Boyata crucial part of CL planning, failure to emulate Gretna


I know Ronny Deila was delighted Dedryck Boyata pitched up at Glasgow Airport last night.  He’s a player the manager has known about for some time and one who was not on the Man City available list when we secured the loan deal for Jason Denayer a year ago.

The mechanics of the deal are interesting.  It’s quite possible it wouldn’t have happened at all without the success Jason enjoyed in Glasgow.  A year ago Jason was a complete unknown, below the pecking order than Dedryck, but we gave him a platform and now he’s a full Belgian international.  The pitch we put to Dedryck was along the lines of “Look what Jason achieved here”.  If we’d singed Dedryck instead of Jason a year ago, Jason would still be an unknown and Dedryck would be a Belgian international.

Assuming no late hiccups, Ronny will know his central defensive pairing for the Champions League qualifiers is sorted, allowing him to concentrate on other areas.

There are no guarantees in football, least of all with Champions League qualification, where we have three awkward knock-out rounds, but we’re starting the summer from a good place.

There’s so much to discuss about yesterdays’ Fir Park hilarity, the consequences of which will be profound.  More on this later in the week, but a few points on Motherwell.  For a team with such glaring shortcomings they deserved the scale of their victory.  Barraclough took a squad who finished 11th in the league into two challenging games and out-thought his opponent.

However, if Celtic fans behaved the way Motherwell fans behaved yesterday your Government would be all over it by now.  I’ve seen flares thrown onto pitches, I’ve seen pitch invasions (although I don’t remember seeing one congregating in front of opposition fans), but I’ve never seen a player smacked in the face and leg by a spectator’s flag, and I’ve never seen anything close to this entire repertoire from fans at a single game.

Who knows what the score would have been had Newco faced the team who finished 10th in the Premiership! Their attempt to emulate Grenta in winning three successive promotions always sounded like a tall order.  They came close, but they’re no Gretna. Not. Nearly. As. Good.

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  1. Well my post a few days ago was well of the mark. I thought the ref would swing it for them. Like they usually do . Anyway i stand corrected, and we’ll done motherwell. For keeping him out the equation.. Reading a lot of the posts, some seem to think the club will be stronger this coming season. Can’t see it myself as the team will be devoid of the best two central defenders I have seen at the club. Pity Especially The loss of VVD. A class act. .

  2. i wonder if Ranjurs furst,the fans share buying vehicle have any comment



    on being delisted?and the fact their shares which fans were encouraged to buy are valueless and impotent.




  3. expat_celt



    Aberdeen may have a chance. ICT have no chance.


    St Johnstone were the last side to make a good go of it and they had way too many qualifiers to play.


    The teams who play in Europe usually suffer in the league too. Aberdeen bucked that trend which means they may have a chance this season as their manager appears to know what he is doing, unless he leaves to go to a Championship club.




  4. The Johnatron on

    lennon’s passion


    15:37 on


    1 June, 2015


    Are Celtic seeded in the champions route of champions league ?





    Yes, extremely likely to be seeded in each qualifying round, however the final qualy could still turn up a very difficult tie.





    Fine and dandy,bud. Keep a hold of that C30, I suspect it might be a limited edition!

  6. Lennybhoy



    Sorry Buddy that was me!



    If you give me a hard time am flouncin’!

  7. leftclicktic on

    The Battered Bunnet


    How do you make a small fortune?


    Start with a big one and invest in a football clumpany.

  8. !!bada bing!!



    14:41 on 1 June, 2015


    HT-I was cheeky in a post to TMcL and he logged off,i posted an apology earlier.HH






    Big fella, if I had a quid for every time someone’s been cheeky to me on here :-)

  9. Bhoys



    can anyone find a link to the most recent laughing spanish man…saw it on here this morning but cant find it now.

  10. Just booked the Paradise tour for my dads Father’s Day. 3 generations of Tims on it. Friday the end of the month.


    Looking forward to it already.




  11. The Battered Bunnet


    15:49 on


    1 June, 2015



    “Back to business…”




    Aye – but you huvny factored in Dave King’s bullions, Timmy!

  12. Spiers’ article in the Observer is interesting. He does acknowledge liquidation was the end, although gets a bit metaphysical by arguing that the “spirit” of the dead club somehow inhabits the new one, in the eyes of the deluded at least.



    But he talks about the glory days and the financial problems of the old club as if they were totally unconnected. Let’s face it, anyone can win short term if they shovel money in and don’t pay their bills. But it will end sometime.

