Assessing achievements in rear view mirror


Optimism among the Celtic support is tangible right now. For much of last year the league title remained in the balance, but today, despite being promised a more taxing season, we’re miles ahead. You can get odds of over 40-1 on second favourites to win the title; the definition of No Contest.

As I noted yesterday, the transformation goes deeper than the heroics of Scott Sinclair and Moussa Dembele, neither of whom were material in the level of performance shown against Barcelona.

Achievements are often subject to reassessment at a later date and Celtic’s progress or otherwise over the last two years fall into this category.

A year ago, with a faltering Craig, Emilio, Efe, Dedryk, Stuart, Gary, James and others, we looked miles away from being a Champions League team. It turns out, we have a squad full of Champions League players.

Youth development hit the jackpot with Kieran Tierney, while John Park’s swansong signings, Erik Sviatchenko and Moussa Dembele, saw a return to form for our recently departed chief scout.

Money isn’t everything. Since 2004 it’s been clear on CQN that many Celtic fans have no interest in the game’s finances, all they are interested in is seeing an improving team on the park, but for the rest of us, the financial consequence of simply getting to the group stage this season is enormous. It makes accession to the same level next season so much more achievable.

None of that matters right now as we have the first cup final of the season coming up on Sunday. The litany of underachievement in this tournament stretches back to Jock Stein, who qualified for ever League Cup final during his 13 years in charge of Celtic, but after winning the first five, contrived to lose seven of the next eight.

I’ve seen a lot worse teams than Aberdeen knock us out of the League Cup, I hope nothing is taken for granted in the dressing room.

I’ve no idea what happened at the Newco AGM this morning but you’ll remember we discussed here the wisdom of launching a hostile takeover bid while a company is being driven into the sea by boycotts? More precisely, Newco was driven into the arms of the lender of last resort – Sports Direct. Sports Direct provided the cash that kept the lights on and picked up various rights and properties in compensation.

Offering a lender a shop at a rental of £1 per year for a decade seems harsh, but if the alternative is administration, there isn’t really an alternative. We didn’t know what the quid-pro-quo was for Ashley at the time, but we knew there had to be one.


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    As we head into a Cup Final weekend,as one of only two teams who can still win The Treble this season…





    Quid pro quo.



    Translates literally as what you can get for a quid. Sort of(!)

  3. IF and I say IF, they have been granted a safety licence due to their intention of having huge netting immediately below their crumbling roofs, then that alone is shocking, and should be seriously questioned as being adequate ?


    In my post about this on the previous thread I also highlighted the possibility that should debris cone off any roof, especially on windy days during a match, what gaurntees are there in place that players and staff NOT under any netting, are safe ?


    Likewise with match officials , which is where the SFA and SPL chiefs should be involved in this ?


    The SFA have a care of duty to their match officials , fact !


    Again if the intention is to have huge nets, is thus really nothing to do with safety but rather that sevco have made the goal posts much larger so duds like Garner and co have a better chance if ” hitting the back if the net” ?



  4. Good Afternoon.



    You won’t be surprised to hear that I enjoyed the comedy of the Sevco AGM. It seems that they are going to be dependent on “emotional investment” going forward. Oh dear!





    Ever the kind-hearted ethereal entity, I sent the press pack some cases of Buckie to help them through their preparations for the epic turd-polishing…



  5. Paul 67



    I went to 14 league cup finals in a row, we won 6, lost 8, I hate that cup I just hate it, some of the teams that beat where dross, never the less they won it, and we had some cracking teams/players then too, I don’t go to Hampden now and haven’t for 5 years, the SFA/SPFL will get none of my money unless things change, but that’s for another day.


    It’s a jinks this cup, and it worries me, and I’m aweways positive in everything Celtic, please god prove me wrong.

