Going one better next season

We had a special night at the Celtic Supporters’ Association’s 67th Annual Rally last night.  It was great to see our two treble winning captains: Tom Boyd giving praise to the giant of the European game, Billy McNeill. I had a chat with Scott Brown, who received his Association Player of the Year award.  A [...]

World class deficit of self-awareness

The word of the day is anosognosia, def. a deficit of self-awareness. While discussing his Fit and Proper examination by the SFA, Dave King told the media that “If the level of detail that was applied to me was applied to Craig Whyte then he would never have taken over the club.  The club would [...]

This, my friends in Celtic, is what you call a journey

The heat was suffocating, it was 35° and city was heaving.  On the long walk out of town some enterprising locals were selling water or cola to the increasingly dehydrated caravan of people.  I passed a few, not willing to succumb to extortionate opportunism, but soon gave in. I walked into an orange tree earlier [...]

Faux precipice, the £30m man, fan shakedown

Lots going on today, we’ll maybe have a second blog this evening on Craig Gordon, but for now…. Last month I wrote that Dave King’s Fit and Proper issue was a faux precipice.  If he was not found Fit and Proper he, “could easily appoint his own people to the PLC board, he would be [...]

Living within your means still resisted

Michel Platini’s Financial Fair Play initiative at Uefa has been one of the more inspiring developments at the top of our game for decades.  It brought spending into line with income throughout the English game and punished what Platini called financial doping. It has been so effective, Platini now promises to relax the rules.  The [...]

Fraught preseason, instinct ruling head

Really pleased Leigh Griffiths is back in the Scotland squad, it’s just reward for his work this season, although the prospect of having so many Celtic players on international duty in June is an unwelcome one, considering we’ve Champions League qualifiers to prepare for in July.  Preseason is already looking fraught. I’d convinced myself I [...]

Not time for Griffiths to move

The general reaction to reports that a £1m bid has been received for Leigh Griffiths is that the figure undervalues the player.  Early in the season the story was different.  Leigh, who joined in January last year, was behind new arrivals John Guidetti and Stefan Scepovic.  His perceived value was close to zero, alongside most [...]

Let’s have a change

Since Martin O’Neill arrived 15 years ago, the number of games Celtic have played with truly no pressure on is less than 30 (or about the same number we played the season before he arrived).  There’s almost always an angle when Celtic take the field, even after the league is won, whether there’s a cup [...]

Football rights, an oligopoly working with a closed shop

What’s the value of the Scottish Professional League sponsorship package?  It’s whatever the highest bidder is prepared to pay for it.  £4m from Ladbrokes over two years is, therefore, a true value.  It’s down on the previous SPL deal, which was £2m from Clydesdale Bank, as it includes rights to the lower leagues, but this [...]

Don’t ask question you don’t know the answer to

‘Don’t ask question you don’t know the answer to’; great advice.  Mike Ashley will know the questions he’s proposed for Rangers International.  All the bluster around the company failing to get a Nomad due to the litany of complaints submitted to AIM under the old regime will be laid bare.  Allegations of blame made in [...]

They’d all like to play for Real Madrid

Virgil van Dijk is a class defender, one of the best we’ve seen in recent decades, but there’s no revelation in the fact that he would consider moving to the right club at a more testing league; they all would.  The only pertinent fact about Virgil is that several clubs may put that to the [...]

Scott Brown challenge echoes through the years

The moment Scott Brown threw himself into a challenge on the edge of his own penalty area, laser-like in precision, to dispossess Barry Robson, brought the memories flooding back.  Barry was regarded by many as a journeyman when he signed for Celtic alongside Georgios Samaras in January 2008.  A month later he scored against Barcelona [...]

Oscar Knox

Some of the incredible people from the WeeOscar4Life campaign spoke to Stephen and Leona Knox and asked if it would be appropriate to submit an article to CQN for today, the first anniversary of Oscar’s passing. What started in the Celtic community went worldwide and had a profound effect on Oscar, his family and the [...]

Ronny’s fuel for next four months

There would have been no surprise reading Ronny Deila’s ‘heaven and hell’ season in the Celtic View.  It must have been an enthralling season for the manager but, good grief, it started with an 8.6 on the Strachan Early Season Scale. These experiences mark us.  We’ve watched footballers and managers grow weary (another word for [...]

Police investigations, FAC

Police Scotland officers visited Sports Direct’s Derbyshire offices “investigating takeovers at Rangers”.  The pluralisation is quite important. Last year Police Scotland opened an investigation into Craig Whyte’s purchase of Rangers from the Duped One, fair enough.  No one previously reported that more than one ‘takeover’ was being investigated. Sports Direct had no involvement with oldco [...]

Risky Ronny, win a new Celtic shirt

I can’t argue with John Hughes winning the Manager of the Year award.  Without glossing over the obvious semi-final issue, he’s taken Inverness to stick-on favourites for the Scottish Cup and, for a while, stuck with Aberdeen in the Best of the Rest fight.  The second half of the season have seen fortunes fade, but [...]

Johansen and Denayer step up

Congratulations to Scotland’s Player of the Year, Stefan Johansen, and Young Player of the Year, Jason Denayer.  It’s fair to say Stefan had an underwhelming first eight months in Scotland, but the turnaround since October has been stark. It was during our home defeat to Hamilton Accies that month that I noticed a change in [...]


Congratulations to Ronny Deila, his players and supporting cast on becoming Scottish champions, season 2014-15.  The man from Norway has got his team playing flowing, attractive, football, he has improved players throughout the squad, and should be delighted with the shape of the club at the moment. Congratulations too to the Celtic fans, who recognised [...]

Two significant goals

Nir Bitton’s goal was special but two goals last night were more significant.  Leigh Griffiths header for the first belied the player’s height and stature.  His scoring record with his head in recent months has been spectacular, whether darting into space to nick the ball goal-wards, as he did away to Dundee and Dundee United, [...]

SFA on good form

The SFA today confirmed that they have been able to confirm Paul Murray Fit and Proper to run a football club.  After Mr Murray’s previous tenure as a football club director, I’m absolutely delighted he will again be working his magic.  At Ibrox. The SFA Professional Game Board specifically considered Murray’s “intentions as a Director [...]

Pure, athletic, Thatcherism

It’s all politics.  Not actual politics, in the strict definition of the word, but clubs’ dealings with the SPFL and SFA is mostly about politically manoeuvring in the direction to win your argument. Experienced political operators will tell you not to fight the same people on too many points; pick the important areas to win [...]

Ronny will value having game on Friday night

Yesterday I caught myself moaning about potentially winning the league without playing a game (epitome of first world problems).  How quickly we forget the pain of the 90s.  Let’s bring the title home as soon as possible, no matter where we are or what we’re doing.  There could be people doing the Ronny Roar in [...]

Blame King and Murray board for approving Whyte, not SFA

There’s an industry of deliberate misunderstanding in Scottish football (and on the pages of CQN).  One of the last vestiges of this is the SFA’s fabled Fit and Proper Test.  There is no test, never has been a test and in all likelihood, never will be a test.  It was almost certainly a figment of [...]

Operation Get Lawwell Out

When Tony Mowbray was in charge of Celtic the club wrote to the SFA regarding the standard of refereeing in Scotland almost on a weekly basis.  The outcome of this correspondence was not constructive, if anything, some at the Association hardened their stance. A lot has subsequently happened. Yesterday’s Sunday Mail referred back to Celtic’s [...]

Celtic vindicated

Yesterday’s decision by the SFA’s Judicial Panel, which ruled that Josh Meekings could not be subject to retrospective action as the referee saw the contentious incident on Sunday contradicted the initial official version of events, and totally vindicated Celtic asking for clarification of the incident. I’ve not had a chance to read through all the [...]

When media collaborate with power you have problems

A journalist, banned by Celtic, attacked the club in the Daily Record today, suggesting the SFA chief exec Stuart Regan should have told Peter Lawwell to ‘wind his neck in’ and ‘remind him of his duty to the game’ after he wrote asking for clarification after Sunday’s game. The hyperbole was raised to the extent [...]

Demonise Celtic and fawn SFA Ogilvie

You’re victim of a costly refereeing failure, what do you do?  Celtic wrote to the SFA for clarification.    There was no demand for censure of the officials or a ban for the Inverness player. In 2011, when the SFA were victim of a costly refereeing error against Czech Republic, Association president, Campbell Ogilvie, took it [...]

Hampden hangover

Let’s be clear: Dundee are in their best form in years and are more than capable of taking something from Celtic tonight.  They also have the incentive of catching Dundee United, who have collapsed since Celtic dismantled them recently.  If there is any sort of Hampden hangover, we’ll not win the game. What I expect [...]

Omission bias research and refs with grudges

The SFA Head of Refereeing, John Fleming, spoke about the semi-final incident on Sunday, largely to protect his fraternity.  Referee Steven McLean made a huge error but Fleming said “I don’t think there was anyone in the ground who would have thought it was 100% a penalty and sending off until they had seen the [...]

A case to answer for SFA and Celtic

Referee Steven McLean saw the incident when Josh Meekings stopped a Leigh Griffiths header crossing the line with his hand.  He was 12 yards away with an unobstructed view.  The blame for getting the decision wrong is entirely his. We can only speculate as to why he didn’t award a penalty.  At best, McLean didn’t [...]

90 minute treble tightrope

Did we get a fright at Inverness last week?  That’s probably overplaying it a bit, but we didn’t get our own way against a team who have already overachieved this season and are more than capable of raising their game for the big occasion. This is a team who will have no fears of facing [...]

Fixtures in 2003, 2008, and 19th C Glasgow

The mind is a remarkable thing.  If you ask around, you’ll find Celtic fans tell you we played Boavista in the Uefa Cup semi-final in Porto on the Thursday night, before going to Ibrox on the Saturday (it was the Sunday). Similarly, Barry Ferguson is mumping his gums without restrain today, complaining about Rangers fixtures [...]

Fantastic result from Celtic Park

It was a fantastic result from Celtic Park last night for Scotland’s poor who are dependent on food aid.  Fans arrived in droves before kick off with bags full of provisions to restock food banks across the region. I can sympathise with the SPFL to an extent.  Without a sponsor, they are even more dependent [...]

Toast and chips, if you’re lucky

So you have money left at the end of the month?  Enough for a holiday, for Christmas?  Chances are if you are a season ticket holder at a UK football club you do.  Even if this is the case, and if you have a full time wage coming into the house, you’ll have noticed the [...]

Guidetti, life without the death-wish opponent

I see the story that Feyenoord are chasing John Guidetti has lasted more days than I expected.  John Guidetti is a likeable guy and seems to have enjoyed his time at Celtic, but he desperately needs to show some form before the end of the season if he is to attract the attention of Feyenoord [...]

Serious Treble Threat, material loss

Pretty gutted for Inverness keeper Dean Brill, who will miss the Hampden Scottish Cup semi final with a dislocated knee.  We saw enough from the Highlanders on Saturday to know they pose Serious Treble Risk, but you want to beat teams at full strength. Anyone who tells you Celtic suffered a material loss due to [...]

Sports Direct with humiliating control

Records published by the Intellectual Property Office yesterday show Sports Direct own quite a lot of trademarks, including: Rangers Scope of trademark: organisation of sporting activities. This property has not been licenced to the football club, or joint ventures like Rangers Retail Ltd.  Sports Direct own the rights to call a football team Rangers. Rangers [...]

Balance returning, Magnificent effort

After a tenacious win in Paisley on Friday Celtic were back in the groove last night.  Passing was swift and accurate, movement – perpetual.  It was a quiet game for Kris Commons, which at an earlier time would have meant a game with few chances for Celtic, but the prodding of Johansen, Armstrong and Mackay-Steven [...]

Walfrid’s Legacy

On  April 17, 1915 Brother Walfrid passed away. The Marist Brothers reported his passing with these words, “Frère Walfrid est mort. Je perds en lui un vrai père !  Que de services il m’a rendus et avec quelle affectueuse charité !’’ (Avril 25, 1915). “Brother Walfrid is dead. In losing him, I lost a true [...]

Fit and Proper faux precipice

There was a flutter of excitement yesterday at news from the Court of Session that Rangers liquidators, BDO, did not object to Dave King becoming a director of newco.  King sought permission from the court to prevent a subsequent challenge from one of Rangers unpaid creditors, but the phoenix club are now free to appoint [...]

Direction of travel encouraging for Scottish football

It’s heartening to see Celtic linked with a raft of players over the weekend and encouraging for many but I’d ignore everything you read about a Celtic target this far out from the transfer window opening.  All an agent needs to do is post a DVD to Lennoxtown to be able to legitimately link his [...]

The man from Raith said Play by the rules

Turnbull Hutton, who resigned as Raith Rovers chairman in November, died last night after a short illness.  When Scottish Football League chairmen were presented with an Armageddon scenario in 2012 his voice of dissent was first to be heard.  Those at the top of Scottish football tried to convince SFL clubs it was in THEIR [...]

Lessons learned from Friday experiment

After every experimental line-up (such as Friday’s), it’s tempting to ask what the manager learned from the experience. The partnerships on the left and right wings didn’t look right.  Emilio Izaguirre didn’t overlap as often as usual and Stuart Armstrong was less effective than normal.  A lack of space impacted the James Forrest-Adam Matthews partnership [...]

Ego-zilla, if you like

St Mirren are the whipping boys of Scottish football right now.  The only points they’ve picked up in two months came in a win over mid-table free-wheeling Hamilton, leaving them four points adrift at the bottom of the pile.  They are in as bad a shape as then-bottom Ross County were when they visited Celtic [...]

Are Hearts showing us the way?

What do you think of Hearts putting Save the Children on their shirts?  Perhaps more appropriately, how will Hearts fans feel about their club this morning?  When the next invitation to buy a season ticket, or shop for merchandise email arrives, what’s going to be the instinctive reaction? Hearts fans are an unpredictable lot, but [...]

Henderson attempts to buck Celtic youth syndrome

For as long as you or I can remember, Celtic’s youth teams have had a fearsome reputation, winning countless titles, even with Kenny McDowall as head coach, but something inevitably goes wrong.  Clubs like Dundee United, Hibs, Hearts and even Hamilton Accies have a better record of graduating prospects, despite having a poorer youth team [...]

Newco cannon fodder plans

While I was busy telling one of my first bosses how much money we were going to make in a year or two, he made a comment which has remained with me since, “If you don’t make some sales next month, we’ll not be around to find out if you’re right.” Plans for 2022 don’t [...]

Celtic fans get stuck into our reason for being, nomad moot

Congratulations to The Kano Foundation for their magnificent fifth annual charity dinner on Saturday.  The Kano story is beyond incredible and a credit to those who call ourselves Celtic fans – whether you are involved with them or not. Well done also to everyone who participated in the Celtic Foundation Zip Slide across Celtic Park [...]

Fragile limbs

The overwhelming request from an international break is that our players return injury-free.  Nir Bitton made an appearance as a second half substitute against Wales last night but left the field 18 minutes later, with a foot injury. Nir is in the best form of his life and has carved himself out a deep-lying creative [...]

Social cost of Scots exclusion

You want to know the real social cost of Scottish football’s exclusion from the league structure England and Wales share?  It’s the lack of pitches, nets, strips, balls and coaching certifications that the £1bn bounty, promised by the Barclay’s Premier League last night to the grassroots game. £1bn to the grassroots is a huge sum.  [...]

Football must wait for the financial final act

Interesting financial news from Deloitte that FA Premier League clubs turned a profit in season 2013-14, the first time the combined results of the top 20 clubs in England have been in the black for 15 years.  The reason for the £190m surplus was a 29% increase in revenue, largely as a result of the-then [...]

Herald forced to reconsider hasty article

I see The Herald were forced to reconsider Martin William’s hasty article, posted first online last night but now amended, where they repeat an erroneous claim that in 2001 Celtic claimed the word ‘hun’ is sectarian.  The current version of the article makes no such reference. Much of what remains of the article is a [...]

Referring to a team no longer with us

Let’s be clear, you cannot punish a player on the basis that he has made a comment which is only offensive, offence is subjective, highly so in Scottish football, where thousands await the opportunity. Nor can you punish a player for a derogatory remark which may offend, especially if the remark does not call into [...]

Respectfully disagree, Neil

I like Neil Lennon.  If Neil Lennon is talking about football, I shut up and listen.  But I respectfully disagree on other subjects.  If the last three years have taught us anything it’s that Celtic don’t need oldco or newco Rangers.  Unequivocally, Celtic Park is quieter since Rangers liquidated, the level of competition we previously [...]

Adrenaline dip, reds, wanton ruffling

Cast your mind back to earlier this month.  February ended with a 100% domestic record, qualification for the League Cup Final and two merit awards for performances against Inter Milan.  We then walloped nearest challengers Aberdeen 4-0.  A small matter of a game against St Johnstone lay ahead before the Scottish and League Cup double-header [...]

Forrest Feedback Club, Nir ruffling

The James Forrest Feedback Club were quiet last night.  I’ve no idea if James will rediscover his form on a sustained basis, or if his limbs will allow him to attain his potential, but it was good to see him running at defenders with confidence again. He got the measure of John Rankin early on.  [...]

Give me someone with a point to prove

This ‘Dundee United period’ of our history will be remembered for years, but despite Sunday’s Cup Final win, the fondness of the memory is yet to be established.  If we drop the ball tonight, the League Cup will look like little more than the consolation prize. It’s been a while since we’ve had to play [...]

Fighting the same foe too many times

Napoleon observed that no one should fight the same enemy too many times, as eventually their superior ways and techniques will become redundant as the inferior foe will eventually hit on a strategy which works. Dundee United did reasonably well in their two games against Celtic in the last 9 days, despite playing a considerable [...]

From Stein to Deila in the League Cup

Jock Stein won his first five League Cups as Celtic manager (no pressure, Ronny) but in the 43 years since we’ve won the trophy only eight times, including yesterday. There has been a bit of chat that the Treble is a bit easier since Rangers were liquidated, but, if you know your history, you’ll know [...]

CQN 11 Knocking it out the park

Where to start on last night’s CQN11 St Patrick’s Dinner?  We knocked it out the park.  Hundreds came, thousands of pounds were raised, enough to help Mary’s Meals build a kitchen for a thousand more school kids in Malawi, and a £5,000 donation to Lisa Hague’s 30k Challenge for Marie Curie Challenge for Cancer Care. [...]

Scott Brown sat down

You know what Dundee United really need?  Scott Brown to turn up at Hampden on Sunday with a point to prove. We’ve complained for years about the way media scrutiny falls haphazardly on Celtic but God help us if we ever acquire the cosy relationship others cultivate in order to avoid the light scrutiny required [...]

Suker, Uefa and regionalisation

Croatian hero of the 1990s, Davor Suker, currently Croatian Football Federation president, is campaigning for a place on the Uefa Executive Committee, one of 12 people chasing 7 places. Sukor has been campaigning across south-eastern Europe, with a simple message: collapse the cream from the national leagues of 13 countries into one powerful 42-team regional [...]

SFA error in law

The SFA have made an error in interpreting their laws.  They refuse to discipline Calum Butcher as the rules do not allow them to switch a punishment retrospectively.  This is correct, but the rules do allow retrospective action which the referee has not seen. Craig Thomson saw the Butcher-van Dijk incident inasmuch as he was [...]

Shared business plan? Not in a million years

I see comment in today’s Telegraph about a shortage of staff to facilitate a club which occasionally hosts circa 50,000 fans at Ibrox.  Let me put some meat on the financial bones of that particular project. During 2010-11, the last season Paul Murray and Dave King were directors at Ibrox, Rangers spent £27.7m on wages [...]

Sympathy for the ref, cynicism for SFA

Yesterday’s referee Craig Thomson is getting it from all quarters but I have some sympathy for him.  He saw the Scott Brown tackle and took no action.  The challenge was executed with extreme force but also with laser-like accuracy.  It didn’t injure or foul anyone. Aiden Connolly dived to win Dundee United’s penalty.  Thomson could [...]

Treble talk, farewell Big Mike

Talk of trebles can disappear over the space of 90 minutes, and Ronny Deila will be forced to learn new patter if his team cannot regain the edge which was lost on Wednesday night at Celtic Park.  The challenge will be all the greater for the absence of cup-tied Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven, with [...]

New Balance for Celtic

New Balance take over from Nike this summer as Celtic’s official kit partner and main sponsor.  The US sportswear firm have along heritage in technical products, like running shoes, with less of a legacy in the leisurewear market than the likes of Nike, but this move, as well as a recent deal to partner Liverpool, [...]

Contracts are not optional

That whole ‘We don’t do walking away’ without a payoff business looks a little different this morning.  Dave King has told the media Derek Llambias and Barry Leach are ‘demanding’ a payoff.  It would be more likely that they have informed King of the terms of their contracts, which is all they are able to [...]

Hartson late mea cupla

I’m sure Ronny Deila is delighted to have the backing of John Harton, now he doesn’t need it.  John’s attachment to the club is not in doubt, nor should a new manager want unquestioning support from anyone, but some clubs reach a point when they become unmanageable.  Influential voices collaborate with perma-upset media and fans [...]

Fastest, fittest, Celtic, what Ashley has left

A little over two months ago Celtic lost at Tannadice and dropped two points at home to Ross County.  After our disastrous August, and home defeat to Hamilton in October, this December blow put Celtic on the canvas one more time.  I was getting calls from Norway “Are you still backing Ronny?” The transformation since [...]

Aberdeen look to cap top team in 25 years

Really looking forward to tomorrow.  Aberdeen are no flash-in-the-pan, they are as strong a non-Glasgow team as there has been in 25 years, having built on foundations laid last season.  They arrive at Celtic Park having won there last season, and after two narrow defeats to Celtic this season, which has cost them a place [...]

How did we do at the San Siro?

Craig Gordon I think we all have a desire to be generous to Craig for a couple of reasons: as Ronny said, without him, we would not have gotten through the group stage, and we are due him some support after he spoiled his copy in the first leg.  He returned to form last night, [...]

Internazionale 1-0 Celtic

Inter scored a breakaway goal from Guarin, who should have earlier received a red card for deliberately striking Stefan Johansen on the face, on the 88th minute to win this tie 4-3 on aggregate.  But despite playing for the majority of the game with 10 men, after Virgil van Dijk’s 36th minute red card, Celtic [...]

When triumph is grasped from failure

There’s a remarkable lack of nerves ahead of tonight’s game against Inter Milan in the San Siro.  Perhaps, for many of us, all we expected from this tie was a sign that the progress we believe has taken place in recent months, would stand up to the scrutiny of European examination.  Last week, it did. [...]

Standing up for your views, San Siro

Another day another Uefa fine for crowd-related transgressions, the umpteenth in recent years.  When we went to Seville we knew you could take tens of thousands of Celtic fans anywhere, secure in the knowledge they would make friends with police and locals alike.  That reputation’s gone, the Fifa and Uefa awards, relics. The world appears [...]

Doncaster wriggling with rules

SPFL chief executive, Neil Doncaster, is clear on the subject of offensive singing at football games: “It remains the SPFL’s position that if it can be established that clubs have done everything required in overall management of the event pre-match, during the game and post-match then they have no case to answer”. This may be [...]

