Jul 312012
 
Why All The Punishment?

Listen.

I urge you all to just listen, and to read the entirety of this short piece.

Quite simply, Scottish Football will die without Rangers.

Unless they are spared from the depths of the Third Division, all is lost.

In fact, their demise has put our beloved Celtic at risk.

Dare we cut off our nose to spite our face?

All in all, have we made a grievous error of judgement?

The answer, in my mind, may well be yes.

In fact, an argument can be made that Rangers should never have been punished at all.

Of course, they have sinned, but have we all forgotten how to forgive?

No, I don’t believe so.

 

Like everyone of us does at some stage in their lives, Rangers simply made a mistake.

It wasn’t even that big a mistake, they still won their football matches out on the field, not in the boardroom.

Questions have been asked, and those questions have now been answered by the Ibrox club.

Understandably, people want justice, but what “justice” would really help our national game?

In my mind, justice would have been a points deduction.

Deduct them twenty points this season, and move on.

Allow them to stay in the Scottish Premier League.

That’s where they belong.

If we’re all truly honest with ourselves that is.

Of course, honesty is a difficult thing for many people.

Not that it should be.

 

Non-Rangers fans that see the game needs a strong Rangers do exist!

And I am one of them.

Non-Rangers fans that want to see Rangers allowed back into the top flight do exist!

And I am one of them.

Non-Rangers fans that want to see the return of the glorious “Old Firm Derby” do exist!

And I am one of them.

Now, I would ask you all, as fans of all clubs, to do one thing for me!

And read the first letter of every sentence.

Non-Rangers fans that love a wee laugh also exist!

And I am one of them.

Liquidation Liquidation Na Na Na Na Na!

 

Oh, and “Why All The Punishment?”

Hate to say, but I really meant “We’re Away To Peterhead”.

What's a bear to do?

Jul 292012
 
“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually afraid you will make one.”

 

Those are the words of American writer Elbert Hubbard, born in 1856, who would go on to die aboard R.M.S. Lusitania in 1915.

The 2001/2002 season will always be remembered as one of the greatest in Celtic’s history, as the club captured a domestic treble for the first time in a generation. Martin O’Neill had reinvigorated the club as a whole since he took over the role of manager, and the club appeared to be “on the up” (with striking parallels to where the club finds itself currently). And so, after a 2-1 victory over Dunfermline Athletic and a 4-0 victory at Pittodrie, the Hoops were set to face F.C. Basel in the 3rd Qualifying Round of the Champions League.

And then, as now, Celtic had played German and Italian sides during their pre-season. Ironically, the Bhoys had also been defeated by Ajax only weeks before the start of the season (3-1 to the Dutch side at Celtic Park).

Anyway, F.C. Basel, Celtic’s opponents, had won not only the Swiss League the previous season, they won the Swiss Cup as well. However, despite this impressive double, Scottish treble winners Celtic were slight favourites to progress in most people’s eyes. During the off season, there was comparatively very little business done by the club, as Celtic and their board felt fairly content with the current squad. However, a few fresh faces were brought in; David Fernandez, Magnus Hedman, and Ulrik Laursen.

And so, on the 14th August 2002, favourites Celtic ran out in front of over 58,000 people at Celtic Park to face F.C. Basel in the first leg of the qualifier at Celtic Park. Less two minutes into the match, whilst many people were still settling into their seats, the Hoops found themselves behind as Gimenez gave the Swiss side a vital away goal. Minutes later, Celtic were awarded a penalty and Henrik Larsson equalised. However, Basel certainly held their own in the first half, and were perhaps the better of the two sides.

Early in the second half, Chris Sutton cleverly diverted a shot  from distance past the opposition goalkeeper, giving Celtic a 2-1 lead. Around ten minutes later, Larsson missed Celtic’s second penalty of the night, and as the final whistle grew ever nearer, Basel came close to equalising on several occasions. With only two minutes left, a rather unlikely goalscorer emerged, as Momo Sylla volleyed home a cross from Steve Guppy to give Celtic a 3-1 advantage heading to Switzerland.

