kris boyd watch

kris boyd watch

Once again we are being trolled by Kris Boyd. It’s all a bit of a laugh, it’s all a bit of banter.

Ellen Degeneres said in a very succinct stand up routine years ago, ‘If you are teasing someone, and the person you are teasing isn’t laughing, you don’t understand teasing’. A routine about that line being crossed between teasing and bullying, or abuse. A line quite a lot of people appear unaware of. For teasing, replace with banter.

So football supporters who have just conceded a goal, or in the case of Hearts had a decision go against them, are laughing along are they at that moment. A player we say is fat, scores a goal, then rubs it in to the opposition supporters. Is that banter, really? It could be, if that was all it was. In the context of his Sun newspaper column and pundit career where he has said a number of dishonest, nasty and really quite hateful things about our club, our players and our supporters, is it bants? Or is it clear and deliberate provocation from someone who, probably correctly, believes he is above the laws of Scottish football.

We got the last laugh, but is that really relevant?

No one is condoning throwing a coin, but when Lennon was provoking the Hearts support, were they laughing at the time? The 99.9% who didn’t throw anything? Were they in on the fun, the bants?

How important was the football to those Hearts supporters, or us the Aberdeen supporters who went to Kilmarnock. What percentage of our disposable income goes on the football? Kris Boyd and Neil Lennon are multi-millionaires.

When I wrote about Boyd, all of last week, I put my opinion forward as to why he was attacking Aberdeen so much. I said it was probably orchestrated by Traynor, and it was as a bare minimum the Rangers must get past us this season. As I was writing it, I thought at what point will they turn on Hearts? We were days away from it.

Watching the BBC ‘journalists’ on Twitter circle around Lennon and Boyd is very enlightening on that cozy little club called the establishment.

Call them what you will, The Old Firm, The Collective Cunt Club, The Sectarian Cartel, between them the Scottish msm and their former players, they are a cancer in sport and in Scottish society.

plane aberdeen

plane aberdeen

I saw Ronaldinho play for Barcelona in the Nou Camp, Camp Nou (make up yer feckin’ minds) while he was the best player in the world. Rijkaard had taken over as manager, it had started badly, then *Bartha* went on a run of about eleven wins in a row, the beginning of the little bit too short window of Ronaldinho being the man.

It was about game seven of that run, Davids got sent off. Athletico Madrid they were playing I think. Ronaldinho was just incredible, unstoppable. I was with a Danish girlfriend (number 3 in a series), the loveliest, coolest Scandinavian chic you could ever meet (of course I’d go on to self destruct it)  but for that magical weekend in Barcelona, with that football match, with Ronaldinho at his prime, I was in heaven.

Best footballer I ever saw, the greatest footballing experience of my life, Peter Weir in an Aberdeen shirt.

Everyone connected with Gothenburg is a legend. Everyone worthy of unending gratitude. But it was Weir and Willie Miller who had their own special stratosphere. My greatest footballing privilege. To see Peter Weir play.

I have a late memory, a sad memory. Can’t remember who we were playing. Mystified at Peter not getting a game. For Gary Hackett? This had been going on for a while, before a game all the players warming up, Peter started doing this incredible bit of skill by himself. I can’t remember what it was, but the crowd got behind it. Were watching him, were with him. He was making a statement. I think he was gone within a few weeks. Our next decent left winger was Jonny Hayes. Three decades later. Jonny is a lovely guy by all accounts, and was a great Dandy, but not a tenth of Peter Weir. Porterfield you blundering thundercunt.

We can’t end with that. I will badly paraphrase a story left on the page a couple of years ago. Apologies to whoever left it, if you recognize it, want your name on, want it revised, let me know.

A plane full of Dandies flying to Gothenburg for the final. A wee bit fired up. The stewardess starts doing the safety instructions, before take off. Every time she mentions the rear of the plane, the whole plane keeps bursting into a round of ‘Peter Weir, Peter Weir, Peter Weir’ (to the Here we go song). The safety instructions take quite a while. Finally the plane takes off, literally bouncing up the runway to the sound of Peter Weir, Peter Weir, Peter Weir…

I put it forward, Peter Weir is not just a legend, not just a Gothenburg Great, perhaps, the greatest of them all.

neil lennon

neil lennon

What a butterie… sorry

Football supporters are a complex, contrary, inconsistent bunch. By way of example, I’ve grown to really quite like Neil Lennon, I think he’s a good bloke.

It would appear, from my very unscientific social media studies, (Higher grade C probably, to match the others) since Lennon has been at Hibs, a large chunk of the Aberdeen support also seem to quite like Lennon, and when Dek looked to be leaving a year back, his name appeared on quite a few wish lists for our next manager. More in hope than expectation.

