Doesn’t time fly? It seems only yesterday a jubilant squad pranced about like teenagers, parading the league trophy, reveling in the party atmosphere.
One last day of work before a well deserved holiday, but hardly work at all such was the joy of the occasion.
Next week the team take off for our Austrian training camp, so the next few days are genuinely the last days of rest and relaxation for the bhoys.
Maybe it’s just me, but the break seems to be terribly short these days.
The working man out there might cough splutter thinking I get two or three weeks off per year, six weeks holidays sounds like heaven!
The athlete might have a different view.
Especially our athletes. They are facing a demanding preseason, because Ange makes demands. Those extra snacks and treats eaten during the off season need worked off this week, next is too late.
The competition for starting places begins with the very first day of pre season training camp, you don’t get fit then try your best,,,you turn up in good shape and ready to impress.
Many a player will be hitting the gym this week with their thoughts turning to the upcoming campaign,,still officially on holidays or not.
Given the final week won’t be all fun and games but personal preparation, is it fair to say the players get five weeks actual R&R?
Seems terribly short. Has it always been such,,or has the modern game shortened the off season?
The fact the squad departs next week tells us expect a signing or two soon. Ange wants his players in situ for a full training camp together, the next few days
are the perfect time to close deals and capture signatures to ensure everyone deemed essential is on that plane to Austria.
Which makes me realize, how many players cannot simply enjoy pure rest and relaxation during the summer as they must be available to travel and uproot to a different country at the drop of a hat?
Played a full season then half way through your hard earned rest you’re summoned elsewhere for medicals and interviews?
We all love a good vacation but when it comes down to it the footballers and the supporters are very different affairs.
Set time off fully away from the job, splurging to excess ignoring the scales, breaking your sleep routine,,,all things we take for granted while on holiday yet a footballer can’t.
And they are supposed to be the glamorous ones!
Who’d be a footballer these days?
All work and all play, literally.

By Mahe

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Morning Mahe

I see it very differently.

You ask

“who’d be a footballer these days?”

Probably every kid who loves to kick a ball, and every one of us who have stood on the terraces supporting our team, would love or would have loved to.

Even more so these days. Footballers at the top are paid obscene amounts of money. Middle of the road level teams also pay far above what your average Joe can earn. Of course lesser known players or players with clubs who are not at the higher levels earn a lot less, but are still well paid relative to the supporters who pay their wages.

They have fame and fortune and all that it can buy you, which is pretty much anything you like.

I don’t see the fact they can’t indulge in fish suppers and crates of irn bru or pints of Carling as being any sort of sacrifice whatsoever, nor having to upsticks and move to Madrid, London or Paris .
I’ve worked across 3 continents throughout my career, and lived away from my family for the best part of 25 years whilst doing so.
Had I had the ability to kick a 14 to 16 oz football around ( thx Sol K😁) the rewards would’ve been a lot greater than they were, and I’d have been home to my family a lot sooner.

Yer average Bhoy and Ghirl will be waking up this morning, many worried sick about how the next electricity bill that drops through the door will be paid. They won’t be sitting thumbing through the “ indulgent escapes” brochure planning a holiday.

Give them Ronaldo’s pay for just ONE week and their problems would be solved.

I hear some say “ yeah but not everyone gets paid as well”

Very true but they’re still earning , and the few footballers I know who are not at the top level, do not do anything different on their extended close season breaks that I’d say is a sacrifice. They drink and eat the same as you or I .
Work it back off in pre season.

The world is in a dreadful state these days, bringing financial pain and misery to a very high % of people.
The players at the level you refer to in the leader, are exempt from that worry.

Who’d be a footballer these days? Probably 99% of whoever you ask.

It’s not “all work and play” as you say, far from it. They’ll have more time off in a year than most people get in 3?years , and in some instances more pay in a week than most get in a year.

I genuinely fail to accept they are making even the smallest of sacrifices for what they get in return.


