Anyone But Celtic by Paul Larkin. An Eye Opener
Paul Larkins third book on the problems of Scottish football, and its causes, is released tomorrow.
This one focuses on the men in the middle, though as you read the book, you realise that they aren’t in the middle at all.
They’re all skewed over to one side.
But we knew that anyway.
We were all aware that the referees had it in for us, weren’t we ?
We can all cite countless examples of the man in back earning his free lunch at the lodge, can’t we ?
Of course we can, but does anyone know why this happens ? Are they all just Rangers fans, or is it something a little more sinister ?
A little more anti Celtic than pro Rangers.
Paul Larkin has had a sniff around, and he’s come up with the reasons for what can only be termed institutuional bias. but a bias that is not simply in favour of one club, but entirely against another.
He examines the institute-Lanarkshire Refereeing Asscociation-and he examines the bias.
He does it in such a way that is easy to follow, and with a book like this, the reader has to take the writer on trust.
Some writers think the best way to do this is to add little footnotes and source references in the text, which breaks the readers concentration, and lessens the effect of the narrative.
Larkin places his sources at the back, and takes the reader with him through a tale of dark deeds whilst asking you to trust him. This way, the reader becomes a listener, and the narrator only pauses to tug your arm occasionally to make sure you’re listening, for he is quite passionate about his tale.
Instead of merely listing all the dark deeds against Celtic over the years, the author explains why they happened, and more importantly who was behind it, and the thinking behind them.
A lot of work has gone into uncovering what goes on behind closed doors, and in the closed minds of those charged with policing the game of football in Scotland.
Most of us are aware that one or two within the Scottish football authorities “had it in ” for Celtic, but even I was a little surprised at how deep it goes, which explains the authors enthusiasm.
Its easy to read, and whilst it contains a few surprises, you, in turn, will be surprised at just how much power was concentrated in the hands of certain individuals, and why Scottish referees are not rated amongst the best in the world, and indeed, nor will they ever be.
But we knew that, right ?
But after reading this you will know why this is the case. And thats important, much more important than anyone will tell you, because it emphasises the need for change not only at the top of the game, but all the way through it.
Its his third book on Scottish football, following By Any Means Necessary and The Asterisk Years, both of which are good enough as stand alone publications, as is Anyone But Celtic, but when you put the three together , perhaps read over a long weekend, you have an enlightening but somewhat dismal picture of how Scottish football is run, and maybe it isn’t such a surprise that we sit , in 2017 at a crossroads where the game is concerned.
With the authorities determined to continue to keep things the way they were, this book comes at a time when reading it, and the other two in the trilogy, should rekindle the desire to fight for fairness in the game, and a complete clean out of those who have poisoned it over the years.
It’s out tomorrow.
And the timing could not have been better.
You can get it here, or in a bookshop, or on amazon.
On the 14th of august, you can get the DVD
If you follow the author on twitter, you’ll get further information on his other books, and all three in this series should be on every Celtic fans bookshelf. Follow him at @Paul Larkin74
If you read this on a train, or a plane, or even the beach, cover the cover. I guarantee you someone will ask you why you are shaking your head, and could you please stop that tutting noise….