Date: 29th June 2020
The latest blog from SFSA writer Donald Stewart:
It’s a scorcher.
There is little doubt that this is probably the biggest and most sun he has seen upon his wee ginger head for a time but as he stepped from the plane, Mr Lennon peered out to see if he can see Mr Asad.
Picture the scene…
It is Syria and there is not a football in sight. Having made his plea for peace within the Scottish game, there were a few within the Middle East, very impressed by the weight of his words and have called him over to help out, bring together the warring factions and show the various warlords how it is done.
He has managed, according to the reports they had seen, to tame the Govan Monster more than once, call out The Budge and not be slapped down, return to his previous glories and continue his winning ways, take a backwater club with incredible ambitions and get them close to where they think they belong, whilst being lauded and applauded – they don’t know where Bolton is anyway so they ignored that chapter…
The people who are there to meet Mr Lennon are no one called Asad but plenty with his ear. In this part of the world that could be both figurative and literal…
As he stands now squinting into the sun, they nod in his direction and the Northern Irish burr for which he is famous calls down to say hello. He manages to skip down the stairs and then offer his hand to the two people who have ear pieces, dark glasses and even darker moods.
“Good morning, Mr Lennon.” They bow and do not offer their hands in return. Mr Lennon, feels quite awkward but manages to keep going…
“Morning, where shall we talk?” Mr Lennon cannot see anywhere but a limo sitting idle by the private plane that had been sent to collect him.
“The car has, what you say, air conditioning. We can meet in there are discuss things.” The one on the left indicates the car and Mr Lennon follows them both towards it. He is asked to get in first and he does, though he feels a little like Ally McCoist is going to pop up and say something to him that will end badly in a dressing room but his fears are not realised as his two handlers follow him in and the immediate coldness of the room is warmed slightly by the warmness of their smiles as they all sit knee to knee in the limousine.
“Mr Lennon, we have been asked to talk tactics with you.” Mr Lennon is pleased to have started with something he knows a lot about.
“Can you explain how you would go about this situation we are in?” Mr Lennon thinks it was the one on the right who spoke but it could have been the one on the left but he is finding it difficult to work out which one is talking and which one taking notes so he just concentrates on what he has to say.
Mr Lennon begins…
“It would be a huge blow for everyone if you weren’t able to start on time for legal reasons. We’ve had a long time without…”
He is interrupted… by one of them…
“Mr Lennon, we have had days now of some kind of peace, can you take us beyond that?”
Mr Lennon takes a breath. “I don’t know if an interdict to halt the start…”
He is interrupted… by one of them… it might be the same one as before… He is not sure…
“Mr Lennon, what is this interdict of which you speak? Is this a new weapon we can find and use? Can you supply this for us?” Both his handlers are now scouring the internet looking for the interdict. Concerned that they have taken his Irish accent as something more sinister, Mr Lennon shakes his head, thinking this might be going the wrong way…
He tries to take things back up from where he started…
“I’d just hope the SPFL, Hearts and Thistle can come to some sort of agreement, whether it’s compensation or whatever.”
His handlers look up again. He is interrupted once more… by one of them… it might be the same one as before… Or the one before that… He is not sure… His wee ginger nut is sore…
“Compensation? What is compensation? Should we have this compensation?”
Mr Lennon is beginning to feel that they may have all got similar words but there is something going very wrong.
He starts to think he is in a press conference with the Daily Record… Maybe that will help? He tries to pick things back up imagining the Daily Ranger is asking the questions…
“What we can’t have is another delay. It would be so damaging, not just at the top but to all. The bitterness doesn’t help anyone. We’ve moved to Phase Two…”
He is interrupted once more… by one of them… it might be the same one as before… Or the one before that… Or God… who is it? If only their English wasn’t better than his…
“Phase Two? Is this good?”
He tries to keep going as he explains, “… things are looking more promising from a social as well as a football point of view. You just hope this can be resolved and we can get back…”
He is interrupted once more… by one of them… he is beginning to think there is only really one of them, but he is not sure. Maybe the sun is getting to him…
“Back fighting again? Is that what you propose?”