Week with a sting in the tail

The narrative was set for Aberdeen.  After six consecutive league wins without losing a goal, their bubble was burst when they drew with Dundee and St Johnstone, but it hasn’t turned out that way.  They have scored 10 and not conceded in the three league games since.  Out of the Scottish and League Cups, their [...]

The Great Leap between SPFL and Inter Milan

Making the great leap between playing Scottish Premiership teams and the likes of Inter Milan will always be a challenge for Celtic.  We have done so many times in recent years, Milan were held home and away in the Champions League knock-out stage, Barcelona were beaten, but whenever we have carried the game to opponents [...]

Narrative is clear: Celtic improvement is profound

When you and I write, whether you are aware of it or not, there’s always a narrative.  Behind the words the subtext explains why we think a game was won or lost, why events on the park reinforce our world view, or, for some, just that they are angry people. For most, our narrative is [...]

Belief the key for Celtic

I sat beside Stevie Chalmers and Bobby Lennox on Friday night at the excellent Irvine Celtic Supporters’ Club.  The conversation eventually got around to Inter Milan.  It’s hard to over-estimate the Inter team they faced in Lisbon.  Going for their third European Cup in four years, and their fourth Italian title in five, they were [...]

Inter will know they’ve been in a game

Someone asked me a few weeks ago if this was a must-win game.  Clearly it’s not, the cup games are must-win, as is the coming league game against Aberdeen, but tomorrow night is an important weathervane, indicating if the club is on the road to recovery. Since that great high against Barcelona, we have faced [...]

Alcohol, if you’re rich enough

As you and I know, alcohol is sold at football games.  If you are in a corporate seat, you can drink before kick-off, at halftime and again at fulltime.  Prohibition only applies to the cheap seats. Alcohol-related issues remain a problem in towns across Scotland in the hours after big games, but suggestions by First [...]

Inter trepidation, Packy, Tommy, Joe & Patricia

Inter have hit a bit of form recently but comments coming out of Milan indicate their visit to Celtic Park is viewed with some trepidation.  The stadium’s Champions League reputation remains fresh in the memory, even if the team has been transformed since the last major victory over a truly top team two years ago. [...]

Feels like time for an inquest

It’s been so long since we lost a goal it feels like there should be an inquest today.  A couple of mistakes in a wide position, followed by two deflections, which confused Craig Gordon, and that’s all it took.  I’m OK with this.  We’ll make mistakes and lose goals, this is one of the better [...]

EPL TV deal: a way forward for Celtic

Some thoughts to the 70% increase in English Premier League TV income: Our financial strategy Stop feeling sorry for ourselves.  We are not part of the easy-money league, so instead of complaining about Burnley’s financial strength, exploit the massive inefficiencies in England.  Lazy recruitment strategies, unscientific risk-taking and chronic managerial processes put a lot of [...]

The best laid Foundations

The Celtic FC Foundation are holding a golf day in April to raise funds for autism in Scotland, the first such day the Foundation have organised.  When planning for the event, Leftybhoy, Brogan Rogan, Harry Brady, Tyneside No.1, me, Thomas and Jane from the Foundation, and Foundation chief exec, Tony Hamilton, wondered if and how [...]

On last night: when Ireland dumped Dutch and false 9

Did you notice during last night’s game the most important goal-type we’ve scored all season?  Nir Bitton headed the ball forward to John Guidetti, who could have knocked it on, but instead was shoved off the ball, resulting in the ball progressing anyway.  This scenario created the most valuable commodity in football: space. There is [...]

The billions and structural change

This morning was one of those, ‘why bother?’ times.  The English game, already flooded with cash, is about to get a 70% pay increase.  Our game, already ravaged by the destruction of meritocracy over the last decade, will be ever-more firmly put in its place. Good for the English.  They are notoriously rubbish at running [...]

It’s all about Tannadice, your AIM nomad

The stage is set. Dundee United, the club who were last to beat Celtic, stand in the way of their treble ambitions, as the clubs meet on three consecutive occasions next month.  The first game, a Scottish Cup quarter final at Tannadice, is the most crucial. United lost their best two players last week but [...]

The most secure club in Europe

Ronny Deila has been talking about a treble since early in the season, far too early for my liking.  History suggests that trebles are notoriously difficult to win, even for dominant teams.  The league is usually won by the best team but it’s hard to win every game in two cup competitions, no matter how [...]

Forged on the road

Many of our early season concerns manifest themselves in the performances against Dundee.  A 1-1 draw at Dens on the last day of the summer transfer window, followed by a 2-1 win at Celtic Park in November, told the story of a club just about getting by on the domestic front. The Celtic Park win [...]

Celtic interims show what a stable club looks like

Celtic interim accounts for the 6 months to 31 December were released this afternoon.  The standout figure is that, despite Champions League revenue being absent this year, football and stadium income was down from £16.8m to a similar £16.5m.  This suggests other ticket sales increased. The hit from the lack of Champions League came in [...]

Game Theory predicts newco are in trouble

If we indulge in some Game Theory…….. We know newco plan to borrow an additional £5m from Mike Ashley before the proposed 4 March EGM. We know that nomad, WH Ireland, will resign “with immediate effect” if Dave King is voted onto the PLC board. We know that “In the event that the NOMAD resigns, [...]

Commons future beyond 2017

When Kris Commons’ new contract expires in 2017, he will be the same age Lubomir Moravcik was when he joined Celtic as a 33-year-old in 1998.  We now mock those who mocoked Celtic for signing the Slovak genius.  While this may be Commons last contract, if the player applies himself as professionally over the next [...]

Treble chasing; business, not personal, the dirty battle

Amid the general hilarity on Scottish football at the moment I’m sure it’s not escaped Ronny Deila’s attention that we have one of our most important games of the season coming up on Saturday.  The league is a marathon without any specific focus, the League Cup final is another huge game, but facing Dundee away [...]

Ashley could fulfil Tarantino vision

Did Dave King honestly say there would be a “forensic investigation” before newco, under his control, would repay Mike Ashley’s £10m loan?  This, before the second tranche of the loan, which the club will need to meet payroll, is paid, and while Ashley could acquire an array of property and IP assets by simply not [...]

Gary, Stuart, Michael, Machiavellian beauty

The No. 1 rule of the transfer window is: get your first choices, and there is no doubt that Ronny Deila wanted Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven.  We’ve tracked them for months, Ronny will have watched both players many times, John Collins will have watched them more often, and the entire scouting team will have [...]

Woody Allen and the Pope of Rome

There’s a moment in Woody Allan’s movie Bananas, after the leader of a military coup takes control, that he loses his faint grasp on rationality and plunges headlong into random nonsense.  He informs the inhabitants of his Latin American country that Swedish will be their new language and that underwear now should be worn as [...]

Ronny, get the job done. Thoroughly

Footballers often play two games a week but their peak fitness levels are achieved when the play once a week.  More often than that and the muscles don’t recover quickly enough.  Top players’ muscles are finely tuned to deliver 90 minutes of exertion.  To reach this peak, they NEED games as well as training.  It [...]

The language of defeat, crowd-sourced media management

Speaking at the weekend, Kenny McDowell looked ahead to the cup semi-final saying “We aren’t going into the game fearing a big defeat.  If anything we are going into the game knowing we’ll have to be on our guard and wary of that, but we are not going into it fearing of losing by a [...]

Populist instigators without a plan

Loved the statement issued by the ‘3 Bears’ last night.  They protest that their offer to Rangers International was superior to the offer from Sports Direct, which was accepted.  What the sharp-eyed PR wizard didn’t figure when delivering the statement, though, is: The board need 75% shareholder permission to dis-apply shareholder pre-emptive rights and create [...]

Cost of trying to manipulate Ashley clear

This morning’s stock market announcement that Rangers International received a £5m emergency loan from our pal Mike Ashley, with terms agreed (pending diligence) on a further £5m available if needed, will see the club through the next week. £3m of that £5m will go straight back to Ashley, to repay the loans he issued the [...]

How Stein managed big game weeks

I asked Archie Macpherson to speak about Jock Stein at CQN11, to mark the 50th anniversary of Jock’s appointment as Celtic manager, and then stayed quiet as he spoke.  One of the points he made was that Jock would have a news plan ahead of a big game. Good news would be held back until [...]

Why players betting on games is a serious offence

How do you find out that a footballer is betting on the game?  They don’t walk into bookies and hand a slip over at the counter, this stuff is all done on smartphones or by telephone. Betting information is protected by the Data Protection Act, the SFA have no authority to ask and bookmakers have [...]

Playing against Celtic, Fit and Proper moment ahead, crystal balls

The second half last night will be remember for the fact that right back Mikael Lustig came within the width of the crossbar of scoring a hat-trick, while left back Emilio Izaguirre also hit the crossbar – and was caught offside in the centre forward position.  The movement and energy levels required for this type [...]

Sky missed the target, Guidetti mojo

A place at the top of the league is the prize no offer for Celtic tonight, as well as the chance to atone for a couple of ropey performances earlier in the season.  The penalty-aided draw at Celtic Park against Motherwell was perhaps our worst display of the season, while a late collapse at Fir [...]

Armstrong, Convicted Dave, playing with fire

News that we are after a second Dundee United midfield player will prove popular, Stuart Armstrong has been tipped for progress for a couple of years.  He is another Ronny Deila-type player, a strong runner who can get up and down the field.  As usual, I’ll reserve judgement until we sign him, and I’ve had [...]

Back to the Future, when Celtic needed a fan to write a big cheque

It was Back to the Future on Saturday afternoon, listening to Aberdeen rescue a point against Dundee was more like 1985 than 2015.  TV highlights suggest Aberdeen pounded Dundee, but three excellent goals were enough for the visitors to set the stage for Celtic to return to the top of the league against Motherwell on [...]

Playing poker with a billionaire

Assuming Dave King has more than 50% of the shareholding in newco Rangers, what does Mike Ashley do knowing he will not be in charge of the club after an EGM in March? Take the defeat on one of his chins, let King’s lawyers loose on the merchandising and other deals he’s paid for and [...]

Timely boost as Mackay-Steven signs pre-contract

Delighted we have made the pre-contract signing of Gary Mackay-Steven.  Gary signed for Dundee United from Airdrie in 2011 as a 20-year-old and soon became a popular figure for United fans.  He has been one of several members of Jackie McNamara’s squad who has attracted attention this season and will be a loss to the [...]

Stadium, please, CQN11 launched today!

Before you start on the subject of the breaking news at the top of the page, we have a VERY important message lower down the page, so make sure you read the whole blog! Since Rangers first went into administration on St Valentine’s Day 2012 those seeking to phoenix the club have kept their eyes [...]

Murray coalescence with the financial, political, media sectors

“Crash and burn”.  That was the outcome I expected to await Murray International Holding’s (MIH) debt-fuelled expansion in the early part of the last decade.  This wasn’t entrepreneurship. Borrowing money to invest in a market which was on a long-term growth spurt, without consideration that your asset values could fall, was corporate vandalism.  It was [...]

The Ross Wallace Deployment

I’ve never treated the Ballon d’Or seriously, but would you be alarmed if your manager overlooked two of the most outstanding footballers of all time, to vote for one of the poor relations in an outstanding, if waning, Barcelona team. England manager, Roy Hodgson, is entitled to his opinion but in nominating Javier Mascherano, he’s [...]

A confident striker and a scared defender

John Guidetti has put himself out there by letting us know he’ll score a hat-trick in next month’s League Cup semi-final.  I’m not normally an advocate of showing confidence, if not contempt, for opponents prior to a game, but Guidetti’s comments come against a rich canvas. The player is in a rut and will be [...]

Kano, Rest in Peace

It is enormously sad news that our friend Kano, Martin Kane, succumbed to his illness this morning.  Kano was an ever-present on CQN for four years, on occasion writing our match reports, until illness struck in 2008.  He was left completely paralysed, eventually only able to communicate through a machine, requiring round the clock care. [...]

Supporting your ex, hurting the one you love, ballsy Ashley

I’ve plenty of sympathy for Niall McGinn for coming under pressure after being spotted at the Kilmarnock-Celtic game on Monday, but not in any way distressed.  Players watch former clubs all the time, it’s not even remotely an issue, but Niall is experiencing the cost of playing in a team at the top of the [...]

Hide your scarf, your ref for the League Cup semi

Q. So you were a Rangers season ticket holder, when did you stop? A. A few years ago.  I work weekends and was seldom getting to games. Q. How do you feel about how Rangers were treated in 2012? A. How do any of us feel?  It wasn’t our fault, one guy came in and [...]

Different tone from Celtic, Ashley’s men

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what was different from last night’s performance to our previous outing against Ross County, and so many this season.  Kris Commons was on from the start, but our tone of play was different, even as Kris limped on the side-lines during the opening minutes. How that tone was set is [...]

Hector on the ball at Ibrox

It is scarcely credible that directors of newco Rangers have failed to maintain National Insurance (and, I presume, PAYE) obligations to HMRC.  The arrival of a seven day winding-up notice from HRMC last week brings serious consequences for the listed company, who have now required three short-term loans for over the last two months. This [...]

Creative options

Since July I’ve written about the over-dependence we have on Kris Commons as a creative player.  He’s pretty much our only option, and if he’s not fancied, injured, suspended or just off-form, we look like a team full of energy but without a key to open the door. It may be that Ronny doesn’t figure [...]

Commons needed for busy February

Neil Lennon’s comments that he will need to sell at Bolton Wanderers before making a bid for Kris Commons, or anyone else, are welcome.  Celtic have four important games in the four weeks after this transfer window closes: home and away to Inter Milan, Aberdeen in the league, and a League Cup semi-final against newco [...]

The 31% non-takeover attempt

Dave King and three fans, Park, Letham and Taylor, have bought 31% of newco Rangers this week, to add to some minor shareholding previously held.  King and the others are not presenting themselves as acting in union, as that would force them to launch a formal takeover bid for all shares in the club.  So [...]

Aberdeen, getting a grip, Doncaster

I know I’m not the only one who was keen on a league challenge this season, preferably from Aberdeen, not the effervescent Hamilton Accies, who made some early running.  Aberdeen, of all other Scottish clubs, have the potential to push Celtic further. That all came tumbling down during the steak pie yesterday, as I watched [...]

State of the Club Report, year-end 2014

2014 saw Celtic win their third consecutive league title, but we didn’t reach either cup final.  A period of significant change got underway during the summer when we said farewell to Neil Lennon. Neil took over from Tony Mowbray, his first managerial appointment after working with the Youths at Lennoxtown.  His first season was the [...]

Creating and taking chances

I watched Hull batter Leicester City on TV last night without putting the ball in the net.  The sheer volume and quality of chances entitled Hull fans to some consolation in the valid football adage, ‘these days happen’.  Those absent from Celtic Park on Saturday are likely to assume we similarly battered Ross County, but [...]

It’s about cash, not a seat in the gazebo

Here’s the question: Potential investors offer to underwrite £6.5m worth of shares, around 30% of the club’s equity, at circa 16p per share, and require 2 seats on the board, what do you do? Money is welcome, but the existing shareholders may consider this particular offer poor value.  The first £3m will go to repay [...]

SFA, The Offshore Game, flogging assets

The SFA surprised many by refusing Mike Ashley permission to buy up to 29.9% of a second club.  As I said earlier in the week, don’t get too hung up on this one.  Ashley could play The Offshore Game, like the anonymised Blue Pitch or Margarita, or he could just do what he’s already done, [...]

You did this

After last week’s Celtic Foundation bucket collection at Celtic Park, my 12-year-old, who was collecting, was amazed that someone put a £20 note in his bucket.  He wanted to know why people do things like that. There are lots of possible reasons.  It’s the right thing to do, there are many in our community who [...]

Conflict of interest Ogilvie

As newco chief executive, Derek Llambias reported to his AGM yesterday, he meets the SFA today to discuss further involvement of Newcastle United owner, Mike Ashley at his club.  Ashley is nearing the end of a power-struggle between his faction, which appears to include the Easdale brothers, and pretty-much everyone else who goes to Ibrox, [...]

There’s your dinner! Newco are rubbish and plan to downsize

Prior to this morning’s AGM, which got underway a few minutes ago, Rangers International chairman David Somers issued a statement to the stock market, which he intended to reading at the meeting.  It contains powerful insight into reality at the club: “Graham Wallace (former chief exec) wrote a review [in which] he indicated a desire [...]

Ashley fait accompli

Tuesday’s Telegraph suggested Mike Ashley is about to increase his shareholding in newco to 29.9% via a share issue, in contravention of his agreement with the SFA on multiple ownership.  This morning the club informed the stock market the Ashely’s appointee, Derek Llambias, is now chief executive. The key passage in the Telegraph article is: [...]

Midweek change for Celtic

Busy article today, watch out for notes at the bottom on: Magners ticket competition for 27 December Mary’s Meals Malawi school kitchen appeal CQN Annual, final few posting days before….. CQN Christmas Raffle – winners have been drawn One of the resources Ronny Deila has been short of since taking over is training days.  Players [...]

Payoffs, what price silence in these circumstances?

There’s lots of understandable media interest in the anticipated parting of the ways of ‘Greatest (only) Ever Rangers Manager’ Ally McCoist and newco.  McCoist, as ever, has let it be known that he’s looking for a £400k golden handshake, which will almost certainly have the club offer more of its commercial assets to Mike Ashley [...]

Ranters regret, BDO and SPL £250k fine

Last week we shone a light on why newco may have withdrawn their ill-conceived rant against Dundee United over the SFA’s award of £204k to newco as Training Compensation for Charlie Telfer signed out of contract. Where Training Compensation is disputed, the SFA are obliged to award the losing club the entire amount of money [...]

SFA counsel checkmate on Tonev

When engaging in a civil case under Scots Law, where one witness’ testimony contradicts another, a sheriff will rule not just on what witnesses actually say, but on their demeanour, assertiveness, body language and other perceivable traits (I’m no lawyer but I’ve first-hand experience of this). Alek Tonev’s SFA Appeal panel, faced with contradictory evidence, [...]

History in a game

I know we met them in a European Cup semi-final in 1972, but the forthcoming tie against Inter Milan is all about the wonderful heritage we were gifted in 1967.  La Grande Inter, as Internazionale, then the greatest team Italy had known, had won two of the previous three European Cups and were controversially denied [...]

Inter Milan as Stein’s 50th looms

The last two teams out of the pots for today’s Europa League draw left to former European Champions.  Celtic will face Inter Milan, who they have met twice before in European competition.  The teams faced in the European Cup Final in 1967, when Celtic won the tournament, and again in the European Cup Semi-final in [...]

Scouting and development, from Lanarkshire to Dumfries

There’s some fresh enthusiasm in Lanarkshire this morning with the appointment of Englishman Ian Baraclough as Motherwell manager.  Baraclough had a couple of successful years with Sligo Rovers from 2012-14, winning their first title in decades, before things fell apart this year, but his role as a scout for Huddersfield over the last six months [...]

Celtic’s perils on show again

So are we surprised at last nights’ defeat?  There’s some surprise that we scored three goals away from home, which if we count Moscow, is becoming a habit, if an incredibly lax one, but I’m less surprised we shipped four, again.    Even at full strength, we are several players short of being able to play [...]

No one will ‘do a Regi’

Heading away from home in Europe, to a team who looked pretty decent at Celtic Park, when we’ve already qualified and have left players at home to train, or avoid suspension, would under many circumstances be a toxic portent for Celtic. We seldom travel well in group stage competition, nor when there is little at [...]

Training Compensation, withdrawn rant, Celtic action on the streets

Football clubs tie themselves in knots sometimes.  Newco Rangers fired off with an incorrect rant on the same club/new club debate yesterday, only to be told to withdraw it a couple of hours later – which they promptly did.  Dundee United signed Charlie Telfer on a free contract and were due to pay Training Compensation [...]

Billy and Davie on Caesar and the Assassin

Billy McNeill and Davie Hay met the press at Celtic Park yesterday, along with Alex Gordon, who authored their time as managers of Celtic.  It didn’t disappoint…… Billy was self-effacing as ever.  For all purposes, today he is an ordinary Celtic fan, so much so you need to remind yourself that there is nothing in [...]

Done in the name of Celtic fans

Saturday’s victory is unlikely to feature in the season’s highlights DVD but it was our ninth consecutive domestic win and despite a few shaky moments at the back we’ve conceded only twice during that run.  That compares to only three clean sheets in our nine previous domestic games. Despite selecting from the same personnel, Celtic [...]

CAS, Alloa McCoist, your bucket, Mouldy

Celtic box clever again, and the SFA know it.  Aleks Tonev, who has a strong east-European accent and limited English, denies uttering racist comments against Aberdeen.  Did he?  He might well have, for all I know, but, with only one person contradicting Tonev, the SFA have no idea either. When this issue first raised its [...]

Dirty battle between SFA and SPFL

The SFA put on a show yesterday, providing boxing and snooker promoter, Barry Hearn, with a stage to take aim at the SPFL.  I would urge caution when digesting Hearn’s words.  He took aim at some easy sounding targets, for example, the league not having a sponsor, but the league don’t have a sponsor by [...]

Celtic v Partick Thistle, Live updates

Live updates will appear below after 19:45. Signing event in Stirling Joe Miller will be at Waterstones in Stirling tomorrow (Thurs) from 5pm to sign copies of Caesar and the Assassin, Billy McNeill and Davie Hay’s account of managing Celtic from 1978 to 1991, told in their own words to Alex Gordon. Joe is a [...]

Dear Mrs Budge

Tynecastle has been a source of intolerant abuse for decades.  Visitors, including the Celtic support, have endured the most offensive behaviour imaginable.  This is ongoing and culminated in our manager being assaulted in his technical area recently. It is the easiest thing in the world to throw abuse at others while being blind to your [...]

Thistle, EU ruling, Belfast cyclists

We put an inordinate amount of goals past Partick Thistle in the League Cup in October, but Thistle responded well to that reversal, losing only once (by a single goal to Aberdeen) since.  They are a better team than John Guidetti made them look. As for Celtic, this is another opportunity to build on good [...]

McCann, for every tenner, WH Ireland

I know many of us are annoyed that a Celtic player, who didn’t appeal for a foul, is not being charged for inappropriately looking for one, is headline news today.  This is all a consequence of Sky Sports pundit Neil McCann’s insistence that John Guidetti cheated, while he simultaneously acknowledged Guidetti didn’t actually claim for [...]

Calibre gap, Uefa intervention, Celtic authors and bampots

We’ve been told since the summer not only that this season’s Championship would be more competitive than the Premiership (last week we covered the fact that it’s the least competitive league in Britain), but that the gap between the top of the Championship and the top of the Premiership would be narrow. Hearts are probably [...]

No complaints yet with Uefa over Ashley multi-ownership

Press stories yesterday that Newcastle United and newco Rangers would not be able to play in Uefa competitions in the same season have caused Mike Ashley considerable angst.  While it would appear few things are untenable for Ashley, having one of his clubs bow out of Europe to allow the other to compete is beyond [...]

