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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 [...]

Jack-of-all-trades

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 [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Dec 12, 2013

Barcelona 6 – 1 Celtic. Match report (Uefa.com) Celtic Hit for Six by Rampant Barcelona. Celtic taught a football lesson…and  given a thrashing. (sky sports) Men V Bhoys: Lennon Left Livid as Blundering Celtic Are Hit for Six at Nou Camp. Manager is unhappy with players effort and performance. (Daily Mail)

128 seems impossibly indiscriminate

Banning 128 fans seems impossibly indiscriminate.  I don’t know how it was decided but it sounds like “those eight columns and sixteen rows” – painting with a very broad brush.  If so, the Club must meet with those in the affected area as soon as possible to allow fans who have had nothing whatsoever to [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Dec 10, 2013

Operation Celtic. Barcelona aim to convincingly beat Celtic after Ajax loss. (La Marca) Celtic Suspend Fans After Damage to Motherwell’s Fir Park. Club takes action on fans and SPFL lining up to take action on the club. (BBC) Celtic Ban 128 Fans, Close Green Brigade Section. Celtic have been fined 6 times in the last 7 [...]

Strong message from Supporters Association

Running late today……. The Celtic Supporters Association are in their seventh decade so have seen it all before, albeit the matters the felt necessary to comment on today are uncommon in modern times.  After their AGM yesterday they issued the following statement: “We do not condone in any circumstances the letting off of smoke devices [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Dec 9, 2013

Fans Condemn Fir Park Trouble. Just say NO to non-Celtic behaviour. (Teamtalk) Nou Camp Visit Perfect Way to Cap Week for Efe Ambrose. Celtic’s somersaulting centre back had his second child on the same day as he was scoring for his team. Now he wants to round off the week with a victory in Spain. [...]

Echoes of great Celtic teams

I thought it was the emerging influence of Nir Biton as a central midfield influence who transformed Celtic against Hearts on Sunday; he looked that good.  If anything, Celtic were better in his absence last night, more fluid, more incisive, against a better team. It’s all about shape.  The correct shape gives players time on [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Dec 7, 2013

Motherwell o – 5 Celtic. Match report (BBC) Commons at the Double. Rampant Celts annihilate Motherwell. (Scotsman) Efe Ambrose Goal Tops Off Perfect Day in Celtic Rout of Motherwell. It’s somersault time. (Guardian)

7 goals count for squat once whistle goes

I haven’t checked my facts here, so I could be wrong, but I reckon the last time we scored seven goals (against St Mirren) we lost the very next game (against the same opposition).  If we can deduce anything from this two point observation it is that teams rebounding from an embarrassing defeat are more [...]

We spoil the league

Illustrating the very high regard the business community and people of Barcelona hold Celtic fans, one of the city’s top restaurants, Cinc Sentis have donated lunch for two towards our annual charity causes. I am assured by our resident food critic (WDH), Cinc Sentis is a fabulous dining experience.  The auction has just gone live [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Dec 5, 2013

Virgil van Dijk: Premiership Matches Dutch League. Virgil’s hoping his form with Celtic will get noticed at the national team level and doesn’t see playing in the SPFL as a detriment. (Scotsman) The 125 Scottish Premiership Players out of Contract in the Summer. STV Artur Boruc – The Gallery. A light hearted dig at the [...]

England, or Israel, or Sweden, or Iceland, striker search goes on

It’s probably rash to suggest Neil Lennon dismisses the inflated English market when trying to sign a striker in preference for the Continent.  Europe has plenty of quality leagues, and gifted players, but it also has plenty of scouts. The tops leagues enjoy blanket analysis, which has consequences.  Our experience of Lassad and Miku suggests [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Dec 4, 2013

Neil Lennon Still on Striker Hunt for Celtic. Neil’s scouting players in England to fill the striker role. (Evening Times) Celtic Must Cough up to Land James Vaughan. Celts interested in on-form English Championship striker, but can they afford him? (Daily Express)

Ashely hates conflict

We’ve often talked about the only real danger to a football club: internecine strife: Internecine, def: pertaining to conflict within a group, mutually destructive. In football, your enemies can’t inflict permanent harm, that can only come from within.  This morning’s media cover threats from Sevconians to boycott (clearly in homage to Irish tradition) club/company products.  [...]

Biton influence on central mid

It wasn’t just the result, which was enormously satisfying, but the manner of Celtic’s performance yesterday was equally gratifying.  We passed with speed and precision, creating space between what was often two blocks of five defenders.  Hearts were in a sorry state but despite enduring the consequences of being unable to pay their dues, they [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Dec 2, 2013

Hearts 0 – 7 Celtic. Match report including post game interview with Neil. (BBC) Lennon Plans to Buy British. Gaffer will have a close look at British talent in the January sales. (Teamtalk)  

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Dec 1, 2013

Milan Expose Flaws in Celtic’s Zonal Defending. An education in how Zonal Marking is supposed to work and how Celtic failed to execute it properly. (tictactic.co.uk) They Love me at Tynecastle, Honestly. Broonie relishes the verbal abuse dished out at the Hearts ground. (Scotsman) Scott Brown Set to End his Career at Parkhead. Captain wants [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Nov 30, 2013

‘There is Money Available’: Lennon Targets Strikers For Celtic During January Sales. Manager wants to have proven striker(s) acquired in the next transfer window, to be sufficiently bedded in before next year’s Champions league qualifiers in the summer. (Daily Mail) Neil Lennon Out of Patience With Green Brigade. Manager feels let down by Tuesday night’s [...]

Attitude for Tynecastle

I watched Hearts batter Pat Fenlon’s Hibs into submission at Easter Road last month.  They are not a good team but they have elbows and commitment, often the key resources in a football game.  With our interest in the League Cup and Europe curtailed, and the league title a sure thing, it is enormously important [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Nov 29, 2013

A Hardcore of Fans Out of Control and a Board at a Loss What to do… the Green Brigade have Landed  Celtic in Hot Water. Ultras and football clubs make odd bedfellows where you take the good with the bad, most of the time. In Celtic’s case its decision time on what to do with their [...]

The chanting/banner slow train wreck

Apologies to all who, like me, tired of the circular ‘songs debate’ on CQN many years ago.  Back in 2011, when Celtic had a similar action from Uefa to defend as they now face, I predicted a slow train wreck: “The Debating societies will be exercised on the freedom of some to sing racially-hostile God [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Nov 28, 2013

Celtic Fans Urged to Leave Politics at Home As UEFA Acts Over ‘Political’ Banners.  Celtic in trouble with UEFA again, and fans group in trouble with the club. (Guardian) Celtic Toiled With Lesser Squad and Tougher Group. Some say that a weakened Celtic team did alright considering; Forster looks at the glass half full. (Scotsman) [...]

Taken to school, Paul McConville

Celtic’s valiant capitulation last night had a familiar feel to it.  We took the game to Milan, bossed them in many areas while the tie was still close enough to be called a contest, created chances but had no cutting edge and lost heavily, at home, to what is clearly the weakest of four Milan [...]

Celtic-Milan, the history

Celtic first faced Milan on a late season tour of North America, drawing 1-1 in Jersey before winning 2-0 in Toronto.  The Italians would be more than compensated 10 months later when they recorded a 0-1 win at Celtic Park in the quarter final of the European Cup after a 0-0 draw in the San [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Nov 26, 2013

Celtic Ready to Inflict More Pain on Wounded Milan. “We have nothing to lose and everything to gain”, says Neil. (uefa.com) Lennon to Give Boerrigter a Start. The pace of the Flying Dutchman on the left wing likely part of Celtic’s multi-pronged attack force. (Scotsman) I Would Rather Run the Gauntlet in Milan Than be [...]

Ignore vulnerable Milan nonsense

The stats tell an enticing story, Milan have played thirteen competitive games since beating Celtic and won only two, but you can forget about them right now.  Celtic are good enough to take three points tomorrow but it will require a perfect match plan if they are to do so. This fixture will hold no [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Nov 25, 2013

Commons Keen To Banish Amsterdam Anguish. Kris says the team owes the fans a top performance against Milan, after the poor show in the Arena. (Scotsman) Derk Boerrigter Believes That Celtic Have Enough Quality to Beat AC Milan. Celtic’s Flying Dutchman aims to keep the Bhoys Paradise record intact. (STV)  

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Nov 24, 2013

Celtic 3 – 1 Aberdeen. Match report. (BBC Derk Boerrigter Goal Gives Him Euro Chance. Dutchman hopes his scoring touch sets him up for the Milan game. (Daily Express) Misery for AC Milan Ahead of Celtic Clash. Pressure continues to mount on Milan as they could only draw at home to 10 man team. (Scotsman)

Cocky Dutch

I’m older than Virgil van Dijk and I’ve seen more football scenarios than he has, so in this respect it is forgivable for him to be talking about Celtic going through the entire league programme undefeated, but Virgil was in the Celtic team who lost at home to Morton less than two months ago, so [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Nov 22, 2013

Commons More Mature at Celtic. Kris has only been at Celtic since January 2011, but the domestic and Champions League  experience he has gained has advanced his own development and now he feels it’s right for him to help the younger players. (Teamtalk) Mulgrew: We Just Want to Keep Winning. Charlie recalls the last game [...]

Six Celtic fans

As six Celtic fans face the prospect of months in a Dutch jail if police evidence is preferred, take a look at this CCTV video from the Euro Pub in Dam Square: This is no more than the strong bullying the vulnerable.  It is shocking and affected more than just Celtic fans, other innocent bystanders [...]

Amazonians, the Window of Opportunity

“It’s just a dream come true”, the words of 20-year-old Holmbert Fridjonsson, who today signed a pre-contract agreement with Celtic and will join the club on 1 January.  5’ 9” manager, Neil Lennon, told Celticfc.net that the 6’3” striker is “a good size”, perhaps giving a glimpse into the innermost thoughts guiding Celtic’s recruitment policy, [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Nov 20, 2013

Celtic Set to Complete Signing of Holmbert Fridjonsson on Three-Year Deal.  Young striker prospect all but signed up. (STV) Celtic Enter Last-Chance Saloon Against Milan. Next week’s crucial Champions League match could end with Celtic in second place or bottom. Bhoys record at Celtic Park is remarkable and could ensure another special night. (uefa.com) Premier [...]

Lustig, Samaras and problems after World Cup 98

We’ll all be supporting Mikael Lustig and Georgios Samaras as Sweden and Greece attempt to qualify for the World Cup tonight but the prospect of Lustig, Samaras, Izaguirre, Ambrose, Forster and possibly van Dijk not having a break until July, days before the Champions League bandwagon starts rolling again, is unappetising. Celtic contributed more players [...]

Joe Baker, Hargreaves, Fraser, playing to the galleries

Neil Lennon’s suggestion that fostering Fraser Forster from a lower-league loaner to an England international is “one of the best things [he’s] been involved with as a manager” is difficult to dispute, despite his various trophies and Champions League exploits. Owen Hargreaves earned an England cap before he made an appearance in either of England’s [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Nov 17, 2013

Charlie Mulgrew Feels Midfield Partnership With Scott Brown is Developing. Charlie’s enjoying the midfield role in national team. (STV) Arsenal, Everton and Celtic on Red Alert as Ibrahim is Told he is Free to Leave Man City Following Loan Spell in Norway. Clubs lining up for free transfer of midfielder. (Daily Mail)  

Dear SFA, a joke hurt our feelings

Can you imagine how a formal complaint about the comment ‘Rory Bremner can pretend to be Tony Blair’ would be composed? ‘Dear SFA, a rude man’s joke hurt our feelings.  Tell him straight, no more jokes!’ I clicked onto the NEW club’s site to confirm their reaction.  As well as complaining about a joke [it [...]

AGM report, Living Wage, Rory Bremner, show us the deeds

Celtic’s Annual General Meeting, held at Celtic Park today, was a livelier event than usual.  The board received a hostile response to their refusal to back a resolution to provide all staff with at least the Living Wage.  Several impassioned points were made from the floor, which convinced chairman, Ian Bankier, to dispense with his [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Nov 15, 2013

Forster’s Rise From Newcastle Reject to England Goalkeeper is a Real Tall Story. He comes from a family of 6 footers; played rugby at school; has never played a single EPL game: the ‘Great Wall’ finally made it as a Celtic man. (Daily Mail) Fraser Forster May Get Chance As Joe Hart Sits. Celtic goalkeeper [...]

Agility in the football market

When you’re shopping in a sellers’ market, agility is the only way to survive.  You need contacts, sufficient coverage to trawl outlying corners of the bazar, and enough experience to ensure you don’t get burned. If you’re trying to buy Champions League-calibre players for £100k you’re shopping in a serious sellers’ market but there is [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Nov 14, 2013

Holmbert Fridjonnson Transfer Fee ‘Agreed’. Icelandic club’s chairman claims that a deal for striker is agreed; now up to the player to agree terms. (Scotsman) Adam Mathews Hopes Celtic Pull out Stops to Keep ‘Consistent’ Ledley. Right back is hoping that his fellow Welshman will  extend contract with Celtic. (STV) Is Jerome Champagne the Man Fifa [...]

It’s you, it’s all you, CQN Magazine and Annual out now!

It’s all go here, the latest edition of CQN Magazine went live online late last night.  There is a whole section on the goings-on in Amsterdam, together with ‘Dam’-ing video evidence of police assaults on Celtic supporters.  There are a full 26 articles by some of the most talented writers from the Celtic community. As [...]

CQN Magazine out now! Amsterdam and more

Here we go, the new edition of CQN Magazine is here for your delectation, consumption, inch-by-inch absorption and maybe even reading.  The last week we’ve been busy pulling content together on the Amsterdam police assault Celtic fans.  The story: Amsterdam, battle for the truth, is here from page 34, including video evidence. If you were [...]

Boys in blue turn to Ibrox

Its seven months since the Worthington Group, who represent the interests of Craig Whyte, reported Charles Green and Imran Ahmed to the Serious Fraud Office over the ownership of Sevco 5088 Ltd. Sevco 5088 Ltd bought and paid for irrevocable rights to buy the assets, including Ibrox Stadium and Murray Park, of Rangers Football Club [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update 12 Nov, 2013

Celtic Close In On Striker Holmbert Fridjonsson. Young prospect on the radar screen. (Scotsman) Martin O’Neill Attacks His Sunderland Successor as a ‘Managerial Charlatan’. Martin doesn’t hold back on what he thinks of Di Canio. (Telegraph)

BSkyB suffering after taxing fans for years

BT’s successful £897m bid for UK Champions League and Europa League rights is one of the most significant commercial developments for Celtic in years – if we continue to qualify for the Champions League group stage. This money, £299m per season, more than double the current deal, is paid directly to Uefa.  What participating teams [...]

Covering Emilio, Ledley returns

Delighted Joe Ledley got on the score sheet twice yesterday.  As well as missing the influence of Wanyama, and Scott Brown on Champions League duty, Joe’s absence through injury has been felt.  He has been back a few weeks now but Neil Lennon has used him sparingly, putting a lot of responsibility on the shoulders [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Nov 10, 2013

Ross County 1 – 4 Celtic. Match report. (BBC) Lennon Uses Head to Freshen Things Up. Tactical analysis of the Ross County game. (tictactic.co.uk) Republic of Ireland’s Martin O’Neill: I do Not Intend to Change Roy Keane. MON in fine vocal form as he talks about his new role and new assistant. (Guardian)

Dysfunctional Amsterdam

Three weeks ago there was little argument against the observation that Ajax had the worst European travelling support we have seen at Celtic Park – half a century of history.  Attacks on Celtic fans by a roaming gang on Tuesday night was not a surprise.  The banner, which Uefa are trying to ignore, but will [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update 8 Nov, 2013

Celtic Lack Serious European Quality. Celtic are at a crossroads in terms of their European progression as a team, and it doesn’t look good. (Scotsman) Neil Lennon Was Let Down By His Big Name Players in Celtic’s Champions League Clash with Ajax. There are some who will have to look in the mirror. (Telegraph) Celtic [...]

de Boer reads script on predictable Celtic

It’s probably easier to start with what went right last night, than what went wrong.  Efe Ambrose was the epitome of composure, trying to retain possession whenever possible, his transformation since Juventus has been remarkable.  van Dijk, Lustig and Izaguirre each did well.  Fraser Forster had a few saves to make, but this was one [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Nov 7, 2013

Ajax 1 – 0 Celtic. Match report; “flat and insipid” says Neil. (BBC) Ajax 1 – 0 Celtic. ’Poorest Celtic performance under Neil Lennon’. (Telegraph) Hoops Go Down in Amsterdam. ‘Too many moments of their own wretched carelessness’. (Scotsman)

Ajax v Celtic, Live updates

Live updates will appear below after 19:45. Sean Fallon, Celtic’s Iron Man: Select Delivery Option Uk only £19.99 GBP Ireland & Europe £24.99 GBP R.O.W. £29.99 GBP

Champions League lessons from Turin

For years we’ve analysed Celtic performances, wins and losses, in the rarefied Champions League environment with a recurring theme: more often than not at this level, mistakes, not great play, determines the outcome. Last night’s top match, Juventus v Real Madrid, was no different.  Real lost two goals, one from a penalty after a reckless [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Nov 6, 2013

Ajax V Celtic: Neil Lennon’s Side Confident Ahead Of Champions League Clash. Neil acknowledges Ajax’s strengths but is confident that his own team has the ability to take the points;winning the  central midfield will make the difference. (Telegraph) Ajax V Celtic: Kris Commons is Key, Says Lennon. Getting a point would be the minimum the [...]

