So Nir, So Far

So it’s confirmed. Nir Bitton will not, repeat will not, be playing emergency centre back for Celtic in next year’s Champions League qualifiers.
I’ve honestly waited a decade to type that.


Ok, there’s no qualifiers, and of course, there’s no Nir now.
Nir today, gone tomorrow. That’s the last sorry.


A big rake of a man with an athletes physique, the consummate professional to boot, it’s not hard to see why the club nibbled and brought in the Israeli International. By the way, it’s to all our credit any race and creed is considered, being a mostly Pro-Palestine fanbase didn’t even come into the equation as it was a given he would be accepted into the family and judged solely on what he offered on the field of play, personal statements aside.


We know now, there were no personal statements. Nir got on with his job come rain or snow, fullstop. I never once heard or read him disparage either the club or the support over his long tenure, for who I’m thankful and he earns some respect.
Benched constantly, if he wanted to rock the boat he could have, but no, not his style. Never uttered a peep.


He proved a fantastic servant, nine years from a foreigner is a rarity, especially with the EPL being the ultimate goal in most cases.


He wasn’t a fantastic footballer though. More efficient than sparkling, solid rather than skillful, I dare say he was a good SPL player. Footballing wise I doubt he could make a huge step up. That bigger clubs never came calling helps sway my opinion on the matter, he was in the shop window for years with no takers, and wouldn’t have cost much.


Every squad needs squad players, Nir was ours. Dipping in and out isn’t for everyone, many players in their prime or wind down years .demand constant playing time, and often sign for the club that promises it even if a stepdown. For some reason, Nir was content to be a squad player. I like to think it was the buzz of being at a huge club winning silverware helped keep the fire alive, but that’s simple conjecture only behalf. The pay packet may have clinched, he’s more than likely earning less at his next club, most likely an Israeli team I believe.


Although he leaves with my sincere best wishes, I can’t say his departure is a bad thing. The holding midfielder the team needs, according to most who observe, is still to be signed, and any freeing up of squad space and wages is a positive on that front. A limited Nir had his chance, his long chance, to cement the position but failed under a string of managers and now it’s literally time to give the new man a try.


Anyhows, I reckon with a bit ofake-uphe could double as Spock in that new Star-Trek show. The very last I swear.


Live long and prosper Nir.
I’ll get my coat.


Actually, I can’t yet as this is a double tribute. Not only one but two bloody foreigners have went and jumped ship at the same time, the scallywags!
Actually, the timing is perfect, go out on a high and all that.


Tams gone, skipped off down under.
Tam, Tam.
Here I am all these years later, and I’m still not sure about him as a player.
Yet, he delivered, a lot actually.


Part of my issue is this,,
unlike Nir, he was too good to be a squad player, yet not consistent enough to be a starter. He was in true footballing limbo, in that respect.


Purest examples being one of games against tough opposition. Ange stated his intent would always be to win, not draw, to go for the jugular. Theres little doubt Tam possessed an attacking instinct, and could produce moments of magic. His selection was natural.
Yet he was often marked out of these games. Aware he took one touch to set up the pass, most opponents stayed close and stopped him turning with the ball, keeping his back to goal where he’s at his least dangerous. He was invisible at Hampden recently, they played him just right. Many managers have.


Put him up against an average Aberdeen dropping deep and he had the world at his feet, here comes the highlight reel fillers. There was magic in those feet, but he needed to long sometimes to conjure up his wizardry. The Champions League would have been very unforgiving next year, if he was our main relative fulcrum.
I can’t see Ange risking such a luxury player in such a punishing competition if truth be told, so maybe a parting of the ways with head held high is for the best all around.


The signing and emergence of O’Reilly and to an extent young Master Turnbull shall only help push Tam down the pecking order, both offering more overall out on the park. Both much younger, an aging Tam must see the writing on the wall.


