Looking to the long term.


After a thoroughly depressing summer transfer window-I think that’s four out of the last five,or to put it another way,par for the course-where we lost our star homegrown player along with our entire defence and their deputies,we were probably thanking our lucky stars a week ago that we hadn’t lost anyone else!

And with some justification too. Rumours were rife that Porto were after Olivier Ntcham and that Leicester were keen on Callum McGregor. These two had a strong element of truth to them,in my opinion. Not so much the recently surfaced one about Monaco agreeing a deal in principle for I Wanna,only to to change their mind.

And then change it back again,at which point Eddie told them to sod off! Naturally,none of the papers could provide much in the way of evidence for all this. They couldn’t even make up the “agreed price” although it would undoubtedly have been less than they still think MoreLoss is worth.

So it was with some pleasure that we found out yesterday that Celtic plan to tie up a new long term deal for CalMac,all the more so when the offer was revealed to be in the region of £35k a week. The reason I was so pleased at the suggestion is that Celtic seem to have,at long last,woken up to the realities of football economics. Remember,it wasn’t so long ago that the club shunted Joe Lesley out the door for a reduced fee for suggesting that he was happy to sign a new contract on the same terms as before,and it is widely believed that the same plan existed at the end of Broonie’s first contract,a plan only scuppered by a timely phone call.

I am still of the opinion that we have a strong nucleus in the playing squad,with Ryan Christie,CalMac,James Forrest,Leigh Griffiths,Eddie and Ollie. Michael Johnston too is improving with every game. And all of these players are already on recently signed long term contracts. None of them run out before summer 2022,and we should be looking to build the team around them while dangling the carrot of improved terms and longevity. Four of the seven have time very much on their side to move to riches on offer elsewhere if they so desire-the offers will undoubtedly come if they continue to improve as they have been-while the other three are hardly reaching yet for the pipe and slippers.

In addition to the seven mentioned above,I very much doubt that any of our new signings will be on less than a four year deal. As too is Tom Rogic,and I would expect Fraser Forster to be offered similar at the end of the season-if he can be persuaded to take a wage cut. I think Southampton will be relatively easy to deal with as he is on a five year deal at c£4m pa. If we sign him at the end of the season they will have saved £10m on wages alone. I suspect that will concentrate their minds wonderfully.

Add in the rejuvenated Nir Bitton who will almost definitely have a contract on the table for Christmas and the future is looking a bit brighter than it was maybe three weeks ago. That’s not to say that I’m delighted with the transfer window-I personally think we should be looking to improve in each of them,and we clearly haven’t done so for a while-but in an era when the club loyalties of players are rightly questioned,we can be happy that we have so many who clearly love playing in The Hoooops.

Open the biscuit tin and let the players know that the rewards are there for excellence and you never know,we might even see a testimonial or two before too long!


Above article by BMCUWP.

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Fan I must have missed your post. It is a great film. very moving.

i meant to say, my cousin’s son started at Celtic. It was in Glasgow but I don’t know which boys club, apparently there were several including the infamous one. Anyhow he left to go to Hamilton, maybe the travelling, Hamilton was nearer. One thing I remember them telling me. At Celtic the boys had to buy their strip. At Hamilton it was supplied.


I have posted before of my nephews youngest being rated as one of the best in Scotland for his age.
He has had offers from Celtic and a host of English clubs including Liverpool .
My nephew took his older brother out of the Celtic system because the pressure, favoritism and competitiveness amongst parents ruined the kids enjoyment.’
He would not let his youngster anywhere near Celtic for above reasons.



Not available here,but I think this is the clip,maybe?



BMCUWP This has a little more context.

big packy

if you closed your eyes, you would swear that was jimthetim taking that solo.?



Also unavailable over here!


Pity but it was just a longer version of the one you posted.
A truly beautiful piece of music.



Certainly is,it nearly had me in tears! I’ve only seen the film once. Must rectify that.



I do not doubt for a minute that you have identified inhibiting factors to youth development in the game. Several years ago I was shocked to learn that school football had died. Without that I would not have got into the professional ranks, even although I failed at that level.

I was raised in a council estate in Knightswood and there was never any shortage of opportunities to play…in the street, five aside, or the ash laden pitches a five minute walk away. In school for a double period of gym, we got to play football and loved it.

I grew up in the era of many of the players that TNT mentioned……Denis Law, McNeil, remember the FB Hamilton from Dundee? Jimmy Johnstone/Henderson/Edwards(Dunfermline)/Cowan(Partick) were all international class right wingers. On the left we had Auld/Wilson(Ranger) and Mulhall(Aberdeen and Sunderland) and so the list goes on for virtually every position.

