Time to Ditch the Geek Show


The link at the bottom of this piece points to an excellent blog by James Forrest on the ‘decline’ of the Old Firm, and particularly the viewing figures for the recent matches between Celtic and TRFC.

Whilst James, as you would expect is focusing on the consequences of the OF tag for Celtic, it is worthwhile considering that the decline in viewers is an excellent litmus test of the provenance of TRFC with regard to RFC.

Is it because the ‘you’re not Rangers anymore!’ faction is winning the argument?

Or might it be that viewers, voting with their feet, are simply indicating what many of us have said all along – that a brand name does not amount to serious competition.

There has been a presumption – particularly held in the MSM- that Scottish football badly needed a Rangers to provide a challenge to Celtic dominance. Our counter to that is that TRFC, representing the ‘Rangers’ constituency, are in no position to provide any such challenge.

Common sense dictated this.

Not that common sense came into it for our newsroom chums. At the beginning of last season, a whole troupe of hacks ventured their prediction that TRFC would win at least one trophy in that campaign. Again this season, despite the huge gulf in performance levels between TRFC and the top two, even more hacks are queuing up to offer their optimism on the Ibrox club’s chances of success and glory.

I am bound to say that those same hacks will be quick to point out Gordon Strachan’s shortcomings as Scotland manager whilst ironically demonstrating, through their predictive deficit,  that their football judgement has little if any bearing on L’actualité.

I am however disposed to charity. Perhaps what they meant was that TRFC, given its massive fan base, has the most potential (in time) to challenge Celtic. Then, absurdly, the same MSM choke the life out of that potential by assisting charlatan after charlatan on their way through the self-enriching revolving door at Ibrox.

The TRFC potential, if it exists in the foreseeable future, requires the Ibrox club to be rid of those who still, after decades of disgrace and disaster, sell the same false promises dressed up as moonbeams to the masses.

In actual fact, and as it stands right now, Aberdeen, Hibs and Hearts have a significantly greater potential to challenge for honours; they are well run clubs who balance the books. Crucially, they have no debt, no directors whose presence on their boards effectively cuts off access to investment – and they put the emphasis on building Teams (capital T) and not collections of individuals with an exotic distant-past, questionable influence, and huge draw on salary resources .

Even more crucially, they have realistic expectations of where they want to be in the short to medium term.

TV audiences, relying on neutral fans hungry for a spectacle will not be – in fact are not –  conned by this OF sophistry. Without doubt in my view, Scottish football is a far more interesting and compelling place now than it was five years ago. The brand has grown in the absence of the Old Firm, and with the right nurture, can grow even stronger.

TRFC can be part of it all, but the expectations have to be commensurate with their circumstances. All the OF has to offer is a 350 year old conflict that few of us understand – or care to understand. The MSM championing of that embarrassment is a major reason why Scottish football cares less about quality and diversity than it should.

The audiences however, will not be fooled.

Celtic, Rangers, the SFA and everybody else in our game need to jettison the OF brand. It is no longer – if it ever was- relevant. Paying customers in the 21st century deserve better than a geek show.


Pic from the Film Noire classic, Nightmare Alley

This entry was posted in Blogs by Big Pink. Bookmark the permalink.

About Big Pink

Big Pink is John Cole; a former schoolteacher based in the West of Scotland, He is also a print and broadcast journalist who is engaged in the running of SFM . Former gigs include Newstalk 106, the Celtic View, and Channel67. A Celtic fan, he is also the voice of our podcast initiative.

611 thoughts on “Time to Ditch the Geek Show

  1. TrisidiumOctober 30, 2017 at 02:31  
    News that the SFSA has partnered with Two Point One (of the Barking mad stenography tendency). We have sent them a message on Twitter tonight
    ‪”I hope that you will reconsider the earlier judgement. Truth is important to us. If 2.1 are partners, we can’t be directly supportive‬.“
    Of course individuals may not see this as a dealbreaker, but when people who disseminate falsehoods on a systematic basis are hired to get a message across, trust is a casualty – a fatal one in my view.
    SFSA were unsighted on the detailed aspect of 2.1 that caused the response it did. (Insisting its the same club).
    They have since tweeted
    SFSA‏ @scottishfsa 6h6 hours ago More Just to confirm there will be no further interaction between us and two point one @TheClumpany @Auldheid
    An unfortunate PR error on timing but partly due to the preparatory work for The Survey results to be announced at Firhill on 7th Novemeber.
    However there are lessons for everyone from the error as E Tims covered very well at:
    Given the aim of the SFSA is an SFA accountable to supporters of all clubs I think some slack for being unsighted is allowable to focus on the main objective.
    There is a capacity building job going on and the SFSA themselves will have to look at their internal capacity going forward to provide the sort of unified response to the challenges that will emerge in the coming year. 

  2. Re DUFC Vacancy – they have interviewed Lazlo ex Hearts for the position – any Jambos on here got an opinion on this character ?

