No Dear Reader I haven’t been drinking you’re reading that heading right.
It has been over 2 years since War correspondent Alex Thomson barged on to the Scottish football scene and sticking his big size 12’s right in his mouth.
Comparing the Scottish fitbaw Journalist world scandalously ,defamatory and disgustingly to the racist, segregated Alabama in the deep south of America in the 1950’s and 60’s
Talking about succulent lamb, threats to Journalists and journalists not being able to do their job by tyrannical megalomaniacs
All of this he put firmly at the foot of the doorstep of the big bad mighty Glasgow Rangers.
It has also been over 2 years since Hugh Keevins has been banned by Peter Lawwell from his beloved Celtic park by the powers that be at Celtic.
Hugh Keevins who *some might say one of Scotlands most experienced , well respected and much loved football journalists hasn’t been able to do his job which is to go to any Scottish football ground and deliver a match report for his employees.
*members of the Keevins family.
Alex Thomson did not care a jot he was to busy riding on his white charger tilting at windmills and fighting the civil rights story that had been spun to him by celtic-minded bigots.
In Fact Alex Thomson was one of those spear heading the attack on Keevins.
Listen to this from 16 of April 2012
Alex Thomson attacks, targets, pressurises and interrupts Hugh Keevins at every turn on why he isn’t shouting from the rooftops about prejudicing the Rangers Tax Case.
He then implies that Hugh Keevins has been the leader of some sort of masonic cabal!
That he was ‘Sitting’ on the Story. That he, Hugh Keevins should go around the Daily Record office barking orders and delegating to other journalists.
If Hugh Keevins -who had four priests at his daughters wedding one being his own Brother- is part of this masonic cabal then he better not tell el papa for the threat of being ex-communicated.
No doubt because his ‘Sources’ had informed him that Hugh Keevins Was a ‘Celtic Man’ and was attacking like an ‘Uncle tom sell out’ or should that be an ‘Uncle Tim Sell out’ for not putting all logic and reason behind and tarring Rangers guilty before the verdict was given in the Big Tax case.
Months later in August Hugh Keevins was effectively stopped from doing his job as a Journalist by Celtic Football Club and Peter Lawwell.
Did the NUJ gave care?
DID THEY FUCK!
Did Alex Thomson write a blog about this journalistic suppression of freedom of speech and post pictures of himself gimped up with gaffer tape on his mouth?
DID HE FUCK!
Now I hear what you’re saying dear reader
WE DONT GIVE A FUCK! and what with this Hugh Keevins Loyal pish?
Well bear with me please dear reader.
I know Hugh Keevins is a rabid Rangers hater and has said some scandalous things in his time about Rangers and her fans.
None more sickening and shocking than in 2006 on STV Scotsport Fanzone programme, Keevins made unsavory comments about the Rangers support while discussing the topic of sectarianism.
Keevins claimed that the flags on show pre-match combined with “militaristic” style music amounted to a Nazi style rally.
He went on to say if Mr Murray was serious about eradicating bigotry from the West of Scotland he should scrap the current pre-match entertainment.
Some say that describing Ibrox and the Rangers fans as “the Nuremberg Rally” is an old Press-box joke that Graham Spiers and Gerry Mcnee used for years!
Just none of they had the balls or the sheer stupidity to say it on national TV.
There are a few theory’s why Hugh Keevins was and still is banned from Celtic park and they are all to do with what he thinks is the mismanagement of Celtic football club.
One of the theory’s is that the family of Sean Fallon was upset with an article he did when he suggested that in July 2012 Celtic Snubbed an FAI organised match against Sligo Rovers in Sligo because as Celtic as keevins puts it
“don’t have a window in their calendar”
Keevins also suggests that the reason for this is because
“There may be no commercial advantage in going to Sligo but it would honour a man who gave Celtic a third of his life as an employee and all of it as a fan.
Keevins then goes on to scold Celtics great leader
“Rovers have offered alternative dates. Celtic chief Peter Lawwell should take one of them.”
