Tales of the unexpected

International breaks are usually the bane of the blogger with subjects few and far between, but luckily enough the weekend threw up some tasty Celtic related news.
 
Saturday saw the oul Hoops in action, literally. ‘Our’ legends vs the legends of another legendary club, one I have a soft spot for, one which did itself no favours in that regard.
 
I say no favours but I must tip my hat to the Anthill I mean Anfield mob for the generous gesture of making the Foundation the charity of choice on the day, well done.
 
And that’s the last bit of praise they get. A gentlemanly kick about for a good cause was marred by poor officiating and provocative goal celebrations on the day.
Our team manager publicly complained, when have you ever heard that in a legends match?
I’m embarrassed for anyone officially involved with the team in red on the day, they actually became sore winners. Whatever, but my sour taste in the mouth from the result was washed away by a debutant in the Hoops, who just happens to come across as a real genuine bloke appreciative of life.
 
I follow Trevor Sinclair on Twitter and he often has a pint of Guinness in his hand, cap on his head, and a smile on his face.
Saturday delivered the biggest smile Ive seen yet.
He waxed lyrical about finally achieving an ambition of his, the club and its support, and walked away truly delighted to be involved.
 
A certain MrGerrard walked away from the occasion with his reputation further tarnished. Not content with once again hitting the back of the net in front of home support, the idiot then makes it personal with the away Tims.
 
I’m filing this under playing to the gallery, as he knows this will further boost his credentials with the Ibrox mob, who have become his fallback employers as managerial life down south is proving a tough nut to crack for his meager talent.
For some reason I can’t quite grasp he’s highly rated over there, and I for one would be relaxed about any return to that dugout.
His actions show you can’t buy class, whereas Ange oozes it.
The Tims did seem to have a great day out though, our supports credentials were boosted, thanks everyone.
 
Sundays postman delivered the news of a record yearly turnover for the famous Glasgow Celtic, one hundred and twenty two million smackeroonies has become the figure to beat.
This doesn’t mean much on the park, football operations will self produce revenue (Abada, Welsh, Turnbull) to fund summer strengthening, bigger turnover won’t increase their budget by any significant amount.
 
It has meaning off the park.
First and foremost it shows the current board approach to be rewarding in all senses of the word. Having hit upon a winning formula, there’s no incentive to rip it up, and clearly prioritizing football operations over the balance sheet is working. One might say it’s down to Ange, but I would reply the blueprint has been laid out,, an experienced foreign manager who can specialize in a value transfer market(s).
 
These figures must help as far as Dermot and Peter are concerned,,the majority shareholder should be happy the share price rose upon the news, and as a support we can breath easier that the experienced hand of Peter to steady the ship is definitively not needed, hopefully not ever.
Doing great without you thanks.
 
The bank account will swell, and there’s been conjecture enough over why accumulate such a large amount. As the clubs largest income stream and it’s lifeblood, I feel we should be entitled to some type of answer on this front, this hoarding cannot continue long term without an explanation. We shall see what transpires, but that cash must benefit the club in some capacity, and must not swell pockets under any circumstances. Ideally it’s the sweetener for a new owner, first few transfer windows covered, I doubt it though. A large degree of trust must be placed with the PLC here.
 
Records are made to be broken, and with the extra Champions League game at home, the record turnover announced should be broken fairly quickly, the big one and a half beckons. I believe it’s fair to say we are undergoing a growth spurt, but unlike humans at a football club that doesn’t necessarily correspond with becoming bigger and moving up a tier.
I believe the club sits on the precipice of moving to the next level, it need only be grasped.
Infrastructure improvement, revised wage ceiling, stadium expansion, better the scouting network,,with the aim of annual Champions League entry to further establish the name and entice names, to reach the next level.
With football operations within budget the slow lane doled out to Martin need not be an option. As a club we are perfectly positioned to break a new ceiling, on and off the pitch.
 
The problem there however, is once that genie is out of the bottle, it’s very hard to put it back in. Supporters want progression not regression and when the latter occurs heads tend to be called for. It’s uncharted waters for an elderly and traditionally risk adverse board of directors, but yet there’s more money to be made.
 
Dermot will make the big call, but if business logic dictates that by expanding the enterprise profit via income and share price would grow, as a businessman he will find that hard to ignore. That’s somewhat reassuring, his bottom line and the supporters hopes could become unlikely bedfellows.
Should become in this instance. What he decides will leave an impact upon which he shall be judged.
He likes fast horses, so why not the fast lane?
 
Finally, the new Samaras, a mystery wrapped in an enigma aka Mikey Johnson.
It’s somewhat notable the gaffer never sold him but loaned him, this suggests to me he wanted a fresh body of work to analyze before deciding.
Go out and do your best would have been the message.
Looks like he did just that, impressing at club level plus on the International stage when given the opportunity.
With Liel Abada heading elsewhere will Mikey be given his final shot?
Ange is clearly a man who admires skill and attacking instinct. Unfortunately it’s Mikeys body that often gets in the way of the true breakthrough into the first team proper.
I suspect he will be given one more shot.
For everyone’s sake let’s hope it works out.
 
Up The Hoops
By Mahe

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JimmynotPaul
March 27, 2023 8:12 am

A wee clip of a Japanese documentary about Kyogo.
A youngster’s day made and Kyogo on a red ash pitch!!
https://t.co/KdOsbAtVtr

CFC
March 27, 2023 8:18 am

The ash pitch at Kelvingrove Park.
Had many a kickabout there.

JimmynotPaul
March 27, 2023 8:23 am

BMCUW.
Since you were talking about Gordon, last night.
Here’s one for you.
35 years ago today:

A glorious Gordon Strachan goal at Old Trafford.