  6. Was doing a ‘Charlie Nick’ last night and realised I’ve never seen Celtic beat Aberdeen in a cup final.



    Everyone will be glad to hear I’m not going on Sunday…. :-)

  7. Shame if Sinclair is out for a month. I now have a ticket for Sunday. Big thanks to CQN lurker, Colin. If I ever get back to the 5’s I owe you a tap in. HH

  8. I went to Parkhead to watch the Celtic since the early 60’s. I used to always enter via the Celtic end. The place was a shit hole, one humungous toilet. Back then I never moaned about the pish showers under the cantilever at the back of the Celtic end, I just wanted to see the Celtic and safety was not factored in to the day out.



    Parkhead used to be a dump, but it was our pish soaked dump. We did not whine about it.



    Now we have a new career opportunity for amateur safety sleuths assessing the worth of others stadia; objectively or subjectively, qualified or not, knowledgeable or not?. If it was Parkhead that needed attention would we be bleating the same?



    We are growing a nanny generation from a generation of bleating out of work nannies.

  9. Interesting tweet from Sevco’s AGM… Even the Tories and the SFA don’t want anything to do with them these days…



    Club1872 ‏@Club1872rfc 56s56 seconds ago Glasgow, Scotland


    King – disappointments include not regaining previous relationship levels with politicians and football authorities. #RFCAGM

  10. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    I think Brendan has clearly done a good job since he came in. By all measures, the team have improved, and he and the coaches, deserves great credit for this.



    One thing I don’t agree on, is the effect he has had on Stuart Armstrong. To me Stuart Armstrong is much the same player today, as the one that left Dundee Utd. He was always a good player. He just hadn’t shown it in a Celtic shirt before, because Ronny never played him in his correct position. It was painful to watch the confidence being drained out of the player, by continually being played on the left wing, despite clear evidence, that he was not suited to that role. His confidence and form suffered as a result. That confidence and form, are now returning, as he is being given a chance in a position that his skill set is more suited to.



    I don’t think Brendan has improved him. He is just getting the chance to show how good a player he can be, by simply being played in the correct position.




    Have to disagree bud, He is braver than he was before even at United. You can see it in his eyes. Well up for it now, just like Forrest and Rogic. The whole team look braver and fight for each other now, Brendan and sports psychologist at work I think.







    Are you sitting with the three Yorkshiremen? :))


    To much time spent on here about an irrelevant new club.


    Though authorities do carry a responsibility to ensure a safe environment.


    CMcGregor again taking a lot of flak yesterday?


    He is not a complete footballer but has some very positive attributes.


    The innuendo that he is a hun and does not care should stop.


    His recent roles in the team suggest either Brendan is trying to address his weaknesses or we are shot of personnel in certain areas.


    Good management i think.


    Sunday without Sinclair will be more difficult but i’m sure we are capable without him.


    If a Celtic player had made such a cynical tackle and put a Barca star out for a month the press reaction would have been very different.

  13. One interesting comment from TRFC AGM (wearing my business head) was that the Business Plan and Funding Plan were separate.!



    Any other posters with experience of creating business plans might go Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?



    A key component of a Business Plan is income and if income from sources outside football is dependent on funding then how can there be separate plans?



    The funding plan has to be credible if it makes the difference between a going concern and a non going concern. The funding also has to be acceptable under UEFA FFP as in loans being converted to equity (although I need to swot on that aspect more, so any input welcome from those with that kind of experience)



    So who decides on the credibility of such a Business Plan?



    The vehicle that comes closest is the Club Licensing Process but as Res12 is trying to demonstrate this process is flawed if submissions under it are false and those vetting them do not apply due rigour (for want of a better term).



    Are the SFA competent enough to vet Business Plans? Can they ask questions of the assumptions and risks involved and what is being done to reduce them?



    Are they neutral enough to do so because a faulty Business Plan not only affects the solvency of the club concerned, the failure of a club with a flawed plan affects every club in the same division.



    Even in Twitter today following TRFC AGM commentators Spence and McCulloch are asking if the gap the £30m CL money affords Celtic an advantage is bridgeable.



    Not if fair means to bridge are attempted. ie no unaffordable loans never repaid or dodgy ebts.



