A saucy acronym that lovers write on valentines day just like S.W.A.L.K
But it could also be used to describe the special relationship between Celtic and Norwich.
I was watching the transfer deadline day or as its known in Scotland these days as MONDAY.
Whilst I was childishly tittering at what appeared to be a purple marital aid being thrust into the face of a Sky sports presenter outside Everton’s Training complex. My mind was cast back to transfer deadline day a couple of years back.
That night I sat down to watch that Excellent Transfer deadline day hosted by the equally excellent Sky sports Jim White, as a neutral spectator.
Since my club couldn’t buy any players because of an illegal transfer embargo as ruled by a real law court, the court of sessions.
A sanction, the club were blackmailed in accepting so that they could be allowed to play football in the bottom rung of the Scottish football establishment.
T’was a bit of a damp squib. With only David Beckham’s move to PSG and Peter Odemwingie’s chaotic embarrassing saga grabbing the headlines.
But there was one that grabbed my attention. As I have said before that pantomime season is all but over but there was still one set to unfold.
Gary Hooper attempted “transfer” from Celtic and Norwich City.
It started in December 2012 with Hooper still having 18 months left to run on his contract and Hooper snubbing a new one.
In the media we were told that Juventus were emerging as shock contenders for Celtic hotshot Gary Hooper. With Liverpool, Aston Villa, Sunderland, Tottenham and Queens Park Rangers have all registered an interest in the 24-year-old.
As tranfer deadline day was approaching Keith Jackson and Craig Swan stepped in with the EXCLUSIVE that GARY HOOPER was standing by his phone last night for a deadline-busting call from boyhood heroes Spurs.
As Norwich put together a third bid for the Celtic striker the first being £5million and the second £6m.
The third package was reported around the £8m mark but Norwich will have to put at least £6m of it down in hard cash to have any chance of getting Celtic around the table.
Hooper ended up signing for Norwich for £5million in the summer.
Who were the main protagonists in this charade you ask?
Well player one was David McNally and player two was Peter Lawwell.
We all know of the dealings Peter Lawwell is the chief executive of the Scottish Premier League and football club Celtic.
What of the other player in this charade David McNally?
Well David McNally is the chief executive of Norwich City Football Club.
He came to Norwich City in 2009 after being at Fulham for 4 years but before Fulham David McNally Sales and Marketing Director with Celtic for four years working alongside former Norwich City player and boss Martin O’Neill.
At Celtic as Sales and Marketing Director McNally in 2003 was involved in such money making schemes as offering CELTIC fans the chance of a dinner date with Henrik Larsson – but only if they spend £6,000 on their 15.9% interest rate club credit card.
From a club that set up the The Poor Children’s Dinner Table to feed the poor.
What would Brother Walfrid say?
Well a spokesman for Citizens Advice said:
“Our concern would be that fans may be tempted to use the card for things they used to pay for by cash, and thus potentially accumulate more debt if they don’t clear the balance in time. Consumer debt generally is now the single biggest issues that people bring to their local Citizens Advice Bureau – and credit card and debt is a major component of this.”
Maybe that’s why the Green Brigade are collecting for Food Banks now?
At Fulham in 2007 David McNally was given the rather dubious title of SPECIAL ‘FOOTBALL GENIUS OF THE YEAR’ AWARD by Dave Kidd from The People.
Dave Kidd writes
Step out of the shadows, David McNally, publicity-shy managing director of Fulham for these master-strokes …
1) Panicking and sacking Chris Coleman five games from the end of last season after the Welshman’s four years of over-achieving on a shoestring.
2) Giving caretaker Lawrie Sanchez the manager’s job on the back of one victory against Liverpool reserves and sanctioning an astonishing pounds 26million of spending on second-rate players.
3) Axeing Sanchez the day before the Christmas programme started, leaving the team rudderless during the busiest time of the year.
Under David McNally as chief executive Norwich had 2 money spinning friendlies with Celtic within months of each other in 2012. One a 2 0 defeat in norwich win in May and one 2 months later at Celtic park in July.
You might remember that parkhead game from this Green Brigade banner.
The SFA charged Celtic of breaking four separate rules over the incident – allowing the banner into the ground, letting it be displayed, not removing it and letting the banner be unfurled for a second time without taking action.”
Seriously get me Norris McWhirter but is that a record for the same two clubs playing each other in friendlies in such a short space of time?
These two friendlies were coincidentally held in the summer when the SPL lost as everyone now accepts as its cash cow RANGERS!
Those were not the first ‘Glamour friendlies’ involving Celtic and a club David McNally was employed with.
In 2005 As Fulham commercial director McNally Celtic played at craven cottage.
There’s been a whole host of lets just say average at best players linked between the two clubs off the top of my head are of course big Malky “Divercity training” MacKay
Then there was Peter “pointer” Grant
Who was also Manager at Carrow Road then Norwich would really be “linked” to some Celtic dross
He allegedly wanting Celtic’s Derek Riordan in 2006.
Also in 2006 CELTIC rejected a £600,000 Norwich bid for Stephen Pearson. Lucky Norwich
In 2007 Goal keeper DAVID MARSHALL went on loan to Norwich eventually signing and staying until 2009.
. In 2008 CELTIC defender John Kennedy join Norwich City on loan. John Kennedy of course only played 29 games in 10 years at Celtic due to disgusting challenge on his Scotland debut.
