It truly is the beautiful game

It’s easy to be cynical in this day and age, very easy. War, numerous governments failing their electorate, price gouging, climate change, and many more travesties can all lend to the notion our beautiful globe is quickly spinning out of control.
Club football, our supposed refuge from the day to day worries, hasn’t exactly helped give relief to the masses. A bad news story is always close for those who are engaged in Scottish football, where there’s an underlying feeling those calling the shots would prefer a footballing backwater to stay on the gravy train over a professionally ran transparent setup aimed at growing the sport.
That’s why it’s so refreshing when football actually delivers and reminds us all just how much it can offer.
About a week ago I wrote of wanting a different than usual tournament for this particular World Cup, the first to take place in any Arab nation.
And it’s delivered alright, it’s delivered in spades.
The Celtic right back rising to a man of the match performance to pap out the mighty Brazil,,
German efficiency fell apart,,
Ronaldos fantastic International career ends with a whimper,,
Spain’s technical ability overcame,,
Morocco’s stubbornness has them within one game of the final,,
And of course England get beaten when the going gets tough with their Captain now haunted by a crucial penalty kick miss just like his manager in a past tournament.
And there’s plenty of fun left. The final shall either host a north African team for the first time, or the world’s best player who shall never have a better chance to lift the trophy and stake a genuine claim as the greatest of all time.
In order to do that they shall face the best attacks in modern football (Mbappe, Giroud, Greissman, Dembele) which should give every defense nightmares, or the European Brazilians of Croatia who consistently churn out supreme talent at a rate unequal to their meager size. Their talisman has actually improved with age, unlike CR7, and our right back is two victories away from being a true World Champion. Write Croatia off at your peril.
An entire league season can be a long slog, and under Ange we win most weeks which can make victory almost routine. There’s season highlights, peaks and troughs, with fleeting outpourings of emotion but the World Cup simply takes the game to the next level.
Day after day we witness the most sweetest ecstasy or the depths of despair. Entire stadiums and nations erupt in victory chants or become silenced in the hollow pain of defeat. Mortal men can elevate themselves to become eternal legends, while some fail to rise to the huge occasion.
Tears of joy and sadness, pressure the likes of which most alive will never face,,,day after day this Cup wrings everyone involved through the emotional gamut,,,
Yet there can be only one.
Over the last week or so I’ve been reminded of why I fell in love with football in the first place,, why I raced to that park as a young boy to lay down my jumper as a goalpost and claim ‘Im Maradona!’,,why this sport has become the world’s biggest no ifs, ands, or buts.
Why we are gathered here and continue to do so.
I needed a nudge and a reminder, and it duly arrived.
It’s been a pleasure to witness this tournament and all it’s ups and downs so far.
It’s a great feeling to sit across from that screen and know you’re about to experience a true emotional rollercoaster with scenes that have never been witnessed before and will never be recreated, priceless moments you’ll never forget, images and effort that sear themselves into the brain permanently.
To see real history in the making.
Football, bloody hell.
It truly is the beautiful game.
Mon the Croats!
By Mahe

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December 12, 2022 3:53 am
December 12, 2022 5:23 am


As I commented somewhere after a match, might have been Morocco v Spain. “it is a beautiful game even when the game is not beautiful ” but you put a lot more flesh on it. Thanks.

December 12, 2022 5:53 am

A thing of beauty
and TLR

A top, top article from James Forrest. Details exactly why Lawwell should never have been brought back by Celtic in any capacity. Brining him back as Chairman is just a slap in the face to the support but nothing less than you would expect for Dermot Desmond. He wanted res 12 buried because in my opinion he thinks the Huns are the only show in town for us now since his big EPL dream died. Lawwell buried it and his reward is a lifetime pass to the gravy train. He will still be stealing a wage from our club in his 90s.
ATOB I thought it contained enough good research overall to be archived for posterity so folk could read it without adverts .

Just as serves as a source of reference when detail is required to support a later comment or blog then James’s article deserves the same treatment for the same reason.

