Monday, October 31, 2011

Lenny stood by us, now we must stand by him

There seems to be a consensus out there that if we lose to Motherwell, Neil Lennon goes. If that sentence doesn't break your heart, as a Celtic supporter, nothing will.  I know there are plenty people out there who would love to see him go right now but if Neil Lennon is forced out of Celtic, we are literally at the point where we'd be as well pulling the shutters down on the whole club.

There is an extreme mentality football nowadays. I read on Twitter on Saturday people praising Neil's team selection. Then after the game some of the same people were criticising him for sticking with the same players. Now, I've heard all the rumours of fall outs with Commons, Ki and Kayal, they are true but then so is the fact that things like that happen in football every day. Neil Lennon should not have to motivate anyone to play for Celtic and give their all, if a player does not want to do that, let him go asap.

Of course Neil Lennon has made mistakes, show me a manager that hasn't, but as the football in Scotland goes back to the mid to late 80s, so to should the attitude towards managers, put simply, you don't parachute out the plane at the first sign of turbulence. Look at Hearts, Jim Jeffries goes through a bad run, gets sacked, Paolo Sergio is brought in and already the knives are being sharpened for him. Is that where we want to be?

I know no matter what I write here, some folk will still say "LENNON OUT" but some things need to be clarified. The first one is that managers do not "lose a dressing room". That is spiel for "The players can't be arsed trying any more" Quite frankly, there is no excuse for that no matter what the circumstances are for any player who thinks he can arse about til a new manager comes, we don't want them at Celtic Park and they should think themselves lucky they every got the chance to player for a club like Celtic.

The other big factor is I do not want the people in charge of Celtic, in charge of anything to do with another manager recruitment. They do not have the qualifications to do this and given that we know now that Lawwell sought the advice of John Hartson and Graham Spiers in the recruitment of Neil Lennon, we cannot trust him ever again.

Neil Lennon may never be given the time to prove he can be a great Celtic manager and that is a terrible thought in my view. If anyone believes that Lenny isn't feeling the same way we all are now, they are deluding themselves. If he has made one crucial error, it was not getting in an experienced "organiser" as No2. Someone who could have protected some of the flaws our players have by having them better organised. This is to me is the answer and happy balance we need at Celtic. It may need Neil to say some harsh things to his current coaching staff but these are hard times and hard decisions need to made.

Right now I fear Neil Lennon walking and this club descending into an absolute farce as the Lawwell spin goes into full effect and we are told, once again, a load of crap to appease us.

Right now, that is the last thing we need.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

How tired are you?

After yet another recovery ends before it really begins, I am truly sick and tired of this. I've said for years what I think the problems are at Celtic but for those who have not yet had the opportunity to tell me I am wrong then here they are again

NOTHING WILL CHANGE UNTIL DESMOND AND LAWWELL GO.

Now, I don't want Neil Lennon to get sacked. I thought we were off our heads to give him the job in the first place, but to sack him now? Are we really going to go down the extremist route again? Neil was a rookie manager who should never have been given the job but we gave him it and he got the team going again. This lead to threats, bombs and bullets. After all that happened, the biggest crime of all was to not give Neil all the support in the world in the summer, instead of the paltry budget we did give him.

Neil, you should have walked then, you would have been supported by everyone&all this would have came to a head in the summer.

Instead though he plodded on despite knowing he'd been lied to by the board and that his team was not good enough to win the SPL. The frustrations of this, coupled by some of the players undermining in different ways, and the lack of backing by a board more concerned with self preservation is why we now sit 12 points behind.

When people say "Sack Neil Lennon" the same names are trotted out Roy Keane, Davie Moyes, Mick McCarthy, Owen Coyle. Why? Cause they are all connected to Celtic. Is that really where we are now? We think the same as Rod Petrie does for Hibs?  Celtic are in crisis, of that there is no doubt. I say that because it takes a special type of team to smash a team 4-1 then look inferior to them a mere three days later. I blame the players for this. Quite frankly Gary Hooper has been a passenger this season, Kayal took the first two months off, Ki doesn't know whether he's coming or going and you throw that in with players like Loovens, Mastorivic, Wilson(take your pick) and Bangura(funny how he's fit again eh?) what on earth do we all expect to happen?

