Kop-pow,bubbles bursting,and The Silly Season


The worst thing about nearing the end of the season isn’t the impending close season-nae fitba,goalposts removed on the playing fields and public parks!-it’s the approach of The Silly Season. The one where the only sport in town is kite-flying.

But first to other topics.

Our beloved leader seems to have been kicking every ball the other night as his English team,Liverpool,created history with one of the greatest comebacks of all time.

Even I wouldn’t have thrown away a fiver on 4-0 but I bet the bookies on Merseyside are skint this morning!

Barcelona,IMO,are paying the penalty for poor succession planning along with an aging squad. Yes,on their day-a week ago,for example-they can be devastating,and exhilarating to watch. And some of the players who have departed since their über-quality days were always going to be impossible to replace.

On their day,those replacements can be fine,more than adequate. But their midfield can be dreadful. Vidal,€20m for a 31yo on the wane? Rakitic and Coutinho seem unable to fit together despite their obvious quality.

And their defence is worse! If Lenglet is what €35m gets you,no wonder PL is keeping the lid on the biscuit tin. Pique is past his best,great servant though he has been.

Up front,Messi and Suarez are two superb goal scorers. But at 32yo,you have to wonder how long they have. Certainly their ability to dig their team out of a hole is already on the wane. Dembele at €140m scores roughly every third game and will have to seriously improve.

I think this Barcelona team still has some great days in them,but their best days are behind them. But that’s not to take anything away from a tremendous result for Liverpool.

And just when you think lightning can’t strike twice,I was listening to Ajax v Spurs last night as I was driving down to Southampton. Spurs also found themselves 3-0 down on aggregate,but away from home and with only 45 minutes of the tie left. They fought back though and mugged them in added time-added added time in fact as the Ajax keeper was penalised for timewasting. Poetic justice and a fairytale ending but how Ajax must have wished that their young tyros had shown a wee bit more nous. Or had even watched Spurs do the same to Man City in the last round…

Well done,folks.

The TV money which has poured into sports,and football in particular,over the last 20-25 years has largely passed Scotland by. As the product has become more expensive for broadcasters,so too has it for consumers. The broadcasters have had to think evermore imaginatively of how to market the product to evermore reluctant consumers,and eventually a critical point will be reached where consumers decide that the product is simply not worth the expense.

In the UK,it was Rupert Murdoch and Sky who started the revolution. Murdoch was seriously concerned that Sky,which had never made a profit in its five years,was going to fail. He bid just over £300m for the rights to the new English Premier League,and never looked back.

So when he bought Fox,it was an obvious route for him to do the same in the US. His Fox Sports bought rights to most sports in the US,and their position at the top of the pile was assured. Disney bought Fox in a deal finalised in March for $71bn,but were told by regulators that they had to offload the sports content.

Not a problem. Disney already owns ESPN,and Wall St analysts advised the company that Fox Sports would be worth $22bn on its own.

It sold the other day for $10bn. And that was after being put out to auction,so literally the best price they could get!

The only reason for that can be that consumers ain’t paying,and that means that broadcasters won’t be either. Have we already passed peak TV money? Could be trouble ahead!

Oh aye. The Silly Season. I nearly forgot. I thought I’d seen it all when Jose Mourinho was linked with Celtic-indeed,that we had made him an offer. But that was before I read the interview where Souness is advising Gerrard to get his players sorted and cut out the indiscipline! I honestly don’t know where to start with that,but I’ll go with Souness signing Roberts and Hurlock.

Mahe covered The Guard of Honour yesterday so the only thing I’ll add to it is that the huns regard honour in much the same way as they do dignity .

I then saw a few snippets about potential new signings and contract extensions. Now,I love Izzy. If I’m honest,he was a breath of fresh air in a position which had never been adequately filled since the days of Big Tam. But I think he knows himself that he isn’t up to the rigours of the SPL.

Having said that,if BR had played him against the huns at Ibrox,we wouldn’t have had a midfield without Callum! For that reason alone,he may be worth the extension-but I hope he gets the offer he is looking for from the US.

Plus,I can’t wait to tweet Trump about another Honduran coming to his country!!!