Celtic planning now clear as season opens up

There was an unusual reaction at full time last night.  Some attempted to boo, but the applause from the majority in the crowd soon drowned them out.  Not all defeats are the same, this one came after one of our best performances of the season, against an undoubtedly better team. It was important to qualify [...]

Tickets please

Have we progressed since the early season shambles against Legia and Maribor?  Of course, we are winning regularly and playing with confidence, but it’s clear there’s also a lot more work to do.  Celtic’s best performance of the season so far was in Salzburg, a more favourable wind would have seen us leave with three [...]

Belief structure of the debt lunatics

The wisdom of Hearts owner Ann Budge’s comments to the BBC that “Borrowing money for a particular capital programme you can understand, but running up debts that are prevalent in football is beyond my understanding really” is now, in 2014, surely beyond dispute. Clubs are at liberty to borrow for infrastructure, or in exceptional circumstances, [...]

Time for Celtic to box clever

Salzburg got back to winning ways on Sunday after losing 4-1 away to third-placed Rheindorf Altach immediately before the international break.  The stats from that game are interesting.  Salzburg enjoyed 60% possession but Rheindorf forced 66% more chances by playing on the break, scoring twice in the closing 10 minutes as Salzburg pushed for an [...]

Premiership-Championship, financial fundamentals

We’re in the last week of November and one point separates Celtic, Inverness and Dundee United at the top of the table, with Hamilton a point behind.  Dundee, who put on a credible performance yesterday, sit alongside seventh placed Kilmarnock, nine points of the pace.  That’s more than half the league within nine points of [...]

Caesar & the Assassin, SFTBs review

Today, Setting Free The Bears reviews Caesar & the Assassin, the story of Billy McNeill and Davie Hay’s periods as Celtic manager, in their own words, published by Celtic Quick News. We’ve published a few books so far, telling some stories of our great players, or great events, but this book deals with the most [...]

Social Values headline Celtic AGM

Our Annual General Meeting, held at Celtic Park this morning, was a more prosaic affair than last year’s.  Chief executive, Peter Lawwell, told the meeting last season’s on-field and financial results were “fantastic” in difficult circumstances. He repeatedly referred to the “balance” required between immediate expenditure policies and judging the long-term requirements of the club, [...]

Malky, Craig, redundancies

I got it wrong on Malky MacKay.  In August I wrote, “Malky’s unforgivable sin is not racism, homophobia or anti-Semitism, these matters are often overlooked as ‘banter’, after all.  He’ll not get another job because he blew millions on players who were useless to Cardiff.  That’s the only kind of offence football really tales notice [...]

Outgoing First Minister’s selective criminalisation

I’m sure there are people all over England wondering why their manager is apologising for anti-IRA chants by England fans last night.  Someone likely pointed out to Roy Hodgson that his fans were breaking the law in Scotland by doing so, hundreds, if not thousands, could be criminalised this morning. Their names and addresses are [...]

Continually learning Gordon Strachan

I remember Scotland-England games being huge events.  They were proper derby games, fired up by a balance – a vastly more resourceful England were in the ascendancy, but Scotland had more wins in the history books.  Despite the odd hiding we thought we could take them. The Home International Championships probably ended at the right [...]

Check your outbuildings

Lots of speculation over the weekend that we’ll see Craig Gordon in goal for Scotland and Fraser Forster in for England tomorrow night.  I’m claiming the two of them as ‘ours’.  Big Fraser was a great Celtic goalkeeper and professional.  He deserves one last curtain call on the pitch that made him. I see Dick [...]

Oscar Knox Paving Stone

Last year at BMCUWP’s hootenanny in McChuills, many CQNers clubbed together and raised funds to buy something appropriate in memory of Wee Oscar. A fantastic amount was raised and we are delighted to announce a paving stone was purchased at very, very, favourable rates from Celtic, and now has its pride and place very close [...]

Arrests, Celtic nations, absurd fantasies, selling the silver

The BBC report that police in England detained four men in early morning raids in relation to an inquiry into the purchase of Rangers by Craig Whyte (not one of the four) from Sir David Murray. This one has been a slow burner so far and although this is a significant step, there are still [...]

Fifa, Keane, Davie Hay

And, they, gave us………. Davie Hay.  Enormous thanks to Davie Hay for coming onto the blog this morning.  It was great to read his responses on playing for and managing Celtic.  If you missed him, catch up from 09:44 here, you’ll enjoy it. At the risk of commenting on Roy Keane when few of us [...]

Donald, Ashley, cost of hubris laid bare

Delighted Aberdeen are now free of their “debt servicing burden” after long-term supporters Willie and Elaine Donald proposed to reduce net debt by an astonishing £14.9m.  The club have been able to service their debt but it’s been caught between paying for old overspends and driving ahead with a new stadium to provide for its [...]

Famine, LSE complaints, David, Billy and Henrik

I didn’t really know what to expect when I attended the launch of Peter Howson’s latest work on Brother Walfrid (more information here).  The headline item is a painting, which the artist attempts to capture the horrors of famine across the world, and the compassion which drove Walfrid to do something about the poor in [...]

Players and manager with common purpose

Could someone remind me the last time we heard rumours that Ronny Deila had players rebelling against him?  I heard it often, and put it to the club, but was told the players had bought-into the changes, then underway and largely unproductive.  I think we got our answer after the full-time whistle yesterday.  This is [...]

Improvements clear two weeks on from home Astra game

It’s a bit frustrating being so close to qualification for the knock out stages last night before a momentary lapse cost us late in the game, but there were plenty of positives.  60 minutes into last month’s game at Celtic Park against Astra, taking four points from them looked very ambitious.  We played considerably better [...]

Industrial performances, Ignorance of causality

Going by the looks of the photographs coming out of Romania today Ronny Deila and his players will be going a culture shock; the Stadionul Marin Anastasovici isn’t the Camp Nou, our more familiar European haunt. The industrial surroundings should set a tone for the players, though, and industrial performance is required tonight, where the [...]

Script written for Scepovic

With John Guidetti ineligible, Anthony Stokes is manager Ronny Deila’s first choice striker for Europa League action.  Anthony arrived at Glasgow Airport this morning but was sent home ill.  He was a certain starter, so whatever plans the manager made, a rethink is in order. Stefan Scepovic made his goal-scoring breakthrough against Astra last month, [...]

Resurrection of defensive bedrock, work done in your name

The bedrock Celtic built their record-breaking league win on last was the defence; we went months without conceding, serious chances for opponents were written up lustily.  A large part of the summer shambles was the contrasting nature of our defensive play; Legia Warsaw scored six but they also missed a hatful. While our results have [...]

Football’s better without manipulation

I’ve no fondness for Stuart McColl but I’m disappointed the wheels have fallen off Motherwell’s bogey this season.  Delivering two consecutive second place finishes in a league populated with mostly better finances teams was exceptional.  Over the last three years they have lost players instead of paying money they couldn’t afford, otherwise they would almost [...]

Tactical experimentation ahead of Romania

With Celtic a goal up midway through the second half yesterday, we tried something new.  The back four became a back three, with three sitting in front of them.  Adam Matthews pushed into right midfield leaving Izaguirre, Denayer and van Dijk across the back.  To the left of Matthews was Scott Brown and Charlie Mulgrew.  [...]

Tonev and racism in Scottish football

I’m not about to give you a character reference for Aleksandar Tonev, he may be prone to racist outburst, for all I know.  Society, and therefore football, still has a racism problem, just read how coolly Luis Suarez played addressing an opponent as “negro”.  The game has to react firmly when presented with racist banners, [...]

Guidetti the exceptional talent

We’ve had a few free kick experts in modern times.  Lubo was first.  He could hit them, and score with them, with either foot.  The man was a menace to opponents on many levels.  He also taught us that hitting the ball as hard as possible into an opponent’s body, standard fare for Celtic in [...]

Regional League concept gets an airing

Interested to read that “issues, such as the Regional League concept” were discussed at the 29 club European Club Association meeting, held at Celtic Park yesterday.  12 of the 13 nations present would all benefit from the regionalisation of their leagues, while Wales (and England) already participates in a regional league. We’ve seen a few [...]

The Hooper-Scepovic lesson

Gary Hooper has scored once in his last 23 appearances for Norwich City, an ultimately meaningless goal as his team lost that day.  Prior to that, he scored five in eight in games in which Norwich collected 10 points, while he opened his account for them with a brace in the League Cup against Watford.  [...]

Pay the piper, the most predicted self-harming on the planet

The early years of a new business are risky.  It doesn’t matter if you have the best product or service, or the potential to rule the world, it’s critically important you don’t run out of cash. The Rangers Football Club ran at a cash deficit from their first month’s trading.  Within six months of starting [...]

Result gives platform for progress

Last night’s win didn’t look on the cards until the opening goal; Astra were passing the ball better and creating as many chances as Celtic.  It looked like the game we expected – without Commons or Guidetti. However, we find ourselves top of the group with 7 points from 9 at the halfway point, having [...]

Commons needed against a packed defence

It’s been a while since Celtic have taken the field without Kris Commons or John Guidetti in the team.  Commons was absent through injury on Saturday while Guidetti was largely peripheral to proceedings after opening the scoring, but they are the two most capable match winners in the squad right now. With Guidetti ineligible I’m [...]

Cynical look at coupon busters

Astra started their season on a historical high, eliminating Lyon from European competition, but their 8 games since August have brought five defeats, two draws and a solitary win against opponents currently 14th place in the Romanian league. On paper this sounds as straightforward as previous European ties did against teams from Karagandy or Maribor [...]

Zaluska assault

I didn’t realise until this morning that the assault on Lukasz Zaluska’s assault by two premiership footballers was so serious as to have the player lying unconscious on the ground for several minutes.  The Celtic player was out in Glasgow with his wife Sunday night before the incident. Lukasz was singled-out for online abuse by [...]

Johansen takes control, bullying Ashley and Easdales

Since Ronny Deila became manager I’ve met a Norwegian journo a few times who has been keen to discuss our manager’s progress.  One of the points he’s continually made is about Stefan Johansen, who he insists is known as a creative midfielder in Norway, someone who regularly makes defence-splitting passes. Until recently, we’ve not seen [...]

Bitter sweet accounts

Detail in our annual accounts for the year to 30 June 2014, released yesterday, are bitter sweet.  It was a good year financially but the successes were underpinned by qualification for the Champions League.  This season’s revenue will be lucky to rise much above £50m, from last season’s £64m. I see lots of comment on [...]

FA Prem goes international below Uefa radar

The existence of the Premier League International Cup, a tournament for under-21s, which the FA Premier League launched this is a fascinating development.  It’s a toe in the water for the Premier League who are running a multi-nation tournament out-with the auspices of Uefa.  A consequence of excluding the European governing body is that all [...]

Master-class in subversion, Very successful managers

Surprised at the success our former (very successful) managers, Martin O’Neill and Gordon Strachan, are having on the international stage?  Perhaps a bit surprised they’ve figures out how to collect points away from home in Europe. Martin O’Neill will always be royalty at Celtic but after a couple of well-financed seasons at Aston Villa his [...]

We might begin looking like a team on Saturday

I’m sure Ronny Deila has used the international break to take in as many scouting games as possible, but he’ll be keen to see his players return to Lennoxtown, fit and available for selection. Adam Matthews spoke to Celtic media on possibly returning for Saturday’s game against Ross County.  Having not played since August he’ll [...]

Lennon a better manager than England appears to believe

I know what you’re thinking.  After the media heavyweights told you, on the day Neil Lennon resigned from Celtic, that he was going because he was unhappy with the amount of money he had to spend, pitching up at Bolton Wanderers is a bit curious.  What you were told that day was nonsense, deliberately headlined [...]

How not to stage a flashmob protest

If you’re going to stage a protest it’s better to make sure that it registers where it counts.  Turning up at a Sports Direct till with a pile of tracksuits, then only offering £1 for their purchase, might echo the transaction Mike Ashley completed for the naming rights of Ibrox, but if the tycoon even [...]

McGregor and managing form of young players

If you’ve not been following the work being done in your name in Malawi this week, do so here.  20 people arrived from Scotland early this week on behalf of the Celtic Foundation to renovate six centres which feed children ages five and under.  They are also building a latrine (pretty sure this is a [...]

Sports retailing and spending what you earn

You get the sense that the Sword of Damocles is hanging over Newco Rangers.  Some wondered about the sense in Mike Ashley controversially renaming Ibrox as the rumoured ‘Sports Direct Outlet Village’ but having bought the rights to do so for £1, he is now able to leverage this detail in his earlier loan. He [...]

La Liga president steps into Catalonia debate

President of La Liga in Spain has stepped into the Catalonian independence referendum debate by saying if Catalonia became independent clubs from that region, notably Barcelona and Espanyol, would have to leave the Spanish league and compete within their new domestic boundaries. This claim is without foundation as multinational ‘domestic’ leagues are authorised by Uefa, [...]

Keane wanted/unwanted

Roy Keane’s “Celtic wanted me but they weren’t showing how much they wanted me” comment in his second autobiography about being courted to replace Neil Lennon as our manager in the summer is no doubt accurate on one level, but inaccurate on another.  Some within Celtic certainly wanted him, but I’m sure the reticence he [...]

Deila, Lennon, Le Guen and George Weah’s many cousins

Back in October 2011 I was for calling an end to the Neil Lennon experiment.  During the previous season he lost the league after a late collapse, while exiting Europe in August after defeats to Braga and Utrecht.  That season Sion’s insistence in not playing by the rules allowed us a backdoor ticket to the [...]

Respect deserved

We’ve seen a few difficult games against Hamilton Accies in recent years, including what proved to be a costly draw after being denied a late winner at New Douglas Park, but we’ve never met them in this form. Hamilton have the longest unbeaten run in Scotland.  They lost their opening league game of the season, [...]

Clear improvement from Celtic

Celtic held the ball for around 60 seconds at the 75 minute mark last night, and, thinking a corner had been turned, I thought “That’s been a difficult half hour since halftime but we’ve come through it”.  Dinamo Zagreb soon claimed back control in the middle of the park and the game reverted to form. [...]

Shut them up, Celtic

Celtic’s season will open up if they can take Dinamo Zagreb down a peg or two tonight.  The Croatian champions have read the stories about the debacle against Legia and subsequent humbling by Maribor, who turned out to be anything but humble, if their draw away to Schalke this week in the Champions League is [...]

European football disinformation

I’m hoping suggestions Stefan Scepovic and Kris Commons are struggling for fitness for Thursday is a classic attempt at European football disinformation. Back in July I wrote about Commons “dependence on one creative talent feels like an unnecessary vulnerability”.  We remain (unnecessarily) dependent on our only creative talent, as subsequent games without him have established.  [...]

Defending to win against Zagreb, Sevco roulette

Dinamo Zagreb dropped points for the second time in 10 league games this season on Saturday when they drew a blank against bottom of the table Slaven Koprivnica.  Slaven took only one point from five league games in August, and lost heavily to Zagreb on the opening day of the season, but have tightened up [...]

Dunfermline catches up with former BoS Masterton

Gavin Masterton, who as managing director of Bank of Scotland in the 1990s, was one of the financial lynchpins behind the issuance of credit to some of the leading investors in Scottish football, and was responsible for what was seen as reluctance to extend competitive terms to Celtic AFTER Fergus McCann’s takeover, today issued notice [...]

Consistency needed before talk of trebles

This is the last day to complete our survey into who we, the Celtic community, are, our thoughts, values and where we came from.  It’s a short, anonymous, survey, with questions on the Living Wage, the Offensive Behaviour Act, Resolution 12 and other topics, including your view on last week’s referendum. Thousands of people have [...]

Concerns remain after first clean sheet in 9

Last night’s convincing win was exactly what was needed.  Hearts were subjugated by three goals and an avalanche of chances, John Guidetti got off the mark and we kept a clean sheet after eight games without one. We are a lot more potent up front than we were a month ago and the return of [...]

The Celtic Park theatre

Slightly annoyed at being moved from the Upper North tonight but after experiences of League Cup games at this time of the season against Partick, Falkirk and Morton, it’s probably no bad thing that atmosphere is concentrated up close and personal to the field.  Celtic Park can be an intimidating theatre, but League Cup nights [...]

Hugely important League Cup tie

We have had games which were hugely important to the club, and to our new manager, some which were ‘must win’ games, which were ultimately lost, but tomorrow’s League Cup tie against Hearts is a must win game for different reasons. A year ago we lost in this competition to one of the worst teams [...]

Ronny, this is your starting point

Ronny Deila seems to be more upset at the poor performance yesterday than I was. My expectation on hearing the team matched what we saw. We have taken big steps to turn things around in recent weeks but, Ronny, this is your starting point, and it’s not as high as you might have thought. Hopefully [...]

Textbook away performance, Brand Britain

I was a bit annoyed at BT’s halftime analysis which suggested Celtic were more than fortunate to be level at that stage.  Salzburg had just enjoyed their best 15 minute period of the game, but, from beginning to end, Celtic’s performance was a textbook lesson on how to play away from home in Europe.  We took [...]

The day has come

Celtic’s primary job tonight is to defend properly, something we have singularly failed to do this season to anything like the levels achieved last term.  This is not solely to do with the defence, and has nothing to do with the goalkeeper (who missed the Legia debacle), but is a function of the entire team. [...]

Deila and Hutter bedding into their new teams

There are parallels between Salzburg and Celtic.  After an outstanding season Salzburg lost their coach, Roger Schmidt, in May to Bayer Leverkusen, appointing Adolf Hutter (commentators beware), who previously managed Austrian Bundesliga club Grodig and is largely unknown outside Austria. Unlike Ronny Deila, Hutter has not tried to change Salzburg’s system, but the period of [...]

Defences, views and runs

We can take some comfort in the fact that Salzburg have lost three games on the bounce but they sit in second spot in the Austrian Bundesliga, Celtic are fourth in the Scottish Premiership and have won only one of their previous five games.  The Austrians will see just as much comfort in our form. [...]

Who we are and our values

For some months now, a CQN’er and academic has prepared a project to identify who we, the Celtic support, are in 2014, what our views are, where we come from and how closely our objectives align with the Club. The project takes the form of a questionnaire, which asks some personal questions, like your political [...]

Profitable Celtic accounts last year despite revenue dip

Celtic released their financial results for the year to 30 June 2014 this afternoon.  The club remained profitable to the tune of £11.17m (2013: £9.74m) despite a 14$ drop in revenue to £64.74m.  The net cash position at the end of the year was hardly changed from the previous year at £3.83m. Football and stadium [...]

Riches available for Ronny, now let Imran retire to Charlotte Sq

The point was made several times below yesterday’s article that Ronny Deila needs a full strength team on the park tomorrow, as well as an impressive performance and result, which is hard to argue with. The possibility that Scott Brown could return, as well as potential debuts for Aleks Tonev, Wakaso Mubarak, Stefan Scepovic and [...]

Ronny’s Aberdeen-Salzburg dilemma

Before the second leg against Maribor I went into detail about how important it was for Ronny Deila to rest his players.  He did, we lost to Inverness and players spent the bulk the Maribor game looking like strangers. Since then players’ propensity to look strangers has increased, with the arrival of Stefan Scepovic, John [...]

ECA, Interpol, another day at the office for Scottish football

Pleased to see the Club recognised for CelticLive, the stadium WiFi and content imitative by the European Club Association.  Anything which builds our profile at the ECA is welcome. Today’s Telegraph assures us Newco Rangers chief executive, Graham Wallace, is set to  leave the club with his plans to raise £4m at a pending share [...]

Scots clubs exclusion from UK market ferments disaffection

Amid all the debate about oil, currency, pensions and a million other items, I’m surprised higher questions have not been asked about our cultural identity.  I’ve never said I’m British in my life, I’m Scottish, but the full story is more subtle than that. Despite being a football fan, a Scot and a Gordon Strachan [...]

Anchored by Foundation

The sun shone, McStay’s Maestro’s ‘Celtic’ won from being two goals down and 25,000 people contributed to War Child, Unicef and the Rio Ferdinand Foundation.  Yesterday was another defining yardstick on the Celtic journey. Getting the balance of these games right, in order to provide an actual ‘match’, is difficult, but the two sides managed [...]

Warning from Blue Knights comes home to roost

o Newco Rangers have £1.2m in the bank and the courts have just arrested £620k, leaving circa £600k available.  In early September.  Football clubs have their cash high water mark in June, after season ticket money arrives, with the low-point coming the month before, so is liquidation just around the corner?  Not necessarily. The club [...]

Prevailing attitude of hunger

Judging by these quotes, John Guidetti may just be the most excited footballer on the planet right now: “I’m just going to work my socks off…. do my absolute very best…. give 100%. “The one thing I hate more than anything is losing. I can’t stand it. “For 90 minutes I am always giving everything. [...]

There’s only one John Guidetti

I’m beginning to believe some of the ‘Unseen..’ paranoia that goes around town myself.  Absolutely delighted, and a bit surprised, Fifa ratified John Guidetti’s transfer to Celtic.  He’s a player we have tried to buy for three consecutive summer transfer windows; this guy has been watched, courted and pursued by Celtic, Feyenoord, Ajax and no [...]

Long term more important with Guidetti

The most important news concerning John Guidetti is no longer whether Fifa recognise his registration, it’s whether John is keen to remain in Glasgow beyond May next year. The player is not eligible for the Europa League group stage, and it is not critically important he joins for Premiership football in the first half of [...]

The summer 2014 Transfer Window

Last month I wrote about the highly-effective transfer windows culminating with the capture of Mikael Lustig in January 2012.  The list of those who arrived over the next 18 months, culminating in the signature of Teemu Pukki on 31 August 2013, is largely a catalogue of expensive mishap.  If only one of of the strikers [...]

Guidetti awaits Fifa, Scepovic held nerve

Celtic await ratification of Guidetti’s transfer by the SFA.  The player travelled to Glasgow yesterday afternoon and quickly concluded a deal with Celtic, but it took until late in the evening before paperwork arrived from Manchester. Aware of the delay, Celtic applied to the SFA for an extension.  The SFA authorised the extension and subsequently [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Sept 2, 2014

Celtic Land £2.3m Scepovic But Guidetti Loan Deal looks a No-Go. Delayed paperwork at Man City end cited as contributing to late registration. Celts hoping for an SFA appeal to FIFA. (Evening Times) Celtic Sign Stefan Scepovic At The Second Attempt. Celts miss out on Falcao, but land on-off-on again Serbian hitman. (Sky) John Guidetti [...]

Guidetti and Scepovic complete Celtic line-up

Things looked touch and go earlier today but Celtic pulled a late double swoop to sign John Guidetti on loan from Manchester City, and Stefan Scepovic on a four year deal from Sporting Gijon.  Guidetti has been a Celtic transfer rumour since his 20 goals in 23 games stint at Feyenoord as a teenager in [...]