Development strategies

Booking £20m from TV rights in China over 10 years is a remarkable deal for the SPFL, it shows a lot of faith from broadcaster, PPLive, who have the responsibility to foster the league in the world’s most populous country.  The cash will be beer money to Celtic but represents a substantial income for most [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Nov 5, 2013

Gordon Strachan Offers Celtic Dutch Courage for Crucial Ajax Trip. National team manager backs Celtic to win; acknowledges that Celtic’s European experienced players have helped the Scottish team. (Guardian) Celtic to ‘Be Positive’ Against Ajax, Says Neil Lennon. Manager knows that his players will create chances in Amsterdam: but they must make them count. (Scotsman) [...]

The gift of focus for Ajax

The last minute goal fell Celtic’s way at the weekend but Wednesday’s opponents, Ajax, were on the receiving end of the sucker punch, losing to a last minute goal at home to Vitesse, just a week after a goalless draw at home to joint bottom Waalwijk.  The Dutch champion’s only win in their last five [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Nov 3, 2013

Celtic 1 – 1 Dundee Utd. Match report, including interview with Neil. (BBC) Efe Ambrose Says the Pressure is on Ajax. Centre back knows the bhoys will have  to treat each remaining Champions League game as a cup final, starting in Amsterdam. (Scotsman) Neil Lennon Seeks Lift-Of as Celtic Crave Champions League Success. Celtic manager [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Nov 2, 2013

Celtic V Dundee United: How Will Celtic Cope Without Georgios Samaras? Team news for next game. (STV) Anthony Stokes Says Sunderland Dressing Room was a ‘Nightmare’. With an extended contract in hand, Stokes says one of the reasons he wants to stay at Celtic is the great harmony among the Celtic players. (Telegraph) Communications Chief Jim [...]

Missing Organ Grinder

It took a late goal from Anthony Stokes to secure Celtic’s win at Tannadice in August.  That led to a five match unbeaten run for Dundee United, which ended two weeks ago at Pittodrie before Inverness knocked 10-man United out of the League Cup on Tuesday with a 120th minute goal. Jackie McNamara has stabilised [...]

The Mahatma Gandhi question

It was curious that Peter Lawwell was quizzed on potentially having a conflict of interest in deciding if a recent multiple-convict would be regarded by the SFA as Fit and Proper to direct a football club.  The club in question are not even in our league; conflict exists only in the heads of those who [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Oct 31, 2013

Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell’s  Extended Interview. (STV) Celtic Look at Murrayfield and Dublin for Euro games. With Celtic Park unavailable next July due to the Commonwealth Games, the club is looking at venue options for the first couple of Qualifying matches. (Scotsman)  

Stokes for the McCluskey role

Anthony Stokes is in the best form of his Celtic career at the moment, arguably the best form of his life if you overlook his stunning cameo at Falkirk.  It’s hard to know if this is related to no longer being in the shadow of a more favoured son, or if Anthony has just got [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Oct 30, 2013

Anthony Stokes Signs New Three -Year Deal to Remain with Celtic. Striker with a record of 52 goals in 121 games for Celtic extends contract. (STV) Amido Balde Vows To Turn ‘Baby’ Steps Into Strides. Wrapped in cotton wool to aid his transition into Scottish football, Amido is developing well and could start to see [...]

Safe hands

There is something curious about the England national team.  While pretty much every other country around England’s calibre select players, on merit, from clubs large and small, for decades England appear caught emperor role, seldom selecting players outside a top clutch of clubs. This made Southampton striker Rickie Lambert’s recent selection memorable, despite the fact [...]

QUICK NEWS 4am Update Oct 29, 2013

Forster Won’t Be Fazed by England Duty…….After Hart’s Howlers, He’s The No. 1 Candidate.  Celtic goalkeeper is sure to get his first cap in one of the upcoming friendlies. (Daily Mail) Lennon: Forrest Not For Sale. As the  rumour mill constantly swirls about Celtic’s exciting players, the manager puts up his “Not for Sale” sign. [...]

Celtic League of Nations

It is worth more than a passing observation that in yesterday’s game Celtic had players from 11 different countries in the starting line-up: England, Sweden, Honduras, Scotland, Nigeria, Netherlands, Finland, Israel, Ireland, Greece and Wales. Recruitment came from clubs in 7 different league structures: England (3) and Wales, Scotland, Norway, Honduras, Israel (2), Netherlands and [...]

QUICK NEWS 4am Update Oct 27, 2013

Lennon Reveals Commons Coaching Offer Plans. The manager would love to keep Kris at Celtic beyond his playing days; club is at risk of losing Joe Ledley to a Bosman. (Scotsman) Derby Daze As Celtic Head to Firhill. Looking back at some big Glasgow derby games. (Celticfc.net)

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Oct 26, 2013

Celtic Punching Above Weight In Elite League. Celtic continue to outplay their ranking in the CL, as one of the big fish in the small pond clubs. (Scotsman) Beram Kayal is Pivotal To Celtic’s Champions League Fortunes, Says Neil Lennon. Kayal’s confidence gets a boost; his ascendancy timing is critical as Celtic are short of midfielders [...]

Nir Biton, preparations for the ArenA

There will have been tired limbs at Lennonxtown when the players resumed full training yesterday after their exertions on Tuesday night but they will still be desperate to take to the field at Firhill on Sunday.  This game is a necessary preparation ahead of the Amsterdam AreanA in 12 days. We have an advantage for [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Oct 24, 2013

No Practice Is Perfect For James Forrest. James says he doesn’t practice penalties and will be more than happy to take more of them, but he expects Commons to resume the designated player role once back from injury. (Scotsman) Celtic Churn Out Mature Champions League Win Over Ajax. Consensus is that it wasn’t their best [...]

Tactical victory for Lennon over The Bore

Celtic were overflowing with fine performances last night but mostly this was a tactical victory.  Ajax dominated possession against Milan and enjoyed lots at the Camp Nou, so Neil Lennon knew what to expect. Despite playing at home against our lowest-ranked opponent, we never chased the game, allowed Ajax time on the ball, and waited [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Oct 23, 2013

Celtic 2 – 1 Ajax. Match report (BBC) Possession Counts For Nothing As Solid Celtic Take Win. Tactical analysis of the big game. (tictactic.co.uk) Lennon Lauds Fantastic Win. Neil savours precious 3 points. (Teamtalk) Midfield Hero Beram Kayal Eyes Hoops Qualification. Post game comments from Beram and Fraser. (Daily Express)  

Energy in abundance but discipline key

If you cast your mind back 50 weeks to the visit of Barcelona to Celtic Park you may remember we took to the field with a so-called skeleton squad.  Captain, Scott Brown, was missing, as was Hooper, Stokes and Izaguirre.  Of those outfield players on the bench, only Paddy McCourt had made a dozen appearances [...]

Dutch travel sickness

Can we purge all negative overtones today, make sure we start tomorrow with a clean sheet?  Injuries and suspensions are part of the game, we accept them and plan how to win important games. Celtic are at their best when they are up against it, when everyone knows that nothing short of a herculean effort [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Oct 21, 2013

Forrest: Celtic Will ‘Go All Out’ For Win Over Ajax. Winger says the Bhoys are going for it. (Scotsman) Virgil Van Dijk in Line for Netherlands Call-Up as Louis Van Gaal Plans to Watch Celtic Take on Ajax. National team manager will be scouting Dutch prospects, including our own centre back. (Telegraph) Manchester United To [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Oct 20, 2013

Hibernian 1 -1 Celtic. Match report, with Neil interview. (BBC) Celtic V Ajax: Celtic Must Find Way To Bridge Gaps. With key players out through injury and suspension, Neil will need to rally the squad to deliver at least a point in the crucial game with the Dutch. (Scotsman) Dennis Bergkamp: Arsenal, Aesthetics and a [...]

Bet your novelty duck there are lessons to be learned

Celtic probably anticipated the three match suspension Uefa imposed on Scott Brown following his red card for an off the ball incident against Barcelona, if they didn’t, they should have.  That’s not to say the decision is not “harsh”, as the club described it, as far as off the ball incidents go, this was a [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Oct 18, 2013

Scott Brown: Celtic Vow To Appeal ‘Excessive’ Ban. Celtic captain severely dealt with. Club will appeal. (Scotsman) Manager Looking Forward To Domestic Return. With the players back from international duty, the manager ponders his injuries, formation options and tactics for the upcoming games. (Celticfc.net) Croatia Sack Igor Stimac And Name Niko Kovac To Be Coach [...]

Snout in trough required, Champions League frustrations

The frustration at the news Derk Boerrigter is injured, again, and will miss another important Champions League game, is enormous.  Derk was a big part of our summer signing strategy but he came with a caveat concerning his propensity to suffer injury. We have seen only flashes of him since he joined from Ajax in [...]

Standards required by AIM. Oops.

The resignation of Craig Mather and Bryan Smart from the board of Rangers International PLC, in the wake of a damaging court defeat and a fiasco over the weekend, when inappropriate statements were issued on the club’s web site which did not adhere to stock market rules, leaves the company in a remarkable situation, indicated [...]

Show Your Hand

When I grew up everyone knew about Thalidomide, a drug given to prevent morning sickness in expectant mothers, which caused severe limb abnormalities in the child.  The drug was used for only a short period, so those suffering from the condition are all of a certain age. The condition is both very recognisable and rare, [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Oct 15, 2013

International Bhoys On The Brink Of World Cup Glory. Lustig, Izaguirre, Ambrose, Samaras and Forster inch forward to a ticket to Brazil. (Celticfc.net) Bundesliga Lands Worldwide Television Deal. German league moves to increase its global coverage. (BBC) Scotland’s Gordon Strachan Laments Bygone Days Before Croatia Match. As Gordon sets out to find a winning system [...]

This is the world Celtic has to operate in

There was a fascinating and completely unfounded angle to the Daily Record’s story today about Celtic’s forthcoming AGM, “Celtic’s directors insist Rangers (sic) were dealt with fairly”. Oh no they don’t.  This is an incredible dose of poison to inject into the Celtic family. The matter in question is a resolution before the AGM urging [...]

Chasing Celtic will bankrupt the Tribute Act

The man who wants to be chairman of Rangers International, Dave King, said over the weekend: “In particular I see a present need to utilise the time we have over the next few seasons to be prepared, both financially and on the pitch, to compete with our Glasgow neighbours when we get back (sic) to the top League.” [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Oct 13, 2013

Warning For Celtic Over Ajax Clash From Alderweireld. Ex Ajax player reckons its 50-50 who will win the  Celtic/Ajax games, although he rates de Boer as one of the best coaches in the world. (Scotsman) Artful Artur Boruc Dodges Clown Comparison. He’s having an outstanding season in the EPL, but he’s had some odd times too. [...]

Glib, shameless, fit and proper

Before digesting news reports that Dave King is set to return to Scottish football as a director of Newco Rangers, it’s probably worth a caveat.  Today’s ‘news’ has the same heritage as pretty much every false steer emanating from Ibrox over the past decade.  Honest Dave King may well hope to take over at Ibrox [...]

Axing the Act one vote at a time

I was at primary school during the 1979 devolution referendum.  It’s fair to say many in the Celtic community were suspicious of the SNP due to the hostile attitudes some of the party leadership had to the Irish diaspora in their midst. Fresh blood brought change to the SNP in the 1980s, there were even [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Oct 10, 2013

Danny McGrain Hopes Amido Balde’s Eagerness to Learn Will Lead to Goals. Danny’s coaching coupled with Amido’s desire to develop will pay off. (STV) Walter Smith Not Blameless At Rangers. Sir Walter’s not made of teflon after all. (Scotsman)

A victory for ugly men everywhere

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has managed to register his image rights on the off-shore tax-efficient territory of Guernsey.  Income received there for use of his rights everywhere else will not attract the kind of tax mere mortals pay in their daily lives. Pellegrini, 60, developed a genial personality to combat profound ugliness, an affliction [...]

One man’s cloud

Adam Matthews has been on top form this season, his pace and partnership with Mikael Lustig have been unfailing for Celtic, so Neil Lennon will clearly feel robbed at a top players injury-enforced absence for three months. It could be worse. An injury to Forster, Ambrose, van Dijk or Izaguirre would be difficult to accommodate [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Oct 8, 2013

Celtic’s Adam Mathews Faces Three Month Injury-Layoff. Unlucky Adam scheduled for surgery. (BBC) We’re Ready To Lift Alcohol Ban In Scottish Grounds, Says SFA President Ogilvie. There’s movement to open up alcohol sales again at Scottish football games. (Daily Mail)  

Healthy SPFL, you know it’s over when the enablers bale

It took until 5th October but Celtic are top of the Scottish Premiership for the first time.  The valiant stand by the Highlanders went the way of Culloden but whereas the competition for first place us over for the season, the league has a promising look to it. The SPL suffered for many years not [...]

The exceptional Celtic Movement

When this publishes, I should be a few kilometres into the Great Scottish Run.  These events can be humbling.  You see people there with messages on their shirts.  ‘The big C’ gets a lot of mentions, in many of its forms, as does heart disease and conditions most of us will, fortunately, be less familiar [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Oct 6, 2013

Celtic 2 – 0 Motherwell. Match report including Neil’s post game interview. (BBC) Anthony Stokes Comes of Age to Put Celtic on Top of the Table After 2 – 0 Win Over Motherwell. Neil lauds Stokes maturity as the forward seizes his opportunity. (Telegraph) Stokes Warns Celtic Over Contract Negotiations. Patient Anthony lets Celtic know [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Oct 5, 2013

Forster is No Ordinary Joe! Celtic’s ‘Great Wall’ is Building Quite a Reputation and Eyeing Hart’s England Jersey after his Heroics against Barcelona. Some background to Fraser Forster’s meteoric rise. (Daily Mail) New Georgios Samaras Deal Next on Wish List. With Sammi’s contract due to run out at the end of the season, Celtic hope [...]

Time for expensive signings, the 1254125 10k

Motherwell travel to Celtic Park tomorrow on a mission.  A win would see them draw level with Celtic, and after a physically and mentally draining Champions League midweek game, they will fancy their chances.  Inverness remain top of the league on goal difference, but this is the third consecutive season Motherwell have tucked in below [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Oct 4, 2013

Neymar ‘Has a Lot to Improve’. Young Brazilian has his admirers, but he has a lot of development to do. (Herald) Fraser Forster Lauded But Hart Keeps England Place. Fraser makes England squad but Hodgson sticks with Hart. (Scotsman)  

Split Fifa grounds to withdraw 2022 award

Sep Blatter hoped that Fifa would today ratify moving the 2022 World Cup, which will take place in Qatar, to the (i.e. Europe’s) winter months, however, that looks unlikely to happen.  Fifa are split on the matter while Uefa president, Michel Platini, is keener to focus today’s meeting on the working conditions of migrant workers [...]

It’s all about Ajax

Two honourable defeats, away to Milan and at home to Barcelona, confirm that Celtic can compete at this level, but the two points which only just eluded us could prove crucial in determining qualification for the knock out stage.  Barcelona and Milan are in the driving seat. Two home wins, against Ajax and Milan, could [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Oct 2, 2013

Fabregas Helps Barcelona Break Celtic’s Resolve. Match report. (uefa.com) Lennon: “I Don’t Need To Apologise To Neymar Or Justify My Defence Of My Captain”. Celtic manager speaks out on harsh red card  decision. (Herald) Charlie Mulgrew Disappointed To Have Lost Late Goal To Barcelona. Midfielder interview. (STV)

Celtic point to prove, burying bad news

Neil Lennon took his players to the vast open spaces of the Camp Nou last year, took the lead and held onto a point until the fourth minute of added time.  It was an enormous and disciplined achievement.  I feared we would suffer a backlash when Barcelona visited Glasgow. What we experienced instead was more [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Oct 1, 2013

Celtic V Barcelona: Lennon ‘Dares to Dream’ of Win. At odds of 8 to 1 against, why not dream big? (Scotsman) Martino: ‘If We Lose Messi’s Absence Will Be No Excuse”. Barcelona manager looks to squad to deliver the win. (La Marca) Fabregas Warns That Neymar Will Come Out From Absent Messi’s Shadow Against Celtic. [...]

