Board statement: dressing room, winning the 10, values


Celtic’s statement yesterday had interesting parts to it.  First was timing, it was released early evening, after a full working days’ deliberations on what to do next.  I suspect the appropriate reaction to the home draw with St Johnstone was under review for much of that time.

The second element that stuck me was the voice, this was “The Board”, not more commonly used “The Club” voice.  The Board is more personal, it was a choice to identify with the decision.

Several points stood out:

“understands the importance of winning the league championship this season..

“deliver the tenth championship in a row that is so important to us all.

“operate according to our Club’s values.

“our collective objective is best served by continuing to support Neil

“Neil has the support of the players…

“The Board recognises the range of views expressed by our supporters and the strength of those opinions.

Talk of winning the league this season and delivering the tenth championship in a row is ballsy.  I cannot say I’m optimistic.

Some have wondered if the dressing room was behind the manager.  It was not necessary to address this, but the statement confirmed it to be the case.

“The strength of those opinions” translates as “we hear you.”

“Our collective objective is best served by continuing to support Neil” alludes to the options that you and I have pondered.  Sacking the manager is the easy part, replacing him with someone who will turn things around is the greater challenge.

Operating according to the Club’s values is an opaque statement, you can interpret it as you wish.  Neil looks lost in his challenges, but I don’t like the way he has been hounded.  He has been through traumas due to his association with Celtic that no one has ever had to tolerate and achieved greatly as player and manager.  We do not owe him a living, but he deserves dignity and respect, especially when vulnerable.  That’s how I interpreted that part of the statement, anyway.

I suspect if the board were confident any alternative course of action would increase our chances of winning the league, a different statement would have been issued.  Pragmatism is greater than sentiment.  Instead, they have placed their chips on the man from Lurgan.  If he delivers, it will be one of the most remarkable titles in our history.

Celtic: Fifty Flags Plus One, an anthology of how Celtic won each of their league titles, is available now.  Starting with our first title in 1893, it details how Willie Maley brought consistent glory, then the sparse successes over four decades before Jock Stein arrived in 1965 and the more contemporary wins since.

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  1. Biscuit tin economics — GG to us in 1991 / age 31 = £900K transfer.


    Mental or what?



    I wonder who our financial controller was at that time?


    Would a certain PL ring a bell.



    All starts to make sense — he learned at the feet of masters.

  2. Gerry McNee and Jim Delahunt,Oh how we could do with them today,They were very critical at the time off the Kelly’s and Whites that ran Celtic Football Club into the ground,Looking back they were Celtic Fans who would defend themselves from fans defending The Kelly’s and Whites ,they we’re proved right Fergus came along things changed,for the better,but Fergus was adamant that Dermot Desmond would take over as the club’s biggest shareholder which to my mind shouldn’t have happened,Back to McNee and Delahunt i think it would be good if these two were still involved in the media,I’m sure they would have been fighting the ordinary fans who see the club making all kind of bad decisions,We have no friends in the Media,STV who under a bluenose sponsors Sevco ,as for BBC Sports Scotland its full of Bluenoses,The ones that say they are Celtic Supporters can’t wait to put the boot in all the time,So out of the two Celtic or Sevco who gets the easy ride,

  3. Bhoy From The Boyne



    The bit i don’t know is what level of freedom the players have tactically on the pitch. It looks glaringly that they are told to keep their positions as much as possible (as we did under Rodgers) but Lennon always talks after games that the players should be sorting it out on the pitch



    One thing is for sure; we don’t have a captain who can do this (and clearly doesn’t do this) and who is to step up and do this now? Ajer looked like he had it in him 2 years ago, McGregor last year but not now?



    Remember Aitken taking a game by the scruff? McGrain, McStay



    Lambert and Lennon himself could. Even ‘heid’ and Mcmanus to an extent

  4. This was my Post this Morning below for those who missed it, BUT I am very happy to see that some of you were ” ON”.


    I certainly didnt expect NEIL THE LEGEND win at Odds of 9/1…which was an extra bonus for me as I had taken it at 11/2 early this morning.


    I obviously selected BOTH Horses because of whats happening at Celtic Park at this time, so the Names were very Topical. I did stress in my morning Post that I would be backing NEIL THE LEGEND anyway because the trainer Nicky Henderson is a Trainer that I have followed for over 30 years. Hes a Top Trainer and apparently a Top Man !



