Celtic, Media, Satire, Scottish Cup, Sevco

Pedro’s Water Torture

Picture via @AlisonGConroy

Good Evening.

Well done to Celtic on making it to the Scottish Cup Final, where they will face Aberdeen. I can’t wait. It promises to be a great occasion between the two best sides in Scotland.

Commiserations to Sevco who were distinctly second best in all departments today. Apart from Joe Garner, who remarkably managed to be third best in everything he did in a two horse race.

Despite crashing out, Sevco are still confident of a home tie in the next round and have offered the SFA the use of their microwave if it is needed. 😉

Willie Collum managed not to be completely horrific in every decision he made, which presumably now makes him Scotland’s top referee. Nevertheless, his failure to send Andy Halliday off for this early ‘challenge’ is utterly inexplicable:

Andy Halliday sends Patrick Roberts into next week

Perhaps Collum and his fellow match officials were simply struck dumb by the sight of a player using an actual scythe to bring down an opponent? Whatever the case, the decision still stinks many hours later. 

People complain about fussy refereeing preventing football from being a contact support, but Collum’s failure to award a red card here is an absolute joke. If that ‘tackle’ had appeared in an episode of Casualty, the BBC would probably have been inundated with complaints about showing gratuitous violence.

The Clumpany was most disappointed, however, with Scotland’s Player of the YearJoey Barton who managed to have an even quieter game than he did during the 5-1 mauling earlier this season. What’s going on Joey? You won’t get an enhanced contract from the proceeds of Barrie McKay’s ÂŁ6m move to RB Leipzig if you don’t buck up your ideas soon!

Barton’s display was once again a complete contest to that of Scott Brown, who was absolutely immense. Brown’s masterclass was a particular shame given how a number of pundits have been howling with outrage at Celtic ‘playing the system’ to allow him to play by appealing his red card against Ross County….

However, the main point I wanted to dwell upon today was the above-pictured curious display from Paperwork Pedro at his post-match press conference. 

In his Sky interview, Pedro was pretty magnanimous about Celtic’s victory, reflecting the genuinely warm words he seemed to exchange with Brendan Rodgers on the pitch after the game. Fair play to him for that. But what was going on at the press conference? Alison Conroy tells us the following 


What possible insight into Sevco’s display could be offered by those liquid-filled glasses?

Over to you Pedro… 😉

“This glass is filled with the tears of my friends in the press who really didn’t want Scott to play. He had a great game. Which gives me no pleasure as I am clearly not an admirer of Celtic Football Club. As the PR man told me.”

“Next to that glass we have a sample of the piss you have all been taking this week by discussing the ‘Old Firm’. Is it not enough that I have the best squad in Scotland to entertain the fans? Why do you need to upset the face-painter and remind other people of painful unpaid bills? I am going to get into trouble for saying that aren’t I? What was that thing I said at my first press conference about ‘history’? Please print that instead.”

“The third glass is where I keep my pet shark. A Celtic fan I know who is [*cough*] also called Pedro Caixinha suggested that I should call the shark ‘Liquidation’. So I did. I like to put on waterskis and jump over him. I have recently broken my waterskis but understand that one of you might be able to lend me some. Is there anyone from the Afternoon Shark-Jump newspaper here? I think that is what my favourite blogger calls it.”

“The fourth glass is from the Chairman’s personal collection. It is called Chateau de War Chest, and is apparently the world’s first completely colourless and odourless red wine.”

“And finally, the fifth glass is what I have called ‘Joe Garner’s Sparkling Water’. You may think that it looks like tepid, lukewarm, still water which has algae growing in it, and which flatters to deceive. In response I would say ‘Well done! Now you know why I have named it after Joe Garner’.”

#KeepOnClumping

Celtic, Media, Scottish Cup, Scottish Football, Sevco

A Complete Lack Of Imagination


Good Evening.

Imagine the scene.

You’ve got a Scottish newspaper or radio/ TV show to fill with football-related items. 

You look at the weekend’s fixtures and note that as well as there being a substantial league programme, there are also two Scottish Cup semi-finals taking place, featuring the holders and the three top sides in the Premiership. 