Lessons from Jerry Maguire

News that a striker reneged on a verbal commitment to join the club 24 hours before deadline day should surprise no one.  Think back to that line from Jerry Maguire, when Jerry’s girlfriend hears he had secured a representative deal on a handshake, not an actual contract.  The agent’s reminder of Lesson One in business [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Sept 1, 2014

Blow For Celtic as Stefan Scepovic Deal Collapses. It’s reported that Serb striker has walked away from a 4 year deal with Celtic at the last minute. (Scotsman) Griffiths Scores First Goal Under Ronny Deila. Watch Lee tie up the game against Dundee. (SPFL) Dundee 1-1 Celtic. Match report including interview with the managers. (BBC)

QUICK NEWS Aug 31, 2014

Dundee V Celtic Preview. (Teamtalk) Celtic Need to Show More Humility. More comments from the Chief Exec. and Ronny. (Scotsman)

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Aug 30, 2014

Lawwell: Celtic Among Best-Run Clubs in World. Interview with Celtic CEO. (Scotsman) Lawwell Says He Will Fight To Keep Van Dijk and Commons. Celtic want Van Dijk to stay at club. Also they  will open contract extension negotiations with Kris Commons agent on Tuesday. (Herald) Europa League Calendar. Group stage dates and fixtures. (uefa.com) New [...]

Europa door ajar for Celtic

When we drew Maribor I wrote about their performance in last season’s Europa League, when they were eliminated by eventual winners, Sevilla.  Our man, Blaz, in Slovenia, also warned me that this was a settled team who had improved since ending Rangers’ interest in European football three years ago. I watched Red Bull Salzburg destroy [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Aug 29, 2014

Celtic Finalise Deal For Scepovic. Transfer completed for 24 yr old Serbian striker. (Evening Times) Wakaso Mubarak Eager To Show Strengths At Celtic. Winger with a passion to excel joins Celts on season-long loan. (Scotsman)  

Mubarak brings echoes of another adamant player

Occasionally an innocuous comment left here can stay with you for years.  The day following the 2005 defeat in Bratislava someone wrote, “I suspect we’ll find an injury in Nakamura’s fitness test”.  The player was scheduled to sign imminently, but with Champions League income looking unlikely, doubts emerged that Celtic would pay the money. Soon [...]

Unfathomable collapse from Celtic

Surprised?  Well, yes.  This was a no-contest early-on in Maribor last week.  Even though Celtic didn’t come home with the win, the chances, balance of possession and play, were well in their favour.  A defeat last night was never out of the question, but it was the nature of the defeat that was most concerning.  [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Aug 27, 2014

Celtic Boss Ronny Deila: We Deserved to go Out’. Ronny confirms what we all know: ‘We are not good enough for the Champions League’. (Scotsman) Deila Pragmatic After  Exit. Post match interview. (Teamtalk)

Our α and Ω

I’m getting beside myself with annoyance at the emergence of blog and online distractions ahead of the most important game of the season.  Darling-Salmond do not get my heart pounding, Henrik Larsson’s summer conversation with Celtic (he was asked if he was interested, he said he’s not ready, nothing more than that), and despite the [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Aug 26, 2014

Ronny Deila’s £20m Decision for Celtic in UCL. Ronny has major decisions to make in terms of formation, tactics, how aggressive to be, how to balance the team in the crucial Champions League team. (Scotsman) Simundza: Pressure is on Celtic. Maribor coach says the partisan Parkhead crowd will not faze his team. He expects Celtic [...]

Maribor fatigue levels

While Maribor were clearly second best at home to Celtic last week they remain a potent threat to our season.  You can be sure they’ve watched every minute of every game Celtic have played this season and will have dissected each defensive lapse.  Our acknowledged weaknesses – primarily a defence which has yet to find [...]

Celtic player luxury not afforded to Maribor

While Ronny Deila rested 10 players ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League play-off decider, Maribor changed only four players for their 3-0 win over Zavrc, who were three points ahead of them on the Slovenian league.  Wednesday’s goalscorer, Bohar, was replaced midway through the second half, while Tavares came on for the last 10 minutes. Whatever [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Aug 24, 2014

Celtic Youngster Callum McGregor Relishes the Spotlight. 21-year-old midfielder has been a revelation this season and he is loving it. (Daily Express) Ronny Deila Urges Authorities to Look at Scandinavian Model When Scheduling League Calendar. Boss makes a case for summer football. (Telegraph) Callum McGregor is £20m Man for Celtic. Ronny loves players who continuously [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Aug 23, 2014

Celtic Near Stefan Scepovic Transfer As Newcastle Back Off Virgil Van Dijk. Speculation that Celts are in pole position to land Serbian striker. (Daily Express) Jo Inge Berget Boosted By Standard Of Scots Game. Norwegian forward says he is impressed with the football in Scotland so far. Doesn’t know much about the league leaders Inverness, [...]

Emerging talent, Slovenian reaction, footballs morals

Delighted to hear Ronny Deila is planning to rest players ahead of Tuesday’s Cup Final.  There is plenty to be gained from playing the next wave of Callum McGregors at Inverness tomorrow, and little to be lost in the league race. Our unique position in world football, a club who are so massively bigger than [...]

Pass and move Celtic click into gear

Last night’s performance was a vast improvement on the horrible displays against Legia and gave us our second insight (after United) into how Ronny Deila is changing the way Celtic play football. Key to the performance was the movement of his two Norwegians, Stefan Johansen and Jo Inge Berget, Callum McGregor and Beram Kayal.  Johansen, [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Aug 21, 2014

Deila: We Deserved A Win. Post match interview with Ronny. (Sky) Gordon Happy With a Draw. Craig comments after the game. (Sky) Ronny Deila Calls on Celtic Fans To Roar His Team into Champions League Group Stages After Draw Against Maribor. With the away goal in hand, the manager believes the fans backing at Paradise [...]

Opportunity to claim a great Celtic reputation

Within a few hours the first leg of our Summer Cup Final will be upon us.  Make no mistake about it, these are the biggest games of our season. The players and manager have learned plenty about European football over the last four weeks to know the scale of the task.  Maribor will be given [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Aug 20, 2014

Anthony Stokes Vows to ‘Move on and Make Amends’. Anthony’s pre-game thoughts. (Scotsman) Champions League: Tough Experience For Celtic – Ronny Deila. Video sound bite of Ronny’s pre-match interview. (BBC) Fergus McCann – Celtic In Good Shape. The Bunnet talks about his view of the current Celtic club and how he’s more interested in how [...]

Hamstrung, Great Irony, Unicef, War Child

On his third appearance back after injury, James Forrest pulled-up in the dying moments of Saturday’s game clutching his hamstring.  The player will be devastated but the mood was no better among those walking away from the stadium minutes later.  Just as James was back and planning for what looked like an important season in [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Aug 19, 2014

Legia Warsaw Fail Champions League Appeal and Boerrigter Accepts a Two-Game Ban for Diving. Legia’s last chance appeal to CAS dismissed. With the CL gift in their hands, its now up to Celtic to grab it or squander it. Derk accepts SFA offer of 2 games out for simulation charge. (Daily Express) Celtic Face Race [...]

Maribor boo boy keeper and star men

Maribor are currently playing monopoly with the Slovenian league, having won four titles in a row, and have a very settled, experienced, team. The season before they eliminated Rangers into oblivion in 2011 they defeated Hibernian home and away, who had Anthony Stokes in their side.  It’s worth noting that Edinburgh police arrested 30 Maribor [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Aug 17, 2014

Rampant Celtic Hit United For Six. Video highlights of the game (SPFL) Deila Wants Squad To Lose Weight, Speed Up. Ronny’s philosophy about fitness. (Scotsman)

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Aug 16, 2014

Ronny Deila Reveals Personal Sacrifice in Living Celtic Dream. Ronny talks about living Celtic 24/7, how he’s settling in Glasgow and missing his family. (Telegraph) Tottenham Boss Mauricio Pochettino Made Stars Do Triple Training and Walk Over Hot Coals. His Methods Pay But Players Say… He Works You Like a Dog. The approach of a [...]

Bitterest pill, hilarious, angry, ranting

News that the Maribor game later this month is on the season book has setup a dramatic climax to what will be remembered for decades as a remarkable month in our history.  We didn’t ask for this situation.  As we drifted away from Murrayfield, our thoughts were only of Celtic’s abject display, but nine days [...]

Celtic growing into their skin, more on Maribor

You could see Celtic mature during last night’s game.  They were defensively solid during the first half, and Craig Gordon was assured throughout, but for the best part of an hour we scarcely tested St Johnstone. That changed after the goal, which arrived just as St Johnstone were enjoying their best period of the game.  [...]

Maribor, St Johnstone and resolving Murrayfield

Did you watch the European Super Cup from Cardiff last night?  Europa League champions Sevilla lost out to Real Madrid but the team from Andalucía got there after beating Maribor 4-3 on aggregate.  The Slovenian’s narrow defeat deserves some context: Sevilla also eliminated Real Betis, Porto, Valencia and Benfica. Make no mistake, we’re up against [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Aug 13, 2014

Polish FA Chief Brands Legia Incompetent As It Emerges Ineligible Defender Raised Suspension Issue BEFORE Match That Got Them Axed. Apparently the player questioned suspension with his club before the Celtic game. Boniek and the suspended player have no issue with Celtic. Ronny Deila: Celtic Will Be Careful With Their Money in ‘Tough Market’. Interview [...]

Legia less appealing, Man City under-grad

Surprised we got two in yesterday, as Manchester City under-grad, Jason Denayer, signed for a year-long loan last night.  The 19-year-old has yet to play first team football so is likely to be considered as backup at Celtic, though reports are promising. Not surprised that Legia Warsaw have lodged an appeal to Uefa to be [...]

Tonev arrives after a season long chase

A year after trying and failing to sign him from Lech Poznan, Celtic have secured the services of Aleksandar Tonev from Aston Villa.  Tonev has blistering pace, a right footer who is usually used on the left, he is an archetypal counter-attacking player. The player’s profile blossomed during the first six months of 2013, in [...]

Celtic should appeal to Uefa to change processes, fudge doughnuts

I’m not convinced that any meeting of minds between Celtic and Legia Warsaw to allow the latter to take the place of the former in the Champions League play-off round would be recognised by Uefa.  Having researched as thoroughly as possible, I’ve found no precedent for such an arrangement to be invoked. It would, therefore, [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Aug 11, 2014

Celtic Bring In Tonev On Year-Long Loan Deal. Versatile winger Aleksandar Tonev to sign for the Hoops? (Evening Times) Player Profile. Some stats on Tonev. (Transfer Markt).  

Legia frustration spills onto Celtic

In a press conference today, Legia major shareholder, Dariusz Mioduski, has been scathing about Celtic, who benefited from Legia’s mistake last week.  Perhaps his most important comment was, “The football family of Legia are all suffering now.  Their dreams are shattered, it’s against football values”. There can be no doubt that Legia are suffering and [...]

La Gran Muralla, a genuine Celtic hero

Fraser Forster had a daily routine which verged on OCD.  He rose at 6:00, ate his first meal of the day, drove to Lennoxtown (while eating six pancakes, as it happens), then worked-out in the gym.  He stopped for ‘breakfast’ with the rest of the team, his third intake of the day, before training started [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Aug 9, 2014

Southampton Set To Sign Fraser Forster For £10m From Celtic. Adios, La Gran Muralla. (Guardian) Ronny Deila: Celtic Will Grab Second Bite Of Champions League Cherry.  Manager says time to start winning, gelling and defend well. (Daily Express)

Maribor slight favourites

Celtic will face Maribor from Slovenia in the Champions League play-off round.  Maribor, of course, played a critical part in the death of Rangers, when they eliminated Ally MsCoist’s team from Europe a few months after Craig Whyte took over from Sir David Murray.  Having heard the 6-1 aggregate result against Legia, they are already [...]

Lady luck, £5m decision, HMRC

Sion had their elimination coming, totally banged to rights.  Legia made a stupid mistake which came to light after two of the most impressive and important victories in their recent history.  Football can be a cruel game.  I’m genuinely gutted for them. Notwithstanding that, after we read the rules and found precedents the outcome was [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Aug 8, 2014

Celtic Could Be Back In Champions League. Never a dull moment with the Bhoys, who could know their fate this morning. (Daily Express) Poor Squad And Manager’s Experience Cost Celtic. Difficult time for Celtic caused by multiple factors. (Scotsman)

Decline goes back to January 2012

It feels like rock bottom this morning and, as far as Europe is concerned, it probably is.  The ties against Legia were our worst performances in Europe.  Neuchâtel has a horrible 90 minutes, Artmedia was a 20 minute collapse, and we beat Utrecht comfortably at home, but this was abject over two games. There are [...]

Celtic have enough in the tank

The most important aspect about team plan for tonight will be the balancing act between aggression and discipline.  Celtic need to get in about Legia without losing discipline.  Legia roped us in perfectly last week.  A buoyant home crowd fed off meaty challenges but when the red mist rose, they adopted choir boy looks.  We [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Aug 6, 2014

Duda: St. Patrick’s Better Than Celtic. Legia midfielder doesn’t rate Celtic. (Herald) Ronny Deila Believes Celtic Can Beat Legia Warsaw. Pre-match video interview with Ronny. (TV3 NZ) Premier League Planning European Under-21 Tournament For New Season. Celts invited by EPL to participate with a select group of clubs in newly proposed competition. (Guardian)

Performing with an edge, naked opportunism

If you were a professional football player, you would love to be in the Celtic dressing room tomorrow evening.  You would have the perfect opportunity to challenge yourself; put in a big, meaningful performance.  Record a bit of history and create a uniquely memorable victory. There are some players who are fraught with anxiety on [...]

Turning under-performance into awesomeness

I’m reliably informed Legia will not ‘park the bus’ on Wednesday.  Instead, with a three goal lead, they have enough legroom to play their normal game, attempt to compete in the middle of the park, and expose holes at the back, as they did last week.  What’s more, they’re unsure they would be able to [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Aug 3, 2014

Celtic V Legia Warsaw: First-Leg Flak Deserved. While it was all-change in the football management side, a  huge mistake was not to play safe and go with limited team change and away tactics in Warsaw, to avoid a predictable banana skin. (Scotsman) Goalkeepers ‘Gamblers’ Fallacy” Impacts Penalty Shoot-outs. Interesting research into goalkeeper tendencies at penalties. [...]

Time to pair Lustig and VVD in central defence

This afternoon’s friendly against Tottenham Hotspur gives Ronny Deila a dilemma.  Last weekend he played a second string against St Pauli, but with things going so wrong in Warsaw on Wednesday, the pressure is on to pull a game plan together which will work at Murrayfield. Our other concern is that the squad, without Ambrose, [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Aug 2, 2014

John Collins: Celtic Won’t Make Panic Buys Despite Defeat In Poland. Asst. Manager speaks to press before team leaves Glasgow airport. (STV) Ronny Deila Will Recover From Poor Start As Boss Of Celtic, Says Assistant John Collins.  Ronny is resilient and will get over the Legia result. He stayed in Scotland to take the first [...]

Parallels with Artmedia offer hope to Ronny Deila

On the road this week so today’s blog is by author Stephen O’Donnell: Pick the bones out of that! I didn’t see Legia against St. Patrick’s Athletic in the previous qualifying round, but by all accounts they were fairly unimpressive, even in winning 5 – 0 in Dublin. I was even tempted to have a [...]

Defensive and tactical failure

This was a defensive and tactical failure.  Efe Ambrose was slow to follow his man for the first goal (Fraser was the beaten easily, though redeemed himself later).  Efe was also brushed off the ball at the second goal.  Strength in the six yard box is imperative for a central defender. Mikael Lustig was caught [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update July 3, 2014

Celtic Lose 4-1 To Legia Warsaw In Champions League. Video of the goals from last’s night game (Channel 3, NZ)) Ronny Deila Fumes After Celtic Are Thrashed 4-1 By Legia Warsaw In Champions League Qualifier. Manager lays blame on himself and players after disastrous performance. (Daily Mail)

Tensions and preparations ahead of first big test

As Ronny Deila chose to leave first team players to their training duties, instead taking a fringe squad for Saturday’s friendly against St Pauli, Norwegian compatriot, Henning Berg, had a league game in Cracow, which Legia won comfortably. Playing games is the best way to improve fitness but two games per week comes at a [...]

A number 10

A journalist friend in Norway tells me Jo Inge Berget is a traditional no. 10, not a striker. We need both. Kris Commons fills the creative roll almost exclusively, we need someone to share the burden, but we still need a strong, penalty box striker, who can stand up to the pressures of Champions League [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update July 29, 2014

Jo Inge Berget Profile. Stats on the new Bhoy. (Transfer Markt) Celtic Boss Deila Appoints Lunov As First-Team Coach. Haakon joins Ronny and John Collins on the bench, as the new manager continues to bring his modern approach to the team. (Evening Times)

Jo Inge Berget in ahead of Legia

As always, it’s important to get the players you want, not end up with fourth or fifth choice, so on that measure, I’m happy Ronny Deila has secured a player he knows well. Jo Inge Berget is a wide attacking player, who will fit into the manager’s high-tempo, pressing, style of play. The deal, a [...]

Standard Watt

Two years ago, Tony Watt was putting a light under our fire. The debut goals at Motherwell, the point rescued at Dingwall, then came THAT goal, his future looked secure, but it’s been downhill since. Tony has the athletic abilities to be a firm favourite, but Neil Lennon shipped him out a year ago, amid [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update July 28, 2014

Celtic Agree Fee Of £1.2m With Standard Liege For Striker Tony Watt. Belgian club who have been tracking Tony are reported to have landed him. (Daily Mail) Deila Views Legia As Huge Obstacle For Celtic. Manager speaks respectfully of next round opponents. (Scotsman)

QUICK NEWS 5am Update July 27, 2014

‘I’m Not The New Broony’, Says Stefan Johansen. Stefan talks about his midfield role, what he needs to improve, and Ronny. (Scotsman) Henning Berg: Celtic Are The Better Side. Legia Warsaw manager thinks the Polish league is better than the SPFL, but Celtic are a step above his own team. (Daily Express)

St Pauli 1-0 Celtic

By Alex Gordon. A DREADFUL penalty-kick miss by Bahrudin Atajic condemned Ronny Deila to his first defeat as Celtic manager. The Bosnian striker had the ideal opportunity to level the scores four minutes from time after substitute Paul McMullan had been downed in the box. Unfortunately, Atajic blazed his spot-kick over the bar into the [...]

Scottish football on solid ground

Any away win by a Scottish club in the Netherlands is noteworthy but Aberdeen’s win last night is even more significant. It is a sign that a recovery is underway in one of Scottish football’s perennial underachievers. St Johnstone’s result is more of the same after last year’s achievements. Motherwell’s sorry exit is a lesson [...]

Legia looming

Celtic have played four games against Polish opposition, losing to Legia Warsaw and Wisla Crakow in 2006 friendlies, drawing thanks to a very late Kenny Dalglish goal against Wislaw, before losing the return game. We’re going to need to break new ground if we’re to reach the Champions League play-off round. As I predicted, you [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update July 23, 2014

Things Get Freaky In Auld Reekie As Celtic Visit. It wasn’t Paradise, it was different alright,  but Celtic and their fans had fun in the capital. (Scotsman) Virgil Van Dijk And Teemu Pukki Strike Twice For Bhoys As Ronny Deila’s Side Secure Place In Third Round Of Champions League Qualifying. Game summary and pics of [...]

Festival day for Celtic

There’s going to be a Festival atmosphere as Celtic make their home in Edinburgh for the first time tonight. With the away win already secured, and the opposition little more than tourists, we’ll see little of what Ronny Deila has in store for us this season. Get through early, car pool, or take bus or [...]

Jetsam, flotsam and aggregated insight

Great to see so many names from years ago back on the blog yesterday.  As well as the jetsam and flotsam of life at Celtic, there have been times when the blog has had real value to the few, and occasionally, to the many.  Once or twice, we’ve made a real difference to our club. [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update July 21, 2014

Celtic’s Kris Commons Named In Europe’s Top 25. Kris keeps top company in UEFA’s Best Player in Europe award. (Scotsman) Celtic Will Find Murrayfield Pitch Perfect. Scotland rugby player says the Bhoys will be happy with the new hybrid pitch laid at Murrayfield. (Scotsman)

Celtic yesterday, today, forever

The changes over the last decade have been so profound, and are now so established, it’s difficult to recall how different the balance of power was back then.  In 2004, a small handful of people had complete control over the Celtic media narrative. Was Martin O’Neill going to Leeds United?  He was, you were told [...]

Better have Dresden expose some weaknesses

Technically we’re not preseason anymore, but today’s friendly away to Dynamo Dresden is an important step.  There are six weeks before the end of August, with five Champions League qualifier match days in that time. Tuesday’s gentle introduction to competitive challenges was probably a good place to start for Celtic, this week’s run-out at Murrayfield [...]

Anywhere but Warsaw

My thought on looking at our potential opponents this morning was ‘Anywhere but Warsaw’.  Our man Zbyszek tells me Legia were awful in the first leg in Warsaw against St Pat’s, where they drew 1-1 courtesy of a late goal, but we’ve been there.  Henrik Larsson & Co. drew 0-0 against St Pat’s at Celtic [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update July 18, 2014

Efe Ambrose Says He’s Always Raring to Go. “Because He’s Efe”, Celts centre back’s perpetual motion capacity and can-do attitude means that no matter if he’s playing in the World Cup or against a relatively unknown team, he is always switched on. (Scotsman) Efe Ambrose. Back from the World Cup, Efe speaks to the media [...]

Changing the World, one game at a time

We have a combined book review/Mary’s Meals promotion today.  Celtic fan and politician, Jim Murphy, has written an excellent book, The 10 Football Matches That Changed The World.  It’s in my top three books on the game (as opposed to a player), and gives insight into the deadly intimidation which sparked the Barcelona-Real Madrid rivalry, [...]

More cunning than Tiger Woods at a cocktail bar

I’ve been meaning to speak to you about this for a while; thought I would wait until the new season, see if anything changed, maybe we could avoid having the chat. There are different ways of watching football games.  There’s the way we watch World Cup games, as unpartisan observers, which is completely different to [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update July 16, 2014

Celtic Beat KR Reykjavik With Late Goal From Debutant Callum McGregor. Match report. (Guardian) Callum McGregor Celebrates ‘Biggest Goal Of His Career’ To Give Celtic Victory Against KR Reykjavik In Champions League Qualifier. Dream debut for 21 year old. (Daily Mail)

Champions League day is here!

Champions League day is here!!  Our season has never before started in a stadium in Reykjavik which holds less than 3,000 people but, on paper, it is the perfect venue.  Should Celtic qualify for the group stages, there will be greater challenges, and when they come, we will be grateful for these competitive games. Cameras [...]

QUICK NEWS July 15, 2014

Kris Commons Insists Progress In Europe Is Critical. Pre-game media interview. (BBC) Manchester United and Adidas In £750m Deal Over 10 Years. Despite a poor season United win world record-breaking sponsorship deal  of £75m per year. Adidas to pay 3 times what Nike paid. (BBC) Dempsey and Yedlin Bring World Cup Momentum Back To Surging [...]

