A free Niall McGinn poster in a print ready PDF to download. Take it to your local printer or use an online one like Vistaprint. You can also use up all the ink on your work’s printer.

If you can afford a donation to the Afc Community trust page. www.justgiving.com/campaign/20kin2020forAFCCT

ebbe-skovdahl-aberdeen

One manager that polarizes the Dandy support (from social media responses) is Ebbe Skovdahl. Some loved him, some hated him, some rated him, some consider him the worst manager ever. So it’s worth looking at the Skovdahl era.

Aberdeen FC post Alex Ferguson is a fascinating, and often unhappy story. There is a combination of exceptionally poor decision making, together with the neoliberalising of European football. Whereby TV deals in large population countries and the top loading of The Champions League ensuring the same few teams are playing each other way too often, and reaping all the sponsorship and TV money, which in turn ensures the same teams keep appearing in The Champions’ League.

Aberdeen post Fergie

Of those who became Aberdeen manager after Alex Ferguson up until Derek McInnes arrived, every single one was sacked, except Ebbe Skovdahl. The three previous to Porterfield; McLeod left for the Scotland job, McNeill for his beloved Celtic, and Ferguson Man. Utd. Chris Anderson and Dick Donald take a bow. (and FFS Afc name the South Stand after Chris Anderson!)

I would say of all the football managers Aberdeen had post Fergie (PF) Skovdahl is the only manager who left behind a significantly better team, than the one he inherited. I would also say a significant part of the good times under Calderwood goes back to the foundations Skovdahl put in place, despite Paterson’s best attempts to destroy it all.

It is worth looking back at what Skovdahl inherited, and from who. One of Stewart Milne’s first pieces of work as Aberdeen chairman was offering Roy Aitken a new contract. I think Milne later said he was a bit star struck by Aitken. Then as the team were atrocious Aitken had to be sacked, as he was never a football manager, and in came, unbelievably, Alex Miller. A man who had been sacked as Hibs manager as his team were nothing short of abysmal, and somehow became highly rated on the back of a successful spell as assistant manager in England. Well that’ll work.

In a complete surprise to no-one who had been paying attention, Alex Miller was an abject failure, a huge amount of money was wasted and yet another manager left with a massive compensation cheque in their pocket. This is where Aberdeen were going seriously into debt.

Aitken into Alex Miller into around five months of Paul Hegarty as interim manager running the club into the ground led to Skovdahl arriving at Aberdeen FC at ‘ground zero’. Under nothing short of idiotic mismanagement at the top level the club post Alex Ferguson Aberdeen were as low as they could be. An absolute shambles.

Skovdahl wasn’t found by Milne, a team of headhunters were sent into Europe to find the next manager. Perhaps related to the proposed move to a new stadium at Loirston, thoroughness was required in the management hunt this time. Perhaps coincidental.

Skovdahl was a very successful manager at Brøndby in Denmark, they won trophies, they developed talent, and sold talent expensively, and they did it on similar budgets to Aberdeen. Skovdahl regularly stated how important it was training facilities were needed, requesting multiple times publicly, and took the team on a pre-season tour to Denmark principally to show the training facilities that were available, and said later with some bitterness, not one Aberdeen director joined the tour at any point.

It’s interesting listening to some of his former players being interviewed about him. To be fair they are hit with leading questions, designed to get them to laugh at him or belittle his ways, which they do, and then they say something properly enlightening like ‘but it was weird, as he introduced stuff like weight training which was unheard of then, but everyone does it now’. Yeah you daft c*nts you had a state of the art European coach and you were, and still are, too f*cking stupid to realise it. Anyways…

The first year would lead to avoiding relegation by the skin of our teeth, but two cup finals, and the crowd were firmly with Skovdahl. There was hope. The team were improving from a very low position, improvement is everything in football. Young players, were getting better.

The team would come together to form quite a unit, manager, players and support. We missed out on third to a high spending Livingston that would eventually be liquidated. We won nine games in a row. There was a Danish Day to celebrate the renaissance of the club. It happened, April 18th 2002. I did the artwork for it (before the club lost my email address, sniff – ‘interesting’ fact, the artist responsible for the Danish Day artwork, coincidently lived in Denmark). But for all those who remember it as an awful time, and say he was a terrible manager, Danish Day happened, and was a success. No way the club would have done that if the support, at that time, were not behind the manager 100%.

