Tag Archives: hooligans

Nottingham Forest to Change Club Motto in Wake of Leeds Defeat and Viral Pie-Fight Video – by Rob Atkinson

Bulleh

“Don’t bulleh meh, my owd duck”

Nottingham Forest, the club with the silliest nickname in football, are now set to have the silliest motto, after Leeds United rode roughshod over them at the City Ground to record a comfortable 2-0 victory.

The Forest nickname “The Tricky Trees” has been rightly mocked and derided throughout the game for years now. But, at least up until yesterday, their motto of Vivit Post Funera Virtus (Virtue Outlives Death) had lent a certain gravitas to the club, despite the laughable embarrassment of the Tricky Trees monicker. Since Saturday’s half-time shenanigans, though, when a pair of Nottingham’s finest squared up to each other over the last pie in the refreshments bar, it has been widely suggested that “Virtue Outlives Death” has become inappropriate, and should be replaced with the phrase uttered approximately 45 times, in ever higher-pitched and more indignant tones, by one of the protagonists in the now infamous Piegate Brawl. This phrase, expressed in the local Trentside vernacular, is “Don’t bulleh meh”, and translates roughly into normal English as, “I say, old chap, kindly desist from taking liberties and presuming to assault my person, you utter cad”.

Linguistic experts are even now attempting to translate the original idiom into tolerable Latin and, if they are successful, it is understood that Forest will confirm this as their new motto with immediate effect. A club spokesman commented, “Given the way Leeds United bullehed us yesterday, this seems highly apt. As a club, we should never accept being bullehed, especially on our home turf. It happened yesterday, but maybe a change of motto will change all that for future encounters with vastly superior teams. We certainly hope so, my owd duck”.

Ever willing to help, Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything suggested that Forest might like to consider “Nemo Me Impune Lacessit” as a suitable Latin rendering of the sentiment squeakily expressed by the irate gentleman in the pie bar. The club, however, whilst thanking us for our advice (and asking us also to pass on their thanks to Leeds United for yesterday’s footballing seminar) felt that this translation fails to do justice to the strong local flavour of the “bulleh meh” soundbite.

The matter, therefore, remains under consideration. A further statement will be issued at a later date.

 

 

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Villa Fans ‘Celebrate’ WBA Victory by Biting Skipper Delph   –   by Rob Atkinson

Delph mauls West Brom - and then the biter was bit

Delph mauls West Brom – and then the biter was bit

Leeds United fans will have had a familiar sensation over the weekend when absorbing news of the shenanigans on the pitch at Villa Park; a few collywobbles in the pit of the stomach and that nervous, recurrent thought: “Crumbs – what if that had been us?”

Depending upon what you’ve read this morning, the – count them – two pitch invasions during Villa’s 6th Round FA Cup win over West Brom were either harmless if boisterous high spirits – or an almost literal attempt to go for the jugular of former Leeds star Fabian Delph, who commented memorably afterwards that he had “felt teeth” as he tried to escape his fans’ voracious adulation. Despite claims in other quarters that the mood had been merely celebratory, young Fab confessed that he’d found it “very, very scary”. And it takes a lot to scare a lad who’s shared a dressing room with the likes of Richard Naylor and Enoch Showumni, so it’s a statement to take with due respect.

“My armband got nicked, someone got my left boot, but I could appreciate the relief the fans are feeling after a result like that,” Delph recalled, adding though: “It was dangerous. Someone tried to take my boot off. People tried to kiss me and were biting me. It was scary.”

Being bitten by a horde of success-starved Villa fans might be enough to frighten anyone, but some are attempting to make rather lighter of the situation, conscious, inevitably, that the investigative processes of the FA are about to grind into motion. There is some fear out there among the Villa faithful that serious sanctions might be applied, maybe even to the extent of being chucked out of the FA Cup altogether – which seems to me to be a fear too far.

Now, if it had been Leeds – then that part of the internet which revolves around all things White would have been in a frenzy of semi-satirical pessimism by now, predicting fifteen or thirty point deductions, dissolution of the club and having Massimo Cellino hanging upside down by piano wire from a convenient lamp-post on Elland Road, I shouldn’t wonder. All good knockabout stuff, but reflective of that inner conviction in most Leeds fans’ hearts that every other bugger gets away with stuff that would see our own beloved club violently hammered – whilst the gutter press slaver away approvingly in the background, like the pack of jackals they are.

