Andy’s Sting In The Tale (29/03/24) “A Week of Two Quotes”

Date: 29th March 2024



Tom English Called it “A Joyless Grind”

But I Say, “In Steve We Trust”.

Hampden was not quite full and so far, for reasons unknown, the actual attendance level has not been released but the young Irish team got right into our faces and were up for it, big time.
With only 17% of possession they made it work and Steve summed it up saying “we huffed and puffed, but it wasn’t our night”.
Being booed off by a fed-up Tartan Army desperate for an end to a run of 7 games without a win wasn’t what any of us wanted.
The booing was loud enough to hurt but not on the same scale as we heard for the Northern Ireland national anthem, or the bizarre attempt by the Irish fans to sing ‘Rule Britannia’.

We have to go back to May 1974 to the last time Norn Irn came to Hampden and won.
It was in the first match of that year’s Home Championships.
We were a team on the up though, heading for an undefeated Germany ’74 and responded the right way by first beating Wales and then England to win the series on goal difference.

A different world back then.
A world where we simply grew both more and better players.

Scotland v Northern Ireland For sale as Framed Prints, Photos, Wall Art and Photo GiftsOur ’74 Scotland team was: Harvey, Buchan, Donnachie, Hay, Holton, Jardine, Bremner, Hutchison, Morgan, Dalglish and Law.
All Scots except David Harvey whose dad was from Ayrshire.
Every one honed their skills through schools football. (It was some 8 years before teachers turned their backs on ‘the engine that drove our game’, a wee quote from the late Craig Brown that was so insightful).

This week our team was: Gunn, Hendry, Cooper, Tierney, Patterson, McTominay, Gilmour, Robertson, McGinn, Dykes, and Adams.
6 Scots, 3 English, 1 Australian, and 1 Isle of Man (who moved to Scotland at 10 months).

The 2024 Scots grew up in a world where school’s football is a very pale shadow of what it once was.
And our game is the poorer for it all.

We’ve had 42 years to first realise the damage caused by the teachers’ walk-away, and then to do something about it.

It is the right thing to do but without a reset at the very top will just stay as “the right thing to do”.

Scottish football is full of ‘right things to do’ that never get done.

In the meantime Steve has delivered a huge, un-budgeted financial windfall into our game and I’m unaware of any plans to invest it rather than just spend it.
It could be the seedcorn to start future proofing a successful future.


Andy’s Sting in the Tale

1. Burnley Manager’s Question Made Me Smile
2. Hybrid Thinking
3. Rule 72 Opens the Door to Pandora’s Box
4. Apples, Pears and Small Man Syndrome
5. Beware German Beers and Other F.O. Nonsense!
6. Ex Hamilton Star Faces 2 Years in a Spanish Gaol

1. When Norn Irn Play Engerland

Scotland fans BOO God Save the King as Northern Ireland respond by jeering Flower of Scotland before Hampden clash | The Scottish SunSome of Norn Irn’s players were said to be surprised by the vociferous Tartan Army’s reaction to their pre-match anthem the other night, God Save the Queen.
The same reaction that happened last year against Gareth Southgate’s side who just happen to have the same 18th century dirge with the particularly fine line about ‘rebellious Scots to crush’.
For some reason Vincent Kompany the Burnley manager tweeted and asked if the National Anthem will be played twice the next time England play Northern Ireland.
Maybe they’ll toss a coin and have the choice of ‘God save the king for one side, and God save the queen for the other’.
That way football will keep both Charles and Camilla happy.
And deep down I agree with my tricky winger pal Dave, from Tain. Booing other people’s national anthems is disrespectful. But I think Booing our own is a political protest.
I’d fight for the right to Boo our own dirge.



2. Is Hampden Good Enough in 2024 and Beyond?

Scotland clash farcically SUSPENDED for more than 90 MINUTES due to waterlogged pitch before hosts eventually win 2-0 | The SunI’m no great fan of the stadium itself but is the actual playing surface good enough for internationals?