Before the Hoops travelled to the continent for the return leg, they kept up their perfect form in the Scottish Premier League, beating Dundee United 5-0 and Partick Thistle by a single goal.

In Switzerland, on the 28th August 2002, Celtic took a 3-1 lead into the second leg of their Champions League Qualifier. Celtic were fortunate not be a goal behind after only a few minutes, as once again the Swiss side started brightly and began to threaten the Hoops goal with a blocked shot from Ergic. Minutes later, Basel were ahead as a slick pass from Hakin Yakin sent Gimenez through to open the scoring once again.

Around fifteen minutes later, Celtic conceded a second as Hurat Yakin headed home from a Swiss corner kick. In only twenty-two minutes, the Hoops had went from 3-1 leaders to a side who were set to go out 3-3 on the away goals rule. Basel’s players constantly hassled and hurried Celtic, forcing them to try to play long ball football. As the match continued, both teams squandered good chances to score, and Celtic crashed out to the so called “underdogs” from Switzerland.

I remember this defeat. I was only twelve at the time, but I remember it vividly. Obviously, it hurt us all a little, but at that time none of us could have known what was to come for Celtic in Europe during the coming months, as Martin O’Neill led the Bhoys to their first European final in thirty-three years.

As we all look forward to the first leg against HJK Helsinki on Wednesday, I think most of us would happily see us lose if they knew it meant we would end up in the final of the Europea League! However, the chances of that are unlikely, and although nothing is impossible, we will all of course be hoping to see Celtic reach the Champions League group stages this season. Even if we fail in this regard, defeating Helsinki would, at worst, guarantee us a place in the group stage of the Europa League, which would be a small step in the right direction.

Personally I believe we will manage to edge past HJK, but in saying that, we must learn from the mistakes of the past if we aim not to repeat them. After a successful 2001/2002 season, Celtic didn’t really strengthen the squad and, at least in the early part of the next season, they suffered due to it. With the benefit of hindsight, that defeat led to one of the greatest stories in the club’s history, and that is something none of us will ever forget.

 

In summary, I think most of us would agree they would like to see Celtic strengthen for the coming season. Granted, from a business point of view these are unprecedented times. With the death of Rangers, and no newco in the top flight, this is an extraordinary period in the life of  Scottish Football. However, I, for one, do not predict “financial armageddon” for the game in this country.

For the record, I do not believe the newco should have been allowed into any division higher than division three (in fact, I have written extensively about why they should have to start from the bottom if anywhere). I am merely “playing devil’s advocate” and speculating as to what the businessmen involved in Celtic may be thinking. They may well feel the squad is strong enough to win the league as it is, and that they should be cautious for now.

Personally, I believe we need one, if not two, centre backs, and a striker. That’s simply my opinion, and I’m sure many of you will disagree with it, but that’s what makes football blogging so captivating. If everyone agreed about everything it would be boring.

In saying all of this, two men will know more about that defeat to F.C. Basel (and the subsequent UEFA Cup run that followed) than most. After all, they played in both games, and were integral parts of the club’s run to Seville, as well as the final itself.

Those two men are none other than Neil Lennon and Johann Mjallby.

 

Jul 222012
 

Last season, we ran a small predictor league that was open to anyone and it was remarkably competitive, with the eventual winner taking his prize of dinner for two at Celtic Park’s “Number 7″ restaurant.

This year, we will be running the league once again. However, there will be more prizes on offer, and therefore more to play for. It did trouble me a little last year that there were no prizes for runners up, but this, thankfully, will change this season.

Our prizes for this season’s league are:

1st Place – £100 in vouchers to spend in an official Celtic store  (or the online store should you live abroad)

2nd Place – A brick with a message of your choosing to be installed on the exterior of Celtic Park.

3rd Place – A family tour ticket for Celtic Park (2 adults + 2 children, or 1 adult + 3 children)

 

There will also be a raffle (with a small prize) into which all of the regular contributors to the predictor league (i.e. ten or more submissions over the course of the entire season) will be placed. This raffle will not include the league winner, or those in second or third place, as they will have already won a prize.