Mahe / Twisty I can see both sides of the argument although I think Twisty’s viewpoint is more compelling.
I don’t deny these guys work hard and need to be dedicated to sustain a career.
For me a major consideration is that most half decent players can start a very comfortable retirement in their mid thirties. I’d gladly have worked flat out for 20 years with no holidays if it allowed me to have what I now have in retirement while I was much younger and fitter.

Wait a minute!
If I had plenty cash and no need to go to work when I was 35 I might not have made it to 40. There’s definitely two sides to every argument.


Big Packy, from last night.
Hope we Joan gets good news today 🙏🙏



Good article. I agree with you that there is a danger of players playing too much football and not getting enough downtime. This is the longest break some of them will have had in years-but then,some of our players haven’t been at work for six weeks!

That’s a lot by any standards.

Others,who were involved in international games have barely had a fortnight off,but I don’t think they are returning for another week yet. I could be wrong about that,of course!

Then,of course,they have another two weeks at the turn of the year,though much of that is usually spent in a training camp. Not full-time training,but not exactly a holiday either.

Either way-and I fully concur with TWISTY’s opinions on the matter-our players should be coming back this summer more refreshed and ready to go than at any time for quite some number of years. It will be interesting to see,for example,how our Japanese Bhoys perform next season,given that the last few weeks have been their first real break in eighteen months. Reo commented often how he was finding it difficult to maintain his performances for the full 90 minutes due to fatigue.

The fitness levels required at the top level are a step up from those required even two decades ago. To maintain those levels for so long,to keep pushing their bodies that extra yard,takes proper dedication.But on the plus side,the game has also changed in another positive way-it is much less physical,so despite the fitness demands,there are fewer injuries from the outright thuggery we saw so often in the past.

Though there are exceptions!



Best of luck today.


If I employed 1000 people and paid them just £30k per annum and gave them 4 weeks holiday per annum, and said to them all “ I’m planning in changing your contracts- the offer is now £50k per WEEK with 6 weeks holiday in the summer plus a winter break of 2-3 weeks, however here comes the rub, you’ll need to stay off the meat pies and lager throughout your winter and summer break and look after your bodies” ..

..call me psychic but I think I could safely predict the take up of the offer would be 100%.

I’m being flippant I accept but truly, a footballers lot is truly about as good as it gets I’d think.

Maybe I’m just cheesed off that I’d to work yesterday. 😁


“ Lawrence Shankland insists Celtic target Vinicius Souza can fill the midfield security guard void left by the departure of Nir Bitton.”

Hmmmm. Why does that make me nervous?

I think it might be to do with the first two words!


Best of luck to Wee Joan, she’ll definitely be in my thoughts today. Love and hugs to her, Big Jim Packy! 💚🤍💛

Jobo Baldie

Good morning, friends. Enjoying this morning’s debate. Also laughing at that quote there -“… the void left by the departure of Nir Bitton”? Nir had his moments but I’m not sure we are that weakened by him leaving.


Who’d be a fitballer today…no Leigh Griffiths for one! 😝


Been meaning to ask you. I know you do your parkrun, and congrats on your recent milestone number of completed runs, what I’d been meaning to ask was:

If I recall correctly you were aiming for all the 2’s at one point. 22.22. I’m going back to our CQN days. Did you achieve it? Surpass it?

From memory you were about 2 mins plus quicker than me.
24.31 was my best. Reason it came to mind is I’m back on the fitness trail again and hoping to get back to the park run once I start to hit some respectable times again. I’m miles off at present. Concentrating on getting under 9 minutes for a mile at present. ( yep things have slipped that badly!). Weight rocketed to ridiculous level. Need to drop two stones or even that 9 minute target ain’t happening

Once I do that I’ll up my training a bit. Eating much healthier nowadays and running ( jogging to be more accurate!) twice a day with couple rest days in between.

What number you averaging nowadays?


