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Celtic heap pressure on their young protege Karamoko Dembele as Manchester City circle

Transfer Balls spots a story about a trade in underage flesh. The BBC says Manchester City want to sign 13-year-old Celtic “playmaker” Karamoko Dembele. Dubbed a wunderkind, earlier this month Dembele made his debut for Celtic’s Under-20 team, playing the final ten minutes of the Bhoys’ 3-1 victory over Hearts at Cappielow.

If you want to feel even older, know that the youngster came off the bench to replace Jack Aitchison who, at 16 years and 71 days old, became Celtic’s youngest-ever player in the final game of last season.

 

Dembele Celtic

 

 

The Sun picks ip the story of Manchester City “looking to pounce” on the child. They want to transport Karamoko Dembele to England and add hims to “their growing academy of young stars”. City, we leanr, “have been tracking the talented teenager for the past few months”.

Should he go? The Mail reminds its readers of Islam Feruz, who at just 13 represented Celtic in a memorial game for the late Tommy Burns.

But after being carefully nurtured by Celtic, he turned his back on them after six years and moved to Chelsea on a lucrative contract. The accusations were that his head had been turned, which Feruz now admits himself.

Says Feruz:

“I hope he stays with Celtic, plays for their first team and score lots of goals. Never forget that playing football makes you happy. If he does that, the next step of his career will be a natural progression. He will not need to chase anything or rush into anything. He just has to keep his head down, stay focused and not allow himself to be distracted. That’s the best advice I can give him.

“I remember it all just seemed to happen at once and hit me overnight. There was so much publicity. It was very hard to handle. My family and friends were also thrust into the spotlight. It’s hard to cope when you are so young. It’s easy to put your faith in other people and it becomes easy to lose focus on football. People will now want to get involved with him and, no doubt, promise plenty. People will try to sweet talk him.

“But you must trust in your family, that is so important. And stick to football. It’s easy to become distracted and lose sight of the necessary development required on and off the field. The people of Scotland, in every walk of life, must try to protect him. I wish him luck.”

He’ll need it. Eslewhere in the Mail, you can read:

But the ultimate tale of ‘too much too soon’ is undoubtedly Islam Feruz, whom Celtic legend Tommy Burns fought to keep in Scotland as his family sought asylum from war-torn Somalia. Feruz duly turned his back on Celtic to earn more money at Chelsea, where he has developed only into a first class waste of space.

So how good is Dembele? Gordon Parks is unimpressed: “Celtic said Dembele was chosen on merit. Sorry but it’s disingenuous at best, a cheap publicity stunt at worst.”

He seems to have a point when you listen to one Celtic insider.

“Karamoko is still a young boy and has a lot of growing to do, both physically and mentally,” head of youth, Chris McCart, told the club’s website. “The coaches at our U13 and 14 levels have been fantastic in nurturing his potential but it is crucial that we do not push him too far, too soon. He has a lot of hard work ahead of him to make it to the top and we won’t rush that, but we also know Karamoko, and the other talented young players we have here, is at the perfect place to continue his progress and we look forward to seeing what the future holds.”

If he has so much growing to do, why expose the talented teenager to intense scrutiny at such a young age?

Scotland assistant coach Mark McGhee said last Tuesday: “I’ve heard our youth people talking about Karamoko Dembele and he’s supposed to be outstanding, fantastic.”

No pressure, son.

PS: Some way to go on building the kids profile. The Express says he was born in the Ivory Coast.

 

DEmbele Celtic

 

The Mail says he was born in London.

The Sun says: ‘The teenager was born in London to parents from Ivory Coast and moved to Scotland before his first birthday.”

The Telegraph mistakes him for another Dembele, reporting beneath the headline “Celtic 13-year-old Karamoko Dembele makes Under-20s debut”:

 

dembele error celtic

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 11th, October 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports | Comment


We’ll sing what we want to: Celtic, Rangers and all fans should unite to fight Scotland’s war on football

The Sun reports that former Liverpool and Aston Villa striker Stan Collymore will not be offering his pundity to BT Sport’s Glasgow Rangers match. He doesn’t like the songs the fans sing. At which point any self-respecting Rangers fan will sing them louder. And fans of other clubs – and that includes Glasgow Celtic – should support them.