 

The league will operate as follows, and these shall be the rules (with one or two minor amendments from last season) :

– You may take part in the predictor league whenever you want.

– You can join at any stage of the season.

– Every participant will be welcome to submit a prediction for the correct scoreline, and for the first CELTIC goalscorer (last season it was the first goalscorer from either team) for every competitive Celtic match (i.e. SPL, Scottish Cup, League Cup, Champions League, Europa League).

– Predicting the correct score will give you two points.

– Predicting the first CELTIC goalscorer correctly will give you one point.

– Predicting both of these together, or correctly predicting a 0-0 draw will give you three points.

– You may predict an own goal to be the source of the first Celtic goal, but you do not need to select the player who will score it.

– Predicitions may be made in EITHER the individual match thread (e.g Celtic v Aberdeen) or in the predictor league sticky thread.

– After every game, I will update a league table, and points will accumulate from the first competitive match of the season until the last. The prizes will then be awarded to the appropriate people.

– “Stonker”, last year’s winner, will defend his title.

– If anyone has any questions or feel their scores have been tallied up incorrectly please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

So please take part yourself, and feel free to tell your family and friends about our free league. If more and more people get involved, then it will not only make the season more enjoyable for us all, it will help the website and it’s community continue to grow and develop over time.

The sticky thread on the forum for our league can be found here: http://maleysbhoys.com/forum-2/maleys-chat-group1/celtic-and-football-chat-forum1/celtic-score-predictor-league-2012-13-new-season-thread91/

Thank you for your support.

 

 

Jul 202012
 

CURRENT BID: £125 (thirteen bids so far)

 

As we have publicised, this season we will be supporting “Motor Neurone Disease Scotland” to the fullest of our abilities (http://maleysbhoys.com/2012/07/03/maleys-bhoys-support-motor-neurone-disease-scotland/). On the back of successful campaigns raising money for the “Good Child Foundation” and the “Kano Foundation”, we hope that we can continue this success into the coming season.

Over the course of the year, there will be many ways you can all help us to raise money (should you wish to, and should you be financially able to do so – I appreciate money continues to be tight), and our first fundraising effort will be an auction.

We are auctioning off a match worn Celtic jersey, worn by Paul Telfer during Celtic’s pre-season friendly draw with New England Revolution in July 2006. It is one of the few Hoops jerseys to feature a “Coors Light” sponsor as the match was held in the United States of America. It has “Telfer 2″ on the back and is in great condition. It can be seen on the match day below:

You are bidding on the top worn by Paul Telfer in this photograph

It was kindly donated to us by the owner of the “SJ Carpet Centre”, a business that can be found at the St James Retail Park, in the Hairmyres area of East Kilbride. The individual who owns the shop has spent years following Celtic all around the world, and was given this as a present on the American Tour by someone within the club.

The jersey itself can be seen below:

 

The auction itself begins now, and will end at 9pm Celtic Park time, next Friday night (27th July 2012).

From now until then, you will be able to bid, should you wish to do so, in a variety of ways. You can either do this by leaving a comment on this article, contacting us on Facebook or Twitter, or by emailing me at “maleysbhoysenquiries@hotmail.co.uk”. Any winning bidder could then pay for the item through Paypal.

The eventual winner will also be asked to pay for the postage costs involved, so that all of the money bid for the item can go into our fund for Motor Neurone Disease Scotland. All of the money donated will be gathered together by myself and donated at the end of the season in one lump sum.

Understandably, as the vast majority of you will not have met me, you may have concerns about this. However, the following link is a story from STV about where the money donated last year went, so I can assure you every penny will go  to the charity: http://local.stv.tv/glasgow/23124-young-celtic-fans-given-a-commons-christmas-surprise/

If anyone did have any remaining worries they are more than welcome to contact either the Kano Founation or The Good Child Foundation and they will confirm what I have said.

In summary, I wish all potential bidders the best of luck, and would like to remind you all there will be more (and cheaper) ways to get involved coming up over the course of the season.