I’m not entirely sure what it is I now find likeable about Lennon I didn’t see before, maybe because he’s imperfect like the rest of us, a flawed man doing his best in a difficult world, but one of the more silly reasons, as by Christ a bit of levity in all this is needed, is a bit like a bad guy in a soap opera, he’s been around so long, you begin to quite like the fella. Och it’s just Wee Neil being Wee Neil, I wonder what will happen next Doof, doof, doof (Eastenders theme…).

Instant Karma

I have a confession to make that appears to make me slightly different to most Aberdeen supporters. I genuinely loathe Celtic exactly as much as I loathe The Rangers and Rangers. And I do mean absolutely equal. There is no fractional leaning towards either of them on even a hint of a religious or political ground.

It’s always been that way for me, I’m not judging others’ choices, I just see them as one entity. While I will generally avoid any Old Firm matches on TV, if in a pub and an Old Firm game is on, I will back whichever one is playing away from home, as I want to see the home supporters look unhappy. That’s just the way I roll.

Jealous guy

The Old Firm, does it exist? For me yes it does, if you accept there are three teams in it. One of them dead. The original meaning of The Old Firm was an insult. Denoting a business cartel exploiting sectarian division for financial gain. Plus ça change?

I looked up The Old Firm on Wikipedia to see their definition, and it’s a really funny, but not intentionally funny page, where you can smell the editing, and re-editing that will have gone on countless times with heavily agendaed editors. And while Wikipedia’s reputation is as good as destroyed thanks to the Philip Cross story of clearly organised political manipulation with Wikipedia’s consent and collusion, it’s fun to think there’s a bit even Wikipedia dare not fuck with. Old Firm supporters and their whataboutery.

Mind games

When he was manager of Celtic I detested Lennon, his behaviour, his club’s behaviour, the reasons behind it, and the arseholes who threatened his life or sent bullets in the post. I have never had any interest in anyone’s religion or nationality, and I still regret not walking out of Pittodrie when Mark Walters was receiving monkey chants. I’m sorry Mark, sorry you or anyone else ever had to experience that.

I wasn’t surprised when Lennon couldn’t land an EPL manager’s job in England. How much of that was down to his behaviour come reputation, or more likely how much of it being down to Walter Smith, Alex McLeish, Gordon Strachan and Martin O’Neill being largely found out after landing top jobs in England on the back of managing The Old Firm successfully. Proving once and for all, the Old Firm managerial job to be a piss easy gig, is impossible to know. Ironically, of all those managers, Neil Lennon may be the most talented of them.

When he took over at the soon to be relegated and financially knackered Bolton, I believed he ‘got found out’. I thought he’d disappear to the pundit sofas and golf courses. And then came the resurrection.

Starting over

When he reappeared at Championship side Hibs I was immediately interested and impressed. At a stroke he proved himself to be a real football manager and not the careerist I’d thought he was (like many others). The careerist, who sits and waits for a job.

A football manager manages. You are making the decisions, in charge of your team. Whatever level you play at, a huge percentage of the job is exactly the same. Get the best out of your players, motivate them to beat the opposition, whos opposite number is doing the same. Champions League Final or Highland League (no disrespect) maybe 90% the same job. The same job skills.

Look at the world’s biggest and most deluded fool, Gary Neville. I am so talented, so brilliant, such a winner, so amazing, as I used to occasionally be in the same room as Sir Alex Ferguson, I must have learned everything from him through osmosis.  I will start at the very top of management learning as I go along, in a foreign country, where I don’t speak the language, and my equally inexperienced, idiot brother will be my assistant. Well who’d have thought that would have been a failure?

Meanwhile Steve Patterson, a talented football manager. With issues, like the rest of us, (something, something, something throw the first stone – but not at Neil Lennon) just kept on managing, at whatever level would take him, because he was/is a football manager. Roy Hodgson, another that never developed a media career, just kept managing. It’s almost like the more you do a job, the better you get, and the more likely you are to stay up to date with modern developments. There are those that do, and there are those that talk about doing.

What did Neville do after the Valencia car crash? Did he go down a few leagues, take his knowledge with him that he’d learned, to pick up the basics of management, perhaps try managing the football team he owns. No he went back to his TV career. So he was just playing at football management. Neville is a multi-millionaire from playing football. He doesn’t need the TV money.

Give peace a chance

My own tuppence worth on the Hearts game, I am not going into the details of who’s to blame, and why etc. From the outside, isn’t it quite nice as an Aberdeen supporter that we are outside this one for a change. A couple of thoughts, he is a highly paid multi millionaire. People in football crowds doing very bad things jacked up on whatever, including possibly one of the most potent drugs of all, football adrenalin, will not be multi millionaires. May go to prison, lose their jobs, homes, marriages, the lot. NOT defending them for a second though. And also the same people shouting for the hanging and drawing of the guilty will also be posting on Twitter their awareness for mental health issues and how important it is to talk to someone. As there’s nothing as hypocritical as some asshole on Twitter. Myself included. @thedandydons83

Whatever gets you thru the night

We need to remember it must have been difficult for Lennon growing up, not that many will have experienced the hardship and difficulties he will have faced, the suffering and the pain, the abuse and rejection, growing up as a little ginger fella. I myself can empathise as am part ginge, more an auburn, a higher class of ginge than your regular garden ginge. Also I’m tall, so really I can’t empathise that much at all, but I’ll betcha Wee Gordon Strachan can.

