Over the course of two or three days, Scotzine and myself personally have been brought into a situation that we have not been responsible for or knew about until we received emails and tweets from three individuals.
Two of the said individuals claimed – based on comments by certain individuals on the Celtic forum The Huddleboard – that I was the man responsible for the running of and distributing of a Celtic fanzine called 67.
I responded out of professional courtesy to the individuals involved and forwarded the emails received to the those responsible for the running of the 67 Fanzine.
The Celtic blogger who published an article making claims that I was responsible, received all the facts and all the informed that I could legally send him without breaching the Data Protection Act. SIXTEEN emails were sent between myself and this Celtic blogger calling himself Fritz. So for him to claim in his article that he received no answers to questions and that the complainants did not receive no reasonable explanation is laughable.
Emails sent to the individuals parties:
To Fritz – “I don’t know where folk get the impression that I have anything to do with the fanzine other than hosting the site and doing their template for the fanzine which to my recollection they still use. My initial dealings was with a former college mate Padraig Fitzgerald who linked up with a guy called Andy Lamont to do the fanzine.
Padraig is no longer part of the fanzine as he is now in Dubai, so the only information I have from what is now going on at the fanzine is that Andy Lamont is running the fanzine with some others he has brought on board, who I have no dealings with except for an email when the hosting fee is due.
The hosting fee two months ago for the site was late by two weeks and last months and this months hosting fee is late also. I had one email from them from last month saying they had a ‘cash flow issue’ but they would clear up the money owed to me within the 30 day deadline I imposed. Currently I am out around £60 currently and will not keep the site live when I am not getting paid.
I have no phone contact with Andy Lamont, I only had dealings with Padraig last season by phone, this season when Andy has contacted me it has solely been through email.
I have had two emails since hosting the site for folk asking about the fanzine stuff, and all I can do is point them in the direction of the only email address I have which is firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone claiming that I have anything else other than the above is totally wrong and any rumours that are being spread are totally unfounded if they differ from the above. On top of the Scotzine site, I also run the Scotzine Sport site, I do The Final Whistle Scottish Football Show, the Scotzine online magazine, I write articles for other sites and newspapers including ESPN Soccernet blog and my college course which also involves writing for The Glasgow Journal newspaper. If that was not enough I have moved house recently in preparation for my wife giving birth next month. Where do I have the time to do all of that AND a Celtic fanzine?
I hope you can pass all the details on to those who claim that I have some sort of dealing with this fanzine and put them right. Because I have enough folk trying to bring me down for not kowtowing to the criticism over my Scotzine site and another site helping out with this. I don’t need this ‘rumour’ and blatant lie about me having any further links with this lot.”
To Stephen: “I set up the paypal account for the 67 fanzine along with the site, email system etc, however I have no access to any of them since March 2011 as I passed everything on to Andy Lamont and Padraig Fitzgerald along with access username/passwords for every section they requested – Padraig no longer runs the fanzine as he has moved to Dubai, I know Padraig from my time at college and all I know is that he left and passed everything off to Andy. I cannot help you in your attempts to obtain any issues that they have not sent or money owed to you. They owe me two months hosting fee and I have not heard anything from them since the middle of last month when they had promised to pay at the start of this month.
I must point out again though that I have no links with the fanzine other than what I have informed individuals previously over in regards to template, site design and hosting – which shall be pulled if they fail to pay their debt to me. I must also categorically state that I have never received any monies for subscriptions for the 67 Fanzine.”
Rather than publishing another email listing the same information as I have posted above, I sent both emails from myself to another individual Joe.
In terms of myself threatening legal action, this was said to Fritz and I quote: “if it (the article) states something that is untrue and points to me then I shall take legal action.”
I also pointed him to his own hosting company’s content policy.
In regards to taking legal action against Joe, who runs and owns the Celtic Collectors Club website. He made threats to publish a post on his site based on baseless rumours, conjecture and false claims. As well as that Joe threatened to go to the Police at London Road in Glasgow. I informed him that he should go to the police and that when they come calling I will give them the evidence to back up my comments.
He also claimed that I concocted the guy who actually ran the fanzine out of my imagination, before aiming another blackmail threat at me to get back £3 the he claimed he paid and that he claimed I owed him. He said: “Last chance. Money back now or I go public on my site. You are despicable stealing money from Celtic supporters.”
He further added in the same email: “You are taking on the wrong person. I have the means and not willing to go public.”