There was a dark thing that kept happening. The team kept being turned over by Celtic. Huge terrible defeats, that blighted everything. It’s worth remembering what that Celtic team had back then. Larsson was reputed to be on 42k per week. At that time, that was as high as the highest EPL salary. Sutton and Hartson were in the 30k pay bracket, again EPL players, on top EPL salaries. Barry Ferguson at Rangers was on about 30k a week (which ended well for his employer).

Aberdeen players were on a fraction of that. They still are almost twenty years later. The team was young, and they went to pieces many times. On top of that there was the Glasgow media. Led by head arsehole Jim Traynor then at the BBC and the Daily Record. Now these people, just as they do now, don’t watch Aberdeen games, they watch ‘Old Firm’ games, that Aberdeen are involved with. Aberdeen are a very easy target for sad pathetic talentless Glasgow media ‘journalists’ to go after. Mustn’t upset either side of the arse cheeks, go after an easy target, Aberdeen – whose directors never fight back (stadium ban, advertising ban?). You can see Kris Boyd working from the same idiot playbook to this day. So Traynor went after Skovdahl constantly.

At that time the Scottish national team was appalling and we really were not developing talent in Scotland. Not once did I hear Skovdahl get asked about it. At the same time as Denmark had players playing all over Europe at the highest level. Many of those players Skovdahl had a hand in their development, Brøndby had some of the best youth development in Europe, he was related by marriage to the Laudrups FFS (European football aristocracy). I’ve seen it a few times in Scotland since with foreign coaches. The combination of arrogance, stupidity, bigotry and laughably arrogant exceptionalism that has led to Scotland falling behind other similar sized countries football wise. The lack of journalistic curiosity that so defines the Glasgow media for its true awfulness at every level. That particular group of arseholes doesn’t just do sectarian bigotry.

So Skovdahl was on a hiding to nothing from the media. During his time when things were going well for Skovdahl at Aberdeen, Scottish football got hit by a TV deal collapsing, and for a variety of reasons, that may relate to the Loirston stadium move collapsing, Skovdahl got a significantly reduced budget. Not long later he announced he was leaving.

Having learned that foreign managers ‘didn’t work’, we then had to have a Scottish one. Yay Steve Paterson arrived. Then Calderwood, McGhee, and then Brown came out of the tombola, until there was a building project on the go again, and we needed a real football manager… and just like that we got one. Or perhaps that’s just a crazy conspiracy theory.

Long live Dave Cormack!

P.S In Skovdahl’s surname the ‘v’ is silent, and his first name wasn’t pronounced ‘Ebbie’ you bunch of f*cking yokels.

Danish Day was a thing! It happened. Artwork by, checks notes, oh it was me!

A free PDF (ready to print) poster of Andy Considine. The poster is 42 x 39cm. So any size up to that size will print well. So take it to your local printer or use an online printer like Vistaprint.

jonny-hayes

To celebrate the return of Jonny Hayes, a free poster to download. You can take it to your local printer or use one of the online ones like Vistaprint. The original size is 67 x 40cm, so it is big. Any size up to that size will print well, larger than that will lose quality.

The original photos are taken from here https://www.afc.co.uk/gallery/gallery-jonnys-first-day-back/#nanogallery/undefined/0 and are copyright of the photographers (DEREK IRONSIDE (NEWSLINE MEDIA) ALAN HARVEY (SNS PIX)) and the club.

ferguson-aberdeen

A free print-ready poster of Lewis Ferguson for Aberdeen supporters (70cm x 40cm). Download the PDF, and take it to your local printer, or use an online one like Vistaprint, or use up all the ink on your work printer. Not for re-sale. Copyright The Dandy Dons (and the photographers).

If you are feeling grateful you could make a donation to the AFC Community Trust.

reporting-scotland-glasgow

Two clubs wish to have their B teams in the lower divisions of Scottish football. Two businesses with no interest in developing talent, football, sport or Scottish society, want to increase their revenues by expanding their franchise. These ‘global’ clubs whose ‘global reach’ goes as far as wherever Scottish or Irish people with certain sectarian and/or glory hunting tendencies emigrate to, have realised the only way they can really develop their franchise is by tapping their core support as they are gullible as fuck and easy to fleece.

