Cautious optimism with one weak spot


In days of yore Celtic would rattle nine goals past the Finnish champions on European Cup duty.  That was never going to be on the cards last night but there remains a clear gap in quality between the teams.  HJK Helsinki are no better than Hearts, but were clearly sharper.

The tie remains very much in the balance, a ‘Big Dan moment’, similar to what happened away to Sion last season, and the odds would stack heavily against Celtic progressing, and although HJK didn’t impress much, neither did Utrecht, who lost 2-0 at Celtic Park two years ago before wiping the floor with a disorganised Celtic a week later.

I have a few concerns.

Last season it worried me how dependent we had become on Charlie Mulgrew to create goals.  His delivery from the left back position, not to mention his runs to the back post, were significant in Celtic overcoming the early season deficit.

Today we are a few central defenders lighter, if not any worse off in that department, but without Charlie galloping down the wing we are immeasurably less potent.  Emilio is an able left back, but his performances are several degrees below his Player of the Year form and he is categorically not a goal creator.  A double jeopardy is that when Emilio is behind Georgios Samaras on the left, instead of the more defensively minded Joe Ledley, we seem to have a real weak point.

If we are to start with a lone striker and five in the middle next week we’ll need Charlie on the left.  This will stiffen up our weak spot and give HJK more to worry about.

The video moment for the players to study must surely be Georgios Samaras cross for the first Celtic goal.  In case you missed it, the cross evaded the first defender.  In this respect it was quite stunning and contrasted markedly to what was going on across on the right wing for most of the evening.

Early Player of the Year tip: Adam Matthews.  Usain Bolt must be relieved our man is not a sprinter almost as much as Victor Wanyama is relieved he’s a footballer.

Our three raffles end at 19:10 TONIGHT!  For the sum of only £1 you stand a chance of winning a painting of Henrik Larsson mid goal celebration, Scott Brown inventing the Broony or a print of our manager in his playing days.

It has never been easier or cheaper to contribute to the concept of what our club is all about, go buy a ticket.

Martin Chambers of the Ecuador Trust was in touch this morning.  He said, “If you are able to help, the money will be used to fund the Soup Kitchen that we run each day feeding 150 of the poorest children in the shanty town – kids who would otherwise go hungry.  Hope to hear from you soon” (he means you).

Feeding kids who would otherwise go hungry.  Where have you heard that idea before?

The four beneficiaries are; The Haven, Cancer Respite Centre, Blantyre, Oscar Knox Neuroblastoma Appeal, Martin Chambers Ecuador Trust and Aberdour Primary School Parents Association.

For £1 you can win:

A celebrating Henrik Larsson painting.
A painting of Scott Brown in classic pose.
A Neil Lennon print.

What are you waiting on, do it now, there are only a few hours left! And after you have clicked on ‘buy a ticket’, DON’T FORGET TO PAY, as some people have. Just like social taxes, paying for your raffle ticket is NOT optional!

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  1. I am just delighted to be in HAPPYCLAPPERSCSC were according to SydneyTim and his poodles I bounce excitedly up and down every time Peter Lawwell has anything to say and do not really care about Celtic.



    To be a TRUE supporter you have to constantly bitch and moan about the club to really love it. HappyClappers like myself who buy merchandise and season tickets are actually the ones who are undermining the club.

  2. The Honest Mistake loves being first on

    Celtic Mac on 2 August, 2012 at 14:19 said:


    Look, if you want to be a cheerleader for that self same Board feel free, I prefer to cheer the team on, always have, always will.


    Is it mutually exclusive? Is it not a bit disrespectful to BRTH to suggest that he doesn’t cheer the team on?

  3. celticrollercoaster supporting wee Oscar on

    BRTH-Pink and yellow strips you say?



    Now that might catch on. European away strip anyone? :-)







  4. Auld Neil Lennon heid on

    !!Bada Bing!! on 2 August, 2012 at 14:12 said:



    You do not TELL guys to move on, you tell them they will not be first team choices and they decide if they will get more money elsewhere or whether they are better off where they are.