Taught Cantona everything he knows.

(👍🎥 @forgottengoals)

https://t.co/1GpLdycgxy

Hoop hoop hooray
March 27, 2023 8:59 am

In terms of progression on the field I believe Ange really has his work cut out. We maybe playing outstanding football the Celtic Way, but so did Tommy Burns side. We may be wnning trophies but on the back of recent treble upon treble its not what defines progress. Ange really has to produce in europe. Martin took us to a final. Gordon took us twice to the last 16 of the CL with a lesser squad and in fact came within a denied stonewall penalty of putting the eventual winners out in the san siro. Even Neil took us to the last 16 of CL and topped a europa league group containing 2 teams from the big 5 leagues. Generating revenue helps build a team. Excellent scouting and coaching a la Ange helps build a team. What doesn’t help and where I believe Ange’s biggest challenge lies, is the dire standard of our top flight, gradually diluted and eroded in quality over years of sky funding our closest neighbour meaning there are greater riches in the 4th tier of English football for most players outside the big 2 than there are in our top flight. So we can go through game after game after game of parked buses with barely anyone attacking us bar a set piece or a long ball. Players are then expected to go from this to playing Real Madrid. That is the challenge. Thats a bigger challenge than any of Ange’s predecessors had. If ange can qualify into knockout stages of CL in the current climate I would rate it as a tremendous achievement and real progress.
However these green tinted specsI have a sneaking suspicion he might just do it.

Frodshambhoy
March 27, 2023 9:17 am

JimmynotPaul
BMCUW.
Since you were talking about Gordon, last night.
Here’s one for you.
35 years ago today:
A glorious Gordon Strachan goal at Old Trafford.
Taught Cantona everything he knows.
(👍🎥 @forgottengoals)
https://t.co/1GpLdycgxy

Great goal. Terrific control on a horrible pitch.
Maybe we need to call on the wee man to get us ready to play at Hampden.

CFC
March 27, 2023 9:25 am

H h h

Incremental progress in Europe will be a success.
Third place and Europa run in 23/24 and top 24 in 24/25 is realistic.

The Gombeen Man
March 27, 2023 9:34 am

Thanks Mahe for the article.

Yes those numbers yesterday must make sobering reading for the armchair entrepreneurs.

It’s not always fully appreciated but the fallout from the Murray years at Ibrox perhaps presented the professional game in Scotland with the biggest challenge it’s ever faced.

The liquidation of Rangers was really a seismic event and it’s implications, despite the denial are far reaching.

Celtic still face challenges, the litigation surrounding the alleged events at Celtic Boys Club is ongoing.

Whatever the outcome, if the last number of years teach us anything it’s the need for credible oversight of the executive functioning at football clubs.

Football has failed to deliver sustainable regulation of it’s own affairs.

I don’t think the SG have acknowledged that, let alone undertaken a review of the professional game. England has proposals in the shape of a White Paper but nothing on the statute book.

Let’s see what the SFSA review proposes and see if their recommendations get any traction?

Auldheid,

I missed your comment earlier yesterday about PB and Res 12.

Is it possible that some were in the loop re Celtic’s activities re-FSR but were unable to comment due to the sensitivities involved?

The White Paper is an interesting read, if the SFSA Review includes a Referee Service it’s remit is larger than Westminster’s efforts.

– Football affairs remain with the FA.

– The White Paper is about licensing, financial stability and improving fan engagement in key areas.

– Most importantly it stops the big clubs opting for a Super League and automatically retaining a licence to play English club football.

Given the numbers produced by Celtic this season maybe the penny will eventually drop that this is a profitable business if you know the rules and play smart.

Enjoy Spain.

Jobo Baldie
March 27, 2023 9:42 am

Good morning, friends.
Thanks for the read, Mahe. The high level of cash in the bank is very unusual, particularly for a football club. As has been previously suggested on here, perhaps the club are just being prudent until the outcome of the court cases is established. Or perhaps we are even considering some sort of out of court settlement to, allegedly, ‘do the right thing’ and then finally live on? Who knows?
In other news I guess the majority on here couldn’t care less about International football. Personally, I’m really looking forward to seeing how my nation performs against a really top side. Scotland v Spain under the Hampden floodlights tomorrow night should be great viewing. For me, anyway.

The Gombeen Man
March 27, 2023 9:51 am

Good luck to Mickey Johnston if he gets a run out against France tonight.

It was a bold move opting to pull on the green jersey.

Hopefully he gets a bit of game time, it doesn’t get much bigger than playing the narrowly defeated WC finalists.

Till later.

Jimbo67
March 27, 2023 10:00 am

Morning all.

Interesting lead. I was supposed to go to Anfield but had to work instead. I thought Gerrard was a pretty good player but as you suggest he lacks class. A w*nker.

Again, the turnover news is less than exciting for me- it is better than not that is high but it’s not the kind of figure that takes us up a level- we won’t be buying players for £10m plus I’d imagine and nor will the promised museum appear. That we have such a high cash reserve is odd- others have speculated what will be done with it so I won’t.

I must admit that two thoughts occurred to me when I read that Mikey Johnston was to play for the Republic of Ireland’s national team. My first thought was ‘Ireland must be hard stuck’ and the second was that having played at Under 21 level for Scotland I did not think he could do that. Presumably those U21 games he played for Scotland were not UEFA sanctioned.