Sean Fallon if you don’t know is the one below Neil “the ever so excited to be at Celtic park” Doncaster
But that article was in June and Hugh Keevins was still able to report at Celtic park on a Celtic friendly with Inter Milan in July that they played instead of honouring Sean Fallon in Sligo.
The Celtic-minded used the name of the late great Celtic Legend Sean Fallon as a smokescreen to cover what Hugh was really trying to get at.
And it wouldn’t be for the first time.
In an article after his ban Keevins writes about his match report from that friendly game Hugh Keevins says got him the Ban from Celtic park.
In it, I started by saying nostalgia no longer sold tickets and the Celtic fans were in the market for fresh European achievement to entice them.
The crowd who watched the first leg of the Champions League qualifier with HJK Helsinki four days after the game with Inter was roughly three times the attendance from the previous weekend.
I ventured the possibility Peter Lawwell would be squirming in his seat in case anything went wrong against the Finns and I speculated the chief executive would be blamed for complacency in the transfer market in the event of non-qualification for the Champions League group stage.
Celtic Park was 20 per cent short of capacity when Lennon’s side faced Aberdeen last Saturday on the day when the first league flag won for four seasons was unfurled.
And I maintain that might not have been the case if money had been spent on even one new signing in the close season, particularly in the wake of a wage bill reduced by tens of thousands of pounds per week after an exodus of peripheral players.
I did add Mo Bangura was the least threatening striker at Celtic Park since the infamous Wayne Biggins and there’s not a jury in the land who’ll convict over that observation. No offence but I couldn’t retract that statement and keep a straight face.
I was unstinting in my praise of Fraser Forster and Georgios Samaras and finally concluded qualification for the Champions League group stage would change the entire complexion of Celtic’s season, affected as it is by the loss of Rangers from their midst on the domestic front.
All of the above would have been on the minds of the Celtic supporters themselves or at least those who use the evidence of their own eyes and don’t take their view of the team from what they read in the club’s weekly magazine.
None of the above is remotely worthy of Celtic indulging in press censorship and removing from their ground anyone who dares to have formulated an opinion and expressed it.
When I started out in this business 42 years ago the custom and practice at Celtic Park was that press men had to hand in a letter before the game requesting entry to the ground afterwards.
This was basically a note from your sports editor to ask if you could be so humble as to inquire if any of the Lisbon Lions had a sore leg after running over the top of some unsuspecting victim of the club’s greatest-ever side.
It would appear today’s hierarchy would like to maintain the same system of making the Press feel as if they were simply servile note takers instead of fully developed adults with minds of their own.
The match report can be read here
Make up your mind if it is deserved of a life-time banning.
You see Hugh knew there was something rotten in the state of Dalmarnock two years ago and its not the first time he has said it .
For God sake even he who must be obeyed is agreeing with what Hugh said now in the recent fire fighting interview after Celtics champions league exit to an average Maribor side.
Its not even the first time he has been the victim of censorship escorted off the premises and been the viccously attacked by Celtic as we will find out.
But lets get one thing out the way first.
Hugh Kevins IS A LIAR!
You might think that this would be a damming verdict in the journalism trade but in the world of Scottish fitbaw journalism it is par for the course.
It is commonplace for a Journalist to say they support a team that they dont in real life and Hugh Keevins vocational team is that he is a life long Bankie.
Hugh Keevins team is CELTIC.
Hugh Keevins is a Celtic man.
But as I say Keevins is not alone in playing this charade.
Hugh Keevins loves his team with a passion and he will move heaven and earth when he see’s it being mismanaged.
In 1994 when the old Celtic board of the whytes and Kellys where running Celtic into the ground.
It was Hugh Keevins that was moonlighting at Clyde Super scoreboard as prospective buyer Fergus McCann’s personal PR man.
But even wee Fergus wasn’t immune from Keevins when Shug thought that Rangers were going to pull away from his beloved Celtic.
