Date: 25th September 2021
“Mr Doncaster the fairground assassin!”
Donald Stewart’s 2nd weekly SFSA blog
Things look bleak… Takings are down… and the boys from the “Significant Five” want to know what is occurring…
Picture the scene…
Five men in suits. Black suits. Sovereign rings upon their fingers. In a darkened room. All you can see are knuckles and all you can smell is sweat and weight.
Nobody is on the Slim Fast Diet in this room.
The fairground cartel, currently in Burntisland before a week of festivities in Ayrshire is losing cash. The wonga is going the same way as the website bearing its name did.
Nobody is happy.
Matilda Maxwell, so called because he was king of the Waltzer’s is head of the cartel. He is most unhappy because he is losing face. He does not like losing face and the cartel needs something done about it. They brought in the Greek to help out, but he had a shaky start and is starting to find some kind of excuses when he loses. There ain’t no excusing for losing is Matilda’s mantra.
It is tattooed on his upper arm where nobody but he and the misses, his six girlfriends and the wee masseuse off Leith Walk gets to gaze upon it.
It’s not like he has been lazy and doing nothing. After all he had already tried out the Scouse lad and he had been good to begin with. There was plenty of action coming from him when he had started but recently things had been going a bit mental. Scouse had blasted the Greek when they eventually met but even since then results when he had been visited by that French mob had not been good.
It was time to challenge The Don. The Don was the enforcer, the Don who cast his eye over all and manged it all. The Significant Five were here to talk about him. They expected to be heard. The weight of expectation weighed heavy in the room.
Round the table are The Significant Five: The Aberdeen Glass Boy, the Twa Frae the Dee, McPike and The Latest at United, Jambo John and Hibbie Harry. They all have a reputation to place on the table and they are no happy with the Don. They want change and they want it noo. They want to be out the shadows and better seen, they want a better return for what they are putting in, want changes in the way things are run and want new things to do and offer the punters.
The air is tense when in walks The Don. The Significant Five are stunned. They did not expect this.
Matilda Maxwell. For he is in charge, managing this summit with an iron fist turns to see The Don stop in the darkness and as The Don casts an eye over all assembled. Matilda takes a moment to contemplate running away from this confrontation which could get quite nasty.
The Don casts an eye in his direction and asks, “Can we no switch the bloody light on? I can’t see a bloody thing in here?”
There is a grunt form the table and The Don casts an eye back to the noise and tries to smile. He thinks it is a winning smile. Nobody else thinks it is a winning smile and everyone thinks he is a bit of an eejit, but nobody publicly likes to call him out. Privately though…
Collectively there is a nod towards one chair which is directly opposite the five men sitting at the table.
The Don casts an eye over the chair. He takes out a white hankie. He cleans the chair, mutters something about the dust being, “terrible for my lungs” and then sits gingerly upon it.
Maxwell begins, “We all know why we are here. You all want change, and we are here to listen.”
Everyone nods and thinks this this is keech, they don’t want change. But nobody says it.
The Don casts an eye over the table and the fifty knuckles as they tighten. There is no spokesperson for the five sitting at the table and they mutter collectively before a single voice announces, “Aye.”
Maxwell realises this might be tricky but sees an opportunity to turn things in his favour. “The Don and I want to hear what you want to change. We are here to listen to you. “
There is a general muttering between the five of them before a single voice form the darkness says, “Aye.”
Maxwell is emboldened by this and asks directly, “What are is the most important thing you want to say.”
There is a heightened muttering between the five and none of them seem to have a clear idea about what they collectively think. The Aberdeen Glass Boy is heard talking over Jambo John before both of the boys from The Dee start arguing with Hibbie Harry.
The Don casts his eye over the noise and smirks.
He looks at Maxwell and they share the same look.
Just then, the door swings open and standing there are The Greek and The Scouse. Knowing that this meeting was happening was one thing. Being excluded from it was another. They are both pragmatic but a little bit livid.
They walk towards the scene as the rest of them have a sharp intake of breath.
The Scouse starts the talking. “Right, you lot here is what we are going to do.”
The Greek takes up the chatter, “You lot,” he points to the five behind the desk, “Are going to announce a review.”
The Scouse turns to The Don, “And you are going to welcome it.”
Everyone is stunned into silence, and they all nod compliantly.
The Greek keeps it going, “And we are going to make sure one thing.”
The Don casts his eye over the scene again before asking, “What’s that?”
The Scouse responds as both the Greek and he start to walk back out the room. “What we have always done.”
Maxwell pipes up before they leave, “And what do I do?”
The Greek turns and answers, “Apparently what you have always done – exactly as you are told.”
And with that they have gone.
The Don casts an eye over the devastation in the room, rises and sorts his clothing before announcing, “I declare this meeting well and truly over gentlemen. We would like to thank you for your contribution to today’s proceedings and we are now ready to progress onto the next phase of the plan. I look forward to welcoming your announcement.”
With a whimper they all rise, leave and Maxwell and The Don cast an eye over their departure with a smile. They do love it when a plan comes together…
Whilst the author asserts his right to this as an original tale, there is no evidence that anyone called Matilda Maxwell has any tattoos and is under the thumb of a Greek, a Scouse or the Don, unless you know differently, therefore this is clearly a work of fiction.
The fact is that during the week, it was reported that five Scottish Premiership clubs – Aberdeen, Hearts, Hibernian, Dundee and Dundee United have commissioned independent advisers to conduct a review of the SPFL and identify “significant additional revenues for the benefit of all” The “strategic and holistic review” will cover four main points: Commercial growth; The SPFL brand; SPFL structure, governance, organisation, resources and competition; and Strategic projects. Many have tried hard not to quote the French, plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose in response as we await significant change so we do… aye we do…”
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