Thursday, September 29, 2011

Reach for the sky

I like to listen to general Scottish Football podcasts. It gives you a sense of what utter drivel supporters of other clubs talk. Seriously though, there are a few out there, some are good, others sound like they are being read from a bad script. By far the best is The Terrace Podcast

http://theterraceradio.podbean.com/ website @terracepodcast Twitter

Don't get me wrong, I often find myself ready to throw the laptop oot the windae at some of it but there is a lot of quality insight to be found as well. I listened on Tuesday, half asleep it has to be said, but perked up when I heard the panel discuss why Celtic seem to have such low expectations now. This from a Hearts fan, Hibs fan and Rangers fan pretending to support Motherwell...kidding.

I immediately thought "Christ, even they can see it".

What has happened to us? It wasn't so long ago we were standing toe to toe with the best in the world and beating most of them at home too. Now as we approach the game v Udinese, most supporters I know expect us to get beat pretty easily.

That's how far we've fallen.

We need to aim higher, much higher and get back into mindset of "We are Celtic, we fear no one" instead of this Desmond/Lawwell mindset of "We, Dermot and I, are Celtic, and we do our best"

Tonight could signal an upturn in fortunes for Celtic, if players and fans want it badly enough, we can help it happen, we need to remind Europe that we're still here and if we don't take the gift of Europa League participation now, we may regret it for a long time.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

St. Peter

I am sure many Celtic supporters, like me, are today feeling foolish, or in my case even more foolish than normal. The news that Peter Lawwell has decided, again, to defer part of his bonus, again, proves this man is a Saint. Clearly not taking his money now, leaving it sit in the Celtic bank account for an extra few months, before getting it, is the act of a man who, if not on the Nobel Peace Prize list already, he bloody well should be.

Given this act of pure selflessness, I've looked at other things he has done at the past and can now see what they really meant. For example, when VAT was decreased and season ticket prices were not, that was Peter telling us "We don't buckle to any Governments, that was me telling the support, despite that pesky Reid, I'm still in charge" 

Similarly when Peter oversaw a change in policy that meant that director bonuses were not linked to anything on the pitch, that was Peter saying "I want fans to know the American Dream still exists, you can be make it to the top of the pay scale regardless, I'm no gawn tae America though, they expect a tip aw the time!"

It's like when Peter went after Tony Mowbray, Peter knew he had all the skills required to be a Celtic manager, a yes man and, er, that's it. That's how Pedro honed his skills to ensure the current manager gets so little backing from the board in the transfer market, you see how it works, at Celtic, you fail UP the way! Yipee!

And finally, when Peter does not spend money on players, WE ALL don't spend money on players? You know why? Cause it's YOUR money.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Green Brigade highlight the ignorance

The least said about the performance yesterday, the better. Sitting at home watching the game, flashbacks to the Strachan era were too much to bear. I thought, at first, the fans at the game were showing their disdain as Celtic Park was like a morgue, then an almighty cheer came, then another, then another. To be fair to the commentators they mentioned right away that a protest was taking place by The Green Brigade against the absolutely ridiculous new law coming in about "Offensive" Behaviour.

I'm not the type to jump about mental at games but I've been a huge supporter of The Green Brigade since their principled breakaway from the now defunct "Jungle Bhoys". They have made mistakes, I'm sure they'll admit, but they have evolved into a strong and commanding voice amongst the Celtic support, one with an ability to perfectly illustrate the ignorance we Celtic supporters have to face.

The Green Brigade have outlived most of their critics, most of whom were middle-aged men upset by anything, or keyboard warriors whose grasp of the Celtic ethos is unrecognisable to most. This new law is an ass and for The Green Brigade to highlight that is a good thing.

Celtic's history is littered with that rebel streak running through it, started by Michael Davitt, and I've always seen Celtic supporters as people who never took themselves too seriously, could sing and tell stories with the best of them and took their seat very much on the side of the anti-establishment. That's who we are and no one will ever change that, not directors, police, politicians or folk who take themselves far too seriously.