It got worse though. Gary Hooper is a free agent,and those two words alone make him an attractive option for PL. He’s still a fairly young player at 31 with surprisingly little mileage on the clock. And he did score a phenomenal 82 in 130 for us.

But ATHINGOFBEAUTY will back me up when I say that I forecast how Hooper’s career would go after he left us for the heady heights of Norwich.

He’d barely score in the EPL,Norwich would go down. Even if he scored enough to get them promoted again,clubs would think-he can only do it in the lower leagues. If he can’t get them promoted,Norwich won’t renew his hugely expensive contract and he’ll be lucky if he gets £10k a week from the likes of Birmingham.

He has scored 50 goals in six seasons. He’s a free agent for a reason. If PL thinks that the support will hail a homecoming hero,he had better look out those banners that used to cover the upper tiers.

Celtic fans are faithful through and through but we only put up with getting the pish ripped out of us for so long.

Above article by BMCUWP. I left so much out anaw! Anyway,have a rant and send it to us for publication at



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May 9, 2019 5:38 am


This post is well worth a look,folks. The poster doesn’t miss and hit the wall,that’s for sure.

In fact,if I’d read it before I put the above article together,I would just have c&p it!!!


Dharma Bam
May 9, 2019 7:01 am

Morning everyone,
I didnt like that post on CQN;firstly, it gave the impression that Spurs are underdogs. I would say crazy money is being thrown equally at spurs as it is at any other EPL team. I also disagree with betting companies sponsoring sports team never mind Celtic and it’s not faux shock outrage – I fundamentally disagree with it. And yes despite what johnboys daughter posts, I think the disparity is caused by the amount of money being flung about in the top 4 leagues. I think a lot of these clubs are just rich people’s/countries’/ companies’ playthings – they know,more often than not, that the winners will be one of the clubs from these countries. Their investment will be safe and they can continue to use the clubs for whatever reason they really own them for.
Nor do I have any sense of entitlement that Celtic should be up there because we won in ’67 either – 1967 is closer historically to the end of WW1 than it is to 2019.
Anyway, my initial reaction to that CQN comment. I’m not meaning to put your gas at a peep Bobby, I just really disagree with that post.

Here’s the latest Forbes list on the wealthiest football clubs and spurs are in there at tenth and Liverpool at 8th. The table was published in 2018 and uses info from 2016/17 season.

May 9, 2019 8:10 am

Great article Bobby but my interest was piqued with “Pique is past his best”. Are you saying Pique has peaked? 🙂

Dharma Bam
May 9, 2019 8:18 am

I would’ve tried to make some sort of joke out of Barcelona being just a one man team now, but it would be too messy.

big packy
May 9, 2019 8:21 am

morning bobby, ive got an article im working on concerning your post, so I wont comment till I send it to you, driving down to southhamton eh, out of Swindon onto the m4 to chievely, pick up the A 34 ,god I used to hate that road, then down to the m3, memories are made of this.?.

May 9, 2019 8:33 am

Pack, morning. How do you get that big smile emoji? I can only figure out 🙂 and 🙁

big packy
May 9, 2019 8:38 am

MORNING JIM, don’t ask me technical questions, joan got a page of them emojis for me and put it on my desktop ?

May 9, 2019 8:52 am


May 9, 2019 8:53 am


big packy
May 9, 2019 8:58 am

JIM just had to ask joan what them letters meant are you trying to put smileys on.? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

The Exiled Tim
May 9, 2019 9:05 am

Ah the silly season, the only silly thing about it is us supporters falling for the utter pish from the media 😉
It’s the close season we should be worried about, the huns are winning every break we have, what the ef is Pedro doing about it ?
They won the winter break hands down, we were left trailing in their wake, but it’s the summer break that really worries me, they will have the league wrapped up before it’s even started, they are that good.
Things to do, laters.

May 9, 2019 9:19 am


Worse-it’s via Oxford!

Looking forward to your article,old bean. Every one a pleasure.

