football in the opinion section of Scotsman



    SUPPORTERS’ refusal to allow Rangers to go unpunished will prove to be a seminal challenge to our national elites, writes Gerry Hassan





    This has been a sensational few months in Scotland. We have the manoeuvring on the independence referendum, economic worries and wider anxieties about the euro crisis.



    Yet, what has captured the headlines has been the state of Scottish football, the implosion of Rangers FC, and their demotion to Division Three. Football matters in Scotland because of tradition, culture and global reach. It also helps that we are the third most fanatical football nation per head in Europe, after Iceland and Cyprus.



    The events of this year have been seismic and need to be understood in a wider context. In the last couple of years, three of the biggest institutions in Scotland that have defined much of our public lives – Royal Bank of Scotland, the Labour Party and now Rangers FC – have hit crisis, lost their way and suffered ignominy and humiliation.



    What has been called by some “the Scottish spring” of football has consequences well beyond the boundaries of the game. Just to recap for non-football fans, it was only due to the unprecedented gathering of fan power that the football authorities were prevented from keeping a Rangers who went into liquidation in the top-flight Scottish Premier League (SPL); they then stopped Rangers being “parachuted” into Division One rather than Division Three.



    This is a historic moment. For time immemorial our society has been run by a network of elites, professional groups and vested interests. The Scottish Parliament and the arrival of the SNP government haven’t done anything major to jeopardise this.



    Fascinatingly, football is the first arena in our public life where the fresh, cleansing air of democracy has shown itself. Over the summer, football fans across Scotland have come together, agitated and organised and overturned the time-honoured stitch-up that would have kept a newco Rangers in the SPL. They did this through a variety of forums, from supporters’ trusts and associations to the internet and social media, creating an informal, powerful fans movement.



    They have been aided by a few courageous journalists who decided to spend time investigating the affairs of Rangers and questioning the football authorities. However, these people were the exceptions. What was the norm was collusion with the way football and Rangers were being run. This has become known as “succulent lamb journalism” after the habit of numerous scribes who feasted at the table of the big football clubs and David Murray’s Rangers in particular, refusing to risk their access and rights by asking difficult questions.



    A generation of football journalists grew up with this attitude while the events of the last few months have illustrated the scale of their self-deception. Time and again they have declared Scottish football needs “a successful Rangers” and that any move to put them into the Third Division would signal “the death of Scottish football”. This sort of attitude, of colluding with power, is one we have seen across society, whether the corruption of one-party Labour local government, or the corporate doublethink of banking and related services.



    We have now seen something stupendous and yet already the football authorities are attempting to restore the old order. They are looking at league reconstruction this year to aid getting Rangers back into the SPL as early as possible.



    More damning is that they are actively trying to conserve the old, failed ways. Football has become infected by short-term outlook, massive debt and an addiction to Sky TV money, which is related to the unsustainable bubble of the economy. Scottish clubs for the last decade have spent more than they could, binged on expensive second-rate imports, and ignored community and youth development. And yet this is the model the authorities and most of the teams are desperate to keep on the road.



    This has similarities to the economic debate post-banking crash. For all the talk of banker levies and making them pay and change, there is a distinct politics of restoration in relation to the economy. If only we can get the banks to lend, it goes, we can encourage economic growth, get the housing market rising, and maintain the scared role of the City of London as the centre of wheeler-dealer making in the world. What links the world of football and the economy is the failed business models of the last few decades, the MBA culture that Neil Doncaster, head of the SPL, and Stewart Regan, head of the SFA, have articulated in the corridors of power of Scottish football. A culture and mindset that our political classes of every hue have bought into.



    Little wonder that Henry McLeish, former first minister, talks the insipid language of football as “a brand”, “reputation” and “a product”. It has to be all of those things, but it would be great if we could raise our aspirations, utilise the newfound fan power and be more daring.



    This would entail thinking more long-term, investing in youth development and developing the new community and fan-owned models of ownership that are spreading through the game. It would see the Stirling Albions of this world, proudly fan-owned, as more our future than the corporate leviathans of Glasgow Rangers with the unsustainable huge debts that led them to liquidation.



    Whatever difficult and painful roads Scottish football faces, and it is going to have quite a few, things will never be the same again, no matter how hard the football authorities and some of the myopic football old guard try to turn back time.



    Democracy has finally broken out in a part of Scotland; it is messy, uncontrollable and uncontainable. It will prove to be intoxicating, and we need to celebrate this opening, and spread and encourage this force far and wide across our society. It has been a long time coming, but finally the dam of institutional control and contempt has broken; it shouldn’t be too surprising that it happened on the football field.

