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HMRC v RFC 2012 to hit Supreme Court, Malky and SFA

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The Supreme Court is to hear Oldco Rangers’ appeal against the award given to HMRC over their use of Employee Benefit Trusts on 15 and 16 March 2017. Once this process is over and a conclusion reached, the courts will be finished with the matter.

As you may be aware, Rangers hit financial difficulties and were unable to continue trading. After the end of season 2011-12 they changed their name to RFC 2012 before administrators Duff & Phelps gave permission for Sevco Scotland to use the name Rangers in the context of a football club. While this permission is not unusual, it was denied to Airdrie United, who only recently were able to adopt the name of liquidated Airdrieonians.

RCF 2012 were subsequently put into liquidation. It is liquidators, BDO, who will bring the case to the Supreme Court.

After so many twists and turns on this case, I would caution against getting too far ahead of the action, but should the Supreme Court uphold HMRC’s position, the Lord Nimmo Smith Commission conclusion, that Rangers acted legally in respect of their EBTs, which meant other clubs could have taken the same steps – so no sporting advantage was gained, would be inversed.

I’m predicting Celtic will enjoy Two Generations of Domination, but I’m not predicting what the Court will decide next year.

What about Malky?

Malky MacKay deserved to be sacked for his racist comments but, having followed a course of contrition, he doesn’t deserve to be prevented from working in his industry again. A great many learn tolerance in later life.

What I’m not sure about is his talent as a coach, or anything else connected to the game, for that matter. His shining achievement is the promotion of Cardiff City to the Premier League, but once there he was quickly found out.

When he was sacked by Cardiff I suggested it wouldn’t be the racist issue which would hold him back in football (alas) but his record as a manager. He’s a one hit wonder, which is why he’s pitched up for a development gig at the SFA. An incredibly low-level job for someone who won the England and Wales Championship three years ago, but it’s about as high-profile as Malky could hope for.

News yesterday that Cardiff owner, Vincent Tan (who makes Mike Ashley look ambivalent when slighted) is pursuing Malky and others for £10m connected to the alleged misappropriation of transfer fees asks a bigger question of the SFA. Do they do due diligence on anything?

It’s bad enough having a team member cope with this kind of distraction even before the legal matter is concluded, but if the decision goes in favour of Tan, Malky’s appointment will look irresponsible. At best.

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418 Comments

  1. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    MACJAY

     

     

    I’ll take your word for it re Cockneys.

     

     

    Well-known they know eff all about beer. Watneys Red Label and Youngs London Lager nearly turned me teetotal.

     

     

    No wonder they invented smaller glasses to drink the stuff,I couldnae stomach more than a thimblesworth.

  2. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    SETTINGFREETHEBEARS 833

     

     

    Ouch…

     

     

    LMCBHOY

     

     

    Enjoy,mate. Good times ahead!!

  3. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Happy Birthday to one of CQN´s finest SOAL

     

     

    The good humour man he sees everything like

     

     

    HH

  4. SOAL: I’ll be there around 2.15. – 2.45

     

     

    ACGR: If I don’t see you at the corner I’ll leave it with DD.

  5. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on 16TH DECEMBER 2016 8:34 AM

     

    MACJAY

     

     

     

    I’ll take your word for it re Cockneys.

     

     

    ==================================================

     

     

    The accent in Sydney is thought to be the Cockney accent of approx 200 years ago.

     

    As is the use of the word ” Mate .”

  6. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    MACJAY

     

     

    I hope they didn’t import their brewing “expertise”!

  7. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Almore

     

    My dad is going to be in Malones so maybe a wee bit late at the corner

     

    Mini working so not going to make the

     

    match

     

    Can you send me your bank details and my uncle from Nigeria will put the money into your account ☘️☘️

  8. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on 16TH DECEMBER 2016 8:47 AM

     

    MACJAY

     

     

     

    I hope they didn’t import their brewing “expertise”!

     

     

    ====================================================

     

     

    From my limited experience , British beer is far better than it used to be and draught beer in U.K. is better than the Aussie equivalent.

     

    Thanks to CAMRA ?

     

     

    Incidentally , I admire your tolerance on being termed a racist .

  9. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    MACJAY

     

     

    To be fair,the beer isn’t so bad nowadays right enough. Or I’ve cultured a tolerance to that too.