So, as TnT asks what happened? There are many theories…one of which ATOB outlines. I do not have the answer. In a sense, the answer only matters to historians. During a really down period in my life, a wise friend gave me important advice. It is not what has happened to you that is important, it is how you deal with it.

Scotland has not dealt with it at all. The decline of the game has gone on for decades….which is, in fact, a national shame. The rise of Belgium as a force has been studied to death and other nations have learned from it. Prior to that there is the case of French soccer which has pulled itself up by the bootstraps, boot laces! The success stories are out there alright.

However, any nation that thinks they can get a ready made solution off the peg by aping Belgium, France, Germany or whoever….is heading for disappointment. Horses for courses applies here! Examine best practices and then adapt, adapt and adapt to suit your environment is the only way forward.

Well, I have rambled on too long but let me finish by saying all tge success stories have one thing in common and that is a person of vision that refuses to give up. Sadly, I see no such person on the Scottish horizon, what I see instead is someone from Cove Rangers and a burnt out, possibly ill manager standing like King Canutes on the seaside.




The last time I attended Scottish games,I was still a teenager. We won against Belgium and Spain,3-0 and 3-1 I think. Dalglish in imperious form both times.

Over a decade earlier,I remember us only beating Belgium-it may have been Denmark btw,I was only 7yo-1-0 away from home. First time I’d seen my Papa angry. He was a big unit,so you don’t really want that. I think he saw the writing on the wall.

Btw,John O’ Hare scored the goal. How the hell can I remember that? 1970 or 71.

This breaks my heart. The Trip, started in 1926. 600 children 900 adults+ 2 special trains to the seaside. The march is called Terry, my blue eyed Irish boy. Includes Hail Glorious St. Patrick.

Beautiful piano playing of Hail Queen of Heaven at the end. Tears running down my eyes as I type this.

big packy

off topic, its my 40th wedding anniversary next may and im thinking of renting a cottage in Kilwinning, anyone been there, been told the sun shines 365 days a year, and the nightlife is fantastic.hh.

The Gombeen Man

A good thought-provoking article BMCUWPs.

To be fair I wasn’t too depressed by the window. That’s probably a case of ‘blessed are those with low expectations…’

I enjoyed ATOBs contribution too.

No doubt the sectarian divide doesn’t help and the guaranteed handy money for the suits that the Old Firm provides. Many supporters on both sides of the divide are at best suspicious of the SFA and that’s not a great starter.

I can’t help feeling that many sports in Scotland are in the wilderness too. Where are we in rugby? Where’s the next Ken Buchanan coming from?

International football has changed too. No more Home Internationals, the collapse of the Soviet Block. The emergence of smaller nations, too much football, standardised coaching and so on.

Its produced a bland international product in a soulless stadium. The whole emphasis is on the short term one-upmanship of the Old Firm and nobody seems interested in the chore of the international scene.

For many kids, the whole focus is on the attainment of a decent set of Highers and the fear if that isn’t achieved its the wasteland of the zero hour contract or dole.

Sadly the addictions that ATOB discusses are well catered for by the likes of Magners and Dafabet.

Sorry Packy know next to nothing about Kilwinning.

Twists n turns

Rebus ATOB

Merging all the points from both your contributions and there’s probably enough material there to open up an investigation into where we were , where we are now, everything that’s happened in between, and more importantly, where we want to get to.

We always seem to be firefighting. The World Cup comes along – failure- restructuring- euros- failure – restructuring….. and so it goes on.

Between the 86 world and 94 world cups, kids that ATOB refers to have gone from young kids at 8 years old to young men at 16. Those years were critical to producing the next Murdoch or Dalglish. They’re lost years.

Someone needs to sit down now. Chair a think tank into how we prepare for the World Cup in 2028. Yes it’s 9 years away but there’s nothing going to change for the 2020 or 2024 tournaments that will improve our chances of getting there. The current crop of 16 year olds at the required level just aren’t there .

That investigation needs to address all the things ATOB refers to. How do we give the kids an equal opportunity to make the grade. A whole development programme / funding/ facilities/ coaches.

The current set up is failing us. If the powers that be cannot recognise that there’s no hope.

Get all the professional clubs involved too. Larger % of income to be channelled back into the youth system. Into the poorer communities. Ach we’d be here all night eh.

I enjoyed both your posts btw. Thoroughly enjoyed them.

Twists n turns


Kilwinning? Full o wrong uns’

Always has been ?