If I get to 26 mins for the 5k in the next 6 months, I’ll get ya to pace me one Sat at Strathclyde for a 25-30 or so 😁


16 Roads
Bummer there J, never mind onwards and upwards.



My sister,PADDY’S MAW,completed her first 5k run yesterday. She intends doing them regularly in future-presumably after she recovers from that one!

I’m really proud of her for it,tbh-I’d run a mile if some suggested it to me…

Hope all goes well with Joan today, Big Packy.
I’m with Twisty on today’s players. All that’s needed in the DownTime is dedication to the job you do when not on holiday. Don’t do a Leigh Griffiths. Irrespective of short working life most Celtic players earn more than ninety per cent of the support but less than Dermot Desmond! But then, is he even a supporter?



Will you pair please stop pre-empting my article for tomorrow?!!!


As for breaks from playing, I don’t get it.
They are professional athletes.
Tennis athletes put a lot of footy players to shame. Wimbledon starts today!

They need to continually work to be in top condition.
Plenty of time for RnR when they retire.

Anyway, they all got plenty of rest two years ago ( with the rest of the world) from March to August 2020.


I’m with Twisty on this one. Oh for the ability, skill, dedication and opportunity to have such a career. I don’t envy them, similarly I don’t see much wrong with dedicating yourself to a highly paid profession where (some) sacrifices are required. The rewards more than compensate… imo of course.

Have a great day all.

HH from car dealership awaiting MOT completion, with fingers crossed 🤞.

St tams

Interesting article Mahe. But I think I’m with Twisty here . The vast majority of us would love a footballers life . If we had the talent.

Funny enough read an article in the Sunday Times yesterday about pre- season training.
They mentioned Jock Wallace and the Gullane sand dunes. Apparently wee Strachan did something similar when at Southampton, where he took them to St Andrews. The players thought they were staying in the Old Course Hotel and going to play a few rounds of golf.
Instead they stayed in student accommodation and were running up and down the sand dunes each day.
It then discussed the modern day players who now come back to pre-season nearly as fit as they were at the end of the season after been given an individual plan from the fitness team at the seasons end. and very few overweight when they return.



Et tu,Brute! I wrote an article yesterday,intended for tomorrow. I had to rewrite the introduction to it this morning when I read MAHE’s article. Now,you,my Dad and MCCAFF have also pre-empted parts of it in your comments this morning!

Ah,well. Lesson learned,I suppose…


In fact,just about the only person so far who hasn’t spiked my article is FRIESDORFER. Glad I didn’t put in my thoughts on the first few days of pre-season being like an MOT for the players!

Good luck with that,FRIESDORFER. Bribe the examiner,if necessary.

Jobo Baldie

Twisty, re ParkRun you have a better memory than me! I did my first one on 13 June 2009 at Pollock Park. My first 20 or so were there and I managed a best time of 20m16s. Strathclyde ParkRun then started and soon became my preferred run. My best time was in October 2013 when I somehow managed 20m 8s. I’m a lot slower now. During 2022 I’ve had 21 goes with 7 of 23minutes plus. My weekly target is 22m 30s but I’ve only beat that 7 times.
At Strathclyde Park, the first Saturday of each month is ‘Pacers Week’ where folk wear a running vest with a big number on the back ranging from 20 to 29. So if anyone is aiming for a particular time then following the appropriate pacer usually helps.
The great thing about ParkRun is that it really does cater for all ages. This week’s race at Strathclyde (hope the link below works) had a field of 212 runners. And whilst there were some real top athletes in the first 5 places, position 50 had a time of 24:13, position 100 was 27:23 and around 60 had times of over half an hour. So nobody should be put off giving it a go. Here endeth the plug! https://www.parkrun.org.uk/strathclyde/results/latestresults/

St tams



That’s excellent for Paddy’s Maw. She’ll have the bug now- going for better times.

Jobo – you’re doing grand . Wish I’d kept going. Is there a pacer guy or gal with 60 on their back? If not, I could do it? 😁


Morning all. HH

Billy Bhoy

Morning all

I was just going to share some interesting facts but I’ve just read BMCUWs last few posts and I’m too scared noo In case I’m stealing his thunder!