They will use these teams to generate income, to put their bloated squads’ out of favour players in the shop window, and ultimately together with the succulent lamb, talentless, sycophantic, vile Scottish media ‘journalists’, will turn ‘Old Firm’ B the sequel into the second biggest game in Scottish football while loudly proclaiming it to be the ‘biggest and greatest colt team match in the world’.

So what of smaller clubs? Increased revenue can only be good? Those two teams are going to get competitive. They are going to do everything possible to be ahead of each other, and to generate interest in the big game, the only game that matters to these cretins, the Catholic v Protestant game.

So you are going to take a lot of tankings from those two teams, 4-0, 5-0, 9-0 against full-time professionals. You will also get their supporters at your grounds and their lovely songs and behaviour and entitlement that is so endearing in the SPFL. And as for more exposure, the Scottish media could not care if you close tomorrow as they are too busy sucking on the rancid, sectarian, neoliberal ‘Old Firm’ cock to give a flying fuck for your club, Scottish football or Scottish society in general.

So have a good long think before you vote on this one. These two ‘global’ businesses are using a pandemic to push through something they’ve wanted for years to dominate Scottish football even further. The two businesses that are allowed to play all neutral semi-finals at neutral Hampden because they just don’t have enough advantages already. Something supporters are so used to, they don’t even fucking question anymore. A neoliberal carve up going back to before Thatcher was even born.

The clubs could of course get smart, and say ‘yes you can put your colt teams in our league. And because you are doing it to develop talent, and not to expand a franchise, you can hand over ALL revenue from your home games to the other clubs to help grassroots football in Scotland.’

And they’ll be gone like a rat up a drainpipe.

So to the clubs who can vote on this, wake up and smell the shitty fucking coffee you fucking fools if you even consider this concept. They are going to make an absolute colt of Scottish football.

So no change there.

bern-1984
bern-1984

On the 16th of May 1984 Aberdeen should have played in The Cup Winners’ Cup final in Basel against Juventus. This didn’t happen as Aberdeen were cheated by Porto in the semi final. Porto bribed the referee, and were later convicted and punished for it.

Fernando Barata, the former coach of first division side Farense, admitted this week that he acted as a go-between to bribe a Romanian referee when FC Porto beat Aberdeen in the 1984 semi-final of the competition when Alex Ferguson was in charge of the Scottish holders of the title.

The Irish Times 1996

That would have been Aberdeen’s third European final in a row. Up against the mighty Juventus managed by Trapattoni, with Michel Platini in his prime. France would a short time later win Euro 84 with Platini as top scorer. Would Aberdeen have won? Would they have made it three European trophies in a row? That would also have gotten them a place in their fourth European final in a row in the 1984 Super Cup, against Liverpool. A chance for revenge.

Who knows. Highly unlikely I’d say. About as likely as them beating Real Madrid in 1983.

In the second week of November, Fernando Barata, currently president of third division club Imortal, announced that on behalf of FC Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa he ‘bought’ the Romanian referee, Ion lgna, before one of the semi-final legs of the Cup-Winners Cup tie against Aberdeen in 1984.

When Saturday Comes

One thing we do know for sure is, had the Aberdeen support descended on Basel, and The St Clair found a way to port in a land locked country, (the Rhine does flow through it…) there would have been a familiar sound all over the Swiss capital. The same sound that echoed around Gothenburg the previous year, the sound of exasperated Aberdonians saying ‘How much for a pint?!’.

Porto clearly learned their lesson from the scandal. Until they were caught doing it again in 2003. And they are still in football.

European soccer’s governing body UEFA excluded Porto from next season’s Champions League on Wednesday, saying the Portuguese club had tried to influence the outcome of matches by allegedly bribing referees in the 2003-04 season.

France 24

The free Gothenburg 83 book of fans’ stories.