  10. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Celtic coach tips Jozo Simunovic for big future in England Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic has been tipped to follow in the footsteps of Virgil van Dijk.

     

     

    By

     

    STEPHEN HALLIDAY

     

     

    Read more at: http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/celtic-coach-tips-jozo-simunovic-for-big-future-in-england-1-4318783

     

     

    Celtic coach tips Jozo Simunovic for big future in England Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic has been tipped to follow in the footsteps of Virgil van Dijk. Picture: SNS Group Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic has been tipped to follow in the footsteps of Virgil van Dijk. Picture: SNS Group STEPHEN HALLIDAY Celtic first-team coach John Kennedy insists Torino would be wasting their time with a fresh bid for Jozo Simunovic next month and has tipped the Croatian central defender to eventually follow in Virgil van Dijk’s footsteps to become a major star in the English Premier League. Simunovic was on the verge of leaving Celtic on the last day of the summer transfer window when his proposed move to Torino broke down after a late disagreement over the terms of the deal between the Scottish champions and the Serie A club. That has come to be regarded as serendipity for both Celtic and Simunovic. The 22-year-old, who was troubled by injury during his first season at the club following his £4 million move from Dinamo Zagreb in 2015, has since established himself as a stand-out performer in a team revitalised by Brendan Rodgers. Torino are now reported to be lining up another attempt to sign Simunovic when the transfer window opens next month but Kennedy, who works closely with the player on the training ground, claims he is now too vital a part of Rodgers’ plans to be sold at this stage. Kennedy believes Simunovic will stay and go on to match the standards set by former Celtic defender Van Dijk who was sold to Southampton for £13m in 2015 and is now being linked with a £40m move to Chelsea or Manchester City. “We want to keep Jozo here,” said Kennedy. “He is a big player for us now and he showed that in our last couple of Champions League games. He is a top player, very important for us, and we want to keep our best players. “At the time of the possible move to Torino earlier this season, he hadn’t quite come back from injury. He had just 
started training and the option was there for him to go to Turin. He travelled across, spoke to them and at that point in time, it was a decision for him to make if the clubs could agree a deal. “It never happened for one reason or another, but he is back here now and is doing a great job for us, one that hopefully can last a long time. He’s a top centre-back. Even when we first looked at him, back when he was at Zagreb, he was the one everyone here agreed was the best option for us. “When you’re talking about bringing in quality, he is that. He’s one that you bring in to improve the team. He’s been terrific, a fantastic boy to work with. He has a great attitude and is a super professional. Everything he does is for his career and for the good of this club. He is in a good position at the moment so it is just about maintaining that for him. He had a long period out last year but he has certainly looked strong since he came back. “You can see, just the way his lines are physically, that he looks like a player. He’s got the height, the strength, the speed and technically he’s very good. On top of that, he’s got a fantastic attitude. Nowadays, proper centre-backs are very hard to come by. You look at Van Dijk, who all the top teams are now chasing. Jozo is certainly one who is of that ilk. He ticks a lot of boxes. You get a lot of centre-backs now who don’t really want to defend and that becomes a problem for you when you are put under pressure, but he’s certainly one that likes to put his head in. He makes tackles, but he can play when need be. “Can he become better than Virgil? That’s a good question. It’s a tough one. Van Dijk’s a top player. Even when I worked with him here, I don’t think people appreciated what he was all about when he was playing in Scotland. A lot of English media and teams looked at him and thought ‘we’re unsure’, but he’s at the very top level. Jozo’s still got a little bit to go in terms of reaching that level but he certainly has it in his locker to keep progressing the way he is, so who knows?” Kennedy has sensed that Van Dijk’s exceptional form at Southampton this season has helped foster a greater level of respect among leading English clubs for the standard of player development being undertaken by Celtic. “In the last six months or so, their attitude is changing,” he added. “Now they are seeing that we do produce good players, we’re getting good players in and we’re making them better. So I think you’ll see, in the near future, that some of the big clubs will come and pluck the very best that we’ve got, because we do have high-calibre players. Moussa Dembele is getting all the headlines just now but we have a lot of players in the squad who could go and play Premier League football quite easily. “When I watch English football now, Virgil is the best centre-back in the Premier League. He could play for any team he wants to. Even Barcelona. That’s the level I see him at. It would be stupid of some of the big teams in England not to make a move for him.”