2009 CHRIS KILLEN’S (yip I dont know who he is either) The 27-year-old didn’t get much of a chance to do that under Gordon Strachan, who shipped him out on loan to Norwich in January
In 2013 Beram Kayal was suposodly on the verge of a £5 million deal as well as being the year Gary Hooper finally becoming a Canary.
In January 2014 CRAIG SWAN again with another Daily Record exclusive that Celtic fan and Norwich player Robert Snodgrass was linked to Celtic that month.
Lennon had watched Snodgrass in action and Norwich’s would be will to talk to Celtic if they met their asking price of £6million.
£6million that would’ve been with in Peter Lawwell price range of 6 to 8 million, right?
The special relationship between the club in recent years extends to managers as well.
Martin O’Neil Was Manager at Norwich before eventally ending up at Celtic. Peter Grant was Norwich manager from 2006 to 2007 Paul Lambert from 2009 to 2012.
ex Celts Malkay Mackay and Neil Lennon was supposedly lined up for the job. With the bookies favourite being Neil Lennon until another Neil, Neil Adams got the job.
Although Norwich wasn’t founded with any Religious motives like Celtic.
They are owned by deeply devout Roman Catholic CELEBRITY chef Delia Smith.
Who in 2004 arranged a Roman Catholic Mass at Norwich City Football Club to mark the team’s first top-flight game in nine years.
It was the first time in history that a service took place inside Carrow Road, the home of the Canaries.
Delia Smith, the club’s majority shareholder, first thought of the idea after spotting many Norwich fans in the city’s Catholic cathedral after games.
“I am very much hoping it will be well attended. If it is, we might be able to have it two or three times a season.”
Delia Smith – the club’s majority shareholder and dubbed “Mother Delia” by some fans – went on.
“Being a Catholic myself, I had dreamed of having a Mass at Carrow Road. When I go to the Roman Catholic cathedral and sit down, I always see a lot of Norwich City shirts. It means a lot to me – at Carrow Road we are a community and having a service is part of that.”
The service was conducted by Father Tony McSweeney, a Roman Catholic parish priest at St George’s, Sprowston Road, who is the third chaplain at the football club.
Several important members of the Canaries’ squad are practicing Catholics. He knows Malky Mackay, Philip Mulryne and Paul McVeigh, who are all “at Mass regularly”, worshiping in his parish according to Fr McSweeney.
In fact the players helped to get him involved in the club together with Delia, who asked him to be a chaplain after she gave a lecture earlier this year at his church.
Fr McSweeney said
“I myself always keep an eye on the results but I don’t have time to go to matches. However, my curate is a season ticket holder.”
Fr McSweeney says his role at Norwich City “means being available, being there, really being able to walk alongside people, which is what Christ did.”
He sees his appointment as Norwich FC chaplain as a logical step. “A lot of my parishioners are fans, and the ground is in my parish: it seemed a natural progression,”
Ms Smith said that her hugely successful book, How to Cook was inspired by a Catholic priest who told her he did not know how to boil an egg.
In a recent list of the most important Roman Catholic figures in Britain, Ms Smith was ranked in the top 50.
In February 2013 Father Tony McSweeney was arrested over a VIP paedophile ring In a dawn swoop by police, he is suspected of helping to send vulnerable kids to be abused at Elm Guest House, an ex-guest house in Barnes, South West London, once used as lodgings by pop stars (son you’ll be a bachelor bhoy) and senior politicians.
Malky MacKay’s Norfolk Spiritual leader Father McSweeney was charged with three counts of indecent assault, three of making indecent images of a child, one count of taking indecent images of a child and one of possessing indecent images of a child following an investigation into abuse alleged to have taken place at Grafton Close Children’s Home in Hounslow, west London.
A spokesman for the Diocese of East Anglia confirmed: “Tony McSweeney, a priest of the Diocese of East Anglia, is currently assisting police with their inquiries into historical allegations of the sexual abuse of children.”
The Head teacher of Notre Dame High School, Brian Conway, also released a statement after the arrest of Father Tony McSweeney – one of the school’s former directors.
“Following the news of the arrest of Fr Tony McSweeney I would like to make the following statement on behalf of the whole school:
Notre Dame High School regards the safeguarding of children as of paramount importance, we fully vet all members of staff, Governors and volunteers using thorough CRB/DBS checking systems, and the school’s safeguarding procedures are graded as outstanding by OFSTED. We have highly effective systems for dealing with safeguarding allegations and in such cases will always involve the correct authorities, including the police.
It must be stressed that no former or current student or member of staff at Notre Dame High School is involved in this investigation which allegedly took place in London during the 1970s and 80s.
I can confirm that Fr Tony McSweeney has voluntarily resigned his position on the Governing Body as a Director of the Academy and has no further involvement with the school.”
I don’t think it’s any secret that David McNally is a life long Celtic fan. But he seems to be the worse kind if his twitter account is anything to go by.
You see of the 19500 accounts FOLLOWING him he only follows 160 back one of those follow backs is rabid Rangers and United Kingdom hating tarred with a sickening sectarian brush bigot Phil Mac Giolla Bhain.
Something I forget to mention was when David McNally went to Norwich city as Chief executive. He was taking the place of a Certain Neil Doncaster who after being the Chief executive at Norwich from 2001 to 2009 of course went on to take up his position north of the border as SPL Chief
Its a small world after all.
By all accounts some Norwich fans seem to think they are both useless
Though some stick up for McNally
How lucky are we to have Neil Doncaster at the head of the SPFL?