Hampden is still 100% grass with 1st Division ruts and Queens Park must love playing there every second week in front of an average crowd around 1500.
That has to damage the surface.
I honestly don’t know why it is still grass or why Queens Park don’t play at Lesser Hampden like I thought was the plan.
Wembley, the Principality in Cardiff and 19 of England’s Premier League teams play on Hybrid parks.
Opinions welcome guys.

3. A Two Match Dug Out Ban for Brendan, and a Podcast That Every Fan Should Watch

Mr Cameron was grumpy during the Hearts game and later, knowing he would be in ‘rule 72’ trouble, still referred to ‘Levels of incompetence’, and said “I’m worried about the game”, as he targeted Don Robertson and his VAR assistant John Beaton.
Both are classified as top refs North of the Wall.

Brendan Rodgers learns Celtic disciplinary fate as SFA make decision after hearing - Football ScotlandBrendan was yesterday up in front of an SFA panel and the matter discussed, and the deal was done.
As usual in secret.
I suspect it was about saving face all round given that the head of refereeing is now no longer head.
Is this all linked?
Either way, these meetings and dealings should be all in the public domain not in dark rooms with pre-agreed outcomes.

Anyway, Brendan will be back in time for the game against the other big club in Glasgow because only 1 of the 2 game ban is immediate with 1 a convenient suspension.
So tokenism was abounding at Hampden as only tokenism can.
I had read stuff that Dermot Desmond is also now grumpy and arming up against what he sees as a constantly stacked deck.


What is clever is this is not an emotional reaction by the Irishman.
Instead he is said to be following a data driven strategy and what is most dangerous is all the data is already in the public domain.
No conspiracy nonsense here.
Just honest analysis.


SFA Refereeing Under the Spotlight

Alan Morrison with A Celtic State of Mind – The Celtic by Numbers pre-match - ACSOMIn the meantime, this morning  and by serendipitous coincidence, I’ve just watched a YouTube show that analyses data from football matches over time in Scotland and elsewhere.
It lasts just over an hour and it is meticulous and meticulously fair.
The presenter is Paul John Dykes of a ‘A Celtic Frame of Mind’ and he has an amazing guest, Alan Morrison.
Both are Celtic fans.
Get over that because there is no bias in the research.
Yes, Celtic get talked about a lot but every fan from every club should watch how Alan presents an analytical stream of data that suggests the ‘statistically impossible’ is ‘somehow possible’ in Scottish football.

I’m not a Celtic fan and it is not a Celtic show.

It is analysis that screams out conclusions.
The data doesn’t lie.
And multiple data points rule out the age old and time weary excuse of ‘occasional incompetence’.

Football, Referee, Association Football Referee, Whistle, Cartoon, Penalty Card, Job, Gesture transparent background PNG clipart | HiClipartLots of ‘coincidences’ and ‘wrong calls’ that aren’t ‘coincidences’ or ‘wrong calls’ are analysed by the ex-top level English ref, ‘The Yorkshire Whistler’.
I’ve talked about him in Sting on many occasions.

The programme concludes that ‘differentials’ have somehow existed under the tenure of Crawford Allan.

And I don’t know who the journalist mentioned in the presentation is.
The one who commented on the material saying, “This stuff is impossible to print in Scotland because of commercial considerations”.

One other interesting quote was, “The SFA has a culture of self-marked homework and has to change”.

Every fan should read it.
Every newspaper and the BBC should be all over it like a proverbial cheap suit.

Why not guys?

I’ll finish with this quote from Alan Morrison.
“The SFA have traditionally been resistant to any changes.
Scottish football has a problem. The problem is at Hampden.
And the behaviour and culture of the Scottish Football Association”.


4. An Entertaining Cup Final Followed by Barton Bull****

A record crowd at Tynie, Rangers were deserved winners and I enjoyed the match.
Is our domestic game as good as England’s or are our crowds as big yet?
No and no but we’re going in the right direction.