Instead, I’ll just give a wee shout out to two great books I’ve read recently. They are both by Stephen O’ Donnell. The first is Tangled up in blue and the other is Fergus McCann v David Murray. Together they form a fantastic modern history of the two clubs and forensically detail how we went from the Old Firm to the Glasgow Derby. They are crammed with information, most of what we all already know, but I’m sure everybody would learn something.

Together they form a bible of everything that is wrong with the running of Scottish football – from the way Sevco are allowed to disregard every rule that everyone else has to follow to the abject state of our game in respect of pitiful TV deals compared not only to the EPL but more comparable leagues.

They can be read individually as they aren’t specifically an Old and New Testament as such. I thoroughly recommend them for reading on a plane or lying on a beach – even just to see the scowls of passing or nearby huns!



Good morning to you too. Hope you are well this morning. Nice to see you here. I know things are very difficult for you at present and hope the saying “ time is a great healer “ is kicking in for you.
What I do know is if you need any support with anything there would be more than a few on here ready to come to your aid. Don’t forget that – there’s always help and support around – and as I say, thats a sentiment I know will be echoed by the ones who know and love you, and indeed the many who don’t know you personally but have become acquainted on here.

Call me Gerry

Nope…sorry…but I cannot concur with the lead article today.
If a politician had spouted that, they’d get slaughtered in the media for being out of touch with the masses. Not many working class folk will spend a second of their working life worrying about the demands placed on today’s footballers.





What a beautiful sentiment. That really hits the spot. Thank you so much. HH



Enjoyed the article.

Whets the appetite for the upcoming season.

As you mentioned they are athletes and professional ones at that and as such it is their livelihood for which keeping in shape is a pre requisite.

Most people will empathize with Twistys comments as basically he is right.Football is big business more so in the modern day were the amount of money paid or potentially earned is off the chart.

There will be fans who will buy a season ticket that they basically cant afford but cut back elsewhere in their lives to ensure they can see their team.

Many players are naturally gifted and others have to work at it t remember the tv debate Who is the best George Best or Kevin Keegan.Can anyone else remember that?

I am sure they sided with Keegan

The remuneration in todays game is excessive for me but everything is relative and outstanding talent should be rewarded but not to the extent we see in the modern game.At the very top it is obscene.


Well done you on getting the running gear back on and targeting times and trying to get fitter.

My running days are over but I used to run a lot when I was younger and I did a half marathon in 1hr 31.

Might take as long to eat one nowadays I know they are called Snickers now.

At 58 I am now back in the gym 3 days a week as my other half has to get into a size 12 dress to be the mother of the bride.Go figure.

Must admit I am enjoying going it’s just getting there.

After a 10hr or 11hr shift it’s not happening.

I look forward to hearing your improved times as now you have put it out there you have that added motivation.

Good luck,not that you need it.

Big Packy

Best wishes.Hope all goes well.You wont lack support from all on here.
Had to type all this without my specs so apologies if there are typos.


Snickers 😂

I know I’ll get thinner and faster but just how thin and fast I don’t know. I’m 64 later this year and thought if I don’t act now it was never gonna happen.

Good luck with your fitness plan and gym work. Special good wishes to your good lady. A big day looming obviously. You’ve therefore got a great incentive to continue your training – after all can’t be letting her down by turning up like the Michelin man.

Seriously though most of it is getting my head straight. I had to stop finding excuses not to go out running. Not so long ago I was doing tough mudders. On one, the first half mile of a 5 miler was wading through a river and thick mud which was more than waist high. I went from that , to looking out the window and saying to the wife “ don’t think I’ll bother a run tonight, it’s spitting”😁



Good to get that debate going – agree our Japanese Bhoys needed a good rest.

