Weir’s Week 14th December 2012

At the start of the season there was a concerted effort amongst non-Old Firm fans to try and get their club’s attendances up, so counter-balancing the financial loss of Rangers. And behold, given the countless tweets on the subject, it appeared that the averages attendances ‘amongst the non-Old Firm teams’ were up.

On Saturday, Rangers welcomed 49,913 to Ibrox for their match against Stirling Albion. That crowd was largely ignored by many who were still boastful about average SPL attendances being up.

Also largely ignored, was the all-important proviso covering that statistic, namely that SPL average attendances were up if you discounted Celtic and Rangers. What is it they say about lies, damn lies and statistics? And which of those categories covers that Rangers attendance bettering the total from all the other senior matches in Scotland on Saturday?

There is nothing false about the statistic that Lionel Messi is now the most prolific scorer of goals over a calendar year, the diminutive Barcelona striker beating Gerd Muller’s 40-year old best with Bayern Munich. A brace against Betis took Messi on to 86, 56 of them in the Primera Division, 13 in the Champions League (his effort against Celtic amongst them), and five in Cup competitions.

The other dozen were while with Argentina, although seven were in friendly matches. There might be an argument hereafter that Muller’s international goals meant more, given six were in the European Championship with West Germany, including two in the final against Russia.

Going back in time, and judging Muller’s feat, there is a strong case that ‘Der Bomber’ might have set an even bigger tally had he not failed to detonate, most notably, in the two matches against Rangers in the semi-finals of the Cup Winner Cup.

Those two non-scores were highly significant for Muller, denying him another game in which to add to his collection, namely the CWC Final, ironically, played in the Camp Nou.

That Lionel, must be worth a Christmas card at least to Big Peter the Gas Meter?


It’s Monday, and has been for a wee while when Sunday’s UK Championship snooker Final concludes. Nothing like an early finish – and for snooker on the BBC, there is never anything like an early finish.

Still saves them showing Coast I suppose.

One man who appeared to have a late one himself after the Manchester Derby was United legend Pat Crerand who appeared on Radio 5 Live to talk about the crowd violence that marred the game. Listen carefully. Interviews like this don’t come around every week …

Rangers are threatened with legal action by the Professional Footballers Association (Scotland) for failing to inform 67 players of the transfer of their contracts last summer between Oldco and Newco. A pity the PFA Scotland forgot to tell many of their members – both former and current Rangers players – of their intended trip to the courts.

The figure of 67 is disputed by Rangers CEO Charles Green, and many, including myself, had also questioned the figure. You see, 67 is an odd number, and it had to be an even number surely – if all Rangers players had two contracts …

The day – or night – belongs to Arrigo Brovedani, a faithful Udinese fan who turned up in Genoa for the game away against Sampdoria to find out he was his team’s only supporter, leaving him the choice of 4134 seats.

His cry of “come on Udinese” was nearly rewarded as team skipper Antonio Di Natale invited him to warm up with the team. Not surprisingly, even Sampdoria took him to their hearts by feeding him coffee before being invited for a drink afterwards – even after his team had won 2-0.

And needless to say, he has now attracted the attention of the world

You can’t help but think maybe he should register with a football lonely hearts or dating website to find himself the perfect partner to keep him company on such nights. Now, I wonder if there is a Miss Right out there. I wonder

Steven Naismith is the latest former Rangers player to voice his sadness at the possibly of never returning to Ibrox again. Sorry, did I say possibility. Make that probability. Like fellow sob story member Kyle Lafferty a few days earlier, Naismith presented his version of events from last summer – one unrecognisable and completely at odds with what the fans and many journalists recall.

I would never, ever, chastise someone for doing what was best for them, their career or their family. Just be honest and give the real reasons behind you leaving – not that you were held at gun point, made to do a press conference you didn’t want to take part in, and moved because an agent told you to …

And there is confirmation that the 2014 Tour de France will begin in Yorkshire. Not so good for Edinburgh who were presented with the bad news 24 hours after they’d made public their intentions to stage the Grand Depart.

There will have been many reasons in the organisers mind when arriving at this decision. However, given the shambolic organisation around the city’s tram system, the TdF directors probably wanted to start their race on time and at least race past Leith …