In November 1998 in a scathing article called
Fergus and Jo have to follow Jock out the door; End of the trail for Three Cowboys.
Jock Brown, Fergus McCann and Josef Venglos had turned into the Three Cowboys. And now the Hole in the Wall Gang has to be disbanded altogether.
That the sudden departure of Celtic’s general manager Jock Brown is only one third of the action needed.
I referred to Brown, Fergus McCann and Josef Venglos as smash it, grab it and run after Celtic had failed to qualify for the final stages of the Champions League.
Smash it has now gone. The other two MUST follow before Celtic’s ambition can start to match that of their deadliest rivals at Ibrox.
There to hear the news of Brown’s farewell was the PR guru who had been asked to privately canvas journalists and discover if the general manager’s image could be reinvented.
I was one of those asked if the public relations disaster could be given an image makeover.
The discussions were supposed to be confidential. But I decided to go public on the subject this weekend BEFORE Brown walked.
Why should I have helped Celtic to secretly make good their mistakes while their fans were enduring a very open humiliation.
Now Brown has gone. And McCann is going. Venglos would be better off arranging a removal van as well. He will NOT be part of the new Celtic.
It appears Hugh Keevins HATED Jock Brown calling him
He was without doubt the biggest disaster ever to be inflicted on Celtic over the course of the club’s 110 year history.
And that the oxford educated lawyer Jock Brown should be replaced by Billy McNeill?
Maybe Jock Brown wasn’t Celtic-minded to be controlling the purse strings for the self proclaimed Irish Catholic club for Hugh?
Jock Browns employer former Celtic owner Fergus McCann knew the score when he famously quipped that Celtic-minded meant Roman Catholic bigot.
In April 2000 Hugh Keevins wrote how he incurred the wrath of Rangers hater Matt McGlone in his capacity at the Celtic View because….
“the latest edition of the Celtic View, which devoted far more space than could possibly be justified on a piece denouncing me for my coverage of a meeting at Carfin Celtic Supporters’ Club last weekend.
None of the main points in that story was contested in any way.
Not the fact that Celtic’s chief executive Allan MacDonald told an audience the club was pounds £18million in debt.
Nor the fact that he had resisted calls from his employers to sell Henrik Larsson and instead had put him on an extended contract.
Not even the bit about Fergus McCann having reneged on a promise to leave Celtic £1.5m when he departed the club so they could partly finance the building of a youth academy.
Almost two pages of a publication which is supposed to be informative were taken up by condemning my story on two separate points.
MacDonald was not standing when he addressed the fans – he was sitting.
The chief executive did not speak to 350 people – there were, in fact, precisely 300 fans present.
I apologise unreservedly for failing to be accurate on which position Mr MacDonald assumed and for swelling the attendance beyond its true size.
The author of the piece is a self-styled Celtic saviour from the fans’ uprising in 1994 which ousted the old board and installed McCann.
Now his function in life would appear to be sustained attacks on the press in Celtic’s publications, with particular reference to myself.
This does not bother me, but I am not his enemy.
We know you’re not Hugh. This is the infamous Four Priests article . Keevins starts off the article with.
LAST weekend I took a day off from football because of a more important occasion.
I walked my daughter down the aisle on her wedding day – a nuptial mass celebrated by four priests, one my brother.
This was Hugh’s dog whistle tactic to ra sellick faithful. He is saying don’t shoot the messenger I’m one of you!
Hugh goes on.
The truth is and it’s the adversary of the Celtic supporters who are demonstrating the classic symptoms of denial where their club’s current difficulties are concerned. Debts and bad form are not as important as the fact the press are using them to attack the poor and the oppressed of the East End of Glasgow.
So goes the party line from the man who used Wednesday night’s match programme to spout the usual nonsense about Celtic as a cultural form.
The View scribe said in his epistle to the supporters: “And when you have a culture-type following more is expected from the football club than just turning up on a Saturday to get a result.”