    The bad news Today is that pubs in Glasgow will still be closed for now…so i cant spend my Cash in a Pub…Howver…It does mean that I wont have to sell one of my Polo Ponies to survive !


    LOL…Only joking obviously.



    At least those who backed the Winning Horses Today can put their Cash into Drinks and/or Christmas presents etc.


    ME ?,,,,I may go shopping tomorrow and buy a couple of Woollen Jumpers for Winter LOL.




    Ive did a Re Post just so I can say ” I Telt yous all” LOL !



    BIG JIMMY on 8TH DECEMBER 2020 6:17 AM


    Bit of Fun ?





    Those who know me are aware that I enjoy a Punt on the horses most Days.





    My all time Favourite Trainer is Nicky Henderson over the jumps.







    He has ONE Horse running today ( Tuesday) and its called….wait for it….” NEIL THE LEGEND” at Uttoxeter at 2.47. This Horse is 11/2 with Bet365 this morning.







    To add more spice to the selection there is another Horse ( NOT Trained by Henderson) running Today at FONTWELL@ 1.35, and its called …wait for it again LOL…” CALL OFF THE DOGS”. Its Odds are 13/2 with Bet365.





    I have backed both horses in Singles and an Each Way Double…and IF BOTH Horses win…its a return of around “54/1 plus” at the above odds.





    Irrespective of the name of Mr Hendersons Horse, I would be backing it anyway, because I ALWAYS try to back ALL of his Horses every day for over 30 years.





    Please dont shoot the messenger..its only a wee bit of fun in these dark times.





    May Good Luck be spread between us , we could do with some just now LOL






  5. Today’s article, without the link.






    There’s an article doing the rounds today which I will not discuss in any detail save to say that it is a plea for unity which, at the same time, calls those of us asking hard questions “bed wetters.”



    Its hectoring tone is only one part of what’s wrong with it.



    If you wanted a summation of the arrogant thinking of those who are urging us all to come together you could not get a better one though.



    I predict you’re going to get a lot of this now that the club has confirmed it’s giving Lennon until the New Year.



    We are constantly told that we live in a world of extremes, where too many people have become polarised.



    Yet I never cease to be amazed by how many of us still yearn for the middle ground, and how many manage to find it between two opposing points of view.



    Let’s take the current Westminster shit-show over Brexit as an example.



    Neil Kinnock is urging Labour to abstain on a vote for any deal that Boris Johnson brings back because to support it means that Labour owns it just as the government does. Which is correct. He’s also pointed out that to vote against it will alienate a lot of people. Which is correct.



    But to me this is all positioning to the wrong end. It’s trying to find a middle position where none should exist. Labour is a pro-EU party and any debate that’s going on which considers this issue “settled” is just ridiculous.



    The SNP knows exactly what it’s doing; they are expected to vote against the deal on the basis that no form it takes will come close to replacing the benefits of the EU. They’ll vote against it because Brexit itself is a mental proposition.



    Which brings me to the board’s statement yesterday, and the article I mentioned at the start. We are now in a place where we’re being told as with Brexit that “the decision is made, get behind it.” The ancillary to that is that now the decision has been made further rocking of the boat can only be damaging. As if the decision itself put us on easy street.



    But the decision is clearly ridiculous. The club is in a dire position with no part of it functioning like it should and those responsible for the mess are telling us, not asking us because we have no say in this, they are telling us to trust them. They are not asking for faith but blind faith, unquestioning, without a shred of proof that they know what they are doing.



    Please note what the statement doesn’t say; it doesn’t propose that we trust them whilst they pursue a radical course correction, or that we get behind them as they try new ideas … they are asking us to support them whilst they do exactly the same things.



    And yet there are people who are willing to do it.



    There are some bloggers who are willing to do it, quite obviously.



    The trouble is, this is how we got here in the first place; ignoring problems because we were told that there was too much at stake to rock the boat and that we should bide our time and bring these things up when it was more convenient or whatever.



    Just not today, but someday.



