Celtic, Champions League, Satire, Scottish Football

Appalling News For Scottish Football

Astana

Good Evening.

Celtic’s performance against Astana in the first leg of their Champions League Playoff Round was a bit special, wasn’t it? Any win without conceding would have been welcome (although 1-0 would have been particularly good news for underwear retailers ahead of the second leg). But to win 5-0 was the stuff of dreams, and the players and manager deserve every plaudit heading their way at present.

Cliché and fact remind us that it is only half-time in the tie and Celtic could yet be dumped out of the competition in Kazakhstan next week, so we mustn’t get ahead of ourselves. However, it seems highly likely that the Scottish Champions are going to be in the draw for the Group Stage of the 2017-18 Champions League. Which – on balance – is rather nice.

Another cliché which tends to do the rounds at times like this is that “Celtic’s likely progress is good for Scottish football” in terms of the profile and prestige of having a participant, in terms of the opportunity for home-grown players to play on the big stage, and in terms of giving a boost to the national coefficient. Most people seem to agree with these points (even if they don’t much care for Celtic). However, as you might expect – and it is a free country – some have remained resolutely unimpressed. They have lamented the prospect of Celtic’s Champions League revenue making them more dominant domestically, thereby reducing competition still further, and generally making the game less interesting and attractive.

The Clumpany must admit that it laughs in the face of anyone who bemoans a lack of competition but who

  • remained silent during Rangers’ (IL) ‘9-in-a-row’ years;and /or
  • subscribes to the disastrous fantasy that years of industrial scale cheating by one club is best ignored ‘for the good of the game’.

Nevertheless, I can see why some might be troubled by the prospect of Celtic’s dominance increasing. What’s more, I don’t mind them saying so as long as they don’t try to blame the club in some way for building sustainably over 20 years and for taking a successful punt on a very good manager. There is no fluke or underhand method underpinning Celtic’s position. It is the product of a lot of hard work which continues each and every day. [NB Celtic don’t have the monopoly on working hard to build up their operation – see also Hearts, Aberdeen and Hibs etc].

And then of course there is the windfall that would go to Premiership sides if Celtic make the Group Stages of the Champions League. I have seen it mentioned numerous times today so I thought I would investigate, and I must admit that it is THIS element of Celtic’s success which clearly gives folk grounds to get upset.

“Why should they get upset?” you ask. “It’s basically a bonus to clubs for doing nothing!”.

I must admit that that is what I thought. But having done some digging, I have discovered a  little-known clause in the latest UEFA rules and regulations which specifically relates to the implications of Celtic qualifying for the Champions League, and which I now quote in full:

Season 2017-18: Special Provisions for Celtic FC (Scotland).

To mark 50 years of Celtic winning the Champion Clubs’ Cup, and at the request of the club itself, special slurrydality payments will be shared by eligible members of the top tier of the domestic competition in Scotland. £365,000 will be issued to Celtic FC in the form of agricultural slurry for distribution before the end of the season.

The Clumpany has spoken to Celtic insiders who confirm that the club would be absolutely delighted to share its success with its domestic peers in such a unique way. Peter Lawwell has apparently gained a pilot’s licence and intends to personally drop the slurrydarity payments on Premiership grounds during matches. Preferably as near to the press boxes as possible.

One source – who asked not to be named as he stood on his heated driveway – said “I don’t know why people begrudge Celtic our success. It’s not as if we literally come and dump a load of shit on their doorstep.

Yet.

Mwahahahaha…”

So there you have it. Celtic’s Champions League success is clearly bad for Scottish football.

#KeepOnClumping

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Celtic, Champions League, Satire, Scottish Football

A Self-Indulgent Army?

Rodgers

Good Evening.

The Clumpany hopes that it finds you well.

Anyway, about that Green Brigade statement… 😉

>>>>>

Following the club statement on Friday, we take this opportunity to accept full responsibility for both the pyrotechnics display to celebrate the achievements of the Lisbon Lions at the Hearts match in May, and our ‘Brendan’s Undefeated Army’ tifo during the match against Linfield on Wednesday evening. Except that we aren’t quite. We won’t pay any fine levied by UEFA or apologise to the club or fans for any consequences resulting from our actions. The important thing is to be ultra-tastic at all times. After all, even if Celtic end up playing in a closed stadium, we will… err… be there.