As regards why DD would want Res12 buried:

I’m forming a view that the consequences of treating the matter as it really is i.e. massive fraud criminal in nature was not seen to be in the interests of The SFA, the SPL and their member clubs, nor UEFA for that matter. Hence a legend (which I think is a spy term) had to be created to avoid the consequences all the parties feared. Not a view I held when Res12 began but given what it has revealed and how wide spread corruption has been shown to exist in FIFA, it is not so easy to dismiss the possibility it existed at UEFA too. Proving it though would be difficult.

I was told by someone who heard it that in a podcast between G Speirs and Harry Brady (Celtic Underground) the possibility that PL is back to help defend the child abuse case against a hostile media was raised.

I believe it was confirmed in the podcast that Ange and Michael Nicholson would carry on as normal which suggests PL will not have time nor authority to meddle in football operations. When you think of what PL will know about the media part in creating a legend that suggestion has some merit.

TLR Perhaps a comment on the archive re JF’s opinion on the BR situation is needed. Can you highlight where you differ please?

December 12, 2022 8:54 am

Morning all,

From last thread


Could be a wee mini gathering in Ek late January.

Would appreciate numbers for catering and BRRB’s bar bill 😜😜

December 12, 2022 8:57 am


Cheers and you are certainly invited. But that 201 bus will take you “ Roon the hooses “ 😜😜😜

Leave plenty of time for journey ( pencil in a day Methinks and tell Blantyre Tim to do the same) 😳😳😳

HH 🍀🍀

December 12, 2022 9:45 am

Most Celtic supporters are considering the fees for players that want to move on, and not why they should be made to stay in Parkhead for a specific period. Honouring a football contract is unique it’s not like any other form of employment. If you’re 27 and successful within your contract Celtic want to know, what you want to do at age 30, before you lose all of your worth. Jean Luc Bosman made football players assets, but only temporary assets.

Asset or stock, It doesn’t matter how good you are you’ve the right to move to a different contract and are not owned, by your employer. Celtic are at last alive to business needs, it’s harder to sell season tickets if you let you stock dwindle or worse let it get past the sell by date.

AP in a very short space of Celtic time has signed three full international right backs. Josip Juranovic was a great bargain snapped up for £2.5M apparently, now it seems from under the noses of Athleti or Barca. When Celtic bought him like many, many signings before people scoffed, who he?

You can’t perform to world class standards in the Cinch Premiership? but put me on the world stage, and see what I look like? Don’t think Josip’s agent wasn’t eyeing the WC when the player patched a new contract in ‘SP hell ‘ as it was previously known.

Celtic just wouldn’t have signed Alistair Johnston never mind any other player prior to immenent sales of anyone. Something has changed at Celtic, something for the better, the fee for Juranovic has been set on every Celtic blog and in every bar, so here goes,….. £12M and rising.

Georgios Giakoumakis ‘The Daily Rainjurz’ latest wantaway was already a bit of a Samaras ‘ scored a good goal wance ‘ with the wary Jungle punters still not quite 100% convinced? Another Celtic scouted ‘gem’, under one of those pesky Celtic contracts till 2026. Suddenly craving 70K in between penalty misses, injury scans and some remarkable drama queening. Better replacement already pencilled in just in case SMSM finally gets something right. Roll on the next week when we shape up again, in the Sevco league against the newly crowned World Cup break champions.

It’s tough signing players to play in Scotland with the window open, Celtic signing two when it’s closed is verging on the ridiculous.


December 12, 2022 10:08 am


Feel free to call me dumb but for the life of me I can not see how placing a proven liar at the head of Celtic football club could in any way provide a bulwark against anything that may arise during the Celtic boys club child molestation cases. Is he going to deflect from the enormity of the charges by making a flippant ‘Rory Bremenar’ quote? If Celtic is concerned enough about potential
‘collateral’ damage to specifically appoint someone as chairman to try and, I assume, mitigate against any financial damage then why not someone who is more ably suited to the position rather than appoint a known liar and charlatan and a man who would, and has, betrayed his own?

