The Glasgow Celtic Way

Morning,all.

There’s not a lot happening in The Timdom Kingdom at the moment. It’s like football has been prorogued for a fortnight! It certainly has been if you’re Scottish,of course-and we covered that yesterday with some excellent comments on cause and effect.

Looking at a recent photo of The Glasgow Celtic Way,sent to me by a friend simply to make me jealous,had me reflecting on the broader picture of The State of the Club. Namely the infrastructure. I don’t by that mean the coaching or medical facilities and academy at Lennoxtown,but the actual facilities available inside the footprint of Celtic Park.

There’s little doubt that the facilities around the perimeter of the stadium have improved. Only a few short years ago,I went up to get a couple of tickets for my sister and me to attend the game with my Dad and our sister. The Ticket Office was in a glorified portakabin. It looked cheap and nasty. It must have been a bloody depressing place to work in,and it was certainly a depressing place to visit.

Especially when their internet collapsed and they couldn’t process even a simple cash transaction-which meant I had to return empty-handed,my day ruined and with the wrath of my sister in full flow to follow. I don’t enjoy that when I’ve earned it,but when it is hardly my fault,well,I get one of those Calamero moments! That eyesore,which wouldn’t have been out of place in Not The View’s They Embarrassed The Hoops feature has gone now,and been replaced by our shiny new Celtic Superstore,and the ticket office is now in a more permanent location where the Internet is vastly more stable.

Also gone,of course,is the old school building. Now this was a shocker,yet so typical of things back then. That proud old building had been allowed to fall into wrack and ruin by the intransigence of the council which refused to spend a penny on maintenance,nor demolish it,nor even to sell it to us. By the time they were persuaded to do the latter,our dreams of it housing a permanent Celtic Museum were over. It was only fit for demolition,and the site has been cleared and landscaped. The Celtic Museum,of course,is still on the horizon as part of the much-discussed hotel and superstore complex. Add in a food hall,preferably with a few licensed areas,and I think we could be onto a winner,one which will provide footfall and income all year round to the club and to the surrounding community.

But it’s already been a long time coming,and if the club have done their homework on it and judged the project to be viable,I don’t understand what is holding them back.

Another much-talked about project is the revamp of our old Barrowfield training facility. Apparently the plan is to have a seating area for spectators and base the Celtic Ladies team there,as well as various of our development squads. Again,I think this could be a successful idea if implemented-except for the fact that the seating area will be too small to encourage the siting of any refreshment facilities. I’m afraid that this is the 21st Century,folks. Few people will go to any entertainment facility which fails to offer any refreshments. This may need a rethink,I feel.

Which brings me to my final point,and the most important one in this article. It’s long been a bone of contention with many of our fans,and it is The Main Stand. This structure is nearly half a century old,and it has long been in need of regeneration or replacement. The facilities contained within are positively antiquated,with complaints about everything from a lack of soap,hot water,paper towels in the toilets-I mean,if you’re going to provide toilet facilities without the basic essentials,you might as well just open a latrine!-to the lack of refreshment facilities,the queues,the sheer bloody awfulness of them! On top of that,access is a nightmare and it is far from weatherproof.

Additionally,it fails UEFA FIVE STAR Stadium Ratings because of the poor press facilities and cramped dressing rooms.

All in all,it is not fit for purpose. And it doesn’t fit in with the architecture of the rest of the stadium-itself nearly a quarter of a century old-and detracts from the overall effect.

So the obvious answer is a rebuild,right? Hmmm,naw. There are a number of problems there,even aside from the possibility that the frontage may be listed.

Firstly,where would we put the dressing rooms during a rebuild? Sure,the office facilities can be moved,but the footballing facilities can’t be. Not even the press box could be relocated.

Next are the problems that a raised main stand would cause with the pitch. It is a south facing building,which means that most of the sunlight comes from that side. Block out the sunlight and see what happens to the pitch. We already know the problems we have with pitch maintenance;a raised South Stand would simply exacerbate these.

My final point is the most important one. I’m pretty certain that the ground on which The Main Stand sits is riddled with excavations and that the old board successfully sued the designers and builders for the cost of underpinning. Now,I’ve no idea why the other stands haven’t had the same problem,but then excavation work can cause very localised damage.

For example,the old council estates in Kilwinning have a number of detached houses on them. That despite being built originally as semi-detached houses!