While we are kind-of-disappointed at the martyrdom offered by the impending two match ban, we know that in the sanitised world of Scottish and European football there are (bizarrely) rules and punishments, as well as expectations of good behaviour and basic regard for our fellow fans. As a result, the actions of an Ultra group like ours may have consequences for our members. [NB “May”! We actually just said may have consequences!”, as though we are genuinely surprised that pushing the envelope so far actually results in repercussions!]. We do, however, completely oppose collective punishment, and a blanket ban on all fans in our block is disproportionate and unjust. Therefore we call on the board to revise this decision. Because we are all heart, and we are confident that the board wants to listen to us, even though we maybe didn’t stop to think about the consequences for others before acting rashly.

As a group, we are defined by our style of support and our politics, both of which the club are happy to benefit from when it suits their agenda. Although we won’t specify what that “agenda” actually is at this time. Almost a year ago, after much immediate criticism, we brought worldwide adulation on the club for our show of solidarity with the people of Palestine and the subsequent charity fundraising which was endorsed by the Celtic support, but not by UEFA, who make the rules and who imposed yet another fine on the club. What isn’t common knowledge is if it had not been for this incredible response, we would have faced the same punishment as we currently face. And we are confident in this big assertion.

In light of this, and of the condemnation of banners and songs from Wednesday, we refuse to allow a discredited and corrupt organisation like UEFA (who unfortunately have the temerity to impose rules which must be followed if you want to play in their competitions and win the substantial prize and TV money…) or a board which has welcomed Tory Lords to dictate our moral compass. Because the background of Celtic board members clearly negates the rules of UEFA, health and safety regulations, and the responsibility of a publicly-listed football club to protect the interests and image of its footballing and commercial  operations and to look after its shareholders and fans as a whole.

Our decision to mark the achievements of 1967 by using pyrotechnics was not taken lightly. In fact it was very light. And smoky. Because that is what pyro is like. We took the required steps to ensure that this was carried out as safely as possible. Because we are skilled pyrotechnic engineers with the necessary qualifications and permissions, and we knew – following extensive surveys – that the authorities and our fellow fans were happy for us to do so. We also did it in the knowledge that we as a group may face potential consequences as a result of it. But hey! Why not? It’s only the authorities and their rules and regulations. Everyone else can conform on our behalf.  We believe the scenes that day and the response from the Celtic support proved it to be worthwhile. And that’s probably the most important thing.

We have engaged in regular dialogue with the club over this matter throughout the summer and believed to be reaching an amicable outcome. However it seems as if events outside of our control on Wednesday (and NOT those within our control, oh no) have impacted upon the decision which has now been reached.

The Green Brigade exists to support Celtic in a positive manner and we believe that this current confrontation is unnecessary and avoidable. We reject any suggestion that “it WAS avoidable, and we are therefore now inevitably residing in Confrontationville which is a suburb of Consequence City”. We welcome Peter Lawwell’s call for dialogue as we have been waiting on his availability for some time. One of our first talking points will be the unnecessary and unsafe policing operation carried out during Wednesday night’s match, which we believe must be the source of one of UEFA’s charges (blocked stairwells) and could only have been designed to antagonise fans in the area. Other possibilities are clearly unthinkable. It MUST have been about antagonising folk. As the evidence below proves [NB yes we did say “proves” rather than “suggests”], it is bizarre and shameful that the club have not only blamed the fans for this charge but have cited it as a reason for the ban.

Other pertinent issues to be addressed are the club’s response to the biggest cheating scandal to shame Scottish sport; the insulting of the Celtic support over the Linfield away debacle and negligence of the safety of those they knew would travel (because it is highly unlikley that the club would had looked at an awkward fixture at a tense time of year and made a reasoned-if-reluctant decision on the basis of the available information and advice from the authorities); and the silence over the racial and sectarian hatred directed at our player of the year and manager. Typically, the club are quick* to bite the hand that feeds them yet reluctant to unite against common detractions. [* NB Our definition of “quick”]

We have built a positive relationship with the Celtic SLO. However we are concerned that his position is nearly untenable due to the manner in which he is continually undermined by Celtic security staff. The SLO is required to “collaborate with the security officer on safety and security-related matters” however has been deliberately excluded from discussions of this nature which is in breach of the UEFA SLO Guidelines, as per article 35. His exclusion is a deliberate tactic adopted by the police and Celtic security to facilitate the targeting of our members. And yes that is a big assertion to make. A big one! We hope you are impressed by it.

For over 10 years now the Green Brigade has withstood attacks from Police Scotland and sadly this will always continue. This also will not be our first ban or forced absence from Celtic Park. The Green Brigade has not only survived through the years but we have thrived – we are currently as large and strong as we have ever been. We can assure all that we will be back in Celtic Park soon enough and that we will never allow our style nor our politics to ever be diluted.