I don’t know either that many teams would be willing to pay much for a player with a modest record on the pitch- I was surprised to learn he has made as many as 80 appearances for us, appearances that have yielded 11 goals. He has also a bad record with injuries so I’d imagine the club he has gone to had as much say on whether it was a loan or purchase deal as Ange did. Johnston has a fair bit of skill- several of those 11 goals were exquisite- but he’s never come near to convincing me he has what it takes. Like Vic Davidson all those years ago he is as skilful as his peers but there is something not quite there. Maybe getting a regular game in Portugal will help but I doubt he is high in Ange’s plans for next season. I am often wrong I admit

Jimbo

JimDom
March 27, 2023 10:02 am

I’m old enough to remember when these charity fundraisers were called Old Crocks games. Prestwick man, and former Rangers player, Johnny Hubbard used to arrange such matches between former Celtic and Rangers players, and the game would be played at the Prestwick Oval. There was no finer man than “Hubby”.

Now these matches are re-branded as Legends and should not be taken seriously in the slightest. Celtic fan Trevor Sinclair (who I also follow on Twitter), got to pull on the Hoops and run about Anfield, despite having no connection with the club whatsoever. But who cares. I’m sure the thousands who went down for the game had a great time, as Liverpool is a great city.

I have no problem whatsoever with Gerrard’s celebration, don’t give it out if you’re not prepared to get some back. If Broony, playing in a charity match at Ibrox, scored at the Copland Road end, we would be disappointed if he did not enjoy the moment.

Mahe’s ambition for the club in the years ahead, infrastructure improvement, stadium expansion, etc, is matched by a huge number of the Celtic support. It should happen but it won’t. Not a chance of it happening whilst Dermot Desmond and Peter Lawwell control the business. Michael Nicholson said as much after last year’s AGM.

Hoop hoop hooray
March 27, 2023 10:07 am

CFC
Agree any post group knockout win would be progress.
I am still in shock from the home game against the team from the arctic circle

Big Audio Dynamite
March 27, 2023 10:10 am

Expecting Ange to produce results in the champions league with the money we spend on players is totally unrealistic.

£2m players v teams who regularly spend 10s of millions on individuals.

If Ange gets us there every year, I will consider that success.

Expecting us to make a mark in a tournament we’ve been priced out of, is the equivalent of St Mirren fans moaning about not winning our league.

Let’s be honest, we are only in the CL to make up the numbers!

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
March 27, 2023 10:53 am

HOOPHOOPHOORAY

Marvellous comment,that will get a few of us thinking!

How do we judge success? I’ve said for years that we don’t define ourselves by the huns,being better than them on the field and off it. Yes,it’s a start-but it is a low bar.

If everyone in Europe knows who we are-and they do,and why-that should be our goal. Our minimum standard. SFTB will rightly quote our Euro stats since that night in March 1980,explain why those achievements you reference are outliers. And I agree with him-the stats are there,and they aren’t pretty.

But neither SFTB nor I think that those stats are acceptable. Nor that our record since 1980 is,either. We all know where we should be,that we should be dining at the top table-even though our income will always make that difficult. We’ve gatecrashed a few parties in our time. Ange might just be the guy we need to do it in style.

Madmitch
March 27, 2023 11:13 am

Mahe

Apologies in advance for the sharp tone but a few bruises have been punched in your article …

DD is not our majority shareholder — he just acts as if he was.
Not sure about his current number and how his bond holding is accounted for.
However he only has a 33% or a 37% holding of the current voting shares.

He is nowhere near being our majority shareholder but he has us in the “Mazda” position.
Big rock to work around — Henry back in the day regarding Hiroshima’s finest — and has some form of informal veto on major appointments.

Progression / Regression — please review our efforts since 2002.
Some years we made progress and other years we retreated at a rate of knots.

Some years we made progress in the CL other years we got our erses handed to us on a plate by teams that you needed a sat nav to find on a map.

So we have had progression and regression in the past with stagnation being our most common trait.

Then there is the issue of what type of team we are aiming to be?

Selling team — selling players to keep the lights on / it has happened.
Player trading team — selling high / established so that we can buy younger prospects.
Buying team — taking some of our financial surplus and investing it in the squad.

We have done all three versions over the past 20 years.
Hopefully now with our improved financials and our new found focus on the CL we are ready to invest.
Our cost base is well managed at the moment so we should have a surplus available to spend in squad improvement.

Given our current numbers that investment should be around the £10mill mark if value is available in the summer.
Again a bit of a plug number but we should be able to finance significant investment from our core business.
hat would allow all the money from player sales to be put back into the squad.

Regarding our current numbers — my thoughts / educated guess is that the T/O will be around £120mill.
I think the £112mill figure is a bit low and probably represents some sort of floor for the season
Wiggle room to allow for some surprise and delight when the full year figures come out in September.

I think this season’s target figure was £125mill but the CL results have hurt us.
We are doing well with merchandising / ticket sales but the lack of Euro games after Christmas and the poor CL results / performance bonus numbers have taken us back a bit.

No matter we are in a good place financially off the park and footballing wise on the park.
AP seems to have the smarts and the attitude to push the club down the path of long term growth.
That in itself is an issue given the past efforts and attitudes of the board that get a nosebleed when progress is mentioned.

However as noted by many change would seem to be on the way.
I think that DD wants out and the only issue is now the price.

In a world where ManU could be worth £5bill plus we look ridiculously cheap with a market valuation of £100mill’ish @ 110p per share.

No wonder DD is holding out for more than 150p per share.

I think that the Fridge Magnet is playing games / learning the ropes / getting his spidey sense up and running.
The more chat that comes from the club / Irish Raj HQ / stockbroker analysis means that the heat is on.
If the great transition happens — interesting to see how things will change?
The Fridge Magnet has built a good business doing boring stuff.
Getting the basics right / good people doing their day job.
So nothing like the club over the past 25 years.

