Media, Satire, Scottish Football

The Unwritten Rules

chess

Good Evening.

The Clumpany is working on a new range of family games for several well-known manufacturers. These will hopefully go on sale in the Autumn, and make ideal Christmas presents for your nearest and dearest. Do look out for them at your favourite retailer. All proceeds will go towards setting up a search and rescue team dedicated to finding Dave King’s war chest.

Always keen to bring you the biggest exclusives, I thought that long-suffering Clumpaneers might like to  have a sneak preview of some of the exciting innovations that The Clumpany Fun Department is currently developing…

The first one is called ‘Chess’, and involves two players – ‘black’ and ‘white’ – doing battle on a chequered board of 64 squares containing 32 pieces.

Another is called ‘Connect 4’, and requires two players to try and get four of their plastic counters lined up in a row inside an upright frame.

Then there’s ‘Monopoly’, a board game where the object is to buy London ‘properties’ and make more money than everyone else.

My fourth offering is ‘Guess Who?’. Two players each pick a card featuring a named character, and their opponent has to work out who it is by asking a series of questions.

And my final game is ‘Cluedo’, where participants have to work out which colour-named individual committed a murder in a mansion.

I know what you are thinking: “when do you find the time to do such amazing creative work?”.

Oh. You weren’t thinking that.

You were thinking “those aren’t new games at all! They are really well-known. We’ve played them a million times before, and we all know the rules.”

And there you are wrong! Because I have taken my inspiration from this piece in the Daily Record:

Cistern failure – Celtic and Rangers must sort petty toilet rift before it escalates into a full-blown Cold War

MY games are played by the unwritten rulesnot the written ones!

In Clumpany ‘Chess’, the winner is the first one to destroy the game with an axe before burning its remnants in a petrol-fuelled inferno. But only on a Wednesday.

The victor in ‘Connect 4’ is the player who pays a top Sumo wrestler precisely 15 old pennies (in farthings) to throw their opponent’s grandmother across the width of a bouncy castle before smearing the colourful plastic counters with sushi while Tony Christie sings “Is This The Way To Amarillo? on a newly-purchased karaoke machine.

In ‘Monopoly’, only money robbed from an actual bank counts at the end of the game, and all hotels erected on the board must be fully operational branches of Premier Inn, complete with Lenny Henry recording a p*ss-poor advert.

The unwritten rules of ‘Guess Who?’ require the pictures of eliminated characters to be knocked down using an original truck featured in “Smokey and the Bandit”. Trucks from the sequels result in losing the game by default unless driven by Lou Ferrigno in full ‘Incredible Hulk’ costume and makeup. In which case, the game is instantly declared a draw, with both players subjected to gamma radiation and instructed not to get angry.

And finally, in The Clumpany edition of ‘Cluedo’, the real winner is the person who can deduce who killed Rangers. Anyone who says there wasn’t a death is instantly disqualified and given an internship at the Daily Record.

Once work is completed on these masterpieces, I am thinking of developing a new version of this little beauty:

downfall

I may ask Phil Mac Giolla Bhain to advise on the unwritten rules, and then invite the MSM’s finest around to Clumpany Towers for a game…

#KeepOnClumping

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Media, Satire, Scottish Football, Sevco

Rangers* Stun Red Bull Leipzig


Good Evening.

The Clumpany has been given a sneak preview of an imaginary match report which may appear in tomorrow’s Daily Piss-Take.

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Rangers* Stun Red Bull Leipzig

It was a case of positives all round today as Rangers* and their Loyal travelling army conquered Germany, and set themselves on a path to Champions League glory.

The 0-4 scoreline doesn’t tell the full story. In fact, in the case of this article, it won’t tell any of the story…

The weekend began with the remarkable spectacle of Rangers* fans – who heroically stood idly by as the ‘club’ went into and miraculously emerged from administration –  finally dipping into their wallets. 

The way that they bankrolled the entire airline industry for at least the next decade with their mass purchase of  tickets to the Continent will certainly go down in the annals of aviation and commercial history. 