So can we have all the rules and regulations waived immediately please? And can the Celtic board and everyone else respect our Ultra-ness?

Green Brigade
Until the last assertion.

>>>>>

That’s probably it from me.

Remember folks, satire doesn’t only work on Sevco-related matters.  It also works for those who – in the main – offer amazing support to Scotlands No.1 team and who do a lot of good work away from football.

#StripTheTitles and

#KeepOnClumping

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Celtic, Champions League, Satire, Scottish Football

Leigh Griffiths: A Deserved Yellow Card


Good Evening.

Following the conclusion of yesterday’s Linfield v Celtic match – a fixture akin to the Football Banter Gods coming up with a ‘great idea’ after their usual dealer accidentally sold them some really dark mood-altering sh*t (😉) – The Clumpany sent the footage to top Clumpany scientists for analysis.

I wanted to know quite why Leigh Griffiths had been booked. The Twitter feeds of the two competing clubs told different tales.


I am pleased to report that the dedicated staff of the Clumpany labs did their jobs to their usual high standards and in record time.

Following forensic, slow-motion analysis of the footage, The Clumpany can confirm that Linfield FC and (most importantly) the referee were absolutely right.

Leigh Griffiths was time-wasting.

He is bang to rights.

In what appears to be the blink of an eye to the ill-informed, you can clearly see Griffiths sit down at a mahogany bureau and write invitations using quill and ink.

These invitations were then sent to all manner of people around the world who duly replied via letter, messenger and carrier pigeon over a period of several months.

Having received their replies, Griffiths waited until the appointed day and had a very smart table and chairs set up in the corner of the Windsor Park pitch. The finest glasses known to humanity adorned the table and – unsurprisingly – the guests were hugely impressed when they arrived. 

Ever the consummate host, Leigh Griffiths told the assembled company that he would have to leave them briefly to take a corner, but he hoped that his brief absence wouldn’t inconvenience them. 

Griffiths was assured by all present that no one would mind him interrupting the occasion to do his job.

And then a problem arose.

Leigh realised he had forgotten to bring the booze for his on-pitch wine-tasting event!

Oh no!

Everyone shuffled uncomfortably in their seats and tried not to make eye contact with  their host as the full extent of his failings became apparent. 

But then something amazing happened!

Despite the huge disrespect he was clearly showing to the Champions League, and despite the massive inconvenience he was causing them, a kind-hearted Linfield fan decided to help Griffiths out. And so he threw the remnants of his half-bottle of Buckie in the general direction of the Celtic striker.

It is a matter of considerable social regret – but well-deserved football justice – that just as Griffiths was about to serve the Buckie he had picked up from the pitch the referee decided to book him for timewasting.

Nae luck Leigh. But you clearly brought the booking on yourself… 😉

#KeepOnClumping

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

Champions League, Satire, Scottish Football

Real Madrid: Sold For Scrap

IMG_4360

Good Evening.

Congratulations to Real Madrid on winning the Champions League last night. Using the David King Bullshit-Soundbite Principle, I am delighted to confirm that the presence of Celtic in this year’s competition proper means that Real’s triumph actually counts.

Well done lads!

As you might expect, the victors were delighted at the end of the game. Not only had they become Champions of Europe for 2016-17, but they had also notched up a record-stretching twelfth European Cup/ Champions League title. Whatever you may think about Real Madrid over the years, the cumulative achievement – including three titles in four years – is quite something.

However, I have no doubt that some peddler of pish will soon pipe up and argue that one team dominating makes the competition boring and risks creating a crisis in European football which will see fans walking away.

Because that’s the sort of crap we get to hear about Scottish football from people who really should know better (and indeed who probably do know better) but who hanker after long-discredited sham of a game rather than teams playing by the rules and living within their means.

And these bizarre individuals expect you to buy their papers and listen to/ watch their broadcasts! 😂

What a joke!

But I digress…

Clumpany sources tell me that Real Madrid’s euphoria last night may have been justified, but it was also extremely short-lived. After the players collected the trophy and returned to the dressing room, one of them made the fatal mistake of going online on his phone.

Oh dear.

For when he looked at Twitter he suddenly realised that twelve European titles aren’t really that impressive at all. Because his timeline contained tweets about the world’s most successful club being Rangers, who are ’54 and counting’. Or something.

Ashen-faced, he passed his phone around the dressing room and one by one the players and staff of Real Madrid fell silent as they realised that all their efforts were ultimately worthless.

