OF THE YEAR
There are many words in the language consisting
of four letters which would amply describe the recipient of
this award but - as the press would laughably say - this is
a family website. So prat will do just fine.
Among the contenders are the usual suspects
- Terry Venables, Kevin Keegan, Alan Shearer - but
they've all failed spectacularly enough in their own way to
warrant no more than a joint bronze medal.
Our Runners-up award goes to a man most won't
have heard of - Ian Levitt, Professor of Scottish History
at the University of Central Lancashire. In the otherwise
excellent 'Oxford Companion to Scottish History' Prof Levitt
describes the 1960 European Cup Final at Hampden Park as
"infamous." Now either the learned gent doesn't
know much about the game or he's just an extremely bad proofreader.
But to label one of the best matches ever played on Scottish
soil in such a demeaning manner earns him the silver gong.
But the runaway winner is the gentleman in academic
robes. This is GEOFFREY RICHMOND, Chairman of Bradford
City. Richmond has welcomed the proposed Old Firm move to
the "Phoenix League" in glowing terms and even went
as far as to say that he thought other Scottish clubs would
want to see them go as it would introduce greater competition
into the Scottish league.
Well, pardon us Mr Richmond. But hasn't the
same team won SEVEN of the nine English Premierships
since that League was established? So much for competition.
And what a treat it would be for Rangers or Celtic to play
Bradford. Imagine it. Playing in a small ground against a
dour team which has Eoin Jess and Gary Locke in the side and
has a management set-up of Jim Jefferies, Billy Brown and
Walter Kidd. What an exciting difference that would make,
Geoffrey Richmond, the Bradford City chairman
pictured at an honorary degree ceremony.
Richmond believes he leads one of the true
giants of the modern game - a club that has spent the grand
total of two seasons in the top flight of English football
in the past eighty years.
Their only major honour in the game is winning
the FA Cup over ninety years ago. They are currently
fifteenth out of 24 in the English First Division
and their gates are on a par with Aberdeen or Hearts
Yet Richmond has the gall to claim that it would
be good for those clubs- and the rest of the Scottish game
- if the Old Firm moved south. He reckons the others might
then have a chance of winning something.
We reckon that if the 34 clubs currently ranked
above his team in England were to decamp to another country
then it would make things more competitive for Mr Richmond
and his team.
Who knows, they might even win something for
the first time since the Czar of Russia invited the
Kaiser (and we don't mean Beckenbauer) to spend
his summer hols on the Volga.
In the meantime we think he should exchange
his mortar board for a dunce's cap.