We have the opportunity to be the biggest club outside the Big 5 leagues — tin hat on for the incoming.
Obviously some in Portugal and Amsterdam will offer a counter opinion but we have a few cards still left to play.
Raise a glass to the British Empire of old — bit more opportunity than Brazil / Indonesia — and work the 26 counties to the max.
The Portuguese / Dutch can’t work this angle as Spain and Belgium have their own top flight teams.

The Japanese dimension is the wildcard — plenty of players playing in Europe but “they” have top billing with us.
Intriguing to see how this plays out over time — transient interest or a longer term support / talent base?

Plus we have golf and whisky to throw into the mix to build on our results on the park.

Finally the MJ bus is back on the road and we have a double decker on order.
Huge talent that needs support — I hope things move forward for him.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
March 27, 2023 11:20 am

JIMMYNOTPAUL

Gordon Strachan was a terrific player. Hated him! Apparently,Dundee had a policy of not selling to us,and Jock had tried. Fifty grand. Imagine a midfield of him,The Maestro,Murdo and Tommy.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
March 27, 2023 11:34 am

JIMDOM

Jonny Hubbard was a lovely fella,as you rightly point out. I only met him through my work,he was in charge of the local leisure centre in Ayr. It was him who told me that his fellow South African,Don Kitchenbrand,was a Catholic!

Late 80s,that was. As were my good times in Prestwick. Red Lion,Eagle. Butler’s House and The Golf. A well trod route,that one. A few inbetween too.

A lovely man. I’m proud to have known him.

McCaff
March 27, 2023 11:35 am

Copied over from the Naps page…

Que sera, sera….congratulations Cosy Corner Bhoy on a magnificent race, you never looked like being unseated once you got your nose in front, a masterclass of picking showing the young team how much they have to learn! St Tam’s and Bobby in 2 and 3 were worthy adversaries but at the end of the day no match for the auld fella! I know, I was there! I’d never looked at a racecard before this competition and after a wee run of luck, pure luck, thought that I was actually no bad at this gemme! Sitting in 2nd on CCB’s rear end, just about touching him, had me believing this was my time. It wasn’t gonna take much to catch him then hit the final straight and sprint home. It’s so easy this gemme! So deluded was I that I actually considered backing my Naps choices with hard cash. And then came the slump that every gambler fears but knows is gonna happen…every one a dunkey, a three-legged dunkey at that, worse actually a three-legged Blackpool beach retiree that’s racing career had been sand races carrying fat people (now banned according to the Trampoline Lady 😂)
My slump was terminal! A couple of schoolboy errors…unforgiveable in this dog eat dog world of racehorse v dunkey did nothing to either boost my morale or my chances of keeping pace with CCB at the front of the pack…St Tam’s caught me…passed me and left me for dead! I was desperately hanging on but forever hopeful that a nicely priced earner would boost me back u but alas, no! CCB in week 38 pulled out wee cracker out at 5/1 to open up a gallop on the final bend….then Bobby and JNP found inspiration (some might say him and JNP had a side deal going on but that would be scurrilous and slanderous, and disappointing for me as JNP had promised me a leg up while Twisty was haggling with the Qatari Lookie Lookie Men!)) with a glorious 12s in Week 39! Perfect timing for Bobby climbing 5 places to 2nd spot behind his ol’ man…fantastic napping with little room left to catch him.
So…the final week left me, and everyone else, looking for a big winner. That’s where you get found out…overthinking, over analysing, out of your depth…I didn’t have a three-legged dunkey’s hope! And so it proved to be, my final nag, a starting price of 10s that would have placed me in 2nd or 3rd came in 9th…just behind Coco the Blackpool Dunkey with 3 legs and a fat person in the saddle, in clear breach of the Donkey Traffic Regulations (It is actually a thing, look it up! The things I know about donkeys since starting this competition, honestly, you wouldn’t believe it!!) Anyway, as my Ma and Doris Day used to say…Que sera, sera!!
Twisty…I loved every bit of the race, mate! Your generosity of spirit, and we all know you’ve had a lot to deal with besides this, is a joy. I’ll make a donation to The Donkey Sanctuary!

SFTB
March 27, 2023 11:49 am

Celtic helping us get through the International break

Jobo Baldie
March 27, 2023 11:55 am

Madmitch @ 11:13 – credit where credit’s due: I actually read your long post as it was 95% ‘Abbreviation free’ and enjoyed your musings. Hope your ‘whole words’ approach is the way forward! Still no idea who The Fridge Magnet is but I’m generally the last to know these things!

McCaff
March 27, 2023 12:03 pm

Jobo…I’m assuming the Fridge Magnet is Willie Haughey, the only guy in Glasgow capable of buying out Dermot!

Twisty
March 27, 2023 12:07 pm

St Tams
Donation made in the name of “St Tams” on behalf of Sentinel Celts
I’ll e mail you receipt.

TYVM .

Twisty
March 27, 2023 12:09 pm

E mail sent G.

Ty again.

GER57
March 27, 2023 12:13 pm

Mikey Johnston
I remember in the early days of his tenure Ange raved about Mikey’s ability. Best in the squad, he said. That s why he wasn’t sold. Ange has always liked Mikey, and will now defo assess him over close season. Let’s hope

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
March 27, 2023 12:31 pm

MCCAFF 1135

What a joy it was to read that comment. It takes a lot to laugh,it takes a train to cry. Sure takes a lot to make me laugh,but aye. You did.