In a fine piece which appears in the excellent online magazine Sabotage Times, Emma Flowers has leapt to the defence of her adored Villa, cogently arguing that what unfolded after the match (and a bit before the final whistle too) was more a “rediscovery of Villa Park’s soul” than anything too nasty. Ms Flowers is clearly appalled by what she terms sanctimonious bleating from all parts of the media; to someone unaccustomed to seeing their club eviscerated in print and online, it really must seem a little thick. But Emma, trust me – you ain’t seen nothing. The Leeds fans’ lament that we always cop it tougher than other clubs is not mere hollow paranoia – it’s grounded in bitter experience, and plenty of it.

For instance, the demands for public shaming in the cases of Lee Bowyer and Jonathan Woodgate stopped not all that far short of an Emergency Debate in the House of Commons. The furore over one idiot choosing to jump on to the pitch at Sheffield Wednesday and pole-axe their goalkeeper was a veritable tsunami of hatred and persecution, compared to the mere ripples Villa are feeling now. The Bowyer and Woodgate thing never really died down until both players had left Elland Road and had therefore ceased to be natural targets. Woodgate in particular is viewed far more sympathetically now than when he was convicted of affray whilst on the strength at Leeds. But of course, he played for the sainted Spurs and it would have been dam’ bad form to maintain a Leeds level of scorn and horror for a lad plying his trade at Tottenham. And ever since the Hillsborough scandal, Leeds fans have been branded as vile animals – initially by the self-important Wendies manager at the time, Dave Jones – but it’s sort of stuck as a label too (not least because some Leeds fans do rather wear it as a badge of perverse honour).

Whether Villa fans will be plastered with such epithets as “vile” has to be a matter for some doubt. There’s just not the same baseline level of national hatred as exists for poor old Leeds, so it’s highly unlikely that this fledgling storm will find its way far out of the teacup. I’d be massively surprised if swingeing sanctions were applied, though its always difficult to tell which way the FA and the game’s other authorities will jump. But I’m a lot less worried for Villa – hated by Birmingham and West Brom, but largely ignored elsewhere – than I would have been for Leeds. And if that’s paranoia, then I’ll hold my hands up and insist you’re out to get me.

Let’s not make light of this Villa thing though. There are serious issues if a victorious skipper can’t get off the pitch without his own fans trying to sink their teeth into him. The truth of this matter is somewhere in between the hand-wringing of the sanctimonious and Ms Flowers’ hopeful dismissal of the matter as boyish high jinks. But players are any club’s most valuable and fragile assets, and the likes of Delph and his fellow Villans must be protected against any repetition of what does sound a rather disturbing experience. If the FA can find a way of inflicting a suitable punishment without taking the draconian step of removing Villa from the Cup (and without deducting points from Leeds United), then that would probably best fit the bill.

And perhaps then we could then be spared the likes of Mark Lawrenson crying into his coffee about what a disgrace it all is, a throwback to the eighties, and all that breast-beating rubbish. Because, let’s face it – and I’m with Ms Flowers all the way here – some people’s over-reactions really do make your teeth curl. 

 

Ian Holloway: the Acceptable Face of Gutter Club Millwall – by Rob Atkinson

Holloway: voice of reason

Holloway: voice of reason

We’ve got it over with early this season – our annual trip to the murky bowels of Bermondsey, wherein resides the most singularly awful football club, with the most viciously depraved and uncivilised fans, anywhere outside of Istanbul. Yes, we’ve been there and done that for another year at least – it’s a safe bet that everywhere else we visit, with the possible exception of Huddersfield, will seem like the acme of culture and class by comparison with the degrading experience that is Millwall.

Over the past few seasons, the menu has hardly varied. For starters, a few dribbling morons scattered around their soulless Meccano stadium, Turkish flags waving, idiot leers on ugly faces as they parade their specially-purchased Galatasaray replica shirts. Then the main course of rancid chanting, as the assembled cretins rejoice in the murder of two football fans far from home, over 14 years ago. And for dessert, an insipid performance from our own heroes, who should really be inspired into a defiantly effective performance by such naked hostility, but who seem instead more inclined to surrender meekly.

Then, usually, instead of coffee and After Eight mints, it’s some piteous, whining self-justification and excuses from Millwall staff who wish to avoid criticism of their club for the abject behaviour of its ape-like supporters. By and large, it’s not a good day out for Leeds fans down Bermondsey way.