  11. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on 16TH DECEMBER 2016 8:59 AM

     

    MACJAY

     

     

     

    To be fair,the beer isn’t so bad nowadays right enough. Or I’ve cultured a tolerance to that too.

     

     

    ======================================================================

     

     

    Love it. :-)

     

     

    Slainthe !

  12. ACGR, Michael they'll be taking you away on

    Almore, cool banana’s bruv. Hope to be there but if not DD will sort you out with a tenner on my behalf.

     

     

    HH

     

     

    BTW, Why did you play so poorly in the cup semi last year? And don’t even start wi yer pish about the ferry being late, or your flight being cancelled. Ya slacker.

  13. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Nothing says Christmas more than Celtic’s Leigh Griffiths dressed as an elf

     

    After their first Christmas advert became an internet hit, Celtic have produced a follow-up as they bid to become the John Lewis of the SPL

     

     

    Paul MacInnes

     

     

    If you listen, you may hear the sound of sleigh bells approaching. If you listen even closer you will realise you are wrong and that the ringing is coming from the tills in club shops.

     

     

    ’Tis the season to splash out on consumer durables and football clubs certainly aren’t about to miss out on the action. On Premier League websites you can find customised PlayStation cases at Bournemouth, Southampton’s special range of watches, Hull City’s tiger-inspired wrapping paper and, at Liverpool, a photo of Sadio Mané in Santa gear looking overwhelmed by a gift.

     

     

    Some sites might simply plonk a crest on a reindeer-themed jumper and be done with it but others see an opportunity provided by digital platforms and a global fanbase. An example of a forward-thinking club are Celtic, who are seeking to turn themselves into the John Lewis of the SPL.

     

     

    Recently the Scottish champions released their second annual Christmas advert. The premise involves an old man sharing a sofa with his young grandson. He is trying to get the wee ‘un interested in the glories of the Lisbon Lions, whose 50th anniversary falls next year, but the kid isn’t having any of it, so distracted is he by a smartphone. Then, just as granddad is on the verge of giving up, Leigh Griffiths appears on the mantlepiece.

     

     

    He is a miniature Griffiths, dressed as an elf, here to bring joy and Celtic-branded presents to the household. Before you know it an imaginary Scott Brown has appeared in the stairwell. Finally, Brendan Rodgers turns up at the door too, his teeth as white as the falling snow. Truly, it’s a Christmas miracle.

     

     

    Brown’s appearance is a cameo after he starred in the first Celtic Xmas ad as a small child’s only, invisible, friend. Posted on YouTube and shared via their various social channels, the video went viral and gave Celtic an idea.

     

     

    “We realised it was an opportunity to show the lighter side to the club,” says Celtic’s commercial director, Adrian Filby. “That we’re a humorous brand, not just one with a great history. It was also a chance to engage supporters in a different way. Supporters want to get involved. They want to show their passion for the club and share the message wider. Effectively we’re a global club wrapped in a local market, but these adverts give us reach.”

     

     

    Using digital video to connect with the fanbase is not new. It was used to striking, if slightly confusing effect by Manchester United in the summer when they, with the help of Adidas, announced the signing of Paul Pogba through a music video that featured the France international throwing an impressive collection of shapes.

     

     

    But as well as entertaining the fanbase and encouraging them to identify further with the club in return, there is also cold, hard business logic behind Celtic’s Xmas strategy.

     

     

     

    “Of course the ad is retail-led,” Filby says. “The digital platform is key for us. Clubs are never going to be able to compete with the big boys who will dominate radio and TV with their adverts but the digital space is different. We can own that. We have brand stickiness and good engagement levels. A high-street shopper may have some loyalty but we’ve got a supporter base who are entirely loyal and this is an opportunity to get to the front of the queue.”

     

     

    The consultancy firm Deloitte’s most recent survey of money in football found that Premier League clubs’ commercial revenue (including, though not exclusively relating to, retail) has doubled between 2010 and 2015. As more retail business goes online and clubs continue to grow their social-media activity, that number will surely grow further. So expect Griffiths to get back in his green and white onesie before long.

