The Clumpany was moved by yesterday’s emotional events at Stamford Bridge where an actual game of competitive football in ‘the best league in the world’ was stopped in the 26th minute – by arrangement – so that Chelsea No. 26 John Terry could be substituted and acclaimed as the world’s favourite footballer, bringer of peace, healer of sickness and as the the man who single-handedly ended hunger wherever it stalked the earth.
The move has attracted some criticism for being inappropriate, disrespectful of the very concept of ‘sport’ and possibly pandering to a huge ego.
However, The Clumpany has no time for such suggestions. Especially given that I have seen the plans to further commemorate his departure from Chelsea:
The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service will shortly announce that 26 ‘leap’ seconds will be added to the end of 2017 to allow a thankful humanity to salute Terry in the year of his retirement for that little bit longer.
The 26th day of every month will henceforth be known as “JT Day”, with everyone expected to give Terry a minute’s applause at 26 minutes past each hour of the day. Including during the middle of the night.
All bus routes will be renumbered the ‘No.26’ in Terry’s honour.
The next iPhone model will be the iPhone 26. As will the one after that, and the one after that…
All buildings will be required to have 26 floors and be designated as Shrines of the Universal Temple of Terry. Including bungalows.
All telephone numbers must start and end with the number 26, and have at least two 26s in the middle of them.
The pop charts will be reworked so that the week’s Number 26 will always be the ‘real’ Number 1. Joe Garner is understood to favour number 31 being given special status but is understandably delighted to bow before the legend that is John Terry.
All football shirts will have to carry the number 26 on the back, and must be worn whenever any sort of award (sporting or otherwise) is to be awarded. Buckingham Palace has confirmed that HM The Queen “will NOT present honours to anyone disrespecting JT. Putting on his kit for the presentation when he was suspended for the Champions League Final was Terry’s finest moment, and it is important for this country’s sporting heritage to keep the precious memory alive”.
Massive heating and cooling plants will be built around the world to ensure the planet maintains a constant temperature of 26 degrees centigrade to celebrate the outgoing Chelsea captain’s heroism. Fahrenheit will be abolished so as not to cause him any offence.
I don’t know about you, but I think the above is the very least that the Magnificent John Terry deserves.
The Clumpany has just seen an advanced copy of a completely fictitious Sky Sports News transfer deadline day story which promises to ruin Celtic’s season and thereby cause Brendan Rodgers to walk away.
Chelsea and Celtic In Deadline Day ‘Pitch’ Battle
Chelsea have stunned the Scottish champions by making a bid for the bottom half-centimetre of each blade of grass on the Celtic Park pitch.
The staggering move – which would see Celtic receive 40 million drawing pins dropped on to the pitch from a helicopter, plus a hostess trolley – threatens to wreck their playing surface and chances of retaining the title. Chelsea, meanwhile, would gain some Champions League-experienced grass to feed to Roman Abramovich’s genetically-engineered talking cows.
Sky sources first became aware of the move when Chelsea scouts were spotted crouching down on the Celtic Park pitch with a ruler, clipboard and intense stares. A Stamford Bridge insider told Sky Sports News “Mr Abramovich is very proud of his cows, who can sing the entire Bob Dylan back catalogue and recite the names of every Chelsea season ticket-holder.
He likes to feed the cows Champions League grass whenever he can, and ever since Daisy and Buttercup got bored of their West London grass, he’s been looking to get some from another club.”
Revealing that Abramovich has enjoyed seeing Pep Guardiola taken down a peg or two this season, the insider continued “Mr Abramovich loved the 3-3 game between Celtic and Manchester City, and thought the grass on which it was played would be a lovely treat for his cows.
But ever-mindful of their sensitive stomachs, he only wanted to get them the most succulent parts. So he instructed his board to get the bottom half-centimetre of each blade of grass, leaving Celtic with the rest.”
Such is Chelsea’s determination to pull off the deal before the window closes, they have sanctioned one of the most amazing offers ever seen in world football.