Our major events venue, Adidas backfire, KR nerves

Despite their mid-season status, KR Reykjavik should offer little genuine challenge to Celtic’s squad of Champions League experienced professionals.  Still, the nerves tingle a little seeing a new management team lead the squad out of Glasgow Airport this morning. Hopefully we have six qualifying games ahead.  Where we sit right now, chances of qualification are [...]

Leo lots to do to match Diego

Netherlands thumping Spain 5-1 seems like a season ago.  We’ve had 24 different World Cup-match days since then, during which time most of us have watched close to a season’s worth of football.  The dethroning of Spain, in such dramatic fashion, was an early portent of what we were in store for.  Brazil’s humiliation at [...]

QUICK NEWS July 13, 2014

Celtic Boss Ronny Deila Insists Champions League Progression Is His Top Priority As Bhoys Prepare For Reykjavik Clash. Ronny will play safe for the qualifying round by not rushing his plans to change the team’s style. He wants the players to feel confident in their approach to the game by relying on the strengths they [...]

Dukla, the tragedy and opportunity of the east

Celtic went into the home first leg of their European Cup semi-final against Dukla Prague at 1-1.  Two second half goals from Willie Wallace added to Jimmy Johnstone’s opener were enough to ensure a British team would eventually reach the final of Europe’s premier tournament.  The return leg finished goalless. The clubs met 14 years [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update July 11, 2014

Kris Commons Set For Contract Talks As Celtic Keen To Tie Goal Machine To New Deal. Ronny recognizes the importance of extending Kris’ contract. Meanwhile the boss steps up the pace in new signings front (Daily Mail) Emilio Aiming Higher For New Campaign. As Emilio Izaguirre enters his 5th year at the cub, with new [...]

Killing Rangers was an inside job

The Upper Tier Tribunal (UTT) sitting on HMRC v Murray International Holdings (MIH) has ordered HMRC’s demand for unpaid tax to be reduced substantially.  Claims Sir David Murray Employee Benefit Trust should be taxed were dismissed, but the UTT was not prepared to endorse that guaranteed bonus payments paid to Rangers players should not be [...]

Chill your jets, excuse to fail

Chill your jets.  Far better to win and score five goals in a preseason friendly than to lose, but these games are all about improving fitness, the score is the least important aspect. Notwithstanding that, I’m pleased Teemu Pukki showed some form in front of goal. I don’t think Celtic would stand in his way [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update July 9, 2014

Celtic Captain Scott Brown Ruled Out For Up To Three Months After Tearing Hamstring. Broonie to miss the Champions League qualifiers. (Daily Mail) Lask Linz 2 – 5 Celtic: Teemu Pukki Grabs A Hat Trick. Match report. (Scotsman)

Glasgow arms race failure, thanking Sir David

KR Reykjavík recorded a 0-2 win in the Icelandic Cup on Sunday and have one more league game, against bottom club Thor on Thursday, before facing Celtic on Champions League duty a week today. Celtic have a game this evening against LSK Linz before facing a famous name from our past, Dukla Prague, on Friday.  [...]

Ronny introduces an edge on Celtic languid style

Ronny Deila introduced an interesting edge following yesterday’s preseason friendly against Rapid Vienna, saying his players’ “body language wasn’t good.  I can accept not playing well but the most important thing has to be the attitude and that was lacking”. Noting a “lack of energy and that players “looked tired” is par for the course [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update July 7, 2014

Rapid Vienna 1-1: Pukki Saves The Day. Match report. (Scotsman) Did Holland’s Goalkeeper Tim Krul  Go Too Far With His Intimidation Tactics? Whatever you think of the goalie’s behaviour, it was successful. (Guardian)

QUICK NEWS 6am Update July 6, 2014

Celtic Manager Rony Deila Open To Possibility of Re-Signing Greek Forward Georgios Samaras. Ronny says mibee aye, mibee naw. (Daily Mail) Celtic Unveil New White Third Kit. Celtic to play in new kit in friendly game. (Scotsman) Celtic FC Release A White 2014/2015 Nike Third Kit. More pics of the new strip. (footballfashion.org)

10-in-a-row, McGarvey, Murray and more

The 10-in-a-Row CQN Charity Golf Day at Aberdour was a great success yesterday.  The irrepressible Frank McGarvey spoke about his formative years in Easterhouse and beyond, with special mentions of his legendary first and last games for Celtic. Len Murray returned six years after his previous appearance, and spoke with humour and authority, but most [...]

11 short days before CL duty

Work ahead of the new season is underway in earnest after Celtic came through a game in Austria against top flight Russian club FC Krasnodar in Austria yesterday afternoon.  Every hour has to be carefully planned from now on. Ronny Deila has only 11 days before taking to an Icelandic field on Champions League duty.  [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update July 4, 2014

Delighted Ronny Deila Sees Room For Improvement After First Win. Boss overall is pleased with the performance and the team’s progress. Game allowed him to see where improvements can be made. (Celticfc.net) Gordon Grateful For Celtic Chance. New goalkeeper signing says he will work his hardest to meet the football expectations of him; says its [...]

Dougie Dougie and SFA cover-up

As a consequence of items relating to lies told by former referee Dougie McDonald’s no longer being found by searches through Google’s UK portal, while reaming available on the US portal, a suspicion arose that McDonald has used recent EU ruling to have these items expunged from the search engine. During a Dundee United-Celtic game [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update July 3, 2014

James Forrest May Miss Celtic’s Champions League Qualifiers As New Boss Ronny Deila Refuses To Rush Winger. Ronny recognises the exceptional talent of James but his latest injury, in a long line of injuries, leads the boss to get his injury problems sorted out permanently. (Daily Mail) Ronny Deila Answers Fans’ Questions On Google+. Watch [...]

Tarnished football brands, Europe recovers, Craig Gordon

Lots of credit to the USA and Switzerland, who bowed out of the World Cup in dramatic fashion yesterday, leaving four European and four Latin American teams fighting out for the spoils.  Europe has recovered from its shaky group stage performance, keeping the door open a little longer for smaller European nations. While plaudits for [...]

Federate with England or lose your talented teens

Celtic players’ participation in the World Cup ended yesterday as Efe Ambrose’ Nigeria were eventually overpowered by France.  Baring injury, Efe will be in Champions League duty in Iceland two weeks from today, which leaves the player little scope to rest weary limbs for the season ahead. The fitness management of Efe and Emilio Izaguirre [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update July 1, 2014

Celtic’s Nir Biton Determined To Make Amends. Celts Israeli midfielder is looking forward to the club making inroads in the Champions League. (Daily Express) Celtic Hand Trial To Young Benfica Frontman Sancidino Silva Amid Interest From Olympiakos and Besiktas. Prospect on trial with the Bhoys.(Daily Mail)

Stunning endeavours on the Ben

Absolutely stunning tales of endeavour from those who climbed the tallest peak on these isles yesterday for the Ben Nevis Huddle to raise funds for Celtic FC Foundation.  The Foundation anchors our club to its founding principles, working locally and worldwide towards four goals: Improve Health Promote Equality Encourage Learning Tackle Poverty It survives because [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update June 28, 2014

Charlie Mulgrew Hoping For A Settled Position Under Ronny Deila. Charlie is A-ok with continuing to be a utility player for the new manager, although his preference is settling into a single position. (STV) Boy Forced To Turn Down Samaras World Cup Trip. Greek fans have joined Georgios in taking young Jay Beatty to their [...]

Competing with the crazies

News that Hull City had a £6m bid for Robert Snodgrass accepted took the wind out of my sails this morning.  Snodgrass was one of the outstanding performers for clubs in the bottom half of the English Premier League last season, so it’s easy to understand his ticket price, despite only having a year left [...]

Champions League pitfalls

Having the first leg of our Champions League qualifier against KR in Iceland instead of Scotland, as initially drawn, ticks boxes for both clubs.  Without being disrespectful (well, maybe a bit), if the first leg was in Scotland KR could find themselves trying to sell a dead rubber second leg to TV companies.  With their [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update June 26, 2014

Celtic’s Financial Windfall From 2013/2014 Euro Matches Revealed. Celtic earned £14.1M from last year’s Champions League participation and because of that it also earned £1.5M for Scottish football. (STV) Celtic Will Be First Beneficiaries Of New Murrayfield Worm-Free Pitch When They Play Champions Lague Qualifier At Home Of Scotland’s Rugby Team. Phew, Celtic breathe sigh [...]

Greek tragedy, angry man narrative concludes

The world likes nothing more than an idiot to make us all feel better about ourselves.  The World Cup has duly delivered.  An otherwise intelligent, multi-lingual, footballer, has debased the game, and himself, despite twice before facing the world’s censure. I feel for Italy, who should have seen an opponent sent off before they conceded [...]

Jingoistic lunatics grabbing the stage

Football has been tribal and jingoistic for over a century. Where it succeed in penetrating beyond the scope of a mere sport, it is inherently primitive. This can be a healthy way for people to remain in contact with all that is important in life but it’s often not. Writing in today’s Sun, former Celtic [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update June 24, 2014

All You Need To Know About Celtic’s Champions League Opponents KR Reykjavik. (STV) Ronny Deila Ready For Champions League Bow With Celtic After Scaring Atletico Madrid. Ronny’s Norwegians gave Atletico a real game of it back in 2011. (Daily Mail) No New Celtic Players Before KR Tie, Says Deila. New manager’s short term focus is [...]

Iceland calls

Celtic will play KR Reykjavik in the Champions League second qualifying round with the first leg taking place on either 15or 16 July.  Celtic are provisionally at home for the first let – but don’t book your flights until arrangements have been confirmed. KR beat Glentoran 3-0 on aggregate in last season’s Europa League qualifying [...]

Tournament of the underdogs

Spain were cut low by Chile, England by Uruguay, Italy by Costa Rica.  Argentina were pushed to the last gasp by Iran, Germany had to come from behind to match Ghana.  Add to this the merit badges earned by Croatia against Brazil, Bosnia against Argentina and the Aussies against the Dutch, and we have a [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update June 22, 2014

John Collins Energised By Prospect of Europe. Assistant Manager looks forward to the first competitive Euro game in mid July and is excited regardless of who we get in Monday’s draw. (Scotsman) Costa Rica Stand Tall As The Little Team That Grew Up Fast. Costa Rica show that a nation with a smaller population than [...]

Filling the need for an alpha-male role model

We’re close enough to the English psyche to intimately understand their hopes and fears ahead of a tournament like the World Cup, but the M74 provides enough space for those of us based within a short distance of Celtic Park to have the kind of perspective that’s not possible for most fans immersed in the [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update June 20, 2014

Collins Shares Deila Football Philosophy. John is fully aware, as is Ronny, that the demands at Celtic are to win trophies and play exciting, entertaining football. (Scotsman) Champions League 2nd Qualifying Round. With the draw just days away, here are the potential teams Celtic could face -assuming some of them clear the 1st round. (Bert [...]

White shirted fitness freaks arrive at Training Centre

Fixtures are out and the management team are in-situ at Bobbylennoxtown; the air of anticipation for a new chapter in a 126-year-old story lies heavy over Celtic supporters.  I wish we were starting tomorrow. If you are a Celtic player, what would your overbearing sentiment be today?  If it was me, looking at photos of [...]

Collins arrival means new type of management team at Celtic

Two years ago, current Inverness manager, John Hughes, was guest of honour at the CQN Golf Day.  For around two hours during the meal he spoke privately to me about John Collins. Hughes worked alongside Collins at Livingston and regarded our new assistant manager as the most insightful, tactically aware and innovative person he’d met [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update June 18, 2014

John Collins Can Make His Mark On His Return After Becoming Ronny Deila’s First Signing. While John will have some adapting to do as he has never been an Assistant Manager before, his credentials are perfect for the job and aligned with his new boss. (Daily Mail) Celtic Assistant Role Thrills John  Collins. John is [...]

Efe and Izzie getting hard time on TV

I was slightly miffed at Neil Lennon’s TV comments on Efe Ambrose yesterday, “He can’t cross”, but on reflection, better Neil points out the player’s flaws to the nation than gives him a ringing endorsement.  I’d a similar sentiment after Emilio Izaguirre’s dangerous looking forward step against France, which was never in danger of making [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update June 17, 2014

Celtic’s Champions’ Hurdle. A look through the squad to weigh up who might be ready for the first Champions League games in July, and who might fill Samaras striker’s boots. (Evening Times) Exclusive: Interview With Celtic Striker Tony Watt. (Scotzine)

Charlie is back, did he ever go away?

So Charlie’s back.  Did he ever really go away? I suspect not.  Sevco Scotland/The Rangers FC/Rangers International is Charles Green’s project.  He was the guy who picked the pieces up from the Rangers liquidator. He was the guy, through liberal use of words like ‘bigotry’, ‘No surrender’ and ‘Dallas Cowboys’ managed to convince thousands of [...]

Brilliant Oranje, notorious Franz

Absolutely delighted the Dutch injected some swagger into the World Cup last night.  Diego Costa continued the pattern this week of Brazilian born players profiting from a tumble inside the box, gifting Spain an early lead from the penalty spot, but the Dutch were irresistible. Exactly how they managed to improve their performance against Spain, [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update June 14, 2014

Celtic’s Teemu Pukki Hoping To Shine Under Deila.  After finishing the season on a strong note, Finnish striker is excited to play under  the new manager who has an attacking philosophy. (Scotsman) Who Is Ronny Deila And What Can Celtic Fans Expect From Their New Manager. (Bleacher Report)

Financial fundamentals, credit where due at Ibrox

Credit where it’s due, season ticket sales at Ibrox near 17,000, with so many people trying to force the club into the gutter, is an achievement, and ignore anyone who doubts this figure.  Respect to those fans who have remained ‘loyal’.  The information was released to the stock market, so sales will definitely be north [...]

The Greatest Show on Earth

PT Barnum may have been right 150 years ago, but The Greatest Show on Earth these days gets underway this afternoon, despite the shameful corruption displayed by Fifa.  By comparison, the Olympics is a sideshow.  My first experience of the World Cup was watching Scotland play Zaire in 1974.  For 20-odd years the tournament had [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update June 12, 2014

Celtic’s Plans To Install Safe Standing Areas Are Delayed But Club Hopeful Of Progress. The Safety Advisory Group want more information from the club before reaching a conclusion. (Daily Mail) FIFA ‘Like Mafia Family’, Says Former FA Boss, Triesman. Former Chairman of the English FA pulls no punches saying that Don Corleone would admire its [...]

So-called spivs only ones to cough up again

It appears that the so-called spivs are once again the only people likely to put their hands in their pockets to fund the coming season’s shortfall at Newco Rangers.  There has been a campaign for much of this year to drive the club into the gutter, although on this occasion no one has accused Celtic [...]

Blatter Ad hominem, Hampden, Thompson

Rumours circulated last week that is was Sepp Blatter who leaked the million or so emails to The Sunday Times, allowing them to uncover previously hidden payments between Fifa delegates at the time of the Qatar 2022 vote.  That looks fanciful in the face of Blatters tub-thumping, that criticism of the voting process is motivated [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update June 10, 2014

New Celtic Manager Ronny Deila Bids Farewell to Stromsgodset Fans. Watch Norwegian fans pay tribute to Ronny. (STV) John Kennedy Joins Collins As Possible Celtic No 2. Ronny’s assistant not named yet, as Celtic’s youth coach is rumoured to be one of the candidates. (Scotsman) Sepp Blatter Hits out At ‘Racist’ British Media And Plot [...]

Fergus returns to the debate

On many fronts I’m delighted Fergus McCann feels confident enough to get back involved with Celtic, some 15 years after departing the scene.  It wasn’t always this way.  We reached our first European final in 33 years largely as a result of the groundwork he put in place, but he didn’t feel comfortable making the [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update June 8, 2014

Tony Watt Keen To Grab Second Chance At Celtic Under New Boss Ronny Deila. Celts young striker, back from Belgium loan, is out to impress the new boss and break into the first team. (Daily Mail) Virgil Van Dijk Urged to Stay At Celtic One More Year. With a successful first season under his belt, [...]

Energising offensively

I’ve spoken to many Celtic fans over the last couple of days but I’ve not met one who would have preferred Roy Keane to be our manager instead of Ronny Deila.  Despite some impeccable references, Ronny is a largely unknown character, but there is an appreciation among the support that we need to come up [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update, June 7, 2014

Ronny Deila Admits He Was Swayed By Parkhead Atmosphere To Take Celtic Job. Ronny attended the Barcelona game at Celtic Park last November and was amazed with the fans. (Telegraph) Norwegian Deila Appointed Celtic Coach. Deila treasures the moment and commits to give it his all. (thelocal.no) I’ll Be Ron The Ball At Celtic. Ronny [...]


The Art of Winning an Unfair Game After Neil Lennon resigned we discussed how Celtic have recently appointed managers to address the most glaring deficiency of the previous boss.  Gordon Strachan bought in value markets, whereas Martin O’Neill pretty much bought players who appeared on Match of the Day or Sportscene. Despite his success, Gordon [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update June 6, 2014

Celtic On The Verge Of Appointing Stromsgodset Coach Ronny Deila as New Manager. Could we see a Ronny and Collins combo at Celtic Park? (Telegraph) Ronny Deila arrives in Scotland Ahead Of Unveiling As Celtic Boss. New manager appointment looks imminent. (STV) Craig Gordon In Signing Talks With Scottish Champions. Former Scotland goalkeeper may be [...]

Moneyball student of the game

The extent of Celtic’s pursuit of Ronny Deila can be seen from the fact that Peter Lawwell established a false identity before setting up a Norwegian football blog in early 2012 to allow him to pen this article titled, The Awesomeness of Ronny Deila.  There is a chance the blog wasn’t written by our CEO, [...]

Some background on Ronny Deila

Some perspective first.  Ronny Deila, manager of Norwegian champions Stromsgodset, is not about to be appointed Celtic manager.  He does, meet the criteria, unlike the various one-season wonders cast aside from the English Premier League.  I believe there are two other strong candidates, Ronny has no pre-eminence at this stage, but unlike the various ‘favourites’ [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update June 4, 2014

Tom Rogic Opens Up About World Cup Heartache And A Shattered Childhood Dream. Celtic’s Aussie midfielder’s sadness about missing out on the World Cup due to a lost fitness battle. (theage.com.au) Michel Platini Insists Qatar Bid Was Not Mentioned In Bin Hammam Meeting. Foggy mess continues to swirl around FIFA. (Guardian)

Keane would have been unacceptable risk to Celtic

What a lot of nonsense we’re been through since last week.  My information was that we were interested in Roy Keane but no deal had been concluded.  Martin O’Neill helpfully (cough) poured fuel on the fire by confirming he gave Roy permission to speak to Celtic, but despite several newspapers running the story that he [...]

Keane asks not to be considered

Reports out of Ireland that Roy Keane is no longer in the running for the Celtic job are correct.  The former Sunderland and Ipswich boss asked not to be considered as Celtic have tightened their shortlist over the past few days. The overwhelming majority of opinion on the blog and elsewhere is that Celtic would [...]

Fifa corruption

Don’t want to divert attention from the imminent coronation at Celtic Park but a bit of respect is due to the (old media) Sunday Times for their opus yesterday on the corruption at Fifa surrounding the World Cup 2022 bids. Work like this can only be undertaken by a well-resourced publication, which remains the exclusive [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update June 2, 2014

Martin O’Neill Expects Swift Decision. Martin is hoping for a decision on Roy Keane’s Celtic  candidacy by Wednesday. (BBC) Qatar World Cup: Bin Hammam ‘Acted Like Head Of Crime Organisation’. Corruption spotlight is on the Qatari construction magnate who wielded influence within the executive committee of FIFA. (Guardian)

The curious significant of 1 June

There’s something I’ve never been able to figure out for the last nine years.  When Gordon Strachan was announced as Celtic manager, on 1st June 2014, he apologised to the media for bumping their calls the previous week, as he was due to takeover on that date, and the announcement was embargoed until then. No [...]

Building mainstays, lessons from yesterday

Great news that Mikael Lustig and Emilio Izaguirre have extended their contracts until 2017.  Footballers’ careers flow on a few distinct tracks.  Some are too hot for their clubs to retain, Victor Wanyama, who declined a contract renewal with almost 3 years of his initial deal remaining, fell into this category.  Some, like Georgios Samaras, [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update May 30, 2014

Seedings in The Champions League. Latest list of potential opponents in the 2nd Qualifying Round. (Bert Kassies) ‘Nearly 1 in 3 Scots Footballers’ Bet on Games. Surprising number of players admit to breaking rules. (Scotsman)  

No one offered Celtic job yet

Roy Keane is due at a press conference in Dublin this afternoon and he is sure to be asked about Daily Mail reports this afternoon that he is set to be appointed Celtic manager as early as tomorrow. It’s pretty clear Celtic have spoken to Keane but NO ONE HAS THE JOB YET, the Club [...]

Bookies, taxi drivers and Best of the Rest

I know we’ve touched on this recently but it’s worth repeating.  Celtic will meet with and speak to many candidates for the manager’s job.  Some will be genuine ‘targets’, some will be applicants, who the club meet out of courtesy, some will be more general fishing exercises. Agents, taxi drivers, hotel staff and grannies will [...]

Lessons for picking a manager

Back in January we discussed Mauricio Pochettino, who yesterday left Southampton to become manager of Tottenham Hotspur.  He is without question the hottest management property in the most bloated league in football. He was also an unemployed flop a little over a year ago. In reality, Pochettino is a good manager but he is also [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update May 28, 2014

Scott Brown Pays Tribute To Former Celtic Boss Neil Lennon As The Search For A New Manager Continues. After playing a secondary role in Tony Mowbray’s team, Scott was re-energized under Neil’s leadership and he credits the boss with getting the best out of him. (Daily Mail) Lions Leave Their Mark Again In Lisbon. The [...]

Unique historical job in season ahead

Congratulations to who originally penned: “We shall not be move, not by the Hearts, the Hibs or The Rangers, erm, we’ll not be moved, OK?”  Celtic stand alone, our historic rivals, those who half a century ago denied our grandparents, are gone.  Do we have a perfect season ahead?  Maybe not, but it will be [...]

Back pages filled with empty nonsense

My inbox today was full of angst at the latest series of ‘favourites’ for the manager’s job.  There are upwards of 20 journalists working on this story right now, each of whom need to push the story on every day. No information?  Tough, write something.  Not found a single person Peter Lawwell has spoken to?  [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update May 26, 2014

Lions Watch Real Madrid Make History. Celtic’s Lisbon Lions roar one more time. (Celticfc.net) World Cup 2014: The 100 Greatest Moments in the Tournament’s History – Part 1. (The Independent)

Neil Lennon as a mirror on Scotland

When I checked my phone this morning it was full of emails and texts about Kevin McKenna’s seminal article in the Observer on the treatment, or lack of it, Neil Lennon experienced during his years in Scotland. It placed a mirror in front of the former Celtic manager, for Scotland to look at its reflection. [...]