Wee Gordon and Wee Neil, celebrity angry little ginge wrestling. There’s an idea for ya. Neil McCann, he’s another one, despite not being a ginge, appears to be an honorary one, wee angry man at C&A. Let’s get him in the ring too. Any others? Or what about wee angry Scottish fitba ginge throwing? How far can… I’ll stop there. Way too late, but I’ll stop.

alanis morissette

alanis morissette

Well isn’t that ironic, the unwelcome guest at the sectarian wedding, just ruined the whole wedding, and may yet fuck the bride out of her smug self satisfied, frankly laughable treble treble ambitions that her bridesmaids in the media see as something to be proud of rather than a perfect example of the ridiculously skewed state of Scottish football.

I took that wedding metaphor, and just went for it, like Lewis Ferguson with his eye on the ball in the six yard box at a corner.

Incidently according to Twitter the Celtic support’s FORTY MILE journey from Edinburgh to Glasgow after the semi final was a nightmare. That’s as ironic as rain on Alanis Morissette’s wedding day. Let’s hold a minute’s silence at our next game for their suffering.

BT Sport’s coverage

Normally I have Red TV International’s excellent coverage to take me through Dons games. I saw it with BT Sport’s commentary. Something I’ve pretty much never heard before.

One of the media’s favourite narratives is the love of an underdog, a giant killer, a fairytale ending. The team with the far smaller budget, who were not playing at home, whose supporters had travelled furthest, who were vastly out numbered… course they didn’t.

And not one of the three man commentary team had a clue about Aberdeen. No insight, no basic knowledge, these people are supposed to know more than the audience. The only angle on McInnes, his former Rangers connection, the only angle on Lewis Ferguson, his family connection to Rangers. Their knowledge of anything else Afc related, nothing. I suspect they could have told us how many times Stevie G had been to the toilet that day. It’s not just Glasgow media bias, it’s rank unprofessionalism.

It’s always been that way

I wrote leading up to the semi final on Hampden, on Boyd, on the SFA and the Glasgow media.

One of the points put to me a few times on social media is, ‘it’s always been that way, just move on’. Which is fair enough.

‘It’s always been that way’ in particular intrigues me. It’s an age thing. My grandfather was born the year Aberdeen were founded. In the scheme of things, organised football isn’t actually that old. ‘It’s always been that way’ just doesn’t wash. Much like [add your own joke here].

We don’t need to stand for this crap. We have to get our club to fight The SFA, and the media. The corrupt disciplinary committees, which is clearly and obviously about helping The Rangers reach full revenue potential, which means damaging us. The Traynor controlled Glasgow media agendas, led by the chief attack dog, the arsehole’s arsehole Kris Boyd.

The shame of Hampden

The other giant white elephant in the room, Hampden continuing as the ‘National stadium’. Just accepting the decision when Murrayfield is sitting there in Scotland’s Capital. With a tram service stopping right outside it. The dishonesty of ‘Glasgow is a football city’, (with the innuendo of nowhere else in Scotland is, or is allowed to become) the dishonesty of ‘tradition of Hampden’. Generations now only know it as a shithole for a serial failing Scottish national team.

Here’s a thought, use Murrayfield, then when Murrayfield is done and dusted in 50 years or whatever, the next one can be back in Glasgow. How hard was that. The fact the SFA didn’t have the money to even purchase the land at 6 million. Not even a bit of the money. Where will the funding come from for a decent stadium? The fact The SFA/SPFL didn’t think those semi final tickets needed to be reprinted with the correct time on. Or perhaps couldn’t afford to reprint.

Scottish football, like Scotland’s media is corrupt to the core. The media in Scotland hold nothing and no-one to account. It’s as good as on it’s arse. Aberdeen FC don’t need to accept this shit anymore. The best time of all is to act while in a position of power, not angry or hurt, or aggressive. With a big old smile on your face. That time is right now.

*Pedants I don’t need schooling on the irony of Alanis Morissette’s Isn’t it Ironic lyrics thanks anyway. I too have the internet.

cheese

cheese

Neutral. Meaning ‘without advantage’. A venue for a football match which is not home to either of the teams involved. The reason being to make the chance of winning based purely on merits on the pitch. A one off, equal contest, a different type of game from a league fixture. Winner takes all.

Hampden. Neutral like Switzerland during the second world war. But without the nazi gold. Well the gold at any rate.

A brand new day

One of the things I find fascinating with Scottish football, is whenever there is a problem, whenever there is a decision to make, those in the authorities act like this is the first time this has ever come up. Every day in Scottish football is day one of Scottish football. Every day a brand new day without history. Whether it be times for televised games for clubs geographically far apart or venues for neutral games. Ticket sales, finding a competent manager, arranging semi finals, day one.