    But what assurances do Celtic and other clubs have that some other dodgy means will not be used in future and not stopped by an SFA who failed to stop dodgy dealings from 2000 to 2011 and then tried to cover up the degree and enormity of the cheating from 2011?



    Has anyone seen anything so far to give them some assurance the SFA are capable of governing fairly as currently constituted?



    Rather the reverse, as it seems bullshit is allowable in Business Plans dependent on questionable funding.



    SFA reform is absolutely essential to ensure that in the next 5 years we do not see the risks to TRFC of not achieving a CL place being reduced by unfair means.



    That requires a proper robust club licensing regime that understands and questions business plans and can sniff bullshit in them.



    Do we have that? Is it in the offing? Are Celtic demanding it to reduce risks on their Business Plans?



    There is an old saying. “You don’t take a knife to a gunfight.”



    Res12 is not a knife. It’s a brown gun shaped parcel with smoke coming from it just waiting to be opened.

  14. FAN-A-TIC:



    I love what we have achieved at our club. I just don’t think perpetually ramming what we have achieved down the throats of others is ever so ever the Celtic way. I enjoy our achievements and I celebrate them, okay in the same time frame as the demise of those who hated us most…. but for me, just for me, that which sets us apart is that we can enjoy our family and its glories without building that pride on foundations and piles of hate.



    We are lovers… not haters.



    On Armstrong i think it’s a bit of both.


    He was used in an unsuited role by previous coach.


    But Brendan has added more to his game.


    I often posted in his defense because you could see his vision and ability to attack space was nullified by his position and a static system last season.


    He now needs to just fine tune his game a little particularly his chances to goals ratio and we will have an absolute star on our hands.

  16. I hope the questions and answers to J P Taylor,is there anything in place . regarding ordinary fans having decent facilities to go to before a game on these cold nights,to me the ones that are running our club ,Celtic,are only interested in fans who can afford hospitality,and me and thousands like me ,they will say oh the Burger Vans will do them,you know what they are just a bunch of snobs.and that includes shareholders,who don’t take up the ordinary fans plight.

  17. GlassTwoThirdsFull on



    I thought McGregor did a decent job in a difficult role against a top quality opposition.


    I also thought he played well against Kilmarnock – again in an unaccustomed position.


    I like how he always shows for the ball and always looks up before he receives the ball so he knows where he will be playing it to.


    Against most of the opponents we face, moving the ball quickly is key to stopping them getting time to get organised defensively.







    I don’t think we’ve beaten them in a cup final since 36/37. Pretty sure a certain Jimmy Delaney played in that.

  19. mike in toronto on

    since it is likely going to be announced on here later, I wanted you guys to hear it from me first ….



    it was me.



    yes, I’m the one who picked Sevco in this weekend’s LMS …



    there, I said it!



    You have no idea how good it feels to no longer have to carry this deep, dark secret…..



    It has been eating me up for …..well, days.

  20. The Battered Bunnet on

    I had the pleasure of spending a little time after the AGM talking with and listening to Eric Riley. Engaging fellow, and long experienced.



    I’m recalling that because of the comments I’ve read today from the Shameless Necromancer of Sevconia.



    “we have to spend more than we earn for an as yet undetermined period”



    Every full time club in Scotland operates voluntarily on a worst case breakeven basis, except one. That is, only one full time club in Scotland cannot sustain itself from its income.



    That one club, the most recently formed, ran up £3.5M in losses last year to maintain a £6.5M players’ wage bill to win promotion ahead of all other clubs, each of whom waged their players according to their means. The players’ wage bill for that one club was a factor of 5 greater than its nearest rival Hibs.



    In winning promotion, it replaced Dundee Utd in the top division, Utd having been run profitably for years, and having repaid all legacy debt in the process. The Premiershp lost one profitable, well-managed club and replaced it with one predicated upon unsustainable losses in order to “compete”.