St tams
December 12, 2022 10:38 am

Good morning all.
I agree Mahe. I’m rooting for Croatia.
It would be fitting if Modric became a world champion.
It was a pleasure to see him play at Celtic Park and the bernabeu.

Prestonpans bhoys
December 12, 2022 11:57 am

I’m going for Morocco, sitting in a cafe in Amsterdam just past the red light bit. Not changed one bit, my wife says😱😂😂

December 12, 2022 12:31 pm

Due to the times the WC has been mostly televised I haven’t seen a lot of it Mahe as I have been working through a great deal of it, the little I have seen, I agree has been mostly enjoyable, the icing on the cake being ingurland going home.

BSR excellent post


Jobo Baldie
December 12, 2022 12:44 pm

Good afternoon, friends. That’s my fingers finally thawed out enough to post. Enjoyed your offering on all things Celtic, BSR. Just 5 more Big Sleeps till we get to see The Champios play.
Argentina for me.

December 12, 2022 1:13 pm

I’m not too bothered who wins it now.
I’ve really enjoyed most of the football I’ve seen, bearing in mind I don’t watch England games.

In my view most teams played decent quality football. Teams that failed suffered because they didn’t move the ball quickly enough to open up the opposition.

December 12, 2022 1:41 pm


Given it would be rank stupidity to bring him in to meddle with football operations then there has to be another reason for his appointment.

PL will have dealt with child abuse claims all through his 18 year tenure and will know the arguments back to front. The suggestion in the podcast was the media would be hostile in its reporting and PL would be there to defend Celtic in the public eye.

Its plausible but that does not make it true.

I thought his past record would mean he could never come back but something has come up to cause his return and the CA case starts soon. The 19th?

The idea he has never gone away comes from confirmation bias.

McKay was appointed as CEO and for PL to still be influencing policy then McKay would not be a CEO.

However what clearly has gone away is the way PL ran Celtic into decline as a football club so in what other capacity has he returned?

There is a bigger picture we are not seeing , like being very close to a landscape painting we see the miller gathering hay’, but not the mill on the side of a hill.
It is only when we step back we see all the detail.

I was told once at a meeting why dont Celtic just pass Res12, after the approach to work only with the SFA ran into a cul de sac , to be told ” you dont bite the hand that feeds you” and UEFA provide more food than domestic competition.
So as I step back over time I’m starting to see UEFA on the hill as I try to make sense of PLs appointment as it makes no sense based on what is known.

bada Bing 1
December 12, 2022 2:37 pm

Check out BT sports 2
Celtic champions league games on every half hour until 8pm tonight

The Leopard’s Rimshot
December 12, 2022 3:26 pm

Good article, Mahe. I agree wholeheartedly, it’s been an excellent tournament.

And, Auldheid, re JF, I meant that himself and his readers were saying that under no circumstances would BR leave us when I’d been telling them since the previous December that something wasn’t right between BR & PL and that Rodgers would be gone soon enough if the feud continued, while James kept writing articles claiming BR would never leave us.

Even on the day he did leave us for Leicester James had posted a piece loudly declaring that he would ‘never leave us for Leicester’.

So that’s the revisionism right there.

And James knows I took dogs abuse for months on end for pointing out there were problems backstage and never once intervened.


big packy
December 12, 2022 3:44 pm

AFTERNOON ALL and JIM, sorry as far as the world cup is concerned cant see past scotland, jimmy johnstone on the right wing wullie henderson on the left charlie cooke alan gilzean denis law the list is endless,,were on the road wae allys army, were going to the argentine,,oops sorry wrong world cup😎 , another true story👍

December 12, 2022 3:47 pm

Was avoiding the Timternet all weekend due to not finding out the scores before I watched the games but a belated huge thanks to Jimbo and Jobo for their excellent contributions.
Sincerely hope Jim the Tim is ok.
I forgot to pick my nap again!

Hi Ho time. Play nice everyone please.

Billy Bhoy
December 12, 2022 4:16 pm

Interesting comments Mahe.