What mind-boggling nonsense.
What else is expected? The healing of the sick? The end of famine in Ethiopia?
Celtic is a football team in a results-based sport.
No-one can deny the majority of their following is from the Catholic community but there is no need to insult the rest who take their guidance from elsewhere or berate reporters accused of betraying the culture.
It seems they’ll consider being told Celtic have been slipping away from prominence for 10 years – but not when they’re being told by what is known in these circles as “one of their own.”
That’s the truth, whether it comes from one of your own or someone else.
But the best was yet to come -yes even better than Saint Matt McGlone’s sermon to the huddled unwashed masses- a month later in may of 2000.
Wait until you read this magnificent comedy gold tale of press censorship from the Sunday Mail and I quote.
DALGLISH’S BOUNCER IS A LIAR AND GUN RAIDER; Oh, and his name isn’t Finbar O’Brannigan .. it’s Willie Graham.
THE bouncer who threw Sunday Mail sports writer Hugh Keevins out of Kenny Dalglish’s Celtic press conference is a convicted armed robber.
Finbar O’Brannigan, 44, held up a post office worker and a shopkeeper at gunpoint in a 17-day reign of terror.
The vice-president of the Celtic Supporters Association Social Club claims he comes from Dublin.
But he is really Glasgow east end gang ringleader William Graham and has convictions for serious assault and police assault.
On Friday, he barred Hugh, one of Britain’s most respected sports journalists, from an official Celtic Press conference hosted by Dalglish at the social club.
Hugh’s “crime” was to have criticised the way Celtic was being run.
At the time, Dalglish refused to condemn O’Brannigan, saying: “It’s no’ ma premises, it’s no’ ma hoose.”
Celtic bosses will be dismayed to learn that police intelligence sources link Graham to numerous business dealings with the Belfast and Dublin underworlds.
He has strong connections with Republican sympathisers on both sides of the Irish Sea.
The burly six-footer was a ringleader with an infamous east end collection of 1970s thugs who called themselves The Parkhead Border Gang. Members included gangster William Lyle, who was murdered outside Parkhead Forge Shopping Centre in July 1995.
When we confronted O’Brannigan yesterday, he denied his real name was William Graham.
He even denied he was a Celtic fan and said: “I support Ireland.
“I don’t live here. I am from O’Connell Street in Dublin.”
But when passers-by addressed him as Willie, he cheerily acknowledged their greeting.
Wearing an Ireland football team top and a Borussia Dortmund body warmer, he was unrepentant about his actions. But he was less than forthcoming about his murky past.
He is known locally as a Celtic fanatic who regularly travelled abroad supporting the team in Europe.
But he was banned from one pub in the east end of Glasgow because of his conduct and Republican sympathies.
He has a string of convictions for breach of the peace, police assault, and serious assault going back to the 1970s.
In October 1979, he was convicted of armed robbery at a shop and another armed raid just 17 days later at a post office.
The boss of the leather goods store he raided was felled by the butt of a sawn-off shotgun. The robberies netted more than £3000.
Police say they go “mob handed” when they tackle O’Brannigan because of his reputation for violence against officers.
One experienced officer said: “When the call goes out to arrest Graham, you never go with less than four.”
East end residents recall a bizarre incident 10 years ago after a Hallowe’en party in a pub owned by Celtic legend Danny McGrain. O’Brannigan was found drunk in the street, dressed in police uniform
He has also been associated with the local Billy Reid Republican Flute Band and has worked at Celtic Park as a steward and on the ground staff.
Hugh Keevins was barred by the thug because of articles criticising the way Celtic are being run.
Dalglish supported the decision, saying: “I wouldn’t invite him into my house either, by the way.
“If the guy’s a member of the Press and he has upset someone, he’s entitled to be barred.”
O’Brannigan led Hugh from the building into the car park then kept guard to make sure he didn’t get back in. He said yesterday: “I asked him to leave nicely. There was no aggro.