Barca will be no better prepared, how the news works

I don’t subscribe to the ‘Would rather face them with Messi’ world view.  I’ve seen Lionel Messi a couple of times, it’s a bit like standing atop the Eiffel Tower, a breath-taking experience, but I don’t need to visit Paris every month to reinforce the view.  Tomorrow will be an almighty challenge against one of [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Sep 29, 2013

Kilmarnock 2-5 Celtic: Goals Galore as Georgios Samaras Scores a Hat-Trick. Red hot Sammi leads the way – Match report. (STV) Celtic V Barcelona: Neil Lennon Wary of ‘Spanking’. Boss knows that Barca are out for revenge and he believes they are a stronger team than last season. (Scotsman) Lennon: Samaras  World Class. Neil’s over [...]

Kilmarnock v Celtic, Live updates

Live updates will appear below after 12:45. There will be a mat on the Rugby Park pitch ahead of kick off today to draw attention to the fact that 70% of road deaths in Scotland occur on country roads. The death rate is falling, from 124 in 2010, to 93 in 2011, to 87 in [...]

Russia and Ukraine on track for 2015 Joint Championship

The organising committee of the proposed Joint Russian and Ukrainian championship have confirmed that the Russian Premier League have voted in favour of the proposal.  The matter will now go to the Russian Association and the corresponding authorities in Ukraine. Valery Gazzaev, president of Russian club, Alania Vladikavkaz, told reporters, “Innovation is never easy, even [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Sep 27, 2013

Celtic’s Tony Watt Hits Back At Lierse Fat Jibes. On loan celtic striker gets motivated and has scored 2 goals in 2 games. (Scotsman) ‘There It Was The Severed Head Of A Pig Sent Sailing Luis Figo’s Way’. Extract from Book Discussing Barcelona – Real Madrid Rivalry. (Guardian)

Look under the bonnet at Killie

There is no outrage louder than moral outrage, so I ignored this week’s stupidity by Kilmarnock chairman Michael Johnston, adding volume seemed moot, but if you look below the bonnet of this decision you’re likely to find the real story.  Kilmarnock FC is in a critical condition. They need your money this week, probably even [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Sep 26, 2013

Kris Commons On Barcelona In This Week’s View. Kris says heat is on Barcelona. (celticfc.net) Champions League Boost for Celtic as Mascherano Joins Barcelona’s Mounting Injury List. Spaniards dip into squad to bolster defence. (Daily Mail) It’s Dutch and Go as Celtic Chase Kolbeinn Sgthorsson. The transfer window doesn’t open for months but that doesn’t [...]

Lack of consistency haunts Celtic again

Celtic have been completely dominant in Scottish football on many occasions but only once did this result in a domestic treble (the treble was won another two occasions when Celtic were only marginally ahead of the competition but were ruthlessly focussed). At all other times we have had a morning like this, tossed out of [...]

Read ‘em and weep, Armageddon-merchants

Commenting on following on from his predecessor Dr John Reid, chairman Ian Bankier, told a Celtic AGM he was not a man to deliver an insightful one-liner but Celtic’s Preliminary Results, released yesterday, are best summarised by the chairman delivering exactly, that, “This year demonstrated above all, the impact that football success brings to Celtic [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Sep 24, 2013

Peter Lawwell Says  Lennon a Great Asset for Celtic. Chief Executive full of praise for the manager. (Scotsman) Teemu Pukki Shows Celtic the Way Forward. While Miku and Lassad were signings of opportunity, the Finnish striker was on the radar for a long time as a Celtic target. (Telegraph) Neil Lennon Hopes Tony Watt Can [...]

Back to black for Celtic

19 years after last having money in the bank, all we needed was ‘Armageddon’ to allow Celtic to return to the black. Despite a drop in income from domestic football turnover increased an incredible 47.7% to £75.82m thanks to participation in the Champions League, leaving a balance of £3.76m in the bank (after season ticket [...]

Successful managers are an incredibly rare breed

I think it pained us all to see the inglorious departure Martin O’Neill made at Sunderland.  He will always remain a hero at Celtic, where he transformed us from a sleeping giant into a Champions League team, but his subsequent record is mixed.  He earned a fair return for his spend at Villa but was [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update 22 Sept 2013

Celtic 2 – 1 St. Johnstone. Match report, including interview with Neil. (BBC) Neil Lennon Says Celtic’s Game Plan Will Change Against Barcelona After Seeing St. Johnstone Swept Aside. Celtic manager is not interested in being gallant losers. He acknowledges its a big ask to get anything out of the next Euro game with Barca, [...]

Pot 4, decline of the Spanish empire

A cursory look at our fellow pot 4 Champions League teams shows the extent of the challenge.  Six of the eight teams lost: Steaua Bucharest (3-0), Austrian Vienna (0-1), Celtic (2-0), Real Sociedad (0-2), Plzen (0-3), Anderlecht (2-0). Copenhagen got one of the better results of the night, a 1-1 draw at home to Italian [...]

Clues of Celtic plans are not hard to find

Celtic passed the ball well throughout last night’s game.  The players were confident enough to take a touch under pressure, which was key to the performance and a step beyond the more rudimentary show in the Camp Nou last season.  In this respect, it was a better performance than the win in Moscow, and was [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Sep 19, 2013

AC Milan 2 – 0 Celtic. Match report, including interview with Neil. (BBC) Celtic Performance Not Matched By Result in Milan. The Champions League can be unforgiving. A great Celtic performance earned zero points.(Scotsman) Allegri: “Milan Always Believed”. Milan manager says they were fortunate with the first goal. (Football Italia)

Formidable but achievable task

No one said management was easy.  Neil Lennon has spent the best part of a year preparing for this game.  The scouts were told to go out and find pace up front which would allow us to defend in numbers but break effectively when possible. That plan brought Derk Boerrigter and Teemu Pukki to the [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Sep 18, 2013

Milan V Celtic: Neil Lennon’s Striking Dilemma. Celtic have a variety of forward/striker options and the tactics for the game will determine who will be selected to start. (Scotsman) AC Milan V Celtic: Neil Lennon Warns Injury-Plagued Italians Will Still Be “Immense”. Gaffer says let’s not kid ourselves that reaching into the squad for Milan [...]

Scott Brown, Great Scottish Runner

You seldom hear football people speak as unguardedly as Peter Grant did to The Herald yesterday about Scott Brown.  “If somebody had offered us £4m (in 2010)?  I would have driven him down the road myself”.  The tone of Peter’s piece was supportive, though.  Our former assistant manager affirms Scott is a vastly improved performer [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Sep 17, 2013

Celtic Eye Chance Against Injury-Stricken AC Milan. Celtic take confidence from last season’s performances, while Milan count the walking wounded. (Telegraph) AC Milan V Celtic: Lustig Aware Of Balotelli Danger. Mikael pinpoints super Mario as the danger man. (Scotsman) Rangers Given No Title-Stripping Guarantee in Secret SPL Deal. Secret side deal to the 5-way agreement revealed. [...]

Milan, the incredible Paul Murray, Tyneside No 1

I never like to hear Celtic fans talk about weaknesses in opponents like Milan. They may be weaker than they were a decade ago but Milan have never been weak. The one thing Celtic have in their favour is the element of surprise, despite last season’s epic achievements. Milan will have read the screaming headlines, [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Sep 15, 2013

Hearts 1 – 3 Celtic. Match report, including interview with Neil. (BBC) Hearts 1 – 3 Celtic: Commons and Stokes the Difference. Tactical analysis of the match. (tictactic.co.uk) How Yellow Boots Won as a Boy in Africa Helped  Rise Of Victor Wanyama. An insight into number 67. (Guardian) AC Milan V Celtic: Pace Key For [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Sep 14, 2013

Hearts V Celtic: Lennon Gives Squad Milan Warning. Manager tells his Bhoys to get their game face on for games in the SPFL, otherwise they jeopardise getting picked for the Euro games. (Scotsman) It Would Be Difficult To Pick A Man Who Bet Against His Own Team! Lennon Wades Into Black Controversy. Neil makes it [...]

TRFC submit incomplete Annual Return

Companies House published the long overdue Annual Return for The Rangers Football Club Ltd (previously Sevco Scotland Ltd) today.  Although only received by Companies House yesterday (12 Sep 13) it was dated 29th May 2013, however, the submission was incomplete. A company is required to detail all their shareholders since their previous Annual Return (or [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Sep 13, 2013

Celt Faces Year in Sidelines. Steven Mouyokolo to get surgery for achilles tendon. (Daily Express) Stokes Wants To Sort Deal. Striker, who is in his last contract year, is anxious to seal a new contract with Celtic. (Teamtalk)  

Strachan lessons as Milan looms

Neil Lennon will begin to get his players back at Lennoxtown tomorrow after, what for most of the first team, has been a two week international break.  For many of the established players, he’ll be hoping for a clean bill of health, but with trips to Tynecastle and Milan ahead, the manager will be keen [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Sep 11, 2013

Celtic Hit With UEFA Fine For Use of Fireworks By Fans. Club fined 5,000 euros. (BBC) Full-Back Worries for Milan. AC threadbare at the back for Celtic tie. (Teamtalk) Jim Spence and the BBC’s Lack of Support for Him. Will state broadcaster hang their journalist out to dry, for calling the liquidated club one that [...]

Hibs Armageddon dividend, gift the young will never know

Well done to Hibernian fans for turning up in sufficient numbers to increase turnover to £8.0m from £6.9m the previous season, allowing the club to turn a profit in Armageddon season, despite some mediocre performances on the field.  The challenge for chairman Rod Petrie is to ensure the elevated income level results in the club [...]

Avoiding Bobo, Crown Office, Keyser Soze

Well done to Tony Hamilton and his team at Celtic Charity as well as the 60,000 participants for a memorable weekend which confirmed the spirit and heritage of the club.  It was great to see Martin O’Neill and Kenny Dalglish revel in, as well as so many of our more recent heroes, some of whom [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Sep 9, 2013

Stiliyan Petrov Charity Match Raises Thousands. A unique match report. (Scotsman) Emotional Scenes at Celtic Park as Petrov is Overwhelmed by Support at Charity Game alongside Berbatov, Dalglish, Larsson, Terry, Lambert and the Rest. Saluting the great number 19, while charities win the game. (Daily Mail)

BBC need to fortify or shut the doors

It doesn’t really matter to me how other people write their own history.  If Queens Park claim to be the same Club as the Queen of Clubs, they are welcome to, as long as they respectfully allow me to express scepticism.  Fortunately, Queens Park’s business model is not dependent on making such an outlandish claim. [...]

From a green jumper to a season ticket

It’s one of those obscure football facts which appears more likely to be an urban myth, but when he jogs out onto Celtic Park on Sunday the proof will be there for all to see: Chelsea captain John Terry is a Celtic fan.  I’ve heard many wide ranging reasons why people become attached to the [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Sep 6, 2013

Stiliyan Petrov Ready For Emotional Return. Stan looks back on his time at Celtic and looks forward to Sunday’s game, hoping that emotion wil not overcome him. (Scotsman) Forrest Fired Up For Euro Nights At Paradise. James can’t wait to test himself against the best in Europe. (Celticfc.net)

Milanese mistakes, Sevco Annual Return

Milan’s mistake with their Champions League squad – they inadvertently included Stephan El Shaarawy in their restricted A List of players, instead of the B List, denying a place in either list for M’Baye Niang, is welcome news. Their squad is strong, with or without Niang, but the oversight lends credence to the notion that [...]

Change underway at SFA, Irish Voice launch

Some of the reaction to Peter Lawwell’s promotion to the top table of the bowling club yesterday was thoroughly entertaining, including some from our own side.  As a rule, I’m happy to germinate nonsense which distracts potential opponents from applying logical analysis to their world, so now THE EVIDENCE is all there!! The SFA badly [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Sep 4, 2013

Derk Boerrigter The Key Man In Celtic’s Ajax Plan. Former Ajax player, now with Celtic, is ready to give the lowdown on his former club. (Scotsman) Champions League: Celtic To Play At Murrayfield. Celtic Park will be in use for the 2014 Commonwealth games during the CL qualifierss timeframe and Celtic will have to find [...]

Making money out of England and Amsterdamers troubles

Over the last few days of the European transfer window I was keen to find out what business Ajax would be able to complete (what Milan and Barca did is of scant interest).  Between Friday and yesterday Ajax lost two players, Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen moved to Tottenham, and yesterday, Belgian defender, Toby Alderweireld joined [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Sep 3, 2013

Manager: Players Are Learning. Neil says last year the team would have dropped points coming off of a tough European game. (Celticfc.net) Scout Report: Teemu Pukki –  a Shot At Glory. In-depth review of Celtic’s new striker. (tictactic.co.uk) Premier League Clubs Splash Cash On Imports With All-Time High £445m In Fees Going Overseas. English football’s [...]

Naughty footballers, financial transparency

After Celtic’s reversal in Astana I pinned the decision to allow Kelvin Wilson to leave after the Elfsborg tie as critical.  It left us playing an unaccustomed central defensive partnership against Shakhter while generating only £2.5m. Before Saturday’s game with Dundee United Neil Lennon suggested the player and his agent had been “naughty”, which might [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Sept 2, 2013

Celtic’s Van Dijk Finally Getting Into The Groove. Virgil’s starting to show his talent and it looks like he could stake his claim to a starting spot centre back position. (Scotsman) Celtic Suffer Transfer Frustration But Stay On Song In Premiership With Win Over Dundee United. Stokes continues to be the main man while Virgil [...]

Transfer window assessment

For Celtic, summertime business is every bit as important as the more traditional cup finals and league deciders held later in the season.  We face qualifers for Champions League or Europa League group stage, which define our financial health and desirability as a potential employer. The most important achievement was recorded on Wednesday when we [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Aug 31, 2013

Nir Biton: Joining Celtic Was An Easy Decision. Promising young holding midfielder signs on for four years. (Celticfc.net) Lennon Determined To Keep Fraser Forster. Celtic upset with one club who are not playing fairly in the transfer market. (Scotsman) Michel Platini Warns European Clubs He Will Take Them To Court To Force Through Financial Fair [...]

Unequivocally difficult and the SFA

Champions League sections are never easy so we are as well having one which is unequivocally difficult on paper.  Despite finishing second from pot 4 in their group last season (a remarkable achievement), Celtic spent the vast majority of their time in the tournament under pressure.  They had possession less than their opponents in all [...]

Celtic in Group of Champions

Celtic join Barcelona, Milan and Ajax in the Champions League’s only group of former champions. We beat Barcelona and Milan the last time we played each of them, and eliminated Ajax from the same competition last time we met 12 years ago. This is an incredibly difficult group, but it is the job we wanted [...]

Successful, sustainable, strategy best in football

Back in 2011 a campaign was launched by Craig Whyte (subsequently adopted by others) to convince Scottish Premier League clubs that Rangers were necessary for their survival, and in the event of a liquidation event, the league should invite a phoenix club into the top flight. The people at Celtic became aware of this and [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Aug 29, 2013

Forrest Strikes At The Death To Send Hoops Through To The Champions League Group Stages. Match report. (Daily Mail) Neil Lennon: “Karagandy Win The Greatest Night Of My Footballing Life”. Neil says “it’s a huge feeling of relief and pride”. (STV) Much Improved Attack Seizes Champions League Place. Tactical analysis of the big game. (tictactic.co.uk) [...]

What Celtic need to do to win

James Forrest has been carrying an injury for 10 months, which has affected the player’s effectiveness, so, irrespective of the outcome of his neurologist visit last week, I’m working on the assumption Celtic will play Adam Matthews in front of Michael Lustig on the right.  This pair have speed, enormous energy, can cross and can [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Aug 28, 2013

Lennon: Celtic Can Overcome Shakhter Lead. Neil believes. (uefa.com) Celtic Out For Pride And Progress Against Shakhter. Sammy believes. (Scotsman)

Kazaks disparage Neil, Celtic preparations. Charlotte Fakes

Shakhter seem convinced they will eliminate Celtic tomorrow.  Their friendly journalist explained why to Kazak readers today: “Despite winning comfortably enough in the capital last Tuesday, Celtic remain confident of overturning the deficit in Albion (sic).  Getting to the group stage is not a forbidden dream for Shakhter, it is their right as a result [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Aug 27, 2013

Joe Ledley: ‘Champions League Play-off One Of The Biggest Games Of My Life’. Midfielder is well aware how huge this game is to the team, club and fans. (STV) Efe Ambrose Helps In Celtic’s Nir Biton Pursuit. Efe’s pal from the Israeli league would love to be the new Wanyama. (Daily Express)

Shakhter sounding bolshy on Celtic

I hear the modest noises which Shakhter manager Viktor Kumykov made after their win over Celtic last week have been replaced by more robust predictions.  Kumykov told the most senior local apparatchik, Baurzhan Abdishev, that Shakhter will score a few goals in Glasgow and progress into the Champions League group stage. I always like to [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Aug 26, 2013

Scott Brown Keen To Keep Celtic At Europe Top Table. Scott Brown’s thoughts on the Shakhter game. (Scotsman) Celtic Must Wait Until After Schalke’s Champions League Qualifier Before Tying Up A Deal For Striker Pukki. Celtic edge closer to a striker deal. (Daily Mail) Celtic’s Champions League Opponents Rest 10 Players. Shakhter plays their reserve [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Aug 24, 2013

Celtic Manager Neil Lennon Signs New Contract. Neil reveals that the football side motivates him more than money. (Scotsman) Celtic’s Champions League Route. How Celtic gained some seeding advantage through the newly created Champions route and some of the deficiencies of the current crop of players. (Scotsman) Neil Lennon: Celtic Haven’t Gambled On Reaching The [...]