    That same club, now promoted, has increased its players’ wage bill to £10.5M, double that of Aberdeen, and treble that of Hearts, and expects to post a loss in the order of £4M this season. The increase in wages maps closely to the losses. The club has already had to resort to shareholders and others for emergency loans to sustain its cost base this season, with further such loans required to pay the bills before the end of the season.



    That same club has an Emphasis of Matter noted by its auditors to the effect that without such further loans, the club cannot trade as a going concern.



    That same club confirms that further such loans will be required in the foloowing season, and for an “undertermined period” thereafter.



    I asked Eric how long clubs like Dundee Utd and Hibs for example, would watch on silently while this one exception to the voluntary practice burned its way through emergency loans to win football matches at their financial and competitive expense.



    I asked how patient the likes of Hearts, St Johnstone and Aberdeen would remain, watching this one exception being permitted to spend money it doesn’t have to beat them to Euro qualifying spots.



    He (Eric) said (I trust this isn’t breaching a confidence): What makes you think they’re silent? What makes you think they’re patient?



    Much as I’d like to imagine that Eric was implying that a workable, meaningful Financial Fair Play system for SPFL clubs was just around the corner (it’s been discussed for 3 years now…), I rather suspect there will be no such system, certainly not one that is applied meaningfully, until and unless this rogue, new, bling-hooked club is no longer a ‘problem’.

  21. Hapoel Be’er Sheva beat Inter again last night 3-2. I really like the look of their forwards Lucio and Ogu

  22. Glasgow City Council > Planning and Building > Building Standards and Public Safety > Raised Structures – Roofs?


    The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, Section 89 requires that the use of a “raised structure” must be approved by the relevant local authority. In this context, “raised structure” means a platform, stand, staging or other similar structure which provides seating or standing accommodation.


    This requirement does not apply where a Building Warrant has been granted or scaffolding or similar equipment is used in connection with building works.


    Building Standards and Public Safety defines a “raised structure” as a structure where any part of the finished floor level is 600mm or more above ground level.


    The Service has to be satisfied that the raised structure:


    * has been safely constructed and secured; and


    *has sufficient means of access and egress including means of escape in an emergency situation.


    The Service may also specify any conditions deemed necessary for the use of the raised structure including the maximum number of persons permitted to use it.


    A Section 89 was applied for several months ago.


    With no official comment – ours to speculate!

  23. Kitalba: those of us old enough to remember your description of Celtic Park, whether amateur or professional have moved on from those days. I hope that any stadium that proved to be dangerous for spectators would be looked at by the proper authority. Surely football followers in this day and age have the right to be assured that places that they attend are safe. We have heard so much in the past from authorities that a standing area would not be approved because it was deemed then to be a danger to spectators. Surely those authorities should be examining situations which could lead to serous injuries or worse for those attending such stadia?

  24. mike in toronto on

    off to court …. will be back later….



    (and, yes, I deserve all the abuse that is coming my way) :)



    But ….. if I win LMS, I promise to donate 100 quid to Mary’s Meals, another 100 quid I will use to buy Sevco and close them down, and the rest I will just waste*



    *with apologies to Georgie Best.

  25. AULDHEID on 25TH NOVEMBER 2016 1:27 PM



    This is also noteworthy:



    ITALIABHOY on 25TH NOVEMBER 2016 1:11 PM


    Interesting tweet from Sevco’s AGM… Even the Tories and the SFA don’t want anything to do with them these days…




    Club1872 ‏@Club1872rfc 56s56 seconds ago Glasgow, Scotland



    King – disappointments include not regaining previous relationship levels with politicians and football authorities. #RFCAGM




    I like you as a person. I remember. i hope, when considering our club, when you’ve send your nightly prayers and it’s time for sleep, well I hope you get the sleep that the 5 Way Agrrement denies me. And I love my club as best i can.

  27. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Did we not beat the sheep in 67 SCF just before flying out to Lisbon




    Do we consider it different if a benevolent sole owner bridges the funding gap, rather than continual debt for equity swaps from outside parties?

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