Not been a lot of football matches to react to the last couple of months, but that didn’t stop me. Scottish football’s been behaving up to it’s usual standards. As well as the potential liquidation for a good number of clubs, a certain ‘in a row’ appears to be a catalyst for a certain amount of the infighting. So…

It would be wrong of me not to mention the big elephant in the room at the moment, the blight on society we all have to deal with… Kris Boyd.

Let’s see if I can push it a bit further, yep… *Glitterband plays*

A first bit of caricature in a long time. Going to be more of these, and they’ll get better as I get into them.

Gothenburg Day

A celebrity Swedish Gothenburg Day endorsement!

gothenburg-swedish-chef

Gothenburg 83. A huge thanks to everyone who contributed to the book. It was an incredible honour to be trusted with your stories and photos. Over ten thousand downloads was reached during the Gothenburg celebrations, after the launch about seven months ago. Delighted to see the club asking for supporters stories and photos this year too. *and bites tongue*

*Wookie noise*

Legendary Northern Light cartoonist Gio Alzapiedi (he was also co-editor) brought this cartoon to Gothenburg Day. Fingers crossed Gio will be contributing more cartoons to the page from time to time. (I’ve said it now Gio, you have to do it!)

So the new strip looks good for next season. On the back of Hibs NHS strip.

A controversial second strip too. Sad to see no Saltire markings. But if you sponsor Ally Begg’s blog, and not mine, then…

Talking of which…

Some colouring in for kids and big kids.

A little something for the ladies to colour in. Didn’t know quite a few of them have a thing for Devlin…

More to colour in here https://thedandydons.com/colouring-in-for-aberdeen-supporters/

And The Free Gothenburg Book is here.

andy-considine-aberdeen

So the season appears to be over, subject to the shit show that passes for the governing body of Scottish football changing their minds, so this leads to, who gets the awards for season 2019-2020?

Do you remember the season? All I can remember is the chat with the pigeons on my balcony this morning.

By a piece of incredible foresight, (sheer blind luck) in the Dandy Dons group immediately after our last game, I posted poll questions on who should win awards for the season. So at roughly the point where most of us could remember the previous three games – which appears from my intensive studies of Afc social media, to be roughly how long most Aberdeen supporters’ memories can remember… *pandemic Iain, keep it light*.

Anyhoo.

Player of the season

So player of the season for 2019-2020 is, okay, ever so slightly rigged. But, in my defence, not a single person disagreed in the comments, and we have disagreed about EVERYTHING in the comments previously.

Runner up

Second place, by a considerable amount, and not rigged, was Lewis Ferguson, then Big Joe. A very commendable fourth place to Ash Taylor who had been playing very well in the latter part of the season.

Chairman of the season

2019 – 2020 season was kind of unusual in that we had two different chairmen, so as a pathological shit stirrer, I put Stewartie Milne up against Dave Cormack for the now very coveted chairman of the season award.

I should have explained more clearly it was only last season it referred to, as it would have saved me getting quite a few lectures on, well Stewartie fans love a lecture, and… *Pandemic Iain, keep it light*

So anyways, Dave Cormack blew Stewartie Milne out of the water. Gubbed Milne at a rate of almost 3-1. And that’s before he started phoning up supporters and being the voice of calm and common sense the last difficult few weeks.

Notable extra awards

Scott Wright got the ‘I grafted so hard to get myself fit for Spring and now f**kin’ this!’ award.

Bruce Anderson got the ‘sitting on the bench all season was great preparation for sitting on the sofa watching Netflix’ award.

Far right touchline, assistant referee Douglas Ross MP got awarded the coveted ‘Top C**t’ award, so he can put on his bookshelf next to Eugenics for Dummies.

So congrats to all the winners!

secret-footballer
secret-footballer

Monday

Hair has become an issue. Gave myself a number one buzz cut. Looking proper menacing, and considering a neck tattoo when all this is over to finish the badass look off. No one ever regretted getting one of those babies. Talking of badass, my sincere congratulations to Kyle Walker. Living the dream.

Tuesday

Dave the Dash is starting to give me funny looks. I think I may have to call him a doggy hooker. Ever since the incident with my watch, we have really bonded. I don’t care how longingly he looks at me, I’m not sticking a couple of fingers up his arse again! At least I never forget to wash my hands since that incident.