Celtic pay the Penalty, supporter relations

I received an email from John Paul Taylor, Celtic’s recently appointed Supporter Relations’ Manager, asking for some help getting the message of his appointment out to the support, and explaining what he is there to do.  This, for a guy whose inbox will never be empty, was a refreshingly proactive approach. Here are the questions [...]

Historic Kazak win, view from Russia

Celtic were not the only seeds to get a bloody nose in this week’s Champions League play-off round first leg games.  Lyon and Real Sociedad looked well matched before the game but Lyon’s 0-2 home defeat suggests the seeds were outclassed. Austria Vienna were the team I wanted this round but despite indifferent domestic form [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Aug 22, 2013

Innocent Emeghara A Celts Target. Another striker  linked with the Bhoys. (Daily Express) ‘The Scots Expected To Win…..And Paid The Price For Thinking Like That’. Chairman of the Kazakhstan League rubs Celtic’s nose in it. (Herald) Mulgrew Tells Celtic To Believe In Shakhter Rematch. Charlie’s not having any excuses as he issues rallying call. (Scotsman)

Unprepared Celtic

Shakhter Karagandy covered 5k more ground than Celtic last night, 500m per outfield player.  That’s 5.5m per minute, per player, or an extra meter every 10 seconds or so.  That kind of advantage means that when the ball breaks loose in and around the danger area, the more active team are in space – which [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Aug 21, 2013

Shakhter 2 – 0 Celtic. Match report, including post match interview with Neil. (BBC) Celtic’s Troubles At Back Return. After doing so well in Europe in recent years, it’s back to the drawing board for a Celtic team unable to shut the door away in Europe and will they have the firepower in the return [...]

Amsterdam to Astana

Do you remember who we played this round last season, Helsinki or Helsingborg?  The ones you win often blend into the background noise.  Not so in 2007.  The defeat of Spartak Moscow on penalty kicks will live long in the memory. The last Champions League qualifying round reversal was THAT game eight years ago.  Gordon [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Aug 20, 2013

Celtic’s Neil Lennon Wary Of Shakter Threat. Celtic manager  shows respect to the Kazahkstan champions. (BBC) Celtic Experience Is A Comfort At ‘Nerve Wracking Time’ For Neil Lennon. With the final hurdle to overcome in order to reach the group stages, Celtic manager knows that recent years experience in Europe is an anchor that settles [...]

Manager happy with preparations ahead of tomorrow

Half the battle when it comes to PR is not to score an own goal, which Neil Lennon managed to do in his pre-match press conference today when asked about the local ‘tradition’ of ritualistic animal slaughter before the game.  “You have to respect the traditions in Kazakhstan, they have a different culture.  We have [...]

Shakhter boss fears Samaras, will defend

Shakhter Karagandy manager, Viktor Kumykov, spoke to the media yesterday, and again this morning, ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League play-off first leg game against Celtic. “Some of the players who played on Friday night will not make the starting line-up against Celtic but we have a limited squad so I cannot rotate too much. “Celtic [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Aug 18, 2013

Celtic Manager Happy About Hard-Fought Win. Post match interview with Neil. (BBC) Aberdeen 0 – 2 Celtic: Champions Sink 10-Man Dons. Match report (Scotsman)

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Aug 17, 2013

Schalke 04 Considering Second Bid From Celtic For Striker Teemu Pikku. If Celts land Finnish hitman, he won’t be eligible to play in the CL until the second leg.(STV) Celtic Begin Marathon Journey From Glasgow to Kazakhstan, Via Aberdeen. Neil talks about life in the fast lane for his players. (Telegraph) NBC Bets Big On [...]

Agents talk to the media when they are not talking to Celtic

One of the problems of doing your business discretely is that if and when agents or selling clubs publicise your interest in their player, media attention has a tendency to attribute too much focus on the most recent name revealed.  Teemu Pukki is a player Celtic have been trailing for some months but the fact [...]

Sale and leaseback, Ibrox, Murray Park, Albion

You’ll remember in October last year I told you I was in receipt of a Heads of Terms for the sale and leaseback of Ibrox, Murray Park and the Albion Car Park.  The internet has been full of chatter around this subject for the last week but I didn’t have an update on the subject [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Aug 15, 2013

A Third of Championship and League  One Clubs May Go On Sale This Season. New study paints grim picture of health of clubs in lower leagues in England  and raises question of ‘what next’. (Guardian) At Least We Fans Of Scottish Clubs Know We Are Rubbish. What’s The Excuse In England? A Hibs fan who [...]

Astana, Hedge Funds, Longmuir to Newco

After full time on Saturday Celtic fly east to play Shakhter Karagandy in Kazakhstan, which is five hours ahead of UK time, but fortunately kick off on Tuesday is 9pm local time, 4pm in the UK, so the team will not have to adjust body clocks.  Such a long flight immediately after a game is [...]

Magic money, Longmuir, Ahmad

BDO’s survey of British football clubs suggests control, if not complete sanity, has descended on Scottish football.  Most Premiership clubs surveyed predicted they would return to profitability over the next year. On the back of Phil Mac Giolla Bhain’s article on former Scottish Football League chief exec David Longmuir’s bonuses, which are no longer payable, [...]

State of the Club Report, transfer, financial strategy

I read one highly unlikely article yesterday suggesting we were going to sign Alfred Finnbogason AND were still bidding big money for Kevin Doyle ahead of an 11pm tonight signing deadline.  It’s hard to be so wrong in so few words, but this one hit the mark. Alfred is a target but, and this is [...]

Amido, Dave King-gap too big to bridge

A meaningless win is always better than a meaningless defeat, but in the larger scheme of things, yesterday’s game against Liverpool is no more significant than last month’s games in Germany.  They are about building fitness and, if necessary, trying new things. Amido Balde was the winner yesterday.  Some were already writing the player off, [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Aug 11, 2013

Liverpool 0 Celtic 1: Balde Serves A Notice Of Intent. Amido’s strong play serves to remind the manager that he has already signed a striker. (Herald) Hoops Dominate Liverpool In Dublin Decider. Match report. (Celticfc.net) Reds Lack Suarez Spark In Aviva Defeat To Celtic. Match report. (Irish Independent) Celtic Win Leaves Liverpool With More Questions [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Aug 10, 2013

We Won’t Sell Anyone Else This Summer, Admits Lennon. After Wanyama, Hooper and Wilson depart, the manager shuts the door on any more exits, and he is working hard to bring in new recruits. (Herald) A Guide To Shakhtyor Karagandy, Celtic’s Champions League Opponents.(STV) The Long Haul! The Kazakstan Trip Is A ‘Nightmare’ Says Celtic [...]

Karagandy manager on Celtic and his own players

Shakhtar Karagandy Russian manager, Viktor Kumykov, gave an interview after their elimination of the Albanian champions in the last Champions League qualifier.  He talked about his team, which, unlike some in former Soviet countries, does not have an oligarch benefactor or rich sponsor. Kumykov thought four of his potential opponents were of equal standing, although [...]

Kazakhstan CL ticket for Celtic

Celtic will play Shakhtyor Karaganda from Kazakhstan in the Champions League play-off round.  Shakhtyor are 22 games into their league season but are 12 points off the pace, so are unlikely to add to their two Kazak titles. They lost 3-2 away to Skënderbeu Korçë of Albania after a 3-0 home win to reach this [...]

Rundown of possible opponents

Austria Wien have played three league games this season, won one, drew one, lost one.  Scored six conceded eight.  Stuffed 5-1 by Salzburg two weeks ago.  They have only had to play one round of Champions League qualifiers so far, which they won 1-0 on aggregate against the Icelandic champions-cum-day-job-professionals. Send them over, please, Uefa. [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Aug 8, 2013

Celtic Boss Neil Lennon To Step Up Player Search. Post match interview with Neil. (BBC) One Step Closer But No Less Anxious For Lennon. The Champions League group stage may only  be 180 minutes away for Celtic, but there’s tons of anxiety to overcome, and getting a proven goalscorer would go along way to easing [...]

Mather, Green, precontracts, Swedish record

I know I’m not the only one worried about tonight’s game.  A few bombscare moments is all it takes to crash out of Europe, think Big Dan in Sion (we don’t get to play a joker every year).  We now have four games under our belts but there are still lots of cobwebs to blow [...]

Turning Ibrox to dust. Section 111

Despite Walter Smith urging “Rangers fans to get fully behind the resolutions which last week were presented to the Board and shareholders”, which include sacking chief executive, Craig Mather, he added, “Craig Mather, as I have said before is doing a good job. It is unfortunate that this has happened but when change does come [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Aug 6 2013

Brown Vows Not To Let Elfsborg Push Samaras Around. Captain says if the Swedes want to have another physical game on Wednesday, then the Bhoys will give as good as they get. (Scotsman) Celtic Close ‘Green Brigade’ Stadium Section. Celtic close section 111, due to safety issues. (BBC) Jury Remains Out On Michel Platini’s Financial Fair [...]

Principled resignations, ASA withdraw adjudication

I cannot fathom why someone would leak their intentions to quit as chairman of a football club.  Either Walter Smith is sufficiently alarmed by the conduct of his club to resign, or he should be busy working to resolve matters.  Leaking that he intends to resign will surely only add to the nonsense that surrounds [...]

Juxtaposition of Keane with wannabes elsewhere

Worst Rangers [sic] team in history? Check. Worst Rangers [sic] chief executive in history? Check. Worst Rangers [sic] fans in history? Oh, please.  They have played their part to perfection. Worst Rangers [sic] manager in history? Who, Ally the Great Enabler?  No way. Charles Green would not have any authority at Ibrox if Ally McCoist [...]

QUICK NEWS 7am Update Aug 4, 2013

Celtic Deserved Win, Says  Manager Neil Lennon. Post match comments by the manager. (BBC) Lennon To Sign Improved  Deal To Stay As Celtic Manager. Neil’s contract reward for team performances will be sealed in the next 48 hours. (Herald)  

Green, Murray and transubstantiation

You couldn’t script that lot.  Charles-this is probably the worst Rangers team you have ever seen-Green is back, like a dose of something you never wanted first time around, appointed late on the day Rangers International receive a request for an Emergency General Meeting from rebel (hmm) shareholders.  The reason given to the Stock Market [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Aug 3, 2013

Happy Hoops Boss Sees Red: Lennon Expects Aberdeen To Offer Biggest Challenge. With the new Scottish season about to kick-off, Celtic manager muses about which teams will be the most competitive for the title. (Daily Mail) Neil Lennon Demands Improvement In Celtic’s League Form This Season. Neil looks back at last season’s 7 league losses [...]

Celtic poisoning Scottish football

I looked into the world of Scottish football betting yesterday.  Betting on Celtic to win the Scottish Premiership is less rewarding than putting your money in an interest bearing account, which, I suspect, is an approximation of what bookmakers will do with any such bets.  In short, our league is not so much a sport [...]

Last season’s Celtic edge over the line

Shortly after Elfsborg cracked one against the crossbar last night I quickly scanned the Celtic team and had a thought.  For the second season in a row we are taking on the Swedish champions but we’re missing two of last season’s big performers and none of this season’s new signings were ready for action.  In [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Aug 1, 2013

Celtic Manager Neil Lennon Content With Narrow Win. Post-match interview with the boss. (BBC) Celtic Dig Deep To Earn Elfsborg Advantage. Match report (uefa.com)  

Samaras and Commons guile preferred to Boerrigter tonight

You and I both like to see new signings introduced but it would be an enormous gamble to throw Derk Boerrigter into the fray tonight.  The player is unlikely to have trained with his new teammates, will know little about Celtic’s systems, and while Neil Lennon will have watched Derk many times, the real discovery [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update July 31, 2013

Celtic’s Neil Lennon Challenges Squad After Wanyama and Hooper Exits. Neil asks who is going to make their mark now. (Telegraph) Celtic Pick Up Boerrigter on Four-Year Deal. Left-sided, tall and powerful Dutchman joins the bhoys. (uefa.com)    

Transfer strategy, where we are

If anyone tells you we are about to bid €7m on a guy who scored fewer league goals than Billy McKay last season, and who was signed for €500k last summer, don’t listen to them.  Nonsense like this is 180 degrees away from strategy.  Where would such a player’s sell-on value increase to?  It’s just [...]

1254125 Great Scottish Run

Have you signed up for 1254125 yet? 125 years after the start of Celtic Football Club fans and people at Celtic Charity want to bring our founding cause to the fore. Each Celtic fan is asked to raise £125 for charity on our 125th anniversary year. It you own a pair of training shoes, you [...]

Wishful transfer thinking, broken Hearts

Celtic have been linked with a whole barrage of players over the last 24 hours, strongly linked in some instances.  While it is more fun to drool over players coming in than fret as existing players leave the club, I’m very sure that some of the reports floating around right now are the product of [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update July 29, 2013

Derk Boerrigter Expected For Celtic Medical Ahead Of Switch From Ajax. 6 ft 2in Dutch forward expected to undertake medical on Monday (includes video of his pre-season hat trick). (STV) Elfsborg Ignore Celtic Pleas to Drop Bangura. So far Celts Champions League opponents aren’t budging on playing the on-loan player, but admit he wouldn’t be [...]

Hooper best since Larsson?

Neil Lennon suggested Gary Hooper, unquestionably his favourite son, was Celtic’s best striker since Henrik Larsson.  It’s an interesting question. The list is long: Chris Sutton, John Hartson, Henri Camara, Craig Bellamy, Dion Dublin, Scott McDonald, Marc-Antoine Fortune, Chris Killen, Maciej Zurawski, Kenny Miller, Derek Riordan, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, Georgios Samaras, Robbie Keane, Diomansy [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update July 27, 2013

Neil Lennon Hits Out At Fireworks. Manager asks fans to respect the rules. (Scotsman) Lennon Hopeful Of Adding New Striker In Time For Elfsborg Tie. Neil says club are working hard to land a striker or two and hopes to get one in the squad for the midweek game. (Herald)

Sticking it to the man, cautionary Swedish tales

Absolutely delighted for St Johnstone, who recorded one of the finest aggregate results by a Scottish club in European football in the last 30 years.  My brother was speaking to a Saints player this week, who told him the successful strategy and drive came from chairman, Steve Brown, a fact which Hibernian would do well [...]

Nordsjaelland, stalking-horse Harry, Hooper

Just two years after winning their first trophy, FC Nordsjælland from Denmark qualified for last season’s Champions League group stage.  They drew one and lost five of their games and were on the receiving end of one of the Champions League’s worst ever piece of sporting behaviour, by a Shakhtar Donetsk player.  Cash wise, they [...]

Gary Hooper and Celtic strategy

Sky have reported that Celtic have accepted a £5m bid from QPR for Gary Hooper.  Gary is in the final year of his contract and has declined to sign a new deal which has been no offer for almost a year now. It will surprise some, perhaps including the player, that an English Premier League [...]

Celtic Park moment, Balde tradition, super-fit Elfsborg

As the players prepared for kick off four-year-old Oscar Knox turned and raised his arms towards his father on the touchline. It was a great Celtic Park moment. Amido Balde got 14 minutes at the end of the game last night. By then Cliftonville were well beaten, but Amido’s physical threat was undeniable. He’s a [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update July 24, 2013

Celtic 2 -0 Cliftonville. Match report, including post match interview with Neil. (BBC) Clubs Benefit From Champions League Revenue. Breakdown of the payments earned last season by all Champions League participant clubs, including Celtic’s 23.6m Euros. (uefa.com) Targets Found To Replace Hooper. The rumour mill churns on. (Herald)

Balde and an incredibly significant Celtic fan

This is the way to start the season.  A competitive match, albeit one which is no longer puts us in direct jeopardy, to open what will be a lush green Celtic Park for the first game of the season.  Neil Lennon will correctly press his team hard tonight, Elfsborg are reportedly the fittest team in [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update July 23, 2013

Gary Hooper In But Neil Lennon Eyes New Striker. Hooper in the frame to start against Cliftonville, while Celtic are working hard at landing a new player this week. (Scotsman) Manager: We’ll Be Strong Against Cliftonville. Neil’s team won’t mess around in the return leg. (Celticfc.net) Lennon Aiming To Add Latvian To Celtic Striking Options…. [...]

Passing greats, breath-taking negative news placement

If you haven’t had a chance to listen to the podcast I did with the LostBhoys on Celtic in the 1950s (superb production quality, you should check out what they are doing), I took the opportunity to mention the Hibs team of the late forties and early fifties, including the celebrated Famous Five forwards. They [...]

Drama Queens, LostBhoys and where we came from

There will be no mention of ‘Drama Queens’ from me, but those who were uncontrollably distressed by ‘defeats’ in meaningless friendlies will no doubt be delighted to lean a Celtic team largely staffed by undergraduates got the better of Brentford yesterday.  The rest of us remain unmoved, although I was pleased Amido Balde received some [...]