I must say, he’s in fantastic shape these days, and shall find a club somewhere nae bother, however just like the player above, with change comes opportunity. He was on decent wedge, one of the higher earners, so there’s more wage budget freed up. It’s strange to see the club allow two Internationals to walk out the door for free, but it’s the correct thing to do in the circumstances given the length of service, and we must credit the club with some honourable behavior. Hope it catches on.


If he returns to the A-League I fully expect a few spectaculars to be trending every season, the man has a lot to offer and may enjoy becoming the old head helping those younger try and eek a good living from the sport. It wouldn’t surprise me if he eventually began recommending players to the good, helping set up trials.
He might not play in the Hoops again, but don’t discount him helping the Hoops again in the future.


Finally, as the late great Bobby Ball used to say,,,
Rock On Tommy!
Oh, thanks for the memories.

By Mahe

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Margaret McGill
May 23, 2022 3:51 am

Until the whole current Celtic custodian paradigm is ejected European success is just pissin in the wind. Nothing proves this more than their own Frankenstein frankenfurt defeat. I wouldn’t piss on any Celtic executive or administrator if they were on fire. Oh yeah and another thing fuck this communism lark. Loving your species helping your brothers overcoming hardships together. Kill anyone that gets in your way. Thats what I say. It’s what Jesus would do.

Margaret McGill
May 23, 2022 4:16 am

Any team whose fans invade the park should have their game rescinded Eg man city
We can’t have fans assaulting opposition players on the pitch. FFS!
And any teams fans who invade the park before the end of the game eg Everton should be banned from playing for a year and fucking relegated
As for fans shining lasers in opposition players eyes during a game they should be kicked out of the competition period eg Senegal
This is what I’ve seen in the past couple of months
Football fans have basically degenerated into the hun scum we are supposed to abhor but money defeats morality every time

Margaret McGill
May 23, 2022 4:24 am

And of course most professional football players at the top level these days are doped to the fucking eyeballs and as for FFP Everton spent £400m just to stay in the EPL
Let’s talk about the Huns
Comfort area etc

16 Roads
May 23, 2022 4:33 am

Happy Monday, one and all.
The truth is the truth :

16 Roads
May 23, 2022 4:43 am

Nir Bitton is a Celtic icon.

Privileged enough to meet Nir in the Celtic store, Argyll Street – can’t remember why I was in Glasgow town at that time.

Too old to ask for autographs, just shook his hand & wished him all the best.

A proper Celtic gentleman.

18 medals.

Read that properly again – 18 winner’s medals at the club.

Unbelievable,yet true.


16 Roads
May 23, 2022 4:47 am
16 Roads
May 23, 2022 5:21 am

Parish first, county second.
Before inflicted by the disease.

Over & out.


May 23, 2022 6:49 am

I think I’m in love with Margaret McGill, there Iv’e said it. Why? he tries to keep a bridge between himself and his feelings for Celtic.
I have a secret, I don’t get all this “Ange Love”, there Iv’e confessed, I don’t buy into the cult of Ange. Like Mags I have constructed a bridge and that’s just not ‘hollow talk”. I wish Ange huge success in all his endeavours, but it’s the selection process that rips my knitting. The ‘L’ word, I still cannot repeat his name, according to him, he telephones his son, who drops a name (part of the City Group, that Celtic have fully embraced) and the next stage in the process is run past the single biggest shareholder who interviews him over the telephone. “Your Hired”, you are the one, the next Celtic manager, congratulations. It’s the lucky dip selection process, it’s not even a professional process of inviting candidates and then selecting the best applicants, it’s demeaning and wrong, it’s treating the club like their own fiefdom. No other professional body would conduct their business in such an amateur way.

I embraced Martin O’Neil and his professional approach, i bought into his team and their style of play and his professional approach, the lucky dip selection process worked this time, and when he left, the Celtic support were left with the £40 million pound bill. What followed was fiscal austerity on steroids. The same thing happened after Delia, the support had dropped to around 25 thousand watching the games and incomings was dropping off a cliff, panic ensued and in came Brendan Rodgers and we all know what happened after he left.