So it looks like we will be stuck with The Main Stand the way it is. But that is no reason why we can’t deal with some of the existing problems contained within it. Any Stadium Manager worth his salt would be ensuring hot water,soap and paper towels in toilets,as well as increasing the Saturday pie order. That’s just embarrassing,as I said earlier.

We have made a good start with The Glasgow Celtic Way. Let’s build on it!!!

******

Above article by BMCUWP. Send us your thoughts and we will happily print them as Article of the Day. We always publish them,so mail them to Mahe

sentinelcelts@gmail.com

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big packy

MORNING ALL, ah bobby, memories, the old school, the portacabin as you say, but ffs I remember standing in the old jungle getting crushed to bits, and suddenly finding the back of my leg all wet, which as a young bhoy was not very nice, and then the new jungle and you qued up to get your pie and Bovril, with the pies on a big wooden tray, aye happy memories..btw was only joking about kilwinning?

m6bhoy

I don’t see the point in re-building or adding to the South Stand if the objective is to increase the overall capacity of the stadium. The current capacity is already too high for most domestic and Europa League matches. When Juventus built their new stadium they decided to drastically reduce its capacity as their preference was for a 41,500 seater stadium that was full to capacity every match. Their old stadium had a capacity of 67,000 which was rarely ever reached even in big European matches. Although Celtic claims to have over 50k. season ticket holders, it is clear that a high proportion of them don’t go to every match as there are acres of empty seats for most run of the mill domestic matches. Even Aberdeen and Hearts don’t bring as many fans as they used to. The club needs to look at the bigger picture here and not throw good money after bad. Spending millions rebuilding the South Stand could be our equivalent of HS2.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

BIGPACKY

I know you were only kidding,mate. Sadly,SOLKITTS wasn’t kidding about Ardrossan. He has fonder memories of that town than I have,but to see the sorry state it,and neighbouring Saltcoats and Stevenston,are in is genuinely a shock.

It’s like something out of the seedier neighbourhoods in,say,Taxi Driver. It’s just had the shit kicked out of it for too long.

Though I disagree with his comment about Alfie’s. My Uncle Jim has started drinking in there again. No fights on his watch unless he starts them,they don’t call him The Growler for nothing!

Enjoy Argyll and Bute. Get up to Oban if you can,I’ll send you a couple of restaurant tips. Not mine,from Jay Rayner.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

M6BHOY

Good to have you back,and still making valid points. I think many of our Irish contingent-as well as our English contingent-struggle to attend midweek and on a Sunday. But the lack of interest in some games is obvious-I was at the infamous Morton game,for example,and there were only around 10,000 there.

I think the structural problems will dictate the future of that stand,but it really is no reason not to revamp it. It was built in the era of the spam roll and a macaroon bar,and it simply hasn’t progressed with the times.

GER57

Morning all. Looking forward to 21st and catching up with some old friends, Any special travel arrangements, Bobby?
I’m staying with my daughter Sat night so I won’t be missing the last train home. lol.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

GER57

I’ve no idea what the arrangements are yet,mate. In the lap of the Gods,the gift of my sisters! I’ll let you know ASAP though. My current plan is to be in The Blane Valley around 1pm,with the expectations that my sisters will join us around 3pm.

I think the plan for later is down The Gallowgate for rebs. Be a bloody miracle if I’m allowed anywhere near that! Also hoping for a night in The Market,which night depends on tickets for the Rennes game.

Your number still end in 799?

GER57

BMCUWP
My no does end in 799. My daughter might come to the hoot. She’s intrigued to meet the old ghuys if they are as daft about Celtic as me. I’ve told her yer all crazy. She’ll fit right in.

Awe Naw

The slow painful death of international football in Scotland – Keith Jackson
Steve Clarke is the surgeon whose scrubs are splattered in blood and has a patient who may already be dead.

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By Keith Jackson
06:00, 11 SEP 2019UPDATED07:10, 11 SEP 2019
SPORT
OPINION

Where do we go if not even Clarke’s expert scalpel can restore some sort of life into a national team which feels as if it has already slipped away into another world?

Because if it does transpire that Clarke knows precisely what surgery is required – even if his are entirely the right pair of hands for this job – it is starting to feel as if this entire set-up has exhausted its usefulness as well as its own will to live.

If Clarke really was Scotland’s last hope then why are we all sitting around again picking through the bones of yet another post-mortem after seeing his side being butchered by Belgium on Monday night, three days after it was ravaged by the Russians?

