My name is Jim Forrest; I’m James’ dad.
(The blogger, not the player!)
I am 61 years old. I have been a season ticket holder since the Hampden year, but I have supported Celtic all my life. At one time I never missed a game home or away.
I also traveled to as many European away games as possible.
Like most Celtic fans I have been watching the events unfold at Ibrox. Like most Celtic fans I thought that when it was finally proven in a court of law that Rangers were cheating the whole of Scottish football for the best part of 10 years that at last the SFA would have to act.
Massive cheating on that scale … they had to.
Well not here, not in this country.
Here in Scotland it’s all about “moving on” and “let’s not re-open old wounds.”
Easy to say if you weren’t the ones cheated. Easy to write if you never cared about the game.
When Celtic came out and asked for an independent inquiry and the SPFL appeared to support their call, it looked like the clubs agreed wiht us. “At last,” I thought. “We’re getting somewhere.”
And then the SFA said no. Inquiry refused.
The SPFL had asked for this, the clubs themselves. Surely they wouldn’t just accept it?
So I waited for the clubs to come out and demand an inquiry.
Not one club came out to support Celtic. Even though they had also been cheated.
Indeed, in the days after our call, two clubs came out to say they publicly supported the SFA’s decision. They were Aberdeen and Hibs. Two clubs I’ve spent a fortune at over the years, sometimes as many as three, four, times a season … more than some of their own fans.
I then waited for the Celtic fans to go it alone.
Take on the establishment.
At least punish the clubs who openly backed the SFA by boycotting their grounds or Hampden itself.
Nothing. Nothing whatsoever.
I think part of the reason for this is that the Bhoys have been doing so well.
Now everyone wants to go and see the team, and last season, when they were the Invincibles.
For me, I had to do something. I had to take a personal stand even if nothing came of it but my own sense of having tried, having taken action.
And for me it was simple. I decided that I would not give one penny to another club or to the SFA. I spent years doing it, even when I felt we were being cheated. Now that we know we were and the proof is there, I believed, foolishly perhaps, that Scottish football would move on it.
I will not watch what I know to be a corrupt game.
My mates and even some of my family said “It won’t last. You won’t miss a game at Ibrox. Or if we get to a cup final you will go.” They had seen me doing it for the whole of their lives and mine.
That was two Ibrox games and a cup final ago.
I didn’t attend either.
Nor have I been to an away game for nearly a year.
I am still a Celtic supporter. In that time I have attended every home game and went to Munich to watch the team in the Champions League. But here in Scotland I have not set foot in another clubs ground. For refusing to back Celtic, I never will again, certainly not at the homes of those clubs who openly supported the corruption.
I will never set foot inside Hampden as long as this SFA board are still in control.
This is my small one man demonstration, and I’ll tell you something; it is not easy. It’s absolute murder listening to the so called experts on Sky. Big Sutton makes BT a bit more tolerable
This week, I see the SFA has brought in another legal team to look at Resolution 12 fiasco. What a joke. I look forward to reading their results. Having followed the story from the start it’s clear that someone lied. If it was the club we’ll see what the Survival Lie amounts to when it comes to punishing them. If it was the SFA who lied we’ll see who supports our calls for reform.
I’m not holding my breath. From where I sit Scottish football is done … as long as those in charge of it are willing to live with these scandals so am I.
Jim Forrest is a lifelong Celtic fan and long term season ticket holder who once followed the club everywhere, home and away, even during the Cheating Years.