    The idea that the club control players is a myth, players are the masters of their fate not the clubs.



    The problem is signing guys that end up in the move on category with no sale value and the answer to that is to not sign them in the first place but there is no science involved (to my knowledge) to avoid mistakes happening when signings are made. Take that lad Juarez as an example, International, strong, fit technically good (not brilliant) but a flop. How could that have been foreseen?



    Its a lottery with players always holding the winning tickets.

  5. I used to no’ bad at Championship Manager then the bassas only gave my Celtic team a transfer budget of £1.5m.


    Then I was pure rubbitch man.




  6. traditionalist88 on




    My take on it was that they will be liable for the 10 yrs of fielding ineligible players and any sanctions or fines imposed as a result because it is essentially the same licence they are playing on, transferred to a new company. The fines/sanctions would have followed the licence whoever took it, even if someone had started a team called The Celtic!



    Charles Green bought some assets for his new company-but you can’t buy history from 1873 for a company incorporated in 2012(as per Companies House).



    Fiorentina kept their history as their newco purchased oldco back and were never liquidated. Darlington is the closest case to the huns and they are cleary a new club, ‘continuing the tradition of the old club'(same fans) in the eyes of the English FA, but a new club founded in 2012 all the same.



    I think you’re right though, they would be better leaving behind as many associations with the oldco as possible but we all know how the huns would react to this. By going down the route they have are they not running the risk of BDO cancelling the whole show?! They’re even using the same website, new home strip was unveiled before newco was formed I believe…how is there any distinction between oldco and newco, as it has been suggested there HAS to be? HMRC must have objections to what would essentially be the same club(in the eyes of the hun support) but without the debt.



    I just don’t see how they can claim the sporting history transfers as part of the asset transfer, Charles Green bought assets which have a value, how much of the price he paid was for the history and how much for Ibrox etc!



    SFL have to grow a set and call a spade a spade.




  7. The Honest Mistake loves being first on

    celticrollercoaster supporting wee Oscar on 2 August, 2012 at 14:27:



    BRTH-Pink and yellow strips you say?



    Last season Kris Commons would have been confused with Mr Blobby.

  8. bankiebhoy1 on 2 August, 2012 at 13:15 said:


    Paulsatim……….tried that, wont let me add anything in for postage just says local pick up in Aberdour





    try going through to the payment page, and when the red message advising re postage comes up, scroll down to the payment box, should let you enter it there. It did for me, mate

  9. traditionalist88 on

    Bada Bing



    Agree, the substitutions, and timing of them, is something we are getting wrong on too many occasions in the last couple of years. Something which can be rectified, hopefully sooner rather than later.




  10. !!Bada Bing!! on

    TBB-I agree mate,guys on good salaries hold the aces,a sweetener might have to persuade players sometimes.Guys hanging about, who are not making a contribution can be counter productive.

  11. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on



    aye it was me wot done it :o)


    The green brigade were singing an Irish folk song, and the corporate section tried to boo them down. I sit in the Jock Stein stand and I never heard a single boo from that stand, the loudest booing came from the corporate section of Janefield St.


    I’ve said it before, the best way to improve the atmosphere is get rid of corporate seats, There are plenty of anti-Irish clubs put there who would we;come them. I would suggest using the vacated areas as standing areas.

  12. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Ole Peter Lawell Face/Off debate.


    On FF they think he’s Hannibal Lektor and here he’s Mr Bean.

  13. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on

    Gordon J..,


    it guarintees a show of commitment, to the same extent that the support have shown, 5% increase in ticket price, 5% drop in team investment, good for you is it.

  14. The Battered Bunnet on

    The demise of the Horribles, despite all nonsense spouted to the contrary, is likely to see most clubs in Scotland benefit financially, and open up the prospect of major finals and silverware to an increased number of clubs.



    In the SPL, while we await confirmation of the numbers, it looks rather as though the distribution of money from a largely unchaged TV deal will see the majority of clubs benefit.