Collymore says he was “taken off the show”. The Sun says BT says it was Collymore’s choice:

The outspoken commentator had demanded Rangers are pulled off the television if their fans continue to sing sectarian songs. After announcing the news on the internet, Collymore became locked in a fiery online exchange with some sports fans, many of whom brought up his violent past and domestic violence.

It had been triggered after Collymore backed a petition which said: “Boycott sponsors Sectarian chanting is illegal. Demeaning.”

It’s illegal to because Scotland has criminalised words. The Scottish government made a link between words and deeds. It made them the same thing.

As ever, football is the testing ground for new forms of crowd control. Sit down. Shut up. Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. Do as you’re told. Be silent for the full minute. Wait behind that line in the street until the police tell you to go. Take this train not that one. Don’t go to the town centre. Be tolerant. Do what the people on top tell you to. They know best. They know you as the working-class scum you are, race-rioters-in-wating and in need of a moral re-education.

Do civil liberties group gets angy at football fans being kettled and searched, their movements impeded on a sus? Do they decry bans on song that link to a culture? No. Because football fans are the lowest of the low.

Love the game. Hate the people who watch it.

And what the State first tests on these scummy knuckle-draggers it will be using on you, the morally right, next.

And the terrifying thing is that a journalist, which Stan Collymore is, is championing the laws that curtail free speech.

BT say:

“We did not agree with the nature of the debate on twitter, and which BT Sport was brought into without prior agreement. BT Sport will raise and discuss the issue within its programming when relevant and in an appropriate manner.”

Collymore tweeted:

“Just had a call from @btsportfootball. I’m taken off the show. Absolutely fine. Better to be right than bury my head. Enjoy! I can hold my head high and say i did the right thing to challenge hypocrisy amongst Rangers fans. BT show #RFC games, so inevitable.”

The entire campaign is this. It’s under the assumed name ‘John Smith’:

 

Stan Collymore Rangers

 

 The Herald adds:

[Collymore] went on an online tirade after more than 2,500 signed a petition calling for his sacking after he linked the club to racist groups such as the National Front and Combat 18.

The row began after he commented on a racist incident in Paris where a black man was pushed off a train by a group of what appeared to be Chelsea supporters travelling to the Parc des Princes stadium for Champions League match against Paris St Germain which ended in a 1-1 draw.

He tweeted: ” As I said a couple of weeks ago, Rangers and Chelsea, aka ‘The Blues Brothers’, made for each other. Quelle surprise.#NF #BNP #C18.”

A petition has since been signed by over 2,500 people calling for the BT Sport football analyst to be ditched.

It says: “Slurring Rangers and Chelsea like this as right-wing extremists is below the belt and unacceptable.”

It is.
Collymore added on twitter:

“Rangers fans, keep up the slurs. I’m exercising my British rights of speech within the law. That my Grandfather fought for.”

As are they.

“‘We’re up to our knees in Fenian blood’. Grand hypocrisy and not a ‘small minority’. Tell sponsors and TV. We can all play the petition game. Please sign my petition asking all sponsors and broadcasters to boycott #RFC games as ‘Up to our knees in Fenian Blood’ isn’t acceptable. Rangers fans fiercely support traditional British values of freedom of speech. Until it’s their hypocrisy exposed.”

Is it?

Celtic’s Green Brigade are not hooligans, Headhunters or ICF. But they are in breech of the Offensive Behaviour Act:

The Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 14th December 2011 and will be enacted on 1st March 2012. The Act criminalises behaviour which is threatening, hateful or otherwise offensive at a regulated football match including offensive singing or chanting. It also criminalises the communication of threats of serious violence and threats intended to incite religious hatred, whether sent through the post or posted on the internet. The Act will only criminalise behaviour likely to lead to public disorder which expresses or incites hatred, is threatening or is otherwise offensive to a reasonable person.