  14. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    2016: it was a very bad year. Brexit and Trump. Terrorism and global warming. The Zika virus and James Corden’s Christmas song. And all those celebrity deaths! Bowie, Prince, Ali, Arnold Palmer, George Martin, Harper Lee, Victoria Wood, Garry Shandling, Leonard Cohen, the guy who played the solo on Hound Dog, the woman who belted out La Marseillaise in Casablanca, two-thirds of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and of course dear old Rob Rensenbrink. But chin up! The year hasn’t been a total write-off. There’s been plenty to celebrate in 2016, too. So for the umpteenth year running – we’re too jaded to count – it’s time for The Fiver’s famous Xmas Awards! Hooray! Yay! Hic!

     

     

    THE ALL-ROUND-TO-VARDY’S AWARD FOR MOST HEART-WARMING CELEBRATION

     

     

    For their first appearance at a major tournament in 58 years, Wales were fuelled by a can-do attitude and a stag-do team spirit. Chris Coleman’s tactical instructions were simple but deadly: defend like proud warriors of Pulisland, make the most of set pieces and, when in doubt, just give the ball to one of the best players in the world, Hal Robson-Kanu. That approach took Wales all the way to the semi-finals. Yet their time at Euro 2016 will be most fondly remembered for the way they celebrated England’s defeat by Iceland, as heart-warming footage of players hugging and high-fiving each other proved that amid all the hype and money, modern football still has a place for the simple time-honoured pleasure of vicious schadenfreude. Wales achieved a lot at Euro 2016, but making England’s elimination even funnier was their most unlikely feat of all. “We’ve enjoyed Iceland all the way through, they’ve been unbelievable,” explained Neil Taylor afterwards, with an impressively straight face. His sentiments regarding England won’t have been totally dissimilar.

     

     

    THE MINISTRY OF FUNNY WALKS AWARD FOR SET-PIECE PROWESS

     

     

    The problem with William McCrum’s penalty invention is that because it was so simple, it left little room for embellishment. In the 126 years since the Irishman lobbied for the introduction of spot-kicks, there has been precious little innovation in the genre, apart from an Antonin Panenka chip here and a Thierry Henry/Robert Pires slapstick routine there. So what a welcome treat Italy served up in the Euro 2016 quarter-final shootout against Germany! First, Graziano Pellè tried to distract the world’s best goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer, by miming a dink before delicately side-footing the ball five yards wide. Then Simone Zaza brought the house down by mimicking a man perambulating down a walkway constructed of hot coals, broken glass and bricks of Lego, before blazing the ball way over the bar. It was so good that West Ham simply had to add him to their troupe of comedy summer recruits.

     

     

    THE SEBASTIAN DANGERFIELD AWARD FOR LOOKING AFTER NO1

     

     

    During Euro 2016, renowned culture vulture and JP Donleavy fan Mr Roy opted to take a leaf from the book of The Ginger Man’s t1tular hero, swanning off on a boat trip up the Seine instead of scoping out possible second-round opponents Iceland, and we all know how well that decision turned out. The boat trip would have been really grand, to be fair: Mr Roy presumably saw the Eiffel Tower and the cathedral of Notre Dame, heard someone play an accordion … hell, who knows, maybe he even got to enjoy a tasty croque-monsieur and wash it down with a nice fizzy Perrier. A lovely day out, all told. He deserved it. It was great. The Iceland game wasn’t quite so much fun. To be fair, he had the good grace to resign after that risible shambles, albeit mainly in the hope of bodyswerving the postmortems. However, the FA insisted on his facing up to the fans who pay his significant salary by having the good grace to attend one final press conference. Which he did, sitting through the entire thing with a gob on. “I don’t know what I’m doing here,” he either admitted or harrumphed, depending on how you parse that sentence. Despite it all, Roy avoided a populist backlash, mainly, we suspect, because few were prepared to admit that Liverpool supporters might have been on to something all along.

     

     

     

    THE STEVEN BRADBURY COMMEMORATIVE GOLD MEDAL FOR EMPHATIC TRIUMPHS

     

     

    Leicester City. With Chelsea’s players having locked themselves in their bedrooms as they penned angry diary entries and played loud devil music, Manchester United nodding off as Louis van Gaal gave philosophy lectures, Manchester City goofing off after Manuel Pellegrini was outed as a suede-elbow-patched substitute teacher, Liverpool players still getting used to training on Jürgen Klopp’s industrial hamster wheels, Arsenal being Arsenal and Spurs being Spurs, someone had to win the Premier League. So step forward Leicester City, who finished 10 points clear of everyone else thanks to Claudio Ranieri’s novelty press conferences, Robert Huth’s old-school hoof, Riyad Mahrez’s gee and Jamie Vardy’s whizz. Leicester’s coronation as champions prompted much debate as to whether their win was more sensational than Nottingham Forest’s or Ipswich Town’s back in the day, but Ranieri’s men are all set to settle that argument by getting relegated as champs in a Manchester City style. Hopefully then winning Big Cup a few days later. Imagine the narrative purity.