Brendan Rodgers is understood to be furious at the potential swoop, and fears that his board will not back him by keeping all of the grass. In the words of one observer, “Brendan views that 5 millimetres of grass as a key component of his plan to play attractive free-flowing football which will entertain the crowds and bring in the trophies. And he’s got no use for an ageing hostess trolley unless it can double as a Rangers* defender during training sessions before the next Glasgow derby. Oh wait…”
Our source – who describes the atmosphere at Celtic Park as “fraught” – believes the board might be tempted to cave in to Chelsea’s offer. “They may take the view that 40 million drawing pins on the pitch represents an excellent deal for the grass which is only going to die anyway, and which has no scrap value.
A couple of board members would prefer Brendan Rodgers’ side to start playing a long ball game, and nothing is more likely to make that happen than having millions of little spikes on the pitch.
Maybe a compromise will be reached, with the remaining grass clippings being glued to the ends of the drawing pins?”
Chelsea declined to issue a statement on this Sky Sports exclusive, but did release Mr Abramovich’s hounds.
A Celtic spokesman asked if Jim White would like advice on where to shove his yellow tie.
The Clumpany was distressed to hear that Sevco’s bid to secure the services of “former Newcastle keeper” [for which read “current Port Vale keeper and joint-captain”] Jak Alnwick has hit trouble.
Things were looking promising too, with reports earlier this evening that Sevco had successfully activated a £250k release clause in his contract:
The suggestion seems to be that the bid was based on a problematic instalment plan which stretched so far into the future that Buck Rogers himself was going to take at least one of the payments to the bank. But whatever the precise details, the Chairman of Stoke’s second team has apparently said
“We received a bid for the player however the terms were not acceptable.”
Clumpany sources suggest that what he actually said was this:
“We received a bid for the player however the terns were not acceptable. This club is based in the Midlands. Do we look like we want seabirds? What are we supposed to do with them? Unveil them on the pitch at half time and then all pile in taxis to go and watch them frolicking by the coast?
Do you know how much a taxi from Stoke to the nearest beach costs? Do you? And that’s just during the warmer seasons. The bloody things migrate for the winter! I’m not flying out to Heaven-knows-where every weekend to go and see them while our opponents are banging in the goals because we no longer have a goalkeeper. What sort of an idiot do you think I am?
No we DO NOT want terns.
And we don’t want Woodpeckers either – feathered or canned.
There was also some ludicrous talk about us doing a deal in return for an albatross. But Port Vale has no wish to ship Ibrox hundreds of miles south when we have a perfectly good stadium already.
We might have considered a turkey, but I see he’s back playing for Burnley again.
Vultures? No I’ve already spoken to one Scottish media outlet, I am not talking to any more.
What’s so wrong with cash? In one or two easy payments? This isn’t DFS you know. We haven’t got a permanent ‘buy now, pay when the Universe has collapsed into dust’ sale on. Dear me.”
Let’s see if Sevco can manage to improve their offer. Perhaps they might like to try fish rather than birds next time? I can hear the Port Vale Chairman’s reaction already: “Oh my cod! Have you seen their latest bid?”.
If you managed to read beyond the title of this piece, I offer you my thanks. Because I have a serious point to make.
Over the years the judicious use of the ‘block’ button has helped The Clumpany to avoid the worst ravings of the zoomermost roasters on Twitter. They may be a minority but these are the type of folk whose brains seem to have bypassed Quality Control at the factory. The sort of individuals for whom conscience, morality and consideration for other human beings are curses which they are relieved to be without.
In short, you might choose to call them the scum of the earth.
In particular, my ire is directed to those who revel, delight, shout their glee and most probably hold a celebratory party at the opportunity to laugh at and score cheap points about child abuse.
Let’s be absolutely clear about this.
Anyone who abuses another human being for whatever reason and in whatever way is an absolute abomination and deserves everything the law can throw at them.
I am not going to draw up a hierarchy of ‘the worst sort of abuse’. Because they are all horrendous, and lists tend to trivialise things. Nevertheless, there is something particularly appalling about young people being abused for the gratification of adults who are in positions of authority or power. It is a breach of trust and a horrific violation.
And anyone who can be shown to have covered it up deserves to have the full force of the law thrown at them as well.
I hope that is clear and unambiguous enough for any of the hard-of-thinking who may stumble upon this blog and have it read out to them (presumably with the longer words carefully explained).
