Celtic violence and a Rangers Messi link are among the year’s most memorable stories
*TRIGGER WARNING* – this article contains graphic descriptions of a footballer briefly looking at his phone during a match
The SPFL might not provide the most prestigious events in sport, but pound-for-pound it provides more entertainment than any other country can offer.
La Liga might have Messi, but I don’t see Marca running a headline about Barcelona fans making love to garden fences.
That’s their loss.
Here’s the story of Scottish football’s 2020 in headlines.
“Celtic football hooligan guilty of punching three police horses’ (BBC)
It’s the ‘three’ that makes this. You’d think that after punching one police horse you might pause for a moment to reflect and wonder how your life came to this.
In the Sopranos episode ‘All Due Respect’, a prison doctor played by the legendary Sydney Pollack tells a character that after killing his wife he went on to kill her aunt and the mailman.
“At that point”, he explained, “I had to fully commit”.
That, but with punching police horses.
‘TAXI RANK – Celtic fan had sex with taxi and garden fence while celebrating Hoops’ historic treble’ (Scottish Sun)
By February, it seemed only a global pandemic could tame the anger and horniness of Celtic fans.
‘Rangers and Celtic fans join Kris Boyd in sharing their favourite closed doors memories’ (Glasgow Live)
March was the last time most Scottish football fans were allowed to attend a match, prompting Kris Boyd to tell Sky Sports viewers: “We enjoy the sport, whatever it would be that you’re associated with.
“You enjoy it for what it is, and nobody wants to be going and watching their team behind closed doors.”
‘TRUE BLUE – Legendary Rangers kitman Jimmy Bell threw away green Jelly Babies and sabotaged McKay’s green boots say Kyle and Windass’ (Scottish Sun)
A hotly-contested month this, with ‘SNP’s Steven Bonnar in Celtic flag street bust-up’ (Daily Record) and ‘Dundee United chief Tony Ashgar issues apology over Robbie Neilson beer celebration tweet’ (Daily Record) narrowly missing out.
Ultimately, April’s prize must go to a man so staunch Renton and Sick Boy can guess his pin code.
‘BREAKING: Celtic and Hearts RELEGATED as SPFL reveal Scottish Premiership decision’ (The Scotsman)
Hastily deleted, obviously.
“Albanian president wears Celtic top while running round beach shouting ‘Hail Hail'” (Glasgow Live)
The year is 2034. A young Albanian boy looks up from his history books and asks ‘Dad, what do you remember of the 2020 Covid pandemic?’.
‘Well son’, he replies, ‘Our leader spent most of it tweeting shamrock emojis and congratulating a ginger guy from Lurgan’.
‘Rangers fan returns from holiday to find office redecorated in Celtic colours by workmates’ (Glasgow Live)
Because the only thing more Celtic Da than decorating your own office in Celtic colours is decorating a Rangers fan’s office in Celtic colours.
‘Former Rangers target Lionel Messi ‘set to leave Barcelona’ with Alfredo Morelos future uncertain’ (Glasgow Live)
As I’ve said on numerous occasions since writing this headline, none of it is technically inaccurate.
Lionel Messi was targeted by Rangers manager Alex McLeish in 2004, he looked set to leave Barcelona after submitting a transfer request and Alfredo Morelos’ future was uncertain with Lille keen on signing him.
Not sure what all the fuss was about to be honest.
“CHASE YOURSELF! Celtic fan in Twitter spat with The Chase star over Rangers ‘triple relegation’ question” (Scottish Sun)
“On your program (sic) today you made a factually inaccurate statement that Rangers FC were triple relegated in 2012.
“It has already been established in a court of law that Rangers were not relegated. The club was liquidated and the assets were sold.”
A grown man wrote those words, and sent them to the @ITVChase Twitter account.
‘Camera confuses linesman’s bald head for ball during match’ (STV News)
I SWEAR YOU’LL NEVER SEE ANYTHING LIKE THIS EVER AGAIN. SO WATCH IT, DRINK IT IN.
“Moi Elyounoussi ‘let Jock Stein down’ blasts Paul Lambert as he lays into Celtic loanee for mobile phone check” (Record Sport)
“I’m only going on what I seen (sic) on the TV” said Lambert, adding: “but you look at the lad Elyounoussi on his phone, I know there’s been a big thing with that.
“You’re letting Celtic Football Club down, you’re letting the great Jock Stein down, you’re letting the Lisbon Lions down.”
I’ve spent the last few years writing satirical columns and tweets, so I understand if you think I’m at it here, but he genuinely said those words.
As Stein famously put it: “Football without fans is nothing. Football without Wi-Fi is everything.”
A fitting end to the year.