That’s what I call reality 😉
Great post, but, and always the but, I have to agree with Awe Naw, the problem in the UK is that the greed I’m all right jack policy is the prevalent one and feck you, sadly that’s the way of things, it’s the system that has made it a middle class one, here where I am it’s as poor as western europe can be, unless you have seen this place you can’t imagine what it’s like, but, again the but, they have got their priorities right, the main one is health, the heath service is top top quality and they look after their old folks here, next is the sporting structure, again it’s top quality, I honestly can’t fault it in general terms, it’s why the likes of Spain are now winning stuff.
If the people in the likes of scotland actually voted for people who care things will change, but as long as they keep voting in crooks and scammers, you get the government you deserve.
I am nearing the end of my life and instead of people realising that voting for right wing scum is the wrong thing to do, more and more are taken in by their lies and are voting for them, astonishing.
IMO that’s where the problem lies.
Nothing personal, in no way directed at you, just the way I see things.

Packy, cottages for rent. incl 3 pets

I like the look of the one in Gourock. Can get a train up to Glasgow. Ferry over to Dunoon (I think it still runs)

Sol Kitts

Big Packy
I can recommend staying just up the coast in Ardrossan. There’s a place there called the Green Lodge, up by the ruined castle, would suit you well. You’ll be able to enjoy open air picnics with the cider and Buckie team, before heading to Alfie’s (Castlehill Vaults). Here you can enjoy a cold pint of the black stuff, and enjoy an unexpected bonus of a fight breaking out over who’s next on the pool table.
Take a bracing stroll along the shore, but keep your jaikit buttoned up or the wind will have you away like a kite. Keep on till you get to the Lauriston hotel, where you’ll be made as welcome as a shit in your pocket. Remember to wear your hoops, they really love to see this in Ardrossan.
Look across the sea to the island of Arran. If you can see it, it’s going to rain. If you can’t see it, it’s raining already.
If you’re feeling energetic, walk into Saltcoats, take a wander through the bustling town centre, where you have a choice of several charity shops to spend your hard-earned in. Buy a fish supper in the Melbourne Fry, and laugh when a seagull steals it off you.
Finish the day with a trip down memory lane by standing outside the old Regal cinema, long since closed after becoming a drug den called the Metro, and now derelict. Just imagine how it used to be.

This article was brought to you by the Ardrossan and Saltcoats tourist information bureau.


Cosy Corner Bhoy

Have to agree with TET re facilities for sport in Spain.For some years we had a house in Spain and the local town,a not very big town had an indoor pool, grass pitches,pelota courts,tennis courts and that was just the ones I saw.They even put in a bowling green to accommodate the Brits.
Admittedly they charged you 15 euros a year to park in your own run-in and 25 for a plaque on the wall to tell people it was YOUR parking place,but,they spent a very large percentage of income on facilities and a pint of Guinness in the local pub was only 3euros?.I miss that place!!!
TNT.A daft question for KB… I don’t remember him as always in tartan shorts and don’t do Google for these things.So when and why the tartan shorts.
As an aside,I met Dick MacTaggart when we were both at RAF Leuchars.He was some boxer.



You will have to work hard to say anything that I agree more with than your second last para on right wing voting.

People have the right to vote as they please but why some cannot see what the resulting impacts will be, is beyond my understanding.

How blue collar folks can think that their plight will be better served by a Trump, a Boris, Orban or a Bolsonaro is beyond my ken.

However, it does show up the failings of the other parties.


big packy

JIM and solkitts, thanks for the info, was only trying to wind up mick about Kilwinning, but seriously the mrs fancies Argyll and bute so will enquire there ??


I earlier posted about ads and nostalgia.
Nostalgia is a distorted/selected perception of the past.
With an abundance of information both real and false out there it not surprising how easily the masses can be manipulated.Trump’s record as a businessman was littered with him screwing over the little guy using the legal.system which is designed to do just that.
Yet his ad team through lies, distortion and fear convinced the people he would fight the establishment and champion the common man.
His actions since being elected have been the opposite yet many still cling to that belief.
I am sure Johnson and Balsonaros ad guys did the same.
These ad agencies have had years to practice subterfuge and manipulation so i understand why the people were swayed.
Most people are too busy just surviving in this unfair world so whoever makes the most noise that resonates has their attention and they have no time for details.

Sol Kitts

Jeez. Mrs Kitts just asked me when the England game starts (she was pretty peed off that ITV cancelled Emmerdale tonight). I told her they wouldn’t start the game until they had mentioned 1966, and bugger me, what did they do just before the teams came out of the tunnel? Showed us a clip of them with the World Cup, and let us know about a program tonight about Gordon Banks.
You’re a wizard, Sol.

bada bing1

England 0
Kosovo 1,35 seconds

Packy,if you watch that England game tonight, after slagging me for listening to the Scotland game on radio last night, you and I will be finished. I am going to watch River City and Midsomer murders. Not because I want to, just to spite you and all your English pals (not Joan).

big packy

SOL, we beat them just after they won it, so we beat the world champions?

big packy

JIM, I wont be watching it and neither will joan, ive hid the remote control?