“I can’t speak on behalf of others, but I understand the reaction to some degree. It’s not exclusive to Scotland. We’ve seen the Dutch paying out compensation to clubs who were absolutely livid with their decisions. There’s been legal fights in France, Belgium, in England. We’ll have to take it a day at a time like everything and see what the outcome is going to be.”
He is interrupted once more… by the sun… it’s even hot in here with all the air conditioning… this is really getting to him…
“And they have this compensation? We should have this compensation. Maybe with the interdict we can win the war with it?”
Once more Mr Lennon is sure things are being lost. He can’t blame translation because they are all speaking in English. He tries again to get things back on track…
“It was never going to be easy and it was always going to be a difficult call to make. I understand those involved want to take legal representation and that’s well within their right. For the sake of the game you hope we can sort it out to get us moving forward rather than looking back. Everyone has been affected, all over the world.”
He is interrupted once more… he is beginning to think there are voices in his head… they are beginning to sound like McCoist… But have a strange Scouse tone…
“Cost Mr Lennon, what will be the cost of it all?”
Mr Lennon thinks hard. Budgets were never his strong point, but he had a go.
“We’ve not been able to sit down and work out the budget. We’re not immune to the financial implications of all of this either. We’re all on a deferral and cuts until the end of this month, then we’ll probably take a view on that at the end of June.”
He is interrupted once again… AAH THE PAIN….
“Deferral? Is that similar to the interdict? Is it better than the interdict? Should we take a deferral as well as an interdict? What are your thoughts?”
Mr Lennon is now convinced this is all lost but tries a final time. “All have taken a hit. I saw Spurs have just taken out a huge loan and we know the money going around in England. It’s no surprise the Scottish feel it as well with all the uncertainty.”
At that point both his handlers look up and at him, then at each other and a decision is made.
“Mr Lennon, it has been good to speak with you, however we have enough.”
Mr Lennon knows that he has had enough…
Feeling like he has just had a meeting with Mr Desmond and Mr Lawell, Mr Lennon smiles and starts to raise himself from the seat. They open the door of the car and the heat hits Mr Lennon hard. He struggles to get up but manages as he is the first out the car. His handlers both emerge behind him as they escort him, with a hand carefully placed upon each of his elbows.
Wondering what he has done wrong, he mounts the steps, turns to wave goodbye as both his handlers disappear into the limousine. Their disdain is equal to their haste to leave. As Mr Lennon is strapping himself into the airplane seat his two handlers are speeding off to the Presidential Palace.
“I can’t believe he quoted the Spurs.” Says one.
“We cannot go into the Palace with such a man when Asad is a Gooner.” Replies his partner.
“It’s unreal. Are you sure we got the right one?”
“Funny you should say that. I did not expect the hair.”
“I thought he would have looked older.”
“But he was from Glasgow.”
“Played for Northern Ireland.”
“And you sent the plane to the place Cumbernauld to pick him up?”
His partner starts to laugh.
“What is so funny?”
“Cumbernauld! Your little joke. There cannot be such a place. I ask you what it’s called, and you said, “Cumbernauld” like a rhyme. Ridiculous you think I would fall for it.”
“But it is a place. It is an airport. It is where Mr Lennon said he would be.” They both look at each other and realise something is terribly wrong.
“Driver! Turn the car! We have to go back.”
At that same point a man they call Danny is contemplating getting back into his car and going home. He has been standing at the Cumbernauld Aerodrome and feeling like a fanny for hours. Could be worse, he thinks, I usually feel like this at training…
Whilst the author asserts his right to this as an almost original tale, any similarities to persons real or imagined are deliberate. However as nobody called Mr Lennon has ever been on a Syrian peace mission, as far as he is aware, this is clearly fictional and never actual happened, though many of the words were said by a Mr Lennon.
The fact is that during the week Neil Lennon spoke of how peace ought to break out in Scottish football and how they had all suffered enough. Danny Lennon has 4 Northern Ireland B caps, Neil Lennon has loads more for the A team… But that might be… another story…
Posted in: Latest News