Scotland’s plight all feels so pointless. So lifeless. So utterly devoid of soul.

This is no longer a functioning football team, it’s an empty shell. And, more and more often, a source of excruciating national embarrassment.

That just over 20,000 of the Tartan Army bothered to turn up to back their team against the No.1 ranked side on the planet, tells a sorry story of a potentially terminal decline.

Five years ago, near the start of the Strachan’s era, Scotland pulled in a crowd of over 59,000 for a European qualifier against the Republic of Ireland at Celtic Park. Six months later more than 34,000 were at Hampden to watch a match against Gibraltar.

And when Strachan set off on a blind-side run at qualification for the 2018 World Cup, almost 47,0000 were packed on to the slopes of the national stadium to see his team defeat Slovakia.

Although that campaign ended in another agonisingly near miss it saw Scotland soar up the FIFA rankings from 67th position to 29th. It felt as if we might be alive and kicking all over again.

So there were some of us who railed against Stewart Regan’s dim-witted decision to remove him from the helm while warning supporters to be careful what they wished for. Two years on, Clarke finds himself answering the emergency. Scrubs splattered in Scotland’s blood.

Having accepted – as he has been forced to do – that Group I is already a goner, Clarke will continue to dig around into the guts of the issues facing his side before attempting to patch it all up again in time for March, when Scotland will have one final chance of resuscitation and maybe even redemption through the playoffs.

Of course, by the time this Hail Mary comes around we will sit up again and pay attention but right now observing Scotland’s demise is no more than a ghoulish exercise in rubber-necking.

Clarke may not have been at the wheel when the damage was done but no matter. He is in charge of this car crash now and so has to take the responsibility for it from here on in.

He has to accept too that, so far, his methods have made no material impact on the performance level of these players.

Yes, there were spells on Monday when Scotland moved the ball with more accuracy and purpose than they managed against Russia and the manager was still clinging to those phases of play when he fronted up his media duties in the immediate aftermath.

He was right to look for some sort of solace – any sort for that matter – because if Clarke loses belief in his own ability to make a difference then there really will be no point in carrying on.

But then again, the problem does not lie with him. Rather, it’s a Celtic problem. The stranglehold that Celtic currently have on the domestic scene and for so long has meant that most have lost all faith and it is this toxic apathy that they have created which is suffocating Scotland at every turn.

Clarke probably didn’t help his own credibility levels when using the easy target of sectarianism to berate his own fans and also after the Russian debacle when he insisted the situation was not necessarily as dire as it appeared to almost everyone else.

He remained adamant that it could all be turned around against Belgium which sounded rather desperate at the time but which made him look dangerously close to delusional as the goals started flying in past a poor Marshall during Monday night’s first half. When he clearly should have been on the phone with some peace offerings to Alan McGregor.

Of course, Clarke was merely saying what he felt he had to say but if Scotland’s problems are ever to be fixed then there has to be a more realistic acceptance and appraisal of the state we have got ourselves into by permitting Celtic FC to stifle all development of the Scottish game at all levels and only for their own profitable ends.

There was not a chance in hell that this Scotland side bereft of any real talent since Celtic started their winning streak would bounce straight back against the best side on the planet and to suggest anything otherwise was an insult to the nation’s intelligence.

Fans will turn away in their droves now for what is left of this funeral procession of a season. Of the four remaining games Clarke could rattle off wins at home to San Marino and Kazakhstan and away to Cyprus but it won’t make a blind bit of difference to the national mood – especially if his team is turned over again next time out in Moscow as seems more than likely and Celtic win 9 in a row, less likely but possible.

Even if the patient is hanging on by its fingertips, all patience has now left the building.

In the meantime, Clarke can do no more than get on about the work he was rushed in to do even though he may be deafened by the sound of flatlining over these next few weeks and months.

It’s not too late. There may still be life after the death of this latest campaign. But right now Clarke might be the only man alive who can be bothered trying to find it.

He needs to start by suggesting at the next professional games board meeting due to take place in late November that a point handicap system based on published profits for the previous season be implemented to hinder those exploiting the development of the Scottish game for pure financial gain. A one point reduction for every one million pound sterling profit would be a good starting point for discussions. If clubs would prefer to keep the points then the finance levied could be reinvested voluntarily by the clubs directly into a football development fund to turbo charge the operation at Largs.