And got me trying to find the Chewin The Fat sketch from Blackpool beach where the kid stuck a 50p up the donkey’s arse!

Billy Bhoy
March 27, 2023 12:34 pm

Madmitch

I echo Jobo’s comments. I generally just scroll past your posts as I can’t be arsed trying to decipher them. However, I scrolled back and read yesterday’s – which was worth it for the “concrete prairie” description alone. Today’s is another be!ter. Keep them coming!

Jimbo – Re Mikey J I remember both Calmac and Broony stating on Celtic tv that he was the most skilful player in the squad.

Bobby, I have no great expectations of doing anything in the CL. Under MON, WGS and Lennon we were always in with an Anderlecht or a Copenhagen that we could best. That’s gone now in the current set up of 5 teams from the big 5 countries. Two points from 18 last season – with some decent performances – says it all for me.
Mind you, if Shaktar had sold Mudryk earlier we might have got a few more!

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
March 27, 2023 12:49 pm

GER57

Broonie and CalMac did an interview a couple of years back on Celtic TV. Raved about Johnston. I don’t know where we go on this,we can all see his quality,yet he has always disappointed.

I really hope for the lad,we all do. My concern is that he might be our Vic Davidson. Which isn’t a pleasant thought.

Auldheid
March 27, 2023 12:52 pm

Auldheid,

I missed your comment earlier yesterday about PB and Res 12.

Is it possible that some were in the loop re Celtic’s activities re-FSR but were unable to comment due to the sensitivities involved?

====
We can only hope common sense prevails in terms of some form of oversight of SFA, that changes existing culture, happens.

The SFSA are the only show in town in that respect so as ever we will see.

The period of the Judicial Review that never happened was too early to anticipate FSR. It would be 2013/14 from memory.

However Res 12 adjournment gave small shareholders the authority to ask questions of first SFA then UEFA that got answers that led to more questions and provided UEFA in 2016 all the evidence they needed that their rules on overdue tax had been thwarted.

Thus when the need for financial sustainability generally became apparent the evidence and opportunity came to strengthen that specific rule and both UEFA and Chris McKay the Celtic Finance guy took it.

There’s more. At the 2020 AGM as result of a telephone negotiation with then Comp Sec Celtic took over pursuit of Res12 under Res11 where shareholders asked why SFA had abandoned their Judicial Panel Disciplinary Tribunal set up to investigate the monitoring process that allowed RFC to keep the UEFA licence already granted under false pretence.

Celtic stated in 2020 AGM papers they would engage with SFA and UEFA on the issue . Not many believed they would and I did wonder how they would get anything from the SFA a guilty party but I was happy Celtic had taken over although it took until 2022 AGM to demonstrate that they had.

At some point from 2020 , perhaps before, FSR planning was underway and that provided the opportunity to change the overdue tax rule to make a repeat more difficult. There are other changes to strengthen the monitoring rules that put national associations under more scrutiny. Job done on changing the rules but no sanction against a dead club in keeping with Traverso letter of June 2016.

What I think PB might have been told without any detail was that what Rangers had done was huge ie fraud whose revelation would have killed any chance of them staying in the game, which would be bad for Celtic and Scottish football and not in the Company’s interest.

I only met PB once where I mentioned Rangers may have committed fraud and he said that is very serious and it was after proof emerged in 2018 Res12 stopped getting as much attention on CQN. His response has always intrigued me as in ‘ you just dont get it’ . I wondered what he knew that I did not.

I think the JR was a smoke screen funded by someone close to Celtic.

The detail PB may not have got, and here I am speculating , is that the dishonesty that got the licence granted in 2011 might also apply to every UEFA licence granted during the ebt usage regime and the last thing that Infantino at UEFA wanted in 2012 was this to emerge and UEFA simply did not want to send in a team of auditors to Ibrox lest the ebt usage came out. This later happened in 2013 when UEFA auditors checked out Giannina FC on overdue tax and found private agreements with players.

I base my speculation on my thinking that the degree of resistance and misleading from Celtic and their outreach had to be caused by more than just one breach of FFP on tax and PLs often stated claim UEFA were not interested in Res12 and MN saying you dont bite the hand that feeds you. Even the JPDT swerved looking at when 2011 licence was granted in their Terms of Reference.

Those are the dots I’ve joined but cannot say without more evidence to back it that it is anything other than plausible.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
March 27, 2023 12:59 pm

MCCAFF

My train and laugh comment got me thinking. Dylan song,obviously. My all time hero.

Imagine writing a song like this one. Performing it. Recording it in a full studio. And then deciding not to release it.

Every teardrop falls,every fuck up is ours. We own it. But the pain,even to such a wonderful melody,is like a boot in the baws. It’s why you should never go near a mobile device after a breakup. But it’s one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard.

JimmynotPaul
March 27, 2023 1:21 pm

Tremendous vision from Kenny.
27th March 1976, Celtic beat Motherwell 4:0 and Kenny Dalglish scores this superb goal. https://t.co/Ng9AjVM8I1

JimDom
March 27, 2023 1:30 pm

Madmitch
I think that DD wants out and the only issue is now the price.
——————————————————————————-
As you might say yourself, show us your workings.

There is no evidence whatsoever that DD wants out. If anyone has heard DD talk publicly, or even privately, of an exist strategy, please let us know.

Willie Haughey (the Fridge Magnet), getting involved with Celtic again ? Not.A.Chance. He has been there, done that, a long time ago now. At the age of 66, he will be quite happy pottering around Hampden and its lesser environs. The brouhaha over the national team’s flit from the Oriam death camp training centre, over to Willie’s bit, will have put a smile on the Haughey coupon.