The faithful were certainly in the highest spirits as the Big Time beckoned once again, and they took great pride in knowing that their historic, history-laden ‘club’ was answering the call to save European football from having been without Rangers* for a while.

Keen to keep themselves fresh and in good voice for the Game of the Century against Red Bull Leipzig, the fans only drank still mineral water during their journey, and refrained from any singing. Their only concession to this abstinence was when they hummed “Mary Had A Little Lamb” a couple of times to ensure that their ability to hold a note remained intact.

Truly uplifting scenes greeted the team and fans everywhere they went. Over and over again the local population and dignitaries took to the streets to throw flowers in their path. And the entire Bundesliga programme was suspended so that every single professional footballer in Germany could form a Guard of Honour for the Gers* as they took to the pitch today. 

The game was a roaring success for the Light Blues as the players went on the pitch and kicked the ball occasionally.

[We need more about the actual match than that – Ed.]

The match lasted for 90 minutes plus injury time, and it was a sign of Rangers’* European credentials that they were on the pitch for the entire duration. Warburton’s side even found the energy and creativity to respect the continental tradition of having a break at half-time and returning to the dressing room. It was a gesture which clearly further endeared the Gers* to their hosts.

Throughout the second half – as in the first – the magnificent fans were in fine voice. However, the excitement and quality of Rangers’* on-pitch performance distracted your correspondent from hearing any of the actual words.

At the final whistle the players shook hands and Warburton shook his head. No doubt with absolute delight at the display put up by his side against top quality opposition.

The former City Trader – who must surely now be on the radar of every top club after this incredible European debut – will have learned a lot about his squad today. As the Gers* embark on the second half of the season with a Scottish Cup showdown against Motherwell, he will be boosted by the knowledge that the players can put their kit on in another country, and now believe that a foolball is still round once you leave Scotland.  

It is impossible to pick a Man of the Match for Rangers* because they were all of exactly the same standard. 

And it wasn’t the standard of Leipzig. 

It was the standard of Rangers*. The mighty, all-conquering, most-successful-‘club’-in-the-Universe!

If their former holding company is looking down on them tonight, it will be very proud indeed.

>>>>>>

#KeepOnClumping

Media, Scottish Football, Sevco

Admirable Self-Restraint


Good Evening.

The Clumpany has greatly enjoyed the comments made this week by various folk associated with the ‘glorious’ EBT era of dead Rangers. Specifically, their views on whether Sevco should go on a spending spree to try and close the gap with Celtic.

A gap which apparently continues to close by the millisecond…

Closing The Sevco-Celtic Gap

The ‘No Sporting Advantage’ Triplets: Smith, Ferguson and McLeish, all had their say, with Smith providing the most entertainment by offering the following remarks:

“I think the gap is bigger now than it was in those early stages. And some of the other Scottish teams – Hearts, Aberdeen and Dundee United – were far better then than they are at the moment.

But for Rangers to get access to Champions League money they may have to take a gamble and risk going into debt.”

Regular readers will recall that guffawed heartily at his comments:

When Walter Smith Appeared On Bullseye

Barry Ferguson (taking a break from his constant wittering about the challenges of managing Clyde FC), and Alex McLeish were a little more realistic than Smith:



However, there was still some wailing about how a… errr… big… errr… historic… errr… successful… errr… ‘club’ like… errr… Sevco with its fanbase really ought to be challenging for the title.

But what of Warbo? The man in the Sevco hot seat, who finds his team 19 points  behind having played a game more than Celtic, and whose transfer budget seems to consist of the leftover foil from the Christmas chocolate coins. What does he make of it all?

As you might expect, this being a question about how much an Ibrox-based ‘club’ should spend, it was very easy for the press to ask. Unlike questions about the governance of the game, for example…

Here are some quotes from The Warbmeister, as reported by the Daily Record:

Smith wants chairman Dave King and Co to take a gamble in a bid to stop the Hoops marching towards 10 in a row.