So, its still early doors for “Ange Love” from me, but I sincerely hope that he is the real deal. I’m still fully embedded into the cult of Stein, that is a love that will never die and Jimmy Gribben, if you are looking down Jimmy, then share that love.
Big Jock said of Jimmy Gribben, “no-one knows more about football than Jimmy Gribben”, and he was right, a man who fully embraced Celtic FC. Gil Heron, the young black American player also said of Jimmy, “I can’t forget Jimmy Gribben, who personally has helped me tremendously, he’s just like a father”. What fitting epitaphs. “The Cult Of Stein”.

May 23, 2022 6:55 am

Awe Naw
From last night:

A few conditions:

I get the en suite bedroom with the 60” tv and I’m not sharing it with JNP.
Dressing gown ( or smoking jacket) and slippers to be provided.
Breakfast in bed is a must for me. I’m an early riser so serve it between 4-30am and 4-45am please.
(No pre ordering breakfast the night before). All freshly cooked produce.
I expect my newspapers in the morning. The daily mail , Financial Times, the Telegraph the Racing Post ( and the Sun)

Other than that I’m no trouble.

May 23, 2022 7:50 am
May 23, 2022 8:37 am

Morning all…I’d been reading this yesterday and thought the story was Portugal’s Whisky Galore then, purely by chance, last night Sol (I think?) mentioned Whisky Galore! This is a decent read…

May 23, 2022 9:04 am

Morning Craig…the Ibrox Noise article might have a point! On the other hand it may be a stretch to tie it in with the investigation into corruption in fitba, which we all accept exists. I’ve spoken to two people who were in Seville, at the game, and both accounts of facilities inside the stadium were exactly the same and mirrored the stories reported last week. If indeed people were put at risk it is shameful. In this case I think TRFC are entitled to answers.

Prestonpans bhoys
May 23, 2022 10:08 am


Would be interesting to see what St Tams thinks of this article😱😂😂


Those guys need to go into a room, close the door, throw away the keys😵 The Spanish have already explained that their staff, while replenishing the kiosks, were attacked by the huns. So they stopped that task for H&S reasons, the water supply to the bogs also stopped as all the sinks were being used and the pump couldn’t cope!!

As for the rest of their accusations, as said, turn the key and throw it away😂😂😂😂

The Fenian Whaler
May 23, 2022 10:08 am

Point of order.
Didn’t Nir provoke the ire of a lot of the Celtic fan base by ‘tweeting’ his support of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces} after they had been battering the people of Palestine? Isn’t he, and his wife, also on record complaining about receiving ‘antisemitic
hate messages’ from individuals within the Celtic support? Personally, I think he received anti-zionist messages not antisemitic although the MSM and British gov now conflates both to stifle meaningful discussions about Israel’s murderous treatment of the Palestinian people.
Me I thank him for his service but he always gave me the fear when playing.

PS Mags @ 3:51 am👍👍

Noel Skytrot
May 23, 2022 10:37 am

Mags, don’t be holding back now. 🤣🤣🤣🤣

May 23, 2022 10:45 am

“Holding midfielder”… not in the modern evolving game. Better all round footballers is what we need.

St tams
May 23, 2022 10:48 am

As they say. If you can’t say something nice about someone, say nothing.
So no comment. 😂😂

St tams
May 23, 2022 10:52 am

You are correct.
The midfield need to play as a unit.
Not disjointed, as we tend to be when under pressure.
Better all round players needed.
For example. The centre backs need to be able to pass better, than 5 and 10 yard passes to the fullbacks and Calum.

Big Audio Dynamite
May 23, 2022 10:53 am

CHAMPIONS of the Scottish cup? That’s a new one on me.

Get your 10 page comfort blanket pull-out.

The Fenian Whaler
May 23, 2022 11:00 am

Big Audio Dynamite
Champions of the Scottish cup ‘That’s a new one on me’ !