Write your own headlines as Celtic work below radar

Peter Lawwell told Sky Sports he’ll not be rushed into making an appointment.  Football goes on holiday for the next few weeks as players, managers and (under normal circumstances) CEOs kick back before minds turn to preseason and transfers.  Even if Celtic appoint a manager tomorrow, his plans for next season will progress little in [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update May 24, 2014

Celtic Yet To Begin Search For Neil Lennon’s Successor. Chief exec says process is in the early stages of drawing up a shortlist. (Sky) Bobby Lennox Hopes Real Madrid Roar to Glory. The Buzzbomb has a soft spot for Real as he recalls the time when Celtic put them to the sword. (Scotsman) Oscar Garcia [...]

Where to now for Celtic

How well do we handle succession?  Mostly very well.  Back in the 90s Celtic stumbled from one manager to another, picking up whoever was available and prepared to pick up the inevitable poisoned chalice, without any perceivable strategy. Wim Jansen came from nowhere, or Japan, to be geographically accurate, and was a success, but despite [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update May 23, 2014

Neil Lennon Says Leaving Celtic ‘Was Toughest Decision of my Life’. Neil says time to go is now, even though he has nothing else lined up. (STV) Garcia High on Celtic’s Shortlist of Candidates to Replace  Lennon. Let the rumour mill games begin. (Herald) Neil Lennon’s Celtic Departure Should Leave No One With Any Regrets. [...]

Neil Lennon era ends

Neil Lennon ‘got’ Celtic.  He was a rookie appointment, and the early weeks were far from comfortable, a Hampden defeat to Ross County looked like an ominous early sign, but from the start of his first preseason he didn’t look back. He was a hugely successful Celtic manager in Scotland and in Europe.  The Barcelona [...]

Celtic values and supporter interactions

Pleased to see this morning’s initiative by Celtic to provide people with a more visible and accessible complaints procedure, including an “Our commitment to you” section.  I know it’s almost blasphemous to use the word ‘customer’ in a football context, but when it comes to levels of service, it is useful to benchmark the ‘customer [...]

All the Best, review by SFTB

The latest football book from the ever expanding CQN publishing stable is a long awaited blast from one of the many world class players who were part of the Lisbon Lions of 1967. Celtic’s best ever left back has collaborated with Alex Gordon, a vastly experienced sports writer, to produce a rollicking tale from a [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update May 20, 2014

Emilio Izaguirre Is Set On Staying At Celtic. Left back has eyes only for Celtic and country. (Scotsman) Fraser Forster Believes That England Can Challenge At This Summer’s World Cup. La Gran Muralla defied the odds of getting into the England squad, now he believes that his national team can defy the odds too at [...]

Admin less likely in short term

Robbed of the ability to accept credit cards, or roll-over Standing Order fans’ payments, by all accounts season ticket renewals at Newco Rangers has been considerably less than those of fellow lower league club Hearts. Notwithstanding all of this, the Ibrox club’s remarkable PR people this morning published an article titled “Season ticket waiting list”!  [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update May 18, 2014

Academy Confirm Young Players To Exit Paradise. This year’s list of young players leaving Celtic. (Celticfc.net) Manchester City Shed Five English Players Despite UEFA’s Squad Restriction. Found guilty under FFP rules, Manchester club going ahead with reducing squad of 5 home-grown players even though they face a foreign player limitation in the Champions League. (Independent)

FFP hits the mark, Atletico-Hearts of 86

It remains a possibility that Atletico Madrid will lose today’s league decider against Barcelona and next week’s Champions League final against Real Madrid (vernacular: ‘do a Hearts), but I hope not.  The fact that they have pushed the two most celebrated football clubs on the planet to the limit, across two tournaments, is already remarkable.  [...]

Tommy Gemmell on CQN this afternoon

We have Tommy Gemmell on the blog from 13:00 this afternoon.  He will introduce himself in the comments section and be available for a ‘chat’ and questions. Pat Woods, one of Celtic’s finest historians, sent me this excerpt from his book, Celtic, Pride and Passion: “Although there was no formal award at the time to [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update May 16, 2014

Club’s Best Wishes To Danny McGrain. Celtic coach recovering in hospital and due to be released on Friday. (Celticfc.net) Celtic To Face Tottenham In Finland Friendly. Game lined up for Aug 2 in Helsinki. (Scotsman)

Look the other way: fixed and floating charges

Yesterday Graham Wallace, Norman Crighton and Sandy Easdale offered to giving a legal undertaking be security would not be given over Ibrox and Murray Park in return for a loan. Security over a property asset is only one way for lenders securing that asset, it is not the most popular, or even necessary, for the [...]

Media fast and loose with Neil Lennon comments

The annual raft of idle speculation unsettling Celtic’s playing and managerial resources is well underway.  One newspaper headline today proclaimed, “Celtic boss wants Canaries to approach him”, based on Neil Lennon when talking about moving to England saying, “There has been no offer, there has been no concrete phone call or anything like that, so [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update May 14, 2014

Fraser Forster Reaps Reward For Staying At Celtic. Pat Bonner, chuffed that Fraser Forster  made it into England’s squad for Brazil, says that Fraser playing for Celtic gave him the opportunity to showcase his talents and would not have been the same if he had been playing for a bottom half club in the EPL. [...]

Graft and dedication behind Forster meteoric rise

Every Celtic fan will be delighted Fraser Forster was included in the England World Cup squad.  Fraser joined Celtic on loan four years ago, becoming a permanent member of staff in 2012.  His transformation over that period has been remarkable, which is no fluke. He is the most dedicated footballer at the club.  First in [...]

From Jinky to Georgios

Usually we head straight home, but that day we stood around the front door of Hampden Park, waiting to see the players emerge with the trophy.  It was big Billy’s last game, it also provided an enduring memory of Paul Wilson, but it was the unused Jimmy Johnstone who engaged the fans most.  In the [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update May 12, 2014

Lennon Hails ‘Special’ Third Title Win. Neil savours the moment, will soon have a vacation and then back into full swing prepping for the pre-season in late June. (Scotsman) Celtic Win On Premiership Trophy Day. Video highlights of Celtic V Dundee Utd. (SPFL Youtube)

QUICK NEWS 6am Update May 11, 2014

Kris Commons Voted Writers’ Player of the Year. Kris will pick up his second award on Sunday night. He reflects on his 3 seasons with the club, how he has adapted to a number 10 role, how the team has adjusted formations and tactics, and how they work around having  relatively small forwards (Scotsman) Richard [...]

Doing lots right at Youth level

Delighted for the Celtic Youths, who won the Under-20 league for the fifth successive season.  Youth football is not skewed in favour of the wealthier clubs in the way first team football is.  Celtic will be able to afford better coaches and scouts, but wage levels at this age are broadly consistent across the board, [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update May 10, 2014

Scott Brown Focused To The Last Whistle As Celtic Captain Completes Most Satisfying Season Yet With Premiership Coronation. With injuries behind him, Broonie’s chuffed with his most consistent season yet. (Daily Mail) Celtic V Dundee Utd: Lennon Happy To Lift Trophy. Last year Celtic won the league with 79 points. This year they are on [...]

Wee Oscar

It’s two and a half years since Oscar’s dad, Stephen ‘Knoxy’ shared the news he’d just received that his three-year-old son had been diagnosed with neuroblastoma, an apparently rare form of childhood cancer.  All the pains and fears of that day, and the years since, came to the fore over the last eight weeks as [...]

Those moving on in the summer

I’ve always cautioned against judging a player who has been out for an extended period but being hooked at halftime last night looks like an ominous sign for Derk Boerrigter, who sparkled for 30 minutes on his debut against Ross County earlier in the season but has come nowhere close to that form since. Injuries [...]

Spivs in for the long haul, relegate Hibs

Rangers International adopted a firm position in their court hearing against former director, Imran Ahmed, in Edinburgh yesterday.  Directors and major shareholders know they have a cash shortfall for next season, even if season ticket sales are as higher than anticipated.  Therefore, they know they will need to facilitate a loan, cough up for more [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update May 7, 2014

Lennon’s European Dreams Will Keep Him At Celtic. Neil has unfinished  business in European competitions, something that few clubs can provide him and Celtic can. His main priority right now is to find a proven goal scorer in Europe. (Scotsman) Gary Hooper A Target For Celtic As Neil Lennon Admits Interest In Norwich Striker. Neil’s [...]

Radical change needed to UK football

It’s kicking off in all directions today but keep an eye on the English Football Association proposals to introduce a series of changes to lower league football.  One option on the table is for Premier and Championship sides’ “B teams” to compete in a new structure with League Two and Conference teams. The FA are [...]

UnCommons Moneyball gem

Someone made the point to me over the weekend, 30 goals, and counting, from midfield, rivals 53 from Henrik Larsson as a central striker.  It is an unnecessary burden to compare Kris Commons to Celtic’s greatest player in four decades, even Henrik couldn’t compare to the memory of Henrik, but the history books will show [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update May 4, 2014

Extended Highlights As Celts Hit Five Past Dons. Match report in video. (SPFL youtube) Johansen Hails Celtic’s Captain Fantastic. One Celtic midfielder praises another. (Celticfc.net) Celtic Manager Praises Club’s Leading Goalscorer Kris Commons. Neil gushes over 30 goal scorer’s performance this year and reveals that the formation has been fashioned around Kris to get the [...]

Small investors in football clubs cannot overpay

Really delighted at the flow of sentiment towards Billy McNeill and the launch of the new frontage of Celtic Park tomorrow.  The place is beginning to look like a 21st Century venue, now we need the shops, restaurants and bars to bring the match-day experience alive. Were you one of the fans who put £620 [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update May 2, 2014

Welsh International Defender Adam Mathews Says He Has No Plans To Follow Joe Ledley From Celtic To The Premier league. 22 year old Adam Mathews is happy that his friend has done well at Crystal Palace, but with 2 years left on his own contract he is focused only on Celtic, the Champions League and [...]

Fill your boots at Month of Lions

I never met Jimmy McGrory, who died an elderly man when I was 15.  I don’t if he was around Celtic Park much in the years immediately beforehand, but I never even saw him.  We have many genuine greats but he is one of a handful of those who could put a claim on being [...]

Judge King plan by those who father it

I’ve no affection for Real Madrid but was delighted for them, and Carlo Ancelotti in particular, last night.  It’s getting to the stage that it’s impossible to figure out who the best team in Europe actually is. Bayern Munich’s season has been historic.  They swept aside German competitors with record-breaking ease on their way to [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update April 30, 2014

Robert Snodgrass Flattered By links To Celtic and an offer Would present a Dilemma but his Sole Focus is Norwich’s Survival Scrap. A Celtic fan, but his career focus has been the EPL and currently doing his bit to help Norwich avoid the drop. One day perhaps he will don the hoops. (Daily Mail) Mikael [...]

Traynor and King sitting in a tree

I hear legendary Sevconian statement issuer, Jim “Rangers are dead” Traynor, is now firmly established in the Dave King camp.  You may have found recent statements familiar, including last night’s, which focusses more on interrupting Celtic’s period of domination than building a well-run and sustainable football club. Or it could be that Dave King is [...]

Insolvency, how they got here, what next

I’ve been trying to think if there are circumstances where a company has appointed an administrator when they have been paying all debts when due.  Newco Rangers are, to the best of our knowledge, paying creditors when due and have enough cash to continue to do so until the anticipated arrival of cash receipts from [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update April 28, 2014

Celtic 6 – 0 Inverness. Match report with Neils’ interview. (BBC) After Bagging 28 Goals and The Scottish Title, Celtic’s Kris Commons Caps Fine Season With Player Of The Year Award. Kris wins PFA award. (Daily Mail) Lennon Has High Hopes For Stokes And Griffiths. Neil sees potential in this partnership. (Scotsman) Bayern Need Pace [...]

Century of Vanity hid truth

It’s not like we didn’t warn them.  Charles Green, with his ‘blame it on bigotry’ and ‘Rangersitis’ nonsense was an even more transparent charlatan than wee Craig Whyte.  Green moved in, fed them the nonsense they were oh so willing to swallow, and made off with their millions.  All carried out in broad daylight. The [...]

Hail Mary, full of grace……

A statement to the stock market by Rangers International today confirmed that they are not a sustainable business, have no bank credit facilities and are unable to accept debit or credit cards for season ticket purchases. These revelations contravene SFA licence requirements, which would need to be met if the club wanted to participate in [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update April 25, 2014

Tommy Burns Saw Hint Of Greatness In Liverpool Manager  Brendan Rogers When He Took Him Under His Wing At Reading. The great Tommy Burns was one of the first to see managerial potential in Brendan when he gave him an opportunity to join his Reading backroom team . (Daily Mail) Sandy Easdale Warns That Rangers [...]

At least one club will be supported through and through

I can’t tell you how many statements I’ve read from those trying to bring down Newco Rangers (bonne chance) but not one comes near to approaching the key question: what can they offer the the men and women who own shares in Newco to convince them to accommodate their future aspirations? Threats, intimidation and blackmail [...]

Wind of change set to blow through Lennoxtown

There appears to be nothing more than a desire to move-on behind Johan Mjallby’s decision to leave Celtic at the end of the season but it leaves the original four man coaching team of Neil Lennon, Alan Thompson, Mjallby and Garry Parker reduced down to two.  The management team needs to be rebuilt. Assistants do [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update April 23, 2014

Mjallby Set To Quit Hoops For Stockholm Challenge. Celtic Assistant Manager announces he is leaving the Hoops for a fresh challenge. Naturally speculation looms about possibly returning to AIK. (Daily Express) Moyes ‘Given Less Time Due To Debt’. Such is the pressure of the EPL, money or lack of it, leads to a short fuse [...]

Haphazard and Wasteful football management

Appointing a manager is an incredible gamble but the risks can be mitigated, especially at a club which is successful or even pointing in the right direction.  In this case, clubs should look to build upon whatever platform they have.  Bringing in a new guy with a team development strategy which is completely different from [...]

Time up for SFA bowling club committee

Yesterday’s Sunday Mail exposé on attempts by the SPFL to change the balance of power within the SFA in favour of the professional clubs, while changing their bowling club committee-approach to running the game, was worthy of some merit but clearly the result of an SFA leak designed to undermine the proposed changes. Any organisation [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update April 21, 2014

Motherwell’s Style Leaves Stefan Johansen Cold. Midfielder reflects on weekend game: not turning up for the first half; the rocket at half time; Motherwell’s style, but acknowledges they are one of the best teams in the league. (Scotsman) Lennon Lining Up New Signings. The hunt is on for player additions for the new season. Manager [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update April 20, 2014

Six-Goal Thriller at Fir Park. Match report with sound bite from Neil. (Teamtalk) Did Anthony Stokes Mean To Score This Cracker in Celtic’s 3-3 Draw With Motherwell? Video of Stokes chipping the goalie. (Irish Independent) Daughter of World Cup Official Had £2m Put Into Account. Former FIFA executive committee member under investigation as 10 year [...]

Sunshine getting through

The sun is shining on Celtic Park as the Easter weekend gets underway, while Celtic face Motherwell tomorrow, who look like they have discovered the limits of Stuart McCall’s managerial abilities this spring. After some difficult news this week, here’s a ‘Happy Birthday CQN’ message from Wee Oscar, which he recorded last month; an even [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update April 18, 2014

Celtic’s Kris Commons: We Should Have Won The Treble. With the treble only been won twice in the past by Celtic teams, Kris would have dearly loved to emulate that this season. (Telegraph) Kris Commons in ‘No Rush’ to Extend Celtic Deal. Candidate for Player of the Year, and with one more year left on [...]

Yogi Hughes on Jock Stein

Our enormous thanks to John Hughes for spending time on the blog this morning.  He was at Celtic throughout a very special time, making his anecdotes and stories all the more valuable. Here’s an extract from his book, Yogi Bare, which is due out soon: “Jock Stein and I didn’t always see eye-to-eye. I recall [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update April 17, 2014

Liverpool Tie On The Cards For Celtic. Celts touted to play friendly on the island of Mauritius on May 18. (Scotsman) Manchester City Salary Charts With Stars Raking in Average of  £100,000  per player per week…..As Five Premier League Sides Make The Top 20 of Global Sports Teams. The Haves and Have-nots of football. (Daily [...]

Relief and despair at Hearts CVA success

There is a degree of relief (in some quarters) mixed with surprise that Hearts creditors have agreed to a CVA, allowing the club to exit administration.  Although administration seems to be a natural state for many in Scottish football, remarkably few have subsequently gone to the wall in the last 100 years. Third Lanark perished [...]

This is a dead multi-club football franchise

Thoroughly enjoying yesterday’s coordinated effort by Newco fans who have rushed to the coattails of Dave King.  To be fair to the fans, the time for them to act was years ago, before Sir David Murray set Oldco on a path to destruction, there is little positive that can be done now.  Still, that’s no [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update April 15, 2014

Eoghan O’Connell Says Patience Is The Key For Celtic Youth Players. Interview with up- and- coming young centre back. (STV) Andrea Pirlo: The Night Pep Guardiolo Tried To Sign Me For Barcelona. Excerpt from autobiography of one of the best midfielders in the game. (Guardian) Manchester City To Be Made To Pay High Price For [...]

Prism of failure gives King chance to bring Newco down

After the failure to launch season ticket renewals at Ibrox in the wake of the Ramsdens Cup final last week, by Friday morning marketing staff, PR people, web designers and printers would all have been primed to press the button this morning, after the anticipated humbling of Dundee United in the Scottish Cup semi-final. Things [...]

Easy and important acts

The events of this week will be scant consolation to the bereaved of Hillsborough, but it is nonetheless important that football paid appropriate respects, as fans and clubs across England did this weekend. When Celtic offered to host Liverpool for their first game after the tragedy they took a step to demonstrate solidarity with the [...]

Untrue, disgraceful and hearing what you want to hear

People hear what they want to hear.  When Neil Lennon was asked at a media conference if he was able to spend £6m on one player, as he was last year, he gave the honest answer; “Yes”.  He was able to make this type of signing, but that’s not to say he would regard this [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update April 12, 2014

Celtic Size Up Bid For Snodgrass. If Norwich get relegated, Celtic target may become a viable option within Celtic’s budget. (Evening Times) Dave King Releases a Thunderbolt From The Blue. Internecine warfare breaks out among Sevconians. (Scotsman)

QUICK NEWS 5am Update April 11, 2014

YNWA Against Celtic (1989). The anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster nears and the poignant rendition of YNWA is played again. (Liverpool FC) Barcelona Lined Up For Glamour Aviva Summer Clash With Celtic. Celts may play  Spanish rivals in Dublin in August. (Irish Independent) Losses at Ibrox Climb to £18.1m. Skint Sevco. (Daily Express)

Magic from Madrid, share scams in 2012

Atletico Madrid, happy for them?  Not an easy one.  I remember listening to the radio commentary the night we lost to them in the European Cup semi-final of 1974.  They, and Rapid Vienna a decade later, represented very unworthy competitors in European competition. Both teams returned to Celtic Park in recent seasons.  Rapid picked up [...]

Words are easy, so are actions

After yesterday’s discussion on values, what we’re all about and where we’re going, today’s announcement by the Foundation that they will have a badge day at the Dundee United game on 11 May is something that requires us to step forward and do something about. “Volunteers will be in place at all turnstile areas and [...]

Commercial consequences of Ramsden

The commercial consequences of Sunday’s Ramsdens’ Cup Final result didn’t occur to me until Celtic released season ticket news yesterday.  Over the years, when possible, Celtic and Rangers released season ticket renewal notices on the back of a favourable result. As well as a party at Ibrox on Sunday night, the wheels would have been [...]

Education, health, equality, poverty, our values

I’m fortunate to have met many of our greats socially; all of the Lions, many from before their era and lots since.  I’ll never say or write a bad word about them, but Celtic players are no different from others in the societies they hail (hail) from.  God help them if camera-phone opportunists combine with [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update April 8, 2014

Scott Brown Backs Neil Lennon To Stay At Celtic. Captain says it would take a lot for Neil to leave the Celtic job. (Telegraph) Ally McCoist’s Track Record of Failure Continues. He is tops in consistency. (BBC)

Payback for Turnbull Hutton

You all think you’re so smart, smugly laughing at the outcome of a game in a tournament you didn’t even know existed until recently.  Let me tell you, yesterday’s defeat of Newco Rangers was nothing short of calamitous for the road I hoped the club would take. Ally McCoist is crucial to all the things [...]

Quick News 6am Update April 6, 2014

Hoops Continue Dominance With Win At Tannadice. Match highlights. (SPFL youtube) Manager Neil Lennon Impressed By ‘Wonderful Celtic’. Post match interview with the manager. (BBC)

QUICK NEWS 6am Update April 5, 2014

Celtic Former Players Association. Support network for former players is launched. (thecsa.co.uk) Dundee Utd V Celtic: Ciftci and Robertson Return for United. Who’s fit, who’s not. (STV) Lennon Praises Teen Midfielder Henderson. (Scotsman) Neil Lennon Annoyed Over Recent Actions Of Griffiths and Kayal. Gaffer speaks about players’ verbal antics. (Sky)

Need to find edge to match United

Dundee United and Celtic will both have their minds on longer term outcomes than tomorrow’s Premiership game at Tannadice.  For Neil Lennon, it will surely be another opportunity to expose some of his development players to the rigors of first team action.  For Jackie McNamara this is a test before arguably their biggest game of [...]

Languishing in Paris

When watching Real Mardrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich it is easy to be discouraged at the gap between where we are and the quarter finals of the Champions League, but despite the many hundreds of millions spent on both Paris St Germain and Chelsea, the standard of passing and decision making throughout their game last [...]

Ethics, Fifa, support for Beram

Remember when Barcelona were regarded as the model of an ethical football club?    I don’t know if it’s just every time I see Tumbling Neymar that I feel a little less affinity with brand Barca but that image has proven to be a mirage. The clubs tax affairs, specifically over compensation to Lionel Messi, brought [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update April 2, 2014

Celtic to Challenge SFA Charge After Striker Griffiths Filmed Mocking Hearts In Pub Song. Leigh singled out by SFA (Daily Mail) Beram Kayal Looking to Quit Celtic. In Israeli interview, midfielder apparently says he is unhappy with: Scottish football as the style has contributed to his injuries, Lee McCulloch who crocked him and was rude [...]

Players grounded in their community

It is quite incredible that the European Cup/Champions League final has not been held in Lisbon, one of Europe’s major football cities, since 25 May 1967.  Lisbon is the home of one of the early giants of the tournament, and has had imposing cathedral-stadiums ever since, all but one of which was brought up to [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update April 1, 2014

Lisbon Lions To Return In Style As Legends Receive Champions League Final Invite. Come on you old Bhoys in green! (Daily Mail) Impressive Celtic Win Under-20 Derby. Young guns in stroll over Sevco. (Celticfc.net) Southampton: New Board Says Financial Situation Difficult. EPL club in the red. (BBC)

Shopping in Brazil

During the game on Saturday we had a conversation (it was that kind of game) about defenders in general, and left backs in particular, available for selection in the CQteN Dream Team (have played since July 2004).  Consensus was that Izaguirre, van Dijk, Ambrose, Matthews and Lustig should feature high on the list. The real [...]