Noel Skytrot
May 9, 2019 9:44 am

If we run with NL as manager I suspect the “board” will go with certain targets that aren’t in the blue chip bracket. If we get a new manager in, it may be different, or maybe the “board” think that with the Ibrox mob offering nothing they’ll stick with what we have, hoping the players out on loan and a couple of mid bracket signings will push us to 9. The board aren’t daft, they know when we achieve 9 then 10, the monies to be made will be massive, but they’ve got to give us something, imagine if they fucked this up?

The Exiled Tim
May 9, 2019 10:37 am

The post on the other channel you mention Bobby, it contradicts itself re the money, Spurs and Lpool have wheans of the stuff, granted they are not a Man Cty or Chelsea but they have money alright.
IMO neither should be near the final, neither have been anywhere re winning the league, what is it, 76 years between them since either won the league, all this champions league pish is just that, pish,.
I agree with our club not showing any ambition, we are where we are cos we showed a bit of ambition when we brought Brendan is, he delivered big time, to read all those who don’t want to carry that ambition on and appoint Lenny is very saddening indeed.

The Exiled Tim
May 9, 2019 10:39 am

Had Brendan left at the end of the season, like most of us thought he would, how many can hold their hands on their hearts and say that Lenny would even be mentioned as our new manager ????
For this reason alone he shouldn’t even be in the frame.

May 9, 2019 10:48 am


Indeed. Doubtless the board will have used those extra three months wisely and carried out due diligence on various targets.

That way we can be sure of hitting the ground running when the transfer window opens.

I mean,the board-PL-can hardly turn round at the end of another barren window and blame it all on having to find a new manager.

(Actually,part of me would love that to happen just so I can read how the usual suspects justify it. You should see the mail I got justifying last summer!)

May 9, 2019 10:48 am

Packy you are a big show off. 😉

May 9, 2019 11:13 am

I think most people who don’t want Lenny as our next manager say it with a heavy heart. It’s not that he isn’t a competent manager to a degree but he isn’t seen as the one to take us to the next level.

Therein lies the danger with the board. They might be thinking he is good enough to take us to ten in a row given the competition in Scotland.

And they might be right! It won’t be pretty but he could do it.

However for many fans it’s all about ambition. Raising our game, playing the Celtic way. Doing better in Europe. This is where the big divide is with the board. They want to do ‘just enough’ and do it cheaply.

In addition, I can’t see Lenny having the wherewithal to take the board on with regards to player purchases. There were stories about his unhappiness in this when he left. So why come back?

May 9, 2019 11:34 am


Correct. NL will always have his place in our history,and in our hearts. But he is not our future.

Sometimes,managers can be “of their time”. Times change,the game changes,the goalposts move.

Celtic have to keep moving forward-we saw how much momentum we lost by standing still a year ago. Neil isn’t the easy option,he is the wrong option.

The Exiled Tim
May 9, 2019 11:37 am

It’s a difficult one for many, there are those who can see all the bollix, there are those who can’t see past the suits no matter what they do, and the verbal gymnastics to justify it is astonishing, I would as far to say hun like, cap doffing twats imo, it’s attitudes like that that killed the huns, who’s to say it won’t happen to us, if we don’t speculate it may very well happen, it’s a big bad dog eat dog world out there and the only way to survive is to have MONEY, to get our hands on the money we have to speculate, we have no choice, all this ten in a row is absolute shite, we already are on 30+ if you allow for all the cheating years, the ten also justifies their existence before they died, we really need to wake up, the dream is real and it waits for no man, or club i this case, if we stand still we are fecked, well and truly fecked.
I said many times years ago that the big loser with the hun debacle will be us if we don’t do the right thing, we did the right thing by bringing Brendan in, I don’t believe we will this time, once we get into a downward spiral it’s a very difficult cycle to break free from.
In any ways this could very easily be a make or break summer for us, we stick we are fecked in the medium to long term.

Bada Bing
May 9, 2019 11:48 am

Danny Baker sacked

The Exiled Tim
May 9, 2019 11:50 am

So his bosses didn’t see the funny side of his post then 😉

Bada Bing
May 9, 2019 12:01 pm

TET- Made me laugh…

Bada Bing
May 9, 2019 12:04 pm

This is the day in history that we stopped the cheating huns getting 10…

Bada Bing
May 9, 2019 12:34 pm

Danny Baker sacked for a chimp tweet?