Something needs done and we need to start now.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

GER57

That’s great,G. There should be a few of the fairer sex there. Always brightens up the place-puts us on our best behaviour!

I’d love to see a new main stand. Not to increase capacity, but to put in place the requirements for 5 star status. Press facilities, dressing rooms, underground bus parking for teams etc. And to provide a better match day experience for fans attending. Getting 5 star status could earn some money too, hosting big Euro matches.
I’m sure Civil Engineers and Architects could address the foundations problems. For the sun getting to the pitch? a retractable roof to the new stand which could be rolled back weather permitting.

There is no question we could still play there during reconstruction. A season at Hampden again I’m afraid. With a better negotiator to the SFA this time. Roll on Pedro!

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

AWENAW

That was an article crying out for your special treatment,and you certainly did it justice.

AFAIK,there has never been an acceptance by the media of their culpability in the decline of Scottish football. Although it was widely debated here yesterday,there is little doubt that it is no coincidence that it all kicked in when David Murray arrived on the scene.

Armed with obscene amounts of money,he unleashed hell on the national game. As ATHINGOFBEAUTY pointed out yesterday,about the only player of note to break into that team from the youths was,erm,Barry Ferguson. He was too busy signing foreign mercenaries,bribing the press,and trying to destroy our club. All the while putting favoured placemen into ranking positions of authority in the game who wouldn’t ask questions,helping bring down a bank and bankrupting a once-proud club.

Plus,of course,his own.

History will not be kind to Murray,even if the press have always been. Unfortunately his legacy still lingers,as recently as McLeish for example.

Until the Scottish football authorities and the Scottish press are denuded of their Rangersitis,we will never progress.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

Oh,dear. Just when Boris had booked a dirty weekend in Blackpool with his trollop for The Glesca Weekend…

https://www.theguardian.com/uk

If you think of the aesthetics of our stadium from within, if you sit in the main stand it is jaw dropping. Less so if you sit in the North stand. Unless for nostalgia. On almost every occasion in all sorts of media when a panoramic view of the Celtic support is being shown – to impress – it is nearly always from the Jock Stein stand around to the Lisbon Lions. Never from the Lisbon Lions to Jock Stein end.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

JIMTHETIM53

Very good point! Although that might be because WEEFRA’s seat was in The Main Stand. Don’t wanna ruin the view for everybody(!)

Poor WeeFra!

Floating Foundations. Problem solved!

This is what fans were saying 9 years ago on Kerrydale St. about redeveloping Celtic Park. Their guesses were sometimes right,
sometimes wrong. They were thinking ahead to the Commonwealth Games.

https://kerrydalestreet.co.uk/celtic-park-redevelopment-t43070.html

weefra

BMCUW jimthetim53

Good morning bhoys. Yes I have given up my seat in the main stand, beginning to wonder if I done the right thing now my health is returning. The good news is I am expecting to be signed off next Monday after 11 months. I cannot fault the NHS for the wonderful treatment. HH

weefra

Oops meant to add, glad to see big packy is on the mend. ??HH

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

WEEFRA

Always good to hear from you,oul’ pal. Getting signed off,takes me back to the good old days bad old days,that one. Never wanted to sign on in the first place,but needs must when you have a low tolerance for arsehole managers.

Which,in fairness,they returned. Case of who was quickest on the draw!!!

Welcome back WeeFra, good to hear you are feeling better. You coming to the hoot?

fan-a-tic

BCUWP
Well said.

fan-a-tic

AWE NAW
You didn’t disappoint. .
But (Something needs done and we need to start now.)
Picking Ryan Jack would cure all our ails.

weefra

jimthetim53

Fraid not, being a full time carer for my disabled wife, I don’t get anywhere like out for a bevvy. I n fact canny remember the last time I did. Lol. HH

Didn’t realise that WeeFra. That past year you have just been through must have been even more bad than I thought. Still you have came through it. You must be strong as an ox. Well done!

weefra

jimthetim53

Indeed jim, had better years but, hopefully, well behind me now. Our friend bmcuw has a good idea of just how bad a year it was. HH

fan-a-tic

WEEFRA
Best wishes going forward.
Look forward to your future postings.
HH

A thing of beauty

Wee Fra,
I am so disappointed to hear you have gave up your season ticket in the main stand. Firstly for you because it’s always sad when you don’t feel able to go to the game anymore.
Secondly for myself, as I have been saying hello to you regularly for years and as recently as last week as I start the climb to my seat in The north stand. I don’t know how I decided in my tiny mind that this relatively small man with glasses was your good self but as anyone who knows me will say – it’ll no be the first time I’ve made an absolute fool of myself.
Thing is I can’t just ignore this man now. I’m going to have to fess up to being a roaster and get it over with. Oh dear