So the point is, what is the point of sacking Neil Lennon, when they same people will pick a new manager on a criteria of you've got no money, some say in team selection but for God's sake don't question anything we do.

I am tired of this.

I get a lot of abuse, some really vile stuff at times, any time I slag off Desmond and Lawwell in particular. TBH I am past caring because I'll tell you this, I'll stop blogging about them when they start giving us our club back.

Should Rangers get a "Swindon"?

Speculation is rife that The Huns will go into administration any day now. Credit lines exhausted, cash running out, it seems a likely outcome for them. Excuse me whilst I buy some fireworks. Anyway, on top of all that, the HMRC case against them resumes in November and given the nature of what they are accused of, if found guilty, what should their punishment from the footballing authorities be? I don't often re-print stuff on here but I think this makes interesting reading regarding Swindon Town:

Macari is replaced with ex-Argentinian international and World Cup winner Ossie Ardiles - but the club is rocked with a bombshell just three weeks before the season starts, when The People publishes revelations that chairman Brian Hillier put money on Swindon winning Division Three in 1987, as an insurance policy for player bonuses. The allegations seemed to affect performances on the pitch - and the Town win just one of the first seven games, and are 21st in the table. Eventually though, Ardiles' passing style and diamond formation begin to work, and they drop just four points in the next nine games - despite the sale of Phil King, who is surprisingly bought by Sheffield Wednesday for a record £400,000. The allegations then get worse - and Hillier is accused of putting money on the Town to lose in the FA Cup game at Newcastle two years previously. When he is found guilty, he is banned from football for six months - which is increased to three years on appeal. Macari is fined £1,000 for his part in the scandal - and when he chooses to appeal, West Ham force his resignation. Swindon's performances again suffer, and they pick up just two points in the five games that follow the announcement. A decent start to the year puts Swindon back on track, but The People deliver a third blow, this time alleging illegal payments to players. Despite the turmoil though, the Town beat table-topping Leeds to go into third place, and at the end of the season, they finish fourth - their highest league position ever - to go into the play-offs. Shortly before the last game of the season, another bombshell hits, when Hillier, Macari, captain Colin Calderwood and secretary Vince Farrar are all arrested and questioned by Inland Revenue officials over a tax fraud conspiracy. Calderwood is released without charge, and the others are given bail - on the pitch, the Town go on to defeat Blackburn over two legs to reach the final at Wembley, where they will play for only the second time in their history. In a match they completely dominate, Alan McLoughlin scores the only goal - a deflected effort - to defeat Sunderland and win promotion to the First Division. The joy is short-lived though, as just ten days later, the Football League decide to demote the Town two divisions, after they admit 36 breaches of League rules - 35 of which are related to illegal payments. The Swindon board immediately appeal, but High Court action is dropped due to lack of funding - and the fans protest, thousands signing a "1st not 3rd" petition. The FA Appeal Panel reduce the demotion to just one division, and Swindon are denied their first-ever taste of top flight football. Hillier was eventually jailed, whilst Farrar and former club secretary Dave King received suspended sentences.

What is clear is that corruption and tax evasion were rife at Swindon and they were eventually caught. The punishment from the footballing authorities? Demoted two divisions. Promoted up one on appeal. Now, this begs the question, how different is what they did to what The Huns are accused of? Forget the gambling(Aye we noticed you Macari ya bastard), Swindon players evaded tax and were paid money they should not have been. That really is not different to what The Huns are accused of is it?

So, given that the penalty for administration is to be deducted 10 points, liquidation/new company formed is deduction of 25 points, are we to assume that the penalty for tax evasion and illegal payments to players, this time through the Employess Benefts Trust, is to be demoted two divisions?

I better get a two boxes of matches.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What now for Scott Brown?