To be fair BAD it’s a new one for them also, winning the Scottish cup that is. Winning 2 major domestic trophies in only 10 years of existence must be worth bragging about. 🤔

Big Audio Dynamite
May 23, 2022 11:02 am

As much as this title was super important to win this year, our recruitment over the summer will be equally important.

Hope one of the priorities is to bring an end to our captain being played out of position.

Big Audio Dynamite
May 23, 2022 11:05 am

TFW, 150 years, Timmy! And don’t you (You won’t be allowed to anyway) forget it!!

Noel Skytrot
May 23, 2022 11:09 am

Maeda signs on a permanent deal from Yokohama.

Bobby Murdochs
May 23, 2022 11:41 am

I agree with MAGS about pitch invasions. They are becoming normalised now,and it has to stop. The invasion aspect is bad enough,but the new habit of attacking players and staff means that it is only a matter of time before the injuries received by Billy Sharp of Sheffield United pale into insignificance.

My mates and I were talking about this at the weekend,btw. There’s none of us belongs to the hang them or flog them brigade,far from it. But we reckoned that six months for stepping onto the field of play and a minimum of two years for confronting an opposition player,with a minimum five years for any assault,would be sufficient deterrent.

Football is an emotional game,and I get that. Passions overtake the moment. But I wouldn’t say that my mates are the most level-headed people on the planet. And I don’t think anyone would say that about me either. But none of us has ever been on the pitch,and wouldn’t dream of it. Why would we?

Although there’s a certain left winger from Irvine Meadow forty years ago who probably still has nightmares about me and SOLKITTS sledging him off his game…

May 23, 2022 11:44 am


Methinks your valet deserves a wee break in Germany too. I’m sure AWENAW will provide the necessary for him to iron your papers in the morning,and to squeeze the toothpaste onto your toothbrush.

May 23, 2022 11:48 am


I agree about Nir Bitton. He just wasn’t up to it,IMO. Utility players are cursed by the fact that they can play in a multitude of positions,so rarely make one their own. Bitton was tried in a multitude of positions,and found wanting in them all. Yes,he was a feature under four different managers,but the best I can say about him is that he was better than a man short.

Sorry if that sounds harsh,but then one of my Dad’s favourite pejoratives about a poorly performing player is that he is WORSE than a man short-so he got off lightly!

May 23, 2022 11:51 am


I dunno what the delay was in signing Maeda. I can only assume it was an accounting sleight of hand at either Yokohama or Celtic,pushing the fee beyond the current reporting period.

(Post edited because I replied to the wrong person! Time for bed…)

Bada Bing
May 23, 2022 12:27 pm
Aiden having his say on the treatment he got for playing for the Republic

Big Audio Dynamite
May 23, 2022 12:52 pm
Bada Bing
May 23, 2022 1:02 pm

McCaff- Seville FC issued a statement, saying kiosks were closed, after staff were assaulted, don’t think it made the SMSM…..

May 23, 2022 2:10 pm

Big Audio Dynamite 12.52. Is there no end to this folly? 🤔😂

May 23, 2022 2:47 pm

Awe Naw.
Just catching up from last night, thank you what a kind offer and it was a lovely message to read.
I said to Mrs JNP and she said, she doesnt want to go, but to thank you for your kind and generous offer, she did say she would be delighted to get rid of me, for a few days.
She also, cruelly, pointed out that the last time I went to see Celtic in Germany, I missed my transport home.
My demands are nowhere like Lord Twisty. 😁😁
You have a heart of gold, Awe naw. Thank You. 💚

May 23, 2022 3:12 pm


A fair and balanced assessment of Nir and Tom’s careers. I wish them the best of success, in their future endeavours.