But Warburton, who today takes his team to play a friendly against Bundesliga shock troops Red Bull Leipzig in Germany tomorrow, insists he won’t be influenced by what goes on at Parkhead.

And after the 2012 carnage, he’s adamant prudence is now the only way forward for the club.

He said: “I’ve got enormous respect for Walter and he’s a great help to me here. But from where this club has been, it’s important that it builds strong, solid financial foundations. In the current market, you can’t afford to buy your way out of trouble, spending money you haven’t got.

That’s not derogatory towards the club, far from it. But we’ve got to be very prudent in what we do going forward. If that means a bit of frustration, I’m sure the majority of the fans will understand that.

From where the club has been to where it needs to get back to – everything has to be done in an astute manner. The club was in a very perilous position. The chairman has come in with the board and steadied the ship.

We’ve moved forward and after the experiences of the last four or five years, we have to move at a pace appropriate for this club. We can’t be impacted by events or performances away from us. We have to look at Rangers. I think the fans have patience.”

I don’t believe I have seen “the 2012 carnage” used before as an alternative to “liquidation”, so fair play to the Record for its creativity.

Clearly, Warbo spoke much more cautiously than the ‘No Sporting Advantage’ Triplets, and on the face of it you could be forgiven for nodding your head and saying “blimey, that actually sounds sensible. Are you sure he is the manager of an Ibrox ‘club?'”.

But his remarks are arguably as detached from reality as those of the Triplets. Because they all talk as though the current position of Sevco is a stable one upon which further progress and some form of spending on players  (be it limited or extravagant) can occur.

This seems ridiculous! And you don’t even need to subscribe to apocalyptic internet rumours to take that view. You simply have to look at matters of record such as the RIFC accounts and other public comments by and on behalf of the ‘club’.

RIFC has a ‘going concern’ warning in its accounts, owes its directors millions of pounds which may or may not be converted to equity at some point, and is dependent on further loans to keep operating. And as we all know, its retail income is extremely modest, there are potentially expensive court cases looming, and the Chairman himself has felt moved to comment on the state of the stadium.

The truth of the matter is that for all Warbo talks about 

  • being prudent, 
  • building “strong, solid financial foundations” 
  • how they “can’t afford to buy their way out of trouble, spending money they haven’t got”
  • how “everything has to be done in an astute manner; and
  • moving “at a pace appropriate for this club”

…that is precisely NOT what has been happening since Sevco was founded in 2012. Regimes have come and gone, but the once constant is that the new Ibrox club has spent far more than it brings in. 

The approach is – by definition -unsustainable, and merely standing still (never mind trying to catch Celtic) is very likely to require yet more borrowing. Unless of course a sugar daddy investor suddenly shows up with a whopping great war chest and a generous nature. Something which hasn’t ever happened for any Ibrox club before…

Meanwhile, in other news, I plan to continue my prudent approach to Dry January tonight by drinking five bottles of Buckie which I borrowed from a neighbour.

I will also further my measured approach to weight loss by gorging on a massive pizza which I have on loan from an associate. 

Tomorrow, I plan to check on my carefully-planned campaign to save the rain forests by astutely sending a consignment of borrowed chainsaws to Brazilian logging companies.

And in a couple of days’ time, The Clumpany will continue the gradual rollout of its road safety campaign by driving through built-up areas at 100mph in a hire car. Again.

What could possibly go wrong?

#KeepOnClumping

Celtic, Media, Scottish Football, Sevco, SPFL

Closing The Sevco-Celtic Gap

mind-the-gap

Good Evening.

The mantra that the ‘gap is closing’ between Sevco and Celtic seems to get louder and more repetitive the bigger the points difference between the two is, and the more times that Celtic win a New Glasgow Derby.