The news delivered by Neil Lennon yesterday that Celtic can't agree a fee with Scott Brown's agent will come as no shock to anyone who, eh, listens to anything Neil Lennon says as he said the same in August. What it feels like now is that Celtic are softening up the supporters for a Brown departure but it would look like from where I am sitting that the most angst will be about getting no fee, not losing the player.

It all should have been so different. A dynamic attacking midfielder who has pace and could tackle is what we bought for £4.4m back in May 2007. The subsequent four years later we have saw very little of that again to the point where, even as Club Captain, fans rarely expect anything from Brown. There are lots of things levelled at Brown, some ridiculous it has to be said, but the three consistent things are that he cares more about playing for Scotland than Celtic, he plays on the hard man act too much and that his whole game is running about like a headless chicken.

The one lift in his relationship with the supporters was after his goal celebration at Ibrox, a good moment, but given the £5m he has taken from Celtic, very few see it as Value For Money.

For me Gordon Strachan coached a lot of good out of Scott Brown. As a consistent in centre midfield he had partner after partner put beside him despite all his best football coming in a midfield three at Hibs with Kevin Thomson and Michael Stewart. With Thomson going to The Huns the previous January, I advocated at the time that why not sign Stewart and see if it works? At that time though a lot of heads were in the clouds and Stewart was seen as the sort of player "Not Celtic class".  Brian Clough always believed that you fitted a system around the players you had, didn't matter who they were.

So now, four and a half years later from signing, it looks like Scott Brown will be off in January, and that will only really be good for him, short term, and his agent, long term. It is easy to blame the agent in this but show me an agent who isn't in it for the money and I'll show you a liar or Jerry Maguire.

It all could have been so different but it won't be.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Midweek Crackers in The Capital

Well Easter Road really. Occured to me that even 15 years ago the excitement would be very high for a midweek cup tie at Easter Road, a league game also come to that. I thought I'd take a break from raising the blood pressure of folk by taking a look back at some classic midweek games I've seen at Easter Road so to help sell the remaining, eh, 10,000 tickets for the game...


Hibs 4 Celtic 4 League Cup QF-Sep 1985

I documented this game in From Albert, With Love but to this day I still do not know how we lost it. A Hibs team slumped at the bottom of the league, we were flying at the time, we score four goals and get knocked out still? Coming from Edinburgh I remember going up on the bus to the game with my Dad and there was a guy on the bus, a year older than me(I was 11 at the time) with a pair of football boots round his neck. My old man says "You hoping for a game son?" The guy looked at him sincerely and said "Naw Mr, I'm gonnie sell them so I can see the game". At the time the east terracing at Easter Road(the bit along the side) wasn't usable so it made for an eerie atmosphere that night. The game itself went like a tennis match, and I remember a 16 year old John Collins playing. We lost on penalty kicks after Pierce O'Leary attempted to hit the "Insave" sign at the top of the Cow Shed. Hibs beat The Huns over two legs in the semi final before being murdered by Aberdeen in the final.


Hibs 0 Celtic 1 Scottish Cup 4th round replay-Feb 1988

This was an incredibly tense game. After a dreadful 0-0 draw at Celtic Park, the game played on a Sunday and live on TV at a time when games were never played live on TV, it's fair to say Hibs were strongly fancied by a lot of people to win this game. More to do with the fact that were not playing well at all at the time, the 0-0 draw with Hibs coming near to the famous 1-0 win v Stranraer where we should have been put out, a 2-1 win at Dens that required a last minute Chris Morris free kick and a 1-0 home by Morton that saw an injury time Roy Aitken penalty secure the two points. What the pundits failed to notice of course was we still won three of those games. Hibs had the better of the first half and we looked like we could play all night and not score. Then the HT announcer at Easter Road made a huge error. On announcing someones birthday he played You'll Never Walk Alone to gee up the Hibs fans. The reality was he inspired the Celtic support in the ground who roared the team on in the second half and saw the breakthrough in 78 minutes when Peter Grant thunderbolted a shot off the bar, which went over the line by the proverbial mile but Billy Stark made sure anyway.