QUICK NEWS 20 July 2013

Injury Give Mouyokolo Sense Of Perspective. French central defender wants to seize the opportunity to shine at Celtic after nightmare 17 months out injured. (Scotsman) Celtic Boss Neil Lennon Says Elfsborg Are ‘Most Difficult’ Draw. Celts likely next opponents in Champions League are Swedes who are well into their season and will be a difficult [...]

Elfsborg, Columba Club, clubs who pay their way

Assuming Celtic hold onto their three goal lead over Cliftonville they will almost certainly face Elfsborg in the third qualifying round of the Champions League. The script is written for Elfsborg striker and current Celtic employee, Mo Bangura, to score his first goal at Celtic Park, while it is another tie for Henrik Larsson to [...]

Relax and you’re finished, Belfast awash with Seville spirit

The day after the opening Champions League qualifier of the season can get a bit tasty on the blog but business has been pedestrian since last night’s professional performance by the men in hoops.  If you wanted to be pushy, you could point to a couple of glimpses of goal which fell Cliftonville’s way as [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update 18 July 2013

Celtic Coast Past Part-Time Cliftonville To Make Return Leg a Formality. Match report. (Guardian) Manager Keen For Fresh Blood Before Return Leg. Neil steps up the pace to get at least one more player in pronto. (Herald)

Teams with excuses often take them

If you were sitting in the Cliftonville dressing room tonight, you would fancy your chances against Celtic.  They are a team reportedly playing the best football in their club’s history and are packed with professionals who are focussed on the task in hand.  Celtic have vastly greater resources, but the fact that we have a [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update July 17, 2013

Neil Lennon On Guard For Celtic – Cliftonville Clash. Celtic manager knows only too well how this round against the Irish team could be a David and Goliath contest. (Scotsman) Hooper Saga: Lennon Is Resigned To Losing Striker. Neil’s attention is not on the Gary Hooper situation any more. He is working hard to close [...]

Concerning Irish history

When Celtic make their trip to the ‘neat little town they call Belfast’ (I’ve been off radar recently, assume it’s still described thus) they will have no reason to believe they are ready for a game of football which could determine the success or failure of the coming season.  Instead the players will share a [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update 14 July 2013

Kinship…. But No Quarter For Celtic in Cliftonville Euro Showdown. Celtic’s good relationship with the Belfast club will count for nothing on the park. (Herald) Watt A Shame. Will young players Tony Watt and Dylan McGeough be allowed to leave on loan? (Sun) Al Fayed Sells Soccer’s Fulham to Billionaire NFL Owner Khan. London club [...]

A very personal Celtic

After I mentioned the Overseas Season Ticket holders last week, Auldheid (an overseas supporter) pulled some thoughts together on what his relationship with our club is all about.  Here it is, well worth kicking back for five minutes and reading: “The phrase “BeCeltic” intrigued me somewhat as we all have different ideas of what that [...]

It always stings when we lose a good one

It always stings a bit when we lose a good one, and there appears to be universal agreement that Victor Wanyama is a good one, but there are compensations.  We lost him for the asking price (a club and Scottish record) and lost him early enough in the transfer window for the cash to be [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update July 12, 2013

Victor Wanyama Seals Southampton Move from Celtic. Kwaheri, number 67: we will miss you. (Scotsman) Is Wanyama Replacement Staring Celtic In  The Face? Who from the current squad will fill Vic’s shoes. (Herald) Five Possible Replacements For Celtic’s Departing Midfielder Victor Wanyama. The guessing game starts: here’s one man’s list of targets that Celtic should consider. [...]

Spinning Struth, high integrity and some great Celtic fans

It will make little difference to those who really should be paying attention.  Malcolm Murray left the Rangers International board yesterday with a statement to fans unlike anything previously heard from a departing director of a Scottish football club.  His warning is loud and clear, “Events of the last year have seen behaviour that would [...]

Preseason pains

Results in preseason friendlies are (fortunately) notoriously unreliable indicators of results in competitive games, but Celtic will be alarmed at the scale of the deficit against Greuther Fuerth, from the German second tier, especially after reversals against Sevastopol and Cluj.  Clubs from Ukraine, Romania and Germany are apparently organised, even during the summer months. Next [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update July 10, 2013

McGuinness Thanks Celtic Bosses As Focus Switches To Donegal. Departing Irishman has only good things to say about Celtic. (Irish Examiner) Celtic’s Pre-Season Woe Continues After They Are Hit For Six By German Second Division Side Greuther Furth. Match report (Telegraph)

McGuiness sabbatical somewhat frustrating

If I’m being bluntly honest, news that Jim McGuiness was told to “concentrate on Donegal” until October or November was not welcome.  I hear great things about Jim’s work with, and from, players he has had access to.  Instead of sending him back across the sea, I hoped he would be working more with the [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update 9 July, 2013

Celtic’s James Forrest Ready To Fight For Place. Winger is ready to answer manager’s call for team to step things up in the coming games. (Scotsman) Bhoys Reject £4m Bids From Norwich and QPR for Gary Hooper. Rumours continue to swirl around Celtic striker and Neil Lennon said to be close to a new contract [...]

What would Neil Do?

It all starts for real next week but, unlike most previous Celtic managers who finds significant interest in his star player, Neil Lennon is pretty chilled when talking about the player moving on.  I want to keep Victor, he reminds me of a young Keane (Roy), Neil will want to keep him too, but you [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update July 8, 2013

I’ll Be Celts Vic Fix. Beram Kayal is motivated to take Victor Wanyama’s role, if the Kenyan is transferred. (Sun) Neil Lennon Confirms Saints Are Back For Victor Wanyama. Southampton still in the hunt for Victor. (Daily Express)

QUICK NEWS 5am Update July 6, 2013

Joe Ledley: England Will Be Stroll In Park For My Mate Victor Wanyama. Celtic midfielder is a huge fan of his Kenyan counterpart and has no reservations in saying Victor is good enough to play for the top clubs in the EPL. (Daily Express) Hooper Sets Celtic Goal Target. Rumours may be swirling over Gary’s [...]

Doncaster beats No Surrender Longmuir

The appointment of Neil Doncaster as chief executive of the newly formed Scottish Professional (sic) Football League was a forgone conclusion, No Surrender Longmuir was interviewed out of professional courtesy, and the clubs realised that the calibre of external candidates they would attract at the moment would be from the bottom of the corporate pile.  [...]

Mouyokolo and the Perrier-Doumbe path to immortality

Steven Mouyokolo’s last two permanent contracts were for clubs playing Premier League football in England but after joining Hull City as a 22-year-old and making 21 appearances in their relegation season, his move to Wolves bombed amid a multitude of injuries.  The player has made four appearances for Wolves and four for Sochaux in the [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update July 4, 2013

Mouyokolo Impresses for Celtic. Trialist centre back plays full game against Ukrainian team and does well. (Herald) Steve Mouyokolo Earns Celtic Contract. 3rd signing of the close season inches towards a contract. (Daily Express) BBC to Show Cliftonville V Celtic in Champions  League Qualifier. First leg in Belfast on July 17 to be shown live. [...]

Attractive Ukrainians

In the early years of our re-emergence as a ‘proper’ football team under Martin O’Neill, Celtic were patronised by the suggestion that they ‘don’t play friendlies’, largely as a result of Martin’s ability to win games against teams from south of the border. That comment is seldom aired these days, as for many years, Celtic [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update July 3, 2013

Virgil: Germany Trip Will Help Me Settle In Scotland. New centre back is excited about the pre-season programme and getting to know his team mates. (Celticfc.net) Celtic’s Recruits Ready for First Taste Of Action. Van Dijk and Balde hope to get a run out tonight. (Herald) It’s Hell Being New Bhoy. Kelvin Wilson plans to [...]

Watching players on the edge

I like watching a professional perform on the edge. We watched Anthony Stokes do just that at the Cup Final, where despite two superb goals from Gary Hooper, he was clearly head and shoulders above everyone else on the field. This has not always been the way for Anthony, so has too often failed to [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update July 1, 2013

Lennon: Ambrose Needs Rest. Learning from last season with Efe Ambrose, the Celtic manager will not rush him back into training and games. (Teamtalk) Rangers Have To Keep An Eye On Their Spending Or Face Financial Ruin Again. The new club which is operating in the red, could face a slippery slope again. (Herald)

Scott Brown not the only one worried about manager

Scott Brown was not the only one was briefly worried about Neil Lennon’s position in recent months.  Neil has never particularly hidden his desire to work in England one day but when it became evident that there would be a few seats available in the English top flight, with the Everton job in particular becoming [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update June 29, 2013

Celtic’s Scott Brown Eager To Play Catch-Up. Scott’s been taking it easy over the summer, is easing into training and hopes to be fully ready for the season ahead. (Scotsman) Doncaster and Longmuir the Only Candidates in the Running for  SPL Top Job. No external candidates to be considered. (STV)

Longmuir objections defeated. Then he asks for the top job

So after 15 years and 121 years respectively, the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League will be wound-up due to the creation of the Scottish Professional Football League.  Small objection, I know, but I don’t like the name.  It’s cumbersome and, in the case of one member club (Queens) downright inaccurate.  They stuck a [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update June 28, 2013

UEFA Agree Venue Swap For Celtic And Cliftonville. First game in Belfast, July 17 and return leg in Glasgow on July 23. (Scotsman) Celtic’s Champions League Journey in Pictures. Celtic’s great run in season 2012- 13. (BBC)

Scottish football needs crisis

It was only in February this year that the proposed Russia-Ukraine joint league first reached the stage of formal meetings between clubs to discuss the viability but tonight a showcase tournament between top clubs from each country gets underway tonight.  It is hoped the formal joint league will start this time next year when the [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update June 27, 2013

Wanyama’s Agents Are Being Petty And Unnecesary, Says Angry Boss Lennon. Neil comments on the transfer saga. (Daily Mail) Lennon Wants Hooper To Stay. Manager would be delighted if Gary opted to stay at Celtic. (Teamtalk)  

Victor’s contract offer, Charlotte and Willie

I hear from good sources at Celtic Park that despite Victor Wanyama declining to sign a contract extension since October last year, the player is an absolute joy to deal with.  His professionalism is well rooted; there have been no “rolled out of the pub” emails about this guy, nor is there likely to be. [...]

Uefa still on the pot on fixtures

Lots of frustration around today at the possibility the first leg of the Champions League qualifier will be switched to Belfast.  It will be no comfort to those who booked travel yesterday but we are in this situation every qualifying game.  The draw is made and confirmed a day or two later, which is why [...]

Cliftonville for Celtic in Champions League qualifier

The opposition may be less-illustrious than Juventus. our last European opponents, but the importance of next month’s Champions League second qualifying round games against Cliftonville still got the pulse beating. It is a good draw for Celtic, who are spared travel and associated challenges. The first leg, at Celtic Park, will take place on 16 [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update June 24, 2013

Wanyama in Relaxed Mood As English Clubs Continue To Circle. The situation with Victor continues to play out as expected. (Herald) Cardiff Bid To Snatch Celtic’s Wanyama As Premier League New Boys Launch £10m Raid. Celtic and player stay cool as suitors emerge. (Daily Mail)  

So which journos were secretly being paid by Oldco?

How many people working as ‘journalists’ in Scottish football were secretly on the payroll of Oldco Rangers (or Rangers International, for that matter)?  Is this common practice in newspapers, did the Daily Record know about it? Wonder how they will play the news story… Any suggestions as to who else might’ve been on the oldco/Sevco [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update June 23, 2013

Celtic’s Potential Pitfalls. Second qualifying round of the Champions League includes mostly minows, but the third round will be a lot tougher. (Herald) Paradise To Host Stiliyan Petrov Charity Match. Stan comes home to  the Celtic family on  September 8th.(celticfc.net)

Quick News 6am Update June 22, 2013

Reports Link Wanyama With Southampton Move. Wanyama’s position on the rumour is that a deal is not yet done. Southampton’s pole position may open the doors for other clubs to act. (Kenya Daily Nation) Virgil Van Dijk Looking Forward To Champions League Football With Celtic. Media interview with Celtic’s new centre back. (STV)  

van Dijk signs four year deal

Absolutely delighted at the arrival of Dutch under-21 international central defender, Virgil van Dijk, on a four year deal.  A central defender was one of three priorities for this summer and we have secured our first choice target. The signing will also give a boost to the squad, and a timely reminder to all that [...]

Developing an athlete

The life of a professional athlete varies enormously depending on what sport you participate in.  Swimmers and runners train every day in life, with the exception of rest days immediately before an event.  Footballers have rest days every week and for over a century rested for several weeks each summer. Rest is an important part [...]

van Dijk and the 50-80 game value opportunity

Likely summer signing number two, Virgil van Dijk, arrived in Glasgow this morning for a medical after terms were agreed with the player and his club, Groningen.  The 6’4” player, who will be 22 next month, is a Dutch under-21 international. Virgil is two weeks younger than Victor Wanyama and emerged into the Groningen team [...]

Quick News 5am Update June 20, 2013

Celtic’s Gaelic Guru To Impart Winning Mentality. Successful motivator in Gaelic football is excited about the progress and future of Celtic’s footballing talent pool. (Scotsman) Paddy Offered a Kris Goodbye By Commons. As Paddy McCourt leaves Celtic, Kris Commons has some kind words to say about the man he has much footballing admiration for. (Evening [...]

Don’t book travel to Edinburgh, lobby for league merger

If you are missing your competitive football fix you’ll have devoured the fixture list this morning but it’s still over seven weeks until the first league game of the season, when the league flag will fly before we face Ross County (we will have played a Champions League qualifier five weeks from today). Thereafter, due [...]

Flats, flats, glorious flats

News that Hearts are set to go into administration today will give Scottish football has yet another morality lesson to consider, but this time, there will be no pleas for rule changes, no lobbying by the massed ranks of the media for other clubs to ‘do the right thing for Scottish football’, as opposed to [...]

Partnering Kelvin Wilson

After a couple of days away from the computer I caught up with the Ben Nevis Huddle photographs, magnificent achievement to everyone involved.  Our 1254125 project is in good hands.  I’d no idea there would be snow at the top of the mountain in June. Have you bought your ticket for the Lions Roar event [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update June 17, 2013

Celtic Ready To Go Dutch: Lennon Prepares Move For £2m Defender Van Dijk. Celts rumoured to be interested in another 6ft 4in player. This time from Holland. (Daily Mail) I Can’t Wait For Nights Like This. New Celt Amido Balde is optimistic about Celtic’s chances in the Champions League. He scores a lot of goals [...]

Legends, history, £6k and tens of thousands of Celtic fans

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the 9-in-a-row CQN Charity Golf Day at Aberdour in Fife, yesterday.  The event, auctions and raffles leading up to it raised £6000, the bulk of which will go to the 1254125 appeal, while some will go to Clic Sargent, who help families with children with that dreadful disease. Lisbon [...]

Balde, Hooper, summer challenges

13 June and Celtic have signed a striker!  Do we have some important games coming up early in the season?  6’4” Amido Balde joined Sporting Lisbon three years ago but never made an appearance for the club. After three loan deals he joined Vitoria Guimaraes a year ago, where he caught the eye of Celtic [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update June 14, 2013

Celtic Sign Striker Amido Balde on Four- Year Deal. Celtic’s new number 17 speaks to the media. (BBC) Amido Balde Makes Celtic Move To Join Neil Lennon’s SPL Club. Amido fell in love with the club 3 years ago. (SKY)

SFL, Hearts and the cash cow

With former Rangers International director, Charles Green, no longer on the scene, Scottish Football League chief executive, David Longmuir, has had a sudden change of heart. After encouraging member clubs to reject the SPL proposal to merge leagues, yesterday he congratulated clubs who voted for the merger as “reluctant heroes”. SFL president, Jim Ballantyne, was [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update June 13, 2013

Balde Says Yes As Club Says No To Hooper Bid. Striker set to join the Hoops; loan  signing Gershon signs for Belgian club. (Herald) ‘End Of SFL’ as SPL Merger is Agreed at Hampden. 42 club Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) is ratified. (Scotsman)

Greenock, Argyle St and what Celtic Movement is all about

We are only two days away from the 9 in a row CQN Open, which again takes place at Aberdour Golf Club in Fife.  This year our guest of honour is Lisbon Lion, Willie Wallace.  We have already raised over £2000 from a shirt auction and raffle (thank you very much to all who participated) [...]

The rascal Neil Lennon

What a rascal that Neil Lennon is, laughing off interest in Amido Balde while leading us all down the Kevin Doyle road last week, then Amido pitches up at Celtic Park, complete with obligatory Celtic scarf, before heading for some scans and time plugged -up with on the running machine today. Amido’s road to Celtic [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update June 11, 2013

Amido Balde Flies In For Celtic Signing Talks. Celtic’s first potential signing of the close season makes a prominent arrival. (Scotsman) Scout Report: Amido Balde In Benfica 1 -2 Vitoria S.C. An insight into the new prospect. (tictactic.co.uk) Peter Lawwell’s Money(Ball). A look at how Celtic’s signing strategy has dramatically shifted in the past decade. [...]