This season, though, there has been a refreshing change. Most of the pre-ordained programme of events proceeded pretty much as described above – with a slight shift of emphasis from celebrating death to rejoicing over sexual abuse – but the post-match reaction differed from previous years, in one significant and encouraging respect. Ian Holloway, the Millwall manager and a man worthy of admiration both for his achievements and for his freely-expressed and pungent views on the game, actually came out and condemned the rabble that hang like a millstone around the neck of anyone trying to create a better image for the Lions. Reacting to the home fans’ chants about Jimmy Savile (chants that the more self-righteous Millwall fans probably think represent an improvement on the usual ones about Turks and knives), Holloway said:

“I don’t think the chants were right because they’re disrespecting [Savile’s victims]. What he did is an absolute disgrace. Let’s stop and think about what he has actually done, yeah?”

“That’s the most important thing and we don’t see it. ‘Oh it’s a bit of banter’. It isn’t funny, is it? I don’t think so. Nobody likes a laugh more than me but I’m respectful, and that’s what I’m trying to show to Leeds United. They’re a great club, they come here with so many fans and want to be treated the same as anybody else.”

This represents such a departure from what we had come to expect of the Millwall apologists in previous seasons, that you almost have to pinch yourself and read it twice. We’re so used to standard fare of sickeningly tasteless chanting from the Lions’ tiny but viciously-warped home crowd, with obligatory excuses to follow as night follows day, that such a refreshingly honest and candid reaction comes as a massive – albeit pleasant – surprise, even allowing for Holloway’s track record of honesty, common sense and straight talking. The Lions boss went on to say:

“It is a really, really important issue if football supporters think they can go into a ground and sing songs about someone who has had a crash and aren’t here anymore, how disrespectful is that?”

“It goes against what football is about and to me that is obscene. That brings football into disrepute. I’ve been fined for disrepute by the FA God knows how many times. But I try and get people to be respectful and that’s all I want to say.”

“I’ve said it before the game ‘please come to the game, please enjoy yourself, go home safely and here we go let’s have a look at how good our team is’. Surely that’s the way forward.”

Holloway concluded his remarks by referring to Leeds United again as “a great club”, something guaranteed to stick in the craw of any chip-on-the-shoulder home fan. “They’ve got so many fans,” he said. “If I had a chance, I’d have a beer with one or two of them if I could.” That’s a sentiment likely to be reciprocated by many of United’s following, for whom the usual bitterness of defeat at this unwelcoming venue will have been sweetened somewhat by such welcome remarks from the architect of our downfall.

It’s undeniably good to get the Millwall experience over with so early in the piece, and to move swiftly on to the rest of what promises to be a long, hard season for Leeds United. But wherever we might travel during the remainder of the marathon Championship campaign, we’re unlikely to encounter such frankness and candour as Ian Holloway treated us to after this New Den encounter. It’s to be hoped that enough of his club’s fans will listen to and understand what he has said, to maybe make a difference as and when this fixture rolls around again. That has to be doubtful; but the fact that the Lions now have a man in charge who will not subscribe to the usual mealy-mouthed platitudes expressed by his predecessors on other such inauspicious occasions – that has to bode well for the prospects of introducing some primitive level of civilisation to what is a deeply flawed football club with a body of support to match.

Well, anyway – we can always hope. Thanks, Ian – you’re a gentleman

After the Lord Mayor’s X-Rated Show as Exhausted Millwall Capitulate to Birmingham – by Rob Atkinson

Those Cheeky, Chirpy Millwall Chaps Amuse Themselves at Wembley

Those Cheeky, Chirpy Millwall Chaps Amuse Themselves at Wembley

We’ve seen it all before of course.  Some daft little chavvy club from the back of beyond get all worked up, bless ’em, about the prospect of playing Yorkshire giants Leeds United – all that history of achievement, all that tradition and global support – and they bust a gut, strain every sinew and try their little hearts out.  Backed by a flaky bunch of tribesmen from whatever godawful hole they represent, they raise themselves to twice-a-season heights.  Thus charged with fervent and passionate determination, they do it – they beat Leeds United, aided by our favourites’ occasional ineptitude when it comes to facing determined yet tiny opposition.  All very embarrassing.  But we know we’ll be wryly amused by what invariably comes next.