    The removal of Rangers from the distribution will see £2.5M go to other clubs, and while this will be offset by a £1M payment to the SFL for their TV rights, will still realise a net gain of £1.5M.



    Moreover, it is highly likely that the SPL clubs will vote to change the revenue distribution model, with the cash awarded for 1st and 2nd place reduced, and the difference shared amonst the clubs.



    Last season, the total ‘Central Revenue’ distributed to the competing clubs, including TV, sponsorship and commercial deals, amounted to £17M. All else being equal, the distribution this season will be £16M.



    If the share to the Champion club is reduced from 17% to 10%, the average share to each other club will be £1.3M, compared to £1.15M last year, a net gain of £150K for each club. Celtic will likely see a drop of £1.3M provided we win the title.



    Additionally, most SPL clubs are reporting increased sales of season tickets as fans deliver an ‘Integrity Dividend’. I will be watching the numbers at Aberdeen, Hibs and Dundee Utd with interest, but I am hopeful that each will see an uplift in excess of 1000 season books year on year, giving an additional £400,000 revenue for each club.



    News that Dundee have sold out their allocation of 2000 tickets for Kilmarnock on Saturday is further evidence that the fans are backing the stance adopted by the clubs in insisting on meritocracy over manipulation. The anger released by the Game’s supporters across the country at the various proposals to maintain a ‘Rangers’ club at the top of the league structure seems to be expressing itself in positive energy and support, which translates to increased revenue.



    With the new Sevco club much diminished in terms of both finance and playing talent in comparison to the club it replaces in Scottish football, it is likely that more clubs will get to the semi final and final of the Cup competitions, generating further revenue and opportunities for cup wins.



    Meanwhile, the SFL clubs will benefit in a number of ways from Sevco’s participation. Firstly, there is an extra £1M to share amongst the 30 clubs from the SPL payment for Sevco’s TV rights.



    Additionally, it appears as though a significant number of former Rangers supporters have attached themselves to the Sevco club, resulting in enhanced gate receipts from the visiting fans, perhaps 3000 of whom will attend each away match. That alone will add around £60,000 to each 3rd Division club’s revenue, with Queens Park likely to benefit significantly more than the others when they host the two Glasgow Derbies at the high capacity Hampden Park. QPFC v Sevco might very well attract a crowd of 20,000, doubling Queens Park’s annual revenue at a stroke.



    With promotion play offs for 2nd, 3rd and 4th placed clubs in the SFL divisions, there is an opportunity for a current member club of the 3rd division to enjoy the benefits of the Sevco windfall in subsequent seasons, should Sevco secure one of the promotion places. As business models go, matching Sevco’s league status is a profitable one for current Division 3 clubs.



    And should Sevco gain promotion, the financial benefits will be shared by all of the clubs in the 2nd Division in a future year, and perhaps in due course, by Division 1 teams.



    With SPL clubs each enjoying upwards of £300,000 increased revenue from TV and season book sales, SFL clubs getting £30,000 each from the SPL’s TV dividend, and 3rd division clubs expecting an extra £60,000 from gate sales to visiting fans, plus Queens Park’s good fortune, the total benefit to Scottish football clubs, excluding Celtic, caused by the demise of Rangers is in the order of £5 Million per year.



    We should erect a statue to the people who did this.




  15. Celtic Mac on 2 August, 2012 at 14:19 said:



    Point of order he hasn[t received a multi-million pound bonus. I’m not sure that all his bonuses added together would qualify for such a term. That’s not to argue against them seeming overly generous but then none of us know the basis on which they are awarded.

  16. Auld Neil Lennon heid on

    Celtic Mac on 2 August, 2012 at 14:19 said:



    If it was’nt Peter Lawwell it would be his replacement. Celtic have to operate in a business and legal environment that supporters wishes are not constrained by.



    Setting out those constraints is not being a Board cheerleader it is simply saying this is the situation that prevails and these are the reasons for the policies that the club follows.



    We might not like them but understanding them might make acceptance of them a bit easier to hande than blaming the guy responsible for carrying them out.