Hibs 1 Celtic 1 League game-Nov 1994

Not so memorable for the game but more what happened before. This was a mere three days after the horrendous, and still my worst moment in football, Raith Rovers League Cup Final. I'd gone to The Elm Bar in Elm Row to meet my regular drinking partner for these games, Hibs supporter Allan Hosey, and I cajoled him into agreeing to go up the town for a bevvy after the game(By cajoling what I mean was I said "Do you fancy gawn up toon for a pint efter the game?" and he said "Aye"). I just got into the game to see Tommy Burns standing right in front of me, albeit, with a fence between us. He was shaking folks hands and thanking them for coming despite what had happened on the Sunday. It's not just for the hell of it that people refer to him as "The Great Tommy Burns"

Hibs 0 Celtic 1 League game-Dec 2002

I was in the front row of the rear stand that night. Not a great game as such, wonderful finish from Petrov to get us the three points but most of my memories are post-match. Mind I mentioned my regular drinking parnter for these games? Well...I'd had a bevvy with him before it, went our separate ways and he was meeting a mutual friend of ours at the time. We had agreed to meet in the pub after the game and I headed for it on the final whistle. I arrived and no sign of him. Strange, it was much closer to the Hibs end. I sank two pints and still he didn't appear. I found this odd so I went to his house, not far, where his girlfriend informed me that he had gotten into a massive fight with the then mutual friend. Oh ffs. After much investiagtion and phonecalls he finally came back and I enquired as to wtf had caused this fight, he replied "The cunt blamed Colgan for the goal so I set aboot him"


So, that's a few of my memories from these games, some good, some not so good, but still ingrained and pointing at, perhaps, better times with the game and tons of passion. I realise I am a sentimental old sod but sometimes, we need to learn from our history, before we plan our future...

Bangura Shangri-La

Shangri-La is a mystical place of harmony from the novel Lost Horizon by James Hilton.

Mohammed Bangura is a complete mystery.

I've sat on this for about six weeks now but the latest bizarre twist in the Mo Bangura&Celtic tale leaves me no choice. Alarm bells were ringing for people at Celtic the day Bangura signed for Celtic. He ordered a shed load of stuff from the Celtic shop and when the bill was floating about Celtic Park, Celtic gave the merchanside people Bangura's agent's phone number. When the agent was asked if the money for the bill should go to the finance department so to come right out of Bangura's wages, his agent "No, no, Celtic don't pay him, send it to me"

Then there is the fee, £2.2m. Yet only £1.2m reached AIK. Where did the other £1m go then? Given the merchandise tale, is 2 + 2 = 5 or not?  of course 2 + 2 can also, if you like, make 22, his age. 22 is his age, right, got that, probably much Adu about nothing.

Garry Parker was asked what he thought of him, he replied "He's not up to much"

Did Neil Lennon ever see Bangura play? Did John Park? Did anyone?


I don't what is going with Mohammed Bangura, I stand beside my sources on this though and I know from my own eyes that never in your life is Mo Bangura Celtic class and this latest injury, a three month lay off, just adds to the mystery.

You can choose to believe this, say I've made it all up, whatever, all I ask is what does you heart say?

Monday, October 24, 2011

We don't care what our supporters say

The news that Celtic have made a £10,000 donation to Poppy Scotland is yet another slap in the face to Celtic supporters. After a disgracefully stage-managed AGM some may think that Peter Lawwell would be content to get out of it alive but no, another "I'll do what I want" message comes from Pedro today.

Look, I know this debate has been done to death, some supporters have no problems with the Poppy, others have huge ones. Why is it though that no one can see the point of view of those who are offended by it? Quite frankly I am completely fed up of Lawwell and Co. telling supporters to leave politics at the door only to have them rammed down our throats anytime he and the rest of his establishment cronies feel like it.

We are constantly told that Celtic is "apolitical" which of course is absolute nonsense, but something they hide behind when telling The Green Brigade to shut up. You cannot have it both ways.