The recent revelations about the experiences of some youth players in England have brought the issue of child abuse in football back into the spotlight. While we would all prefer that such disgusting things had never happened, it is good to see the truth emerging. Let us hope that those responsible can be held to account, and the victims offered support.
Worryingly, it is being suggested that the recent revelations are just the tip of an appalling iceberg. We will have to see what happens, but hopefully justice will prevail and anyone who has suffered will be offered help.
Most rational folk have looked at recent developments with a feeling of horror, and experienced an overwhelming desire to see the truth uncovered and acted upon.
But not the worst of the morons who lurk on Twitter and elsewhere. These folk see a golden opportunity to have a bit of fun (because child abuse is an absolute hoot isn’t it?) and score points against opposition clubs. The most obvious example is those who are fixated on Celtic FC over some appalling past events. Events which have been investigated and for which those responsible were punished. But there are morons ‘supporting’ all clubs whose behaviour is just as bad.
The jibes of these invertebrates have been popping up all over Twitter in response to comments about the latest news, and completely randomly in the middle of unrelated conversations about the state of Scottish football. You can practically feel their trembling sweaty excitement at the possibility of being able to make hay over some appalling crimes.
And all of this is done with absolutely no consideration for the victims of abuse or their families. People who had their lives damaged or ruined in the most appalling way, and who continue to live with the consequences of it every hour of every single day.
I have no doubt that they are absolutely devastated to see their trauma being treated as ‘banter’ by pond life who can’t get through the day without being utterly consumed by their need to ‘score’ the very cheapest of morally bankrupt points against a football club.
Child abuse is utterly abhorrent.
No ifs, no buts.
The people who perpetrate it are disgusting. They deserve no sympathy and should be hauled before the courts.
But if you think child abuse is funny or valid grounds for pursuing a sordid little vendetta against a football club then you need to take a long hard look at yourself. Assuming you can see any sort of reflection in the mirror.
Because you make the plight of the victims much worse and are a disgrace to whatever shred of humanity you purport to possess.
Scottish football was rocked to its foundations late this afternoon by the news that NASA have rejected the opportunity to undertake a joint venture with the SPFL. This ambitious enterprise would not only have put the first man on Mars, but also the first woeful sports administrators, the first chronically deferential journalists, and the first football match too.
After considering the proposals, NASA decided that as much as it loved Scottish football, all the baggage which accompanies it – particularly the media manure – was simply too heavy to carry to the Red Palmet. There were also doubts that Neil Doncaster could raise sufficient sponsorship to fund Scotland’s half of the arrangements.
So the big spectacular expedition is off!
Of course, the above is a complete flight of fancy made up by yours truly. But the idea of Scottish football going into space is as unlikely to get off the ground as the perennial suggestion that ‘Scottish clubs might be able to play in England’.
This notion crops up in the media from time to time and never amounts to anything other than inducing mass-sighing from thousands of weary fans. [And yes, Celtic’s Dermott Desmond has been guilty of raising this issue in the past. See for example The Brit-pish Premier League].
And so it was today that we heard about the end of the ‘possibility’ of Scottish clubs being able to join a restructured English senior league, following this announcement:
I find it very difficult to believe that Scottish clubs joining the English set-up as part of this process was EVER a realistic possibility. Aside from long-standing FIFA and UEFA commitments to maintaining national league structures (leaving aside some very tentative cross-border initiatives), the idea that English clubs might vote to effectively deprive other English clubs of a place (and revenue) in their league was rather far-fetched.
No matter how many time the tedious “Scottish clubs could move down south” story is resurrected, The Clumpany suspects that it isn’t going to happen for a very long time. If indeed ever.
Nevertheless the ‘story’ remains an easy page and airtime filler, and today’s ‘bad news’ has received quite a bit of coverage in Scotland. Coverage which offers scant assessment of how unrealistic a prospect it was in the first place.
And of course, most of the discussion doesn’t revolve around ‘Scottish clubs’ playing in England at all. It discusses the possibility of Celtic and something going by the name of ‘Rangers’ doing so. A ‘Rangers’ which I understand to be an attractive prospect to any potential suitors on account of… err… surviving with the help of loans, and having recently won the Perpetual Failure Cup prior to making its top-flight debut.