    Well as John Fogerty once pointed out, “someday never comes …”



    We knew things were wrong with the club when Lennon was appointed boss after Tony Mowbray. Why did Lennon get it? Giving him that job in the first place was a dereliction of duty. He should have been sacked during his first full season in charge, but survived to provoke a full-on crisis in the second when goals at Rugby Park saved him.



    When Lennon left – in part because he banged against the glass ceiling of the transfer policy as imposed by Peter Lawwell – the job was offered to Roy Keane who balked over Lawwell trying to pick his assistant. The club’s response was to appoint the proposed assistant instead; Ronny Deila, a manager from Norway. His own assistant was picked for him. His “first signing” was unveiled on the same day as he was, Collins beside him and a grinning Lawwell.



    Brendan Rodgers got to pick his own backroom team, and for a while seemed to have total control over the footballing operation. But by the start of the second season he was having players pushed on him, with Daniel Arzani’s signing baffling him when asked about it, and the third season’s summer transfer window was a fiasco of Lawwell failures … and Rodgers was plainly sick of it. By the January window that year he was having another player signed against his wishes and made his views on that quite plain when asked about it at a press conference.



    Lennon was hired as a stop-gap, but got the job full time. He too was told who his assistant was going to be and denied any say in the backroom operation. It’s thought – one newspaper has in fact made the allegation explicit – that at least some of the signings he’s made have been forced on him by those in charge. And this is just the backroom shenanigans.



    Questions have persisted about Lennon since the catastrophic loss to Cluj in last year’s Champions League qualifiers, which saw a disastrous series of inexplicable tactical and selection decisions haunt us big time. It wasn’t the only example.



    A year ago today we played, and won, the League Cup Final. We started that game with the barely used winger Lewis Morgan as a striker and everyone watching knows that we were outplayed for the whole afternoon. We went into the January game at Celtic Park nervous as a result of that cup final and we were duly played off the park again.



    The Lennon fans will point to the league form after January, when a tactical change outfoxed all of our opponents. It did not fool Copenhagen, who inflicted a shocking defeat on us in the Europa League. It didn’t faze Livingston, who took points off us.



    This season was barely underway before the nightmare against Ferencvaros where the manager didn’t even start a striker. The following game, against Motherwell, he made the same decision as if to spite those of us who criticised it.



    Before the Ibrox club came to Celtic Park there were already signs that we had gone badly off the boil. We needed two late goals to snatch three points at St Johnstone after we’d scored with just 20 minutes left to beat Sarajevo in the Europa League after we had needed a last minute goal to knock Riga out of the round before. You could tell all wasn’t well.



    The game against Gerrard’s team was a disaster; we didn’t register a shot on goal. We’ve won a single league game since, sandwiched between three draws. We are out of the League Cup. The Europa League campaign has been a catastrophe.



    At every critical stage, from Lennon’s initial appointment and all the way up through Deila’s time and the myriad questions which arose and were shouted down, through Rodgers and his increasing frustration and the reasons for it, through Lennon again and the reversals under him all the way up to the present time the mantra has been the same whenever some of us have questioned the direction of the club, or its leadership.



    “This is not the time for this kind of talk. There’s too much at stake.”



    Or it was a variation on the old “Well, we’re winning so they aren’t doing it all that badly, are they?”



    But these issues were always much bigger than the attention given to them … Lawwell’s interference in areas not his concern was one of the reasons Rodgers left. The CEO jeopordised our success right in the middle of it. He was instrumental in hiring Lennon which risked the nine and the ten.



    Our successes are in spite of the bad leadership in the boardroom.



    Yet we weren’t allowed to question that leadership because things were going well on the park.



    How ungrateful of us, eah?



    How “entitled” to enjoy the success but to want it to continue?



    The question some of us have repeatedly asked to those urging us to shush and to enjoy what we have is; “Well if not now, when?”



    Because, really, if you aren’t asking those questions when things are going well you’re just waiting for a time like this, when it’s too late to change course and the damage is already done.



    How much more damage are we supposed to see inflicted before we finally do what has to be done here, and start looking at the situation overall?



    The issues which haunt Celtic now have been there for years.



    Whenever some tried to raise them we were told to get behind the team.



    Now that those issues have swelled to gigantic proportions and we’re reeling under multiple hammer blows the same basic argument is being deployed against us.