I myself would not wear a Poppy, never have done, but I have no issue with anyone else wearing them as a personal choice. What I strongly object to is the Poppy fascism that is rampant in the UK and is used in Scotland to point score against Celtic.

The problem of course is that guys like Peter Lawwell don't live in the same world as normal supporters do and guys like Peter Lawwell could not care less whether you are offended by a Poppy being foisted on the Celtic shirt far less donating £10,000 of your money to Poppy Scotland.

Trying to be everyones friend only ever leads to one thing, no one liking you.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Little Acorns

I'll put my neck on the line and say there was something about that win against Aberdeen that suggested we are on the road back. Kayal looked more like himself again, Wanyama has found his role and Mulgrew played a Captain's one.

The thing is at 1-1, against the dirtiest Aberdeen team I've ever seen, it would have been easy to fall apart, we didn't, we upped it and won comfortably. This season there haven't been many times we have reacted to adversity well. We have in the last three games. If we had a pair of good centre halves, this would be a good team, we don't, so are using Wanyama as a protector and that's a good idea. He's not there to create, he's there to break up and keep it simple.

By no stretch of imagination are we back to our best yet, but a more settled team has to come, Matthews is establishing himself now also, and it's important now for us to get another win against Hibs next Saturday and keep going, the League Cup also is important but the league, the league, the league.

A few wins on the spin will turn everything round, thrown in a fit again Emilio and it will be January and signing Puyol before you know it....;-)

Friday, October 21, 2011

New York Red Bulls message to SPL

I've always tried to not just be someone who complains but can also offer some sort of solution that folk can tear apart and pour scorn over. Last night, with my eldest son James, I went to the New York Red Bulls-Philadelphia Union game. I was actually a season ticket holder at NY in 2007 and 2008 when they played at Giants Stadium and it wasn't that pleasant an experience with crowds of 10-12,000 in a stadium that held 80,000. Thankfully things have changed and the RB have built their own arena in Harrison, NJ.

First thing is they came up with the novel concept of building a stadium right next to a train station, motorway and with huge car parks beside it. Will never catch on in Scotland. As we approached the stadium they had all sorts of things going such as free face-painting, 5 a side football games, free competitions and a stack of freebies. My son James is a season ticket holder at Celtic and was very confused as people kept coming up to him and handing him stuff(a shirt, hat, bag&cards) for free. I honestly don't think I've ever seen him happier going into a game and this was replicated all around us despite the strong wind and cold conditions.

The thing is not just kids who are happy, adults can enjoy a fully stocked bar with no restricitions whatsoever and the choice of food on offer would rival your average diner. Our seats were spacious and had plenty leg room too. At this point I was starting to get the impression that the RB had actually thought about the fans when building a ground but again something that would never catch on in Scotland. Speaking of fans, both the RB and PU fans made noise and sang all night. Most of it was from The Green Brigade songbook which made for a fantastic atmosphere all night and there was even a bit soapy bubble when Philly got a good goal chopped off and a mass brawl broke out. Stewards watched it, cops came in, heavily armed and the lead one said "sit down you bunch of assholes" and that was that. Can't see a Government Inquiry stemming from that one.

The game itself was pretty good. There wasn't a lot of football brains out there but there was plenty of endeavour, loads of chances for both and a standard that I would put around English Championship level.

After leaving the game a guy approached us and asked if we had enjoyed it? Being Scottish, we were immediately in that "What's it got to do with you?" mode until he followed up with "Here's a $50 voucher off a season ticket next year and a 25% off a trip to Cancun in the winter whilst you wait for the new season"

After walking the short distance to the train, our brains were frazzled, aren't you supposed to come out of a game frustrated and angry most weeks?

Hard with four pints of beautiful Guinness down your neck from the previous 90 minutes and £14 a ticket.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hibs message to the SPL

I blogged in July how I feared for Hibs this season, given their lack of talent on the park and ever decreasing support off it. Like after most things I say, I got a torrent of abuse for suggesting that part of it was down to a lack of identity. Whatever the reasons, the £900,000 loss they posted yesterday should send alarm bells ringing for the rest of the SPL.

