The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

Archive for the ‘football’

Friendly neighbourhood rival fans 135

Posted on December 28, 2017 by

Not too many surprises here. (Except, perhaps, the 18% of respondents who claimed to be football fans yet also said they had no interest in the World Cup.)

Excluding the disinterested the numbers were:

England 24%
England’s opponents 38%
Others 40%

And for people actually born in Scotland the figures came out at

England 20%
England’s opponents 41%
Others 39%

And that’s pretty much the natural order of things. If you’re a “Rangers” fan and you cheer for Celtic when they play (let’s not say “compete”) in the Champions League, or a Celtic fan who backed “Rangers” in the Petrofac Training Cup, you’re the weirdo.

The second-class licence fee 301

Posted on July 19, 2017 by

Today the BBC finally officially revealed what everyone already knew.

So now Scottish viewers definitely know where we stand.

Read the rest of this entry →

The Victim 452

Posted on July 16, 2017 by

Deep in the summer news desert, the papers today are struggling for material again. The Sunday Herald has a shock-horror front-page exposé about some photos from an Orange Lodge party that turn out to be from 2010 and 2013, while the Scottish Mail On Sunday reaches all the way back to 1940 to fill a couple of pages.

But the Sunday Mail’s timing is even weirder.

Read the rest of this entry →

Contempt undimmed 310

Posted on June 28, 2017 by

Last week the walking monotone drone that is James Kelly MSP lodged a motion (an inescapably appropriate term for his output, it must be said) at the Scottish Parliament instigating his private members’ bill to repeal the Offensive Behaviour (Football) Act, having announced his intention to do so in February after putting together a ludicrously bogus “consultation” on the subject last year.

As ever, Kelly trotted out a mixture of baseless assertions and flat-out lies about the Act in support of his move, because apparently the most pressing issue currently facing Scotland, in the view of Scottish Labour, is that bigoted thugs must once again be free to sing about being up to their knees in Fenian blood, or lionise murderous terrorists, at sporting events without fear of prosecution.

Read the rest of this entry →

Once in a lifetime 205

Posted on May 28, 2017 by

Tremendous news for the rest of Scotland’s football clubs as Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers promises never to win the treble unbeaten again, even if his side score more goals than the other team in all their matches.

That’s how it works, right?

Read the rest of this entry →

Once in a generation 124

Posted on May 27, 2017 by

…is roughly how often Aberdeen get to the final of the Scottish Cup these days. The last time was 17 years ago – a tournament which started in the last century and ended the year Rangers started paying their players with EBTs – when SFA rules meant that they had to play almost the entire game without a recognised goalkeeper.

(A tackle in the third minute broke veteran custodian Jim Leighton’s jaw, and because you were only allowed three players on the subs bench the Dons had no backup No.1 and had to put striker Robbie Winters between the sticks, with a predictable outcome. Leighton never played professional football again.)

In politics, Labour were only one year into the first ever administration of the modern Scottish Parliament, and still in the first term of Tony Blair’s rule at Westminster. The idea of the SNP winning an election, let alone holding an independence referendum, was the preserve of mad fantasists.

And the last time the Pittodrie side actually won the trophy was 27 years back, which is so long ago that most of Hampden was still open to the elements.

Still, it would be weird if we got to the final again next year and some of the Aberdeen support refused to go on the grounds that the matter of who was the best cup football team in Scotland had been settled forever today.

Or if Celtic won but had fielded an ineligible player and the SFA ordered a replay, but the Dons declined to take part because they’d played too many finals recently.

Just saying.


Every revolution starts with a lone voice 256

Posted on February 16, 2017 by

From these small beginnings shall our ultimate victory come.


The votes for “God Save The Queen” being driven by Tories, English-born residents and supporters of a particular football club probably won’t come as the biggest shock in the world to anyone.

(Alert viewers will of course have noticed that due to MI5 INTERFERENCE in the poll, there were actually two votes for Hoots Mon, which have been suspiciously rounded down to one. We are conducting an investigation, by which we mean brutal purge.)

Local colours 135

Posted on February 15, 2017 by

Just for fun.


(The combined figure for all football fans, incidentally, is Yes 52% No 48%.)

Opposition For Cowards 201

Posted on November 01, 2016 by

Just over three and a half years ago, we ran an article about how being an opposition MP or MSP is the cushiest gig in politics. You get all the pay, benefits, holidays and status, but you don’t have to actually do very much except whinge about how rubbish the government is, which most people are happy to do for free as a hobby.

Most of the time you don’t even need to turn up at your workplace.


(Sure, there are all your constituents to deal with, but if you’re not in power all that really amounts to is forwarding their letters to the government and demanding action.)

Tomorrow, the Holyrood opposition will give us a virtuoso demonstration.

Read the rest of this entry →

The hungry gamekeepers 380

Posted on October 31, 2016 by

Old media and new media spoke with one voice in Scotland today:


But for once it was the dead-tree press that held the moral high ground.

Read the rest of this entry →

No-one likes them, they don’t care 296

Posted on August 06, 2016 by

WARNING: this post isn’t about football, but it will refer to football for quite a while in order to illustrate its point. Get over it or go outside for some fresh air.

Today is the opening day of the SPFL Premiership season, and will see the top-flight debut of a four-year-old club which is legally entitled under company law to use the name and trademarks of a much older one which went into liquidation in 2012 owing creditors tens of millions of pounds.

The facts of that matter are beyond any empirical dispute, but human beings are adept at arguing things which are demonstrably not true and so the truth is hotly and furiously rejected by a substantial group of people, weirdly including the club itself (even as it insists that it can’t be held responsible for the old club’s debts because it’s not the same club).

We’re not going to attempt to settle that argument here, because (a) it’s already been settled, and (b) we have nothing new to say that would remotely convince the people who’ve already steadfastly refused to acknowledge any of the proven facts.

Instead, we’re going to talk – not for the first time, sadly – about why the “debate” around “Rangers” won’t die, and what it tells us about the Scottish media.

Read the rest of this entry →

Amongst the bears 315

Posted on May 28, 2016 by

I was born to be a Rangers supporter. I had no real choice in the matter. My father was a Ger, as was his father and his father’s father. I was accepted that as soon as I was old enough to be lifted over a turnstile I would attend Ibrox, faithfully.


From 1964 (aged 5) I worshipped at the shrine of Rangers for almost three decades. Fortunately for me, my father was the least bigoted man you could wish to meet. His religions were the trade unions and Rangers. Because he wasn’t bigoted our next-door neighbour and dad’s friend used to take me to Parkhead to watch Celtic too, which I found thrilling as I was convinced the “Tims” could see right through me.

This caused me a bit of confusion at school, because some of my family were “Tims”. In fact my favourite aunty was a convert to Catholicism and was as devout and decent a Catholic as you will ever meet. The conflation of football and religion was as normal as the smog-filled air we breathed. It just was what it was. You were either Proddy Ranger or Timmy Celtic. It wasn’t to be questioned.

Except my dad questioned it, loudly and often. He tried to explain the wrongs of the situation to me many times. I remember asking him why he still was a Rangers man if he disliked the whole Proddy/Tim thing that went with it.

“They’re my team, son. The morons can’t change that”, he told me.

Read the rest of this entry →

↑ Top