Clever bhoy 🙂

A thing of beauty

Thanks for the comments guys, appreciated. Everyone has contributed their worthwhile thoughts. The problems we have are massive. I can remember saying when we failed to qualify before berti vogts got the job that we write off the next two campaigns and build from there. What happened? Sacked after making the play offs to be replaced by a real r*ngers man, who’s track record in developing youth amounted to Barry Ferguson and if I remember right he didn’t even get a game when Walter ruled the roost at the Victorian lavvie. Jobs for the boys is how we roll. Look at the current era. We got rid of strachan after two failed campaigns and replaced him with someone who could not be understood on the telly never mind in the white heat of a dressing room. What happened to strachan, a man who mucked up qualification by refusing to play the core of the invincible team. He’s now head of football at Dundee. Why? He’s a dinosaur, along with the rest of them. Craig levien, an absolute arse of a man. Sacked by Scotland and now currently running hearts into the ground with a brand of football that makes your eyes bleed. Replaced Iain cathro who had great ideas but was laughed at because he wasn’t good in the media. Admittedly he wasn’t getting results but there was no patience with his new ideas. Ridiculed by the same media who constantly whinge that we can’t qualify and don’t produce good young players. I’m ranting now but it’s been the same for years. Jobs on the strength of your handshake and the lodge your in. Sickens me.
As for you sol kitts. Less of the piss taking about north Ayrshire when your living in a county that is home to the white stiletto, fake tan, fake boobs and barrow boys made good!!

ATOB, good to hear you saying that about Ian Cathro. I don’t think he ever stood a chance with Craig Levein breathing down his neck. Who knows if his new way of working would eventually have worked out. One thing is for sure. Craigie boys known and trusted way of working isn’t delivering the goods. Disgusting football. But he’s still there! I’m no fan of Hearts but I was interested to see what a new kid on the block could do. Same as RD. I still have question marks about that wee era.

So everyone has abandoned the site for the England game! That’s fine!

(apart from you ATOB)

Efin Iceland losing in Norman Wisdom country has cost me near three grand, had them to win obviously, have refused to cash out for a while now, sometimes principals are up your arse, but I have to stick to it, winkers, the bookies that is.
I always had high hopes for Ronny but after a while it became clear that he was the proverbial Pedro puppet and the players knew it, they destroyed any good that he was trying to bring to the club, but he didn’t stand up to Pedro or the players so he was on a loser from the onset, shame cos it could have worked.
What we need more than anything is a proper fully fledged DoF without interference from above and I reckon we will soar away into the distance, maybes that’s why we don’t have one.

big packy

JIM, still here but going to bed shortly, need my beauty sleep? by the way agree with you and the exiled tim about Ronnie.hh.


I think you would struggle to make a coach out of the entire bunch in the spl.
Rodgers was at least a level above the rest and i honestly don’t see him as much more than a tier 2 coach.
Perhaps the fact that it’s a different game from that played in most countries makes it difficult to implement a more modern style.
The climate and refs tolerance of hammer throwers also reduce’s footballing options.
I often think of Wengers Arsenal starting well and fading in December and January when heavy rain chopped the pitches up.He lacked pragmatism and failed on his principles.
A more cerebral approach is needed but unfortunately the people administering the game have closed minds and outdated thinking.
Jobs for the boys is the result of such .


Caught 5 minutes of England game and see the old there was contact used to justify Barkley’s dive for a penalty.
Guess only foreigners dive.
Then the commentators start waxing lyrical about Harry Kane being the world’s best penalty taker.
He then misses!
Reminds me of a newspaper article the other day in one English paper saying Sterling is better than Messi.
Probably the same rag that claimed Rooney was also better than Messi before another English flop at the world cup.

With all the pish about Moreloss in the papers about him being the best striker in the universe, here is a random list, please feel free to add to it, of players who have scored more goals against Celtic than the coke king has, robbed from elsewhere.
Scott Brown
Jonny Hayes
Henrik Larsson
Birger Meling
Jordan Jones
John McGinn
Emile Heskey
Stuart Armstrong
Kris Boyd
Gary Caldwell

Margaret McGill

Awe Naw alludes to the fact that Scotland are shite because the collective corruption and pedophilia has now crept into the national consciousness over the years without any help from the MSM and it just sends shudders through the spine. Why would parents encourage their kids to participate anymore in this fraud. Everyone with any sense suddenly realizes why Scottish fitba is so shite but lets complain about plastic pitches and bitch about the huns. Its over.

A thing of beauty

That clip was a joy. 630am and I’m laughing my head off. Great start to the day. Knickers is indeed underused insult. ??