As A Celtic Blogger, It’s Hard To Read Some Ibrox Fan Content With A Straight Face.

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I get sent a lot of stuff every day.

Conent from all across social media and elsewhere.

I appreciate everyone who raises something for me to look at, because this would be a much harder job without that amazing support.

Amongst it is loads of stuff from the other side of the city, and some of it appals me and some of it offends me … but mostly it just amuses me.

I am friendly with a lot of the bloggers on our side of the lines, and a lot of the guys who are involved in fan media.

From writers to podcasters, I am in awe of what some of these people manage to achieve and what they manage to do. Some of them have built wee alternative media empires and I applaud all of it. I couldn’t tell you where the bad quality is over here, but I can point you in the direction of tons of it which is amazing.

There are sites I read every day; The Celtic Star, CQN, VideoCelts, The Celtic Way when it’s Anthony Haggerty, Born Celtic, 67Hail Hail and others.

I mention those guys because they are sterling, they are brilliant at what they do, without wanting to ignore or forget about others. But that I can name six sites where ordinary fans write every day with clarity and passion and heart and – and this is a big one – talent is extraordinary when you think about it.

It’s even more extraordinary when you consider that I could have named more of them if what I wanted to do was make a list; there are nearly a dozen of superlative quality which would merit a mention here or on anyone’s “best of” charts.

And then I look across the city and Jeez-oh … what a different picture.

Terrible writing. Denial of reality. Embrace of fantasy. Lack of understanding of basic facts. Inability to do sums. Zero analysis.

There were, once upon a time, a handful of writers over there who were excellent at that stuff and I don’t know where they went.

There were also sites so bad that I cannot imagine that even the rawest Celtic fan, new to social media, would turn out stuff that was worse … Ibrox Noise is still going, and I don’t know how because they are out to lunch, they inhabit another universe, even by the standards of their “peers.”

So, so much of it is astonishingly poor.

If we were in anything like their position, we would be a lot more aggressive in pursuit of facts.

I remember when Ange was appointed; how could I forget it? Everywhere I turned Celtic fan sites were talking about this guy and excitedly poring over his record, dissecting every facet of it, and bringing in experts to discuss the guy. I was too busy pulling his record apart, concerned about it, to embrace any of that.

But we were all doing the same thing; we all did a deep dive into the guy and what the merits (or not) of appointing him were.

I thought it was an unpardonable risk. Others thought it was a superb decision which would bear fruit. They were right, and I have never been gladder to have been so wrong. The fact is though, we all did our work, we all dug deep. We just came to different conclusions about the things that we found.

I see zero evidence – none – that any of their sites are any more interested in digging deep into the records of their potential bosses than they were about giving proper scrutiny to The Mooch or to Van Bronckhorst before him or Gerrard before him or Caixinha or Warburton or any of the other comedy acts who have sat in their dugout over the last few years.

I see no evidence – none – that they are concerned about the state of their club. The managerial hunt has actually infused in them the hope that all they need is a change in the dugout and everything that has hitherto failed to work will suddenly start to click.

Their board gets an easier ride than any other in this country, including the one at Hearts which I slagged this morning for their own dire managerial record and a complete lack of silverware.

This week, I’ve been defending the Celtic board’s Green Brigade statement. A lot of other Celtic fan media sites have criticised it, strongly.

Last week, in light of the Lazio result, I was criticising the Celtic board and blamed that result on the summer transfer window. At the same time, other sites were praising them for their good stewardship. Others went much further than me and blasted them for hoarding money whilst the team rots.

All different opinions, some critical and some not … but the criticism is always there, in at least some section of the fan-media, no matter what the issue is.

So, nobody can ever accuse of us giving those people a free ride.

We batter our board at times, we do not let them away with a single mistake or a single slip. When I’m not on their case you can bet your bottom dollar that someone else is … they never get a minute because we are all watching them and their conduct all of the time.