It’s PG gone mad

#stolenfromtwitter ?

May 9, 2019 12:56 pm


Your comment about end of season and Lenny sums the situation up nicely.

The next managerial appointment will say a lot about the ambition of the club.

Perhaps the Board will be looking at the Solskaer appointment and learning from it. Since he got the job FT performances have shaded for MU.

The MU players wanted Solskaer, especially after their experience with Jose, so they played for him.

Many of the Celtic players want NL because he is player friendly. If he gets the position watch for the results and performances to tail off.


May 9, 2019 2:02 pm

An all English final it is then.
The jingoism will be through the roof.
A German and Argentine will face off in the final.
They both overcame great odds to pull out wins with a very English style of play against European passing teams.
Klopp decided up and at em was a good strategy so playing early ball and getting numbers in and around box against a poor and small defense was the way to go.
Not silky possession but effective and reminiscent of English lower half of the table sides.
Pochettino had a disastrous first 135 minutes between both ties so changed in last 45 minutes to bypass the midfield and get ball forward early to big forward and have plenty of numbers for knock downs.
Both Ajax and Barcelona coaches seemed clueless on how to counter such tactics.
Maybe they needed to study footage of teams like Burnley more.
I often feel possession without purpose coaching is so yesterday but to see it trounced by an even more retro style was surprising.
Will the big target man become in vogue again?
Will full backs be told no more running forward ,hesitating and then passing sideways and backwards to slow momentum?
Will centre mids be told to attempt diagonal passes between defensive lines?
As i have stated previously the Bayern team who routed Pep’s Barcelona 7-0 on aggregate in the Champions league semi in 2013 seemed to be the way forward.
They had power ,pace and discipline and looked fantastic.
But for some stupid reason both Bayern and the footballing world chose Pep’s possession system that they Bayern routed as the way forward.
This next few season’s should be interesting as a new coaching style emerges or will stupidity rear it’s head again and people continue their slavish devotion to a coach who has not had European success since 2010/2011 when Barcelona won the champions league.

May 9, 2019 2:15 pm

Of course Man U players wanted the player friendly coach.
It now is looking like sheer folly by the club as his lack of tactical acumen has been exposed.
Why they did not wait till season’s end is baffling.
Lennon is another of the fist pumping, player friendly variety and should have no chance of the job.
Unfortunately cost overrides ability when it comes to choices our plc makes.
What’s baffling to me is in the present financial footballing landscape our youth system become’s even more vital.
Lennon has shown no appetite for youth and his treatment of Henderson and Johnston bears witness to this.

Dharma Bam
May 9, 2019 2:40 pm

I was hoping to have some sort of reply to my earlier comments, even an acknowledgement of my pun!

May 9, 2019 2:47 pm

Dharma Bam
It wisnae punny enough!

May 9, 2019 2:54 pm

It deserves to be read.Kudos to poster for refreshing honesty on CQN.
So all the nae-sayers think neither English club should be anywhere near the final – Why? Because of too much money? Spur’s having no European ‘Pedigree’? Geeza break Bhoys. We could be amongst the elite, because we have the support to sustain a decent run and the ability to attract names IF we were to show ambition. European football is in a state of flux at the moment (Ajax have exploited that – we haven’t). Liverpool and Spur’s have done the same…Crazy money is being thrown amongst the richest while the likes of Ajax, Liverpool and Spur’s have been quietly going about their own business and BUILDING on said support and loyalty – not penny pinching and boasting about turnover, hotels, open top buses and sell-on clauses. I’m finding it increasingly difficult to stomach the amount of cash flooding into our club, at the supporters expense to a ‘supposed’ charitible organisation. I notice the furore of faux shock of our team being sponsored by yet another betting organisation (or whatever tf it was) has diminished. Why? Why do we (The Celtic Support) bark on about the gulf in finances yet turn a blind eye to heart and talent? I’m sick to death of the sense of entitlement we have as a team and support due to our history. These past couple of weeks should be a wake up call – Don’t rely on our past heros’ triumphs to scrape us through, we’re not Charlatan’s – WE ARE CELTIC. OK.