I was in Portugal for 10 days so saw little of the group stage matches. In fact, the first I saw of England was Saturday night, so I’m considering myself a lucky charm. 😀

It seems that the surprising nature of many of the results, with lots of giant killing going on, has deflected attention away from the hostility to the decision to play in Qatar. I’ve fallen victim to that myself.

Our ABE approach has proven to be fully justified. Firstly, we had Linekar suggesting that England “rest” Walker for the Senegal game to keep him fresh for the game v France. This was followed by the ITV commentator saying 10 minutes after they went behind to France ” are England once again going to exit the WC earlier than expected? ”

WTAF!!! They’re playing the World Champions, in the QF, with Mbappe, Griezmann, Dembele and Giroud in the team. I heard one fud on Talk sport pre-match say ” I’m not concerned about Giroud”. Karma eh?

Now, the fallout is utter frustration as they would “only” have been playing Morocco to reach the final.🙄

Baddiel and Skinnner will have to upgrade “30 years of hurt” to 60 for the next WC!

Billy Bhoy
December 12, 2022 4:28 pm

I meant to add, I was taking a fair bit of stick in Portugal about Scotland. I tried to suggest that we deliberately boycotted in protest at the venue. The waiter said ” yeah? Did you boycott the last 6 too?


It got me thinking though. I’m not sure Scotland could beat ANY of the 32 teams there. It’s a sobering thought that we lost to Ukraine, who lost to Wales, who in turn were probably the worst team there!

If you look at our squad in 1974 we had a forward line of Jordan, Dalglish and an (admittedly aging) Law. Look at the state of us now – with Dykes and, er..the other guy whose name I can’t even remember!

No country has declined in the last 30/40 years like Scotland. We’ve been overtaken by North American, Asian and African teams. Its a national disgrace!

December 12, 2022 4:42 pm

Agree with Mahe, this has been an enjoyable World Cup. The timing of the matches has been ideal for those of us living in Celtic Park time zone.
The majority if the players have performed at a good standard, across every nation. The level of fitness, with 100 minute games, and extra time, has been superb. Must be those asthma tablets !

The French should retain it as they have a few players just at a level above the others.

Re the comments about PL coming back to assist with the Boys Club case. I would say that he is back to ensure Desmond’s profit dividend model stays on track . Desmond is just a monied version of the old board, he regards Celtic as his own asset. The fans will eventually wake up to the fact. Lawwell is just a willing patsy.

Lawwell will have experience and knowledge of the Boys Club issue. As far as I am concerned the only outcome that matters is justice for those who were abused and who’s lives have been blighted as a result. Evil was allowed to flourish under our roof.

The Leopard’s Rimshot
December 12, 2022 5:19 pm

And cheers, Leggy, for the compliment last night.

You and BRRB are a pair of proper stars yourselves 😁💪🍀🍻

Jobo Baldie
December 12, 2022 5:34 pm

I love these wee clips….

December 12, 2022 5:43 pm


On JF of.Gotcha. Useful. Thanks.

December 12, 2022 6:23 pm


Re the comments about PL coming back to assist with the Boys Club case. I would say that he is back to ensure Desmond’s profit dividend model stays on track . Desmond is just a monied version of the old board, he regards Celtic as his own asset. The fans will eventually wake up to the fact. Lawwell is just a willing patsy.
If I were DD I would have realised by now that the value of his shares, if that is all that matters to him, would be higher if Celtic were regular competitors in the CL than if they depended on domestic competition.
As I’ve said before the biggest risk to regular access to CL income is what he must know by now is the cheating bassas at Ibrox and the failure of SFA to stop their unsustainable spending. So Celtic set about hobbling Rangers FC Ltd via changes to FSR that Celtic were involved in.

So if keeping his dividend high is all that matters to DD there is a different way of doing it and it ain’t the way PL executed DD’s dividend is all that matters policy from 2004.

On the CA matter I agree totally with what you say in reaching a financial settlement, but given PL’s reputation as a tough negotiator then perhaps that is the role he is going to be useful in acheiving a fair settlement given the situation might be used to hobble Celtic?

