The Asterisk Years – Book Review

The Asterisk Years – Book Review

The Edinburgh Establishment V Celtic. by Paul Larkin.

Oh! what a tangled web we weave When first we practice to deceive! – Sir Walter Scott

The Asterisk Years Paul Larkin
we weren’t paranoid enough.

I could not resist starting this review by quoting Sir Walter Scott, a leading light in the Scottish Enlightenment and more than likely a fully paid up member of the Edinburgh Establishment in his times.

I was delighted earlier on this year when I found out what Paul was going to be covering in this book. I’m a bit older than the author but we share so many life experiences that I’m starting to think we are the same person only with me being the Glesga version lol. After reading the book I feel vindicated, the views that I have held for many years regarding Sir David Murray and co were pretty much spot on.

The first part of the book has nothing whatsoever to do with the Edinburgh Establishment and the politics of Scottish football. However it’s a great opening in typical Larkin style. It’s a personal tale of what life is all about when you grow up in a cooncil scheme as part of social class that is pretty much abandoned by those who live in the leafy suburbs of a big City. I can verify this, I lived that life. As always with Paul’s stuff it’s great entertainment, a ‘barry’ read as they say in salt n’ sauce land. It’s also a very clever way on the authors part to give the reader a sense of perspective before they dive into the heart of the book.

It’s hard to do a review of a book you find engaging, entertaining and thought provoking with out giving away too much and maybe spoiling it for others. So what I’ve decided to do regarding the main part of the book is to tell you some of my thoughts and then leave you with a list of important questions.

The main guts of the book where the author exposes and presents evidence of a conspiracy not only to enhance the standing of Rangers (in liquidation) but also to control Scottish football and destroy Celtic is well set out. There are a series of graphs and graphics which put ‘flesh on the bones’. Another thing I liked was the inclusion of ‘QR Code’ on a couple of pages which allows readers with smartphones to access online info graphics and information. All in all it’s a wonderful read but what makes it different, what makes it stand out and most importantly why would you buy it ?

I’ll leave you with a list of questions, if you want the answers then buy the book. I think you’ll thank me for that bit of advice because I feel Paul Larkin has just opened one helluva can of worms.


  1. What is the SFA’s fascination with school teachers ?
  2. Why would it matter what school you went to ?
  3. Whats so special about an area in Lanarkshire ?
  4. Why would a bank support a business that owed over £1bn ?
  5. In 1994 which club was more financially stable Celtic or Rangers (in liquidation) ?
  6. How can a football club owe over £100m to creditors and still be supported by a bank ?
  7. Who is Sir Angus Grossart ?
  8. Who does Stewart Reagan have a cosy relationship with ?
  9. Why are Edinburgh Rugby, Hearts, Lloyds banking group, Edinburgh green belt land and Scotland’s chief planner all connected ?
  10. Finally…. What the hell has Dolly the sheep got to do with all this ?

I commend this book to the house.

Hail, Hail

Get the book here

Also availible on Kindle

3 thoughts on “The Asterisk Years – Book Review

  1. This is a book I have and will read myself. Being from the same area as Paul and growing up beside him (Paul may remember my Auld man had 2nd hand shops and a big great Dane?”

    I could have done a chapter on Sir Moonboots myself. I now live in the same area as Sir Dave. I know who he knows and how dangerous a man he is. When he got called on his personal phone by someone and he replied “I will come and see you” That promise still stands, not even the Queen can get directly through to Sir Dave. Sir Dave doesn’t forget. The people this man has on the end of a phone is BREATHTAKING. His connections to a bank in the Centre of Edinburgh and how this bank became almost the Bank of Rangers is astonishing. I am sure Paul added this into his book.
    George Street here is like our Wall Street. It is a crooked as 1 of the 2 Secvo Directors.

    Good blog and a book I am really looking forward to reading, being from the land of salt and sauce and financial crime myself. Muirhouse was ok when I was a kid, it’s a shithole now. Maybe it was a shithole when I was a kid, it was where I was from so I knew everyone, still do as half my family still sadly live there. Good on ya Paul, if you read this pal, I LOVE to see people from Muirhouse going on to do something with themselves. 10/10, not all of us managed to escape it.

    Can’t wait to read.


  2. Wullie

    I love Paul’s work and his style. It is the speak of the “rough diamond”. The opinion of the spade man. Airs and graces are not in Paul’s vocabulary. If anything, he is ultra-back-close man but doffs his cap to no one. I agree with you that it is almost essential to his writing that a “pictorial” background is in place first. It is the grit that prepares the way for the grime. It not only shapes the story, it profiles the man who writes it. And this is key to understanding what he says, how he says it and why. I have not had the pleasure of this one but I am about to make sure the gap is filled.

    Shaun, I never had the “privilege” of living in Scotland’s “first city” but worked there for several years. I remember Muirhouse well but probably before it became the affluent area you grew up in. Or are you on the other side of the track from Monsieur Murray. I remember having to meet Architects and Consultants in George Street. I felt out of place driving along it even in a £16,000 Carlton 2L GTX (Co. car, by the way). And Wullie, are there hooses that are no in schemes? Maybe you mean the miners’ rows that ran up the main street in our village. I can tell you, they weren’t too posh either but maybe better than a prefab. We had a one up and a one down with a “terrace”. Well, a flat roof if you had the guts to climb up onto it from the lavy window – only once and if I did not go to the bog for a shit beforehand, I sure needed one when I came back inside. Memories!


    1. Arthur, here is a page of Old Muirhouse from Facebook. If Paul pops his head in he will remember. It has totally changed these days. Paul will know what I mean. The High School is now at the other end of Pennywell Road.
      Before I was born Muirhouse was all prefab housing, before that German chap said high story flats were they way to go, vertical villages 😀 Eye sores, Driving through the middle of Glasgow to say, the Airport, it is all you see. I dare say Glasgow has it’s nice areas? Someone told me around Hampden was nice? Mountcastle? would be a guess. I really only know how to get to one place, the other on occasion. Paradise and Hampden.

      And yeah all memories, That facebook site is shithot if you are from Muirhouse, I am in several pictures as a kid playing football in my Celtic top, but you got to scroll for a week to get there..

      And Salt ‘n Sauce, that argument I don’t get, Brown sauce is like 60% vinegar 😀 Stupid argument/debate. But I get it in the neck still from family I have living in Glesga lol

      HH Chaps

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