The Exiled Tim
May 9, 2019 3:25 pm

Dharma Bam
I obviously missed your post as I have just seen it.
Agree wholeheartedly with you on betting co’s, they are the biggest parasites around imo, I say this as a gambler.
The epl has become as you say a play thing for the rich, it’s a joke in reality, the CL is the same, but for our club to survive we need to pick up a few crumbs from the CL and any other euro table we are fortunate enough to dine at.
I honestly don’t think we have put enough pressure on UEFA and the tv co’s who control the game today, I get we are in a small country population wise, but imo there will be as many people watching Celtic on a euro night as there will watch lets say spuds or Arsenal, the Celtic diaspora is huge, this would grow with exposure, for having a board who are billionaires via coms co’s and the like we are dithering and sitting with our thumbs up our holes on this, we could and should exploit this to it’s fullest.
We need to have some sort of growth strategy or we will fester and die, the OF is not a strategy, it’s a cancer that will kill us.
All this ten in a row shite is another thing that is killing us and the support are too fecking stupid to see through it, imo, obviously.

May 9, 2019 3:51 pm


I did not reply to your post because I agree with your position. Crazy? I agree that money has spoiled the game for most leagues and clubs. It is the reality in the modern game. Rich owners, over paid players are effective lobby groups in determining the structure of competition. All of it, as previously noted, driven by TV money.

It is not just a football phenomenon…….it happens across professional sports. I am afraid that it is too late to wind the clock back. However, there is power in numbers and not just the ones attached to dollars. The smaller clubs/leagues need to join together to force change. Frankly, I cannot see the SFA even thinking about this far less acting on it. If this is typical of football associations then it must come thru the clubs themselves. Financial Fair Play has been a failure, in my view, because the penalties are not effective. Banning clubs from European competition could be more effective for violations. However, NA sports may provide some innovation via their handling of recruits into the game. In particular, the draft system allows teams who performed poorly to get access to the best prospects. Teams may trade draft picks for experienced players or for cash, or a combo of both.

A draft system puts more emphasis on youth development, something that is an option for the less wealthy leagues.

Just some random jottings on a grey thursday!


The Exiled Tim
May 9, 2019 3:56 pm

Rebus et all
Is the draft system for all sports or just some ?
I think it’s a wonderful system hence why it will never happen here, for a capitalist society to have this system is amazing.

May 9, 2019 4:17 pm

Dharma Bam, I posted a funny 8 mins before you and I never got a ha ha either! Don’t let it bother you. I post with little expectation of a reply, if I get one it is a bonus. It’s just the way things are on a blog. So many posts, so little time for most. Except me I’m retired. I’m on here too much. 🙂

May 9, 2019 4:45 pm

Howdy folks,,
Well what a couple of games Europe happened to throw up and I wonder what odds a battle of britain final would have been ?
The Spurs should not have won ,, its that simple. But it does seem that Ajax messing around etc thinking they had it won came back to bite them.
In the first leg I thought Ten Hag got his tactics right to perfection. Reality now tells us they should have really focused on getting a few away goals .
However last night it was Poch who had adjusted and got his tactics correct.
They are both young astute managers who I will enjoy watching over the course of their careers.

A quick scour of the blogs today show many who are unhappy at such a final occuring and no doubt Uefa would prefer a well known giant in there also.
However imo much of the complaints being aired are based in hostoric hatred of the English ( and I completely understand that ) and as such this historic feat is not being given the due respect or possibly gravitas is should be held in.
For two English teams to reach that far is one hell of a feat ,, a major achievement.
THeir footie isnt really suited to the continental style with the Prem being more about blood and snotters allied with heart .
It should also come as no surprise that when the top coaches in football start appearing among them they begin to pick up and improve , this was always going to happen.

