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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’.

‘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 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. And if ‘Glasgow is a football city’, why aren’t there 50,000 at Partick Thistle matches. The Old Firm (3 clubs, 1 dead, it exists) is just the establishment’s divide and rule distraction. Why else does it not get a bad word said about it in the establishment media? Why no mention how much better it was without one of them? Why no questioning of a club spending money, that doesn’t have money? Why no questioning of corrupt disciplinary committees? Why not a negative word about Sir David Murray? Because the establishment use this shit show to divide and distract.

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

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

Let’s face it, we are not going to be allowed to win that quarter final. The establishment need The Rangers in that final, and I’d say they’ll get help to win it. It’s blatant, it’s obvious, and it’s not just a football team that club represents.

We know the years without The Rangers, our club did really well. Our support increased, our revenues increased, our positions 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, on the same day. Divide and rule. Sporting division, religious division, race division, ethnicity division, between the sexes, between the classes, all so the 1%ers can rule, and not pay tax.

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.