Hail Hail.

big packy
May 23, 2022 4:03 pm

hello hello we are the fenian bhoys, hello youll know us by our noise, because we are the fenian brigton bhoys,,jim we used to sing this at the copeland road end of parkhead,, aah memories, sol kitts used to lift me over the turnstile, wouldnt mind I was 35 at the time😎😎 another true story😎

Big Audio Dynamite
May 23, 2022 4:04 pm

BRRB, Hun media work from the Goebbles template,, say a lie often enough …

As good as Van Dijk (Nowhere near)
Man of the match in Seville (No he wasn’t)
Worth at least 20 million (OFFS, stop 😂)

And don’t call him Shirley! 😜

May 23, 2022 4:22 pm

I feel obliged to correct you. Your reference to me as “Sir”, serves me a great injustice.

You should refer to me in the same manner as my wife which is “Count”

In fact she quite often emphasises the importance of my title by elevating it to “ ya big count ye”

Just a point of order for your future reference.

May 23, 2022 4:32 pm


There’s an absolute belter of an article today, from the CQN magazine. Titled:

“Lisbon67: The Untold Tales” Part 1

The article is accessible through the Celticnewsnow site. Cannae wait for part 2.

Big Packy

I’m guessing that the above article will appeal to your good self.

Regards the lack of water at the Huns’ end in Seville. In 2003, water at the stadium was unavailable after half-time. I myself was feeling the effects of dehydration, so I know that this is no joke. There are reports that some Huns were attacking the poor buggers manning the stalls. Given those circumstances, is it any wonder that they shut up shop? Hun blogs will obviously deny these allegations, but given the previous of the Huns’ support as a whole, these allegations to my mind, are eminently believable. Think March and May in Glasgow last year, when Hun mobs tore the town centre apart.

Hail Hail.

May 23, 2022 4:41 pm
Big Audio Dynamite
May 23, 2022 4:42 pm

Celtic team for the CLQ against Midtjylland just 10 months ago.

Barkas, Ralston, Welsh, Bitton, Taylor, McGregor, Soro, Turnbull, Abada, Christie and Edouard.

After a red card for Bitton (44), we finished the game with Welsh and young Murray as our CB partnership.

Taking everything into account, Ange really has transformed the team.

big packy
May 23, 2022 4:47 pm

MAGUA how are you pal, yes will read it now👍

May 23, 2022 4:49 pm

Twisty 4.22.
Ha, I bet it’s more than your wife that’s said that to you.😁😁

Big Audio Dynamite
May 23, 2022 5:21 pm

During our final in Seville, lots of Porto fans offered to give me their bottled water every time Henrik scored! Ok, most hit me on the back of the head ..but still it was a lovely gesture.😜

Really don’t think I would’ve made it out in one piece had we won.

big packy
May 23, 2022 5:55 pm

wish david marshall all the best on his signing for hibs, will never forget that barca game,HAIL HAIL.

Big Audio Dynamite
May 23, 2022 6:02 pm

Good signing for Hibs. Wow, is he really 37? His games against Barca and Rangers, that he was world class in, seem so fresh in the memory. Some good keepers around now.

big packy
May 23, 2022 6:14 pm

SOL KITTS no I didnt play for buckie thistle, and my village was glenboig not croy,, croy was my dads village,the holy village,,another true story😎

Sol Kitts
May 23, 2022 6:21 pm

I well remember that Irvine Meadow player. By midway through the 2nd half his head had totally gone, to the extent where he offered the 2 of us out. Got to say, I really enjoyed myself that day.😂😂😎

Sol Kitts
May 23, 2022 6:24 pm

Big Packy
My mistake. Must have strained my brain with lifting you over so many turnstiles.😂😂😎

May 23, 2022 6:24 pm

Comfortable win for St Johnstone tonight, despite the impressive fight back last week by Caley?

Thinking 3 goal win.

Do I go 3-0? 4-1?

Cue goalless draw.

Awe Naw
May 23, 2022 6:30 pm

A post of mine seems to have gone missing ;-(


I am not accepting a final answer until we actually draw Eintracht I will then badger the pair of you again


I know hundreds of guys “a bit light on the loafers mind you” that will look after you in the “Brideshead Revisited” kind of way that you have been accustomed too. Not to worry