Auldheid
March 27, 2023 1:32 pm

The Gombeen Man

My post at March 27, 2023 12:52 pm was in response to you and I’ll do my best to enjoy Spain thanks/

Auldheid
March 27, 2023 2:04 pm

Mad Mitch

Given our current numbers that investment should be around the £10m mark if value is available in the summer.
Again a bit of a plug number but we should be able to finance significant investment from our core business.
hat would allow all the money from player sales to be put back into the squad.
=================
If the money raised from participation in the CL is in that £10m ballpark then that is what we should be spending to make sure we win every title for the foreseeable future. Its just the same money going round and around.

Celtic never took that risk when all winning the title or coming second got us was a chance to qualify. If we failed that sum £10m or whatever was a loss that had to be recouped.

Our rivals have to face that risk every season as long as we win the title but they no longer can rely on non football earnings to top up wages of players to even get the chance of qualifying.
As I posted yesterday their benchmark has to be the best of teams they might meet in the CL qualifying rounds and chances are they will take a punt to reach that level within the income that they would expect to get for CL qualification.

I doubt the stadium capacity will ever increase although refurbishment and ways of improving the match day experience as PL called it should always be being explored.

I base that doubt on two things.

Scotland’s population : The population of Scotland is projected to continue increasing until around mid-2033, peaking at 5.53 million. It is then projected to fall by 0.6% to 5.49 million by mid-2045. The projections show Scotland’s population falling below the mid-2020 baseline by around 2050.

and

Dependency on local support which again is dependent on population size. Celtic can best grow outside that limitation, indeed they have to given crowd size alone is no longer the only measure of financial return.

A more practical solution is to try and balance what a supporter overseas pays to watch a game and a supporter attending pays because us overseas guys depend on match attendees providing a team to watch.
Reduce the TV blackout footprint around the ground so all supporters overseas including of course those in Ireland, can chose to travel or stay at home and watch.

I think that is the future because the technology already exists now to do it, but in order to make a ticket to view replace a ticket to attend, some evening up on price would be needed.

If that were to happen we would not need a bigger stadium, could perhaps downsize.

Leggy
March 27, 2023 2:32 pm

Bobby,

Butler’s House Prestwick.

I remember on Sunday afternoons we used to travel down from EK to watch the live English football ( Old First Division) which were broadcast on Irish TV )

Must have been late 70’ earl 80’s.

Ayrshire could pick up the games and Butler’s was jumping .

We usually stayed on for a few and the headed back via The Kiwi Lodge or the Egg in Eaglesham. That singer Nat King was always at the back of your mind 😳

What good memories and the state we used to get in ( And the was just the driver !!!! 😜😜 ).

Thanks for reminding me of the name 👍

Madmitch
March 27, 2023 2:46 pm

JD @ 1.30

DD wants out …

Q+D analysis —

DD is a business man and he wants to make money. His investment in the club is not making him any money at the moment apart from some loose change on his bonds / preference shares.

He has no real love for the club — we are a Dublin Billionaires Club bauble to him.
He was / is only involved with us for the EPL Klondike that never seems to come.
Snider chat about his love for the club / never sell — too much love that came across a bit fake.
More nonsense about the CMcG — UFC guy not Calmac — wanting to get involved.
Building up a cash mountain and now post CoViD19 now doing it again.
No plans to spend money on the stadium — desperately needed but everything is nickel and dime stuff.
The Fridge Magnet getting involved with the Speeders — very leftfield / very random unless there is a cunning plan in play.

All of these moons aligning suggests to me that games are being played.
DD is an absentee landlord that we need to get rid off — boycotting the club is off the agenda so all we can hope for is an active owner / investor to get involved and move things forward.

DD has made a complete erse of it with his no more investing angle — getting PL to babysit the club to make sure that no more cash injections are required.

More active engagement / proper growth agenda / dynamic leadership and we would be well on our way to fulfilling our potential. However he sat back and did nothing allowing the gap between our situation and our potential to grow and grow.

The football world had moved on in the last 20 to 30 years but DD didn’t seem to realise — it was EPL or bust for him / duet with our friends in Govan and unfortunately for us that has been a pretty sore bust.

Madmitch
March 27, 2023 3:02 pm

A/h @ 2.04

Play good football and the demand for tickets will increase.
We need to rebuild the Main Stand — my thoughts are that we should build big and offer more seats.
And it doesn’t have to be locals filling the ground — football tourism is all the rage.
We just need to get as good as L/pool and ManU regarding our offshore reach.

As an aside the population of Scotland is a national disgrace highlighting our own weakness.
Huge emigration in the 50’s / 60’s highlights our own failure and the poorly hidden pockets of employment apartheid of the time.

Starting to become a bit optimistic regarding the allure of Glesga to tomorrow’s students and graduate trainees.
Very young city with cheap housing / lots happening / pretty open outlook on life.
So we are not the backwater too many believe we are.
We should build on that draw.

Consequently population projections are bookies punts for the middle class.
Not worth the parchment they are scribbled on.

I’m sure in the go go post 45 world we had dreams of 7 million.
And look how that turned out …

The population increases you mention — we could fit them all into Glesga with space left over.
All those ghost streets in the north and the east of the city need to be repopulated.

One good school in Giffnock and there is tumbleweed in Scumberned.
Old egg chasing joke — don’t ask.

Rebus67
March 27, 2023 3:07 pm

It always seems a good idea at the time. A nice, very nice bottle of Rioja. Something to celebrate. Giving Spotify big licks. Churning out John Hiatt. A wee dance with my bride.