 

Thank you,

Hail Hail,

Frank

Jul 202012
 

 

In the last half hour, it has become public knowledge that Sevco Scotland Ltd (also known as “Newco Rangers”) have accepted the one year transfer embargo as a punishment for the “oldco Rangers” bringing the game into disrepute.

Now, if you only read that paragraph, you may well find yourself thinking “fair enough…it’s only fair, and they’ll likely suffer badly this year because of this sanction”.

However, I urge you to read on because sadly all is not as it seems (please note that since this article was written, the BBC has stated that the SFA, SPL, SFL, Rangers and Sevco must all agree to this, not just the SFA, before it is passed officially).

You would be forgiven for thinking that any transfer embargo would begin as soon as it was handed down to the relevant club. However, this is clearly not the case in Scotland. The SFA have stated that the embargo will begin on the 1st September 2012, and end on the 31st August 2013. This means that Sevco will now be able to sign players for the coming season over the next five weeks or so. Next summer, they may will be able to sign players after the 31st of August when the ban ends. However, the 31st is a Saturday. This could mean that the window will still be open on the following Monday, the 2nd of September, meaning Sevco would be able to sign players for the coming 2013-2014 season.

In essence, the Scottish Football Association has only given Sevco a one month transfer ban, meaning they cannot sign any players in January.

Now, whether or not Sevco should be punished for the sins of the oldco (as they are a different club) is debatable. However, what is not debatable is that the SFA have been very, very kind to Sevco with regards to this embargo. Personally, I think they should be punished, as it would discourage any other team from operating high risk (if not illegal) financial strategies in the future. A twelve month ban should mean a twelve month ban; not a five week head start, followed by one month ban, followed by a short time next summer in which to attempt to squeeze in transfers.

We should all remember the “oldco” took the SFA to a Civil Court over the initial decision to hand down a twelve month transfer embargo. Ironically, Rangers won this case,  as the judge found that it wasn’t an applicable punishment for the crime of “bringing the game into disrepute”. The Court then declared that the SFA’s appellate tribunal must meet again to hand the club a new punishment. The only applicable punishments were found to be a Scottish Cup ban, the withdrawal of the club’s licence or expulsion from the game altogether.

This tribunal never met again. Neither Rangers nor Sevco ever mentioned it again (because they realised it would be shooting themselves in the foot), and now we are seeing the results…a watered down, weak attempt at justice.

The ban should start when Sevco are officially granted a licence, and end one year later. No “if’s”, no “but’s”. At least if the SFA had done this no one could have accused them of being foolish (or even biased in certain quarters).

Once again, our national game is being embarrassed by those with significant positions in the corridors of power.

 

Jul 202012
 

Earlier today, Celtic learned that they would face either Helsingin Jalkapalloklubi (better known as HJK) Helsinki or Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur (also known as KR Reykjavik) in their first Champions League Qualifier this season.

Now, with respect to KR Reyjavik, HJK Helsinki are already seven-nil up from their first leg, so we are probably not pushing our luck too much to presume Celtic will face HJK. Last season, HJK won the Finnish Veikkausliga title for the third consecutive year, and they currently sit second in the table behind Inter Turku. The Finnish sides play summer football, and are therefore about half way through their season.

In saying this, whilst HJK defeated Reykjavik 7-0 in the first leg of their tie, the team from the Finnish capital city have not won any of their last five league matches, drawing three and losing two. In fact, they have not won a domestic match since the 16th of June.

However, they remain the most successful club in the history of Finnish football, having won the League Title 24 times, the Finnish Cup 11 times, and the Finnish League Cup 4 times.

UEFA’s club coefficient point ranking system (from last season) put HJK in 213th place in Europe, only a few places ahead of Hibernian, and some way behind Dundee United. A more recent version of the table, available on HJK’s Wikipedia page puts the club in 191st place, slightly behind Motherwell. However, it is clear that the table is more than a bit out of date on UEFA’s website, as it still puts Rangers ahead of Celtic, who were to be found in 63rd place. This is impressive, considering the Hoops are allegedly a better side than Borussia Dortmund, the back to back winners of the German Bundesliga. Going by this table, Metalist Kharkiv and Fulham are also better sides than Napoli, so maybe we shouldn’t read too much into this statistic.