The Spaniards’ head of media made a few phone calls to check the truth of the tweets. He was eventually and unexpectedly put through to the Scottish offices of noted Spanish football historians Nivel Cinco who told him that yes indeed Rangers are the world’s most successful football club.

As you can imagine, everyone was utterly distraught, and The Clumpany understands that in a fit of pique, Real’s twelve European Cups are now being sent to the scrapyard. No one at the club wants to be associated with the embarrassingly hollow boasts that could be made about all that European silverware when someone else is clearly more successful.

Fair play to them for knowing their place and realising that they are NOT ‘The People’.

However, don’t be fooled into believing that Real Madrid have thrown in the towel completely. The Clumpany hears that their disappointment has served to give them a steely resolve to overcome Rangers in the glory stakes.

Word reaches me that Real’s twelve European Cups will be melted down and refashioned into a giant hand sticking two fingers up in the air. This will then be photographed and copies sent to an army of creditors. Real Madrid will then liquidate, their assets will be reformed into a new club, and Real will claim to have bought enough history (from anyone prepared to sell it) in order to have

  • a large number of domestic cups
  • one European trophy which still smells of the toilet in which it was presented; and
  • 55 domestic league titles.

A compliant media will be expected to pretend it is still the same Real Madrid, the domestic authorities will bite their tongue, and the Real fan base will play their part by hounding anyone who points out that this is a massive intelligence-insulting pisstake.

However, care will be taken to ensure that the single European trophy isn’t a European Cup. 

Because that would blow the entire sham’s cover at a stroke.

After all, it is blindingly obvious that the world’s most successful club wouldn’t ever actually win the Big Cup.

Isn’t it?

#KeepOnClumping

Celtic, Champions League, Football Blogging Awards, Hibernian, Media, Scottish Cup, Scottish Football, Sevco

Party Like It’s 19 Points Clear


Good Evening.

The Clumpany would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year. I suspect that 2016 is unlikely to rank highly in many folks’ list of ‘best years ever’, so let us hope for better things for the world in 2017.

From a footballing perspective, New Years’ Eve brought to a close a truly remarkable first half of the season for Celtic. Champions League football, a League Cup, and a domestic league campaign of nineteen wins and one draw represents a phenomenal achievement by the club. As does their 19 point lead with a game in hand.

And while everyone will naturally salute Brendan Rodgers (who has had a transformative effect on the club from the moment his appointment was announced) and the players, we should also show our appreciation to the backroom staff, board and fans who have all made a huge contribution to the success of the past few months.

Football is a team game on and off the pitch and Celtic have been getting it right in both contexts so far. Let’s see what the second half of the season brings, but as we head into the winter break it seems reasonable to draw breath and reflect on a job well done to date. And remain on the board’s case about Resolution 12…

Naturally, I enjoyed today’s victory against Sevco. The manner of the win was  very satisfying, and I would be telling a lie if I didn’t admit to savouring the Sevco cheerleaders in the media being made to squirm. Folk whose daily turd-polishing output wouldn’t know the truth if it dressed up as Lord Hodge and screamed in their faces “liquidation means death you jokers!”

We have now reached the point where a significant proportion of the MSM’s Sevco output seems to consist of blatantly rewritten history and bullsh*t narratives about a rosy future. Facts, analysis and realism are strangers to pieces which are so fantastical that they are almost certainly written using dodo blood on dried unicorn skin.

Day after day, these imposters tell you that something which you saw occur didn’t actually happen. And then they get uppity when you challenge them! If it wasn’t so outrageous it would be pitiful.

I am sure the imminent January transfer window will see yet more Sevco tall tales wheeled out on a daily basis. And I am certain that the likes of you and me will be standing ready to laugh out loud at the patently obvious spin.

But before we launch into 2017, allow me to dwell on my two favourite football ‘moments’ of 2016. One of which I really didn’t enjoy at all.

The uncomfortable one was Celtic’s Champions League playoff round second leg against Hapoel Beer Sheva on 23 August. Having won the first leg at home 5-2 (a fantastic result which subsequently looked even better as Hapoel racked up some great results in the Europa League), Celtic lost the second leg 2-0 after a pretty abject and nerve-wracking display. 

Celtic went through to the Group stages 5-4 on aggregate but the game was absolute torture. I am sure The Clumpany wasn’t the only one who felt sick as the minutes ticked by. With Celtic having been away from the Champions League for two seasons, and with so much potential excitement, money and prestige at stake, the game carried huge significance right at the start of the Rodgers era. 