“He is not welcome in the club. I am the vice-president and I have the power to make that decision
“I don’t like the things that he is writing about Celtic in the paper, pure and simple.”
When we contacted the social club yesterday, they confirmed individual members have the power to ban any non-members and refused to condemn O’Brannigan.
So we have a reporter yet again being a victim of censorship and being physically manhandled by an east end of Glasgow gangster with contacts to the IRA.
Where were Paul Holleran and the NUJ?
Where was Alex Thomson?
What follows is an edited phone interview about the Willie Graham scandal between rabid Celtic fan and follower of Rangers Tax Case Sunday Mails reporter Charles Lavery
And Celtic’s Director of Football Operations, Kenny Dalglish,
Dalglish: “Is this about Friday?”
Sunday Mail: “It’s to do with Willie Graham and a story we’re putting in.”
SM: “Finbar O’Brannigan, real name Willie Graham, armed robber with a string of previous convictions.”
KD: “Why do you need to speak to me?”
SM: “You are the man who backed him up outside the association.”
K.D: “I never backed him up. It’s nothing to do with me.”
SM: “Did you say you wouldn’t have Hugh Keevins in your house either? Is that not backing Graham’s view?”
KD: “I never got involved in any conversation with the lad you mentioned and Hugh Keevins, and if you try and imply I did, I’ll sue the arse aff ye.”
SM: “Listen Kenny, what you’ve said about Hugh Keevins, saying you wouldn’t let him in your house either, do you accept you said that?”
KD: “Listen, you write what you want to write tomorrow, right, and I’ll let whoever I want in my house.”
SM: “Do you understand that the vice-president of the association is an armed robber with a string of previous convictions for violence?
KD: “Ask the association. Hey, I went there to have a press conference and the guy didn’t let your guy in. It’s nothing whatsoever to do with me.”
SM: “But that’s playing with words. You and I both know the association is very closely linked to Parkhead, this man is a former steward there.”
KD: “Don’t play with my words.”
SM: “Is Celtic happy that an armed robber is vice-president of the association?”
K.D.: “The association is a separate entity to Celtic Football Club.”
SM: “Are there going to be any moves taken to remove him, or are you going to ask the association to remove him?”
K.D: “We don’t appoint people, other than at Celtic Football Club. I’ve got to go and take this other call, goodbye.”
In an article in October 2012 again in the Sunday mail. Hugh Keevins boasts about the Kenny Dalglish incident.
THERE is a school of thought within the journalistic profession that bans are good. This is true.
In 2000 I had the pleasure of being thrown out of the Celtic Supporters Association’s premises in the shadow of the ground that then housed a team managed, on a temporary basis, by Kenny Dalglish.
The reason for my sudden dismissal before Dalglish’s weekly pre-match press conference on a Friday afternoon was that I had been guilty of writing a number of pieces of a negative nature concerning Kenny’s stewardship of the club.
The price that had to be paid for pointing this out on what was an apparently irritating basis for the blessed Finbar was ejection from the supporters’ premises and entry into the land of the banned.
Martyrdom is always a comfort to sports editors with an appreciation of a good story, so the first instruction received from central command was to stay where I was until a photographer got there to capture the moment for posterity.
This led, unkindly I thought, to one of my comrades-at-arms, Scotland On Sunday’s Graham Spiers, describing me in print as looking “clapped-out” when the snap of me appearing as pained and aggrieved as possible was printed in the Sunday Mail that weekend.
Celtic’s then chief executive Allan MacDonald had appointed Dalglish while confessing Kenny had been his hero.
Dalglish’s appointment of John Barnes as first-team coach while having had no previous experience of working with any team at Celtic’s level, was as ridiculous as it was shortlived.
Where have we seen this movie before?
The marriage of inconvenience was eventually dissolved when Barnes’ team was knocked out of the Scottish Cup by Inverness Caley Thistle amid shambolic scenes at Celtic Park.
