Satire, Scottish Football, Sevco

The Phantom Horse

Good Evening.

Here is the news. Perhaps…

>>>>>>

Phantom horse confirms Rangers* are in a strong position says Ibrox executive

A mute, invisible horse has taken a long hard look at Rangers’* finances and business plan and confirmed that they are in fine fettle, according to a senior administrator.

By A. Manure-Pile

One of Rangers’* top team last dismissed rumours that the club has been experiencing financial difficulties and has no sustainable long-term plans.

Citing a review by a top analyst, the executive dismissed internet chat and so-called bloggers as ‘conspiracy theorists’ and ‘fantasists’, and called upon Gers* fans to ignore their trouble-making agenda.

When asked what reassuring words he could offer the Light Blue legions, the executive pointed to an empty-looking corner of the room and said “ask the Phantom Horse”.

The executive explained that the Phantom Horse was very light on words and physical presence, but he was a top football business analyst and had recently reassured Rangers* that their finances and plans were absolutely top-drawer.

“I’ve never witnessed anyone get so excited as the Phantom Horse did when we showed him our accounts and set out our vision during a three-hour meeting. He was speechless and you couldn’t see even the merest suggestion of a long face.

“We were absolutely delighted to get a seal of approval from the Phantom Horse. We also took note of him not telling us to sell Alfredo Morelos for £8m. We didn’t mention any £8m bid for Morelos and it was very telling that the Phantom Horse didn’t either.

“The Phantom Horse knows that we are on to a winner here at Rangers* and you will never witness him uttering a bad word about us.”

The Phantom Horse did not respond to our request for an interview. However, we understand from his PR representative that he remains in a state of euphoria about Rangers’* more-than-stable prospects.

>>>>>>

#KeepOnClumping

NB Remember folks, it’s just a bit of fun. And I can categorically deny that the Phantom Horse belongs to my pal Alan…

Satire, Scottish Football, SFA

The Next Scotland Manager

Recruitment

Manager of the Scotland National Football Team

The Opportunity

The Scottish Football Association (SFA) invites applicants to become the next manager of the Scotland national football team. Reporting to the person standing in for the Chief Executive, the manager will be responsible for selecting the national team, instilling a culture of excellence in  players, building strong working relationships with clubs, and acting as an ambassador for Scottish football as whole through positive engagement with the media and attendance at public events.

The manager will be required to create a strong backroom team of similar success-oriented people, and will be expected to assist the SFA in relevant aspects of its business planning by developing a comprehensive strategy to deliver international success. The post holder’s primary objective will be to deliver qualification for the European Championships of 2020.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Recent experience of management in club football.
  • Ability to motivate and create a winning mentality among players and support staff.
  • A track record of player development and on-pitch success.
  • A proven ability to deliver results with finite resources.
  • An up-to-date understanding of modern coaching methods.
  • A strong awareness of the role of contemporary sports science in improving player performance.
  • Flexibility at all times in both tactics and team selection, with a willingness to play expansive entertaining football whenever possible.
  • A flair for strategic thinking and collaborative working.
  • Experience in developing open, friendly and constructive relationships with the media.
  • An unrelenting commitment to the modernisation of Scottish football, and a willingness to be the upbeat, public face of this process.

To Apply

Please send a CV and a summary of how you meet the requirements of this post to the Scottish Football Association.

Please note that owing to the SFA’s well-known commitment to delivering its exciting, forward-looking ambitions for Scottish football, only applicants that meet ALL of the above criteria will be considered.

Unless you look like this.

Walter Smith

Closing date for applications: A bygone era.

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

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Media, Satire, Scottish Football, SFA

How To Save Scottish Football

Good Evening.

Not appearing in tomorrow’s papers for some inexplicable reason… 😉

>>>>>>

Our Unspecific Plan To Save Scottish Football

This paper leads the way yet again by declaring its support for so-called ‘reform’.

By O.K. Careful-Now

Having seen Stewart Regan’s welcome departure from the SFA in recent days, this paper would like to make some loud but utterly unconvincing noises about the need to reform the governance of Scottish football.

Obviously we would prefer to do this without addressing any glaring issues around cheating and the non-payment of taxes which appear to trouble a number of apparently obsessed people masquerading as ‘football fans’ and ‘paying customers’.