And Celtic made it! 

Just. 

The subsequent ride in the Group stage got off to a very bumpy start against Barcelona, but then continued in exciting and creditable fashion. The 3-3 draw against Manchester City will certainly live long in the memory.

But it only happened because Celtic made it through that agonising fixture against Hapoel, which I hated and strangely almost loved at the same time. 

Would I go through it again? Hell yes! 

My second ‘moment’ of the year is the Scottish Cup final, when Hibs dramatically beat Sevco 3-2 with THAT late David Gray winner. Yes I enjoyed seeing Sevco come a cropper, yes I loved seeing the colossal sense of entitlement displayed by some brought crashing down, yes I was appalled by some of the scenes after the game ended, and yes I would rather have seen Celtic lift the Cup.

But do you know something? David Gray’s goal, ending both a 114 year wait and the longest running joke in world football was absolutely magnificent. 

David Gray: OOFT!

It was so fantastic that it prompted one of my most witty and incisive Tweets ever:


It was a moment of pure magic and you would have to have possessed a heart of stone not to be pleased for Hibs and their fans, whose post-match ‘Sunshine On Leith’ was utterly spellbinding:

Sunshine On Leith: Cup Final

Genuine football magic and a piece of history right here in Scotland. It was – and remains – something to treasure.

On a personal note, I would like to thank you all for your support during the year. Aside from all the hugely enjoyable interactions on Twitter, I am grateful for the 2.75 million blog hits and over one million visitors in 2016, as well as for the votes that got me to the final of the Football Blogging Awards for a second successive year.

Aside from the occasional need for a break, I enjoy writing my output and hope to continue it in the New Year.

This year’s Top 5 most popular blogs have been:

Dembele: My Champions League Wantaway Hell

Bad News For Rangers*?

Sevco v Hamilton: What REALLY Happened…

The Death Certificate

A Phone Call From Lionel Messi

The World Cup Of ‘Liquidation Lies’, which took place over the course of a week in February also proved very popular, and culminated in a glittering award ceremony attended by a very special guest.

Finally, please allow me to mention my two favourite MSM pieces this year. Both of which I discussed in ‘withering’ fashion.

Firstly, Gary Ralston of the Daily Record ‘losing his relationship with Rangers*’. I guffaw at this one every time I think about it!

A Vigil for The Daily Record

And secondly, Chris Jack of the Evening Shark-Jump suggesting that Scottish clubs don’t deserve a Champions League invite:

Let’s Not Bother With The Champions League

What was he thinking?!

Hope you all have a great evening and a Happy New Year.

And please,

#KeepOnClumping

 

Celtic, Champions League, Media, Scottish Football

Why Brendan Rodgers Wants To Leave Celtic

“F*ck it. I’m off…”

Good Afternoon.

Well done to Celtic – all the players, management, backroom staff and board members – on a more-than-creditable performance in the Champions League this season.

Qualifying was a huge leap forward after the disappointments of recent seasons, and following the opening day drubbing by Barcelona the progress on the pitch has been clear for all to see.

Of course, Celtic didn’t win any games, but three draws in such a tough group is commendable stuff, and with a little bit more composure when goalscoring opportunities came, the Hoops might have ended up with more than three points.

But they didn’t, and European football is over for another year, leaving us with some great memories particularly the pulsating game at Celtic Park against Manchester City which was football at its most thrilling.

There can be no question that Celtic’s campaign was a huge GIRUY to one of the most ludicrous articles I have ever read in the Scottish sports press. Which makes it doubly pleasing!

Let’s Not Bother With The Champions League

Hopefully the experience and money generated can help the team to kick on next season should it win the domestic league and earn another opportunity to try and negotiate the banana skin-littered qualifiers.

Sadly however, I fear that Celtic might have to play those qualifiers without Brendan Rodgers. Because, despite what he said in a press conference a few days ago, it seems as though he is actually pining for a return to the English Premier League.

Here are a few quotes from the Celtic manager to ponder:

“I don’t see it [Celtic] as a stepping stone. I’m going to be coaching hopefully for another 20 odd years, and it is highly unlikely I’m going to be at Celtic for 20 years because of how the modern game works, but my intention is to be at Celtic for as long as I possibly can, to help the club grow and develop, and to take it as far as I possibly can.”

“I grew up supporting the club and I’m very fortunate. For me, I’m living the dream, being the manager of Celtic.”