Dalglish, by then known as the club’s director of golf, had to be recalled, ever so reluctantly, from La Manga to take charge of operations as Barnes was sacked and the club went on an emergency footing. Anyone not writing about what a state of disrepair Celtic had fallen into would have been guilty of dereliction of duty, and the story that was a dripping roast continued to keep on giving.
Rafael Scheidt, the only Brazilian unable to play football, had been signed, sight unseen, in one of the costliest and most catastrophic errors of judgment ever witnessed in the transfer market.
And in the last act of a desperate man, Dalglish had decided to hold the first press conference ever staged by Celtic in a pub.
Baird’s Bar is a supporters’ haven in the East End of Glasgow which would later have its opening hours curtailed by Strathclyde Police on the basis that the place was a threat to good public order.
The now desperate attempt to keep the support on board in the face of a season that had long since capsized took everyone to the Celtic Supporters Association’s premises on London Road.
The gentlemen of the Press were asked to wait in an anteroom before the manager discussed his thoughts on the weekend in prospect. That is to say we went into the room off the bar where the patrons could play snooker and discuss why Scheidt had managed two starts in the first team in exchange for a reputed fee of £5million, with as much again going on his wages.
But I didn’t get to have social discourse with Dalglish because I was frogmarched out in front of his dismissive presence and left on the pavement to await collection. It was the Daily Mail’s Ian McGarry who pointed out to fulminating Finbar that he had done me a favour by making a small man with spectacles from Clydebank a cause celebre.
The would-be Mister O’Brannigan’s response was that he “Couldnae give a f***,” because I was leaving, no matter what.
Most boys born in the West of Scotland dream of hearing the Celtic or Rangers fans chant their name during a match. I got my wish at Dens Park when a briefly revived Celtic were 3-1 up on Dundee.
“Hughie Keevins, you’re a w****r,” sang the Celtic fans with unconfined glee while Dalglish, soon to be relieved of his duties, exhorted them to increase the volume.
On the night Caley Thistle humiliated Celtic in the cup some fans had gathered outside the ground to kick the cars of the players who’d embarrassed them as they drove away at speed.
Personally, I always thought I was due a vote of thanks from the more discerning fans for force-feeding them the information that Celtic needed better management than they had, regardless of how brilliant Dalglish had been as a player.
But being banned is like being a one-hit wonder. No matter how much time elapses, and regardless of what you’ve done since, that highly-publicised moment of exclusion remains your signature tune.
You are defined as the reprehensible person who dared to say that there might be a flaw in the idea of having someone in charge who was lurching from one disaster to the next with the unsteady gait of a drunk man chasing a balloon. And the opprobrium has stayed with me.
But, there I was, a man knocking on 50 who’d toiled away to no-one’s great notice for 30 years in newspapers suddenly thrust into the limelight. The man who had the ineffable cheek to say King Kenny’s crown had slipped from his head and fallen round his ankles, causing injury to Celtic.
One year after Dalglish had gone Martin O’Neill became only the second manager to lead Celtic to a Treble. Now he’s gone, and so are Gordon Strachan and Tony Mowbray.
But I’m still here.” Keevins crowed.
Maybe even the Celtic great Kenny Dalglish wasn’t Celticminded enough for Shug?
Yeah Celticminded enough to score goals and sweat blood for the hoops on the pitch but not celtic-minded enough to get behind the controls and spending cash at the big table at the Emptihad?.
Yes, I believe Hugh Keevins believes there is something rotten in the state of Dalmarnock once again and there is not a thing Hugh can do about if as hes banned from Celtic Park
Shug is hurting big time that hes not inside the tent pissing out.
He hasn’t even got a newspaper to scribble in now.
Maybe his Clyde 1 super scoreboard colleague Albion Rovers fan, ahem Mark Guidi could help?
The most hurting thing for the Celtic-minded Ned Flanders look-a-like is that when it comes there wont be a Fergus McCann to come over the hill to save his beloved club this time.