It should also be said that throughout Celtic's history, they have been targetted by various groups and individuals hellbent on undermining the club at every opportunity why bother with their opinion? It is often said Jock Stein was very anti Rebel song and waded into the crowd at Stirling to stop folk singing them. This is absolute nonsense, ask any Lisbon Lion as rebel songs were played on the bus every week. The songs being sung that day are not the songs being sung today and people should stop continuing to spout this blatant lie to justify their campaign for the Hibernianisation of Celtic.

I hope The Green Brigade continue to go from strength to strength, they epitomise what I was brought up to believe Celtic are all about, and no amount of revision will change that.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Is Pre-Season to blame?

As we move towards Autumn in the season, two things stand out for me more than anything.

We aren't fit enough.

We have had far too many injuries.

What is this down to? My own theory is that we completely messed up pre-season and it is coming back to haunt us. I'm sure the fans in Australia loved all the access to the players they got and these things must be done more often, but at the expense of a proper pre-season? Are you kidding me?

The types of injuries we are getting are all consistent with a lack of fitness, any coach will tell you that, and as we approach October we have had 15 players already have missed games because of injury. 15 players injured at their fittest part of the season? I believe this is playing a factor in us not winning games that we go a goal down in. We simply do not have the stamina to do it just now, see the pathetic attempt to come back v St Johnstone or the total collapses in Sion and at Ibrox for clues.

Are we training hard enough? Are players looking after themselves properly? I don't know. I do know that one player came to the club last season as a tee-totaller totally dedicated to his football and now spends half his life in pubs and clubs. People say players should be able to do what they want in their own time, I say players who wanted to get pished all the time are like Wall St guys who march for Socialism in their spare time.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Channel 67-It's not 1967.

Older readers in the UK will remember what sports porgrammes used to be like. Frank Bough or Dickie Davies would sit in front of cheap sets, look directly to camera and have you contemplating suicide until they showed some goals. SKY and Soccer AM changed all that with bright, fresh ideas, tons of proper celebs talking football all along with a nod to the American type of sports coverage.

All this makes what Channel 67 do all the more bizarre.

One of the things that has hamstrung Celtic over the years is the constant need to put square pegs in round holes. Folk who do announcing also write columns, folk who edit magazines also do commentary and so on. In the past I have totally slaughtered the Celtic Media Team, perhaps too vitriolic at times, but I feel that they still are not getting it. Have a look at what Paul Brennan at CQN has managed to create with his new CQ magazine and CQN TV.  We in America pay $400 a year for a service that last night was a repeat followed by the game followed by nothing.

That's not good enough.

Jim Craig had his faults but the decision to let him go and then put in Gregor Kyle was absolute madness. Apart from being an ex player, Jim encouraged folk to email in from all over the world and it gave you a sense there were thousands just like you at their computers. He also took time to read out and reply to comments as well. A nice personal touch that goes down well at 7am on a Sunday morning. Now, when we don't get repeats, we get a pre-match show with Gregor and someone like Mark Henderson and Laura Brannan. All seem like nice people but this is 2011, I'm no interested in hearing why Mark Wilson is such a valuable asset to Celtic cause he's always available for an interview. If you're going to be a pundit, who hasn't played the game, you have to have a personality that people either really hate or really love, and there's nothing like that at Channel 67.

Another thing that strikes me as bizarre is that one week Paul Cuddihy is commentator, the next he is a pundit. Does that happen anywhere else? I have to confess, I like Paul Cuddihy on it as a commentator, he can do the job and can insighttful but he absolutely must have an ex player beside him at all times.

The is also the ridiculous aspects of Channel 67 when before the St Johnstone game they show five minutes of highlights of Dunfermline v St Johnstone for reasons I cannot begin to even fathom.

Tony Hamilton will often do commentary for away games or punditry for The Online Huddle and again this does not work. Tony is surrounded by players and will have wee tit-bits and so on but it is impossible for him to be objective because of this. There is no possibility of him saying "Actually, Loovens was pish today" and we need to move beyond that because fans are more aware than they have ever been. Tony, I'm sure, has the power to change things, he must,

I do hear a couple of supporters have been approached to get more involved, not really sure of that from a supporter sense as it's a lose-lose for the supporter, but hopefully it means they have recognised that it's not working.