     

     

    THE CHILE-ITALY AWARD FOR THROWING HANDS

     

     

    Tottenham Hotspur are the proud winners of this bent and dented trophy, for their gargantuan collective loss of noggin in giving up a two-goal lead at Stamford Bridge and presenting the Premier League title to Leicester City on a scratched and twisted silver platter. Losing with dignity is a highly overrated concept, so Spurs went down kicking, barging and hacking in a valedictory display which proved conclusively that, if nothing else, they really do care. Their bid for a first championship since 1961 ended in spectacular farce: a big cartoon cloud of dust, with fists, boots and Mauricio Pochettino’s scowling head sticking out of it, tumbled noisily down a tunnel and out of sight. Like the final frame of Butch Cassidy, the exact details of how that panned out were left unreported, though there’s a fair chance it wasn’t too pretty. Marvellous old-school entertainment. More, please, football!

     

     

    THE ADIDAS ‘COLUMBIA’ CAMPAIGN AWARD FOR KNOWING ONE’S TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC

     

     

    Karren Brady CBE. Her West Ham United made a strong challenge for the title in 2016, that title being Britain’s Biggest Beneficiaries of Social Housing Outside the Windsor Family. But handling a stadium move is not the same as peddling fruity self-help aids, and the club’s bongo-tastic owners inevitably encountered hitches as they made their way from the Boleyn Ground to the People’s Park. There were safety plans to get wrong, an atmosphere to neuter, and a high-flying team to drag down. Most of all, there was a loyal fanbase to antagonise. “We saw [the move] as a real opportunity to change the brand values of the club,” Brady told a flute of businessmen at a conference in October, before suggesting that the club of Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst, the Academy of Football, Julian D1cks, Marco Boogers, Forever Blowing Bubbles, Russell Brand, Danny Dyer and Ray ‘Put All Your Wages On A Goal In The 13th Minute’ Winstone lacked culture. She later took to Social Media Disgrace Twitter to clarify what she meant, because Social Media Disgrace Twitter is the perfect medium for efficiently nipping controversy in the bud, isn’t it. There’s yet another thing that wasn’t totally thought through.

     

     

    THE PETER MARINELLO AWARD FOR REALISING ONE’S POTENTIAL

     

     

    The Dominic Matteo de nos jours, John Stones. Hoof it into Row Z, will you. Progressive philosophies are all well and good, but you won’t have to theatrically hold your head in your hands every 10 seconds if you hoof it into Row Z.

     

     

    THE LOUIS VAN GAAL MEMORIAL AWARD FOR MANCHESTER-BASED MANAGERS RESPONDING TO BLOODY DAFT QUESTIONS WITH INDUSTRIAL LEVELS OF DISDAIN

     

     

    A very tough category, this, what with José Mourinho in town. But right now, José’s tryin’ real hard to be a shepherd. And his studied good behaviour has left the door wide open for Pep Guardiola, who has bolted right on through. Whether winning or losing, Guardiola responds to every inane interrogation with either a deflated sigh, a fuming pause, or a genuinely exasperated “ahferfugssake”. Sometimes all three. He really, really, really cannot be bothered with the preposterous dance of the modern press conference, and he certainly isn’t going to churn out the platitudes just to keep the press pack happy. They’ll get him for this in the end, of course, but for now, it’s wonderful to watch. Heroic.

     

     

    THE PEP GUARDIOLA AWARD FOR UNDERSTATED ELEGANCE

     

     

    José Mourinho. You’d think Pep would pick up this gong, wouldn’t you, for the crisp, clean lines of his slim-cut suit, the ease at which he pulls off a statement scarf, or the effortless chic of his sports jacket and sweater combo. But José has been photographed shuffling around the foyer of his hotel wearing a pair of creased tracky pants, in the manner of someone about to be escorted off the premises and invited to finish his al fresco drinking session and half-eaten kebab out of sight elsewhere. That’s more The Fiver’s kind of people.