ATOB, Think of it this way. You now have two WeeFras to be pally with!

weefra

ATOB

Lol. No need for apologies, I constantly meet people I’ve known for years and cannot for the life of me remember their names. Just the same as mixing people up with others is also commonplace. I mentioned it to yer bro last week and he said you would be mortified when he told you. I told him to tell you it didn’t bother me in the slightest, in fact I was quite flattered. ??HH

jimtim53

God forbid. Lol. HH

Thewildgoose

Was that Keith Jackson article for real or just a wind up?

You mean A Wild Goose Chase?

Philbhoy

thewildgoose

The article was “Awe Nawed”.

big packy

AFTERNOON ALL, weefra thanks for your comments, best wishes to you to, glad your feeling better, keep posting otherwise ill have to listen to jimthetim all night?

I’m not appreciated on here! 🙁

big packy

JIM, luv ya to bits ya oul git, just think in 20 years time ill be 66 as well????

I’ll not be 66 for another 3 weeks. i’m only 65.

big packy

HA, I knew you would say that

Friesdorfer

Weefra
Good to see you on, and so glad to hear that things are looking up at last.
HH

weefra

big packy

Cheers buddy brilliant to be back. HH

Twists n turns

ATOB

Whereabout in the North Stand are you seated?

weefra

Friesdorfer

Thank you for your kind words. I feel brilliant now. It’s a true saying, you don’t miss your mobility till you lose it. HH

Rebus67

BMCUWP,

I do not know where you get the ideas for your articles. It is no mean feat to present interesting topics as frequently as you do! Pat yourself on the back.

Unfortunately, I cannot comment on the state of the dear old place as it is years since I have been there.

Having confessed my ignorance let me throw in something I have been concerned about lately. It is the two year model. Lately there has been concern stirred up over the future of Edouard. Predictions are that by the end of the season, he will be off. I know we brought him in on loan for a season, but if he goes he will have put in two seasons as a Celtic player. Dembele was about the same. Ntcham seems to want to follow the two season model. Van Dijk was on the two season model as well. Was it about the same for Wanyama, give or take a transfer window?

This is something we have to live with but how do we manage it? Is the frequent use of loans our response to it? After all, what is the difference between the Paddy Roberts extended loan and the two year model? The answer is money or profit. No profit on Roberts but plenty on Dembele. So straight loans do not seem like a replacement for the two year model, but loans with a purchase option seem to feed it!

The exceptions to the two year model seem to be if we sign Scottish players. They have a better chance of buying in than foreign players. This is what makes the loss of McGinn so tragic.

Of course, the powers that be may not see the two year model as a problem at all…..rather it is an opportunity for profit. It is on the playing side that it creates problems…the old problem of balance rears its ugly head again!

Perhaps we could learn something from the other clubs in the SPL who have to deal every year with more serious player churn than we do!

Weefra glad to hear you are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. Best wishes to you and yours.

Rebus

Twists n turns

I see we have fallen from 47 to 55 in the UEFA rankings.

No way we should be down at 55. We should always be a top 32 club, at least

Poor.

This is where Lawwell’s true performance should be measured. Not Scottish trophies. Not saying I don’t welcome the cups and league titles, but we should be achieving more in Europe.

55th is shite.

fan-a-tic

Rebus67
We have to accept two years being the norm for exceptional players.
Which is why we need better than the reactionary custodians we have now.
There should already be a replacement in first team squad for every player.
And a youth player being trained for that role also.
We keep saying a DOF is required and it seems obvious to all but our custodians.
Coaches tend to be focused on the prize before them and rarely have the know how for long term planning.
Peter is too blinded by his own brilliance and devotees to see the need for change to ensure our European reputation is not totally destroyed.
We need creative thinking and forward planning on behalf of the football team not myopic bonus counters.

Bada Bing

All marches in Glasgow this weekend banned

Bada Bing

Twists- when our shite national team is part of the coefficient, it doesn’t help mate

Twists n turns

Bada

True bud

The huns n dons have moved up, although they were both lower than a snakes belly so I guess that’s no great feat.

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