My own format idea would be a proper presenter every week pre and post match, with one ex player in every week to talk us over the game. Pre and post match interviews from the tunnel and maybe one half time feature, preferably one that we haven't seen 12 times already.

Look around the net, the supporters are not just leaving Celtic behind in these kind of things, they are actually so far ahead of them it is no longer a race.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Will the alarm go off in Dingwall?

I've long said that there is a culture of mediocrity at Celtic that is now part of the fabric of the club. It comes from the top where we have men, completely out their depth, egos the size of the Grand Canyon, making decisions that Basil Fawlty would find outrageous. This leads to the management level of staff being weak as said men do not want people beneath them capable of saying "What the fuck are you doing?"

Right across the board at Celtic, and in it as well, we have men who should not be anywhere near the running of our club, another, Ian Bankier, is coming in soon, a man who saw millions ploughed into The Huns in the 90s. I've said plenty about the others but our own football team manager is in the firing line.

As we head up to Dingwall, Celtic must win this game because if we don't, all hell will break loose. Although I did not want him in the job, I've supported Neil Lennon throughout his tenure, particularly when people were trying to murder him, but he needs to look at himself now and say "Am I working for the board or the supporters?" So far, it's been the board. Putting his name to stupid club statements, accepting players but not personally scouting them and not challenging the board to make more finance available has left our manager in a position where it is all on him.

We Celtic supporters want a good victory today so we can get the whole show on the road again, anything less, and the alarm bells will ring.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Witching Hour is upon Celtic

After another catastrophe at Ibrox, a result that sums up what an utter shambles the club is at the minute, I often wonder what the hell it will take for people to wake up. Every time I see Peter Lawwell attend supporter events I realise how far in some fans are and how they will never question anything he does. An incredible, astounding and heartbreaking thing. Remember when you were angry young men?

Let's look at Celtic since Thursday. We go to Madrid and yet another baffling team selection is thrown at us.  As fans, we aren't the only ones who questioned it, look at who was completely excluded from yesterdays game, it's not that hard to figure out. After the game the team stayed in Madrid. They didn't get back until 5pm on Friday afternoon. Who on earth sanctioned that? Before a game at Ibrox?

We go to Ibrox on Sunday, drop four good performers in Stokes, Forrest, Ledley and Matthews, what was the thinking behind that? Who in their right mind breaks up the most potent strike force in Scottish football? Why was a clearly unfit Scott Brown played, a player who now faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines because of it.

Which takes me onto signings. Kelvin Wilson looks not bad but will be destroyed by the lack of a consistent and good partner. Adam Matthews has show he can play but gets dropped for Mark Wilson, a player I can only assume has wiped the manager's memory since 2006. Victor Wanyama it seems no one has the first clue where he plays and we are almost at October. Forster, the main target of the management team over the summer, was another disaster yesterday. El Kaddouri had an awful game and Bangura, well, I know it's early and I know his appearances have been fleeting but he has shown nothing. This paragraph is all opinion, no problem being told I am wrong.

Let's move onto some facts.

What on earth is happening at Youth level? With most of the U19s freed last season, Chris McCart is running the show and has brought in his pals Scott Leitch, Colin Meldrum and David Moss, men with no affinity whatsoever for Celtic to put it mildly and who are not delivering. This is an area that a lot of focus should be on and it is turning to shit.

This brings me to Neil Lennon. As much as we all love him, it's not working.  What started after losing four goals at St Mirren Park 18 months ago ended with conceding four at Ibrox yesterday. All fans hope is gone and it was apparent to all yesterday that something is inherently wrong.

Celtic have been guilty of complacency from the top, to the point where it has hard to pinpoint anything positive about the club at the minute. I know where the blame lies, do you?