Charlotte catches all in her web

The mainstream media, football administrators, football club directors, former football club directors, together with the executives from PR companies, are in a new space this week. Many of these people have spent over 20 years controlling all important aspects of the media in relations to football in Scotland.  Some have established a culture of dependency [...]

QUICK NEWS June 9, 2013

Keep These Nights Coming…..And I will Never Leave Celts. Big attraction for the manager is the Champions League. (Sun) Summer, But No Time For Holidays. With training resuming on June 20 and the Champions League qualifiers on the horizon, Neil hopes to strengthen the squad with some signings. (Herald) Kenya Captain Victor Wanyama To Miss [...]

Our redoubtable former manager

No one on Celtic Quick News ever doubted Gordon Strachan, did they? It’s been a long 8 years since that dark week but our former manager demonstrated enormous resilience to win three consecutive league titles and twice qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League.  He is perfect for the Scotland role, although, to [...]

Lions Roar, the last giant standing, CQN Mag is out!

Issue 16 of CQN Magazine is out today and (in my never humble opinion) is our best yet.  We are right up to date, with coverage of the Scottish Cup final.  Phil Mac Giolla Bhain gives historical perspective on Celtic’s position as the last apex in the game. You’ve ready plenty of great stories of [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update June 7, 2013

Johnny Can Cope But He Isn’t Walking Yet. In-demand striker may have multiple choices of clubs who fancy him. (Herald) Foreign Bodies Are Bad News For English Patient As Fulham Are Forced To Shop Abroad. The ‘richest’ league in Europe holds back progression of English players. (Daily Mail) SPL Clubs Start Window Shopping….With Limited Budgets. [...]

On signing from domestic rivals

There are limits to how far we can recruit from our domestic market and continue to prosper.  Martin O’Neill preferred to sign players his teams had faced, which meant Hibs and St Johnstone being plundered, eventually leading to decline.  Gordon Strachan enjoyed watching Hibs all his life; it showed in his Celtic signings. Rumour has [...]

Quick News 5am Update June 6, 2013

UEFA Team Coefficients, 2012/2013. Celtic sit in 25th position in the table of coefficients. (Bert Kassies website) Revenue Made By English Football Clubs Tops £3bn For The First Time. …..But don’t talk about the debt. (Guardian)  

Profitable transfer fantasies

Neil Lennon did us all a favour yesterday by dismissing rumours that he was targeting a striker from Vitoria Guimaraes as nonsense this early in the transfer window. The guidelines are set for your summer ahead. As well as being nonsense, though, it is also profitable news fodder; just think of the amount of advertising [...]

Avoiding bad Fortune

I read our treble-winning captain, Tom Boyd, in the Herald advising Celtic to retain players who want away or decline to sign new contracts, until after their Champions League qualification ties, an idea we discussed some time ago.  Tellingly he added, “They will see when they go down south it’s not always as bright down [...]

1254125, transfer selling and sell out books

Thank you to everyone who participated in our auction for the Lionel Messi signed shirt, which raised £1020 when it closed this morning, a clear £20 more than the Celtic top signed by the Seville squad, which closed a few days earlier, you are a credit to the club.  Our summer fundraising for the 1254125 [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update June 3, 2013

UEFA European Football Calendar 2013/2014. Mark your calendar for Celtic’s European campaign dates. (Bert Kassies website) Celtic Wary Of Stoke Move For Wanyama. Player transfer scuttlebutt. (Herald)  

QUICK NEWS 6am Update June 2, 2013

Willie Wallace Recalls A Memorable Celtic Career. Celtic legend tells a few tales  to whet the appetite for his autobiography: Heart of a Lion. (Scotsman) Is Sport Losing Fight Against Match Fixers?  There’s ample evidence that match-fixing is widespread in the game. (Express)

Templar of Doom

I took a nasty Pavlovian reaction today when I heard the radio announce “Derby day” before realising the presenter was talking about the actual Derby.  The last thing anyone planning a night out in Glasgow is the ‘Glasgow derby’, as it was known in its final few years. As anyone walking the streets of Glasgow [...]

Don’t mention the (boardroom) war

With financial projections which provide entertaining reading, Rangers International promoted director, Walter Smith, to the position of chairman.  Smith immediately proclaimed, “Unity among the directors is vital”, although he was not asked about the forthcoming EGM where fellow directors Malcolm Murray and Chris Morgan face dismissal, while a third director, Charles Green, suggested he was [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update May 31, 2013

Fergus McCann Is A Pivotal Figure in Celtic’s History. The man who saved Celtic should have a stand named after him. (Sun) ‘McGrory Story’ Goes online To Aid Charity Appeal. Autobiography of Britain’s greatest -ever goalscorer, is being relaunched in the electronic media. Profits will go to a Scottish hospice. (Scotsman)

Oops, we forgot about Sevco 5088

We are all familiar with brinksmanship; adopting what seems like an uncompromising position despite acute potential consequences.  Correspondence recently released around the goings-on at Rangers International and associated companies suggests at least two combative parties have been edging towards the brink since last year.  Now it is clear they are both well over the brink, [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update May 30, 2013

Celtic Set To Bid For £2.5m-Rated Portuguese Striker. 6ft 4in, 22 year old is the latest name doing the rounds on the rumour mill. (Herald) Celtic Target Aleksander Tonev Set To Decide On Future Within 24 Hours. Bulgarian winger said to be a wanted man by a number of clubs, including Celtic. (STV) Take Your [...]

Celtic to the core, Graves and your role

Several years ago, long before CQN, I was fortunate enough to be in the company of 10 of the 11 Lions who took the field in Lisbon.  It was a great to see them interact with each other.  A grinning Jinky walked in late, “Am I in trouble again?”, bringing a playful shout from all [...]

Messi, La Gran Muralla, Celtic and England squad

A crucial aspect of the season just past was the form of goalkeeper, Fraser Forster.  Fraser has been Celtic’s first choice goalkeeper since joining on loan from Newcastle United as a 22-year-old but his deal was only made permanent 11 months ago, when he was secured for a fee reported as £2m. Now 25, the [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update May 28, 2013

England Axe Leaves Celtic’s Forster With Dilemma. Celtic’s English goalie is disappointed at not making the squad for his country’s upcoming friendly matches. (Scotsman) Lennon ‘Desperate’ To Retain Hooper. Critical few weeks coming up for the manager and Celtic as Neil looks to finalise his budget, player ins and outs, and his own contract situation. [...]

Scottish football as it should be

Leigh Griffiths has had plenty of uncomplimentary discourse written about him this season, most of it deserved, so it should be recorded that he was the first Hibs player to return applause in the direction of Celtic fans yesterday, closely followed by his team-mates. This is the way football should be. For too long our [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update May 27, 2013

Celtic Seal Double as Gary Hooper Inspires Cup Triumph Over Hibernian. Match report. (Guardian) Celtic 3 – 0 Hibernian: Celtic’s Front Three Too Much For Hibernian. Tactical analysis of the cup final. (tictactic.co.uk) Lennon Admits He Was A Bag Of Nerves Before Celtic’s Cup Final Clash With Hibs. Neil was unusually nervous before the big [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update May 26, 2013

Scottish Cup: Lennon – Don’t Judge Celtic On Today. Win or lose the manager hopes his team will be judged on their season performance, not just on one game. (Scotsman) Scottish Cup Final 2013: Hibs and Celtic Aiming to Break Hampden Hoodoo. Visits to the national stadium have not been so succcessful for the 2 [...]

Age of the Bampots, McPake and cover for Victor

James McPake’s absence tomorrow will be a blow to Hibs and a significant boost to Celtic.  Hibs are short on cover in all areas and McPake, their captain, is an instrumental component in their defence.  Celtic are without the suspended Victor Wanyama but they are far better provisioned all over the field, especially in central [...]

Dangers ahead, unimaginable mess and new euphemism

I’m still meeting people who haven’t noticed.  Hibernian are on an outstanding run of form, having won their last three games and undefeated in six.  The last reversal they had was at Celtic Park the first weekend in April.  On Sunday we’re playing the team with the best recent form in Scotland; the warning signs [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update May 24, 2013

Scottish Cup: Mikael Lustig Revels In First Final. Swede is excited about playing in the first cup final of his career, and hopefully being on the wining side. (Scotsman) Celtic Reached The Heights of Seville As The SPL Began its Slide Towards The Abyss. Out of the downward spiral  of Scottish football’s top league over [...]

Life truisms and leaving extra in the Hampden lockers

There are truisms in life.  The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, night follows day and Hibernian Football Club will not win the Scottish Cup.  However, a failure to lift the trophy since Orville said to Wilbur, ‘I bet this thing gets off the ground’, does not guarantee subsequent failures.  Hibs [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update May 23, 2013

Celtic’s Kris Commons Ends Scotland Career. Kris bows out of international duty to focus on family, and potentially prolong his club career. (BBC) Scott Brown Defends Kris Commons After Wotte Jibe. SFA official makes another outspoken remark about a Celtic FC employee. Mark Wotte’s twittering about Kris Commons decision to retire from national team participation [...]

Dinner with the president

I didn’t comment on reports earlier this week that the SFA would allow Rangers International to complete an internal investigation into alleged links between Craig Whyte and Charles Green as I thought this was the appropriate course of action. The SFA acted correctly: they wrote to Rangers International expressing concern over the matters in hand, [...]

They applauded as we walked past their homes

In the months afterwards I made a trip to the Celtic Superstore to buy the DVD of the match.  I wasn’t ready to watch it but needed to have it nonetheless, for when the time came.  I’ve still not opened the box. I watched the game from high up in the Porto end.  The Porto [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update May 21, 2013

Manager: Our Fans Were Second To None In Seville. On the 10th anniversary of Celtic’s UEFA Cup Final, Neil warmly  remembers the fantastic Celtic supporters. (Celticfc.net) Celtic’s Heady March To Seville 10 Years Ago Did Not Tempt  Chairman Brian Quinn To Reach For His Cheque Book. Unpopular in some quarters, Brian Quinn refused to bend [...]

Exploiting a vulnerable man, the drive to Bristol Airport, WW in the UK

There is a degree of public interest in reading about, or listening to, spivs exploit the stupidity of some football fans to bring a club to its knees, but the sight of a tired and emotional looking Malcolm Murray stumbling away from an event is neither entertaining nor of interest to anyone with a sense [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update May 20,2013

Celtic Delighted With Display. Post match interview with the manager. (BBC) Dundee United 0 – 4 Celtic: Celtic Sign off With Win. Match report of last league game of the season. (Scotsman)

Commons, Hartson and some real Celtic heroes

Had a great time at the Celtic Supporters Association Rally last night.  It was a great celebration of all that is good about our club, with thousands of pounds raised for the John Hartson Foundation.  Neil Lennon spoke warmly of John, about his courage and ability.  As well as recognising the great achievements of this [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update May 18, 2013

Neil Lennon Would Not Want To Lose Hearts From The SPL. “We’d lose probably the third biggest club. We’ve already lost the second biggest so it doesn’t look good.” (BBC) Neil Lennon Sees Another Euro Final Ahead For Celtic. Benfica’s run to the final of the Europa League  brings back Seville memories for Neil and [...]

Detail behind haunting words of Paul Murray

You and I have been discussing football finances here since 2004.  In our early years Celtic lost several million pounds each year, CQN’s call was ‘we must breakeven over any business cycle’, an incredibly controversial view in those times of indulgent bling. By 2004 Celtic hadn’t added a player who held down a sustained first [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update May 17, 2013

Forrest Enjoys Being Back In The Mix. Tough season for James, injury wise, but he’s now raring to go. (Celticfc.net) UBIG Crash Could Tip Hearts Over The Edge. SPL club faces potential Administration and relegation. (Herald Scotland)

Mr Ogilvie, you’re going to need a bigger shredder

Lots of details became available yesterday but if you can drag yourself away from the most gratuitous, concentrate on the dates. 12 December 2012. One week before the IPO.  Material information disclosed to the nomad? 21 June 2012. Four weeks after Mr Whyte was banned from participating in Scottish football, enabling Newco to exist. 11 [...]

125 kit and an SPL comparison

A Hibs fan suggested to me on Twitter that as his team are wearing their home kit for next week’s Scottish Cup Final Celtic should take the opportunity to wear their 125th anniversary top. Despite there being 100 years precedent of Celtic and Hibs both wearing their home kits, recent rules (or perhaps customs) dictate [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update May 15, 2013

Reality Gets In The Way Of Celtics Ambitions. While Borussia Dortmund are a great example of a successful club, Celtic  with only a third of that club’s income have to source players in a much more modest way. It’s hard to think that Wanyama will still be around for the new season and its this [...]

A week for leaks

This seems to be a week for leaks.  I hear one club recently refunded two investors to the tune of £500k each.  Don’t worry, it wasn’t Celtic, and I hear the club involved are one of the most financially secure in Britain.  I also hear the national broadcaster rejected a former presenter’s request to return [...]

Assoc-member club allege inappropriate SFA involvement

In a universe close to you, one side of a football club boardroom battle thought it would be a good idea to undermine the other side by accusing them of leaking company information.  The allegations of a leak [at Newco Rangers, in case you were unaware] were blazoned across The Sun today, who were shown [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update May 13, 2013

Those Contesting Champions League Finals Ugly Little Brother Are Sitting Pretty. Dropping out of the Champions League into the Europa League and going all the way is not to bad of  a deal (Herald) KPIs and GPS Put the Geeks in Charge of Players Pay Packets. There is a case to be made in the [...]

Stand up for the Champions

Photo by Vagelis at Big Lens. I know when you begin to dominate a championship that when another team eventually lift the trophy it can seem like an intolerable failure; compare our distress in 2009 to our resolve to do better after the final home game in 1996.  Time adds perspective to our triumphs.  As [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update May 12, 2013

Celtic Delighted With Display. Post match interview with Neil. (BBC) Celtic 4 St. Johnstone 0: Easy does It For The Bhoys As Lennon’s Men Celebrate  SPL Title Success in Style. Match report. (Daily Mail) Lennon Says Winning Manager of  Year ‘A Privilege’. Neil wins Football Writers Award for the second year in a row. (Scotsman)

QUICK NEWS 6am Update May 11, 2013

Ferguson Says Stein Was The Greatest. The legendary Manchester United manager reveals who his hero was. (Scotsman) Neil Lennon Plays Down Everton Link. Neil hints that he still has ambition  to fulfill at Celtic. (Telegraph)

Heart of a Lion, Willie Wallace autobiography

Heart of a Lion, the autobiography of Lisbon Lion, Willie Wallace, went to print this morning and will be out the day before the Cup Final.  It is a joy. Willie starts with a remarkable 17 days in April 1967 when the takes us through five games, Dukla Prague, home and away, in the semi-final [...]

QUICK NEWS 4am Update May 10, 2013

Neil Lennon Will Resist Everton Move, Says McGrain. Celtic legend’s view on speculation about Neil’s future, is that he  has unfinished business at Celtic. (Scotsman) Samaras Looking Forward To Another Title Party. Georgios back refreshed from a short holiday is looking forward to the celebrations after the next game, the Scottish Cup Final and to [...]

Cheerio to 10 in a row Day

I remember singing “It’s going to be 10 in a row”, but back then 10 had no significance.  Neither did 9, it was like 8 in a row, another stop along the way.  But when Jock Stein’s team finished their spectacular domination of the Scottish game in 1974 with nine successive titles and four European [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update May 9 2013

Everton chasing Martinez to fill Goodison hotseat (but Lennon, O’Neill, Hughes and Laudrup are also in the frame) Daily Mail Commons looking forward to a Celtic family celebration. For the attacker, the ultimate achievement in football is lifting silverware. It´s what he strives for at the start of season and why he works hard on [...]

Phenomenal changes ahead for Celtic Park

The news yesterday from Glasgow City Council that Celtic’s planning application for the areas outside the stadium had been approved will do more than deliver shrubbery to a currently derelict landscape; your match day experience is about to be transformed. Unless your ticket is for the executive lounges, your match day will involve turning up [...]

Blood on the brogues

The resignation of Charles Green from his post as Rangers International chief executive last month was more curious for what it wasn’t – a resignation from the board.  Green retained his position as a director of the club.  This was always likely to have consequences. BBC report this morning that club chairman, Malcolm Murray, who [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update May 7 2013

Celtic’s Adam Mathews Keen On Silverware. Adam is keen to sample team success. He is back in training after a 2 month absence and hopes to be ready for the cup final. (Scotsman) Falkirk FC To Install Artificial Surface In Time For Next Season. FIFA two star pitch to be installed. (STV) Players Agent Launches [...]

SFL is over but still busy times

The Scottish Football League programme is now finished with only play-offs still to complete but there is still a great deal of business to complete.  The remarkable persistence of First Division clubs to find a financial model which will allow them to retain full time football shows no sign of ending, despite the difficulties presented [...]