Wednesday

Googled ‘doggy hookers Aberdeen’. Apparently there’s a woman on Union Terrace that’ll do it for sixty quid with your dog. That WASN’T what I was looking for, but interesting to know next time one of the lads is having a stag do. What I need is a slutty girl dachshund to help Dave forget the watch incident.

Thursday

The lack of sport to bet on is proving an issue. But my losses are sadly continuing under lock down. As Boris Johnson appears to have recovered.

Friday

As the weekend approaches it’s this time that is the hardest. The nights out, the bars, the clubs, the shaggin’, the banter, the laughs, shit faced in McDonalds at 2am, stealing a Twix from the garage at 3am…
Oh yeah, and the fitba. There’s that at the weekend too.

Saturday

Some of the lads got spoken to by the police for training together this week. That was an awkward zoom call between us lads from those of us not invited.

Sunday

The whole lockdown thing has got me to become a kinder gentler version of myself though. It’s time to grow up. The new mature me has been getting into vintage porn on Pornhub. Hoping under lockdown the ladies are letting everything grow out for when this is all over…

Part two.
Part one.

james-bond

As I slowly descend into madness during this lock down, I watched a pile of James Bond films back to back. Here are some of my thoughts on the films.

  1. It’s the same plot in every film. At the end of act one Q appears with a couple of random gadgets, and in the final act, the random gadget saves the day. Every fucking time.
  2. Sean Connery is the best Bond. Until you watch Diamonds are Forever and a clearly overweight Connery is channelling Blankety Blank era Terry Wogan with a gun.
  3. During the 1980s Timothy Dalton era they decided sexism wasn’t good and made a big deal of it in the publicity for the films. And yet in The Living Daylights he smacks Moneypenny’s arse in the office (he does it off camera, but you hear it). That was them NOT being sexist.
  4.  Daniel Craig is such a great actor. Really?! The whole way through every film it’s like he has a butt plug up his arse a couple of sizes too large.
  5. They had Gemma Arterton in Quantum of Solace and absolutely fail to give her any character whatsoever and she gets less than a minute’s screen time. A franchise filled with assorted ‘models’ with the acting range of a showroom dummy nailed to the floor, and while casting her early in her career, they didn’t think ‘fuck me she can really act, and looks sensational let’s use her properly’?! And *plot spoiler* they can’t bring her back, as they killed her character.
  6. Product placement in Spyfall. Hey Heineken, you want James Bond drinking your product? Give us a gazillion dollars. Okay we’ll have him drinking Heineken as he descends into alcoholism and we will subsequently show how that alcoholism makes his skills as a secret agent significantly worse. We will have him order a Martini, when he is back to his old self. You paid for that Heineken?! Really?
  7. Every single fight scene is pointless after 15 seconds and incredibly boring as we know he will ALWAYS be okay, as he’s James Bond and his plot armour will always protect him. It’s as engaging as watching someone else play a computer game, and is clearly them padding out time.
  8. If it wasn’t for the music, there would be no James Bond franchise. John Barry and the other composers are the real stars.
  9. I’ve nothing on the Roger Moore films, even on lockdown, no-one is bored enough to watch them.
  10. Ye know the train in Skyfall at the beginning? You know the digger bit. Bond attacks the last compartment of the train with a digger destroying it. Why doesn’t the train stop? They’ve lost a carriage, maybe passengers are dead. They’re definitely going to be in trouble for the digger being wrecked when they arrive. They just keep on going!


My favourite Bond film? The Bourne Identity. The first three Jason Bourne films piss all over the whole Bond franchise. The first one is particularly good (For those who say the second is best, you are wrong, you’re not Empire Strikes Backing that one. And for Star Wars fans, no Empire is not the best Star Wars film, you elitist bullshitters, because Empire has a fucking muppet in it, with a fucking muppet’s voice).

Bourne films two and three just re-hash the same main plot as number one, with a new layer of previously never mentioned boss revealed higher up each time, and Paul Greengrass proved with the fourth one, he’s just a hack, who clearly didn’t understand why the first ones were successful. Shaking the camera about a bit is only clever as you have a well written story to go with it. The fourth Bourne film with Greengrass at the helm is an abomination, and has destroyed the franchise probably forever.