Incidentally, Tony Mowbray is doing quite well again eh? Funny what you can do when there's no interference.

Friday, September 16, 2011

If only Bill Hicks had stayed

You'll see that my profile photo is that of the late, great Bill Hicks at Celtic Park. He went there in 1992. Bill was the best kind, the only kind of comedian. He was fearless, he didn't care what people thought of him and he would not be silenced.

A climate of failure has engulfed Celtic. I know supporters don't like hearing that, I certainly don't, but it's a fact and we have been duped into believing that where we are now is where we should be anyway. Let's stop all the nonsense that this means I am saying we should be competing with Man Utd and Barcelona. Too many Lawwell Lackeys trot this message out in the same way that Internet Accountants tell you if we spent a few bob on players we'd end up like Leeds Utd.

Take two teams in the last year, Sion and Utrecht, can anyone give me a single argument as to why we should not be beating these teams? Our turnover is far greater than both, our support simply dwarves theirs and they'd probably have a seizure if they had to pay our wage bill.

Yet both teams comfortably beat us in the last year. Any alarm bells yet?

Of course we have all watched in glee as Rangers have stumbled from one crisis to another and yet no one, no one ever says "Hey, if they are so bad, how come we never win anything?", because we are all too busy laughing at Peter Lawwell's staged and horribly wooden joke at their expense.

It was only eight years ago we went to Seville, it was only seven years ago we knocked out Barcelona, it was only five years ago we beat Man Utd, it was only four years ago we beat AC Milan. Yet most would have you believe losing 2-0 in Madrid last night was a decent result.

We're still Celtic and not having the money to compete with Man Utd regularly is absolutely no excuse for our pathetic input into youth development in terms of finance and our absolute joke of a scouting system. That's before we even get into the reasons why we haven't won a league since 2008.

Don't accept this garbage, because you deserve far more. Don't accept being told that "There's nothing we can do", there is, it's just they choose not to.

Bill Hicks often spoke "Demons sent to lower our expectations of standards"

Quite.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cuban marks out the media

I read an interesting article by Mark Cuban the other day. For those of you who don't know, Mark owns the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, current NBA Champions. An affable guy, he doesn't fit your average CEO image, he's good looking, funny, doesn't wear suits and will give anyone with a great idea a chance.

In his blog http://blogmaverick.com/2011/04/04/whats-the-role-of-media-for-sports-teams/

Mark talks about the role of media in respect of sports teams. I found it interesting because in the blog he outlines that the only media he has no time for is paid internet writers or ones who run websites specifically to generate traffic so to get ads and so on. He explains they are the ones who generate the most bullshit in terms of rumours and nonsense to generate said traffic. He goes on to say that he needs print and TV there as lot of people who use this medium will never use the internet.

The bit that interested me the most though was his admiration for folk, like myself(although he'd probably hate me personally in real life obviously), who do blogs as a labour of love. He explains that a lot of us do them so to get noticed and get paid work so the quality of writing will be higher and the research and feature stuff better. I'd never really thought of that before but then I guess that's why he's a billionaire and I'm not.

It did make me think about those among us who do go looking for hits by trying to generate non stop controversy, their stuff is normally ridiculed and dismissed quite quickly, even by the billionaires it seems.

Monday, September 12, 2011

It ain't me...It's Kenny


I don't think I've ever written a blog that has seen me get as much abuse as I got yesterday for the 9/11 one. I got a couple of emails in saying America deserved it, I expected that, and I'll have that debate happily, just not on September 11th. Anyone who knows me, knows what my politics are and for almost everything I am farther left that Fidel Castro and as Republican as Gerry Adams. That does not mean I can't take time out to feel sympathy and mourn with people who lost loved ones, no matter what happened. If you can't handle that, it's not my problem.

However the most abuse I got was from the dark side. I got tweets and emails from people revelling in the massacre. None of them came from Islamic extremists. You see your average hun sees America, and New York in particular, as some sort of Tim paradise. Well, you know what, they are right about New York. So, to them, as one so eloquently told me:

"It's a win-win for us, aw you Irish-American Catholics get killed, then the Army go over and blow up aw the fucking Arabs, fucking magic"

Quite.