  2. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on Heaven loves ya The clouds part for ya Nothing stands in your way When you’re a bhoy



    Clothes always fit ya Life is a pop of the cherry When you’re a bhoy



    When you’re a bhoy You can wear a uniform When you’re a bhoy Other bhoys check you out You get a girl To say your favorite things When you’re a bhoy



    Bhoys Bhoys Bhoys keep winning Bhoys always work it out



    Uncage the colours Unfurl the flag Luck just kissed you hello When you’re a bhoy



    They’ll never clone ya You’re always first on the line When you’re a bhoy



    When you’re a bhoy You can buy a home of your own When you’re a bhoy Learn to drive and everything You’ll get your share When you’re a bhoy



    Bhoys Bhoys Bhoys keep winning Boys always work it out

  3. Wrap the Green Flag Round Me Boys—and put the League flag beside it. New season, and I have to think about my nap for the horsy competition. Why should a man of my age get excited about football?


    The start of the season is upon us. God bless the BHOYS in green.


    Glasgow Celtic Champions


    All those that are at the game enjoy every moment of it.


    Hail hail

  5. At work



    My mate sent me this re Leuven and catching the game



    Stapletons are not open until 15.30 – so no go there.



    Alternativew would be Old Oak in Brussels – That’s where the CSC is now address in Rue Franklinstraat (Schumann area)



    If this helps please thank Stephen and John not me.




  6. Thomthetim/SFTB – would that be Sharkey’s bar in Donegal?



    I was in there a couple of weeks ago on a trip to the fatherland with the auld man.

  7. Lifted from the Official site.



    NEIL Lennon has made three changes to the side which defeated HJK Helsinki during the week. Beram Kayal and Anthony Stokes come into the side at the expense of James Forrest and Scott Brown, who both miss out through injury.



    Thomas Rogne also comes into defence as Charlie Mulgrew serves a one-match suspension for the red card he was shown in the pre-season friendly against Ajax a fortnight ago.



    The Champions will kick-off the 2012/13 season at 12.45pm, following the unfurling of the flag.



    CELTIC: Forster; Matthews, Wanyama, Rogne, Izaguirre; Commons, Kayal, Ledley, Samaras; Hooper, Stokes


    Subs: Zaluska, K. Wilson, McCourt, Lustig, Murphy, McGeouch, F. Twardzik

  8. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    The flags are gaily flying o’er Celtic Park today, Because the lads of Celtic have shown the world the way, They played the game in Lisbon and here is how they won, They didn’t play defensive, attack is what they done.



    The flags are out for Celtic, they know just what to do, And Scottish hearts and Irish hearts are mighty proud of you.



    In all the big world over the name of Celtic rung, And in our heart of Glasgow our Celtic song was sung, God bless you great eleven, this is your greatest day, Next season Jock from Greenock we’re with you all the way.



    The flags are out for Celtic, they know just what to do, And Scottish hearts and Irish hearts are mighty proud of you.



    You won so many cups this year, 4 or 5 or 6, You should give one to Rangers, they’re really in a fix, John Lawrence shook your hands lads as you came off the plane, And everyone is proud of you, your football brought you fame.



    The flags are out for Celtic, they know just what to do, And Scottish hearts and Irish hearts are mighty proud of you.




  9. Don’t like that line up, but Mulgrew and Brown’s exclusions have made it difficult. This game is by no means a foregone conclusion.

  10. Will be a tough game, they have a few players who can cause us problems.



    Any type of win with no more injury worries will do me. Hail hail!!

  11. CQN Saturday Naps Competition



    Lads, for those who want to enter the CQN Saturday Naps competition, please go back and post your selection at the end of the earlier article :



    (“Cautious optimism with one weak spot”)



    Alternatively, if you cannot access the previous article for any reason, then you can send me an email message with your selection to :


    fleagle29 at gmail.com



    All the best, fleagle1888

  12. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    Geographically,as far away from Celtic Park as it is possible to be.


    Emotionally,standing on the terracing with mates and desperately hoping that THIS year our Tims will be challenging the Football establishment (huns)for an occasional piece of the fitba`pie.


    Those days have gone.


    We have come of age.



    Telly on and Celtic Park now in view.


    Life`s good.


    Greetings to Tims everywhere.

  13. Love the sign in the tunnel



    Always have been. Always will be. Celtic



    Massive GIRUY! ;)

  14. I like that Scotsman article. I like it a lot. The analogy with banks and scrambling to piece together the broken old system is very apt.

  15. How the hell does a red card from a friendly against european opposition carry a suspension into a different competition against a domestic side?



    Is there some logic i’m missing here

  16. lefthandpillaroldjungle on

    cant make the game so got the wireless on………WTF……trying their best to heap shame on the hoops for winning !!!…

  17. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Always and forever Each moment with you Is just like a dream to me That somehow came true, yeah



    And I know tomorrow Will still be the same Cuz we got a life of love That won’t ever change and



    [1] – Everyday love me your own special way Melt all my heart away with a smile Take time to tell me you really care And we’ll share tomorrow together Ooh baby, I’ll always love you forever



    Ever, ever, ever There’ll always be sunshine When I look at you It’s something I can’t explain Just the things that you do If you get lonely Call me and take A second to give to me That magic you make and



    [Repeat 1]




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