Every single fan media site holds this club to account when they think the club deserves that. It is relentless, and the club doesn’t scorn that. The club respects it.

The club knows that constant scrutiny is necessary and even something positive.

I genuinely believe that it was the hard yards put in by fan media sites which led to this vote at the SPFL later on in the month.

Our club might not win that vote, but fan media got us there and that’s because when we push Celtic, Celtic pushes them.

That’s down to all of us, writers, podcasters, video diarists, phone in hosts … but you more than anybody. Because if you weren’t engaged, fully, and totally, and re-tweeting and sharing and commenting every single day then we’d all just be voices screaming into the void. If the club occasionally listens to us, it’s because of you.

I don’t know what function the Ibrox fan media fulfils; a lot of them just want their names known in the building, and especially the “official club partners” which to me is the last thing I’d want this site to be known as.

An official club partner for God’s sake?

When they were charging for media access over there, that’s how they used to refer to the outlets who had paid the money; it was their way of reminding these guys that they were now on the leash, and the Celtic sites never let those outlets forget that.

Official club partners?

Aren’t you just a mouthpiece then?

When a media organisation is paying for access to the thing it is meant to cover then its independence is non-existent. Its objectivity is solid gone.

No such thing can exist if you’re paying for the privilege.

It’s like a guy who visits hookers, and who has a particular favourite, and is convinced that she’s his girlfriend when in fact its an entirely transactional experience and it’s the other side that decides how far it goes and how long it lasts and what you get for your money on any given day.

If Kevin Muscat gets the job over there then isn’t it amazing that the “global search” which they were going to take all that time over ends in Australia with an Ange Postecoglou clone who every single one of us knew was amongst the first people linked with the job?

They are being taken for absolute mugs over there, and not for the first time.

If it’s not the failure to do their due diligence on the way their club is run, it is the nuttiness of some of the content that appears on their sites.

Here’s a smidgen of an article I was sent earlier today. “Celtic are not exactly running away with things in Scotland under Brendan Rodgers just yet, having had their own managerial issues recently.”

Eah? Managerial issues?

We’re not the club who gave one a multi-million-pound summer transfer budget and then sacked him after a handful of games in this campaign. We lost Ange and replaced him a guy who already won two trebles here.

We’re not “running away with things”?

What the league? Where we have a seven-point lead in October?

Of course not.

If this is not yet us “running away with things” under Rodgers – and Rodgers is just getting started – then I wouldn’t be taking comfort in that if I were in their shoes, I’d be shaking in them. That would be keeping me up at night.

But you know what keeps these Peepul up at night?

The fairies at the bottom of the garden.

It is difficult to read their stuff at the moment and keep a straight face.

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  • Johnny Green says:

    James, I too read the bluenose comments and find them highly amusing, I also feel somehow superior in intellect to them when I read their ignorant and bigoted rants. However, the main reason I read what they are saying and the loathing that spews out of their toxic, racist and sectarian cake holes, is because it is a constant reminder to me why I detest them, and why I should never ever feel any guilt in feeling that way towards them.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Yip – I’m the same in that I get a laugh from Follow Follow and lots of thoughts about how their thought practices make ma mind boggle…

    It’s really good Schadenfreude while they stumble from one disaster to another –

    They really are so easy for these directors there to stiff and con them time after time, after time, after time !

  • Fat mike says:

    Hats off to all the lads at the sites you mentioned James who are at it daily for the love of it. Writing is a craft.. many think it is easy, few can captivate an audience with it. Much like the sevco dugout many think it’s just a matter of turning up.. I spent 5 years doing 100 hours a week at a local paper and know how thankless or rewarding it can be in equal measure. Thank you for your daily writing and also for introducing me to my favourite weekly-ish, Phil mac golla bhain!

  • Robert Jenkins says:

    I remember one Sevco site that was critical of the board. Told the truth and asked awkward questions. Got so much abuse he stopped. I sent him a message of sympathy and explained I was a Celtic fan. I got a nice reply on the lines of “Why put up with abuse for telling the truth?”