Except, I know the fly in that particular ointment. In the picture above (closest right) is one Kenny Keegan. Kenny is Irish-American, a former Altar Boy, a diehard Irish Republican, Celtic supporter and, oh yeah, a US Marine who has done more tours than a New York Sightseeing Bus. A neighbourhood guy from Queens, Kenny can take on and beat anyone, period. On tours in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, he takes his I Pod and dock everywhere, for one reason specifically, to blast out Rebel songs anywhere he can in the earshot of the British Army. The Brits don't know what to say, Kenny says "and we're all off to Dublin in the Green..."

What else would you expect from a man who grew up near "The IRA Block" in Queens?

See for guys like Kenny, they love their country, they are proud to serve it and they don't get involved in all the bullshit surrounding it, they just do their job&he's as far from some Arab-Hating Warmonger as Michael Moore is. The other thing is, you, and I am speaking to the normal people reading now, may have an opinion of America and it's army that is all about what they've done and why they should expect to be hit back, that's fine, your entitled to that. Like anything though, there is grey area.

Or in Kenny's case, green area.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In New York, it's not about opinions

I've read a lot of hyperbole this week. I have to confess, pre 2004, I would have probably been the same. As we mourn today in New York, it's easy for the armchair pundits to wade in with their opinion on 9/11, why it happened and so on. I know because I've been like that myself. Then when you get closer to the tragedy, the human aspect of it comes into sharp focus. You meet people who lost fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, friends, colleagues and, quite frankly, they could not give a fuck what you or I think. And why should they?

No two tragedies are the same and no one going for breakfast that morning in downtown Manhattan or going to work as a cop or fireman or hot dog vendor was in any way shape or form deserving of the massacre that occured that day. They're dead because of where they were not who they were.

Over 3000 kids lost a parent that day, a loss that can never be brought back, they don't care if anyone saw it coming, they just want their Dad back.

9/11 didn't end on 9/11, it goes on now so spare a thought for all those who died, those who lost loved ones, those that lost their jobs, those first responders who got cancer because of their bravery, those poor bastards who had to jump out buildings to certain death.

Let the opinions start on Sep 12th.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Scotland's Perfect Storm

Scotland faced two massive games in early September and I have to say that I had to check with a Tartan Army friend who they were against and when exactly they would be played. I used to be a fairly regular attender to Scotland games in the 1980s and early 90s. A combination of things stopped me going, mainly the fans bias towards players from a certain team and a little exploration of the SFA history. Despite that I remain a supporter but fear that the Scotland we knew is already gone and lost forever. I've heard and read numerous theories about why we are so God awful now and I don't think you can put it down to one single thing, more a perfect storm that started just before the Morocco game in France 1998.

I doubt many realised that this game v Morocco would be our last game at a major tournament for a generation but there was a tiny indication. As the teams came out for the game everyone noticed it right away, Craig Burley had dyed his hair blonde. This may be a small thing, and it was done because of boredom, but at what point do any of you think Alex Ferguson or Jock Stein would not have just killed Burley on the spot when they saw it. A day before a massive game and his focus was one his hair colour. There is a good look into the Scottish psyche there, "It's only Morocco" is pretty much what the nation thought then. Not now. After the end of the Brown era, Bertie Vogts came, tore the team apart, blooded what felt like the entire cast of Braveheart and got Scotland nowhere near Japan/South Korea 2002 or France 2004. The slide to total mediocrity was in full flow now. After Vogts was sacked The SFA issued the rallying call "Send for Watty", and despite abject failure at Everton, Walter Smith got the gig and was doing well when he jumped ship for Ibrox in January 2007 and let Big Eck takeover for about 10 minutes. To be fair, between them, it started an upsurge in fortunes that culminated in the home and away defeats of France but still neither Germany 2006 or Austria/Switzerland 2008 would have The Tartan Army anywhere near it. The fact was Scotland had put in a herculean effort to to get to The European Championships in 2008 and still fell short. Always a worrying thing.