QUICK NEWS 3am Update May 6, 2013

Watt Strike Not Offside – Mjallby. Post match comments from the Assistant Manager. (BBC) Ross County 1 -1 Celtic: Drab Match Lit Up By Vigurs Equaliser. Tactical analysis of the game. (www.tictactic.co.uk) Could The Monday Blues Lead To Traumatic Tuesday? Could the new cry be “We were the people”. (www.philmacgiollabhain.ie)

QUICK NEWS 6am Update May 5, 2013

Ross County V Celtic SPL Scout Report: Will Celtics Rotation Policy Work? Celtic have yet to win at Ross County this season. Will this be the time? (STV) Ambrose Targeting Highland Victory. Efe assures fans that the players are looking for 3 points, despite having already won the title. (Celticfc.net) Rebel SFL1 Clubs Seek Vote [...]

Scottish football against corruption

The world looked so different for Scottish Football League chief executive, David Longmuir, back in March.  He convinced half of the member clubs to reject a deal which would earn them considerably more money next season, while enjoying the accolades of Rangers International chief exec, Charles Green. Green remains a controlling director of Rangers International, [...]

When an asset becomes a daunting liability

With Ukio Bankas bankrupt there is an acceptance that Hearts, who owe the bank in the region of £15m, will go into administration shortly after the end of the season.  This might not be the case. Hearts major problem is their major asset, Tynecastle Stadium, which occupies a valuable patch of land in Edinburgh.  If [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update May 3, 2013

Joe Ledley Plays Down Cardiff City Return Talk. Midfielder’s a happy Hoop and only wants to talk about the club he currently plays for. (Scotsman) Idol Talk Has Not Halted The Rise Of Parkhead Prodigy. Being compared to fellow Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic doesn’t  faze young Bahrudin Atajic.  He hopes to get some chances in the [...]

Fine-tuning Tommy Burns methods

Photo by Vagelis Georgariou, Biglens. Almost exactly 10 years after Celtic fans alleged Porto’s adherence to the rules was less than faithful, when they won the Uefa Cup after extra time, their creative genius, Deco, failed a drugs test a substance used to mask performance-enhancing substances were found in his blood. Is anyone surprised? Congratulations [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update May 2, 2013

Young Celts at the double for Fourth Year in a Row. Under 20′s take the Youth Cup Final, to win the double four years in a row. (Celticfc.net) Lennon Set To Rotate His Squad. Manager will use his bench to the fullest in the remining league games, to ensure his key players have some rest [...]

Expectations from QC report

There appears to be a degree of confusion over the report Rangers International FC PLC have commissioned into the conduct of its directors.  This report resulted from the revelation that Craig Whyte was a director of Sevco 5088 Ltd, the company which paid for exclusivity rights and had an irrevocable agreement to buy the assets [...]

Berlin to Lisbon

A game against Union Berlin, from the second tier of German football, four days before our Champions League qualification campaign gets underway sounds like perfect preparation.  Union will be better than any opposition we have or will play since defeat in Turin last month and they will be miles ahead of our Champions League second [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update April 30, 2013

Neil Lennon Faces Anxious Wait Over Whether He Will Be Banned For Scottish Cup Final. Referee has chat with the Celtic manager after the Motherwell game. Unknown if it is a problem. (Telegraph) Celtic Head To Berlin For Pre-Season Friendly. Celts to play Union Berlin on Friday July 12. (Herald Scotland)

Georgios, Fraser, the deeds and Whyte broadly true

Enormous congratulations to Georgios Samaras, Celtic’s Player of the Year, 2012-13. Scoring in five consecutive Champions League away games this season was a remarkable feat.  His last minute winner in Moscow was a seismic moment in our progress in that tournament.  Georgios is a player who thrives on positive reinforcement but endures negative sentiment without [...]

QUICK NEWS 7am Update April 29, 2013

Lennon: Remarks by Shiels ‘Like David Brent’. Neil repeats he is not trying to take the gloss off of the shorlisted POTY candidates. Meanwhile Kenny Shiels pipes up and Neil sets the record straight on that one. (Herald Scotland) Motherwell 3 – 1 Celtic. Match report, including interview with the manager. (BBC)  

Alcohol, poor facilities and dignity at Ibrox

I’m a bit confused at the chat this morning of reintroducing the sale of alcohol at football games.  Alcohol is available for sale at games at Celtic Park, you just need to have a ticket for an expensive enough seat.  If you’re in the cheap seats, you get to queue to pay for some cola.  [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update April 26, 2013

Neil Lennon Furious At Celtic’s PFA Player Of The Year Snub. Manager and players disappointed that no candidate players picked, despite a year of excellent performances. (Guardian) Fresh Talks Planned As Celtic Try For Wanyama Extension. It may be a long shot, but Celtic will see if they can hold on to Victor for  a [...]

SFO, IPO, hell will freeze before SFA act

An appropriate course of action when you are the chairman or a non-executive director of a PLC when a fellow director and, until last week, chief executive, has been reported to the Serious Fraud Office for matters in connection with the company, would be to immediately contact the accuser asking for full and immediate disclosure [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update April 25, 2013

Wanyama Has No Plans To Move On This Summer. Victor, a contender for Young Player Of The Year, is not agitating for a summer transfer. Loves his time at Celtic. (Herald) Worthington PLC Claim To Have Reported Charles Green And Imran Ahmed  To The Serious Fraud Office. The stakes get higher in the Ibrox fiasco. (scotslawthoughts.wordpress.com)

Nothing would ever be the same again

Boavista v Celtic, 24 April 2003, was one of the most frustrating games of football I’ve sat through.  Needing to score, for 78 minutes Celtic were moribund; they made not a single attempt on goal.  Instead, they did what most teams do away from home, condensed midfield and defended, while Boavista, who would qualify for [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update April 24, 2013

Gordon Strachan Says Neil Lennon Does Not Get Credit He Deserves Due To Off -field ‘Nonsense’. Scotland national team manager says Neil is a candidate for Manager of the Year but the madness of Scottish football overshadows his performance. (Telegraph) SPL Champions Thank Fans With £100 Season Book Reward.  Celtic FC  slash season book prices [...]

Cash windfall for Celtic fans

Readers of Celtic Quick News will know that our club has not been out of debt since Fergus gathered up our cash in 1994 and set about building the new stadium.  19 years later, with the mad arms race which consumed Scottish football over, we stand on the verge of coming out of debt. The [...]

High stakes forensic investigation, SFA membership

Yesterday Rangers International issued a statement saying, “Rangers International Football Club plc (“Rangers”) has instructed the law firm Pinsent Masons, supported by forensic investigators from Deloitte, to investigate the connections between Craig Whyte and former and current personnel of Rangers and its subsidiaries.” Mr Green is both the club’s former chief executive and is a [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update April 23, 2013

Wanyama: It Was Great To Win Title At Home. Victor savours winning the league as he says its not easy to do 2-in-row. (Celticfc.net) Georgios Samaras Is Sitting Pretty At Celtic….. Georgios is one of the longest serving players at the club; his stock has risen considerably in the past few years and he enjoys [...]

Maley, Stein, McNeill, O’Neill, Strachan and now Lennon

Good afternoon, champions!  If you enjoy your history………. Yesterday, Celtic retained the league title, which has been a rare achievement for much of our history.  We won six in a row during the first decade of the 20th century, then won four in a row (1914-17) during the Great War, but it would be another [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update April 22, 2013

Celtic 4 – 1 Inverness.  Match report, including Neil’s post match address to the fans. (BBC) Celtic Title Makes Lennon ‘Happiest Man In The Country’. Comments by Joe Ledley, Scott Brown, Gary Hooper and Kris Commons. ( Scotsman) Perpetual Motion. While some of the players will start a rest period the manager is already working [...]

Nerves and joy ahead of Inverness game

I’m sure I’m not the only one who winced when I read Neil Lennon suggesting tomorrow would be “very joyous”.  Let’s remember, Inverness Caledonian Thistle won at Celtic Park on their visit earlier this season and have punctured our title ambitions in recent seasons.  There is a competitive football game to win before anyone can [...]

No surrender Green, surrenders

BBC report that Newco Rangers chief executive and major shareholder, Charles Green, has indicated to his board that he will resign.  Two weeks ago the last owner of Oldco Rangers revealed that he was also a director of Sevco 5088 Ltd, the company who had an irrevocable agreement to buy the assets of Rangers from [...]

Celtic prepare for the People’s League Title

A year ago Scottish football was gripped in debate over the audacious plan by Craig Whyte to liquidate Rangers and ask the SPL to parachute a phoenix club into the top flight.  No one had ever previously made such a suggestion but Whyte found common ground with many around the game, who had good reason [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update April 19, 2013

Lure of Cup Final Has Celtic Captain Kicking On. Scott Brown is hoping he can recover from groin surgery  to  have a chance of making  the cup final squad. (Herald) Celtic Football Club Statement. Celtic astonished at penalty imposed on the manager. (Celticfc.net) Premier League Finances: Accounts Reveal £1.6bn Spent on Wages. Financial picture of [...]

Look out for Cease and Desist orders

The first thing you do when you raise an asset dispute is issue a Cease and Desist notice.  Inform the other party to stop using your asset, whether it is a piece of intellectual property, like a logo or badge, a piece of equipment or a physical property. In conjunction with this you also ask [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update April 18, 2013

Forrest Finds There Is No Quick Fix For Injury Niggles. Neil’s “brilliant player” says his speed plays a part in picking up injuries. He is being helped to counteract this through specific exercise regimes and has been told in the long term he should be ok. (Herald) James Forrest Had No Part In Lennon’s Cup [...]

Sevco 5088 claim ownership to Rangers Int assets

There’s those words, “prima facie” again.  “After examination of the evidence, Leading Counsel’s advice is that there is a prima facie case to answer”, read a stock market statement this morning by Worthington Group PLC, after the Leading Counsel “who is also a Deputy High Court Judge”, examined the case of their subsidiary, Sevco 5088 [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update April 17, 2013

Lennon Hope For ‘Sensitive’ Slane After Breakdown. Neil shows empathy for ex-Celt. (Herald) Celtic’s Mikael In Cup Heart Scare. Fatigue is taking its toll on Celtic right back. (Evening Times) QPR Secure Bank Loan For First Time  During Reign Of Tony Fernandes. EPL club, £90m in debt, and on the slippery relegation slope highlight  the [...]

The F word and the C word

I see a justification for yesterday’s vote has been issued.  The chairman of one club spoke to several of my contacts in the media with a completely different version, using both the F word and the C word. Apparently he believes several SPL clubs are being led by the C word – Celtic.  Or to [...]

Gilmour and clubs of the heart

Stewart Gilmour was angry a year ago when Scottish Football League clubs offered Newco Rangers a place in the Third Division, rejecting a proposal to parachute them into the First Division, saying “This is horrific news for St Mirren Football Club. The consequences are terrible, catastrophic even. “The St Mirren board will meet in the [...]

Gilmour, black and white and blue all over

St Mirren chairman, Stewart Gilmour, last week suggested the SPL’s 11-1 protected voting rule, which in the past enabled Celtic and Rangers to block changes against their interests, was a reason for him to oppose Scottish football’s league reorganisation plan. Today, with Rangers consigned to history, Celtic chief executive, Peter Lawwell, proposed a change in [...]

Stein, Famous Five, Lizzie and Phil

No disrespect to Falkirk, but I was delighted Hibs overturned the three goal deficit on Saturday’s Scottish Cup semi-final.  It was almost a miraculous victory for a team in bad need of a miracle.  Things were not always this way. Celtic and Hibernian meet in next month’s Scottish Cup final sixty years and six days [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update April 15, 2013

Dundee Utd. 3 – 4 Celtic. Tactical analysis of the semi-final game. (tictactic.co.uk) Celtic ‘Have Performed Heroically’ To Maintain Ambitions Of The Double. Neil has eyes on the double. (Herald)  

Double time for Celtic

It is nonsense to talk about Hampden Hoodoos, Celtic’s five defeats there since Neil Lennon became manager have been a result of poor performances, not superstition (fighting the urge to mention two last minute penalty decisions).  Celtic were unquestionably the stronger team on four of those five occasions, arguably all five, but they have been [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update April 13, 2013

Ledley: We’re Well Prepared For Hampden Test. Joe says past disappointments will spur Bhoys on to reach the final. (Celticfc.net) Charles Green ‘Appointed Craig Whyte To Rangers Buyout Company’. Documents surface that show the man who was banned from football in Scotland was appointed as a Director of  Sevco 5088. (STV)

The Great Football Swindle

On the face of it, it’s just too crazy.  Why would Craig Whyte become a director of Sevco 5088 Ltd, the vehicle his collaborator and Our New Hero, Charles Green, would use to buy the assets of Rangers from the administrators? What options did he have? He was, is, and for the foreseeable future, will [...]

Corporative governance, dubious integrity, who else could it be?

Charles Green’s media team did well a week ago today.  The Sun had an extremely damaging story on Green but demoted it to page six while dedicating its front page to the man himself, but the consequences of the story remain. The Daily Record, who today confirms they are being fed stories by Ally McCoist, [...]

Bigger questions loom than reconstruction

We now know that Craig Whyte met Neil Doncaster and Ralph Topping, directors of the SPL, in London in October 2011 and informed them of the likelihood that Rangers would go into liquidation.  Whyte’s plan, to start a Newco and have it parachuted into top flight football was only taken seriously as a result of [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update April 11, 2013

Lennon’s Love Of Wins Driving Celtic, Says  Venegoor. Jan knows very well how Neil’s passion for winning infects his players. (Scotsman) Police Search Properties In Rangers investigation. PSS conduct raids looking for evidence in criminal investigation over Whyte’s acquisition from Murray. (Herald)

Green/Whyte enablers, racism and Ibrox security

Have you ever seen a ‘Rangers’ director pushed by a journalist on a question he dodged before yesterday?  It’s never happened.  STV’s Peter Smith did something no journalist in the history of Scottish football has done before, pressed a question when the man in charge at Ibrox dodged the initial inquiry.  Smith dismissed the deserved [...]

QUICK NEWS April 10, 2013

Celtic Given Home Title Chance Against Inverness. Celts could clinch title on April 21 at home. (BBC) Under-20′s Secure Semi-Final Spot. Young Celts beat Benfica to progress. (Celticfc.net) The £17.7million Whyte Lie That Means Ex-Gers Boss Faces Financial Ruin. Oh dear Craig…… (Sun) Charles Green Challenged On Manchester United and Dallas Cowboys Claims. A difficult [...]

Being there

I’m sure many of you will remember the home game against Dundee in April 2001. We needed a win to be able to secure the title the following week, at home, against St Mirren. After the game Martin O’Neill sounded irritated at the anxiety in the crowd, oblivious to the fact that the loss of [...]

Newco, the Record and the police

It’s not often CQN quotes the Daily Record, so hold onto your bonnets………. Most of us have been watching the old media/new media for years.  Actual news is now well and truly in the domain of the new media but when it comes to some matters, the authority of the old media seems to be [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update April 8, 2013

Winning Start For Youths In The Middle East. Under 20′s win against Dinamo Zagreb. (Celticfc.net) Kris Commons Glad To Regain Form. Scottish internationalist is so happy to be playing at his best and scoring frequently, after last season. (Scotsman)

Cenkos involvement worth attention

There is a realisation that the information issued by Craig Whyte last week is only the beginning of what promises to be weeks of salacious details.  Ownership of Ibrox, Murray Park and other assets purchased by Sevco 5088, a company which Charles Green signed a Companies House form for on 27 December 2012, but which [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update April 7, 2013

Celtic 3-0 Hibernian. Match report, with manager interview. (BBC) Kris Commons Leads Celtic Stroll Against Hibs But No Party Yet. Match report. (Guardian) Mum’s The Word. Green and Whyte: the gift that keeps on giving. (Sun)

Green Sevco 5088 phantom resignation

Rangers International chief executive, Charles Green, speaking to the PLC’s official website, yesterday referred to a conversation he had with Craig Whyte before Rangers attempt to survive via a CVA finally failed in June last year. Green said “In a discussion with Mr Whyte, who taped some conversations, I am alleged to have said: ‘You [...]

Green, Whyte, Sevco 5088 and the St Mirren link

After 11 months of innuendo and unanswered questions the Sun today publish confirmation that Charles Green was a frontman for Craig Whyte.  The news will be a bombshell to many but few in the Celtic online community will be surprised. The Sun today report that Craig Whyte and partner, Aiden Earley, are majority shareholders in [...]

QUICK NEWS 4am Update April 5, 2013

Celtic Manager Neil Lennon  Cries Foul Over SFA Charge For Swearing During St. Mirren Clash. Trial by TV. (Telegraph) Goodwin Will Defend Celtic Boss. The St. Mirren player involved in match banter with Neil Lennon says Scottish football has more problems than to pick on the Celtic boss. (Daily Express) Pat Fenlon Criticises ‘Ludicrous’ Lennon [...]