     

     

    THE ROBBIE SAVAGE AWARD FOR FORCED ICONOCLASM

     

     

    Pick a modern pundit. Any one. We’re not fussy. See, the whole critic-artist dynamic has been totally shattered by Social Media Disgrace Twitter. Time was, the pundit would say their piece, whereupon the subject of their ire, be it player or manager, would tell them to eff off, and that would be that. Everyone had their say, and the world would move on. But these days, whenever pundits are questioned over their foghorn opinions, they instantly jump on social media in an attempt to get the final say. Happy to dish it out, not so happy to have anything coming back the other way. They’re more touchy than Donald Trump. For example, The Fiver has little doubt that Jamie Carragher and the two Nevilles are righteously correct in their analysis of Loris Karius, their opinions no doubt informed by careful study of his 91 appearances in the Bundesliga, because there’s no way any reasonable person would completely write off a 23-year-old after watching clips from a few matches with their feet up on the desk in a television studio. That’s all fair enough. However the way they’ve since come back at him, all guns blazing, for having the temerity to stick up for himself, is perhaps prolonging the debate a step too far. This habit of pundits writing themselves into every story is getting old. Even Jimmy Hill and Malcolm Allison knew when to get off the stage. Well, most of the time.

     

     

    A KEVIN MUSCAT-SIGNED COPY OF THE DA VINCI CODE IN RECOGNITION OF EXCEPTIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO SUBTLE SYMBOLISM

     

     

    Sam Allardyce. It seemed, fleetingly, that the FA had got over itself. Or maybe it was just that in the post-Euro 2016 wasteland they could no longer dodge Big Sam. Yes, that was it, because at the first whiff of a minor breach of decorum, they panicked and got shot of Allardyce and drafted in Gareth Southgate instead. Southgate arrived with a nice manner and lots of fine talk about England’s DNA, but there’s no shaking a sense of an opportunity missed. At least Allardyce, a patriot till the end, bequeathed an emblem that should guide England in the years ahead, a symbol of the unashamed blend of grit and commitment that English football should be all about: that pint glass of wine, which should be embroidered on every England jersey.

     

    A DAVID CAMERON-ENDORSED ASTON VILLA FAN RATTLE FOR OUTSTANDINGLY SINCERE GESTURES

     

     

    Following Sunderland’s 1-0 defeat at West Ham in October, the Black Cats’ striker Victor Anichebe almost spared a thought for the fans who’d made the long journey from the north-east to the south coast, tweeting: “Can you tweet something like ‘Unbelievable support yesterday and great effort by the lads! Hard result to take! But we go again.’” He would have made 29 fewer keystrokes had he just done it himself in the first place. At least he’s making his Mr 15% earn his cut.

     

    THE EL HADJI DIOUF AWARD FOR TALKING THROUGH ONE’S HOOP TO GET ATTENTION

     

     

    Joey Barton.

     

    THE JOEY BARTON AWARD FOR TALKING THROUGH ONE’S HOOP TO DEFLECT ATTENTION

     

    Joey Barton: ‘If someone is looking for conflict I won’t shy away from it – ever’

     

     

    Joey Barton. The former Burnley midfielder was happy to let everyone know that the Pope’s Newc O’Rangers had pulled off a major coup by signing him. “I’m coming up here to be the best player in the country,” he bugled, and The Fiver’s not about to mock a man for being self-confident. Instead The Fiver will mock him for falling so far short of the standards he set himself that it could only have been funnier if he’d gone to games with a cuddly lion mascot under his arm. September’s Old Firm derby was a particularly choice skit. Barton had previewed it by declaring that Scott Brown “is not in my league” but could not get close to the Queen’s Celtic’s captain during the inevitable 5-1 thrashing. Apart from the moment Brown whispered something to him when the score was 2-0, that is. “I was just making sure he was all right,” deadpanned Brown afterwards. Being outwitted by Scott Brown was a development Barton could not tolerate, so he lashed out at team-mates for not caring as much as him, or something. O’Rangers felt his input lacked constructiveness so suspended him and told him to say sorry. Then Barton was accused of breaking football’s betting rules. Then Barton signed off with stress. Then Barton and O’Rangers agreed the joke was getting old so they called it a day. But he still had time to deliver the punchline, explaining as he shuffled back south that the problem all along was with the Scottish media: “They built me up like I was Messi or Neymar.” And to be fair, even Brown would find it difficult to live up to that.