One of the few things I agree with Peter Lawwell on is that the SPL is not sustainable. (I doubt he agrees with me that men like him are the reason why it got to this). The prices fans are being asked to fork out now are beyond a joke and every week put more holes in that SPL bubble. Aberdeen fans are asked to pay £29 for Sunday's game, we are supposed to pay £28 for Fir Park, these are EPL prices for Maybury League product.

Similarly the rate that clubs bring strips out now is harder to keep up with than Usain Bolt. Guys like Petrie and Lawwell will never feel the pinch, as supporters, we all are, and that's why clubs current strategies are baffling. We need sensible pricing that encourages supporters to keep coming back, let's end these nonsensical KO times on Sundays especially and if a TV deal doesn't like it, gamble and go elsewhere.

Hibs were a club in Scotland that were always in that Hearts/Aberdeen/Dundee Utd category, tier 2 of Scottish football, if they are posting £900,000 losses after spending very little of anything, then everyone has to wake up.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lawwell laughing all the way to the bank again.

He's done it again. A man utterly despised by thousands of Celtic supporters got another stage managed AGM through pretty easily. Peter Lawwell, a multi-millionaire despite being an incompetent, will be sitting in his office now laughing at how hard he has his boot on our throats. He knows another HUGE sum of money is coming his way this season, maybe some will be diverted to his super scout son Mark (you mean you didn't know he was also employed by Celtic?), but once again Peter Lawwell's bank manager is the happiest man after a Celtic AGM.

Aren't you tired of rich fucks telling you how to think? Stupid middle-aged men showing up their own lack of sanity by telling you all is well when you know in your heart it isn't? At some point something has to give, not just my heart after one of these AGM's, but a fight back has to begin because as a club we are dying, as a support we are divided and as a culture, we are criminalised. That's the order of importance as well by the way.

Apathy is our biggest enemy, we are so worn down by these things that we have lost the fire in the belly.  For the love of God let;s get organised and end this dictatorship once and for all.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Don't hold a nation of millions back

This is an appeal to anyone going to the Celtic AGM on Friday.

Right now you have a unique opportunity. As supporters all round the world tune in to the AGM, we are relying on YOU. For too long now Celtic has been run like a private members club with rich dudes telling the rest of us what they are going to do, we seethe and roar, but they still do it anyway.  Right now our club, YOUR club needs change. We have been treading water for years now and bit by bit the club we all love is being taken away from us. It is up to people like YOU to make your voices heard.

Celtic are worldwide heritage full of dreams and songs to sing and what we need to remind ourselves of that. We've been brainwashed for years now by a PLC board who have made fortunes whilst downsizing our club, YOUR club and we sat back and let it happen. Managers have been undermined and underfunded, players who are never Celtic class in a million years have been brought in and the supporters have been harrased and tormented by an over zealous stewarding policy, heavy-handed policing and a PLC board who allow the Scottish Govt to criminalise us.

Make your voice heard at the AGM, show us there is still some fight in this great club and we will not accept second class teams or second class status.

This is our club, YOUR club and we want it back.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

McStay-Minded

I was watching the 1988 Scottish Cup Semi at the weekend. There are obviously some fantastic memories from it not least the late comeback that snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and that fact that 67,000 people showed up for it.

Paul McStay was immense that day, probably his best game ever in a Celtic jersey. Problem was he kept passing to Frank McAvennie who had his worst game in a Celtic jersey! The highlight for me though was the equaliser. Not just because it was a long time coming or brought us back into the game but because of the celebration of Paul McStay. The sheer delight on his face as he jumps up and down in front of the main stand is a joy to behold. It's very similar to his delight when he grabbed the equaliser against Hearts in December 1987 in a 2-2 draw.

Difference this time? Paul didn't score the equaliser at Hampden.