The argument from those of an Old Firm persuasion is it is important that those who regularly attend football matches are at semi-finals and finals. Hence a 75-25 split of a crowd for an Old Firm team, in their city, is a fair and just split of a crowd.

This care for those who ‘regularly attend football matches’ I first heard from the mouth of the esteemed football visionary Sir David Murray. Why oh why didn’t we listen to him more.

An obvious solution

We’ve played Celtic quite a few times at Hampden in the last five years. Ye know Hampden. In Glasgow. Celtic’s city. Here’s an idea since we will at some point in the next couple of years be playing them again, how about the next one is at Dens Park. In Dundee. Then they travel a bit, and we travel a bit, and it’s neutral. We’ll sell our 50% (it’ll be oversubscribed), they’ll sell their 50% (also oversubscribed) it’ll be a cracking spectacle, and will look fab on TV. Dundee will make some money (good for Scottish football to spread it around) and lots of fitba supporters get to visit the Dundee V&A and pronounce ‘peh’ in a patronising tone. Everybody happy. Then the next couple of times, back to ‘neutral’ Hampden. How hard would that be?

Even it out a bit, mix it up a bit. Different clubs can have different venues for their neutral Old Firm game. Watching Brendan squirm at having to go to Murrayfield made for a fascinating reveal on how scared The Old Firm are of a real neutral venue.

But why is the game so rigged for the Old Firm?

Neoliberalism. People of a neoliberal persuasion claim to love the free market, love capitalism, love business, and will claim to be creative, visionary entrepreneurs. It’s all bullshit. What they love is a rigged market, where they have a guarantee of profit, and they can’t lose money. Richard Branson at Virgin Trains. If they lose money, the tax payer pays, if they make a profit it’s theirs. He makes out he’s a silly old hippy, an entrepreneurial genius, but he’s just someone who can spot an easy mark, and that easy mark is the tax payers’ money. Hence he is currently all over NHS contracts at the moment. Branson himself is a tax exile. Go figure.

On the football side, take the Champions League. If you are in the Champions League you get skwillions of quid, and therefor have a higher chance of getting into The Champions League the following season with the extra money from The Champions League. If you finish higher in the English Premiership you receive more prize money, and therefor have a higher chance of finishing in the top end of the English Premier League the following season, and then, in the Champion’s League, which leads to more money… It’s a neo liberal carve up. The market must decide, but only after we’ve rigged the market. The only chance of things being shaken up in the upper echelons of English football is some Arab country pumps in money to a club that really ought to be paying for hospitals for it’s citizens. Hello Man City’s UAE. The only way into the party, is even more money, irrespective of how that money has been ‘acquired’.

A closed shop. Neoliberalism, Thatcherism, Reaganism at it’s finest- For younger readers, vile sociopathic politicians began long before Trump and May, and Blair…

And that ultimately is what The Rangers and Celtic are. Neoliberal football club’s uninterested in playing the game fairly. They control the football authorities, control the media, they are Thatcher’s children, Thatcher’s football clubs. In fact as their cozy little cartel goes back a lot further to before Rangers died, it could be The Old Firm was really Thatcher’s inspiration. It wasn’t Adam Smith at all. It was the cunting Old Firm.

punch bag aberdeen

punch bag aberdeen

Hit me baby one more time…

Interesting narrative going on at the moment in Scottish football. From a historical perspective and seeing the big picture of what is going on is also worth looking at.

A sort of re-cap we are ‘an embarrassment’, being laughed at, sneered at, criticised for not selling enough tickets and pretty much the punchbag for Scottish football at the moment.

We have a very important game against The Rangers coming up, my what a coincidence. Ticket sales? Irrelevant, Cormack may have made an error, but so what, it’s a trivial thing in the scheme of things. But our lack of ticket sales are a very big story in the Scottish media with a remarkably consistent line of argument. One might say synchronised.

Geography

For anyone who doesn’t understand the concept of geography, we are much farther away, it will cost far more money, and take much more time, to visit a stadium that is a piss poor sporting experience and our team is not playing that well at the moment. We shouldn’t need to explain it, we shouldn’t need to justify, or apologize for it, Hearts and The Rangers are playing at home. Celtic are travelling forty miles.  It’s almost like time and cost can affect the size of a crowd.

Doncaster and the SFA’s job is not to run Scottish football efficiently, it’s to do the establishment’s bidding. The establishment team need a huge amount of help right now. The establishment have two teams, but one currently needs help more than the other.  So the royal fuck up of four teams in the same stadium on the same day, on the back of Hampden being a disgrace, the national team being chronically mismanaged for decades, and clear and open corruption in disciplinary committees, is not a story, didn’t happen, nothing to see here. Just Aberdeen not selling tickets.