    We tried asking this stuff when the weather was fair, now we’ve got to wait for some distant day when all is well again before we pursue this stuff?



    These problems are not going away until the people responsible for them do.



    It’s as simple as that.



    All this “get behind the team” crap we’re hearing will accomplish nothing except to delay the reckoning that is long overdue.



    When Celtic was doing well on the pitch it was easy to pretend that everything was alright, although it obviously wasn’t.



    It’s only now that these issues have finally come into focus and we’re paying the price for them that folk are taking notice.



    If we don’t fix this stuff now, if we don’t unify for the purpose of changing the way our club works, and moving on some of those who are holding it back, we are inviting bigger problems somewhere down the road.



    The people who hired Lennon will, in all probability, hire his replacement … that alone should give us all grave cause for concern.



    Celtic is a well-run business but a badly run football club.



    External events have been advantageous to us, but our board is dreadful at strategy and they were not even able to capitalise on the unique circumstances we found ourselves in.



    A great historic opportunity has been squandered on their watch and now we’re seeing them for what they really are.



    Do not get distracted by all these pleas for unity; the most important business facing us is the business of change.



    Without it we’re just waiting for another crisis, even as this one gets progressively worse.



    This is the moment to do this; our one mistake was in waiting this long.

  6. Madmitch



    Martin Hayes has got to be the worst. I heard a few years later that Arsenal were going to accept bids about half what we paid. funnily enough i watched him in a friendly in 1990 (v hibs i think and Collins debut too) and he looked lively. Didn’t last long



    We were panicking all over the place in early 90s when we should have been building a valuable squad in the mid to late 80s



    Huns let their team decay before 1997/98 s well. Difference then was they lost their only scorer at Christmas

  7. CRC happy birthday, Marc. Sorry it could not be in better circumstances for a great Celtic Mhan like you. Take care.



    That’s quite a few beers, I owe you, Jimmy.





    Great tipping.




    You owe me nothing mate…just stay safe and have as nice a Christmas as possible.




    Maybe they will ” CALL OFF THE DOGS” attacking “NEIL THE LEGEND” for a wee while LOL ?


    HH Mate…enjoy your winnings, and same again to the others who won some Cash.



  9. CORNELIUS on 8TH DECEMBER 2020 3:04 PM


    AIPPLE on 8TH DECEMBER 2020 2:22 PM



    79CAPS on 8TH DECEMBER 2020 2:29 PM



    Ref Andrew Gutman






    That’s super cool. Hoping to get a season ticket at the Louisville stadium when this is all over. They have been decent two of the last 3 seasons.











    I loved your post from last night about Coup’s






    Was a long read but proper interesting.




  10. Bhoy From The Boyne on




    I do think we have leaders on the pitch, e.g McGregor, Julian, Ajer, Brown etc but todays footballers are a different breed in many ways.



    St.Anthony made a great point on latest CU podcast. Brown was pretty much done getting around the pitch under Delia. Rodgers saw this and gave him a completely different role, pretty much to control the centre. NL has reverted Brown’s role to getting around the pitch but he can’t do it anymore. We see it time and again with McGregor trying to cover spaces for Brown and midfield completely opening up with gaps. Teams just drive thru us. Added to the wingback issues and no penetration from middle to front, makes us the mess we are right now.



    For the life of me, I can’t understand the boards position on keeping NL any longer. There are strategic issues off the pitch no doubt, but our form this season is largely due to management teams inability to correct the issues on the pitch.



    Play Ntcham as a deep lying playmaker like BR often did and allow Cal Mac to drive forward as 1 of the 3. Why does he keep playing Brown, completely opens our midfield and limits others in playing to their strengths.



    No doubt Brown will start on Thursday & Sunday.

  11. James Forrest


    Good post, article, whatever.


    So we have a control freak in charge, that in itself should be buffered by a competent board who control the control freak as he the control freak is an employee, not happening is it as we have a weak board, what excatly have any of that board done for Celtic Footbal Club in their time on it? This being just one issue.


    Control freaks dont trust people, you can have all the expertise you want but the control freak wants his/her own way always.

  12. BIG JIMMY on 8TH DECEMBER 2020 3:19 PM


    Welcome back indeed my friend.