Seville review by SFTB

Our very own Setting Free The Bears has kindly written a review of Seville – The Celtic Movement, which I hear has already sold out in some WH Smith stores.  SFTBs contributed a chapter to the book, which he didn’t cover in his submitted review, but which has been added in context below.  Here it [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update March 30, 2014

Celtic 1 – 1 Ross County. Match report. (Sporting Life) Lennon Turns Attention To Champions League Campaign After Title Stroll. Manager making preparations to strengthen squad before World Cup begins. (Daily Mail) Bayern Munich: “Too Dominant, Regal, Relaxed, Elegant and Cool For The Rest”. Winning their domestic league in a canter, Bayern Munich’s goal now [...]

Spinning for trouble by Sky

I try to avoid those who really should be avoided but I caught the report of Peter Lawwell’s Sky TV interview on their website yesterday.  The “No summer sales” headline was misleading in itself as our chief exec actually said “there is no real necessity to sell players now”. We are a solvent and well-run [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update March 28, 2014

Peter Lawwell – Extended Interview. Celtic Chief talks after Bhoys win the league. (Sky) Celtic’s League Form Shouldn’t Be Underestimated Says Anthony Stokes. Irish forward says it’s not easy for Celts young squad to win so many league games. (STV) Campbell Ogilvie To Fight For FIFA Role. Ex-Rangers (IL) director being put forward by SFA [...]

Champions comparable only to team of 2004, bury bad news

History will record that season 2012-13 was more successful for Celtic than season 2013-14 but the champions’ league performances this season have been comparable only to those of season 2003-04, when the club completed a 25 game winning streak. With seven games to go we have already collected five points more than the team which [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update March, 28, 2014

Partick Thistle 1 – 5 Celtic: Bhoys Rout Seals Title For Lennon And Jubilant Traveling Army. Match report. (Daily Mail) 3-in-a-Row Allows Neil Lennon To Join Celt Greats. Take a bow Neil, Celtic legend. (Scotsman)  

Precious celebrations

Celtic won the league four times in the 1890s and then completed six-in-a-row between 1905 and 1910.  The league continued during the First World War and we won five out of six titles between 1914 and 1919. By then, Queens Park had well and truly been supplanted as Scotland’s top team, but there was a [...]

QUICK NEWS March 26, 2014

Neil Lennon Celebrates 4 Years  in Charge At Celtic. The manager reflects on the last 4 years and 219 games as the Gaffer. (Scotsman) Gabriel Piccolo: Our Crowd Don’t Want to Host Celtic Title Party. Thistle’s Mexican defender doesn’t want title decided in derby game in their back yard. (STV) FIFA Ethics Investigator Survives Inside [...]

King, the Pied Piper of Govan

You would be forgiven for thinking Honest Dave King is a bit preoccupied by the C word.  Every time he extrapolates where the club he supports (through an accomplished undermining strategy) is heading, the subject returns to knocking Celtic off their lofted perch. This task could take £30m-£50, King estimates, a burden he is willing [...]

Crimean clubs crossing, Bayern banner ban

We’ve been trailing the Ukraine-Russia Joint League plans, which was due to commence early next year, since they were first mooted in 2012.  Political will, met commercial money, and a football desire to put the merger of two large national leagues into the schedule. Needless to say, these plans are off the agenda, although it’s [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Mar 23, 2014

Celtic 3 – 0 St. Mirren. Match report, with Neil’s interview. (BBC) Lennon Admits Title Should Be Four In A Row. As Celtic edge closer to the league title finish line and Neil will join other 3-in- a row managers (Stein, Maley and Strachan), he regrets not winning the league in season 2010 -11. (Scotsman)

We stand alone

If you live long enough you get to hear or read just about everything. Today some in the old media are telling us Celtic and Rangers (sic) are both chasing a soon-to-be out of contract Manchester United player. The way it used to work is an agent would fly into Glasgow to see Celtic or [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update March 21, 2014

Celtic Park to Become “Window on The Commonwealth” During Glasgow 2014 Opening Ceremony. Biggest screen in Europe set for Paradise, 100 metres wide  x 11 metres high. (insidethegames.biz) Muddy Murrayfield Set To Be Ripped Up As SRU Promise Celtic The New Surface Will Be Ready For Champions League Campaign. Rugby association promises Celtic that Murrayfield [...]

Time to call Fifa to account

The Fifa Executive Committee meet in Zurich today and tomorrow but it is unclear if the allegations of corruption concerning the decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar will be on the agenda.  The world body are no strangers to allegations of corruption, it seems to be an internal part of the fabric [...]

Getting ready for our summer panic

We have a curious end of season coming up.  Out of the Scottish Cup and a matter of weeks away from securing the league, the last six weeks of the season will hold no competitive challenge for Celtic.  Neil Lennon has suggested he will, as last season, rest players with next season’s Champions League qualifiers [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update March 19, 2014

Neil Lennon May Rest Some Of His Celtic Players Once The Title Is Secured. Just like last season, the gaffer will likely rotate the squad with the Champions League qualifiers in mind. (Sky) Henderson Can Be A Celtic Star Insists Mathews After Youngster’s Full Debut. Celtic right back raves about 17 year old Liam and [...]

Blood on the pitch

The decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar didn’t bother me in particular, for me, World Cups are a chance to watch great footballers playing for teams I don’t have a vested interest in.  That changed when reports of hundreds of deaths of foreign migrants, allowed in to build the infrastructure required to [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update March 18, 2014

Commons Stays True To Word Over International Exile. With his explosive form this season, Kris hears the call to reconsider his international availability, but he’s not for changing his mind. (Scotsman) Premier League Struggles to Punch Its Weight Among European Elite. Is the EPL the best league in Europe or the best brand? Evidence points [...]

The new second force, 3 school kitchens paid for, CQteN Dream Team

I had some difficulty explaining to my boys why I wanted Aberdeen to win the League Cup yesterday, the desirability of having an even-stronger Aberdeen was lost on them after last month’s chastening experiences. There are those who will tell you Scottish football, and Celtic in particular, need a strong Sevco.  That argument is incorrect [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update March 16, 2014

Celtic’s Kris Commons Went All Out For Hat-Trick. Celtic’s top scorer couldn’t resist going for it. (Scotsman) Celtic Captain Reckons Liam Henderson Is On Road To Becoming Parkhead Driving Force. Scott says the 17 year-old midfielder is the real deal. (Herald)

That. Was. Incredible.

Just a short blog today.  I found the notes for my speech this morning.  A lot of positive things should have been said about Tony (one of the nicest CQN’ers I’ve met, and I’ve lots of great CQN’ers), Jim (more committed to the welfare of others than he would be comfortable you knowing), and David [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update March 15, 2014

Kilmarnock 0 – 3 Celtic. Match report. (BBC) Lennon Hails Celtic Response. Neil wasn’t happy with the first half performance and after a ‘pep talk’ at half time the team upped the tempo and blew Kilmarnock away. (Football365) Spare us This Embarassing Wengering: Arsenal And City Were Well Beaten And There’s No-One Else To Blame. [...]

What your money did

In recent weeks hundreds of you have contributed to our Mary’s Meals project to build a school kitchen in Malawi for the 1221 pupils who are enrolled at the Kholoni Primary School in Mchinii, and then for the 746 pupils at St Joseph’s Primary in Kasungu. The £7000 required for the first school reached Mary’s [...]

Biton and the holding position

I was discussing Beram Kayal during the week, specifically how he was keeping Victor Wanyama out of the Celtic team before that ‘tackle’ from Rangers’ McCulloch put him out of action for months.  The player has never recovered his form but has never had a sustained run in the team either. Nir Biton has made [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update March 13, 2014

Biton and Forrest Face Long Haul To Fitness. While Nir and James are out injured, Mouyokolo and Lustig are getting closer to being fit again. (Scotsman) Breaking The Law: Take Injury-Time Out Of Football Referees Hands. Referees have enough on their hands: appoint another official with a stop watch to more accurately record injury time. [...]

Questions are always the same, just the answers change

Is the club safe with Sir David, Dave King and Paul Murray?  Is Craig Whyte a worthy successor?  Is Charles Green trustworthy?  Is Ally McCoist a great manager?  For the PR hired hands at Ibrox, the questions were always the same, it was just the answers that changed. Few have the gall to deliver the [...]

Virgil is in a different place than Victor and Gary were

Virgil van Dijk looks like a level-headed footballer, so I don’t think his game will be upset by his agent’s loose lips.  He has enjoyed a remarkably successful first season at Celtic Park but any attempt by his representatives to create an earner this summer is likely to be inhibited by the three years remaining [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update March 11, 2014

Leigh Griffiths Will Face ‘Big Test’ Next Term. Striker’s always dreamed of playing in the Champions League and he can’t wait to test himself on that stage. (Scotsman) Leigh Griffiths Counting Down To Double Title Triumph with Celtic and Wolves. Leigh could end this season with 2 league winners medals. (Telgraph) Virgil Ban Accepted. Celtic [...]

Free weekends just not right

There’s something not right about a free weekend in early March; we should still have been in the Cup.  Congratulations are therefore due to the five managers who remain in the competition, who have each shown remarkable abilities and are truly invaluable resources to their respective clubs – worth contract extensions all round. Congratulations are [...]

Six days out and a mountain to climb

Over the last few days we have worked with Mary’s Meals to identify a second school without basic facilities in one of the most deprived areas of the world.  We have confirmed St Josephs’ Primary School in Kasungu, Malawi (the 17th poorest country in the world), which has a roll of 746 pupils and no [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update March 8, 2014

Celtic Sign 13-year-old Hamilton Goalkeeper Joshua Rae. Celtic redefine meaning of  Young Guns. (BBC) Emilio: Deal Me In Bhoys. Izzy would love to be a long-term Celt – he has another year left on his contract. (Daily Express) Why RB Leipzig Are Sending Shockwaves Through German Football. New club raises more than eyebrows as they [...]

Jock, Martin, Gordon and Neil

You remember Celtic manager, Gordon Stachan, third manager in our history to win three-in-a-row?  Took us to the Champions League knock out stages for the first time, did much of this while comparative economics were moving against us, remember him?  Is he the same Gordon Strachan who has transformed the Scotland national team’s results? Gordon [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update March 7, 2014

Internet Argument Resolved. There’s hope for CQNers….the secret is to continue to search the internet for evidence to back your beliefs, even if it takes years! (Daily Mash) Desmond: Despite The Lack Of TV Money, Celtic Are The Best Performing Club in Britain. We are Simply the Best, Better Than all The Rest. (Daily Mail) [...]

1200 hungry weans, ill-conceived Act

Apologies for absence yesterday, the day got away from me.  The blog would have said something like, “really pleased Celtic pushed back so vocally against the illiberal and ill-conceived Offensive Behaviour Act”, but with less brevity. Shortly before Christmas we launched the campaign to fund the construction of a school kitchen in Malawi through Mary’s [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update March 6, 2014

Poland 0 – 1 Scotland. Celtic captain scores winning goal for national team. (BBC) Celtic Still Ranked 5th Best British Club Team. Celts would have ranked higher if they had progressed further in Europe and not lost 2 SPFL games. (Sports Witness)

The economic miracle which beggars belief

I wasn’t engaged in Celtic politics 20 years ago, never attended the Celts for Change meetings and I wasn’t there to hear ‘The rebels have won!’ in person, but it was clear the Celtic Movement had achieved a remarkable revolution. The old board’s biggest failing was its lack of strategy.  20 years on Fergus McCann [...]

Admin only one option being considered

Not for the first time around Ibrox, we’re deep into denial territory than an insolvency incident is imminent.  A whole load of irrelevant questions have been answered; they will not go into administration on ‘Sash Wednesday’, nor will a board meeting be convened today, but the pertinent question, whether club consultant Philip Nash, and director [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update March 2, 2014

Celtic Boss Lennon Impressed With Leigh Griffiths Goals. Manager delighted with team’s performance, especially new striker’s deadly touch. Wants to win league title soonest and start to integrate developing players into team. (BBC) Hat-Trick Hero Griffiths Gets Late Scotland Call. After Gordon Strachan  watched the Celtic game, he included Leigh in the Scotland squad for [...]

My bet is on Kris

It’s ‘get back on the horse’ time for Celtic tomorrow when they face Inverness at Celtic Park.  The Highlanders will arrive with a different type of momentum about them from the home team.  On their last outing Celtic conceded a league goal and lost a league game for the first time since before Jock Stein’s [...]

QUICK NEWS 5m Update Feb 28, 2014

Celtic Ace Insists Fergus McCann Deserves Praise For Contribution To The Club. Charlie Mulgrew applauds saviour Fergus, 20 years on. (STV) Fraser Forster Makes England Squad To Play Denmark. Bodes well for Brazil, as Fraser ‘s in squad for next week’s friendly. (Scotsman) Celtic Appeal Van Dijk Dismissal. Virgil will be eligible to play against [...]

Marching Newco into the Sea one insolvency at a time

‘Starve your club of money until I get what I want’ is just about the measure of Glib and Shameless’ statement yesterday.  No one at the SFA, SPFL, the Glasgow City Council, the Co-op/Vatican Bank or Celtic could do as much damage to the Fledgling Rangers as Dave King’s pronouncement. These people have taken so [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Feb 27, 2014

Aberdeen 2-1 Celtic: Lennon Defiant On and Off The Park After Defeat. Tactical analysis of the game. (tictactic.co.uk) Jonny Hayes: Not a Case of Sour Grapes From Celtic. Man who broke the record has sympathy for the Celtic manager. (Scotsman) Scottish Mainstream Media Ignores Rangers Tax Tribunal. The 3 monkeys syndrome is alive and well in [...]

McInnes proves point with second win over Celtic

The clean sheet record had to go eventually, so I’m pleased it went to a good goal, not an error by Fraser, which would have been harsh on the big keeper.  Having already recorded Celtic’s, then Scotland’s league clean sheet record, the British and European records were within touching distance, but that is now a [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Feb 26, 2014

 Celtic Manager Neil Lennon Blames Ref For Pittodrie Defeat. Neil praises players but points to ref decisions that changed the outcome of the game. (BBC) Hoops Suffer First League Loss As Dons Strike Again. Match report. (The Independent)

Central-mid quandary for Celtic

We know what to expect from Aberdeen tonight.  They will flood (pardon the pun) central midfield, defend deeply and, let’s be clear, they will score any time we allow them the kind of space they exploited at Celtic Park this month. Question is, what will Celtic do about it?  If Stefan Johansen’s ankle knock keeps [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Feb 25, 2014

Celtic Bid To Turn Tables On ‘Steely’ Aberdeen. Lennon’s thinking “Game-on”. (Scotsman) Shut-Out King Fraser Has Got What It Takes. Roy Hodgson has praise  for Celtic goalkeeper. (Daily Express) Aberdeen Can Challenge Celtic Over 90 Minutes, Not a Season. Aberdeen manager says the 3 games against Celtic this season have been close and the Dons [...]

Robbing Billy to pay Laxey

30% interest!  Nice one, Newco Rangers, you’ve got yourself a deal there.  Suggestions that your business plan has been, and remains, unsustainable and extravagant are patently absurd when you can borrow at the kind of rates a Zimbabwean pimp would get at the height of the ZWD’s recent hyper-inflation episode, although it’s probably worth noting [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Feb 24, 2014

Nir Biton Enjoying ‘Big Honour’ of Fortser Record. Celtic’s holding midfielder is proud that the goalkeeper and the whole team broke the clean-sheet record. (Scotsman) Fraser Forster Sets His Sights On Breaking Edwin van der Sar’s UK Shutout Record. La Gran Muralla has the finish line in sight for the UK record. (Telegraph) The Ten [...]

Hearts v Celtic, Live updates

Live updates will appear below after 12:45. CQteN St Patrick’s Dinner on Friday 14 March at the Kerrydale Suite will be showing the Kilmarnock-Celtic game on big screens and TVs during the meal. Dancing, singing and merriment after the full time whistle.

Break record but don’t leave pointless

At around 13:16 tomorrow afternoon Fraser Forster will hopefully break the 40-year record of Aberdeen’s Bobby Clark for not conceding a goal in Scottish league football.  Clark’s record is next up for the Celtic keeper but the British and European records are not too far away. Apart from Celtic Park itself there would be no [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Feb 21, 2014

Efe Ambrose Declares That Virgil van Dijk ‘Has Been Like a Brother To Me’. Centre back sings his partner’s praises and talks about how close they have become. (STV) Organised Hearts Will Be Match for Celtic – Locke. Hearts manager says bring it on, regarding Saturday’s game at Tynecaste. (Scotsman)  

When directors and creditors are one and the same

Thanks to everyone who contributed questions for the Forum last night.  It was an open, frank and productive meeting.  Draft minutes will be distributed to attendees to be checked for accuracy before being formalised, after which the meeting’s outcomes will be made public through various outlets. One thing which is evident, and goes largely unacknowledged, [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Feb 20, 2014

Georgios Samaras Turns Down Rubin Kazan Move. Money alone does not motivate Sami. (Scotsman) Lennon “Flattered” By Norwich Link But Is Focused On Job At Celtic. Deja Vu as the media links  Neil with another struggling EPL club. (Daily Mail) Celtic Make New Scouting Trip, This Time A Different Target. Who are Celtic watching in [...]

Celtic Forum

Is that the time?  Many thanks to everyone who submitted questions for the Club to answer at the Forum this evening.  CQN submitted six pages of questions along with many other groups, from which an agenda has been prepared (below): Stadium Atmosphere and Matchday Policy: What is the current position in respect of the Green [...]

Stokes, Griffiths, desolation and competition

Anthony Stokes started the season with a flurry, scoring four goals in the first three league games of the season, but he managed just another three goals before the arrival of Leigh Griffiths two weeks ago.  He has since scored against Aberdeen in the Cup as well as Sunday’s hat-trick against St Johnstone. Three goals [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Feb 18, 2014

Just a Shame He Is Not a Don… But Clark Will Salute Celtic’s Forster if Stopper Surpasses His Landmark Against Hearts Legendary Aberdeen goalie is rooting for Fraser. (Daily Mail) Should We Have ‘Safe Standing’ At Football Matches? An argument for and against safe standing, as Bristol City becomes the first club in England to test [...]

A kind of transubstantiation

Bobby Clark was the first Aberdeen goalkeeper I knew.  He was thought of highly, until Jim Leighton and colleagues stepped the performance levels up a pace at Aberdeen.  He has two places in the history books, one for the longest period not to concede a goal in Scottish league football, which when established in 1971 [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Feb 17, 2014

Fresh Faces Hint At Next Campaign But Stokes Decides Match. Tactical analysis of formation and key players in St.Johnstone game. (tictactic.co.uk) Forster Confident He Can Be On The Plane To Brazil After Breaking Clean-Sheet Record. While some in England don’t put much value on a Celtic goalkeeper’s heroics, Fraser keeps his fingers crossed that he [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Feb 15, 2014

Celtic’s Early Cup Exits Dont Make Season a Failure. Charlie says dont discount the season, remember the good run in the Champions League and excellent run in the league. (Irish Independent) McCoist: Rangers May Need £30m to Return to Top. McCoist’s pie is in the sky. (Scotsman) Sacked! Fulham Appoint German Coach Magath to Replace [...]

Reality is a different country

I was asked a cracking question last night: ‘Everyone knows Rangers went into administration on 14 February 2012, but do you know what date they came out of administration?’ Can anyone guess? This is the material Cognitive Dissonance is made of. Duff and Phelps did an incredible job. Had they stuck to Whyte’s plan, put [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Feb 14, 2014

Neil Lennon is No Jekyll and Hyde. – The Real Personality Split is Way He Has Been Treated in England and Scotland. Funny how Neil played in England for 14 years without any trouble….but in Scotland it’s a different story. (Telegraph) Neil Lennon: ‘One Bad Game’ Won’t Deter Celtic From Unbeaten Ambition. Manager says team [...]

Fulfilling potential after a move

One of the things you hope for when a player leaves for a richer league is that they perform well.  It reflects on whatever value you will get the next time someone leaves.  Joe Ledley has gotten off to a flier with Crystal Palace, although there is still a long way to go there, but [...]

Guest blog by Tommy Gemmell

Today, we have the small matter of a guest blog by Lisbon Lion, right back, left back, dominator of play, years ahead of his time, scorer of two of our three most important goals, a truly modern player and one of Europe’s finest…….. Tommy Gemmell. Tommy has spent the last few years ‘getting it all [...]

Midfield isolation

I have a semi-regular correspondent, Raymie, who, over some considerable time now, has expressed concerns when Celtic play two central midfielders with two attack-minded players in the wide berths. Intuitively, we should be attack minded against all Scottish opposition, especially at home, but football parks are big open spaces which requires a lot of industry [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Feb 11, 2014

Football Club World Rankings. Celtic ranked number 19 in top 200 clubs worldwide. (www.iffhs.de) Fraser Forster Told To Quit Celtic For England. Ex England goalkeeping legend urges Fraser to get more game action down south. (Scotsman) Leigh Griffiths is the New  999. A breakdown of what Leigh has delivered as a striker. (tictactic.co.uk)

Defence need to play-up for their keeper

First the treble then the double slipped through the net leaving Celtic absolute certainties for the inaugural Scottish Premiership title, but with only a couple of higher aspirations to aim for.  Fraser Forster is closing in on Bobby Clark’s Aberdeen league shut out record, which if he keeps a clean sheet at home to St [...]

Celtic spend afternoon asking same question of resolute Aberdeen

This time last year the league was in the bag, as it is today, but we had Champions League football to look forward to in the coming days, and would ultimately go on to win the Scottish Cup.  The Champions League is always going to be a hard place to measure progress for a club [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Feb 9, 2014

Celtic ‘Played Like Strangers’, Says Lennon. Manager hardly recognized his team: the Celtic DNA was missing. Team has only won 2 cups out of seven in Neil’s time as manager. (Scotsman) Neil Lennon Says Celtic Were Second Best in Scottish Cup Defeat. Celtic knocked out of cup. (STV)  

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Feb 8, 2014

Neil Lennon: I’ve Done Nothing to Deserve the Abuse I Receive. Interview with Neil about  the personal abuse he continues to get in Scotland. (STV) Celtic “Better Than Ever”, in Posting £21.3m Profit. Celtic’s latest financial report written in black ink. (Herald)

Celtic interim accounts out, ups and downs

Celtic’s revenue for the interim six months to 31 December 2013 fell 11% to £44.8m (2012: £50.1m), while operational expenses also fell, by 7%, to £34.3m.  The club had £5.7m cash in the bank, £5.6m more than a year earlier. A few factors behind the figures: We played fewer home games, 16 as opposed to [...]

Fergus for flag day* and Tommy Gemmell

You can imagine the scene, deep inside Celtic Park.  “Let’s invite Fergus over to raise the flag on the opening day of the season.  Would be great to get him back 20 years after his critical role in saving the club, especially after that nonsense in ’98. “Wait a minute, probably best not to mention [...]