Somewhere between Norway in the second game in France 98 and now, the Scottish national team and support have got lost. In around 1995 there was an upsurge of nationalism in Scotland, spurred by Mel Gibson it has to be said, and this changed the face of the Scotland support. Previous to this, around 70% of it had been made up with Rangers supporters but they began to feel like Celtic fans did in the 60s and 70s, outcasts. The culmination of this came at Hampden in November 1999 when, before a match v England, their national anthem was booed with as much gusto as anyone could care to remember. This kind of identity was growing arms and legs within the Scotland support, whilst the SNP were on there way to governing Scotland, the problem was the team, now under Bertie Vogts, was absolutely dreadful. The crowds were plummeting and the team was fragmenting. What was the Scottish national team now? A joke.

When pride began to be restored under Smith and McLeish, a lot of fans came back and what they witnessed was a new type of Scotland fan. Lots more wore kilts and full highland dress, new songs had been adapted and there was an official club now for fans regarding tickets, home and away, whilst the North Stand at Hampden became the home of the hardcore. Gone were the days where you could just roll up to a Scotland game with your only worry being how much drink you still had left. A kind of mix and match of The SNP and The SFL made up the support now. A support which still has people in it who look at the five home fixtures in the latest World Cup draw and will say, with a straight face, "Well that's 15 points right away". The high point for these supporters came when Scotland faced Italy at Hampden, for a place at the European Championships in 2008, full house, top class opposition, this is how it should be. Despite that loss in November 2007, hopes were high for the future and then.....nothing.

What has happened since? Crowds seem like they are tumbling again, yet another embarrassing campaign, this time under George Burley, has been replaced with Craig Levein's attempt to bore a nation to tears and right now no one really knows what the future holds. Scotland needs to ask itself "Who are we and what do we want?" An often ridiculed and exposed SFA has been reformed and that has to be a step in the right direction. If Scotland is to have any chance of a proper revival, that has to be done now because there is more catching up to do than most of us can possibly imagine.

The reality is though that a perfect storm hit Scotland, Craig Brown's reluctance to blood young players, Bertie Vogts need to blood young players, fans not knowing if they were William Wallace or Jim Wallace, decent managers being allowed to jump ship at a moments notice without a fight and some the most inept and boring football that has ever been witnessed have all culminated in Scotland fans not really knowing what happens next. This has also created an apathy amongst guys like me who nod towards Scotland but see it, and a lot of the current fans it has to be said, as a wee bit nonsensical. When I was growing up, Scotland was something you watched, supported and cheered on but the idea was to never it take it too seriously as fans, and hope the powers that be would take it very seriously.

Sadly, it seems the roles have been reversed.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

You do care Peter!

I blogged on Sunday that the Europa League entrry was a bonus and a chance for Peter Lawwell to show he cares. As one who is never slow on telling him he is wrong, I commend him for the prices released today.

http://www.celticfc.net/newsstory?item=1518

This is a step in the right direction and hopefully the first of many.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Men like Thomson are the difference

The Scots and the Irish love to romanticise now and again. I do it a lot myself. If ever there was a day to do it, it's today, the 80th anniversary of John Thomson's death. I first was aware of John Thomson's life at a family party when his song was sung, women went quiet, men tried to hide tears. That's the effect that song has on Celtic people. Every time I hear "So play up Glasgow Celtic, stand up and play the game", it reminds me why I continue to support the Celtic" because that is what we have done for 123 years. Without help or favour.

The Bhoys and Ghirls who did the walk from Glasgow to Cardenden epitomise what The Celtic Family are all about. You just expect that from Celtic supporters, that's what we do. Of course, we had the sad but not surprising news that on Saturday night, prior to their arrival, the grave of John Thomson was desecrated. Very few people I know will have been shocked by this, all were sickened.

There is also a play in Glasgow this week remembering the life of Thomson and again that's something doesn't really happen with other clubs, partly down to the romantic aspect of Celtic and the stories there in. If I could be anywhere this week, it would be there.