December 12, 2022 7:31 pm

Aulheid @ 6:23

Ironically enough, Peter Lawwell’s greatest psychopant in the blogosphere, CQN’s P67, today penned a critical piece on Ange Postecoglou. Ange’s no compromise game plan results in European failure, leaving £millions on the table and not even the Europa parachute after Christmas. The WC has shown that the limited can get the better of the more talented .

Perhaps DD is getting frustrated with Ange’s continued European failure, after three transfer windows ? Lots of dividends being left on the table. That frustration is being fed down the loyal line.

And he has a point. Our 2022 Euro results : P8 , W0 , D2 , L6.

Thomson Solicitors class action against Celtic will be a high profile case. Thomson’s have some very talented people on their payroll, they will be confident of winning. As I have said, I only hope that the outcome is justice for those who deserve it. This happened under a roof with Celtic’s name on it. Over many years by more than one abusive individual.

big packy
December 12, 2022 7:36 pm

a true story, jimthetim53 is my best buddy on here, although we have never met in person only here on the blog and e-mailing each other on a regular basis, but wait a minute we have met in a roundabout way, 60 years ago when we were both 9 year olds we passed each other at carfin grotto, his primary school and my primary school, not dreaming we would meet on a celtic blog all those years later,,that was science fiction stuff in those days, computers mobile phones etc, but jim is not well at the minute, a few prayers wouldnt go amiss, love the ghuy ,so does wee joan, anyway jim if your lurking get back on here ASAP, and that is definately a true story, GNAGB ALL👍

December 12, 2022 7:41 pm


Rest assured,Jim is in regularly our thoughts and sadly missed from here. I hope he is fit and well enough to enjoy Christmas as he usually does.

bada Bing 1
December 12, 2022 9:16 pm

Rogic coming on for West Brom

bada Bing 1
December 12, 2022 9:28 pm

Rogic scores a brilliant goal for West Brom

December 12, 2022 9:41 pm

Re the child abuse case which begins shortly-19 Dec?-I’m not sure that Lawwell can influence that unless it is adjourned until after 1st Jan,when he takes up the role of chairman. Even then,it is unlikely that he will have any role to play,unless asked to as a witness for the defence or prosecution.

I expect the case to be in the hands of the club’s insurers,who will be in charge of every stage of any future defence or negotiated agreement. The club will no longer be in play,so to speak.

December 12, 2022 11:14 pm

Jimdom 7.31

I had a look at the CQN article and it worries me given how PL has operated via CQN in the past.

I replied at to make my point that what will matter is being in the CL which means winning titles year on year, after that group success is icing on the cake.

December 12, 2022 11:21 pm


Correct. On all counts.

December 12, 2022 11:40 pm

BMCUW 9.41

The suggestion from the Speirs podcast (not mine) is that PL could be there to handle a media who would try and paint as black a picture as they could. He could do that from background until 1st Jan.

Whatever the reason I hope a much better informed, experienced and enlightened support would not accept the Lawwell meddling shenanigans of the past which would become visible from Ange’s response.

December 13, 2022 12:32 am


Jings,crivvens! I’ve heard it all now-PL,the PR master of the media dark arts and a Jack Irvine for our times.

Is there no beginning to this man’s talents?

Craig 76
December 13, 2022 6:29 am

Remember folks
A scarf is not just for christmas, it’s for life

December 13, 2022 7:43 am
A thing of beauty
December 13, 2022 8:02 am

If what you say about Lawwell being back to oversee the abuse case is true then we have to accept that. I would like to think he can ensure that anyone abused during this shocking period in our history is given the support and recompense they deserve.
I have always enjoyed reading the Celtic blog but lost a bit of respect for James Forrest when he said he knew from meeting Lawwell that all was not well between him and BR but chose not to say anything. Why have a blog if not to inform your readers of what you know. I’m sure he had his reasons.
Like PPB I am also in Amsterdam. Well seen Celtic are not playing. I have a 2ht 30 mins walking tour booked today with Mr ATOB. If I’ve not checked back in by 5pm
Tonight I’ve probably died of hypothermia.