Now the piper has to be paid!

Lethargy, lost brain cells. The excuse of appearing to do something by listening to the results of the SNP leaderless contest.

Humza’s speech was surprisingly good! Which team does he support? Partick Thistle, I suspect. Definitely not Third Lanark!

Where will reform of the Scottish game loom in his priorities?

Hopefully in two hours I shall be more at it.

Rebus

Jimbo67
March 27, 2023 3:12 pm

Mad Mitch

Can we have a name for the Fridge Magnet please? Some have speculated you are referring to Lord Willie Haughey but would like some confirmation.

Jimbo

IniquitousIV
March 27, 2023 3:25 pm

BMCUWP
Jonny Hubbard was a lovely fella,as you rightly point out. I only met him through my work,he was in charge of the local leisure centre in Ayr. It was him who told me that his fellow South African,Don Kitchenbrand,was a Catholic!

Late 80s,that was. As were my good times in Prestwick. Red Lion,Eagle. Butler’s House and The Golf. A well trod route,that one. A few inbetween too.

A lovely man. I’m proud to have known him.
————————————————
Bobby, my eyes opened wide when I read your 11:34 comment. It’s a small world right enough. I have been meaning to pen something for you for quite a while, but have just undergone right thumb reconstructive joint surgery, and am tapping this out one fingered with the middle finger of my left hand.

In brief, I am one of the luckiest septuagenarian Celtic fans alive. As a 19 year old, I became friends with Harry Hood, playing 5-a-side with him in the cavernous Taylor St. gym in Townhead, then heading down to the Ingram Lounge on Queen St for a shandy or two. As a planner with Lanarkshire County Council, I helped him with his building applications, and much later in life bumped into him on the field at Strathclyde Park while he was managing Queen of the South.

I have been cursed at by Davie Hay ( I’ll leave that for another day ) and played on the same team as Jinky
for a season at Helenvale. For the inevitable “You did, Aye,” responses, I have the photographic evidence, in an article from the Evening Times to back it up. I’ll send it to you when I locate it.

Getting back to your Johnny Hubbard reference, starting in the mid 80’s, I played annually in a 5-a-side game against the Lynch Mob, including Andy, Simon and big Tam. The event was on a Saturday morning around the Christmas/ New Year period and was played at Johnny’s astroturf courts in Ayr, and usually in diabolical weather. The game was only for bragging rights and was very seriously contested and occasionally towsy. Goals were scarce. Three of us travelled from the U.S. and trained hard for the event. Johnny would come out and watch for a while, but the cold wind and sleet would drive him back inside. On a couple of occasions, when the game was tied, and it was “Next goal’s the winner,” he would chase us off, as he had 2 other teams waiting to go on.

Post game, we would head for lunch and a few pints at the cricket club, then head for the Market Inn. On the Sunday, both teams joined forces and we would play a decent standard amateur team on the red ash at the cricket club. As we were hungover, and very stiff from our Saturday exertions, it would usually take us to the second half to get going, and most of us got cramp at some time during the game.

Great memories. Long story short – I just wanted to endorse your view of Johnny Hubbard. I watched him juggle a ball when he must have been well into his sixties, and he still had it. Lovely fella.
HH
INIQUITOUSIV

Madmitch
March 27, 2023 3:26 pm

J67 @ 3.12

If you have to ask then you just aren’t getting it …
The Fridge Magnet is not a person — it is a state of mind.
Or a bad attempt at some low level humour.

One that has delivered a growth agenda into the fast moving world of FM outsourcing for large retail customers across the globe.
And is now involved with our friends in the south — G42 / QP to be exact.

Rebus67
March 27, 2023 3:26 pm

CFC,

Ash pitches? I am sure that many ex-pats have illegally exported ash from Scottish foundries to many parts of the World. I have some in both knees.

One guy who helped start the Ottawa Celtic Supporters club had imported a few nuggets as well.

Red blaze was the worst! Your wounds would weep for days even after the application of iodine.

Still, such wounds could have benefits. I once played against a QoS reserve team in Lochmaben and had both knees and my upper thigh torn. A lady insisted on treating my wounds after the battle was over. Best post game bath I ever had! Kids, please ignore the last paragraph.

Now my bath companion is Epsom salts😜 Where did I put it?

Rebus

Jimbo67
March 27, 2023 3:36 pm

Mad Mitch

Well thanks for that reply. Really added to my knowledge.

Jimbo

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
March 27, 2023 3:36 pm

LEGGY

I had an unfortunate experience with the local dentist next door to The Butler’s House. Kirsty,knew her from uni days. Minor error,decided to whack a tooth out-forgetting that I had no anaesthetic. Knee into my chest and pulling,not pleasant.

Ran into the pub. Lager,Kenny. And a double whisky. And keep the whisky coming. Blood was everywhere,and I’m in no mood to talk. I couldn’t! First time I’ve ever got blootert and not enjoyed it.

Had some great times in that pub though. We started a Sunday School there. Strict rules. Can’t turn up after 1pm,can’t leave before 1am. Fall down,throw up or spill yer pint and yer barred the following week.

Hell knows how anyone got to work on a Monday.

Magua
March 27, 2023 3:47 pm

Mahe

Excellent leader with a good few talking points.

Madmitch

Those are powerful posts that you have put up today, with a lot of food for thought.

As for Mikey J? Not for me, I’m afraid. Part of the problem at Celtic, is that possibly he tries too hard to make an impression. It may be best for all concerned, if he found a new environment in which to showcase his obvious talents.