Celtic are chasing a Treble, Aberdeen are looking to win their first Scottish Cup in a long time to cement their resurgence of recent years, Sevco are seeking their first ever major trophy, and Hibs are (were!) looking to repeat their remarkable triumph of 2016.

What’s more, all of the sides have sizeable followings and managers with a point to prove. So, in short, the semi-final line-up is very tasty. With plenty of angles to cover and stories to tell.

The Glasgow Derby is undoubtedly the more attention-grabbing of the two ties, bringing together as it does the two biggest-supported sides in Scotland and containing intriguing sub-plots around Brendan Rodgers, Pedro Caixinha, Scott Brown, questions about the standard of refereeing, and the relative form of the two sides.

Cup semi-finals are nearly always – on paper at least – absolute crackers and something to look forward to. This particular set of semi-finals is perhaps above average in terms of the sense of anticipation that surrounds them.

So, overall, if you worked in the press you are likely to find that there is plenty to say about the games, and a willing audience who wants to hear it.

All of which begs the question of why oh why oh why do some outlets seem to think that the most appropriate way to cover the semi-finals is to overwhelmingly focus on only one of them and produce output which goes something like this:

“Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm, Old Firm”.

It won’t take you more than half a second of searching on Google to find the sort of articles to which I am referring.

I am inclined to suggest that this rampant Old Firmery is simply the product of a lack of imagination. Much of the press has ‘always’ covered Scottish football like this and they have little appetite for turning off the autopilot. Why produce interesting takes on the semi-finals when there is some familiar old crap that you can simply dust down?

The alternative is to suspect that some truly spectacular liquidation-denial is occurring. A systematic attempt to pretend that something we all saw didn’t actually occur. The problem with that, of course, is that it insults our intelligence and mocks 276 stiffed creditors (including every taxpayer in the U.K.) in a manner which suggests that Scottish football is some sort of moral vacuum which is to be cherished!

But surely no one working at a mainstream media outlet would have the nerve to do such a thing, would they?

Whatever the truth, the liberal deployment of Old Firmery is piss-taking of the highest order, which deserves our utter contempt.

#KeepOnClumping

Celtic, Media, Scottish Football, Sevco

Tin Foil Hat Man


Good Evening.

The Clumpany found it amusing that an article poking fun at the ‘tin foil hat’ brigade amongst the Celtic support also managed to wibble about “two Old Firm games on the bounce” without any apparent irony.

The piece of which I speak is yesterday’s column from the Record’s Michael “Mr” Gannon: 

A conspiracy against Celtic? If there is it might just be the worst in history

To be fair, it was largely knockabout stuff. And when dwelling on the implications of the non-penalty which gave Ross County their equaliser against Celtic last weekend, it made a valid point about clubs at the bottom of the table having considerable cause for grievance.

Nevertheless, the piece failed to adequately address the points that 

  • Celtic lost out on three points, 
  • the players missed out on win bonuses; and 
  • the fans didn’t get the chance to savour a victory which they had travelled in hope of seeing.

This is – after all – professional sport, and if you are financially or even emotionally invested in it, you have every right to be pissed off if you feel cheated!
And to then howl about it.

In my opinion, Mr Gannon is simply wrong to say that the penalty and resulting draw “meant nada to the Parkhead club.”

Mr Gannon also failed to dwell upon the vexed questions of how on Earth these terrible refereeing performances keep on occurring, and who is ultimately accountable for them. 

It was nice to learn that referees are apparently upset when they make an arse of their job. However, I would be far more interested in hearing about what will be done to ultimately limit the number of occasions on which they get it so wrong that you start wondering whether they are actually engaged in an innovative form of performance art.

But rather than receiving helpful insights, we instead got some rather cheap sneering at Celtic fans who believe that there may be some sort of conspiracy against the club. 