The latest stage in the ongoing process to reclassify the Grand Canyon as a ‘hairline crack’ revolved around the ‘thoughts’ of James Tavernier, and was featured in several newspapers, including the Evening Shark-Jump:

James Tavernier: Rangers have closed the gap to Celtic on the park – now we have to do it in the Premiership

JAMES TAVERNIER insists Rangers are getting closer to Old Firm rivals Celtic on the pitch as the Light Blues look to narrow the gap in the Premiership during the second half of the campaign.

Mark Warburton’s side return to action tomorrow when they face RB Leipzig in what will be their first outing since the Hogmanay defeat to the Hoops. Celtic have won all three derby duels so far this season and are 19 points clear at the top of the Premiership standings.

But Tavernier reckons the Gers should take heart from their performance at Ibrox as they strive for further improvement in the coming months.

He said: “Whenever you lose an Old Firm game, it’s not a great feeling. We’re still disappointed about it. We felt we had chances to wrap up the points. Celtic finished strongly and managed to take one more opportunity than us. But we had plenty of chances to finish them off. Kenny (Miller) hit the post and we could have won it.

“It was disappointing but compared to where we were when we lost 5-1 at Parkhead – we’ve come on leaps and bounds since then. The gap has definitely shortened. We were only a step away from beating Celtic at Ibrox.”

Others have questioned quite how ‘close’ a contest the recent Celtic victory at Ibrox actually was, so I won’t go over that issue. However, I will laugh heartily at the roundabout suggestion from ‘Tav’ that “Aye we keep getting pumped, and are a mile behind even though we were ‘going for 55’. But we missed a late chance for a draw which would have shown that there is no gap.”

It is of course absolute nonsense, and I wonder whether he, the authors of newspaper articles or any readers actually believe it? Whatever the truth of the matter, the ‘gap minimisation’ programme – which began early last season when Premiership St Johnstone knocked Championship Sevco out of the League Cup – seems here to stay.

What will it bring next?

Well, I am already hearing that henceforth all Sevco and Celtic stories will appear back-to-back on different sides of the pages of printed newspapers. And they will be printed on specially-engineered micro-thin newspaper to quite literally narrow the gap between the two. If that isn’t worth Sevco having an open-top bus parade I don’t know what is.

And as for stories, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some or all of the following appear in the near future:

  • “Wallace: Almost no gap to Celtic. We lined up in the tunnel six inches closer to them than last time”.
  • “Rangers’* Tailgating Triumph: team bus follows Celtic for 200 miles. ‘There was no gap between us at all’ says driver. ‘Shame we missed our fixture, though'”.
  • “Sevco fans call for ‘vile and offensive Watford Gap Services’ to be renamed ‘What F*cking Gap'”.
  • “Gap down to less than a quarter of a millimetre as Record Sport publishes world’s smallest league table”.
sign-gap-closed
“Transport Scotland brings good news for Gers* in their Celtic chase”
gap-closed
“Retail tribute to Rangers’* fantastic pursuit of Celtic”

Keep an eye out for these delights, and other  – far less believable – ‘stories’.

And, of course…

#KeepOnClumping

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Media, Satire, Scottish Football, Sevco

When Walter Smith Appeared On Bullseye

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Good Evening.

Earlier today, The Clumpany had a call from a collector of old and rare TV programmes. He wanted to tell me about an ultra-rare recording he had just managed to buy from a contact in Glasgow.

It seems that Walter Smith appeared on a special celebrity edition of classic TV Game show ‘Bullseye’ during his time as Rangers manager. But filming was never completed and the tapes of it have become the stuff of legend in collectors’ circles.

Smith appeared as a ‘celebrity’ non-dart player, and was paired with John Lowe in a duo dubbed ‘The Charisma Twins’ by Jim Bowen.

Apparently the banter between Smith and Lowe was so dynamic that paramedics had to check that they each still had a pulse during a break in filming. But that wasn’t the reason why the show was never finished and broadcast. It was consigned to the vault on account of Smith disrupting the show…

No sooner has the first player stepped up to try and hit a category to win a question for his partner than Smith started shouting “Gamble!”.

The producer stoped the filming to ask what the problem was. Smith informed him that if he was going to win the speedboat at the end of the show, it was necessary to throw all common sense out of the window and “Gamble!”.