As such – and savouring the smug feeling to be had from a lame-arsed pun on the name of a piss poor SFA initiative – we would like to introduce you to Project Pave.

This paper believes in not insulting the intelligence of its readers.

No, really…

We will therefore refrain from printing spin and vacuous soundbites about ‘bringing influence to bear to deliver change’ while simultaneously failing to outline any specific actions that we propose to take.

No, really…

We have too much respect for your ability to choose between ‘clicking on something vaguely plausible’ and ‘clicking on obvious shite’ to take you for mugs.

No, really…

Therefore, we ask you to savour the [*cough*] ‘details’ of Project Pave in all their glory.

Henceforth, this paper will:

  • put some colourful slabs down in your garden in a really nice pattern,
  • place a few tubs of flowers on the new patio, arranging them to spell out the words “An opportunist newspaper peddling pie in the sky”; and
  • set up a barbecue on the above-mentioned patio. A barbecue upon which your hopes of a reformed SFA and a credible approach towards years of industrial-scale cheating can be burnt to a crisp.

What more could you ask for?

Please buy our paper.

Pretty please.

>>>>>>

Meanwhile… 😉

Project Save: MailSport campaign to bin the SFA and unite Scottish game under one federation

#KeepOnClumping

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

Media, Satire, Scottish Football, Sevco

Dave King Will Walk Among Us!

Good Afternoon.

Here is the news. Almost…

>>>>>>

Praise The Lord! The Blessed Dave Will Walk Among Us

Rangers* Chairman has sparked a near-religious frenzy with the news that he will grace Scotland with his presence.

By A. Miracle-Worker

Scenes of ecstasy were witnessed across the land today following the astonishing news that the Blessed Dave King plans to walk among the faithful, bringing peace, love, joy, and hints of jam tomorrow.

The Castlemilk Messiah has largely been a stranger to these barren islands in recent years. But lo! Just when all hope had been lost by his adherents he has announced that he will visit Scotland on a regular basis to bring footballing miracles to the despairing, if not actual cash.

A spokesperson for the Temple of Glib said “this is the news for which we have been sacrificing our dignity in lavish ceremonies for several years. Behold! Where once the Blessed Dave mainly resided in South Africa, inviting Jim White to kneel before his wine cellar, he is now heading to Scotland once a month to bring light into the darkness of Rangers’ poor season.

“The Blessed Dave will inspire his follow-followers with parables of war chests, ‘doing whatever it takes’, and his famous Tale of the Co-investing Fan.

“He will smite the Takeover Panel with impecuniosity. His word will spread to the four corners and 5 Levels of the mainstream media, and all will be in awe of his wisdom. If not his chequebook.

“Mark my words, the Miracle of the 55th Title will go down in the annals of the Daily Record and Evening Times as the most magnificent event in all of creation.”

A source close to one of the leading Chapters of the Temple of Glib added “Dave will see Timmy crushed and think it very good. Now, would you like to invest in the future share issue?”

>>>>>>

Meanwhile, in other news…

Rangers* chairman Dave King to be more hands-on as he decides to spend more time in Scotland

#KeepOnClumping

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

Media, Scottish Football, Sevco

Transfer Deadline Mayhem

Deadline Day

Good Evening.

The Clumpany isn’t a big fan of the transfer window and Transfer Deadline Day.

Sky Sports screaming about cash figures so large that they are to all intents and purposes meaningless, the media actually competing to be the first to tell us that absolutely nothing is happening at a club, and Jim White’s tie being a ‘thing’.

Dear me.

However, it is what it is. An absolute circus that quite a lot of people enjoy watching for its own sake, and – just occasionally – an opportunity to see your favourite club buying a new player who excites you. It is most certainly not something to be taken completely seriously. For that way lies insanity.

Approximately 105% of Transfer Deadline Day is exaggeration, speculation and misinformation. Whispers about rumours about chat about a sighting of a player in the general vicinity of a particular club. Or perhaps another club. No one is quite sure. But it doesn’t matter because most of the coverage is basically an exercise in filling airtime and column inches.

Some actual deals are done, but most of the day is a game. Sky play it, other media outlets play it, some clubs play it, and we – the great footballing public – also play it.