BMCUW

When Tommy Gemmell was manager of Dundee, and Gordon Strachan was just a young lad, a certain former team-mate of Tommy’s at Celtic, whom Tommy had signed for Dundee, took Gordon on the lash, after morning training. Let’s just say that when TG found out about this, a certain Mr James Connolly Johnstone was not too popular for a spell.

Leggy

In the late 80s, a group of us from my work, would get the train down to Prestwick for the occasional English game. Our first pitstop was usually The Red Lion, followed by a pub crawl. Even a decade or so later, The Prestwick trip was still going strong. Not for the fitba, but for a wee day out, once the season had finished. This usually occurred on Scottish Cup Final day, or the week after, if the Celts were in the final. When the Jambos beat the Huns in the final, exactly one week after the league winning St Johnstone game, there were a lot of glum faces on display that day.

Hail Hail.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
March 27, 2023 3:52 pm

INIQUITOUS IV

What,ye trying to make me cry? It was f…..g great,just doing stupid things in our twenties and not having to GAF. But David Hay? A dirty look from him,and I’d have been screaming for my Mammy. Not kidding either.

We’ve had some fun along the way between us all. It’s such a pleasure when someone tells of theirs-it is why the site is here. I was kicking every ball when I read your comment. And I was drinking every pint when I read mine!

Dunno how we got away with it,mucker. But,hey…

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
March 27, 2023 4:02 pm

REBUS67

So happy for you and your bride. That’s one helluva shift that you and J have put in together. And you’ve both still got yer accents!

Proud of you both,mate. Stars,the pair of ye.

IniquitousIV
March 27, 2023 4:07 pm

REBUS67
Ash pitches? I am sure that many ex-pats have illegally exported ash from Scottish foundries to many parts of the World. I have some in both knees.

One guy who helped start the Ottawa Celtic Supporters club had imported a few nuggets as well.

Red blaze was the worst! Your wounds would weep for days even after the application of iodine.

Still, such wounds could have benefits. I once played against a QoS reserve team in Lochmaben and had both knees and my upper thigh torn. A lady insisted on treating my wounds after the battle was over. Best post game bath I ever had! Kids, please ignore the last paragraph.

Now my bath companion is Epsom salts😜 Where did I put it?
———————-
Boy, this is a day for memories right enough. I have been carrying black ash from Plantation Park, Kinning Park in my left knee from 1960, and from Greenock High School in my right knee from 1962.

Rebus67’s experience struck a chord. Around 1965, I was playing for Strathclyde Uni at Furnace in Argyllshire. The field was mainly grass but it had gravel along the sidelines, some of which had got on to the field. It was also used by grazing cattle, as it had manure on it. It was pissing down with rain, and a tackle from he full back sent me sliding along on my right side for a few feet. When I came to a halt, my right leg was a bloody mess of grass, gravel and manure from my right knee past my hip bone.

This was before showers were mandatory, and the cleaning facilities unbelievably consisted of a rain barrel! I was carted off to Lochgilphead Hospital, still wearing my kit, where a doctor casually looked at my leg, turned to a nurse and said, ”Tetanus shot, and antiseptic wash.” He then left, and the nurse, a very attractive young blonde, told me to get ready for my shot, and also left. My strip was long sleeved and soaking wet, and I rolled up my right sleeve with some difficulty. The nurse returned with a syringe on a metal dish. She said to me, “What are you doing?” I replied, “Getting ready for the injection?”
She said, “ You don’t get it in your arm.”

I said, “Your kidding!” Nope, she wasn’t, so it was kecks down. I thought that was bad enough, then 4 of her colleagues bustled in, some of them hefty ladies, and told me to get my boots off and get on a bench with a waterproof cover. They firmly grabbed my arms and legs, then Blondie sprayed my leg with warm water, which was painful, but I gritted my teeth. Then she started scrubbing on Savlon with a nail brush! Gentlemen, gritting the teeth didn’t cut it – I was screaming. All the time, they are talking to me “Och, don’t be a baby now.”

Eventually, it was over, but I remember it as if it were yesterday, and it was nearly 60 years ago.

JimDom
March 27, 2023 4:16 pm

Nice to read the positive comments about former Rangers player, and “penalty king”, Johnny Hubbard. The wee South African guy’s first love was actually cricket but that was not a good way of earning a living in Scotland back in those days.

My association with him goes back to the mid 70’s in Prestwick. Indoor fives at St Ninians PS. Hubby coached and reffed. Years later, fives at Whitletts or Dam Park hall, Hubby was there, reffing. Hubby was always there, reffing, coaching,along with good natured banter with guys and girls of all ages. That distinctive South African voice never far from your ear. Everyone who ever kicked a ball in South Ayrshire knew Hubby. A genuine legend in the true sense of the word.

Jobo Baldie
March 27, 2023 4:19 pm

I see tonight’s 7.30 game on SKY is from the SPWL – Sevco v Celtic. Our Ladies are 23/10. Hmmmmmmm

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
March 27, 2023 4:22 pm

REBUS67

The house that my sister lives in is built on the old Foundry Park in Kilwinning. I used to play there as a kid. THE BARCA MOLE told me about his times there too.

And trying to get served in The Winton. Aye,see where that gets ye,Franny. I miss that guy. I miss him telling me to shut the fuck up and get the beer in. I’ll never get in a blue taxi again either.

But anyway,there was a huge ugly eyesore in Kilwinning when I was a kid. And no,it wasn’t me. It was the slag heap. Kilwinning was famous for coal and steel,it became infamous for the eyesore of its by-product.

So we shipped it to Hunterston and dumped it in the sea. Dunno whose idea that was,but he was a genius!