Adrian Sproat and shutout records

An article on STV this week brought an old memory to mind.  Days before Rangers’ goalkeeper, Chris Woods, was set to break a Scottish shut-out record across all competitions he gave a media interview when he said, “I just hope when we do lose a goal it is not an important one”. Woods duly broke [...]

Co-op awards Celtic the League Cup Final

Really pleased the Scottish Professional Football League have awarded the League Cup Final to Scotland’s largest football stadium, Celtic Park.  We are now hosting the League and Scottish Cup finals, as well as the head of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. So with the Commonwealth and Scottish [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Feb 5, 2014

Van Dijk Talks Up Record Run. Virgil knows how tough it is to set records in Scotland, despite what some in Holland say.(Sporting Life) Neil Lennon Has Unfinished Business at Celtic Before he Considers Move to England, Says Owen Coyle. Could an improved run in the Champions League or winning the treble keep boss motivated at [...]

Silk from financial sow’s ear

World Soccer Magazine published a fascinating table at the bottom of an article on the respective financial might of Chelsea and Manchester City yesterday, detailing player spend and sales for current English Premier League clubs over the last 10 seasons. Liverpool have an average net spend of £18.1m as they chase former glories while Manchester [...]

When clubs go bad

Keep an eye on what’s happening at Leeds United.  The club is under offer from ‘colourful’ Italian, Massimo Cellino, who will become owner if the Football League decide that his conviction for defrauding Italian tax authorities is not sufficient to make him an inappropriate person to control a football club. If Cellino is declared unsuitable [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Feb 3, 2014

Celtic Set Clean Sheet Record With 1 – 0 Win Over St. Mirren. Club breaks 92 year old record with Fraser Forster’s 11 game shut-out run. (STV) That Neil Lennon Needs a Bodyguard is a Grotesque Reflection on Scottish Football. A primitive state of affairs. (Herald) Neil Lennon May Quit Scouting Trips After Abuse At [...]

They want to get rid of him

‘They’ want to get rid of him.  Not all of them, by any measure, I’ve seen Neil Lennon welcomed as an old friend by some whose allegiances lie a long way from Celtic Park, but to some he represents an opportunity to indulge in the kind of prejudice which was once widely accepted in Scotland. [...]

Best to Ledley, Goals Griffiths and Perpetual Movement Stefan

I read some discourse heading in the direction of Joe Ledley last night, which I can’t quite figure.  Joe had initially seemed keen to sign the contract which had been in his hands for several months.  Celtic wanted to get the deal done but it became clear this week that it wasn’t going to happen, [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Feb 1, 2014

Wolves Striker Joins Celtic. Leigh Griffiths joins “biggest club in Scotland”. (BBC) Crystal Palace Confirm The Capture of Celtic Midfielder Joe Ledley. Celtic do well to cash-in on Joe. (STV) Griffiths Puts Pen to Paper on Four-Year Deal at Celtic as Lennon finally Gets his £1m Man. Neil Lennon talks about the new signing and [...]

Business complete after Griffiths

With Leigh Griffiths set to sign in the next few moments our business for the January transfer window is complete.  As well as Leigh, we added 20-year-old Icelandic striker Holmbert Fridjobsson, and 23-year-old Norwegian left-midfielder, Stefan Johansen. I expect Johansen and Griffiths to be holding down a starting place no later than next month.  Johansen’s [...]

Little surprise in Ledley moving on

I remember the early days of Joe Ledley’s time at Celtic, in particular for defending him with pleas to ‘give him time to settle’.  He did settle into an accomplished midfield player but there should be no surprise he is moving on now. Joe has managed his career well.  He allowed his Cardiff City contract [...]

Celtic get the ball rolling with Griffiths

So Leigh Griffiths is set to be a Celtic player today.  I bet we could all guess a few topics covered at induction.  He is in because he scored 23 SPL goals for Hibs last season, more than anyone at Celtic achieved, and is currently Wolves top scorer with 12 goals. Despite appearing to predictably [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Jan 31, 2014

Celtic Midfielder Ledley Close to Crystal Palace Switch After Hoops Accept £700k Bid. It’s now up to the player. (Daily Mail) Trabzonspor Make Fresh Offer for Celtic Striker Georgios Samaras. Turkish club would like Sami in this window. (STV) Dylan McGeouch: Coventry Sign Celtic Midfielder on Loan. Dylan looking forward to more game time. (BBC) [...]

When exceptional becomes the norm

As this clean sheet run has continued, every time Fraser Forster has made a good save, I’ve found myself suggesting that the defence is not playing as tightly as it used to.  We quickly regard exceptional performance as the norm. Fraser has, of course, been exceptional, again, this season.  Efe Ambrose and Virgil van Dijk [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Jan 30, 2014

Celtic 4 -0 Kilmarnock. Match report (BBC) Manager: A Fantastic Achievement for Fraser. Take a bow, Gran Muralla. (Celticfc.net) Wolves Want £1m For Celtic Target Leigh Griffiths. Typical transfer window haggling underway. (Scotsman) English Clubs Are Biggest Spenders on Overseas Players, Says FIFA Report. £550m spent in 2013, up 51% from 2012. (Guardian)

Shutouts, 900k and getting a grip

During the Gordon Strachan era I dreaded home games against Kilmarnock.  Gordon was permanently under pressure and someone would always lob the “Do you know it’s been 53/54/55 years since Celtic have lost at home to Kilmarnock?’ question in his direction.  The last thing the guy needed was a historical record for his many begrudgers [...]

Neither club has imperative to do Griffiths deal

When an unexpected name flies into the frame from left field there’s always a concern about what you’ve written about him before.  I still remember the day we signed Kenny Miller, and an earlier blog with my assessment of the player (subsequently found to be on the money).  While it’s important to be fair when [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Jan 28, 2014

Celtic’s Neil Lennon Still Hoping to Sign Leigh Griffiths. Neil’s hopefull of getting striker, but he won’t leave it util the last minute. (Scotsman) Kris Commons Takes Top Spot After Easter Road Double. Kris leads the Power Rankings. (STV)

Glut of strikers but budget remains intact

We seem to have a lot of forwards.  Stokes, Pukki, Balde, new recruit Fridjonsson, and on-loan, Atajic and Watt, while Georgios may yet stay beyond the summer.  That’s six under contract for the Champions League qualifiers, not counting Sweden’s ‘next Henrik Larsson’, who is likely to move on soon. Quantity is one thing but cost [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Jan 26, 2014

Lennon Admits Staying Undefeated For The Season Would be His Greatest Achievement. Manager targets an almost impossible record of going through the domestic campaign undefeated; not looking too good on the Samaras contract; heavy going on the transfer front. (Daily Mail) Butcher: Neil Lennon In No Rush To Go To England. Terry believes his Celtic [...]

Playing with an eye on your next gig, bold use of Latin

I don’t like playing games when players have transfer or contract business swirling around the dressing room.  Give a team an excuse to underperform and they tend to grab it, so I expect a difficult challenge at Easter Road tomorrow.  If we want to maintain our unbeaten run and two month old clean sheet record [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Jan 25, 2014

Lennon Hints at Celtic Move for £1.25m Griffiths. The boss himself says the club is finding it tough to get the strker at the top of his list. Rumours say he is increasing his interest in Leigh Griffiths. (Scotsman) Lennon: There’s No Comparison. Neil ‘s not in the slightest interested in drawing new Rangers in [...]

Spectre of Celtic and wincing at financial realities

I winced slightly reading that Deliotte’s suggested Celtic were a ‘top 40’ club in terms of turnover.  The days we featured in their annual Top 20 report are long gone, lost in the raft of TV deals which flooded into England, France and elsewhere. This is a problem for Celtic but at least we have [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Jan 24, 2014

Adam Mathews Out Injured for Up to Three Weeks With Calf Injury. Right back’s injury opens up opportunity for Darnell Fisher. (STV) Celtic Make Enquiry For Wolves Striker Griffiths As Lennon Looks to Bolster Attack. Celts rumoured to be in contact with Wolves. (Daily Mail) Premier League Plans Crackdown on Illegal Foreign Pub Screenings. EPL [...]


I was initially surprised to hear we’re tracking a Jack-of-all-trades defensive midfielder-cum-central defender.  Neil Lennon’s clear preference in central defence is Efe Ambrose and Virgil van Dijk, both of whom have been in excellent form this season, but he has backup in the form of Charlie Mulgrew, or even Mikael Lustig, who has played there [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Jan 22, 2014

An Uncommon Problem. A tactical look at how Celtic use Kris Commons and why they need back-up. (tictactic.co.uk) Benfica Says There Has Been No Bid from Celtic for Filip Djuricic. Portugal club says all quiet with the Bhoys, who are rumoured to like Boro defender. (Sky)  

Withering in the vine, sin and orange

At 21-years-old Tom Rogic should be strongly staking his claim for a central midfield berth at Celtic.  The fact that he’s not is a disappointment to the player, and apparently the nation of Australia.  It’s also a disappointment to you and me.  He has the physique and the passing ability but after some tentatively positive [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Jan 21, 2014

Melbourne Victory Signing Tom Rogic Says He is Better Than Ever. Celts midfielder says he has improved as a player at Celtic and is complimentary about the club and fans. (Canberra Times) Orange Cards Proposed By FIFA Candidate Jerome Champagne. French candidate for Blatter’s job in 2015 proposes sin-bin concept. (BBC)

Getting your edge. Re-writing Newco history

I didn’t realise until watching TV last night it was Keith Lasley that Anthony Stokes ‘did’ on Saturday, the player who put Adam Matthews out of the game for a couple of months.  It’s a physical game, and I’m not going to concede violent behaviour is acceptable, but it would be super-human to not be [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Jan 19, 2014

Celtic 3 – 0 Motherwell. Match report. (BBC) Stefan Johansen Believes he can Thrive at Celtic. New bhoy’s looking forward to the physical side of Scottish football. It could improve his overall game, as it has done for many foreigners before him. (Scotsman)

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Jan 18, 2014

Kris Commons Wants to be at Celtic for Life. Celtic’s star player this year would love an extended contract with the Hoops. (Daily Express) Celtic to Pay Cost of Amsterdam Police Complaints. Club offers to pay Dutch lawyer’s complaints process costs. (Scotsman) Celtic Duo Scoop Awards. Manager and player of the month for December. (Football365) [...]

Paltry 15% cut cannot be main story

Got into a brief conversation last night about whether administration and liquidation were likely at Newco Rangers. The club’s creditors will be few and of comparatively low value, nothing like their predecessor club’s £100m debts.  They will owe HMRC vat and PAYE money, utilities and other trade creditors will be owed no more than a [...]

Ballsy innovation comes crashing

Yesterday, Southampton’s chairman Nicola Cortese resigned.  Depending on how long you have been trailing this story, he is either being tempted to take up the chef exec job at struggling Milan, or has found working under owner Katharine Liebharr too much.  It’s also possible that Ms Liebharr has insisted on a return on her family’s [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Jan 16, 2014

Johansen: I Told my Mother we Needed to Move House When I was 14 to Make it as a Professional and I Couldn’t Turn Down Celtic. Stefan has come a very long way to play for the Hoops. (Daily Mail) Wallace Must Shake Up Rangers. Graham Wallace inherited a ‘steaming financial mess’ at Ibrox, made [...]

Johansen becomes second Celtic addition

I’ve seen nothing of Stefan Johansen but I’m delighted we have signed a central midfield player.  Deficiencies up front are glaring, especially in the Premiership, but in Europe, the critical area is central mid, where we need to control more than we did this season. Central midfield protects your defence and provides the foundations strikers [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Jan 15, 2014

Stefan Johansen Looks Forward to Celtic Move After Chat With Thomas Rogne. Midfielder inches closer to signing. (STV) Johansen Move Edges Closer as Classy Norwegian Passes Celtic Medical. Stefan passes medical (Daily Mail)  

Signing players on and off strategy

Bobby Collins left Celtic in 1958 after nine years’ service.  He’d won the Cup, the Double, the Coronation Cup, and, of course, the 1957 League Cup Final – Hampden in the Sun, Celtic 7, Rangers 1. He went on to have a great career at Everton and to make a transformational contribution to Leeds United, [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Jan 14, 2014

Celtic Target Stefan Johansen Arrives in Glasgow for Signing Talks. One step closer with first signing of the window. (STV) Bobby Collins: Former Celtic, Everton and Leeds Player Dies, Aged 82. RIP “wee barra”. (BBC)  

Pay the piper or pay the consequences

Humiliate your rivals in the Cup Final by putting five goals past them and, if you don’t pay the piper, you pay the consequences.  Winning trophies while running up debts you cannot afford to pay is not a viable strategy.  The consequences, if you are fortunate enough to survive, has to be painful, otherwise football [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Jan 12, 2014

Stefan Johansen Coy on Celtic Transfer Talk. Norwegian midfielder diplomatic about the rumour mill. (Scotsman) Lennon Says Two Week Winter Break Would Do The World Of Good For English Clubs. Neil’s grateful that the SPFL gave Scottish clubs the option of a winter break; believes it should be an annual event and the clubs south [...]

Tactically aware athlete needed

I don’t know anything about Stefan Johansen, who is one of several central midfield players Celtic are tracking, but I’m pleased we’re scouting for this area.  There’s no question we are missing a penalty box predator but you could make a case that the sense of calm and control exerted by Victor Wanyama in the [...]

Jock and Fergie, by Archie Macpherson

Today we have a guest writer, Archie Macpherson, Scotland’s most celebrated broadcaster.  Archie started broadcasting for the BBC in the 1960s and was the authoritative voice of football commentaries, and comment, for decades thereafter.  He was co-commentator for our first European Cup win and remains a regular newspaper columnist and TV contributor. I had a [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Jan 10, 2014

Trabzonspor 1 Celtic 3: A Turkey Shoot For New Bhoys as Pukki and Balde Rise to the Challenge. Mach report (Daily Mal) Stromsgodset Confirm Celtic Interest In Midfielder Stefan Johansen. Celtic said to be interested in Norwegian prospect. (STV) Chelsea’s Full Accounts Reveal They Have Tumbled Into The Red Again. EPL club, who have been [...]

Celtic long term land dividends

As we reported yesterday, Celtic have been busy buying up land around the periphery of the stadium for many years. The club managed to get the deal to buy land behind the Jock Stein Stand done before the mineral seam running below it was discovered. I hear the excavation rights are estimated to be worth [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Jan 9, 2013

Fraser Forster Eyes Records For Celtic. Goalie’s hoping for more silverware; grateful to Lenny. (Scotsman) Celtic Set The Record Straight With BBC Scotland. Celtic football club  dismisses mischief making. (Video Celts)

Don’t limp home, omni-shamble contagion

There’s always a bit of trepidation before Celtic play a meaningless game, like they will do in Turkey tomorrow, the propensity to pick up injuries feels higher, although this is possibly not borne out by statistics. Before Sunday the team look like they needed a break but no injuries, please. It’s been a long time [...]

Oft-triangulated Georgios

It’s good to be back.  A power outage at our datacentre on Saturday caused servers to crash and subsequent database problems.  Our thanks to Andrew in Belfast for his invaluable help, again… Trying hard to ignore speculation of various players coming our way, plenty of time for that later in the month, although I will [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Jan 7, 2014

Flight Cancellation Puts Back Celtic’s Winter  Trip to Turkey. Bhoys head out on Tuesday. (STV) Eusebio Profle: Portugal Legend ‘A Great Player and Terrific Man’. Remembering a true football great. (BBC) By Georgios, He’ll Be Missed: He May Be An Enigma, But Lennon Puts High Value On Gifted Greek Who Loves Being A Celt. Seven [...]

Indisputable mood to bring in the New

If you were lucky enough, like me, to enjoy a long Christmas holiday, I hope you had a good one.  I’m sure few of us are delighted to be back at it today but there’s an indisputable mood on the blog for bringing in the New.  A fresh start is needed and fortunately we’re at [...]

QUIC NEWS 5am Update Jan 3, 2014

Celtic May be Priced Out Of A Move for Finnbogason As Heerenveen Value Striker At £8m. Signing rumours. (Daily Mail) Scott Brown Happy If Joe Ledley Opts For Celtic. Captain keeping his fingers crossed. (Scotsman)  

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Jan 1, 2014

Hoops Will Hand Out a Hiding. Neil says one of these days a flood of goals will come. (Scottish Daily Express) Spanish Giants Atletico Madrid Make First Move for Celtic Striker Samaras. Spaniards, Hull and Lazio said to be interested in Georgios. (Daily Mail) Bolton Wanderers’ Debts Hit £163.8m as Cost of Relegation Bites. Club [...]

State of the Club Report, year-end 2013

On practically all measures the club has had a less successful 2013 than 2012 but I’m going to give you a positive State of the Club Report today.  2013 gave us one critical achievement, qualification for the group stage of the Champions League.  Winning the league title is, of course, critical for most ambitious clubs, [...]

Celtic will prevail, no matter which scenario plays out

The Scotsman did an interesting article today on the fact that recent attendances at Celtic Park have fallen well short of the circa 46,000 paid for tickets, the majority of which are season tickets.  It touches on several issues. Suggestions that a league in which Celtic inevitably process to the title is less attractive to [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Dec 30, 2013

Inverness 0 -1 Celtic. Match report with Manager’s interview. (BBC) Lennon: ‘Give  Unbeaten Celtic Some Credit’. Neil is disappointed that not enough credit is given to Celtic’s record this year. (Scotsman)  

Summer madness bites at Cardiff

By all accounts Malky MacKay is a good guy.  He is certainly a good motivator and tactician, and an excellent communicator, unburdened by the airs and graces normally associated by managers in the self-appointed Greatest Show on Earth.  None of this saved him from the sack, though, accused of running riot with the cheque book [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Dec 28, 2013

Lennon – Unbeaten Celtic Season ‘Near Impossible’. Manager’s not counting on setting a record; Watt will stay on loan for the whole season. (Scotsman) Safe Standing Could Make Permanent Return to Football League. Momentum gaining in English Football League. (Guardian)

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Dec 27, 2013

St. Johnstone 0 – 1 Celtic. Match report, including interview with Neil. (BBC) Celtic Boss Hails His Dutch Master. Virgil gets ribbed on the training ground for his wayward shooting efforts, but after his mazy run and goal he has the last laugh. (Daily Express)

You did this in 2013

Yet again during 2013 we asked you to put your hand in your pocket and you responded as only Celtic fans do.  You raised £6000 before and during the focus of our summer fundraising activity, the annual golf day.  £4500 of this went towards the 1254125 Appeal, which during the year did an enormous amount [...]

Flag ban feels provocative

It all seems a bit cloak and dagger to suggest that pyrotechnics are smuggled into football grounds inside flags and banners.  I’d always assumed the ‘stick it up your jumper’ technique would have been the delivery mechanism, not that I’ve any experience of the subject. Flares have been an increasing menace at football games across [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Dec 23, 2013

Darnell Fisher Seeks to Fill Mikael Lustig’s Boots. With Mikael Lustig out for four months, Celtic’s promising young full back hopes to get more game time to continue his development. (Scotsman) Celtic Manager Neil Lennon Sets Sights on Invincible Premiership Season. While Neil tries to motivate his team for the rest of the season, he [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Dec 22, 2013

Kris Commons Strike Breaks Resilient Hearts as Celtic Claim Victory. Match report. (Guardian) Mjallby Reveals Celtic Target. Target to reach 20 SPFL games unbeaten. (Teamtalk)  

Solid CL performers, realisation dawns at Ibrox

I remember some disparaging comment from sections of the Scottish sporting media regarding Mikael Lustig’s performances for Sweden at Euro 2012.  Mikael had only recently joined Celtic and was still finding his feet in Scotland.  In short, we didn’t have enough information to make an informed judgement before the Euros.  We do now. His energy [...]

Some consistency from Uefa, please

Of all the supporter-related offenses Uefa are disciplining football clubs on at the moment the use of lasers annoys me most (with the appropriate caveat for health and safety matters). Racism, health and safety violations, violence flares are all appropriate reasons to sanction a club but it’s always bothered me that Uefa seem to let [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Dec 19, 2013

Lennon Lands In Holland To Scout Finnbogason …and Fellow Striker  Johannsson Impresses With Double Strike. Manager takes in Dutch game, presumably looking at strikers. (Daily Mail) Fridjonsson: No Pressure After Big-Money Failures. Celtic’s new signing, who cost Celtic only a modest sum, will not have the same pressure on him as some of the previous [...]

Horrible damage inflicted by requisitioners

The actions of the Sevco Requisitioners in undermining Newco Rangers made no sense.   They invoked an almighty schism, one which will forevermore deny the emerging club from a potentially rich seam of support.  An act of such potential vandalism would surely not be undertaken unless they had a plan to deliver the necessary votes? Turns [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Dec 18, 2013

Celtic Could Face Ajax in January Tournament. Celts to play in 4 team tournament in Turkey between January 8 to 12. (Scotsman) Hull and Cardiff City Protests Show Fans Refuse to be Taken for Granted. These days clubs and fans are drifting apart,  for various reasons. Not a healthy development for the game. (Guardian) Hiroki [...]

Narco-football ruining clubs

Spurs have dispensed with the man once thought Europe’s hottest guru manager (don’t believe in guru managers).  Villas Boas was a failure as manager but he was a mere symptom of their problems.  Splurging circa £100m on vagrant misfits should be enough to disguise the fact that you don’t have a sustainable strategy.  For a [...]

Stunning work by Celtic supporters

Five years ago when CQN’er Kano was confined to hospital with a debilitating illness Pablophanque was first to issue the call, “We need to raise the money to bring Kano home”.  In the weeks which followed the Bring Martin Home campaign launched.  The campaign succeeded and then some; the Kano Foundation is its lasting legacy. [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Dec 15, 2013

Neil Lennon Backs Teemu Pukki to Add to Celtic Goals Tally. Manager believes that Celtic’s Finn is on the ascendancy. (BBC) Celtic 1 -0 Hibernian: Hoops Brush Away Barca Blues with Tentative Display. In awful conditions Celtic maintain their unbeaten SPFL record. (STV) Celtic Champions League Exit: 5 Things we Learned. 1. If you draw [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Dec 14, 2013

No Room for Softie Celtic in Europe.  ’The Champions League is the playground of hard cases, with no room for easily-bullied softies’. (Scotsman) Celtic Will Remain European ‘Lightweights” Claims Lennon. Manager accepts that the Scottish game’s financial reality will always make Celtic a minnow in the top league in Europe. (BBC) Lennon ‘Not Thinking about [...]

CQteN St Pats, 1200 hungry kids

Celtic Quick News will be 10 years old next year and to mark the occasion, through Mary’s Meals, we’re going to construct a kitchen and shelter facility at the Kholoni Primary School in Mchinji, Central Malawi, which currently has no food preparation facilities. A brick-built building, the kitchen will consist of one main cooking area [...]

Vanity tactics

Efe Ambrose looked a tad nervous at the start of last night’s game.  He wasn’t the only one.   Adam Matthews was pressed into an early return from injury, a forced change, but Celtic’s decision to deploy a more adventurous line-up than in previous encounters with Barcelona was by choice. The result was 36% possession, heady [...]