    Call of the Dogs e.w. single – 15/2


    Neil the Legend e.w. single – 9/1


    And an e.w. double that paid me out at 45/1


    As I posted to you this morning I didn’t bet them just because of their names and Trainers. I looked at the form as well and decided I would back them, I use Betfair.


    I shared your concern at one point when Neil the Legend drifted to 11/1 but I had already placed my bets, Bhoy am I glad I did.


    To say I am in profit is an understatement!


    Next time we meet a big drink on me.


    PS: I’m glad Mrs. Lennybhoy does not frequent these pages.


    Keep the Faith!


    Hail Hail!

  13. The Celtic AGM takes place on Monday December 14.


    This AGM will be virtual but there will be NO live questions permitted.


    Any questions need to be submitted at least 4 days prior to the event but there’s no guarantee that questions will be tabled or answered.


    The club will “endeavour to answer questions and may group questions together when doing so”.



    If you were a director & had an AGM imminent AND faced a crisis of confidence in the board – what course of action would you take?



    Would you be inclined to sack your manager, a man that you appointed 18 months ago without looking at any other CVs/Resumes?


    Would convening your AGM with NO manager in place inspire confidence in the board & their stewardship of the company?




    Would you want to get through the AGM bluffing it out with statements of support for the manager, but offering a crumb to unhappy shareholders that you’d review things in 2021?



    Frankly, when would a board of directors NOT review the ongoing situation at their business?


    What kind of management would it be if NO reviews took place unless there was a crisis?


    What precisely have the board been doing in this financial year to date if not continually reviewing or asking for reviews of the business of the club?



    Are the board more interested in share price confidence than confidence in their team manager?


    Are the board simply more interested in NOT having it recorded & noted in the city that they held an AGM with no manager in place and have just kicked the can down the street until the scrutiny of the AGM has passed?


    Is this a genuine vote of confidence in the manager or a convenience to protect their credibility?



    Biscuit Tims CSC

  14. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    BIG WAVY on 8TH DECEMBER 2020 12:29 PM



    DBHOY on 8TH DECEMBER 2020 12:25 PM



    Big Wavy



    Behave yourself.






    You don’t think for a minute he might want away? That staying in such a toxic environment is good for his health? How own legacy over the last two decades?






    Big Wavy – Same Page 🙂

  15. Big Jimmy.


    I’ve told the family, I will buy them a Dominos tonight.


    My luck is still in, it’s 2 for Tuesday. :-) Yaass.


    Once again, a big thanks.

  16. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    BILLYBHOY1967 on 8TH DECEMBER 2020 8:58 AM



    “Kennedy appears willing to stand back and let Lenny, and our team, crash and burn so that he can get his feet under the table in the Managers room”






    I saw the game at the weekend – very painful to watch – what did JK do to give you this impression?

  17. We owe Lennon nothing. Celtic have paid him £m’s over the past 20 years. There are plenty among us who have suffered racial/sectarian abuse and worse. He has been shown to be incompetent at the job he is being paid to do. Time to go. Lawell and Desmond also. Parasites.

  18. LENNYBHOY on 8TH DECEMBER 2020 3:40 PM.




    No worries mate…I wont tell Mrs LENNYBHOY either LOL !


    Stay safe and have a nice a Christmas as possible.




  19. James Forrest (Celtic is a well-run business but a badly run football club.)



    Sorry we are a badly run business as well. The money waisted on projects, How much ££££ is that costing us ? Fail to prepare for C L Qualifiers with targets got in to late and having to play players playing out of position, how much as that cost us ? a badly run recruitment system, again how much ? That’s just touching the service. The highest paid employee at our club in my opinion should be the manager, not a meddling, Football interfering incompetent overpaid C E O who gives our rivals a helping hand ( 5 way agreement, Res 12 )

  20. Ive just texted my mate who owns my local Pub to ask him IF he plans to reopen his Pub which goes into Tier 3 on Friday ( in the Saltmarket obviously), as Pubs in Tier 3 can open til 6pm…but NOT sell alcohol ?


    I hope that he does decide to reopen, as I will just drink NON Alcoholic Lagers like Peroni…at least it gets me outta the hoose for a wee while !








    Hard to argue, but I would class that as part of the football club problem and not so much the business.