  13. Magnificentseven on

    The seedings for the Champions League guarantee we will be seeded, we are the 5th ranked team and there are 5 play-off ties, still could be tough though



    Basel Coeff. 84.875


    Red Bull Salzburg Coeff. 43.135


    Viktoria Plzeň Coeff. 41.825


    Steaua București Coeff. 40.259


    Celtic Coeff. 39.080

  14. To those looking,



    done a wee bit o diggin :-) T’interenet has it all




    The Fall of the House of Murray



    As tycoon David Murray’s once-thriving business empire folds with a barely audible whimper, Ian Fraser picks apart the disastrous sequence of seemingly limitless borrowing and bad decisions that precipitated the downfall


    Sunday 18 January 2015


    Sir David Murray’s metals-to-property conglomerate Murray International Holdings (MIH) died last week, going out not with a bang but a whimper.



    MIH and eight subsidiary companies – Premier Property Group, PPG Land, Premier Burrell, GM Mining, Murray Group Holdings, Murray Group Management, Murray Outsourcing and MMH NSS – are to be liquidated by Deloitte.



    The insolvency practitioners will be seeking to retrieve as much cash as they can from the firms’ assets and debtors before shutting down the companies for good.



    Since the credit crisis blew a massive hole in Murray’s business plans six years ago, his bank, Lloyds – which completed its disastrous acquisition of HBOS in January 2009 – appears to have treated him with kid gloves.



    It had few qualms about pulling the plug on other HBOS ­customers who had built up massive debts with HBOS, such as John Kennedy’s Kenmore, Jonathon Milne’s FM ­Developments and Ken Ross’s Elphinstone Group.



    But Lloyds was prepared to give Murray five-and-a-half years to disentangle and dismantle as much as he could of his business empire, as well allowing Murray Capital, a new private concern of Murray and his son, David junior, to cherry-pick some of his most cherished assets.



    The reason for this unusual leniency from Lloyds was ascribed to Murray’s tough negotiation skills, and highlighting the number of dependent Scots employees in a diverse group.



    In his pomp in the 1990s and early 2000s, David Murray was viewed as one of Scotland’s most successful entrepreneurs. He caught the eye of Bank of Scotland’s former treasurer and managing director Gavin Masterton, and the bank first lent Murray money in 1981.



    Bank of Scotland went on to lend him the entire £6 million he needed to buy Rangers FC in 1988. By 2008, as part of HBOS, it had provided him with £900 million of debt to bankroll his wide-ranging business operations, which once encompassed commercial property, coal mining, metals trading and football. This was despite the fact that, even at its peak, the turnover of Murray’s group ­holding company never exceeded £550m.



    HBOS senior bankers including chief executive of corporate banking Peter Cummings and the late Ian Robertson, managing director of corporate ­banking, gave Murray what amounted to an open cheque book.



    Together, Murray and HBOS formed a complex web of joint-venture companies into which hundreds of millions of pounds of the bank’s money were poured. In most of these property deals, the bank was effectively lending up to 40% of the money to itself.



    Robertson, nicknamed “Robbo”, was infamous for “Robbo rollovers” – deals by which the bank rolled over existing loans into newly created special purpose vehicles, effectively making bad debts disappear in a puff of smoke.



    One banking analyst said: “Property assets that ought to have gone into ­insolvency, or into HBOS’s intensive-care unit – which would have required the bank to book a provision for bad debt – were instead rolled over.”



    The roll-overs are said to have compounded Murray’s situation after the credit markets crashed, complicating his business empire’s problems. However, one of Murray’s more astute moves in the past decade was to sell his Murray International Metals business for £119m in 2005.



    From the mid-2000s onwards, having witnessed the success that the likes of Sir Tom Hunter were having in commercial property, Murray massively boosted his group’s exposure to commercial real estate, snapping up provincial shopping centres and office buildings from Edinburgh to London.



    The number of deals accelerated after Robbo’s successor, Ray Robertson, former head of real estate at Bank of Scotland Corporate, assumed day-to-day responsibility for his affairs at the bank. Both Robertsons had such faith in Murray and his Premier ­Property Group they seemed willing to lend millions with few questions asked, though it was the worst of times to be investing in and developing commercial properties.



    Things started to go badly awry when Murray moved away from calculated risk-taking and started using HBOS’s loans for what looked more like reckless gambling. This coincided from 2005 onwards with the adoption of what HBOS insiders call “kamikaze lending to the great and the good” as it sought to grow its ­corporate loan book by some 20% per annum to compensate for a slowdown in other aspects of its business.



    Even after property markets ­weakened, Murray seemed impervious to the risk of a property crash. One month after the global financial crisis started in August 2007, PPG had some £500m of development projects under way, including a 175,000sqft speculative office development in Glasgow’s Bothwell Street.



    MIH was going to be able to defy economic gravity thanks to what Murray described in the 2008 annual report as “the breadth and depth of the group’s diversified portfolio and management team”.