Although in his haste to blackmail me, I believe he meant ‘…and now willing to go public’.
That is why I threatened legal action. Trying to extort money from someone through threats is illegal is it not?
After those comments I made it clear that any further correspondence would be forwarded on to a lawyer to deal with, he has since went silent, but then tagged up with Fritz to write his hatchet job article.
After receiving said emails, a number of threatening messages as well as abuse from the usual suspects, I sent two emails to those running the 67 Fanzine and received a response this morning from ‘the figment of my imagination’ Andy Lamont:
I have been away on business for the past week and did not see the emails that you had sent. I am sorry to hear that you are being held accountable for our issues and I shall reimburse those who have purchased the fanzines or send the issue out which has been published. A online version of the issue was produced and had been sent out to subscribers back in August.
As for the website and fanzine itself, due to work committments I cannot continue with the running of it and despite what is being said by others it was not my intention to de-fraud or take money from anyone let alone fellow Celtic fans. for nothing.
I have viewed the article in question and can categorically state that at no time have I had any contact with the fan who writes the Fritz A. Grandold Celtic website. The only contact I have had was from Joe who runs the Celtic Collectors Club website, after speaking to him on the phone I asked one of those who helps out with selling the fanzine from time to time to look into the issues that have not been sent or had been sent out and to re-send any issues that were outstanding or had not been received. To date I have only recorded two buyers who have not received their copies.
Because of your ultimatum about the site and the hosting fee that is outstanding, we understand that you are significantly out of pocket and that I have put you in a predicament. I shall send you the money as soon as I can.
About the guidelines you set down for myself and Padraig at the time I failed to change the details of the email system until several months after you had sent through the username and password. The paypal account that is for the fanzine though I do not know where to change the name, that is why your name is still on the account.
You have my permission to forward this to the person or people involved in holding you responsible and I would like to add that since Issue 1 I back up what you have said in that you have had no dealings with myself or anyone else at 67fanzine except for web hosting issues and payments.
Comments made in the messageboards claiming that you are the editor of 67fanzine are false, the only role that you (Andy Muirhead) have had with 67fanzine is by providing myself and Padraig with hosting and a domain name for the website, along with a template for the fanzine and helping to initially set our account on paypal up.
I apologise if you have been held to blame for our problem, I hope that this email will clear up any hint that you were involved other than what I have said above.
Hail Hail, Andy Lamont”
Fritz claimed in his piece that his article was not an attack on myself or Scotzine. Yet despite my side of the issue being given – Fritz and Joe rubbished it, preferring to believe the tripe peddled on The Huddleboard, the same forum responsible for publishing Nacho Novo’s address. I wonder if my address has now been published for all their members to take a note of and resort to the thuggery that some of their members are famous for?
He further claims that there are only questions, no accusations – but his whole article was one huge accusation. I also find it strange that on his own timeline after publishing said article and link to it – now conveniently deleted – he stated that there was no evidence or proof to suggest that I was responsible. Again don’t let the truth get in the way of your hatchet job Fritz.
Two months after the issues were supposedly published, the finger of blame was aimed at me personally, conveniently a week after I further criticised the Green Brigade and all their IRA luvvies that tag-along or worship them.
Maybe individuals should asking given ALL THE EVIDENCE why have the relevant parties have waited two months? Two months after a receipt of purchase, with one being a businessman who uses paypal on a daily basis – he would know that Paypal could not refund said money after such a period. Maybe questions should be asked in regards to the timing of said accusations and the accusers?
During my time producing Scotzine, I have been accused of being a bigot by those luvvies at the Vanguard Bears – with no evidence to back up their claims – verbally abused, sent death threats and other threats of violence from both sides of the Old Firm divide. And now I am being labelled a fraudster, based merely on rumours on a forum and two disgruntled Celtic fans who have failed to receive a copy of a fanzine issue. It has taken them FIVE years to now label me such, and I full expect in the coming weeks and months to be publicly outed as the third gunman on the Grassy Knowle and even the mastermind behind the Great Train Robbery.
Those who personally know me, know what I would and would not do. Those who have worked on the Scotzine site and had any professional dealings with me would know what I am like and what I would not do. It’s funny how the same detractors are always linked heavily to those who I have strongly criticised in the past. Says it all really.
UPDATE: The 67Fanzine site has now been taken down from our hosting server through unpaid hosting fees.