    Because the thing is, when Lawwell does his actual job – the one he’s paid handsomely for, the one he’s qualified for – he’s actually pretty good at it. Not the genius some think, because in terms of bringing in stuff like the sponsors and the shirt deals every major company knows Celtic fans are second to none … but you do have to give him credit for those regardless and he deserves it.



    On top of that, we’ve made a look of good business decisions in other areas … and we’ve had some screwups there as well, of course, one of them – the decision not to offer “virtual match tickets” – is inexplicable if you ask me …



    But overall on the business side, this guy is good at what he does and his longevity means he does have a wide-ranging understanding of the football market …. but still your point is a good one. The disastrous football related decisions have been expensive, big time expensive, and that’s partly a consequence of his sticking his nose into areas where it doesn’t belong.

  22. boondock saint on

    I was staggered when Neil Lennon talked about his players not being in shape or fit. In the old days ( and I mean old days) when you were injured, you went in to see Brian Scott and got your treatment and if you couldn’t train that day with the teams then you went on the old red ash track in the stadium and pounded the track, or were sent out to Queen’s park in Glasgow to run hills, or a long slog around Strathclyde park, but you were still working. I know that medicine and recovery and all that stuff has changed since then, but once you had recovered, you were raring to go. I think it is tough for injured players to get back up to game speed so quickly as there is no reserve league to get them games. We had the reserve league games on the weekends and every Monday nights as well. I find it staggering that we don’t have reserve leagues anymore. Maybe that is the reason that our best young players are leaving and going abroad as they will get better competition in that clubs second team and prepare them better for that next step.


    Trying hard to keep the faith bhoys as we have been in worse times than this,but I don’t think in my 49 years of life, a worse run of results as this.


    Sorry for the long post.


    Hail Hail,



  23. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Madmitch – you don’t like Peter Lawwell.



    Copy that. Message received.

  24. BIG JIMMY on 8TH DECEMBER 2020 3:56 PM




    Happy Christmas to you as well mate.


    Until we meet again…


    Keep the Faith!


    Hail Hail!

  25. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    re the statement – leaving things until the NEW YEAR is more or less handing the title on a plate to sevco, that much is clear, shareholder value takes a tanking, everybody can see the sheer gross incompetence is in issuing a waffling wandering statement intended to quell a potential riot that more or less just runs up a white flag.



    The only rational I can see is that it takes the heat of Neil and redirects it toward the board, if that was the intent, job done.

  26. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    James Forrest – this article calling those of us asking hard questions ‘bed wetters’ – where is it?

  27. JAMES FORREST on 8TH DECEMBER 2020 4:03 PM



    I think we are on the same wavelength James, Good article by you previous.

  28. BIG JIMMY on 8TH DECEMBER 2020 4:00 PM


    Ive just texted my mate who owns my local Pub to ask him IF he plans to reopen his Pub which goes into Tier 3 on Friday ( in the Saltmarket obviously), as Pubs in Tier 3 can open til 6pm…but NOT sell alcohol ?



    I hope that he does decide to reopen, as I will just drink NON Alcoholic Lagers like Peroni…at least it gets me outta the hoose for a wee while !










    That reminded me of when Lemmy out if Motorhead said he had to lay off the whisky for his health. Lemmy says he had to start taking notice of his doc and moved onto vodka instead 😁

  29. James Forrest @3.16



    I don’t always agree with some of your points but todays is one of your very best.


    Well done mate




  30. glendalystonsils on




    You hit a whole bagful of nails on the head there James . The gullible among our support are becoming fewer with every failure on the park and are beginning to look beyond player and even manager performance.


    Pleading for trust and for patience when there is none , simply will not work .

  31. Looks like the virtual AGM will be stage managed to the max with no live questions. I know that many searching and pointed written questions re RES 12/11 have been submitted, and I will be exceedingly surprised if any of them surface. Perhaps there will be a softball one to make it look as if the Board are not ignoring the issue, but that will likely be that.



    The indefatigable Auldheid has put in a monumental shift for 8 years on our behalf, in an effort to restore integrity, and it will be a manifest tragedy if his efforts, along with his cohort’s, come to naught.

  32. Big Jimmy well done on the nags and to all you good ole bhoys who jumped on the Tips.🐎🐎🐎



    CRC – belated happy birthday 🍻🎂






    D :)