Who hasn’t got caught up in the occasion at some point and found themselves saying to a friend ” I hear x is on his way to Fulham if the club agree to fly him down from Aberdeen on the back of a golden eagle?” Or “I see y is holding Neil McCann at the point of a sharpened Curly Wurly until he agrees to let him move to Millwall”?

Exactly.

When Transfer Deadline Day comes along most of us take it with a large pinch of salt, knowing that there will be spin, bluster and outright bullshit. We will marvel, grumble and sometimes laugh out loud.

And then we all move on, noting that some players have changed clubs while the overwhelming majority have stayed where they were. The crazy rumours and hype are largely forgotten until the next Transfer Deadline Day. No one dies and no reputations are truly shredded.

In short, Transfer Deadline Day is utterly ephemeral. If food hygiene regulations and people being reluctant to contaminate any part of their lives with a newspaper were not an issue, you might even even say that Transfer Deadline Day news absolutely exemplifies the notion of “tomorrow’s fish and chip paper”.

All of which is by way of introduction to a question…

Why would anyone feel so concerned or defensive about the coverage of an unlikely-sounding ‘big money’ bid for their player to go to the trouble of seeking this sort of apology?

Screen 2

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It makes you think, doesn’t it?

I fear the Universe will quickly collapse if every bit of apparently incorrect football transfer reporting has to be retracted with an apology!

#KeepOnClumping

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Media, Satire, Scottish Football

An Important Geography Lesson

China

Good Evening.

The Clumpany had a phone call from my good pal Alan last night. It was nice to hear from him as I haven’t seen him in ages. 😉

Alan is a great believer in self-improvement and has enrolled in a series of evening classes. He has always been interested in travel, so he thought he would try a geography class. He was calling to tell me how the first one had gone. Here is what he said to me…

“Evening Clumpany. I’m just back from my first class. I’ve never experienced anything like it. I’ll spare you the details of the trouble I had getting a seat, but every time I sat down someone came along and sat on me. It was almost as if they couldn’t see me. Cheeky bastards.”

Alan has never been very big on self-awareness…

He continued: “As you know, I fancied seeing the world so went to a geography class. Nothing too heavy duty, academic or technical. Just an introduction to some of the more interesting places around the world and what you can find there. I don’t want to do any exams. I just want to learn a few things and think about where to travel on my holidays.

“Anyway, after looking through a few online brochures I thought I would enrol at the Daily Record College and do their ‘Introduction to the World’s Great Countries’ course. It promised a Top Team of speakers and was cheap. Really really cheap.”

The Clumpany has always been in awe of Alan’s unique combination of epic naivety and world class thrift.

“So I turned up absolutely buzzing for the first class which was all about China. China! I’ve always wanted to go there! ‘What a great way to start the course’, I thought to myself. But I came away absolutely gutted.”

Having paused while I made sympathetic noises, Alan continued.

“The lecturer came along and told us how – as a representative of the Daily Record – he was clearly going to be first and best for information on China . This sounded really promising. But then it started to go downhill. He pinned a map of China to the wall. Well, I say ‘map’, but it was just the outline of China coloured red and with no details on it.

“And then he said. ‘This is China. It’s very Chinese. Thanks for coming tonight. Any questions?’ Well, as you can imagine, we were all taken aback. We had expected a bit more by way of detailed information about things in China.

“So various people put up their hand and asked questions. Annoyingly, he didn’t see mine though.

Q: What are the most famous landmarks in China?
A: Chinese ones. If you want Chinese landmarks, China is the place to go.

Q: Whereabouts is the Great Wall of China?
A: In China.

Q: Yes but which particular part of China?
A: One of the Chinese bits.

Q: Which is the largest city in China?
A: It’s one of the great big Chinese cities. Huge it is!

Q: Have you got a more detailed map you can talk us through?
A: I don’t need another map. All of China is in this one. Look at it! China!

Q: Don’t you think you should be giving us a bit more detail other than just saying ‘China’ and hoping we will accept it as informative or helpful?
A: You know the old saying: ‘when in China, do as the Chinese do’. After all, ‘all roads lead to China’, and ‘China wasn’t built in a day’.

Q: But they don’t say that at all.
A: They do in the Daily Record Chinese Geography Class.

“At that point we all got up and walked out, Clumpany. It felt like we were being taken for mugs. I’ve cancelled the rest of the classes and am just going to concentrate on the football as usual.