The little club relish the glory of their hard-won victory.  They can think of little else, and the praise of their manager and coaches, their fans and their big game hangers-on, washes over them like a warm ocean in which to bask under the sunshine of achievement.  We beat Leeds, we did it – but God, we’re knackered.  And there’s another game a few days down the line…

Reality bites.  The little club’s little players and their greatly-reduced band of supporters – unwelcome anywhere outside of their own early 20th century ghetto – head off for the next fixture.  There, wiped out, exhausted, nothing in the tank because they’ve given it all, they abjectly fail, surrendering meekly before the opposition they have no power to resist. They lose, heavily.  The manager is disappointed, the fans have fallen heavily back to earth.  They half-expected it anyway.  But what the hell – they beat Leeds and what a performance THAT was.  No wonder they’d nothing left.

I’ve seen it happen time and time again.  This is what the name of Leeds United means. This is what the history behind the badge says to the teams we face nowadays.  We’re a scalp, and they’ll give it all, 110 percent, Brian, anything so that they can beat us.  It’s got to the stage now whereby, every time we lose to one of these comical yonner teams – and it happens far too often – I look for their next result.  It’s amazing how often I can predict it: they’ll be knackered, they’ll get nothing there.  It’s funny how often I’m right. Normally I’ll just shrug and think that we have to learn to deal with these adrenalin junkies when we play them instead of just softening them up for the next lot.  But this time, there’s a thrill of satisfaction.

Because this time it’s poxy bloody Millwall.  Horrible, repellent, disgusting Millwall, late of Cold Blow Lane and that smelly slagheap of a ground where the bricks used to fly and the home crowd rioted among themselves behind netting because their own fellow fans were all they could find to fight.  Unpleasant, racist, evil Millwall, who moved from an old Den to a New one, made of Meccano, resplendent in tacky placky blue seats – and improved not a jot in the process.  Sick, gloating, shameful Millwall who won’t let go of their pastime of celebrating violent death and taunting the bereaved extended family at every opportunity.  Millwall, the stain on the game.  They beat Leeds last Saturday and partied hearty.  Then they went to Birmingham on Tuesday evening and got well and truly stuffed 4-0, having left all their blood sweat and tears in the mud and grass of the field where they played The Whites.  I could have warned them it would happen.  They possibly feel it was worth it, to beat Leeds United.  It’s the price of fame, though of course, we’re “not famous any more”.  Yeah, right. Anyhow, it’s back to reality for Millwall and their nauseating, cowardly fans.  Suck it up.

The aftermath of the Leeds game in South Bermondsey has been predictable too.  I published a blog on the morning of the match, alerted by the bile and gut-wrenching hatred on Twitter that the morons and the cretins were up for a party during the game. Very swiftly, I was inundated with threatening messages of hate and imbecility, mostly unfit to print.  Some – a few – were from clearly educated people and even they reduced the issue to “well you lot have sung about Munich for years”.  The more I argued that a minority did that, years ago and that it has now largely stopped, the more I kept getting the same refrain, in amongst all the vicious threats of retribution and violence: “Pot, kettle, black”.  And these were the intelligent ones.  Some posed as Leeds fans, pretending to condemn from within the offended support.  Some tried to trick my address out of me. I had to change my blog settings, such was the tsunami of filth.   All for complaining about the number of appalling tweets that morning and for predicting that the afternoon’s fixture would be infected by the usual, awful, gloating references to the murders in Istanbul.

And, lo – it came to pass.  The police had promised to take action if, as in previous years, there was offensive chanting. They failed to keep that promise.  The stewards stood idly by, bovine and uncaring, just as they had at Wembley last April when these animals fought each other during an FA Cup semi-final, heedless of crying children, drunk on bloodlust, savage and ignorant, reckless of consequences or what the civilised world might think.  It happened against Leeds as we knew it would, the sick chanting, the salivating over violent death.  But now Leeds supporters organised under a unifying banner are demanding some action.

The Leeds United Supporters Trust (LUST) have issued a statement summarising the events of the day at Millwall, and asking for witnesses as to the nature and extent of any offensive chanting, with any video captures particularly welcomed.  LUST also intend to make representations to Millwall FC and to the Metropolitan Police.  The message to those who behave in this appalling manner is: we will not stand idly by and let you get away with it.  Pressure will be exerted on the relevant authorities to identify offenders and to deal with them to the full extent of the law.  Clicking on this link will present a variety of options for responding to LUST’s call for help.