It is clearly easy to mock these unnamed and unquantified individuals on social media, especially when Celtic have already won the league by a distance and are currently chasing a second cup of the season. Nevertheless, such mocking unfortunately serves to

Frankly, any organisation which can invent the concepts of ‘imperfect registration’ and ‘conditional membership’, which can be party to a secret 5-Way Agreement, and which has questions to answer over the awarding of a UEFA License to the late Rangers FC in 2012, deserves to have its every action treated with the utmost suspicion. 

So it is hardly surprising if some folk question the motivations of referees in quite ‘eye-catching’ terms.

Mr Gannon’s piece was doubtless intended as a lighthearted bit of banter that traded on the ‘popular’ perception/ misconception of ‘Internet Bampots’. But in doing so, he did many of us – and the cause of a fairer, better-run game – a disservice.

The fact that he did so while wearing a wibbletastic ‘Old Firm’-promoting tin foil hat of his own will cause many of us to chuckle at his piece for quite some time!

#KeepOnClumping

Media, Satire, Scottish Football

Absolutely Barking


Good Evening.

The Clumpany hears that chaos broke out at one Scottish sports desk today.

It started when a hack called their editor early this morning and said that they wouldn’t be able to come into work. Sadly, the person who usually pops in to take their dog for walks was sick, and they couldn’t possibly leave it alone all day. 

After expressing surprise that the hack even had a dog (having previously shown little interest in sentient creatures of any sort), and having let it be known that it was inconvenient, the Editor agreed that the dog could come into the office on a one-off basis. Provided that it was no trouble.

Little did they know what was soon to happen!

A couple of hours later, the Editor was interrupted by staff asking them to “come quickly” and help resolve a tricky situation. It is a massive understatement to say that the Editor was perturbed by the scene which confronted them.

The hack was shouting “here boy!” extremely loudly and trashing the office. Colleagues explained that apparently the dog had somehow got loose, and the hack was highly distressed at not being able to find it.

The Editor decided to help with the search, and asked what the dog looked like.

“Well that’s the thing, boss”, one of the team explained, “None of us has actually seen the dog. Or heard it, in fact. 

“All we saw earlier was the office door open and xxxxxx come in holding a dog lead and speaking in a silly voice as if talking to a dog. 

“A few treats were thrown under the desk ‘for it to eat’, and we heard some chat about the dog sitting on the sofa with xxxxxx to watch the match at the weekend. But the treats are still there. As if there was no actual dog to eat them. 

“But anyway, we were working away on our pieces when all of a sudden there was a cry of anguish and we were all begged to help with the search.”

The Editor unsuccessfully tried to calm the hack down, and they were unable even to describe the dog. As work on the day’s journalistic output ground to a halt, things came to a head when the hack became convinced that the ‘dog’ had somehow escaped the office and was roaming the streets in a state of high peril.

To try and assist their distraught colleague, the paper’s staff quickly produced some ‘Missing’ posters, which are now being put up around Glasgow.

If you see one, please heed its instructions and keep an eye out for the hack’s seemingly non-existent dog. Apparently it ‘answers’ to the name ‘Old Firm’ and is really looking forward to Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final.

#KeepOnClumping

Media, Scottish Football, SFA

What Are YOU So Afraid Of?


Good Evening.

You – yes you – enjoy Scottish football on a regular basis.

You might even love it. 

You see appalling refereeing on a troublingly regular basis.

If you are a fan of a team that is a victim of it, you howl like any fan would. 

You might even cry ‘incompetence’ or ‘foul play’.

But even if you simply report on Scottish football as a ‘neutral journalist’, you will undoubtedly have highlighted duff refereeing quite frequently.

And recognised that it changes games.

And thereby affects the experience and enjoyment of paying punters who spend their limited resources watching the national sport. 

You might even have thought that paying punters deserve better.

Much better.

But whatever the case, you will have almost certainly thought that the refereeing in Scotland could be improved.

You might even have been of sufficient sentience to have thought “f*ck me, it really doesn’t have to be like that!”

After all, the human experience is all about optimism and striving for improvement. 

So even if you ascribe every dodgy unaccountable refereeing decision to mistake, poor performance, or something more sinister, your natural human reaction must be to hope for something better.