Football Report on X: "As a goalkeeper, a man, and a human I say that Joey Barton can go fuck himself. Ava Easdon is 17-years-old and made some brilliant saves in aRanger’s one-time big hope but abject failure, Joey Barton, somehow felt the need to be the big guy and took to Twitter attacking the positioning of the 17 year old stand-in Thistle goalie, schoolgirl Ava Easdon at one particular play.
He didn’t mention her string of outstanding saves.
He said it was a waste of Sky’s time broadcasting such low grade football and other bitter nonsense.

Rex Easton, proud dad and 7x World Kick Boxing Champion gave a nice response.
“A grown man who feels the need to belittle and bully a 17 year old kid who doesn’t get paid to play”.

Back came big man Barton saying, “Lesbo-ball will never be as big as Men’s football. No matter how much you virtue signal.  Ya too slow and ya not going to change that. It’s called biological evolution. Have a great day. Don’t be a victim”.

And finally Nicola Docherty dumps the Barton man with, “If women’s football isn’t for you, change the channel. It isn’t hard”.


5.  German Beer Might Just be a Little Be Strong

Scotland fans snub Foreign Office German beer strength advice ahead of Euro 2024 | The Scottish SunIt is not yet April 1st but some clown at the foreign office who is no doubt very well paid and superannuated is telling football fans heading to the Euros about what to do and how to behave.
Most of it is ‘Freshers-week’ stuff and instead of dealing with the very real and unfair queues we all face at foreign airports the Foreign Office are nannying fans to tick whatever box needs ticking.
The important stuff like ID and bag size restrictions is lost in the unnecessarily wordy padding.


Beer can be stronger than in the UK, so drink responsibly, know your limits and respect local laws. You may not be let into the stadium if you drink too much.


6. Weelease Luis

Monty Python | GIFGlobeThe very headline I’ve just written is making me smile by reminding me of Monty Python’s ‘Weelease Wodewick’ sketch from Life of Brian.
Luis Rubiales the ex-Hamilton Accies star is being charged with sexual assault and coercion for kissing Spanish World Cup winning captain, Jenni Hermoso on the lips, in front of the world.
Marta Durantez, Spanish prosecutor is looking for gaol terms of 1 year and also 18 months for each of his charges.
She is also accusing former coach, Jorge Vilda, current sporting director Albert Luque and head of marketing, Ruben Rivera of coercing Ms Hermoso into stating that the kiss was consensual.

Their actions were said to be done by constant and repeated acts of pressure through her friends and family and could also lead to gaol sentences of up to 18 months.
Ms Durantez also wants damages of 100K Euros to Jenni which she wants Rubiales to pay.




That’s it from me for this week.

If you are not an SFA member, please join, we all need each other.

Join over 80,000 Scottish football fans and let’s #reclaimthegame – Scottish Football Supporters Association – SFSA (

It’s free, always will be and if all `Scottish fans were members we’d see different behaviours managing our game..


Andy’s Album of the Week

Julie Fowlis Alterum

alterum [CD] – Julie FowlisI love Julie Fowlis and her music takes me to nice places.

My wee sister actually wrote the foreword on the cover of this fine album and I’ll copy it out verbatim below because she writes better than me.
My favourite track is Camarinas.

Foreword by Ali Smith
How can there be such solace in the loss, such presence in the absence, such youth in the ages, such light in the dark?

Whenever I’m away from home and I listen to Julie Fowlis singing, often in the language I know is home, a language I have in my bones but happen myself not to speak, I know I’m home, safe all the same, wherever I am, and I thank my roots, their wisdom and their warmth, for the otherness that’s not just part and parcel of me up here on the surface but at the core of all notions of self there are. What a gift.

We’re all, each and every one of us, home and away and lost and found and here and gone and strangers and known. The borders aren’t real, in fact they’re a kind of lie. Land is only land because there’s water; dark is only dark because there’s light. It’s maybe music, the song, that can best cross between, hold together and make present to us the multiplicities we all are. It’s surely music like this that takes the roofs off us, leaving us open to the elements that made and make us each of the everything we are.


Well said Ali.

Posted in: Andy’s Sting in the Tale, Latest News