  3. Naegreetin,  Must be dinner time for the Jambos.  Here’s a few bits and bobs about Laszlo from Wiki:

    He was appointed manager of Hearts July 2008.
    “In his first season with Hearts, Laszlo guided the team to a third-place finish in the Scottish Premier League and qualification for the inaugural Europa League.[4] Laszlo was subsequently named ‘Manager of the Year’ by both the Scottish Football Writers’ Association and the Scottish Premier League itself. Surprisingly, László was sacked as Hearts manager on 29 January 2010.[4] Even though he was Hearts manager for only 18 months, László held the position longer than any other coach during Vladimir Romanov’s ownership of the club.[4] The Glasgow’s giants Celtic and Rangers were defeated several times in the league and the cup during his reign as Hearts boss. László Csaba was linked with the job of Scotland’s national coach to replace George Burley.”

  4. AuldheidOctober 30, 2017 at 14:58
    ‘…SFSA‏ @scottishfsa 6h6 hours ago More Just to confirm there will be no further interaction between us and two point one ‘
    I cannot begin to say how glad I am at that, because I am very keen on the SFSA as a truly independent football supporters association.
    I will be attending the Firhill gathering to learn what the academic- led , professional survey has discovered , and how that information will be used to shape the administration of Scottish Football along customer-related lines  with proper accountability to us all for ensuring the integrity of the sporting competitions and  an  administrative level playing-field.
    And I would encourage existing members of the SFSA to try to attend Firhill, and for any readers of the SFM blog who are not already members to sign up straight away for membership-it’s free!

  5. My goodness just heard Kieran Tierney has just been given a new 6 year contract with Celtic!  I don’t know the last time I have heard of a six year contract!   Obviously delighted.  Several ways to look at it.  Is he going to be one of the dying breed of  One Club players?  If anyone might be I’d say he could be one.  On the other hand if he were hoping to achieve an historic 10 in a row and then move on, he would still only be about 24 or 25 with a couple of years still on his contract.  Big Big money transfer especially if he keeps improving.

  6. Jimbo@ 17.07 30 Oct – re Lazlo – thanks for that – fairly impressive up to 2010 anyway – he still lives in Edinburgh apparently .

  7. John Clark.
    Yup. A hiccup on the way forward. I’d be there if not enjoying the pleasant Spanish weather but look forward to hearing what emerges from the survey.

  8. Rangers must win Scottish Premiership ‘as soon as possible’, insists director of football Mark Allen.
    How soon would be as soon as possible? and what if they don’t?
    These are going to be targeted approaches as opposed to a scattergun approach. We will go where the style and type of football matches the type of player we are looking for, as identified by our player profiling.’
    so loans and free transfers then.
    speaking as he announced a new scouting line-up that includes Nine-in-a-Row legend John Brown, Allen insisted ambitious targets were definitely achievable.
    ambitious targets were definitely achievable. sometimes you do wonder if the one’s at the top at ibrox let the one’s at the bottom know just how much of a state the club/company is in. or are they just so blind that they cannot see.
    scouting line-up that includes Nine-in-a-Row legend John Brown,from shouting on the steps to a job as a scout.

  9.     Bomber to be “Domestic” scout?…..WTF is that?. The top league clubs meet a minimum of 4 x per season, which only leaves the leagues they have recently left. It would be fair to say that a percentage of  the players of quality in the lower leagues, are Celtic loanees. 
        This is the guy who told his players to break opposition legs when he was managing FFS.
        I doubt it will be much of a comfort to any incoming potential manager to learn who will be sourcing his staff. 
         I don’t get it, and can only assume he wasn’t very good in his role as ambassador. 

  10. An excerpt from ex-PM Gordon Brown’s book[‘My Life, Our Times’]:*

    “It cannot be right that Fred Goodwin walked away with all his past bonuses untouched, a reported tax-free lump sum of £5M and even after he agreed to halve his pension it still was said to amount to £300.000 a year”

    Quite. But at least he  was publicly dishonoured by being stripped of his knighthood.

    We know of another knight who
    cheated Scottish Football for a decade or longer by breaking rules about  disclosing all payments made to players,

    cheated the tax-payer by using an unlawful tax avoidance scheme for years and years ( and singing dumb about it for fear that HMRC might find out and/or that his football rule-breaking  would be spotted and condignly punished  [as if!!] ,

    saved his own personal business by in effect laying the groundwork for the death of a famous football club,

    but who still parades as a respected member of  society unstripped of his knighthood, and essentially unpunished for his cynical, anti-social, anti-sport, dishonourable behaviour.

    And one might,all things considered in due proportion, expect that Mr Brown might have had something to say about that.

    King might be ‘cold-shouldered’ by the Finance community in fullness of time.
    Some knights should be cold-shouldered socially.
    * From Scott MacNab’s piece in today’s printed version of “The Scotsman”

Comments are closed.