All in all, HJK Helsinki have been the best side in Finland for some time, and whilst they haven’t been in the best of form of late, they are going to be fit and they are going to be determined. They can clearly score goals, and Celtic will have to play their opponents on an artificial surface in Helsinki. To underestimate them would be a critical error, and Celtic will have to perform well both home and away to assure their passage into the next round of Champions League qualifying. In saying this though, Celtic should (and I use the word “should” expressly in this instance) be capable of getting past the Finnish Champions.

Jul 192012
 

On Saturday, at 6pm GMT, the Hoops will take on “de Godenzonen”, which translates as “The Sons of the Gods”. This is, of course, a nickname for the famous AFC Ajax of Amsterdam. This will be the first of three high profile glamour ties for the Parkhead club, as the once European champions will face Ajax, and two other great European champions (Internazionale and Real Madrid) over the space of only a few weeks.

It is an encouraging sign that clubs of such a stature are still interested in taking on Celtic, and these matches will only add to the anticipation surrounding the celebrations of the Football Club’s 125th birthday.

Ajax themselves have been in impressive form of late, winning the Eredivisie title by six points from bitter rivals Feyenoord, scoring ninety-three goals and only losing four matches in the process. By their very nature, the Dutch tend to expect football to be played in a particular manner, with flamboyant skill and attacking prowess. This was reflected in the highest scoring match of last season’s Eredivisie, one of Ajax’s few losses, as they were defeated by Utrecht by no less than six goals to four.

Formed in 1900, Ajax can undoubtedly count themselves as one of the most successful sides ever to grace the world of football. In their one hundred and twelve years in existence, they have won their national league on thirty-one occasions, and their national cup eighteen times. Perhaps most impressively, Ajax are one of only five teams that have ever been allowed to keep the European Cup/Champions League trophy. Only themselves and Bayern Munich have won the trophy in three consecutive seasons, and this incredible feat was rewarded by UEFA in the manner described above. Ajax went on to become European Champions for a fourth time in 1995. For all you trivia buffs out there, the other three sides who kept their respective trophies were Real Madrid, AC Milan and Liverpool, each of whom have won the competition five or more times.

At present, AFC Ajax are managed by one Frank de Boer, and his assistant manager is none other than Dennis Bergkamp. Some of you may remember that Dennis has a fear of flying, so for his sake, it is perhaps fortunate that the match with Celtic will be held in the Amsterdam Arena, a stadium with fond memories for Celtic, as Celtic famously ran out 3-1 victors there in 2001.

The stadium itself is the largest stadium in the Netherlands and, with a capacity of approximately 52,000, it will prove a fitting venue for this season’s Europa League Final. I suppose we can all dream of a return there in May 2013, but dreaming is likely as close as we will get on this occasion.

Ajax’s nickname, the previously mentioned “de Godezonen” (“The Sons of the Gods”), refers to the Greek hero, Ajax. Whilst the badge has changed several times over the years, it was altered in 1990 so the image of Ajax was drawn using eleven lines, one for each player in any Ajax team. The number fourteen shirt was also retired fairly recently by the club as a tribute to the great Johann Cruyff.

In summary, I am sure Saturday’s match will be a great occasion enjoyed by supporters on both sides, and those watching around the world. I would imagine the Celtic supporters will travel in great numbers and, despite the fact this match is only a friendly, we can hope to see both managers put out strong sides onto the field to provide a spectacle fitting the stature and history of each club in European Football.

Let’s see how “the Bhoys” fare against “the Sons of the Gods”…

 

 

Jul 162012
 

Undoubtedly, Celtic Football Club is known by football supporters throughout the world. I’m sure many of you reading this will have found yourself, at some stage, on holiday somewhere and, whilst wearing a Celtic top, someone has come up to you and commented on it, given you a thumbs up, or even shouted “Celtic! Hail Hail!”