This is the kind of infuriating narrative which suggests that Celtic and ‘Rangers’ are the only worthwhile sides in Scotland. It would have us believe that Aberdeen, Hearts, Hibs, Utd etc couldn’t possibly have anything to offer a cross-border set up. And as such, it is a bucketful of pish.
The Herald’s piece on today’s developments is a prime example of this ‘Old Firmy’, liquidation-denying perspective which boils our game down to two ‘clubs’…
“THE Football League have closed the door on the prospect of Rangers and Celtic joining their ranks as part of a shake-up of the game south of the border.
EFL clubs have been discussing a range of issues regarding the four division set-up in recent months and could vote on a final proposal in June next year.
A new League Three is one of the ideas on the table for debate but any blueprint to overhaul the EFL will not include the Old Firm or Premier League B Teams.”
Personally, I think Rangers would be better off focusing on getting to Aberdeen rather than England in the near future. The papers keep telling me that they are playing at Pittodrie this weekend, and that’s a long way from the mortuary slab by anyone’s reckoning…
Meanwhile, spare a thought for the ever-shrewd press pack who are now saddled with extensive property portfolios across England, having decided to buy places to stay when the ‘Old Firm’ inevitably begin their packed programme of league fixtures South of the Border… 😉
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We were led to believe that the ‘return’ of the ‘Old Firm’ (sic – and boy were we sick of hearing the liquidation lies) would pit two classy stallions against each other in a race for derby bragging rights and momentum in their title charge.
The papers, radio and TV were seemingly hell-bent on convincing us that Rangers – the actual Rangers – were back in the top flight of Scottish football and that our national game finallyhad some value and excitement again after an unfortunate four-year hiatus. As I pointed out earlier in the week, there seemed to be an assumption that just because ‘a’ Rangers are in the Premiership they are automatically going to be’title-rivals’ (copyright Evening Shark-Jump) with Celtic.
However, anyone with any sort of rational faculties was quite clear that Rangers weren’t ‘back’ at all. Because they had taken a final trip to the corporate knacker’s yard in 2012. And most sensible folk had a strong feeling that – all things being equal – Celtic had the players, manager and likely game plan to send Sevco packing.
Of course, upsets do happen, and if Celtic had an off day, combined with Sevco overcoming their recent misfiring nature, it was entirely possible that the Ibrox outfit might get something out of the game – as predicted by the Record’s Gary Ralston and the ESJ’s Chris Jack.
In the event, however, with the exception of their goal just before half-time, Sevco were absolutely horsed by the Champions. Sevco’s trusty steeds appeared to be of donkey derby standard, while Celtic’s looked more like thoroughbreds. Not Group One thoroughbreds just yet (although Dembele came close!), but decent prospects nonetheless.
As noted duck-spotter Tom English observed in a piece for the BBC,“it was an Old Firm match in name only, just as this was Rangers in name only”.
Correct in all senses, Tom. Including the ones I suspect you didn’t mean…
Today’s papers have been surprisingly straight about the beating taken by Sevco, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see some spin kicking in over the next few days. Perhaps nonsense such as “helpful wake-up call for Gers*”…
Then again, perhaps questions will be asked about Sevco’s transfer activity and the team selection made by The Warbmeister. Because a hammering from Celtic and the prospect of falling way behind in the league are two of the few Ibrox developments which the press pack won’t ordinarily overlook.
Let’s face it, a transfer policy which apparently results in big outlays for Geriatricos such as Barton, Kranjcar, Hill and Senderos at the cost of losing a pretty free-flowing, pacy and reasonably-effective style of play while creating a side-splittingly bad defence has to be queried. And it should be queried at bothboard level, (where the Chairman has previously spoken of ‘over investment’ and doing “whatever it takes”), and in the manager’s office – no matter how much of a genius we have been told to believe Warbo is.