Chaotic life of SPL chief exec

The seemingly chaotic life of the Scottish Football League chief executive, David Longmuir, appears more predictable after First Division clubs made their feelings on league reconstruction known. Significant amounts of trickle-down money is available from the SPL to second-tier clubs from next season if they vote to merge the league organisations, which is likely to [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update April 4, 2013

SFA Survey Finds Most Fans Want Larger Top League. Fan poll is less favourable towards the current  12-12-18 proposal on the table. The fans also favoured a 3 division model run by one authority. (Scotsman) Player Of The Year Awards, 2013. Have your say in who has been Celtic’s best player this year. (Celticfc.net) Hercules [...]

Beware snooping TV mics

Offensive, insulting and abusive language is not condoned on CQN nor anywhere else but if you’re mumbling to this effect while typing more prosaic comments we don’t have a problem. If, by some clever use of technology, I discretely caught you on mic while recording a feature for CQN and broadcast your words it would [...]

Midfield protection

While Neil Lennon’s mind will be more engaged with preparations for next season than SPL results between now and then he will be a bit alarmed at how porous his midfield has been recently. Celtic have been leaking goals at the back in an alarming manner but the cover from midfield has contributed most to [...]

What happened to Martin O’Neill?

Football is a results business and Sunderland’s results have been rotten for months, so we shouldn’t be surprised that Martin O’Neill was dismissed as manager on Saturday.  But he is Martin O’Neill, who appeared to be able to walk on water when at Celtic.  What happened? Martin’s teams played the same football at Sunderland as [...]

QUICK NEWS 4am Update April 1, 2013

St. Mirren 1 – 1 Celtic. Match report, including post match interviews with the 2 Lennons. (BBC) St. Mirren 1 Celtic 1: Match report. Referee Bobby Madden had horror show. (Telegraph)

QUICK NEWS 6am Update March 31, 2013

Sunderland Sack Martin O’Neill In Bid For Premier League Survival. Legendary Celtic boss released by EPL team. (Guardian) On-Song Wilson A Fillip For Celtic. Centre back who is on the ascendancy is humble about his progress, but Neil Lennon sings his praises. (Herald) Marcus Fraser’s Cruciate Injury Blow. Celtic’s promising young centre back out for [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update March 30, 2013

Neil Lennon Poses Uncomfortable Questions Of National Game. When you ask this Irishman about the state of the game in Scotland you will get an unbiased, intelligent answer. (Herald) St. Mirren V Celtic. Match preview (BBC) Manager: Break Has Helped My Players. Neil doesn’t often think that international breaks are the best for the team [...]

Good Friday is just another Friday for you

Sometimes it seems there is a constant struggle underway for the heart and soul of Celtic.  It is incredible that for 125 years a community has managed to retain the conviction to help the less fortunate which drove forward those who formed the club. Scarcely a day goes by without me receiving a message from [...]

Advertising Standards Authority step into Scottish football

I hear the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have written to complainants confirming they are investigating adverts run by Rangers International Football Club plc, in which they claim to be Scotland’s most successful football club.  You and I know that’s not the case, Celtic are Scotland’s most successful football club, followed at a distance by Aberdeen, [...]

QUICK NEWS 4am Update March 28, 2013

Financial Fair Play Lured Brian Quinn Back Into Football. Ex Celtic Chairman is relishing his UEFA job and he is on a mission to level the financial playing field. (Herald) Strachan Ready To Take Hits Just As He Did At Celtic. Gordon’s early days as Scotland manager reminds him of his first games as Celtic [...]

Significant supporter relations initiative

Celtic’s statement yesterday (available on Phil Mac Giolla Bhain’s site) covered a lot of ground.  It explained the environment the club operates in, its policies and strategy, gave historical context of their objections to the Offensive Behaviour Bill and on-going opposition to the Act.  In short: Where we are How we arrived here What we’re [...]

Policing and Celtic

I spoke to Celtic today about various questions surrounding stewarding and policing in and around the stadium. The club would not be specific on any particular incident but I got a run down on various instances (alleged assault, vandalism) when Celtic have responded to police requests for identifying information on fans.  Celtic said the police [...]

Background noise on England unhelpful

Several news outlets are running with our name attached to a prediction that we will join one other club in the English football structure within five years.  This prediction is little more than background noise and is not indicative of any initiative or plan.  A Scottish club cannot ‘buy’ an English club, relocated them and [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update March 25, 2013

Young Hoops’ Semi Final Delight. Celtic Under-20′s head to Hampden for fourth year running, in the SFA Youth Cup final. (Celticfc.net) Chelsea Chase Fraser Forster As Villa Track Hooper. EPL clubs fancy Bhoys stars. (Scotsman)

Mulgrew’s magnificent delivery

I watched Scotland play a more accomplished Wales last night.  No one in blue played particularly well but when Charlie Mulgrew prepared to take a corner from the right in first half stoppage time we knew Wales were in danger. The pace, low trajectory and movement Charlie gets on the ball negates the natural advantage [...]

QUICK NEWS 4am Update March 23, 2013

How A Celtic Fan Went From Hail Hail To Heil Heil On Mastermind. Quiz show contender knows a lot about Celtic. (Herald) Sunderland Announce Net Operating Losses Of £26.9m. Another EPL club continues to operate in the red. (Telegraph)

Managerial talent

Derek Adams propensity to waste time and then complain about time being added on should not obscure the fact that he is a remarkably productive football manager.  Ross County, from Dingwall, population 5,000, are sitting fourth in the SPL and remain in touching distance of a place in Europe.  No need to highlight their Scottish [...]

Your supporter groups, your club, your streets

The umbrella group, Fans Against Criminalisation, issued a statement yesterday (kindly published here by Joe O’Rourke on the Association site) which details a number of events in response to Saturday’s policing on Gallowgate, and the resulting response from the SNP government.  Witnesses are invited to give evidence on Saturday (23rd March), with three protests planned [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update March 22, 2013

Rogic’s Flying High For Club And Country. Tom’s World with the Bhoys and the Socceroos is on the up and up. (Celticfc.net) Wilson Relishing Hoops Role. Kelvin is much more settled at Parkhead. He has played regularly, his game has improved and he relishes his time with the Celts. (Teamtalk)

Another dysfunctional league

The Football League in England have woken up to the notion that they do not have a working business model.  Solidarity payments from the FA Premier League’s new TV deal will earn Championship clubs £2.3m a season (considerably more than Celtic will receive from TV for winning the SPL), with League One sides earning £324k [...]

Bribery and Scottish football

The Rangers chief executive, Charles Green, yesterday made an extraordinary bid to bribe his way up the Scottish Football League (SFL), saying, “I would … be prepared to guarantee other clubs the ticket revenue equivalent of 300 Rangers fans turning up for matches.” The SFL will soon vote on reconstruction and amalgamation with the SPL [...]

QUICK NEWS 3am Update March 19, 2013

Celtic Seek Report From Chief Constable Over Green Brigade Policing. Celtic football club joins growing list who are questioning what took place in the Gallowgate. Police issue a defensive statement. (Herald) ‘Crazy’ Goal Stuns Commons. Kris can’t believe that he has broken a record. (Teamtalk)    

Coordination and confidence

Wee Oscar’s dad, Knoxy, asked me to relay this message to you…… “The BIG cycle to Belfast… WOW! What an absolutely incredible effort by so so many people all to raise money for our wee hero, and a great night was had by all on Saturday night up at Donegal Celtic. It is very very [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update March 17, 2013

Celtic: Neil Lennon Aware Of Faults But Delights In Come-Back Victory. Post match interview with the manager. (BBC) Celtic 4 -3 Aberdeen: Samaras Comes To Four. Aberdeen players and manager in complete shock at taking nothing from the game. (Scotsman) Hammers Mortgage £60m Of TV Money In Bid To Manage Debts. EPL club effectively using [...]

Helsinki to heaven

So how many of us checked the fixture schedule a month or so back and thought, “We can win the league on the St Patrick’s Day weekend”?  Then came Motherwell and Ross County, now we will do well to win the league on the same date as Gordon Strachan’s team did in 2006. This seems [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update March 15, 2013

Investment Is Key For Celtic To Be Champions League Regulars. Neil Lennon wants his young team to get even stronger next year and he would like some funds to bring in  extra talent. (STV) Lennon Aims For Rise In Standards After Discussing Drop In Form.  Neil expects to see a different Celtic performance for the [...]

Banks and bums

I hear there are rumours in the old media today that David Longmuir prepared a plan with Charles Green and Peter Lawwell before briefing Scottish Football League clubs this week.  I suppose the rumours are half right.  No one from Celtic was involved in this nonsense. Special mention to Gavin Masterton, owner of 94% of [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update March 14, 2013

Jimmy Johnstone – The Greatest Celt Ever. Remembering the great number 7. (Celticfc.net) Israel Army Past Is Serving Rami Gershon Well In The Present. Rami’s 3 years military service drilled discipline, toughness and teamwork into him. (Herald) Forster: We’ll Keep On Going. Fraser insists there is no complacency among players: going for the double keeps [...]

Longmuir and the Newco job

Scottish Football League chief executive, David Longmuir, emerged from the shambles that the game’s administrators got themselves into last year with a remarkably solid relationship with the SFL’s member clubs, indeed, he has been singled out for high praise from the Newco-club. The flow of sentiment reversed after he wrote to member clubs suggesting Celtic [...]

QUICK NEWS 4am Update March 13, 2013

Gershon Vows To Get Better. On-loan centre back aims to step up his game and impress in the league run-in. (Teamtalk) SFL Want Celtic And Rangers ‘Colt’ Sides As They Fear Defection To England. SFL chief  is pushing for a couple of reserve teams to be added to the lowest tier of a restructured league, [...]

The joy of living today, tomorrow

After writing a piece on our European season for the forthcoming CQN Magazine I read the excellent contribution from SFTB this morning.  It is only natural that we live in the moment but for the last 70 years of the 20th century Celtic fans, more than anyone else, viewed each day in its historical context. [...]

Protecting your keeper and defence

If we are looking for reasons why Celtic have dropped so many points in recent weeks it is revealing that we have not kept a clean sheet away in the league since Boxing Day, and that was to bottom club Dundee. Losing goals, of course, is seldom about the last line of defence, and losing [...]

Picked up, shook out, turned into someone new

Neil Lennon seemed hurt by the performance yesterday.  “Some of [the players] look like their minds are elsewhere at other clubs. “I don’t know if they have been tapped up, I don’t know where they are mentally, but you can tell by their body language they are not with us at the minute and I’ll [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update March 10, 2013

Neil Lennon Expects Better From Celtic. Post match interview with the manager. (BBC) Celtic Players ‘Owe Me’ After Defeat To Ross County. Neil’s not putting up with underperforming players. (STV) Would The Fabric Of Celtic Change Down South? Celtic’s footballing feat in the Champions League this season was monumental when you consider the pittance the [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update March 8, 2013

Gilt-Edged Justice Picture the scene. A wealthy old lady decides to disinherit her only son. So he kills her before she gets the chance to make a Will. What should happen to her estate? The ‘Golden Rule’ and the SPL Commission. (Glasnost) Classy Juventus Knock Out Celtic. Tactical analysis of the big game. (tictactic.co.uk) Celtic [...]

What were Champions League lessons?

Photo: Vagelis Georgariou biglens.co.uk We’ve often discussed that the difference between success and failure at Champions League level more often than comes down to which team makes mistakes.  In the group stages Celtic were 31st out of 32 teams for the amount of possession they had, and for the number of chances they created, but they [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Mar 7, 2013

Celtic Go Down Fighting As Juve End Euro Adventure. Neil Lennon’s thoughts after the game. (Scotsman) Celtic and Juventus Supporters Trade Scarves, Show That Opposing Fans Can Be Nice To One Another. (Yahoo blog)

So you want a move to England? Prove your worth.

Photo: Vagelis Georgariou biglens.co.uk Georgios, “I’ll have two goals in the first half”. No matter what Celtic’s objectives for tonight are, to keep things decent, or to overcome an enormous deficit, priority no. 1 will be to protect Fraser Forster’s goal as much as possible.  Juventus scored three goals at Celtic Park while making sure Celtic [...]

Sweeten the medicine, Celtic

There is an unusually sombre tempo head of tomorrow’s Champions League last 16 tie, a consequences of the 0-3 reversal at home three weeks ago and the general sentiment around Scottish football this week, but this match is an excellent test for both manager and playing squad. We are a Champions League team again with [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update March 5, 2013

‘Sir Neil Lennon If Celtic Get Juve Result.’ John Robertson sings Celtic’s praises and reckons the manager’s stock will rise tremendously if they manage to get a result in Turin. (Scotsman) Celtic Hope For Champions League Miracle In Turin. History is not on their side, but Celtic will have a go. (BBC)

The land of registration anarchy

So how about this scenario, Celtic Youths are trailing in their league with 10 games to go when they register three new players, but someone’s ‘at it’.  The players are all over-age but the date of birth on their registration forms have been incorrectly completed, so the players are registered and become eligible to play [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update March 4, 2013

The Revolution Starts …….Now. Save the game from corruption and bad governance: fans of SPL clubs unite now and become active. (bampotproductions.wordpress.com) Moravcik on Celtic, Juventus and ‘Leader’ Lennon. An interview with Lubo. (uefa.com)  

Appellate body CEO taking sides

So the chief executive of the appellate body awaiting a decision to appeal says, “It’s crucial with league reconstruction being such an important issue for the game that we now draw a line under what’s happened”. According to the SPL Commission the president of that same appellate body was one of the “directors of Oldco [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update March 2, 2013

Neil Lennon Pre-Match Media Conference. Manager’s interview prior to St Mirren game. (Celticfc.net) Celtic Football Club Statement. Celtic comment on the guilty verdict. (Celticfc.net)

The tens of millions Rangers denied SPL clubs

Last year we attempted to quantify the money other SPL clubs were denied by Rangers improperly registering football players – on the assumption that being found guilty of improperly registering football players was actually worthy of punishment. Below is an excerpt of the article and figures: Some of the losses were easier to calculate than [...]

What say you now, Mr Bryson?

Scottish Football Association. Articles of Association. Powers of the Board of the SFA. 56, (8). “It [the Board] shall have power to enquire into all and any financial arrangements between recognised football bodies, clubs and players and to cancel any agreement between clubs and players contrary to the Articles and to publish in the public [...]

Cadete scandal casts shadow

Alexander (Sandy) Bryson has been mentioned in reports concerning another controversial matter in SFA history.  He was Head of Registrations when Celtic tried to register Jorge Cadete in 1996.  That case led to SFA chief executive, Jim Farry, being dismissed for gross misconduct after he failed to register the player in time for him to [...]

Guilty but controversial SFA evidence stops title stripping

The SPL Commission today ruled that Rangers EBT payments in connection with side-letters should have been disclosed to the SPL and SFA as financial entitlements, that senior management of Rangers (in liquidation) decided these side-letters should not be disclosed to the football authorities, and that the old board of Rangers made such payments without taking [...]

Today the truth for you, your fathers and their fathers

Your fathers, their fathers, and their fathers before them, have walked away from football grounds thinking the game in Scotland was skewed in favour of another team.  As a club founded by immigrants, with our historical support drawn largely from some of the poorest sections of society, for decades Celtic-friendly people were underrepresented in the [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Feb 28, 2013

Complacent? ‘If That’s The Case Then They Won’t Play Here Again.’ Neil reads the riot act to players. (Herald) Motherwell 2 -1 Celtic: Higdon Volley Moves ‘Well Up to Second. Match report (STV)

Fiduciary responsibility and lack of candour

At the first hint Rangers illegally ‘won’ league titles, members of the board who made all the controversial decisions called-in all media favours to paint a picture of an innocent mistake being made.  Innocent mistakes are occasionally made when registering players, and have been known to cost clubs up to 25% of their annual income [...]

QUICK NEWS 6am Update Feb 27, 2013

Lennon Believes Celtic Fans Will Settle For Nothing Less Than Mixing With Elite. Neil outlines why playing in the Champions League annually has become so important to the club. (Herald) Celtic’s Scott Brown Out Of Juventus Clash. Captain out indefinitely due to hip ailment. (Scotsman)

More key information from FTT report for Nimmo Smith Commission

The enormity of the forthcoming SPL Commission report could easily be lost in the ocean of headlines which has engulfed this matter in recent years.  I’ve noted below more information from the recent First Tier Tribunal report on Rangers tax case, in an attempt to clarify some of the key issues. From The Evidence: “The [...]

Background for Nimmo Smith decision

Will Lord Nimmo Smith’s SPL Commission report this week?  I’ve no idea, but as the day draws near it is perhaps worthwhile reminding ourselves of the relevant matters already established by the First Tier Tribunal, which, reportedly, Rangers ‘won’.  We will have more excerpts as the week progresses. The decision was anonymised, so names, such [...]

QUICK NEWS 5am Update Feb 25, 2013

Celtic 5-0 Dundee: Hoops Demonstrate Title Credentials In Emphatic Win. Match report. (STV) Bayern Munich’s Masterclass Is Now The Envy Of Europe Following Arsenal Demolition Job At The Emirates. The emergence of German football and their youth development model is starting to show up the EPL teams’ reckless spending ways. (Telegraph)