“Now, what’s this I’m hearing about Alfredo Morelos being the subject of a big money bid from China? Do we know which club in China? Which newspaper was it in?”

I advised Alan to pour himself a stiff drink and sit down…

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

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Scottish Football, SFA

Social Unrest

Regan

Good Evening.

It seems that there is finally social unrest as a result of some dramatic events in Scottish football.

Yes, that’s right. The Clumpany is holding a massive street party to celebrate the resignation of Stewart Regan from the SFA. It will be a very social occasion and everyone is going to get so drunk that there will certainly end up being scenes of complete devastation.

What is there to say about Mr Regan’s tenure at the SFA other than “thank fuck he’s going”?

Well here are a few other words and phrases we could ponder:

  • Conflicted Campbell Ogilvie
  • Social unrest.
  • Armageddon.
  • Slow lingering death.
  • UEFA licences and Resolution 12.
  • The Five-Way Agreement.
  • Yes, the secret Five-Way Agreement.
  • Not raking over the coals.
  • Pinsent Masons.
  • ‘Imperfectly registered’ players.
  • Fit and proper test.

And those are just some of the governance issues. I could go on to discuss the fortunes of the Scotland team and its succession of failing managers, as well as the pretty depressing levels of sponsorship and TV income in Scottish football.

I could say that it is hard to fathom quite how Mr Regan managed to stay in post for so long. But I don’t think it is difficult to work out why at all.

Regan – for all his faults – was very effective at preserving the status quo, at not rocking the boat, and at not allowing others to do so either. Yes, there were some reforms on his watch, but it is very instructive to note what the SFA chose to highlight in its statement today

“He [Regan] has made a range of changes, including streamlining the Scottish FA committee system, introducing a more transparent and independent disciplinary process, creating a pyramid system, and delivering a new performance strategy.

He also leaves the Association in good financial health, having recorded its highest ever profit in 2017.”

It’s all quite small-scale and very bureaucratic isn’t it? There certainty isn’t much there about vision, being world class, or [*gasp*] delivering success on a football pitch.

Nevertheless, Regan’s ‘attributes’ perhaps made him a perfect fit for the SFA, which is arguably one of the most conservative and insular organisations you could ever encounter.

It is interesting that it is only now, with issues mounting up that even the SFA and their potential critics in the press can’t play down (such as the never-ending nature of the search for the next Scotland manager, international friendlies played on Neptune, and the vexed future of Hampden Park) that Regan is suddenly deemed expendable by both the SFA and himself.

Regan should have been booted out the moment he publicly subscribed to a vision of ‘Armageddon’ and social unrest if a Rangers-flavoured entity was not rushed into the upper echelons of Scottish football in season 2012-13. It still beggars belief that the top executive in the governing body of a sport could trash its image and be party to such creative use of the rule book without serious consequences.

But this did happen, and the integrity and image of Scottish football as a whole paid a heavy price.

Shame on the SFA, and shame on the clubs for allowing Regan’s tenure to go on for so long. We should be very careful about blaming Regan and the SFA alone for the ills of Scottish football in recent years. After all, I can’t remember too many occasions when the Lawwells, Milnes, Petries and Budges of this world took a stand in favour of reforming the governance of the game and dispensing with Regan’s services. Can you?

Regan’s failure is to some extent also the failure of the clubs who shied away from holding him properly to account over a number of issues. But that doesn’t excuse him. He deserved to be fired years ago, and his failure to properly address the issues raised by Resolution 12 and the outcome of the Big Tax Case are illustrative of the negative and entirely avoidable impact he has continued to have.

Given the nature of the SFA, I fully expect them to recruit another conservative individual to replace Regan. The idea of them appointing someone to drive through reform of the SFAs structures and operation, and to make a concerted effort to ensure the game is played on a level playing field by introducing Financial Fair Play, for example, is tragically laughable. For what it’s worth, my money is on a blazer wearer being appointed to wear a blazer and do blazer wearing-type things.

Unless of course the clubs put their foot down and insist upon the appointment of a dynamic reforming Chief Executive…

Nevertheless, despite my somewhat pessimistic outlook, I am going to savour Mr Regan’s departure. It has been a long time coming.

Goodbye Mr Regan. It hasn’t been pleasant.

#KeepOnClumping

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