The producer politely explained that to get the opportunity to gamble to win the secret speedboat which was hiding behind Bully, all the contestants had to compete on equal terms and battle their way through to the show’s finale. It would be an unfair on everyone else to let Smith and Lowe gamble in the first round. Especially given that they had no money of their own with which to gamble as yet.

Filming resumed, but sure enough Smith was soon shouting “Gamble!” again. Over and over in fact, which led to constant breaks in filming. At one point, Smith had to be dragged out of the audience by Jim Bowen, who had never previously seen a contestant asking if anyone would lend a tenner towards the gamble.

Things came to a head in the second half of the show when Smith interrupted Cliff Lazarenko who came on to do the charity throw. Smith – who felt his team should do whatever it took to win the big prize  – decided to lead the audience in a three-week long chant of “Gamble! Gamble! Gamble!”.

Eventually, his fellow contestents lost patience, and filming was finally cancelled when Smith was wrestled to the ground by an irate Rod Hull and Emu…

I must admit that I would love to watch the tapes of this epic ‘gamble’-obsessed farce. But in the meantime, I can experience something similar by reading this piece in today’s Daily Record… 😉

Rangers chairman Dave King must spend now to stop Celtic winning 10 in a row says Walter Smith

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“Look at what you could have won…” [Thanks @sneckietim]
#KeepOnClumping

NB Other Smith-tacular offerings from Clumpany Towers include:

A Pint Of Bitter

The Laughing Policeman

Backing The Gardener

Call The Cardigan!



Media, Satire, Scottish Football, Sevco

Dramatic Scenes As Sevco Transfer Target Jets In!


Good Evening.

Here is the latest entirely fictitious Sevco transfer* update, from the hypothetical Sunday Piss-Take newspaper.

* NB for ‘transfer’ read ‘short-term loan’. It should be remembered that RIFC had a ‘going concern’ warning in its last set of accounts, and is surviving with the help of loans from directors. This is not conducive to earth-shattering transfer dealings. No really…

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Dramatic Scenes As Rangers’* Transfer Target Jets In!

By: A. Sunday-Hack.

Marco Bench-Warmer, the previously-unknown but obviously amazing starlet has arrived in Glasgow to undergo a medical, having finally got his appointment at the hospital after a six-month wait.

Bench-Warmer could become Mark Warburton’s second January signing, his first being the autograph he gave to a tourist who mistook him for Russ Abbot on New Year’s Day.

‘Benchy’ – as his adoring fan (rumoured to be his mum) calls him – jetted into Glasgow this afternoon to complete his loan move. He was an instant sensation as passing members of the public marvelled at his obvious class.

“You should have seen the way he walked through the terminal building”, said one onlooker. “He came in, put one foot in front of the other, and even paused for a moment to let someone walk across his path with a trolley. It was a quality display.”

Witnesses confirmed that walking wasn’t the only one of Bench-Warmer’s skills to be put on show.

“He had a rucksack with him, which he – and I can’t believe I am saying this – CARRIED HIMSELF! It was strapped over his shoulders in a very stylish yet practical way. You could instantly tell that he has an eye for goal and will terrify opposition sides”. 

Another onlooker marvelled at the new cosmopolitan, continental and cultured approach that Bench-Warmer looks set to bring to Scottish football. “He was carrying a giant Toblerone with him. I’ve never seen anything like it. What absolute class that man has!” said the woman who subsequently passed out when she saw Ferrero Rocher on sale in a nearby shop.

A fellow passenger, who asked only to be named as “Timmy The Fenian”, and who didn’t appear to be a Rangers* fan, said “I saw Bench-Warmer and I absolutely pissed myself.” The Sunday Piss-Take attributes this loss of bladder control to fear of Rangers’* imminent march back to the top of Scottish Football.

Before leaving the airport, Bench-Warmer engaged in a lengthy meet-and-greet session, displaying the sort common touch which is sure to make him a big hit with the fans, and sell lots of shirts for Mike Ashley.