    When HBOS collapsed under the weight of massive bad debts and a short-sighted funding model, and the bank succumbed to Lloyds TSB in September 2008, the game was up for Murray.



    He and other tycoons had been used to picking up the phone to HBOS and receiving hundreds of millions of pounds within hours. That all changed after Murray’s accounts were transferred to Lloyds’s non-core business support unit (BSU), whose goal is to maximise value from distressed borrowers.



    One of the BSU’s first goals was to persuade Murray to offload Rangers, partly because the club was such an obvious drain on resources and partly as it was seen as a distraction for the hands-on Murray.



    One ex-bank insider said Lloyds simply wanted out of football clubs: “Rangers was just soaking up cash. You can’t build a football business on overdrafts and borrowing, but that is what Murray seemed to be doing.”



    Two-and-a-half years after ceasing to be Rangers’ chairman in October 2009, Murray sold his 85.3% equity stake in Rangers Football Club to Craig Whyte for £1. The club subsequently collapsed into chaos that continues to this day.



    Lloyds continued to allow Murray to do two massive debt-for-equity swaps which, given the fact that MIH’s equity was by now as good as worthless, were essentially free gifts. The first, in April 2010, saw Lloyds write off £150m of debt in exchange for an additional 12% stake in the company.



    Conditions included that Murray must liquidate three-quarters of MIH’s commercial property portfolio by 2015; introduce greater transparency into his business dealings; and stop using cross-guarantees, by which healthy and profitable parts of his empire were used to support more anaemic parts like Rangers. Such cross-support makes it more difficult to hive off businesses to third-party buyers.



    A string of ­disposals, including that of oil and gas business Premier Hytemp and three shopping centres (sold for less than half their purchase price), followed. Unusually, in what seems to have been a sweetheart deal, the bank allowed Murray to personally buy back his private equity business Charlotte Ventures, partly because the assets within it, which included a stake in bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis, were seen as too high risk for the bank.



    Murray said the purchase of the unit, later renamed Murray Capital, was “done arm’s length, at market value”. A second £118m debt-for-equity swap followed in March 2012, the negotiations for which are said to have been extended and heated.



    Murray claimed the deal – which took the amount of debt that had effectively been written off by Lloyds to £268.5m – did not dilute the Murray family’s 70% voting power over MIH.



    Talking about the winding-down of MIH, Murray said: “This has been a consensual approach with the bank, and it has been an orderly, managed process. It’s not been easy – it could have been easier to walk away and not do it – but it was decided with the lender that we would work this out, and we have.”



    There are major assets which remain unsold, including Response, the call-centre business. It lost a contract with BSkyB, but has since won one for Scottish Power. In another unusual move, Lloyds let Murray and his family, through Murray Capital, buy Murray Estates, which owns about 1200 acres of prime development sites across Scotland’s central belt for just £13.9m. In addition to Murray Estates, Murray Capital also snapped up other unwanted MIH assets.



    The Murray Estates portfolio includes a 13-acre site at Ratho Station on the western edge of Edinburgh, a 26-acre site near Edinburgh Airport, a 300-acre site at Torrance Park in North Lanarkshire, the 135-acre Kingdom Park site in Kirkcaldy and the 675-acre Garden District on greenbelt land adjacent to the Edinburgh City Bypass near Gogarburn.



    The latter offers scope for a £1 billion development of 3500 homes, a showcase garden project called Calyx and a new community stadium. For many years Murray has been ­piecing together so-called “ransom strips” to the east of Edinburgh Airport’s approach road, with a view to galvanising a wider ­development project called the ­International Business Gateway.



    Things are already moving fast for the some of Murray Estates’ development sites. In November, Fife Council granted planning permission for the construction of a £500m residential district at ­Kingdom Park over 20 years. The same month, pre-construction work got under way on a £60m mixed-use development for phase one of Torrance Park in Holytown.



    In its 2013 annual report, MIH said funding difficulties meant it was unable to develop the Murray Estates sites itself. MIH added it had considered ­selling the land in a piecemeal fashion to other developers but then “received an unsolicited approach from the Murray family in spring 2013 to acquire the ­majority of assets in the portfolio of Murray Estates”.



    A spokesman for Lloyds said the Murray Estates deal included an “anti-embarrassment clause” which enables the bank to secure a share of the upside should Murray Estates’ projects come good, but declined to give details.



    The MIH 2013 accounts noted: “The ­transaction completed after protracted negotiations and was supported by advice from two independent firms of chartered surveyors … plus significant potential additional consideration based on profits realised over 10 years.”



    Intriguingly, even though Murray Capital (formerly known as Charlotte Ventures) also banks with Lloyds, Murray made clear Lloyds did not fund the £13.9m acquisition. He added that the non-embarrassment clause is geared to enable the bank to get a bigger share of gains if projects are sold or developed quickly, saying: “It was put in place to stop us flipping things for a quick gain.”