Whether Warburton only signed Senderos because the Joleon Lescott signing fell through so dramatically is an interesting point to ponder. But not half as interesting as the question of why he was thrown straight into a game against the pacy and dynamic Scottish champions after having only played 60 minutes of football – against Linfield – since June! That really is ‘intriguing management’…
Also of comedic ‘concern’ is Warbo’s inability to get a performance out of Joey Barton, a man who said he does his talking on the pitch, but who seems to turn into a Trappist monk each time he steps on to Scottish turf. How many chances to impress should Barton get, and who should replace him in the first team if Warbo decides to drop him? I can’t imagine those being decisions which the Sevco manager will relish.
Whichever way you look at it, Sevco were a shambles yesterday, and you could point to any number of reasons for it. All of which aren’t easy to completely resolve short of writing some unlikely big cheques during the next transfer window. A window which is still a very long way away.
Right now, having seen Sevco drop points to Hamilton, Kilmarnock and Celtic, and often labour in their wins against Dundee and Motherwell, smart observers are now wondering whether this season is going be a long hard slog for them. Such a spectacle will be absolutely excruciating for their fans and media cheerleaders.
However, all may not be lost. The Warbmeister himself seems quite optimistic:
It pains The Clumpany to have to say this, but my faith in both the media and the art of public relations has been shaken today.
I can sense you are astonished to hear that my previously unshakable trust in the meticulous and dependable output of Scotland’s sports media has been shattered. I know that disappointments do happen from time to time, but that doesn’t make them any less painful.
The cause of the Clumpany’s dismay is the reporting surrounding the blockbuster transfer of Joleon Lescott from Aston Villa to Sevco in a move which had been well-trailed across the media, and which was likely to be finalised today.
Earlier today, the unthinkable happened. News broke that the Lescott move had fallen through! Imagine that! A move to the mighty Sevco falling through. It’s enough to make you cry.
And as Derek Johnstone told us yesterday, securing his services could have been an absolute masterstroke by The Warbmeister.
The collapse of the move is shocking for two reasons.
Firstly, because Villa were reportedly going to pay a hefty chunk of the first year of Lescott’s wages at Sevco, which would have given the new club an expensive-if-ageing player at a knock-down price. It looked to be a pretty tidy bit of business.
And secondly (and most importantly) because Warbo had Megabussed down to England to personally persuade Lescott to sign, even though it meant risking his life by drinking water on the world’s steepest outdoor seating area.
Curiously, the reasons offered for the collapse by those ‘in the know’ were spectacularly varied:
So, in summary, the factors underpinning Lescott’s non-move now include:
A failed medical.
Not a failed medical.
He couldn’t agree personal terms.
I am sure you can appreciate why I am so bewildered and disappointed by the media. It almost looks as though quickly-deployed spin somehow unraveled faster than you can say ‘money’. Furthermore, I hope that if (as seems likely) Lescott didn’t fail a medical, those saying he had haven’t inadvertently hindered his chances of finding another club…
At one point the varied excuses for Lescott not signing for Sevco were coming so thick and fast I was bracing myself for practically anything:
“Lescott unable to sign following freak unicorn accident”
“Premiership challenge too big for English Championship also-ran”
“Joleon wilts before majesty of Rangers* war chest”
“Noble Lescott takes pity on Celtic by staying in England”
“Celtic’s shame as Lescott refuses to play in same league as serial UEFA offenders”
“The Great Misunderstanding: Lescott’s ‘Yes I’ll sign’ text accidentally sent from his pocket”
“Joleon’s joy as he agrees to sign for Rangers* when they make the Champions League”
“Lescott takes liberties by demanding actual cash from Rangers*”
“Joleon’s ‘England regret’. Star man felt he couldn’t shine alongside future England stars Wes, Waggy and Tavs”
And I kept looking up at the sky to see if Level5 had deployed the special ‘Turd Polishcopter’.
Stranger things have happened…
What a tumultuous day! I can only hope that the Scottish sports hacks try and restore my faith in them by uncovering the truth of why Lescott didn’t sign for the Ibrox side. Even if that truth involves Sevco not being able to meet his wage expectations after agreeing a deal with Villa.
Over to you ladies and gentlemen.
Oh, and while you are at it, can you find out whether Warbo and Frank McParland are still ‘Gods’? Many thanks in advance.