“It was brilliant to see” said one of the airport staff. “He worked his way right round the terminal building, sitting on every bench, telling them how pleased he was to meet them and entertaining them with stories from his previous clubs. How many other players would take the time to do that?”

The benches declined to comment but are now understood to be desperate to buy half-season tickets for Ibrox. You too can be part of the Bench-Warmer Revolution by calling the ticket office on 0141 1872 1872 and quoting reference ‘Helping Cash Flow In 2017’.

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#KeepOnClumping

NB Remember folks, it’s just a bit of fun… 

Media, Satire, Scottish Football

When Rangers Went Down The Toilet

toilet

Good Evening.

Here’s a topical article which The Clumpany just read in an entirely fictitious newspaper…

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The Great Rangers Toilet Revolt: Ten Years On

The Daily P*ss-Take looks back on one of the more remarkable episodes in Rangers’ historic historical history, and lifts the lid on The Great Rangers Toilet Revolt which saw David Murray’s ambitious installation of an exotic overseas toilet lead to a player backlash and an almighty stink.

Ten years ago today the plumbers arrived at Ibrox and removed from the dressing room the French-manufactured toilet which Murray had hoped would make Rangers flush with success, and leave their domestic rivals heading down the drain. It was a momentous decision by the Rangers chairman, which led to the return of a crusty old vintage model, and which ultimately proved very expensive to maintain.

It all seemed so promising when Murray arranged for the ‘le Guen Flush-O-Matic’ to be installed, having been impressed by its reputation and performances in Europe.“Everyone was really excited at the change of toilet direction” said a former player, who asked not to be named as he devoured  a packet of crisps which seemed munchy and of monster proportions. “A bright shiny new toilet with impressive credentials! It really seemed like the shitter to take us to the next level. But then it all went wrong.”

The mysterious Ibrox legend continued “the ‘le Guen Flush-O-Matic’ simply couldn’t handle the big jobbie at Rangers. It lost an early encounter with defecated kebab, and then suffered a really embarrassing draw. I say ‘draw’, but what actually happened was that it spluttered at the product of someone’s bad curry, and this oozing pattern appeared on the wall which looked a bit like a child’s drawing of the club’s transfer policy at the time: shit.”

Players quickly became disgruntled with the ‘le Guen Flush-O-Matic’ and started to ask questions about its ability to handle the squad. “Have you ever sat on a ‘le Guen Flush-O-Matic'”, said another anonymous player as he wrote yet another autograph for a Sportsound presenter. “Cold as ice, and rough as a night in Manchester after a UEFA Cup Final. It just had nothing to offer the lads, and we wanted to go back to having a proper staunch toilet. One that could handle proper Rangers effluent. One that you could sit and read the paper on, and enjoy stories about David Murray’s plans to have hover toilets and bogs shaped like roulette wheels. Quality toilets.”

Sadly for the ‘le Guen Flush-O-Matic’, once the stench of failure began to filter through the dressing room, its days were numbered. “The shit hit the fan after it couldn’t handle my criticism” said the Ibrox legend as he accepted  yet another invitation to appear on Sportsound. “Or it would have done if we had had a fan and someone had taken a dump at the time. But you get my meaning. I shouted at the’le Guen Flush-O-Matic’ for a whole hour, and it just sat there saying nothing. And then I saw some water escaping. The cleaning staff said it was a leak, but I knew it was tears of shame.”

With its reputation in tatters, and with the players literally not giving a shit, the ‘le Guen Flush-O-Matic’ was soon shipped out of Ibrox by David Murray, and the vintage ‘Smith Commode 1872’ was reinstalled.

“It was brilliant to have the ‘Smith Commode 1872’ back” said the crisp-savouring former hero. “He knew just how to deal with our shit, and didn’t mind if the club threw large amounts of money down the toilet on new signings. Happy days!”

#KeepOnClumping

NB Remember folks, it’s just a bit of fun!

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