Offensive singing at the ground is banned. But whose offended? The Act then tells us:

The offence will NOT:

Stop peaceful preaching or proselytising.
Restrict freedom of speech including the right to criticise or comment on religion or non-religious beliefs, even in harsh terms.
Criminalise jokes and satire about religion or non-religious belief.

But it does restrict free speech. That is one of thing it does most definitely do.

The Green Brigade are being harassed, as they claim, for singing songs the rule makers don’t like. They are the wrong songs. If you sing any “wrong” song at a Scottish football ground you can be arrested. Given that the aim of songs is to either to a) rouse your team; b) do down the opposition, roughly half of all football songs could cause offence to the listener across the park.

But what if your club is rooted in politics?What if the songs are part of your identity, the link between the club and it’s supporters and area?

What if you’re not singing about the SNP and Flower of Scotland but are a Rangers of Celtic fan singing ‘The Boys of the Old Brigade’ or ‘Rule Britannia’? Whatb if you’re a Spurs fan rejoicing in being part of the “Yid Army”?

What if the history of the club is entwined with the fight against anti-Semitism or the Irish fight against British rule and militarism in Ireland? As Kevin Rooney notes:

The sod of turf that sits in the centre circle of Celtic Park was planted by Michael Davitt, himself a famous Irish Republican activist who fought against British rule in Ireland.

 

sands celtic

 

 

 

Celtic fans have been castigated for singing Republican songs in commemoration of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands – a man the fans consider to be a freedom fighter yet who is labelled a terrorist by the Scottish authorities. The banners aboves run into a message:

“The terrorist or the dreamer; the savage or the brave? Depends whose vote you’re trying to catch, or whose face you’re trying to save”

 

In response of orders for them to take it down, the Green Brigade said:

“Ultimately, due to the subjective nature of what anyone may deem offensive, it is both dangerous and absurd to create a law based upon offensiveness.”

Brilliant. And witty. You can stick your commitment to tolerance if it means banning free speech. Celtic’s fans will sing what they want to. And anyone who values free speech should join in.
Rooney adds:

For more than 80 years the poppy and football were separate. Now, when the football authorities decide to mix politics with football, those fans who object are vilified and banned. Anyone who cares about civil liberties and freedom of speech should be extremely alarmed by the attack on both by those running football in Scotland.

Real sectarianism is largely a thing of the past. Yet, the elite like to keep it alive. It serves a purpose. It means the elite can connect to the populace around a common ill.

Banning the bad words and songs will, they say, make peopls more civil and moral. But such draconian rules represent the very opposite. They represent intolerance. And to anyone who values free speech these laws also represent not the chance to nark on a fan or call for a ban; they represent an assault on freedom. And where the football fans goes first, the rest of society follows.

We’ll sing what we want to.

Posted: 20th, February 2015 | In: Key Posts, Sports | Comment


IndyRef: Glasgow Rangers And Celtic Fans Laugh At The IndyRef ‘Riots’

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THE DAILY MAIL says “Nazi-saluting thugs” stained the Scotland indy referendum no-vote victory celebrations in Glasgow. The Mail says things became “nasty”. There were songs, such as “You can stick your independence up your arse”, “If you hate Alex Salmond clap your hands” and the Sectarian mainstay God Save the Queen.

One drunken protester boasted that ‘Glasgow would burn for voting Yes,’ claiming it was now ‘payback time’.

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Posted: 21st, September 2014 | In: Reviews, Sports | Comment


Celtic Fans Ruin Remembrance Sunday With Sectarian Chants, Sky Presses Mute

8009329OVER on Pies, news that some Glasgow Celtic fans disgraced themselves and their club at Falkirk on Sunday.

A small section of the club’s more sectarian support chanted Republican songs outside the Falkirk Stadium, DURING a minute’s silence for Remembrance Sunday. Looks like Bill Hicks was right about the whole ‘virus with shoes’ thing.

Sky Sports have since admitted that they muted the sound to avoid causing offence to viewers.

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Posted: 9th, November 2009 | In: Sports | Comments (7)