I AM delighted to see the vast majority of the Celtic Family has taken umbrage at the childish response - dummy-spitting and toys out of the pram throwing - of the so-called Green Brigade to the two-game ban which Celtic handed them, following their attention-seeking display of stupidity during the Champions League qualifier against Linfield.
The banners that caused all the bother
As more than one Hoops fan has said, the GB appear to think collectively, they are more-important than the club whose name they drag so often through the mud. Their efforts certainly seriously undermine the efforts of the self-appointed: “Greatest Fans In The World” to cement bragging rights and moral high ground occupation in the perennial battle for this with the gang from across the city.
We non Old Firm fans have long held the respective fan bases to be: “Twa cheeks o' the same erse”, the difference perhaps is the Cancer in the Celtic support base is more concentrated in one place, the Rangers' cancer has spread further through the entire body, and at least, when it costs them money, the current Celtic management seems more-prepard than their counterparts across town to do something about its lunatic fringe.
MIND YOU, for all the efforts of the many heid cases who follow-follow across town – easily the biggest embarrassments around Rangers have been found in the poshest seats. I recall saying, when the whole thing first went tits-up, back in 2012, there were children then still to get out of kindergarten, whose entire school fees at some of Scotland's most-exclusive educational establishments would be covered by their parents' travails poring through law books, studying legal precedents and offering their expensive advice.
M'learned friends have done, are doing, and will continue to do well out of Rangers – one hopes, some day, a major legal entity will say a heartfelt “thank you” to the club by becoming jersey sponsors – it's the least the club deserves.
But, before then, we await the sorting-out of the latest twist in the tale, with the weekend suggestion that Le Vicomte Vert de Normandie and the Whyte Laird of Motherwell, or maybe more-properly lawyers representing them or their past interests are laying claim to whatever they can get from the wreckage of the liquidated pre-2012 entity.
There is always the “don't ever suggest it” scenario – whereby, everything that has gone on over the past five years or more is ruled to have been illegal – and ownership of Rangers reverts to Sir David Murray. I reckon he would then say: “No thank you, not for me”.
Sir David Murray - might get an offer he could refuse
WATCHING the early part of the final stage of Le Tour, meant I didn't have to sit through the Engerlund, Engerlund, Engerlund build-up to the Scotland v Portugal Women's Euro game. We certainly began well, but, once again watching our Women was just like watching our men – chances missed, a lack of composure – particularly in the opposition penalty area - then, the first time our opponents attack: the cry was no defenders. Seen this DVD before – often.
At half-time the shots-on-goal figure was 7-1 in Scotland's favour, and we were trailing 0-1. The second half was, if anything worse. Ach! Watching Scotland puts years on you, writes Socrates MacSporran, aged 105.
However, all is not lost, we are not out of it entirely. If the girls can beat Spain by two goals or more, assuming England beat Portugal – which they ought to do – then, Scotland can qualify.
Again, I have seen something like this video before. Back in 1963, a Scotland Men's squad which included such luminaries as Billy McNeill, Dave Mackay, Jim Baxter and a forward line of Willie Henderson, John White, Ian St John, Denis Law and Davie Wilson went off on an end-of-season European Tour.
They began by losing to a then amateur Norway – 3-4, lost 0-1 to an unranked Republic of Ireland, and, with John “The Voice of Football” McKenzie, demanding in his despatch from the five star Jury's Hotel in Dublin that the SFA: “Bring this lot home before they embarrass us further”, they set off to face Spain in the Bernabeu. Result, Spain 2 – Scotland 6.
Davie Wilson - scored in the Bernabeu
See, it's these sorts of occasional, impossible dreams, that keep you going back for more with Scotland.
I HAVE long railed against the personality-driven guff which passes for football comment in even the “series” newspapers in Scotland. You know, the article in which some hapless hack has managed to make sense of the witterings of some “personality” who once, in a meaningless end of group pot-boiler, on a wet October night in some central European state, missed a good half-chance for his club, or for Scotland.
Better for Scottish football if such “stenographers” summoned their inner Ian Archer or Cyril Horne and told it like it was. So, kudos to my big Buddie Graeme Macpherson of The Herald, for penning an interesting dissertation on televised football. A good read and well worth thinking about.
THIS MORNING'S inspirational text in the Monday sermon to “Ra Peepul” is all about how good Bruno Alves and Niko Kranjcar were during Rangers' 1-1 draw with Marseilles, at Ibrox on Saturday.
OK, I have told this tale before, but, this is as good an excuse as any to re-tell it. Years ago, when George Burley (remember him), was finding his managerial feet at Ayr United, he signed one or two experienced mates. United still stuttered occasionally and, one afternoon, with things not going well at Somerset Park, the Honest Men got a free-kick wide on the right, some 40-yards from the opposition goal.
Gathered round the ball were manager Burley (34), fellow former Scotland cap Arthur Albiston (35) and former Motherwell man Gordon Mair (36). “Enclosure” George Reid, the arch-critic of United managers and directors since before Ally MacLeod's first spell at the club could not resist it.
Turning to the Directors' Box, George bellowed: “Aye Mr Chairman, I see your youth policy is working”. It brought the house down.
George Burley - part of Ayr United's "youth policy"
The message is: you need a backbone of experience, but, you also need some good young “legs” to work off the older guys. Do Rangers have that today? Only time will tell.
George Reid was an accountant, and legend has it, one morning a group of Ayr United players – the names given included Robert Reilly, Robert Connor, Alan McInally and Stevie Nicol – but, that might be gilding the lily, turned up at George's office, gathered round his desk and verbally abused him for five minutes.
Robert Reilly - got his own back on a critical fan
When George objected he was told: “Well, you turn up at our work and shout abuse at us on a fortnightly basis”. Then everyone laughed. I bet a lot more players would like to have had the chance to do this.