A poor man’s Ally McCoist

Then there’s Kris Boyd. He’s a bit of a rascal, a cheeky chappie, a poor man’s Ally McCoist, and McCoist was a cunt. What he does is not accidental. Everything he writes is passed by at least two editors at The Sun. Almost certainly he is following instructions, he may also not be writing it. And the same cheeky chappie is free to say whatever he wants on any part of the media he wants. Including your licence fee funded BBC Glasgow.

Why Aberdeen don’t take action against the Sun I find mystifying. I can’t think of a single reason to not ban them. They don’t give Aberdeen positive publicity. They don’t market the club, they don’t sell tickets, but they actively use Aberdeen FC as a punch bag whenever they see fit. They can’t treat us worse. That’s already what they do. There are 96 reasons to ban them from a football perspective, and there’s several thousand more outside of football.

The big question though is why are we under attack? Last season we were second. While we are not The Rangers real enemy, as an absolute minimum they must get past us this season. And if you are really watching our team, we could easily still be second, there is a lot to unfold this season.

Pulling the strings

Then there is another element. The real poison in Scottish football, the real power, Jim Traynor. It was him who orchestrated the shameful eight weeks of ‘McInnes must be The Rangers new manager’ last season. It could well be him behind Boyd, his power over the entire Glasgow media as sick as the lack of a semblance of impartiality during the independence vote. The Scottish media a collection of careerist waste of space, lick spittle arseholes completely free of integrity, and with no interest in sport, journalism or society.

I would say Traynor would want to destroy McInnes for turning him down. He clearly has the entire Glasgow media in his rancid pocket, and the SFA.

On Sunday, we go to war.

traynor

alex smith northern light

A look at the Alex Smith years, and The Northern Light and the P&J.

stewart milne aberdeen fc

stewart milne aberdeen fc

I like Stewart Milne. Well I want to at any rate. For a long time pre McInnes I was backing him when the majority absolutely were not. He made mistakes, but those were human mistakes. He meant well.

Perhaps I’m just a contrarian, maybe I don’t like seeing someone being overly criticised and will always defend them, I genuinely don’t know, but it’s been while McInnes has been with us, I’ve felt to be more revealing about Milne, than when things were going badly.

I’ve nothing but enormous respect and admiration for anyone building a business like his up from scratch. But what concerns me, or at any rate intrigues me with Milne, is that skill, that passion, doesn’t in my opinion, transfer to his governance of Aberdeen football club. When I say that, I am not talking about him spending his own money, it’s about decision making, short term and long term.

Debt

Let’s take debt for example. We were all unhappy when the club had enormous debt, and the interest was spinning it out of control. Debt’s a bad thing. The debt came about largely from very poor decision making. In particular allowing Roy Aitken and Alex Miller to spend large sums of money. So we learned, allowing football managers to spend money was bad. This isn’t what we should have learned from that. We should have learned giving bad managers money to spend is a bad idea.

For example look at McInnes’ early years. We’d become debt clear, we clearly had our best manager since Ferguson, there was only one half of The Old Firm available and they were poorly managed by Delia. Why not try investing there.

Let’s say there is a 5 million player budget, this is higher than under previous managers, as crowds are coming back, more games on TV, more semi and finals, more sponsors. McInnes has generated that bigger budget for himself. Why not, as a businessman, go in hard and invest? This guy seems to know what he’s doing, give him a six million budget (an extra million). Give him money he hasn’t generated, get it from the bank, but let him know if we don’t then generate further money from this investment, the following year’s budget will be a million down, to pay back the money. Or to put it simply, you invest when there is something to invest in. Investing money under Aitken or Alex Miller was nothing short of idiocy.

The shop

This brings me to another element, the club shop. There used to be one on Bridge Street. Presumably it didn’t do well, so we only have one at Pittodrie. But it wasn’t doing well while the club were doing poorly. Under McInnes the club has been doing well. There are no longer cash gates. A shop near the centre to sell merchandise, distribute tickets would give the club a footprint in the city centre, and could be very lucrative. They could even create a combined Adidas store working with their shirt sponsor. If they were to invest properly, they could open their own burger joint based around Angus the Bull. He is a very well created character, but they would need to invest, to be passionate about it, for it to work.

But they haven’t, they haven’t invested, haven’t tried to increase revenues despite a council shopping centre being desperate for the quantity of people a well run Afc shop could bring. The wrong lesson was learned, that a shop in the centre was bad. Celtic have nine shops.

They talk of American investment and selling to Asia, but can barely sell to Union Street, 15 minutes up the road.

The DNA

AberDNA sums it up perfectly. A very good concept, very well executed. Clear investment, time and money working well to increase the club’s revenue. Imagine what McInnes could have done with all that money three or four years ago. How that in turn could have increased success, increased support, increased revenues. But they didn’t do it, until income was required for investment in a building project.

