Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!
Having trawled through the almost unmitigated dross that passes for journalism in today’s Scottish Sunday newspapers I have found a piece that easily outshone the rest for both comedy and sheer brass neckery.
To be fair to the valiant runners-up, they certainly gave it their best shot, but they came up short.
Michael Gannon’s piece about next week’s Celtic-Sevco Scottish Cup semi-final got rather excited about the occasion without really telling us anything of substance:
I couldn’t disagree with Mr Gannon’s assessment of Ronny Deila’s prospects should Celtic lose (or indeed if they win). However, I did have a hearty chuckle at the extravaganza of upbeat assertion regarding The Warbmeister:
“But if the Ibrox side pull it off then the chances are they too will be looking for a new manager sooner than they hoped. Mark Warburton has done a fine job of keeping himself on the radar of clubs down in England while getting the job done in the Scottish Championship.
His stock remains high down there after Brentford and he’s had a sniff at the odd gig in the last 12 months. Let’s be honest. Scottish football doesn’t cut it down there these days.”
“But Warburton has been seen to have cut it already in the cut-throat English Championship then done it again at a big club north of the border. Fulham and QPR have poked around this season. Others will follow. A win against Celtic and his phone will be ringing off the hook.
Warburton might be worshiped as a hero around Govan but there could be offers that are too good to refuse. The top sides in the Championship are worth a serious wedge and it’s a step closer to the gravy train of the Premier League.
Managers are not daft. They know they need to strike when they are hot because it can only take a few weeks and they are colder than a polar bear’s wee man. He’ll need to take on the financial might of Celtic next season with a fraction of the budget. It will be easier said than done. Warburton could have a hefty dilemma if he can pull it off next weekend.”
I have no doubt that should a decent opportunity to return to England come along, Warbo might be tempted. Especially if his transfer budget turns out not to be as warchest-tastic as he hoped. But as for his phone ringing off the hook should Sevco beat Celtic?!?! Dear me!
And I would like to see some evidence for quite how hot a property Warbo actually is in England. Especially as he was given the push by Brentford and no one else came in for him before Sevco.
We keep being told that Warbo is well-regarded, and Mr Gannon says he has had a “sniff at the odd gig” over the past year without substantiating the claim. Which makes you wonder whether he only became ‘linked’ with certain jobs because the Sevco PR operation put a fiver on him at the bookies in an effort to generate a cheap headline! 😉
Meanwhile, Scott McDermott’s piece on Dunfermline chief executive Ross McArthur discusses how close the Pars came to going out of business in 2013.
It was rather interesting, and you can only salute the folk who saved their club at the eleventh hour. However, the piece was also noteworthy for containing an ‘honest‘ account of the implications of a club dying. An account which made an absolute mockery of the shameless liquidation-denial routinely pumped out by the Record and Sunday Mail in relation to Sevco.
The Mail also carried a piece about John Sweeney, who hopes to ‘revive’ Third Lanark by getting its current amateur incarnation playing at Cathkin Park and ultimately back in senior football.
Once again, there was no equivocation regarding the fact that Third Lanark had terminally “gone under” nearly 40 years ago. No holding companies or purchased history were mentioned. The simple truth was presented in straightforward fashion. Hopefully no Third Lanark fans will now try to hound the author of the piece out of a job.
And now we come to the moment you have all been waiting for: the naming of the Most Laughable Piece of the Day.
It’s another Sunday Mail piece, and it has so much ‘front’ that I initially mistook it for a stately home.
Yes. That’s right. Writing in a paper which is unrelenting in its liquidation-denial regarding Rangers, Gordon Parks described both Celtic and Sevco as “tribute acts”.
Here is a sample of the piece:
“On show will be Celtic and Rangers tribute acts of great sides from the past, which could leave the purists feeling as though they’ve bought into football’s version of Fake That or Dread Zeppelin.
Nostalgia sells. Throw in some ancient rivalry and you can be sure Hampden will be rocking come kick-off – if you closed your eyes you’d hardly notice.
Sadly, this latest gathering of the clans has a severe lack of class acts, maverick frontmen or edge-of-your-seat entertainers. Without getting misty-eyed over some who have worn the colours down the decades, it’s a clash of two clubs who have suffered a regression in recent years that makes the mediocrity of this meeting too close to call.”
“It will also be decided by mistakes rather than magic. If you doubt it, you don’t know your Rolling Clones from your Rolling Stones.”
There is no arguing with one of the main points of the article: that Celtic are not nearly as strong as they were – either individually or collectively. However, it would have been interesting to see Parks’ deconstruction of the weaknesses of this Sevco side compared with teams put out by ‘same club’ Rangers in the past, together with the reasons for ‘their’ decline. But sadly that analysis didn’t seem to make the final cut.
No doubt someone at the Record/ Sunday Mail had a good laugh at the cleverness of subverting the ‘tribute act’ moniker to describe Celtic as well as Sevco. But it doesn’t make it any less pathetic or any less an unwitting spoofing of the papers’ other output. No doubt the creditors of Rangers (IL) will have enjoyed the piece as they stared in envy at those owed money by Celtic who were paid off by Fergus McCann over 20 years ago.