Largely, I like to think Celtic and it’s supporters are rather well thought of. After all, there is a list of clubs (and their supporters) whom we have very positive relationships with; just look at the fans of Villarreal, they actually set up a Celtic Supporters Club after Celtic faced them some years ago, and now many of them travel over several times a season to attend matches.

Over the years, for one reason or another, certain media outlets in this country have been guilty of reporting stories (regarding Celtic Football Club, it’s players or it’s fans) which have turned out to be wholly false and, as ever, the apologies or retractions never take up as much column space as the original stories themselves.

This does not only happen in Scotland. In one way or another, Celtic often attract publicity in other parts of the world. Thankfully, the vast majority of it is positive. However, this is not always the case; things can be “lost in translation” and reported wrongly, or opinions can go unchecked and thus be printed as fact. This has likely been the case in the article you can see above, posted on today’s “Marca” website.

For those of you who may not know, “Marca” is a huge daily newspaper in Spain which, while officially being a sports newspaper, focuses massively on football. With approximately three million Spaniards reading “Marca” everyday (according to Wikipedia), it’s never nice to see them report such arrant nonsense.

In saying that, everyone needs to realise that certain Spanish sports media operate using an even looser basis of truth (incredibly) than some of our equivalent outlets. For example, transfer rumours with no substance can be printed, and this can be fairly harmless. However, when something such as the article above is published, it can be harmful to the reputation of a club.

I’m sure he has received threats during his career, and this is both deplorable and unacceptable, regardless of where they come from. However, I do not believe he receives these from genuine Celtic fans on a daily basis, and that either he, or “Marca” have exaggerated this.

Celtic supporters, while they do not like Nacho Novo, do not go about they’re daily business wishing for his death, let alone the deaths of his family. Also, Celtic are not, and do not claim to be, a “Catholic Club”. Celtic Football Club has always been, from it’s very earliest days, open to all. The old Rangers on the other hand, the club Novo loves so dearly, had a policy of “no Catholic players allowed” for around a century. They never fielded a player from the Republic of Ireland either, something every other professional team in the United Kingdom has done at some point. Ah well, they were, as Mr Novo says, a “team with values”.

In saying all of this, your average Celtic supporter will also not care much for the thoughts of Novo. Personally, neither do I. You only need to look at his tweets or some of the things he hints at in this article to realise that he is a very bitter man. I do, however, care about the blatantly false opinions printed as fact in the Spanish media.

Perhaps if “Marca” looked into Mr Novo’s racist tweet of late, which said “Why uz no go home ya fb still have more history than uz PAEDOS hahahahaha WATP”, his opinions wouldn’t be so readily taken as truth.

Oh, and whist I remember, tattoos are for life Mr Novo. Perhaps you’ll begin to regret that when people look at yours in the future and ask, “Rangers? Who are they?”

 

Jul 142012
 

 My Thanks To Each And Every One Of You

As some of you may have seen me mention on Twitter earlier, Maley’s Bhoys is eighteen months old today. I feel we have come a long way since the website’s birth in January 2011, and this would not have been possible without the support of so many good people, the majority of whom I have never been fortunate enough to meet.

On the field, we have witnessed Neil Lennon’s Celtic continue to grow and develop, winning one Scottish Cup and one Scottish Premier League title, as well as coming close to picking up several other honours. We’ve seen the highs and the lows; incredible comebacks, late winners, and painful defeats.

Off the field, as an online community, we have raised a total of approximately £1500 for good and charitable causes. This money helped pay for building work at the Good Child Foundation in Thailand, and latterly for the Kano Foundation’s first Christmas party (with gifts provided by the Celtic support and by the club itself). We also felt privileged to have the opportunity to send a young family group for a well deserved title party at Celtic Park, after they had sadly been the victims of pathetic racial abuse outside Hampden Park before and after this season’s Scottish Cup Semi Final clash with Hearts. In summary, we hope to continue this trend with our fundraising efforts this season, as we attempt to raise at least £1,000 for Motor Neurone Disease Scotland (more information on these efforts will be publicised in time).