Naturally, I hope that LUST are successful in obtaining some action against the lowlife scum who perpetrate these obscenities on such a regular basis.  But I shall not be living in hope, nor holding my breath.  The casually indifferent attitude of police and matchday security staff alike speaks of an acceptance that this is just the way things are in the cesspool that houses these people.  It’s not good enough – but it seems to be the case. Millwall FC and its fans evidently inhabit a grubby little bubble of the past, where the improvements in behaviour and in the attitudes of rival fans towards each other have failed to penetrate.  It is tempting to say that I hope this will not remain the case, but I’m not entirely sure I mean it.  It would be better, perhaps, for such a very backward lot to remain separated from proper football fans.  Maybe the best thing of all would be just to get rid of Millwall FC altogether.  After all, if you cut the head off the snake, you render it harmless.  It seems to me that that’s the best way to go.

Millwall “Thugs” Warm Up for Annual Leeds-Baiting Event – by Rob Atkinson

Members of Famous Millwall Firm "The Grinning Apes" Bravely Taunt Leeds Fans From A Distance

Members of Famous Millwall Firm “The Grinning Apes” Bravely Taunt Leeds Fans From A Distance

It was a pretty normal day yesterday at the New Den, home of the world famous heroes of sub-primates everywhere, Millwall Football Club.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  The usual crushing home defeat for the toothless Lions as they sit glumly at the bottom of the league.  The usual anthropological posturing from the pseudo-hardmen in the stands as they pelted a Derby County player with missiles while the stewards stood by and watched. The usual lone moron invading the pitch, taking a swing at Derby manager Nigel Clough and then running away, his comical waddle across the pitch and into the stand opposite unhindered by any pursuit.  All of this IS fairly usual for that blot on the football landscape Millwall FC.  But that’s not to say it’s tolerable in the civilised world outside of Bermondsey.

The fact of the matter is, it’s time something serious was done about Millwall.  Like their fans’ heroes abroad, Turkey’s Galatasaray, they seem to get away with behaviour year after year that would see certain other clubs castigated in the press, questions asked in the House, the supporters as a body branded as “vile animals” by some over-sensitive soul in Sheffield 6.  None of this happens to those cheeky rapscallions of Millwall, as they carry on blithely dispensing their own particular brand of hatred and violence – and the authorities turn a blind eye, cock a deaf ear, remain dumb in every sense of that word.

In a couple of weeks, Millwall will “welcome” Leeds United, its players, staff and fans, to the dubious delights of their Meccano-designed stadium.  As is usual every time these clubs have met since the murder of two Leeds fans in Istanbul, certain of the Millwall bright lads will seek to glory in that slaughter, posturing from a safe distance in their proudly-worn Galatasaray shirts, making throat-slitting gestures with the sincere intent of provoking as much anger, misery and disgust as they can.  To call these intellectual voids “apes” is really an insult to lower primates everywhere – waste of DNA is a more accurate term to use.  Their forthcoming exhibition of mind-numbing idiocy is as predictable as yesterday’s humbling at the hands of away-day specialists Derby County was.  These cretins are not the type to let their team’s woeful inadequacy prevent them from enjoying the day out at Millwall in their own, perverted fashion.

If anyone should feel that this is pretty rich coming from a Leeds fan – well, I’d say to you, go and listen to David Jones, he’ll sing a song more to your liking.  In the interests of strict fairness though, it should be pointed out that when our own idiot, Aaron Cawley, attacked the Wednesday keeper at Hillsborough, he was roundly condemned by the vast majority of Leeds fans, who assisted the authorities in locating the silly little boy concerned. David Jones, in branding the support “vile animals” – all of them, every single one, he emphasised – seemed much more concerned by chants directed at himself than for his traumatised goalkeeper.  Such is the precious ego of Jones.  But that shouldn’t hide the fact that the Leeds situation was about an individual, whereas when Millwall fans get going, it’s en masse – as far as their dwindling crowds permit.

The behaviour of the New Den home fans in a fortnight when Leeds are in town will be monitored and noted.  It will be a massive surprise if they fail to crow and gloat over the blood spilled in Turkey all those years ago, but it would be a very welcome surprise. Chickens will not be counted, breath will not be held.  I fully expect the Millwall boneheads to disgrace themselves and their club again, such disgrace being measured by accepted standards in football as a whole.  The standards that apply in this particular part of London, on the other hand, appear to be a good century or so behind the times.

If the Millwall fans do manage at the Leeds match to show themselves up, yet again, for the tasteless jokes that they are, and this only a fortnight after yesterday’s appalling display of violence and anarchy, then it’s time the complacent authorities actually got off their lazy backsides and did something.  If that something amounted to a final warning before the expulsion of Millwall from football upon the next repetition of such behaviour, then so be it.  Football as a whole would be a better place, a more acceptable environment, without Millwall FC.