Of course when I first heard the John Thomson song I was a wee boy, as I grew up I was known for the odd chant now and again and from around 1993 onwards would happily "belt wan oot" at a party. I knew the John Thomson song well and at a party of "Leith Waterworld" employees one night I was asked, near demanded, to sing John Thomson, which I did. I thought about that yesterday, the guy who demanded it was Joe Nevin, brother of Pat.

I wonder if Pat feels romantic today?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A chance to show you care Peter

They say you're better being lucky than being good. Celtic must feel like that after UEFA reinstated us back into Europe. I'm not 100% convinced we will get back in but if we do, the club has an extraordinary chance to thank the supporters for their incredible backing. I've heard some horrible stories that Celtic were looking at circa £85 for the three Europa games or £31 individually and that would be a nasty slap in the face to all supporters and would lead to thousands of unsold tickets and a certain early exit from the competition.

I know how these things work. They tally up all the Direct Debits and see what they can get guaranteed. However, this is not a time for profit Peter.

The club must be sensible here and put in place an affordable pricing policy for this tournament in line with the current economy and the fact that this is a big bonus. You know all about those Peter.

My proposal would be as follows:

3 game package for season ticket holders-Adults £60, Kids £30.

3 game pacakage for non season ticket holders-Adults £75, Kids £40

This would virtually guarantee all three games being sold out and an atmosphere that has seen us beat far better teams than Athletico M, Udinese or Rennes.

This is a chance for the club, for once, to think people not profits.

What a great ideology that is.

Friday, September 2, 2011

When songs become weapons

As a 37 year old duffer, I've come to realise that I am no longer an angry young man. So the first rule of that is, don't tell folk younger than you what to do or how to behave. It's easy when you get a bit older to sit pontificating that folk should not do what you did. They're going to do it and learn from any mistakes you hope. That's the way it works.

I just read the latest edition of TAL Fanzine

http://www.talfanzine.com//Ezine/TAL%20E-zine%203.pdf

and in it were articles aimed at points and blogs Phil Mac Giolla Bhain has made recently.After reading I then entered into a great debate with @harper1888 @williekeane and @grahamdwilson on Twitter about it. Through the debate, it occured to me that after that verdict on Wednesday, if I was an angry young man still, I'd be going to Tynecastle on October 2nd pumped up and ready for anything. I'm not though. So I can't sit here and say others should not. There are some good points about the songs and Anti-Irish Racism in TAL(Anti Irish Racism being Scotland's Shame and the root case of all the problems) and although there are clearly some issues regarding TAL and Phil, that will hopefully now be put to bed, it is good to see arguments articulated so well as they were in TAL.

This is crucial I think. Simply because I've met thousands of articulate Republicans over the years but rarely so you see that side of the debate put forward. I hope that the debate won't end with that.

Similarly, despite being a 37 year old duffer, I'd still be raging going to Tynecastle on October 2nd.

"When being just a lad like you..."

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Who fears to speak of Neil Lennon

I doubt Neil Lennon has had many more worse days than today. He will have woken up to the knowledge that now knows 100% he will never get justice in Scotland. Being Neil Lennon is a crime in itself in the eyes of a hell of a lot of Scotland and that is never going to change. You can kid yourself on as much as you want but Neil Lennon is the most hated man in Scotland. That's never going to change.

When I wrote Dougie Dougie's epilogue I spoke about the power of New Media and Social Media. Similarly when on Beyond The Waves Celtic Show, I said we will never change the bigots, you just have to weaken them. Which then makes the words today of Peter "Bonus" Lawwell all the more bizarre. he speaks of being "Mystified" by the verdict. Really Peter? You've lived in Scotland all your life, did it really shock you that much?

Why weren't Celtic prepared for such an outcome? What on earth made them look like a rabbit caught in the headlights here? A civil action should have been launched immediately, why wasn't it?

Neil Lennon was hung out to dry by the Scottish Courts yesterday. He continues to be hung out to dry by Peter Lawwell.