    Overall, Murray has been shown far greater leniency than other failed property tycoons after Lloyds/HBOS was bailed out and commercial property prices crashed. One ex-HBOS insider has suggested that it was because he was “one of the great and good, like Tom Farmer and Tom Hunter”.



    All three have been knighted, with Murray receiving his – for services to business in Scotland – in June 2007. The source added: “Sir David never had the great fall, the humiliation that some of the other over-leveraged property tycoons were made to feel.”



    His businesses’ outstanding debt to Lloyds stands at up to £346.7m, and the bank has, to date, written off £268.5m through debt-for-equity swaps, which suggests that the collapse of his business has left a £615m hole in Lloyds’s accounts, and that two-thirds of the money Murray’s businesses borrowed has been lost.



    And because of the 2008 bailouts, it is effectively taxpayers who are picking up the tab. Meanwhile, he has walked away from the wreckage of his failed group with some of its most promising assets under his belt.



    It is perhaps unsurprising that Murray presents the winding-up of his erstwhile business empire as a sort of triumph. ­Writing in the MIH 2013 accounts, he said: “In the prevailing economic ­conditions since 2009, the delivery of the numerous asset disposals and debt-reduction programme represents a significant achievement and a very ­credible performance.”



    He said: “It’s not been without some ­casualties but we’ve done the best we could. The proceeds from the disposals have been optimised, enabling us to secure ­continued employment for more than 95% of the group’s 2008 workforce and minimising losses to other stakeholders and creditors. One of the reasons we have come through this as well as we have is that we had some prime assets and some good trading ­businesses. All the small creditors have been paid in full and everyone’s been paid their redundancy.”



    Lloyds refused to comment “on the grounds of customer confidentiality”, but others might see Murray, along with bonus-crazed bankers in rescued banks, as the ultimate pet of the sugar daddy state.

  15. The Battered Bunnet


    16:17 on


    1 June, 2015


    Forgot about that Nat.



    Silly me.




    There are Sevcovians I’ve met who utter that kind of statement as a matter of immutable fact. That popcorn maker I recently bought is looking like agreat investment…

  16. sunny calmachie on

    The Mullet said on Radio Scotland that he seen nothing as he was up the tunnel,


    He then tells BBC Scotland that he seen nothing and that is gospel,


    If that is what he says then who was the man who was on the park when Moshni and the Motherwell player were playing Judo with each other,?

  17. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Everywhere I hear the sound of flouncing, sheep on heat, bhoy


    ‘Cause summer’s here and the time is right for fighting the SFA, bhoy


    Well what can a poor bhoy do


    Except to scroll on past those posts


    ‘Cause in Celtic Quick News


    There’s just no place for street fighting Tom





    Hey! Think the time is right for a football revolution


    ‘Cause where I live the game to play is no compromises solution


    Well, then what can a poor bhoy do


    Except to scroll on past those posts


    ‘Cause in Celtic Quick News


    There’s just no place for street fighting Tom





    Hey! Said my name is called disturbance


    I’ll shout and scream, I’ll kill the king, I’ll rail at all his servants


    Well, what can a poor bhoy do


    Except to scroll on past those posts


    ‘Cause in Celtic Quick News


    There’s just no place for street fighting Tom



  18. glendalystonsils on

    See aw these signin’ targets that the SMSM were tellin us aboot last week……..



    You know the ones I’m on aboot…….the ones headlined ‘Celtic and Rangers(sic) in race to sign blah, blah, blah ,French, Italian, EPL (delete as appropriate) starlet……..



    Aye, thae ones,………….embdy know what’s happenin wae that?




  19. glendalystonsils



    Yes, the stories are now about Celtic and Motherwell vying for a multitude of stars……



    ….well, mibbe no.

  20. It’s pretty clear that the shambles on the park is mirrored off the park , with him great big omnishambles.



    I suspect King is clearly living in the past with respect to what is needed to run a modern football outfit and his side-kick the coiffured Murray is just Kings gofer in Scotland.



    I’d expect an announcement that due to the incompetence of the last Board they will be seeing Mike Ashley in court, Ally and the offshore chaps will need to whistle for their money and that to balance the books Murray Park will be mothballed.



    King and Murray will be short odds to take Rangers down again.




  21. hamiltontim



    16:05 on 1 June, 2015


    !!bada bing!!



    14:41 on 1 June, 2015


    HT-I was cheeky in a post to TMcL and he logged off,i posted an apology earlier.HH






    Big fella, if I had a quid for every time someone’s been cheeky to me on here :-)






    You’d have 50p Ya big freakin Jessie that you are!



    HH jamesgang

  22. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Will the superannuated gardeners XI be seeded for the ole petrofac?