The look and expression of joy should be a lesson to all our players, here we had a bonafide genius who just loved playing for Celtic and was just as happy for a team mate to grab the glory. I remember a game at Ibrox, pre match, and Paul was warming up. The fans in the Broomloan were singing The Celtic Song and Paul turned round and joined in.

That's what being Celtic-Minded is.

All our players could take a leaf out of Paul's book, a man who served the club for 15 years with pride and fought every week for Celtic, sometimes surrounded by some terrible players, yet he never gave in, never gave up and went on to become a legend.

Paul McStay is something we can and should all apsire to. As a supporter, we'll never match him as a player.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The 90s revisited

As I am bit under siege at the minute, it is with great pleasure I welcome a guest writer:


@lyjo67 on twitter



Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it: George Santayana


The 90’s were horrible for Celtic, we could do nothing to win the
league and had to watch as Rangers constantly did.

They had money, we had none, they had a board that got money from
everywhere, we had “custodians”. We had 2 of the best midfielders in
Britain, we had a shit team surrounding them and no leadership to
build a team around them I’d love to know what Paul McStay and John
Collins thought of their time at Celtic, watching trophy after trophy
head to Govan.

In 1989 Rangers started buying their league titles. I started going to
the games in 91, Big Billy got sacked and Liam Brady got brought in to
hopefully be as good a manager as he was a player. Money got spent
(Tony Cascarino and Gary Gillespie), but the same outcome transpired,
another title to Govan.
We finished third in 1992, the huns got horsed in Europe and to be
honest, that was regularly our highlight: from the giants of Juventus
to nonentities like Levski Sofia and everyone inbetween would
regularly wipe the smile from Jim White’s face and that was about it
since our euro endeavours (in the years that we actually qualified for
Europe) would be a scraped win against someone like Cologne, then a
gubbing from someone like Dortmund.

We would continue to buy workmanlike players and the huns would
continually spend more than us, not buying any world beaters, but
always folks that were better than what we had. When the huns were
winning the league we never finished 2nd until 95-96.
These were truly awful times and with each passing game, they got
closer to equalling 9IAR, this was a horrifying thought for us, but it
basically seemed that we could do fuck all about it. Even in Tommy
Burns’s teams, when we were challenging, beating the huns still seemed
like a bridge too far.
When we had a midfield of Collins and McStay, we finished 2nd ONCE,
that was pathetic, two of the most gifted midfielders of a generation
WASTED because we could not compete.
They could always spend more money than us and always had the beating
of us, they just KEPT winning...

In 2009 the huns started winning the league again and are on their way
to 4IAR again, we can laugh all we want at their tax problems and
their untested naive manager, but you know what, they went out and
bought Jelavic when they needed to and he won them the league last
season.

The thing that’s different about this 3iar and the 1991 3iar team, we
CAN compete with them, our finances are a damn sight better than
theirs, we have better players and we CAN get this sorted out and get
the league back.

They spend 4mil on Jelavic, we should be out spending on some quality
players because you can be sure this time that when we buy a Sutton,
they will NOT buy a Flo again. We have a real chance to really make
things shitty for them. When we had no money, they didn’t give a shit,
they kept doing more than enough to win the league and they loved it,
and that’s where we should be going. We’ve a real chance to change
this, but it will take better men than “Custodians” to see the future
and grab it.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Back and to the left

I'm a sucker for a good story. I love the movie JFK, even when you know what is going to happen at the end, you're still on the edge of your seat for most of the film. The critical part of the movie is when the jury is told that the "kill shot" had to have came from the grassy knoll as JFK's head went "Back and to the left"

If Neil Lennon's head, in a normal circumstance of course, had gone "Back and to the left" whilst sitting in the dug out for the Inverness game he may have saw into the future. Sitting in the directors box that day, for the first time in ages, and at the behest of Peter Lawwell was an ex Celtic manager. One who has held talks about filling a role soon to be vacated(not the one of manager I might add)

Who was it?

A man who exelled in scouting players and offering advice and has been at the club in three different eras, in three different capacities.