From what Twisty and others are saying – got to agree it’s not a bad life all our players have. They can manage huge sums away to pension funds more than normal workers do ( advantageous agreement for short careers)

Plus – talking about Celtic players – they earn plenty – considering the level they play at!

Who would make any comparison with our homegrown players ( including Callum) and say that the conditioning regime or culture in Scotland is more demanding of our local lads than the Japanese ( or Portuguese, French or Croatian etc.)?

Never said by anyone – ever.

Scottish ( dareisay British) players seem to be less prepared for rigours of modern football , and appear to live less disciplined lifestyles than in other countries .

Also, Our lads look like they don’t use their ‘Down’ time to best advantage.

We are miles off being ‘prepared’ and not advocating the old cycling “are you prepared?” Drug culture

Our lads aren’t as dedicated and it shows in European/ International games

Aside from tactics or technical aspects.

Just not fit enough, or strong enough!

One of the most ‘self-proclaimed’ fitness freaks in Scottish fitba was John Collins – aye!

When he went to Monaco – the conditioning coaches wouldn’t let him near the first team training regime until he had strengthened in some key metrics – E.G. he talked about having to work like mad to add “inches” to his ankles. There were other examples.

There will be honourable exceptions, but they only serve to prove the rule..

What we might see is our Japanese Bhoys doing less work pressing etc. When they look over their shoulders and see teammates doing less work – a lowering of their own bar – winning comfortably by playing at half-cock for majority of SPFL games, that is a huge part of the problem

Then they go out onto a European pitch and get pressed to death – panic and hide, give ball away too much and lose loads of goals – check our ‘goals against’ column!

It’s a thing – no matter whom we buy in, they will eventually be afflicted by the local ‘culture’ – unless they are smart enough to move on quickly.

Unless it starts to change pdq

Rant over ☺️


SES… wouldn’t you agree that the standard of fitness has improved immensely since Ange came in? We’ve had the same core squad all season, more or less, and the press has never really dropped. Also, they’ve been relentless, again more or less, in the last 15 minutes of many games this season. Factor in the recruitment to the Sports Science department and it seems that certain structural deficiencies have been identified and there’s a move to fix them.
I agree with the generalisation that as a country we don’t have the right attitude to healthy living (see Twists and DannyMac23 as examples, for instance! Sorry boys, couldn’t resist! 🤣) but it seems to me that as a Club Celtic are taking steps to address it for our players and those coming through the Youth set-up.



Hope I still have your motivation and dedication in 5/6 years time.I think its brilliant you are committed to losing a bit of weight.By the sounds of it you are a good way there in terms of targets and planning and the all important will power and discipline,as we know that’s what gets you through.

In terms of the Michelen man,JNP will verify I am 10 and a half stone soaking wet.Its all about the metabolism Twisty,I am sponsored by Andrex.I use the gym for mostly cardio vascular stuff but essentially to participate and support my better half but I will admit I am enjoying the routine and the regime and feel better for it.

From reading your posts I am sure you will achieve your goals.Where am I now?Where do I want to get to?How do I get there?

I am sure I read that somewhere.😄🍀


I would not want to be a professional footballer these days. It’s not just the fact that an exemplary healthy lifestyle is required. Imagine for a moment being a modern day Celtic player. In the Glasgow goldfish bowl, you would not have a minute to yourself. Everyone wants a piece of you. Everything you do is reported in the tabloid tags.Then of course, for Celtic players, there is this…you will be kicked and booted all over the park, in grounds all over Scotland, with no sign of any protection from the man in the middle. You will be regularly assaulted on the field of play. No-one except your own colleagues will stand up for you…and the supporters of course. Statutory bodies, such as the Players’ Union say damn all. Most worryingly of all, your employers-who have a duty of care towards you and your colleagues-say and do nothing. Shame on them all.


That was a belter of a post earlier.

Billy Bhoy

Those are indeed two brilliant books.


I thoroughly enjoyed your wee rant. 😀


Excellent points.

Hail Hail.