The first Bourne film has character development, a story arc, two mysteries (we don’t know who he is, and he doesn’t know who he is) a love story where the female character is fully rounded, the greatest ever movie car chase, and a fantastic revenge plot that is cleverly written. It has the Bond locations (cold and dark ones), and a brilliant score, even Moby’s bit. With the exception of his ‘superhero’ skills, whenever he gets out of something, it’s always logical, thought out and shown to us the viewer. For example how to escape the embassy; by stealing a walkie talkie and using the fire escape map on the wall to navigate his way out, while listening to how they are coming after him. How to blow up a building and get out first; break the gas pipe, then put a magazine into a toaster to become a detonation timer. It’s not realistic, but in it’s own way it is relatable, clever, it’s thought out, it’s researched, it’s well written, and we the viewer get to see it unfold. We learn nothing from James Bond other than he is amazing and he coincidently always has a gadget that will get him out of what the villain has planned for him.

The main improvement Bourne has on Bond, in Bourne the bad guy is the state. The state is the good guy in James Bond. Now that’s not believable. The real life James Bond was probably in Boris Johnson’s class at school, and every bit as self entitled, lazy, incompetent, with a gun, and a licence to kill.
secret-footballer

Week two, click here for week one

Monday

Decided to move in with Jeanie from Garthdee for a bit (the Gaffer doesn’t need to know). It’s lovely getting your mince and tatties at 5pm every day, and she even irons my tracksuit bottoms for me. Plus there’s the sex eight times a day. Struggling to keep up, but my cardio stats are massively improving. I wonder if all the houses on Garthdee Road have sex dungeons in them. I thought Westhill was where the swingers lived…

Tuesday

Jeanie died. Mid stroke. Not from the corona virus, but natural causes. Dave Cormack’s going to be furious. Don’t think us calling up Aberdeen supporters to check up on them was to lead to us actually killing them. This is a low. Went back to my flat and had a very sad wank.

Wednesday

Coronavirus is the great leveller. Unless you are an Aberdeen FC footballer. Phoning up elderly fans to check up on them on behalf of the club, all I get is ‘why didn’t Big Joe call?’ ‘Will you get Lewis Ferguson to call, he’s a great player, I like him, he’s not shite’, ‘Is Drew Jarvie still playing, now him I like’. Aye, even the ones with dementia are mean to me.

Thursday

I miss the lads so much. The lack of banter is getting to me. I took a shit in one of my own shoes today, but it just wasn’t the same.

Friday

I’m going stir crazy. I’ve watched all of Pornhub. There’s nothing there I haven’t seen, several times. Am considering uploading some of my own cam work to help others out. Trying to plan a new career after football. Considering learning a new skill. Maybe get an education. The Open University has a lot of stuff apparently. I’ll have a look at that when I’ve more time.

Saturday

I’m now off of AFC phone duties. An old fella was laying into me for being shite, I finally snapped and called him a c*nt. Of course he grassed me off. In my defence it didn’t say in Dave Cormack’s crib sheet, I wasn’t allowed to call them a c*nt, but as Dave Cormack explained to me in a TWO HOUR Skype call, it shouldn’t need to be said.
On a yella.

Sunday

A ray of sunshine, Dave the Dachshund took a shit in my shoe today! He gets it, he gets the bantz. That guy has helped me through so much, he truly is this man’s best friend. Also he kind of owes me as I had to stick three fingers up his arse to help ease my Apple Watch out last week after he swallowed it (tricky trying to get purchase in such a tight space). We really bonded through that experience.

Everyone remember to wash your hands.

RIP Jeanie. Yer mince and tatties were amazing and what a ride!

Part one is here. https://thedandydons.com/secret-aberdeen-fc-footballer-blog-part-1/

Part three is here. https://thedandydons.com/secret-aberdeen-footballer-diary-part-3/

secret-aberdeen-footballer
secret-aberdeen-footballer

On the back of Niall McGinn’s excellent blog on the official Aberdeen website, we at The Dandy Dons have an exclusive blog from a secret Aberdeen FC footballer.