All of which begs the question:

If you are a fan, follower, reporter or administrator of Scottish football, why the hell aren’t you straining every sinew to bring about a massive improvement in the quality and accountability of Scottish football referees?

It also probably begs a supplementary question:

What are you so afraid of?

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Celtic, Media, Satire, Scottish Football

Raging At Celtic


Celtic are taking the p*ss!

They are playing the system! 

It’s cheating!

It’s an abuse of process!

I can’t believe they are getting away with this!

It’s an insult to Scottish football!

Every single club in Scotland should be demanding answers from the SFA!

There should be a march on Hampden!

There should be two marches on Hampden!

With placards.

And flaming torches.

Opponents should refuse to shake hands with Celtic players!

Someone should sue them!

Or get an interdict.

Or both.

Bastards! 

Slimy, rule-breaking, arrogant scum!

Celtic should be thrown out of the game!

Rangers* should boycott the Scottish Cup Semi-Final in protest!

This is one outrage too many!

Celtic are an embarrassment to the beautiful game!

They can f*ck right off.

Now.

>>>>>>

I am sure we all agree that the above is the only sensible response to Celtic Football Club and Scott Brown exercising their right to due process and a fair hearing on the merits of the case against him, and according to SFA-set timescales.

Don’t we?! 😉

#KeepOnClumping

Satire, Scottish Football, Sevco

Alex McLeish Didn’t Want To Be Luke Skywalker

Alex McLeish
Alex didn’t want to be in Episodes VII, VIII or IX either…

Good Evening.

Here is some surprising ‘news’…

>>>>>

I Didn’t Want To Be Luke Skywalker Anyway, Claims Alex McLeish

The 58-year-old says he had ‘doubts’ about taking the role because ‘it would have made me too iconic a figure’.

By A. Sith-Lord

Alex McLeish has claimed he didn’t want the role of Luke Skywalker – despite throwing his hat into the ring for the role back in the mid-1970s.

The 58-year-old was interviewed for the role which ultimately went to Mark Hamill.

 

McLeish , who shot to local childhood stardom with his flawless impersonation of Shirley Temple singing ‘On The Good Ship Lollipop’, says he had ‘doubts’ and ‘reservations’ about taking what would become one of the most iconic parts in modern cinema and the hero of a massive cultural phenomenon. He insists that he wasn’t even ‘close’ to accepting the role because of the awful prospect of earning an enormous amount of money, and the absolute nightmare of having a legion of adoring fans.

Speaking at some random event which we are supposed to be promoting, the former stunt double for the shark in Jaws said: “I wasn’t close. I had doubts about it. I did speak to George Lucas and I said that if he was to come back and offer me to it, I would like to speak further.

“It was a very casual chat. It wasn’t what I would call an interview, it was meeting some filmmaker and seeing where he was going with his next project

“They say don’t risk ending up becoming very rich and being worshipped by millions, and that was in my mind, but he asked to speak to me and it was worth listening to what he had to say.

“But I believe Mark Hamill was probably uppermost in his mind even at that time.

“I was never 100 per cent, ‘yes, I am going to be the hero in Star Wars’.

“I wouldn’t have just walked straight into a lucrative life-changing role like that without some further talks.

“It was totally different to when I first went for an acting job spinning my head around 180 degrees in the Exorcist but lost out because I couldn’t also projectile vomit on demand. It just wasn’t for me at that stage of my career.

“I felt that there was a lot that was likely to go with Star Wars as well, in terms of the other side of the actual acting.

“There is a lot of money and popularity – and all those wee action figures – and I didn’t know if I needed it at that stage of my life. I think I was better off hanging on to get an EBT from Rangers. Now that really was out-of-this-world stuff.”

Alex McLeish will be appearing in pantomime (or ‘the Sky Sports studio’ as it is also known) in the near future.

>>>>>

Of course, Luke Skywalker isn’t the only role that McLeish says he wasn’t interested in getting…

I didn’t want Rangers* job anyway claims Alex McLeish

Hmmm….

#KeepOnClumping

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