Delivered to your inbox every Tuesday, the Old Firm Facts newsletter is a format in which I can continue my relentless agenda against your team without being accused of having “vomit-laden breath” by Edwina Currie (Twitter), patronised by Kaye Adams while Joan Burnie bangs on about firing water cannons filled with disinfectant at football fans (BBC Radio Scotland) or asked if I’m still doing those wee jokes on the internet (family gatherings).

Hardcore fans of the podcast will have noticed that there hasn’t been an episode since Christmas. Starting it was one of the main reasons I went freelance a couple of years ago, but since going full-time at The Herald in September it’s been impossible to devote the necessary time to it. This newsletter isn’t a replacement. As soon as the podcast is back up and running (which it definitely will be), this newsletter will be an extension of it.

In the meantime, this is where you’ll find rants, jokes, short articles and all sorts of features. I’ll be sharing bizarre images from the archives, reliving classic moments, speaking to Scottish football fans, answering questions and basically cramming it full of anything I think is funny, interesting or suitably derogatory towards Malky Mackay, Peter Shilton or Jake Humphrey that week.

So click and sign up if you want that sort of thing 👈

In March 2021, I wrote a piece entitled ‘Rangers reaction shows classism is alive and well when it comes to Scottish football’.

Rangers supporters had ignored social distancing guidelines to celebrate their title win, and Scotland’s dinner party set were rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of condemning football fans.

After suggesting that football fans be sprayed with water cannons filled with disinfectant, former newspaper columnist Joan Burnie told BBC Radio Scotland listeners “It is football. It is men kicking a bit of rubber up and down a pitch. It doesn’t matter.”

Two years on, a presenter from that same station tweeted: “The behaviour of Scottish football fans is getting worse? Discuss. Are readily available drugs partly responsible?”

The Herald:

Fortunately, no-one who works in the media has ever taken drugs.

Beattie, a noted rugbyist, was duly subjected to a brutal ratio (if you’re unfamiliar with Twitter, a ratio is when you say something daft, 18 daft people nod their heads and 243 people point at you while saying ‘check the nick’).

The Herald:

Maybe, just maybe, he has a point.

If they put down the readily available drugs for one bloody minute, St Johnstone fans might collect in excess of 1,000 toys for distribution to disadvantaged children and make donations to the club to help improve disability access, Celtic fans might convince 113 football clubs to sign up for free period products in their grounds, Dunfermline fans might have a ‘Walk and Talk’ group to help support better mental health, Aberdeen fans might help launch a dementia friendly music memories programme, Airdrie fans might send 5000 kits to Africa, Partick Thistle fans might regularly collect for local communities outside games and distribute £8,500 worth of season tickets to asylum seekers, Rangers fans might have regular food bank collections outside their ground, Morton fans might launch a community swap shop aiming to keep people involved in sport during the cost-of-living crisis, Motherwell fans might hold banners at games encouraging men to feel comfortable discussing their mental health, Dundee and Dundee United fans might come together to tackle food poverty, fans across the country might set aside rivalry to share the hashtag ‘HungerDoesntWearClubColours’ when asking fans to donate food, and fans of numerous other Scottish football clubs might be involved in some kind of charity work or community outreach.

Maybe one day these working-class oiks will put down the readily available drugs and start contributing to society!

Anyway, let’s check in with how Scottish rugby fans are being talked to this week.

The Herald:


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