Monday: Training. Worked out if I soak my head in the shower, and pretend to be out of breath on Skype, the Gaffer and the lads think I’m still training. After ‘training’, mainly eating Doritos, watching Netflix and regular bouts on Pornhub. So all caught up on my wanking. I used to laugh at the married players for being with the same woman all the time. Not laughing now. None of my girlfriends would move in with me for the lock down as they decided to stay with their husbands instead. And a couple of them are concentrating on their Highers.

Tuesday: We’ve to download an app, so our training can be monitored, as ‘someone’ wasn’t doing it properly. Rest of the lads well pissed off with me. So now my Apple watch is passing details to the Gaffer of my training and all my vitals go to the medical team.

Wednesday: Discovered if I put my Apple Watch on the dog, and get him to run around the garden for an hour, my stats are brilliant.

Thursday: The dog has swallowed my Apple watch. The Gaffer is furious with my training stats and the medics think I may have Kennel cough.

Friday: I’m in deep shit, literally. As the dog finally shat my Apple watch out. Both myself and Dave the Dachshund are very relieved. Washing my hands a lot. Did some calls to elderly supporters checking they are okay on behalf of the club. A lot of people think we footballers live a very privileged life, but I have to tell you that deep in the Coronavirus pandemic to be told by an 83 year old great-grandmother called Jeanie from Garthdee, ‘yer fuckin’ shite min, why didn’t one of the good players call me!’ is quite tough to deal with…

Saturday: One to one Skype with the gaffer. Learned a lot, as considering going into management myself after career over. Apparently wanking doesn’t count as cardio. Disappointingly, nor is it weight training. Also I’ve not to put my brilliant version of the toilet roll challenge onto social media as The Gaffer says ‘No-one wants to see my penis’. A number of ladies at Babylon would disagree with that!

Sunday: Uncomfortable moment as I thought we were off today, really shouldn’t have answered the Skype call mid wank. Will never be able to look Tony Docherty in the eye again. Popped in past Jeanie in Garthdee with some messages. She’s quite the goer. Any port in a storm.

Part two of the diary is here.

Part three is here.

bill-shankly

These are very unusual times we are living in. Despite what Bill Shankly’s quote says football is pretty insignificant in the scheme of things.

Dave Cormack appears the perfect person to be in charge of the club at this time, so we can all chill out a bit about Afc’s survival. But looking at football as a whole, and some of the unknowns facing it.

Every year, club football takes a break for two and a half months in the summer. Right now, football has been closed for about a fortnight. The players are training alone to maintain fitness, but they are resting in terms of aches and pains and assorted knocks. No-one is trying to kick them several times a week like in a normal week. So for their bodies, it’s the summer break.

So what might happen for a restart? Football, like the rest of society, will need money. So they will need games as quickly as possible, and as it will be an even playing field of the opposition not being match fit either, the games can start right away and they can get match fit playing real games. Twice a week, because revenue. Albeit how skint will the rest of society be.

As it’s still being argued about on Twitter, I think football will begin with the end of the season 2019-2020 however late that will be. Let’s say hypothetically in six months. This will be because the end of the season is far more financially rewarding than the beginning of a season, when things start quite slow.

So if I’m right, there will be semis and a final, there will be league title run ins, and flag unveiling, European places to fight for and relegation battles to be won and lost and play offs. This will generate more money quickly, will stop any legal action from clubs or bookies (who are big football sponsors) and should leave if not everybody happy, less people unhappy.

Then as soon as that season is over, I think they will start the brand new season 2020-2021 without any break. Perhaps slightly truncated, there will be no summer break in 2021. Maybe a fortnight for them all to head to Ibiza or whatever.

So with no normal summer break for 2020 and 2021 that adds up to five months that football is kind of okay for. Obviously no-one knows how long this will go on for. But football came out of two world wars, it will come out of this.

As for European football, well it’s the same for all countries. Every problem Aberdeen and Scottish football has, so does AC Milan and Real Madrid. So the same solutions will work for them. It however wouldn’t be a big surprise if the biggest clubs are looking to engineer a super league or something so they can make maximum buck after all this, and it’s something they’ve being working towards for a long time. To be cynical for a second.

It may well be society starts getting back together without borders being opened. China has now closed its borders to stop Corona getting back in. So European games are pretty insignificant, as is international football, as is football…