The cover and full title will be released on June 1st, chapter titles on July 1st and first interview about the book specifically on August 1st.
So, as it’s May 1st, here’s a taste:
It was also widely known among clubs in Europe that Scottish referees could be ‘bought’, designer suits heading to the East Coast summed it up.
That doesn’t mean that all Scottish referees were on the fiddle, but most in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s were.
Three Scottish officials got a gig for a top club’s UEFA cup tie in the 1980’s.
One, a famous Scottish referee, instructed his two linesman to leave their cars at home and he would pick them up. The expenses claim showed three different journeys obviously.
The referee also told his linesmen he would book their flights, from Glasgow, via another European city, then onto where they would be officiating.
Even before they had left Scotland, the expenses claim was already false but that was as much a part of the referee make up as cards and a whistle.
Upon arriving in the city they were officiating in, the lunchtime before the game, they were picked up at the airport by two officials from the home club and taken to a luxury five star hotel in the middle of the city.
They were explicitly told to order what they liked from room service. One of the Scots remarked “Fuck me, the bedroom here is bigger than ma hoose”
In these days, the officials were entirely the responsibility of the home team in a European match.
After a few hours sleep on beds plusher than a carpet from John Lewis, they were picked up again by the same two officials and taken on a tour of the city. From there they were told there were reservations at the finest steakhouse in town and to order what they liked, the club were footing the bill.
After a few glasses of Pinot Noir to wash down their prime rib, the Scots went to bed on their fine Egyptian cotton and got a good night’s sleep.
The next day, after a continental breakfast of ham, cheese and croissants, they were taken to ground and given the grand tour including the trophy room and museum with photos of famous players past and present.
From there, it was off for a four course lunch, no alcohol with it being game day and then a trip back to the hotel for a few hours sleep, albeit with a detour to a department store that was remarked upon by the Scots that was “Like fucking Grace Brothers” and they were told to each get a gift that the club would pay for.
The referee among the three Scots instructed his two linesman to “Only get something that will fit in your suitcase”
Why did he say that?
Well, these officials, despite partaking in the car fiddle like all referees and linesman, were not really corrupt. You see, none of them were in a certain Referees Association and weren’t raised in a climate of corruption.
So when the game took place and the home side lost on the away goals rule, the home team officials were angry.
At full time the two chaperones burst into the referee’s room, expressions on their faces akin to a wife walking in on a cheating husband at it, and screaming expletives in their native tongue.
As the three Scots looked up in astonishment, one of the chaperones said “We thought we had done enough over the last two days to guarantee the result. We have never had this problem before with Scots”
The Scots officials made their own way to the airport.
The key point is, if a good dinner and a few suits could put them in the pocket of a club, what sort of actions would their own prejudices lead them to do?