     

     

    THE GEORGE W BUSH AWARD FOR MISSION ACCOMPLISHMENT

     

     

    Fifa, which abolished its anti-racism taskforce in September on the grounds that meetings had been held, hands had been shaken and everything was hunky dory – especially as the next World Cup is in Russia. “My only hope is that Fifa have thought this through,” ventured Yaya Touré, more in hope than expectation one strongly suspects.

     

    PLAYER OF THE YEAR

     

     

    Marouane Fellaini. Poor guy just wants to be loved, like the rest of us. We’d give him a cuddle, but he’s not here, so this is the best we can do. C’mon, it’s Christmas.

     

     

    RUNNER-UP

     

     

    Eden Hazard, for bouncing back so bravely after a painful season-long battle with existential ennui.

     

     

    TEAM OF THE YEAR

     

     

    Aston Villa, whose sequence of 11 straight losses was quite an achievement, and the worst in the Premier League since Sunderland lost 15 on the spin in 2003. The Black Cats at least had the good grace not to lose any of theirs 6-0 at home.

  15. So Trump is determined to move the American embassy out of Telaviv to Jerusalem.

     

     

    Reap what you sow!

     

     

    Personally I hope on his first visit both Friedman and him feel the full force of this aggressive decision personally,

     

     

    MWD

  16. Aleppo convoy and evacuations suspended again!

     

     

    Unbelievable. Just how difficult is it to agree and manage the evacuation of innocents before you start bombing the hell out of one another making more money for arms dealers and creating the foundations for a more serious conflict across the region.

     

     

    MWD

  17. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    MOUSSA DEMBELE is leading the race to be crowned France’s best young player of the year.

     

     

    The Celtic hitman has been nominated for the prestigious Trophée de l’Espoir Français 2016 gong by French footie programme Téléfoot.

     

     

    Dembele, 20, is ahead of global stars like Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman and Manchester United’s Anthony Martial with 37 per cent of the votes.

     

     

    PSG youngster Adrien Rabiot is currently Dembele’s closest challenger in second place, while Borussia Dormund’s Ousmane Dembele sits in third.

     

     

    The winner of the prestigious prize is set to be announced on Sunday.

     

     

    It’s the latest recognition for Dembele who has been a sensation at Parkhead since his £500,000 summer move from Fulham.

     

     

    The striker has been linked with big money moves to the likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea and Man United after netting three Champions League goals and a hat-trick against Rangers.

     

     

    The youngster could also be on the brink of a senior international call-up after firing four goals in four games for France Under-21s.

     

     

    If you would like to cast a vote, visit tf1.com.

     

    Full list of contenders:

     

     

    Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich)

     

     

    Maxwel Cornet (Lyon)

     

     

    Wylan Cyprien (Nice)

     

     

    Moussa Dembélé (Celtic)

     

     

    Ousmane Dembélé (Dortmund)

     

     

    Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain)

     

     

    Alban Lafont (Toulouse)

     

     

    Thomas Lemar (Monaco)

     

     

    Anthony Martial (Manchester United)

     

     

    Kylian Mbappé (Monaco)

     

     

    Adrien Rabiot (Paris Saint-Germain)

  18. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Good Morning Bhoys from a damp Central Scotland. I have been reading this morning that Dundee are coming tomorrow to park the bus and hoping to snatch a point.Not a single thought about entertaining the support no wonder crowds are so poor at Scottish football. H.H.

  19. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Hartley knows his team are up against it in Glasgow this weekend but believes that with discipline and application they can emerge with something.

     

     

    He said: “I think the improvement in Celtic is in the way they play now — the ability they’ve got in the team as well as their pace.

     

     

    “It’s about how they move the ball and the combination play and the different systems they do use.

     

     

    “So you’re second-guessing sometimes about what they’re going to play.

     

     

    “Even looking at the game the other night against Hamilton, it’s a system I’ve not really seen, compared to the one they used against Partick Thistle the week before.

     

     

    “I think they have an outstanding manager and an outstanding team.

     

     

    “I watched the Motherwell game. He changed it by sort of going to a three in a diamond.

     

     

    “I think we’ve got to expect them to change it.

     

     

    “I think Scott Brown is suspended but when you look at the bench — and even the ones in the stand — they’ve got quality players coming back as well.