St tams

Our fitness against the huns in the semi final looked poor.



2.36 😆😆

bada bing1

Sevco game Saturday 3rd September 12.30 ko🍻🍻🍻🍻🤞🤞🤞🤞

bada bing1

Sunday 14th August: Kilmarnock vs Celtic, kick-off 12pm

Sunday 28th August: Dundee United vs Celtic, kick-off12pm

Saturday 3rd September: Celtic vs Rangers, kick-off 12.30pm

big packy

AFTERNOON ALL and JIM, im so bliddy relieved, it was only a cyst, the doctor drained it and wee joan was out in half an hour, that was 5 days of agony, because the letter said bring a family member or a friend along with you and the procedure would take between 2 and 4 hours thats what got me terrified,,anyway big thanks to all of you on here for your kind thoughts and wishes, ive just been to asda a bottle of glenmorangie and 4 bottles of mcewans champion to celebrate, and there will be some true stories on here later🤩god bless you all👍


Great news BP and Joan.

Big Packy

Fantastic news. I am absolutely delighted for you both.


Big Packy
Great news, enjoy your celebrations.

I had drafted a long reply to offer help if the news was bad. My wife had a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy in 2013. She was ready to speak to wee Joan if necessary. Really pleased there’s no need👍😁



Excellent rant

I think in all levels of football it can be easy to drop your levels in terms of the opposition.If you are winning a game in a canter then then it can be human nature to ease down,take the foot of the pedal and cruise to the end of the game.In the individuals mind it can be I dont need to bust a gut or thoughts of the next game comes into their heads.

That’s were the coaches and managers intervene.BR when Celtic went invincible had the tagline relentless.

Ange has implemented we never stop to address any complacency issues.

I do though agree with the culture issue.An example would be John McGinn saying when not playing for Scotland he could rest up and enjoy a couple of cans of beer?Happy to be corrected on that one but basically our home grown players can be afflicted by that attitude and in time it tells.

I remember Ange saying only the top Scottish players could play in Japan and I think that was part of his reasoning in terms of attitude commitment and conditioning.

I know BRs teams were roundly pumped in Europe so that amplified being relentless in Scotland is easier than attempting to apply the same ethos in Europe but as we know it’s a totally different environment requiring a totally different approach and set up.

I must admit I eagerly await the Champions league games to see how we perform under Ange in his second season with more of his own acquisitions in or settled in the hope that we see continued improvement and progression.


Big Packy

So glad for you and Joan.

Great news 👍

big packy

FRODSHAM BHOY, many thanks for your kind thought . DANNY MAC, BRRB, MAGUA, cheers bhoys 👍


Can only imagine the relief for you both. Great news. Enjoy your celebratory drink.


Packy, what a relief! Great news. Time to get back to normality. Wee Joan too! 🙂

big packy

JIM and TWISTY cheers, that knot in my stomach has gone, another true story👍

The Fenian Whaler

Nurses and teachers having to use food banks. Legal aid barristers are being paid less per hour than the average plumber – think about that for a moment! The overwhelming majority of us are having to tighten our belts and drop things like family days out or our annual vacations to ensure we can heat our homes and feed our kids. Footballers – train a couple of hours a day then head off to the golf course or catch up on their call of duty scores. Anyone know what the average pay of a 1st team squad player at Celtic is p/w ? I would bet it is not far off the yearly wage of the average care worker. Say an average of £15k p/w for a 1st team squad player x 52 x 3 years = £2.3 mill for a 36-month contract, so let’s not hear any pish about a short career. Some of these highly paid players sit on their contracts for years even if they aren’t pulling their weight. In any other profession, you’d be sacked regardless of the duration of the contract you signed. Try doing feck all in an average office and quickly find out just how easy it is to sack you but a footballer, nah you’d have to be filmed kicking a cat before anything is done. Sympathy for a footballer – not a fecking chance, not having a decent break this year cause you have to play a few more games, ahh didums. Suck it up boy.

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