As for the wider game this has shown just how much of a state of flux the game finds itself in .
THose who may consider themselves the top 3 biggest clubs according to popular theory ( Barca , Real , Manchester United ) are all in a state of decline and are looking at massive rebuilding of their squads while looking at better stadiums and facilities elsewhere.
THey are there for the taking ,, big time.
In a decade we really could see them pushed off that podium and overtaken by others with more vision if less moneyed owners.
We also see the bling teams , those bankrolled by big rich boys such as Psg and Manchesscity, coming to terms with the facts that footie doesnt want you to and will not allow you to buy all the best players and thus buy success.
They have been snookered by the rules and their instance success by hiring the best coach etc doesnt work in this game. Natural , organic , planned growth seems to be conquering all before it ,, and we should be happy at that .
Apart from Daniel Levy though the big winners today are the people of Madrid who more than likely will not be seeing a riot on their doorsteps now. I cannae see the Brits having a riot between themselves although this sentence may well come back to haunt me.

And as for the Pool ,, well im expecting them to be pipped to the title this weekend by a single point ( ouch ) and them be all out determined to lift the big cup and they probably will break Jurgen final curse this time. The best front three in Europe will prove very hard to contain for an average Spurs defence.
It should be a cracker though .
Hope all is well with the Sentinels on this thirsty Thursay where its a lovely 19 degrees at 9am .
Coffee in the sunshine time for this good looking Irish bhoy !

Hail Hail

May 9, 2019 5:00 pm


The draft system applies in Hockey and Football(NA style), perhaps in Basketball too.

The idea is to try to develop some parity in a league. Of course, the big guys can still exploit it to a degree but it means the small clubs can acquire stars without the burden of a transfer fee based on a player’s value.


The Exiled Tim
May 9, 2019 5:18 pm

I remember watching it, the football version, on the tele a while back, it was fascinating and the way to go.
The logic is so so simple and it makes for as level a playing field as it’s possible to get, I suppose in the long run it generates more money as everyone in theory has a chance so punters will weigh in with their hard earned.

The Exiled Tim
May 9, 2019 5:26 pm

It’s taken long enough for the brit teams to start to dominate, but it’s taken foreign coaches, gone are the days of the Pulises and the Redknaps and their ilk, as for people moaning about the finalists, I think most are miffed at the fact neither are champions nor have been for many years, I must admit it’s heartening to see the top three in decline, but they will spend esp the Spanish ones and will get back to the podium, manure may well struggle,

May 9, 2019 5:27 pm


I sometimes wonder whether PL plan is to keep dangling the carrot of “one more push” in front of the huns.

“Nearly there,lads. They’re rubbish. Another few million and we can do it!”

And every time,we stay just that tantalising step or two in front. Of course,the tales of Tantalus and Sisyphus are Greek tragedies. It’s difficult to stop laughing at the huns for long enough to remember how tragic they are.

May 9, 2019 5:29 pm

Why don’t they just call it the European Cup once again? It get’s rid of all the criticism of non champions competing.

May 9, 2019 5:32 pm

Not that I’m advocating the reforms to make it even more top heavy. But Scotland used to have two places.

big packy
May 9, 2019 5:34 pm

ok you doubting thomases, especially that exiled tim bhoy, straight off the press, jose Mourinho to become the next celtic manager with peter lawell promising a 100 million warchest and there is the exiled tim slagging him off, special thanks to owen coyles granny for sharing that information, hows that song go ,were on the road with joses army cant remember the rest hh.

May 9, 2019 6:03 pm

I was going to believe you about Jose Packy but when you said PL was going to spend £100m I began to have my doubts!

The Exiled Tim
May 9, 2019 6:05 pm

I may well be a doubting Tim, but in the past x amount of years I have seldom been wrong, unfortunately 😉

big packy
May 9, 2019 6:14 pm

JIM AND THE EXILED TIM ,joking apart, IMHO lenny will be our next manager ,now we all love neil but where is the ambition, im torn to be honest, a dream team for me would be steve Clarke and neil as joint manager and coach. any thoughts.hh.

May 9, 2019 6:22 pm

Can’t remember – it might have been Fan-A-Tic – who put up a mighty good argument for a German coach. The way they prepare the team, the fitness levels, the tactics. So I’m going for a German manager. But I don’t know who.

big packy
May 9, 2019 6:31 pm

JIM, jurgen Klopp,?