And that one, AberDNA is the big Stewart Milne give away. When Bob Hoskins asks Roger Rabbit if he could have done that at any time (taken his hand out of a handcuff), Roger replies, ‘only when it was funny’. Well for Stewart Milne, creativity, ideas, investment, only when it involved a building project.

It feels like our club is in mothballs. Look at what they can do when he is passionate about something. The Aurora campaign (you’re welcome) was brilliantly executed and had heavy investment in it, just like AberDNA. But the rest, it feels like McInnes is a very talented sticking plaster covering up a huge pile of disinterest. What happens when that plaster falls off…

suggs

It’s all a bit tense on the old Dandy social media at the moment. There hasn’t been this much sheep drama since a plane crashed into Emmerdale.  So why have we not sold as many tickets as we might have thought we had? And does it matter? From what I see there is no one defining factor. We are not in good form, albeit that may well be about to change, our recent Old Firm performances have been awful, it costs a lot of money, Scottish football is corrupt…

But to feel ashamed, to feel embarrassed is just ridiculous. That the Scottish football authorities can’t organize a football match, or an unbiased disciplinary committee, or don’t have a stadium fit for purpose, that isn’t in a neutral city, that we should be grateful to our directors for ONCE standing up for us, who singularly mismanaged our club since the day Alex ferguson left, didn’t upgrade our stadium, didn’t purchase the land around our stadium as it became available, didn’t build training facilities twenty years ago when it first became an issue, and are sticking our new stadium in a place with virtually no traffic infrastructure, and FIVE years after having our best manager in decades join the club put the necessary investment and creativity into AberDNA only when there is a building project that needs funding, and we are supposed to be grateful to, or apologetic to these fucking people. Fuck off.

We are the famous Aberdeen, and we’ll do what we fucking want! Stand Free.

 

 

 

spfl logo

spfl logo
Scottish football, where a team who’s supporters will travel on average the longest distance, at considerable cost and time, with a repeat journey with all the cost and time commitments if we get to the final, are made to feel not good enough for not selling as many tickets as a team who are virtually playing at home.

Brendan’s complaints regarding Celtic’s game being moved to Murrayfield are incredibly revealing. The Old Firm are well aware of the enormous advantage that Hampden gives them every time they play there.

We ought to be excited about an upcoming semi-final and the SPFL and our opposition should be honoured to have us there, and respect and acknowledge the clear advantages that Glasgow clubs have in a clearly rigged ‘neutral’ venue.

Are we really supposed to be grateful they moved the time of the match? And did they even move it for us? More likely the absolute clusterfuck of an idea that four sets of supporters hitting the same venue on the same day could have resulted in mayhem.

And if Scotland had been playing at Pittodrie, and so few had turned up as there was against Portugal at Hampden, we’d be made to feel it was our, the north east of Scotland’s fault, and this would be a reason for no matches returning to Pittodrie.

And what of Milne’s request for a summit? It’s 2018, they don’t need to physically meet. Surely even the SFA, SPFL can arrange a Skype conference call, or get someone to show them how to turn Skype on.

Scottish football is a sick, sick world. Corrupt to the core.

spfl fire

spfl fire

McKenna’s suspension on the back of a number of strange SFA decisions this season, and the way those decisions are reached. Not that unusual, not that new, but seems more extreme than ever. In many ways these are odd times.

From Trump, to Brexit, to the Scottish Independence vote(s), a full scale environmental catastrophe developing, there is a lot of shit going down. Whoever you support, whoever you are with, watching it develop is most certainly very interesting, potentially quite concerning, and also very enlightening.

So what is the enlightenment regarding Scottish football? We know the years without The Rangers, our club did really well. Our support increased, our revenues increased, our position in the league were better than for decades. There are of course other Dek shaped variables to consider. But safe to say in the allotted period, had Celtic also not been there, we would have been champions, we’d have gained even more supporters, even more revenue, done even better.

At the moment, not only are we stronger financially than at any time in the last twenty years, so are Hearts, and so are Hibs. Scottish football is booming.

Since it’s now scientifically proven the other clubs in Scotland don’t need the Old Firm, and in fact it’s better without them, why on earth is the game being rigged in their favour?

Theories on why Scotland ‘needs a strong Old Firm’

Pure Glasgow bias

So who benefits from ‘Scotland needs a strong Old Firm’? Pure footballing bias is one part of it. Rangers and Celtic supporters in the media/football authorities. There’s clear Glasgow bias in other aspects of Scottish society. Glasgow is a great city, great people, this is the media and football establishment this is about.

For example the backdrop of BBC Scotland news. The view out their window. A visual metaphor of all they are interested in, and a gigantic advertisement for Glasgow, on every news bulletin.  They are marketing the city they love, on your TV licence money, and marketing the football clubs they support too.