As for Maley’s Bhoys itself, we have come from a basic ProBoards forum to our new, much more expansive WordPress website. A little over eighteen months ago, I had never logged onto Twitter, and yet now we have over five thousand followers there, with the same number again on Facebook. Also, earlier this year, after we gathered 1888 signatures on a petition calling for the club to commission some form of memorial to Willie Maley at Celtic Park, I was delighted to be invited to meet with Peter Lawwell to discuss the matter in person.

There are too many people who deserve my gratitude for me pay thanks to everyone individually, but I do feel I must commend the efforts of a few special people for their help in the past year and a half.

 

– Gillian Lindsay, and everyone else at the Kano Foundation (not only for the sterling work they do with thousands of deserving children, but also for their continuing friendship and support).

– William Brown, Web Developer (for his tremendous efforts in constructing our new website, something I would never have been able to do myself)

– The Celtic Wiki (whom I firmly believe provide one of the greatest resources the Celtic support has ever had)

– Those at the Over and Over (OAO) and the Beyond the Waves (BTW) Radio Shows (for allowing this young upstart on their programmes, and for making me feel incredibly welcome in doing so)

– Total Celtic (the Twitter account who were kind enough to help us get off the ground in our very earliest days)

– Celtic Football Club (for their help with our charitable efforts and for their correspondence with regards to our petition for a memorial to Willie Maley at Celtic Park, which resulted in a meeting with Chief Executive Peter Lawwell)

 

I also feel I should thank my friends and family for putting up with me and the time the running of the website takes, as well as those individuals (who know who they are) who have been with us from the very start. Every user of our website is incredibly valuable to me, but I must admit those long term users hold a special place in my heart.

In summary, the kindness and openness of the Celtic fanbase never fails to amaze me, and I for one hope that Maley’s Bhoys will continue to form our own small part of that support for many years to come.

 

Hail Hail,

Frank

Jul 132012
 

It was announced this afternoon that the clubs of the Scottish Football League voted against the potential plan to see Sevco begin their footballing life in Division One (SFL 1), with twenty five out of thirty clubs voting “no”. The clubs then voted that Sevco should be allowed into Division Three (SFL 3), with twenty nine out of thirty clubs voting in favour of this. However, the fact that Sevco do not have several key requirements for this admission (i.e. three years audited accounts, no SFA licence, very few players etc) may yet turn out to be an issue for the new club.

Now, there is a Scottish Premier League meeting scheduled for Monday, with the official reason being given as discussions (leading to a decision) regarding the future of Dunfermline and Dundee. However, with plans for a breakaway SPL 2 (with Sevco being given an invite) being mooted, many people have had their suspicions about this.

Rangers released a statement after today’s meeting on their website, about the future of Sevco, and it can be seen below:

The original statement

The final paragraph reads: “It is now understood that on the back of a briefing SPL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster and SFA counterpart Stewart Regan gave to clubs last week that the SPL will introduce a plan for SPL 2 – which would include Rangers – and invite existing Division One members to join.”

However, within minutes this last paragraph was removed, and the statement now features no reference to SPL 2. However, several people picked up on this story before the statement was edited, both in the mainstream media and the online media, and I must thank all of those who sent me a copy of a screenshot they had grabbed.

This blunder shows a clear intent within the corridors of power in this country. They genuinely that believe money is more important than the sport itself, and this mantra both puzzles and angers the vast majority of Scottish Football supporters.

With the start of the new season just a fortnight away, things may be about to get very messy indeed. Mr Regan, Mr Doncaster, Mr Ogilvie et al must resign from their posts, and the governing bodies which control Scottish Football must be stripped down and built back up again.

Sadly, this whole sordid affair isn’t over…and it wouldn’t surprise me if things get worse before they get better.

UPDATE: In the last few moments, Rangers have edited their statement again. You can see the third version of this statement below:

The third version of the statement...

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