     

     

    “You’re never quite sure how they’re going to line up but the dynamics of the team are probably still the same.

     

     

    “As players, you should really just go there and enjoy it. Nobody expects too much from us and that’s true of most of the teams who go there.

     

     

    “But we’ll go there and hopefully put on a good performance.

     

     

    “To an extent, the pressure is off our players, but we want to go there and put a good performance on.

     

     

    “I think that’s the key thing for us.

     

     

    “We want to be hard to beat and try to frustrate Celtic as much as we can.

     

     

    “You could go there and press them and get picked off, or you could go and sit back and it’s a long day.

     

     

    “We’ve got to find a way to try and win the game.

     

     

    “We’ve worked on a few things this week to try and stop them playing.

     

     

    “But when we get the ball it’s important we do well when in possession.

     

     

    “There’s no point in getting the ball and giving it away again because it’s going to be a long day for you.

     

     

    “The key thing for us is to make sure we keep possession long enough when we have it.”

     

     

    Dundee lost just 1-0 to Celtic at Dens Park earlier in the season and Hartley wants to see a repeat of that stuffy showing.

     

     

    The former Celt, who could have Mark O’Hara back tomorrow, added: “We tried to make it as hard as we could for them earlier in the season.

     

     

    “We’ve actually done alright in the last three games against them by only conceding one goal in those games.

     

     

    “The season has been a little bit up and down for us so far. But that’s probably been the same for the majority of the teams from fifth to 12th in the table. There’s not a lot between us.

     

    “We’ve had some good spells and some bad spells, so finding the consistency is the key for us.

     

     

    “Six teams are probably in the same boat just now.

     

     

    “Every point is so vital for us and we need to get as many as we can before the winter break.”

  20. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Apologies guys but the Lee Hideous and Munster Crunch articles are unawenaweable. I blame Jabba

     

     

    HH

  21. And then there is the DEC appeal to help 80% of the extremely poor population of one of the poorest states in the Middle East – the Yemen.

     

     

    Iran, Suadi + 6 other regional nations bombing the hell out of the Yemen backed by USA and UK. Yip a coalition that includes Iran backed by USA and UK.

     

     

    And in Syria Iran backs the Russians in their coalition with Assad and the Syrian regime fighting rebels who are backed by the US, UK and the west while some of those rebels groups are in fact IS who neither coalition support but were armed by US to fight Assad.

     

     

    Stupid is as Stupid does. But arms sales are profitable.

     

     

    MWD

  22. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    Pakistan 7 for 66 V Oz.

     

     

    There`s a shock.

     

     

    For the bookies.

     

     

    Maybe not.

  23. Aleppo.

     

     

    Wowee film on Italian tele — mad mental Mad Max style Afghan militia chaps smoking chillums and claiming that they are there for Russian money and the promise of a house and a job in Iran when their job is done . . The job ? — exterminating Sunni .

  24. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    MOONBEAMSWD on 16TH DECEMBER 2016 9:17 AM

     

    I agree BMCUWP. You are very tolerant of the incumbent racist. Don’t know how you stomach IT.

     

     

     

    MWD

     

     

    ===================================================================

     

     

    Patently Mods having a day off.

     

     

    Unless of course………………….

  25. Teh Name is Bond.

     

     

    Strathleven Bond

     

     

    Brooke Bond

     

     

    Penny Bond

     

     

    ANY BOND

     

     

    The Globalists will Blame the Nationalists…

     

     

    Ooh I could crush a Grape.

  26. DENA29

     

     

    Lovely, lovely news for your wee Ghirl and you!

     

     

    I will still remember you both in my prayers.

     

     

    Take care and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  27. I rock like a mod.

     

     

    Is one suggesting a personal attack.

     

     

    Was it the racist or the IT?

     

     

    Hardly a personal attack when racist judgement based on your previous musings. Unless of course you didn’t mean them and you went on a diversity course to re-educate yourself.

     

     

    And if the mods deam it a personal attack then so be it but your history on these very pages supports my views of you.

     

     

    Or maybe IT was IT you deem a personal attack. If so that is funny.

     

     

    Maybe you should just stick to ignoring my opinions because like your pal says they are just my opinions.

     

     

    But I get it. The truth hurts eh?

     

     

    MWD

  28. Posters being labelled racist. Now they’ll be running off to Paul to report this…

     

     

    Or not.