Politics

There is probably an element of political control within Old Firm bias. In particular, The Union, has never needed a strong The Rangers, than ever before. No shit Sherlock! At the same time I’m well aware there will be plenty SNP voters in their support, and people who don’t want independence in the Aberdeen or Celtic support, but at the very least The Rangers, is a handy focal point for unionism. Take a look around central Aberdeen, statues of Queen Victoria, King Edward (yes there are other statues) read up on what Union Street is named after. Not coincidental. Political manipulation for the Union is a strong part of it.

Distraction

There is another theory, the Old Firm is the establishment’s distraction. If as many people are distracted by some sectarianism dressed up as a football match with wall to wall media coverage, they won’t question what the banks are up to. Amazon’s tax avoidance, Apple’s Facebook’s, Google’s, BP’s… Who owns the land in Scotland, the editor of The Daily Mail has an estate, really?! Imagine if we all went to visit…

Rank incompetence

Let’s face it, sheer fucking incompetence is very much a ‘go to’ for the establishment. Let us remember James Bond is fiction, the real one will be a former classmate of Boris Johnson and every bit as self entitled, incompetent a fuckwitt. With a gun.

I am sure there are other possible reasons.

How to fix it

The seldom mentioned  story of how it came about that The Rangers had to start in the bottom rung of Scottish football. That summer after the liquidation every commenter in the mainstream media insisted they had to start in the top tier. It went on all summer. The football authorities, the few sponsors associated with Scottish football, the TV companies, were all in the media insisting The Rangers start in the SPL. There was an absolute media blitz on why that had to happen.

But it didn’t happen. Why was that? The clue is when the decision was made as to which league they’d play in. Three weeks before the start of the season. Because football supporters wouldn’t purchase their season tickets. The long wait for a decision was the authorities convinced we’d purchase them. Not purchasing them until The Rangers were in the bottom tier, showed we were prepared to walk away from Scottish football, burn Scottish football to the ground metaphorically, if they started in the SPL. So they started in the bottom league. One of the greatest examples of football supporters standing up to the authorities of the establishment ever. Scotland’s mainstream media: it didn’t happen.

And that shows what has to be done if we want Scottish football cleansed of it’s poison. We have to be prepared to walk away. To metaphorically burn Pittodrie to the ground. Or nothing will change. The Old Firm need us, all the Scottish clubs, way more than the other way round, but they need us to be their whipping boys, and the last few years has made us and other clubs strong, and one half of The Old Firm not dominant enough. Hence the recent decisions.

 

 

charlie nicholas aberdeen training

It’s all very well wallowing in the brilliance of Charlie Nicholas’s goal against Celtic, that hit the back of the net without touching the ground from the keeper’s hands, without mentioning the rest of the game. It’s football, it’s never just one thing, it’s never straight forward, without complications.

If you were at that game, you remember that goal. I’ve been to lots of games I remember almost nothing about. This game I remember.

I had this flatmate Kev from Essex. A post grad something or other. Kev was a Gooner. Kev was so laid back to be almost asleep. Kev had an incredibly dry wit and he knew how to wind me up no end.

He once said he thought sex was over rated in a nonchalant way, and he didn’t really enjoy it. His girlfriend was stunning. I was single. He was that guy, and still infuriatingly likeable.

Kev would say ‘Scottish football is rubbish’, and ‘never got what the fuss had been about Charlie Nicholas when he had arrived at Arsenal anyway’, ‘He was supposed to score all these goals…’, ‘just because he scored in a cup final’, ‘always thought he was shit’.

I won’t take the bait, I won’t take the bait, I won’t take the bait, I took the bait… and then off he’d fuck to his room.

So me and Kev were at Aberdeen v Celtic. Bobby Mimms kicks, Gillhaus’s head, over Charlie’s shoulder, BANG. Pittodrie erupts. I erupt. On my way back down from ten feet in the air, I remember what was really important at that moment. Amongst all the celebration in the South Stand, I turn to Kev, look him straight in the eyes, and nod, THERE!

Victory is mine

Thanks to that goal, I have won. Scottish football is not rubbish, it is fantastic, Charlie Nicholas is a brilliant player, and Aberdeen are by far the greatest team the world has ever seen…

Of course Kev doesn’t respond, as he is too laid back to show any emotion, or care about anything, ever, but there is a hint of defeat on his face. All I needed for victory. So I sit back and wait for Aberdeen to kick on. A packed Pittodrie, Gillhaus and Charlie have just combined for that goal, let the show really begin.

They did literally fuck all the rest of the game. With every passing minute, I could feel my victory slipping away. Celtic equalize. Maybe this will wake them up to kick on. They’ll hit the ‘total football button’, and push on to a brilliant victory against a pretty piss poor Celtic team.

Did they fuck. I’m not sure if Charlie Nicholas even touched the ball again that game. Like a collection of mercenaries who believe they’d done what they were paid for, and are just going through the motions.

As the game goes on, I stupidly glance towards Kev. The hint of a smug little grin is back. No words are being spoken, he doesn’t need to. I’m getting angrier and angrier. With Scottish football, with Charlie fucking Nicholas, with that bastard Kev.