He's gonna get ye.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Celtic-A Complete Breakdown

Yesterday I warned people what the game at Tynecastle would be like, it seems that Celtic really had no clue. I've been banging on for years about the problems at Celtic, I used to get a torrent of abuse, then pinpointed by club lackeys, then a few folk agreeing and now everyone is onside. I'm going to break down what I feel is wrong at the club, all the way through it.

Directors
The biggest reason why we are an utter shambles now. The Kellys and Whites were removed from Celtic because they lost sight of everything and treated us like their own boys club, with cash aplenty for themselves. This culture is back in spades. Peter Lawwell, whilst downsizing us to the point of embarrassment, has became a multi-millionaire with your money. Dermot Desmond treats us with utter contempt whilst swanning round like he owns us, Tom Allison makes big decisions yet no one knows who he is and Eric Riley, The Teflon Hun. These people must be removed from Celtic immediately. Their interfering and arrogant posturing is killing us.

Football Management
Been controlled and undermined since Gordon Strachan took over. We can't have proper managers since MON left because egos at Celtic couldn't get him out the door quick enough. Currently, we lack experience at management level but that's not going to change as what experienced guy would put up with a CEO constantly interfering and a Director of Football(John Park) being in charge of scouting? I'll tell you who, a foreign nobody or a guy desperate for a job. That's the level we are at now.

Players
We've sold high and bought low. Players like McManus, McGeady and McDonald were hounded by Celtic supporters for most of their careers, always the target of the bar stool managers, so we sell them all for £16m and replace them with Kris Commons(£500,000), Daniel Mastorovic (£800,000) and Gary Hooper (£2.2m), does anyone really wonder why we don't win anything any more?

Staff
I know people who work with Apple. Celtic people. People who would walk over broken glass for Celtic. They could have done so much for Celtic, they offered to put Celtic into high places of new technology, they weren't called back. Why? I also know folk in Brand Management, Celtic daft. They just shake their heads at how Celtic staff go about promoting the club. There also seems to be a belief at Celtic that if you can perform one role decent, then about 15 roles is no problem. Yet others get away with having their stuff constantly re-written with no fall out? Too many people have been there too long and a fresh new outlook is needed and that is not meeting with a couple of fans you think you can control then nick all their ideas.

Supporters
Was it John Lydon who once said "Ever feel like you've been cheated?" Can you honestly say you're happy with what is going on? I know no one wants to hear bad things about something they love but the way we are going is that that thing we love is going to be completely alien to most of us. We are being criminalised for who we are, and what is our club, YOUR club doing about it? Do you honestly believe we are in the right hands now? Change has to come from within before we can expect anyone else to.

Celtic's decline started in 2007, we managed to eek out another title at the death in 2008, you can keep making excuses, keep calling me a prophet of doom but I'll tell you now, things will only get worse if we don't act.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

When the passive bigot awakens...

Celtic travel to Tynecastle tomorrow for a game which will probably not live up to the hype and reinforce the mantra that Martin O'Neill always said "We don't have to be better, we have to be miles better" The "people" who waged war against Celtic last season are now starting to see the inside of courts, although time will tell what sort of verdict they will get...

For me though it's not them we have to worry about, it's the folk who live with their head up their arse most of their life and then bring it out any time they see a weakness in us. I've seen this many times in Scotland over the years, a poor Celtic side will lose at Tynecastle and you'll see the types of folk who sit sleeping in the centre stand all season suddenly in your face, revelling in your failure.

Or there is the types who put themselves out there as men of the people, trading in favours, acting the good guy only to be dancing round TV studios when something happens to us like a dodgy penalty against us in the Europa League perhaps.

Or the passive bigot, the one who will claim not to be a bigot but "Just can't stand Neil Lennon at all" but will think Ally McCoist is a "cheeky chappie".

These are the ones to keep an eye on, the ultra bigots are easy kept in check. There are thousands of the former in Scotland, unfortunately some of our fans can react in the worst possible way, losing the plot and blessing themselves for no apparent reason, when the real reaction, the best reaction is to say we are watching...