    • James Forrest says:

      That actually sums up the attitude mate. We can all disagree and stuff and get the odd nutter going off the deep end … but anybody who criticises over there gets dogs abuse for it, far worse than anything we get.

      • Eldraco says:

        One guy let slip he watched part of one of our games , holy shit ! The abuse and threats he got that had the poor bugger defending himself and backtracking in panic !. What a cesspit of a place.

      • Robert Jenkins says:

        James, I always read your articles. I don’t always agree with you and neither do others. But the reasons for disagreeing with you are usually well pointed. No need to threaten you or insult you. I think this is why we are a better group of people than them.


    It’s only comical because they are stuck in a time warp.
    They live in an alternative reality that accords them their sense of Superiority and Entitlement.
    Or as I think of it, their emotional and psychological crutches.
    They seldom if ever look at the real world without the aid of their ‘ Bloo/Orange’ prism.

    Everything must be made to fit their ‘Staunch, Unionist and Monarchy led viewpoint.
    If anything interferes with that mindset it’s automatically a Conspiracy. It has to be because their
    version of reality would not allow these things to happen. It must be some malignant force
    at work,‘Thum feenyuns’ is their default setting. Followed by their myriad lists of ‘Proddistant haters’.

    Their sense of victimhood is so all encompassing that even their allies, the agencies in the real world that give succour to their delusions make their way onto these ‘Lists’. The SFA, LRA, The SMSM, even dear old ‘Auntie Beeb’ is there.
    They are a lost cause. There is no educating them.

    Meanwhile in the real world time marches on and hopefully in perhaps a generation or two they will have gone the way of the dinosaurs.

  • Bob (original) says:

    I blame the schools… 🙂

  • John L says:

    I love the way you hold the board, the press ,and the biased pundits accountable , and your blog earlier where you would not allow our club to be kicked about like some political football was something to behold . Yourself and other do a tremendous job and long may it continue, Thanks.

  • SSMPM says:

    I certainly don’t read their blogs but if everything that you guys are saying is true, and I wouldn’t be surprised by that in the slightest, then it sounds more like a MAGA conspiracy hater fest stuck in a never ending time warp than a football blog. HH

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      Their blogs are definitely worth a read after a defeat for them SSMPM and especially after a Celtic defeat for them…

      September 3rd (well after I sobered up) and a good few days afterwards was truly a thing of reading beauty (and comedy gold as well) !

  • tony says:

    very well wrote. agree with everything u said there, hee hee hee the faries

  • Robert Jenkins says:

    Does Lawell still use the secret tunnel to drive from Parkhead to the Vatican?

  • Joseph Mcaleer says:

    I do sometimes look at there sites, and it is very Delusional all one way nonsense. There attitude to running there club is what is flushing it down the pan.

  • Grumpy Dad says:

    Back in the (brief) heyday of the fanzine (late 1980’s) I shared an office with two colleagues and, if I remember correctly, one regularly read “Not The View” and the other read “Follow Follow”. Aplogies if I’ve got the titles wrong but my recollection of the standard of writing and content in each was similar to what I see in the partisan blogs today.
    “Not The View” was not afraid to be critical of Celtic, players or club management, when it was merited but never stinted on praise when it was due. My recollections of “Follow Follow” was that it bigged up but never criticised Rangers (not The Rangers at that time) and included a lot of anti Celtic/Cathloic/Irish invective.
    Plus ca change.

    • James Forrest says:

      Not The View was fabulous. I learned so, so much about how to write funny from those guys. Their sense of humour was so off-beat, but so simple. It was the first time I ever read satire in football, having loved Private Eye for years, and it was amazing seeing that style transposed to a publication for football fans.

      Apart from being very funny though, the writing on the club was razor sharp. It could cut to the bone when it had to, and it frequently had to back in those days. What a fantastic bunch of writers it had.

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