Date: 29th July 2018 at 1:20pm
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So there was no “comfortable” win for Burnley after all, eah? I have been meaning to offer my congratulations to Aberdeen for days now. I am glad to do it here. I only wish they had held out and secured a victory. I think they can get something away from home. I hope they do. It would lift the whole game here and would burst the English bubble somewhat.

That bubble still continues to expand. The evidence of it is all over the papers today, in all this new Kieran Tierney nonsense. Fulham? Really? So a kid who’s all about playing for his boyhood heroes in the Champions League is suddenly going to go there is he? To take place in next season’s EPL relegation dogfight? For money?

Because really, what other reason if there for going to Fulham but money?

Is money really everything? Not to some players.

Commentators down there, and even some club chairman, don’t even see the money anymore. You have to have more of it than is good for you before you can think that way. What they see instead is this idea that their league is something special, forgetting that when the TV companies wise up and pull out that things will change in a big hurry.

The real problem is the idea of English exceptionalism.

This, right now, has to be one of the worst times in history to be a unionist. When you look at the social and political climates of Scotland and England you can see, more clearly than ever, that we’ve got two different countries here which have been shoe-horned together and badly welded into one. There is a genuine belief in their own greatness in some parts of England, yet the only thing I’ve found to be exceptional is the amount of mouthing they do.

The Guardian has a piece today on – and I kid you not – “#FreeTommy – the making of a far-right English ‘martyr’”. When I wrote last week about how the media here fetes King and that gives him license to do whatever he wants, I lamented the way the media has helped to build the profiles of bags of shit like Robinson. They show no signs of quitting. They’re already preparing the ground for turning this right-wing thug and nobody into the next star of Brexit.

English football is full of this kind of sentiment, this “we’re better than the rest of the world.” Their league is allegedly one of the most watched on Earth, and all that attention has gone to their heads. It’s also the most ludicrously over-blown, and a place where all involved have completely taken leave of their senses. Every transfer window throws up a couple of examples where your jaw drops and you think “He isn’t worth a tenth of that …”

The World Cup was almost unbearable with their boasting about how they would have an easy procession to the final. They lost three games during the competition and won another on penalties. Wins over Tunisia, Panama and Sweden were hailed as if the English side were glorious conquerors. The rest of the world must still be sniggering.

Their club teams have never conquered in Europe with the regularity one would expect of a top flight league that spends more money on players than any other, and where its marketers boast of it as being the biggest on the planet. The routine way with which the real superclubs readily dispatch them must be painful for them to watch … very few UK commentators fancied Real Madrid in the last Champions League final, although they had won the two before it. I personally couldn’t see past them, for all the excellent football Liverpool played getting there. The highlight of their campaign was still a win over a fellow EPL side.

This is a league filled with people who labour under the lie that it shows ambition to sign for the Fulham’s, the West Brom’s … these are clubs with small-scale histories but which could never hope to compete with a behemoth the size of Celtic in a world where the landscape was all flat and not sloped and slanted by a geographical glitch; that’s all it is, really. These clubs exist one side of the border and we don’t … a border that’s not supposed to exist in a so-called “United Kingdom” but has somehow allowed a lot of those south of it to think they’re better than we are.

In the end, it’s all about money … that’s what makes the EPL exceptional, the amount of money that is sloshing around down there, making even mediocre players into multi-millionaires.

This has been a bad week for them. Their confidence was shaken by Aberdeen, and their faith in the glorious power of money has been rocked by the news that John McGinn doesn’t fancy playing for Derby, no matter who their manager is, but has set his sights on winning things and playing in Europe at Celtic Park. Kieran Tierney remains a Celtic player. Moussa Dembele, Olivier Ntcham and others aren’t for moving either.

Even on this side of the border, Celtic is still Celtic.

Celtic is still exceptional.