“The most important thing for me is happiness – if I’m happy, I’m winning. And I don’t necessarily need to be working in the Premier League to be winning. We’ll see where the next 20 years take me, but at this very moment in time and certainly for the immediate future I’m very, very happy.”

That seems pretty clear to me. But apparently – deep down – he actually wants to leave:


“Longing”, eh?

When challenged about this quote, Tom English (to whom far play for responding) had the following to say:




Well that’s me convinced Tom! 😉

Perhaps you can bring us some more evidence to strengthen your already compelling case? For example:

“The way Rodgers straightened his tie was a sure sign that he is nervous. He must be about to meet Dermot Desmond to tell him of his plans to leave”.

“You don’t sip water the way Brendan Rodgers does if you are staying at Celtic for the long haul”.

“Brendan Rodgers said Scott Brown could play in the Premier League. And he’s clearly going to take him there himself”.

“Peter Lawwell spoke of how Celtic could possibly be the biggest club in Britain if they played in England. He clearly knows that Rodgers is off there”.

“Have you seen the Celtic Christmas advert? Packed full of subliminal messages about Rodgers wanting to walk away. That bit where the door is shut in his face? A sure sign that he’s going”.

“Rodgers hasn’t signed a lifetime contract with Celtic. Clear proof he only wants to be there for the short term”.

“Brendan Rodgers has bought Patrick Roberts a massive suitcase as a bonus for scoring against Manchester City. It’s big enough to fit a person inside. Mark my words, Rodgers will be hiding in it when Roberts goes back down south”.

“Rodgers has a subscription to a TV channel which shows the English Premier League. How much more evidence do you need of his ‘wantaway’ hell?”.

Enjoy Brendan’s Celtic reign while it lasts everybody. The clock is apparently ticking…

#KeepOnClumping

Champions League, Media, Scottish Football, Sevco

Lionel Messi Pays A Visit To Sevco


Good Evening.

Following Celtic’s Champions League fixture against Barcelona, stand by for a spectacular piece of morale-boosting news for the Sevco faithful in one of tomorrow’s papers. I’ll leave you to guess which one.

Here is the article:

>>>>>>

Magical Messi’s Ibrox Inspiration

Dave King’s Rangers* rebuild received the Messi seal of approval yesterday as the legend took a tour of Ibrox and marvelled at the magnificent stadium.

Despite having been previously rejected by the *Gers, Messi expressed his appreciation of the tactical genius of Mark Warburton and his exciting brand of attacking football which won silverware last season.

The hero also enjoyed an extended kickabout with the first team on the hallowed turf.

Andy Halliday remarked of the encounter “It was great to pick up some top tips on unlocking defences, although I’m not sure we needed them to be honest. This team can beat anyone on its day. We are Glasgow Rangers* and defeated Linfield 7-0. I’m not sure why Messi thought I would have a spare copy of Joey Barton’s book, though? Do I look like I would have a spare copy of Joey Barton’s book?”

Other squad members took the opportunity to pose for pictures with each other, and even allowed Messi to join in for a couple of them.

Messi then received a tour of the famous Ibrox corridors under the guidance of captain Lee Wallace who expressed regret that he was too late for the most important meal of the day. “I told him that if he wants to experience a real El Classico, he should try our breakfast buffet”, said Wallace. “It’s got cornflakes and… and… and… well it’s got cornflakes and things. It’s absolutely top-drawer. Which incidentally is where you can find the spoons.”

Messi then met board members at the top of the marble staircase and showed his class by respecting their request not to ask them any questions whatsoever. The final calong point on the whistle-stop tour was the trophy room, where Messi was disappointed to learn that the 12 European Cups were at the cleaners and so unavailable for viewing.

Having signed some autographs on pieces of paper which were definitely not cheques, the superstar was whisked away to continue his preparations for the Gers*’ eventual return to the Champions League by playing Celtic.

“It was a brilliant experience for everyone involved, especially Messi”, said a spokesman. “He learned what this club is all about, its big plans and its destiny to regain* its place at the top of Scottish football and then conquer the world as a precursor to taking over the entire galaxy. Now please remember to say that the board is doing a great job at least twice in the article. We’ve an AGM coming up.”

Sadly no pictures are available of Messi’s visit to Sevco, but our sources confirm that it was a truly historic, history-laden occasion in the long history of the club.

>>>>>>

The Clumpany admits to being excited at the prospect of seeing this story in print, especially as I am EXCLUSIVELY able to bring you a picture of the esteemed visitor to Ibrox.

Here he is:

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present Mr (Lionel) Messy̶i…?

#KeepOnClumping