Training days

charlie nicholas aberdeen training

Charlie Nicholas training at Aberdeen. You see if ye tuck yer sweatshirt intae yer troosers, yer gonna look a wee bit fat there Charlie. I took this photo when I was an art student. I got permission from the club. A letter from Ian Porterfield himself! The idea was I’d take photos with a view to an illustration project. Little bit of a problem, despite having borrowed a zoom lense (nothing like what the pros use) being a shy young fella, I didn’t get close enough to them, for it to make any difference.

willie miller aberdeen training

Yeah, the coolest man on the park, the coolest man in the world…

aberdeen fc training

I lost about a half a stone that day from the sheer anxiety of the experience.  I don’t think Wullie was impressed with the far off, anxious looking art student…
Tom Jones, Paul Wright, Peter Nicholas, I think Ian Robertson, Willie Miller, Alex McLeish.

john hewitt aberdeen

John Hewitt…

 

 

 

charlie nicholas aberdeen celtic

charlie nicholas aberdeen

How Charlie Nicholas signed for Aberdeen was a fascinating story. This is all pre Sky TV where very little football was on TV, live at any rate, and the money in England was nothing like now. Charlie had been the most sought after player in the UK while at Celtic. He turned down Liverpool. The all conquering Liverpool of the seventies and early eighties. He chose Arsenal. Odd to think now but Charlie Nicholas was considered a looker, a sex symbol, was on the covers of magazines, was quite the star. And had probably quite the lifestyle to go with it.

Then George Graham took over at Arsenal. Graham decided he didn’t want him. But why did we get him? One reason was, we had the cash. Aberdeen FC were a very cash rich club for a few years. The Ferguson legacy money. All those trophies, all that success, buying cheap, selling expensive, developing talent, not paying exorbitant salaries. A very well run club, who’d had the manager of a generation in charge. They had even developed parts of the stadium, something very unusual at that time in British football. All very sound management.

Ian Porterfield who came next, said after he had left the club, ‘you’ve no idea, how much money I had to spend. But I wouldn’t just blow it’. Something like that. But he did sign Charlie Nicholas. And unforgivably punted Peter Weir out the door almost the same day. Because the one thing Charlie Nicholas wasn’t going to need was a winger to supply him with ammo…

When Nicholas signed, Brian Clough made an odd comment, ‘that’s a long way to go for a game of football’. It seems Graham wouldn’t sell Nicholas to any of Arsenal’s rivals. Any of the clubs that could have afforded his then wages, or with manager’s who could have gotten the slightly wayward Nicholas back on track.

I saw an interview with Nicholas recently where he said he was lined up to go to France, forget which club, Graham scuppered it for him (this is pre-Bosman) and Nicholas believed it was out of jealousy.

For the next few years George Graham’s Arsenal would go onto huge success. Not only shafted by Graham, but to sit back and watch him, and his former team mates doing very well, must have been incredibly hard, or at least very mixed emotions.

Charlie himself never showed it, publicly at least. He was always very positive about the city of Aberdeen, and the club, without ever patronising us supporters either. There must have been a fair bit of tabloid pressure on him. From Stringfellows nightclub to training at Balgownie kind of thing.

There was a hint of it at James Wilson’s signing press conference, which was on Red TV. While most of the journalists asked various positive questions, a female journalist, presumably from a tabloid was trying to dig into Wilson with some sharp questions to catch him out. They’ll be all over him, to try and make him look stupid.

The Wenger years

As it turned out, Graham was sacked by Arsenal when he got caught stealing. He then went to a couple of different clubs where a pattern emerged. At Leeds Utd, their star striker Yeboah, dropped, finished, Thomas Brolin the same. At Spurs, Ginola, dropped, finished. What they all have in common with Charlie, they were presumably underperforming, but they were probably the most naturally gifted players in their respective squads, and as flair players, loved by supporters. Was it to engender team spirit, or to show who was in charge, or did Graham just like to destroy a career?

I went to an Arsenal game once at Highbury under Graham when I moved to London in 93. It was against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup, in what would become Clough’s last season. Inside twenty minutes Ian Wright had scored two sensational goals. Incredible to see. English football was fab. www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2byTsNG2FA (looks like a Pathe Newsreel now…)

They then 30 minutes in, proceeded to park the bus. 2-0 up, playing at home, against a Forest team that would eventually be relegated. So ‘boring boring Arsenal’ wasn’t just a bit of football banter. George Graham’s teams were horrible to watch.

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Why the bottle of Becks in the illustration? Whenever Gordon Reid drew ‘Champagne Charlie’ in The Northern Light fanzine, he invariably had a bottle of Becks in his hand. I always thought it incredibly funny. Cheers Gordon!

And the Mimms, Gillhaus, Charlie goal. www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFhbeK_vu2M

Leighton Snelders

Jim Leighton versus Theo Snelders, who was best?