    Does that mean I think everything is perfect? Far from it, I’ve experience of trying to get things done at Celtic and its not easy and there are some capacity and trust issues both at the club and the support that I think need addressing, but when things do not happen it is not persona and if you make it so, you stand no chance of influencing change..



    Put it this way, if I came to you and said I wanted you removed because you are a liar, would you pay a blind bit of attention?

  17. paulsatim………………thanks but…………….Nup!



    It just says @free@ wont let me click on it or nuthin’……………………



    I wont try again as it just keeps racking up as a cost I owe…………..


    I originally wanted to buy one ticket………..I’m now committed to buying 5 or 6 but wont let me complete the purchase.


    I think I’ll quit before I’m as skint as the huns, if paul67 or manicstreetteacher are looking in I’ can sort them out directly.




  18. traditionalist88 on

    Neil canamalar Lennon



    Wow, I wonder who those corporates support- and if thats the first time its happened it certainly isn’t Celtic.



    I agree, kids don’t beg their parents to take them to a game because there are lots of smartly dressed men in heated seats. They want to go for the atmosphere generated by the real fans.




  19. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Kano 1000 on

    Shimmies 33



    The only part of your post that I don’t like to much is the idea of “followers”— I will be honest– that makes me deeply uncomfortable.



    I am sorry if I have belittled what you consider a serious debate, but honestly, having read back– and I pointed out that I had read back which I can’t always do– I felt that The “debate” for want of a better word was getting both too heated and too personal.



    Now it is not for me to jump into conversations between others– not my style anyway— but I genuinely feel that from some there is just such a constant flow of negativity that it becomes an incessant and at times incoherent rant.



    We would all love to have a team full of Larssons and Suttons and Lubos and what have you– and the point I am trying to make is that simply splashing cash which we don’t have guarantees nothing.



    I know of Celtic fans ( and press people ) who derided the “cheap” and unambitious signings of Messrs Larsson and Moravcik!!! Spiers described Petrov as a “heavy legged” misfit at one point and saw no evidence that he would improve as a player!



    £3M gets you what? Kenny Miller? Scott McDonald? Stevie Naismith? Jordan Rhodes? and their ilk.



    None of these guys will guarantee you Champions League Football.. and remember that Southampton considered Hooper to be a £6-£7-£8 Million striker.



    Strangely, as I said in my review of the game last night— I thought the movement up front off the ball was far better when Stokes came on– and that is not something that I would have said a year or so ago– but there was far more running along the 18 yard line and diagonal runs from the D after Tony appeared.



    On the business side— we are in a sea of change– not just because of the situation over Ibrox way– but because media will change over the next 5 years and if UEFA are serious about financial fair play then they will tackle the Barca’s of this world– and while I love their football, i couldn’t help think that my recent fabulous tour of the Nou Camp was all as a result of money which that club simply do not have. Across Europe there have to be cut backs… the business models elsewhere simply cannot go on.



    If managing Celtic– and by the way did you hear Neil Lennon last night refer to “those of us in the football division”– meaning that Celtic is made up of many departments of which football is only one– whether it be the football team or the company– was easy– then we would be in the later stages of the Champions League each Season and there would be a torrent of money flowing in every season like an angry river.



    But it is not easy– in fact I think it is one of the most difficult jobs in football– balancing expectation and hope against a severe lack of cash in big boy terms.



    As I have said before, there are things that I would do differently, but it is dead easy to criticise from outside when you are not privvy to the facts within.



    I am told that Ki is definitely gone, subject only to him getting crocked at the Olympics– I am told that they have looked at and tried to get a couple of players in– but that the players had other options which they preferred.



    I believe that the board made a mistake with TM, who in turn made a mistake with players– who cost us money last year after he had departed. Do you think that if TM had taken all the players he bought with him at the one time and so freeing up the wage bill by a huge amount, lennon would still have gone for Izzy, or Kayal or Hooper– or would he have gone up a wee bit in quality?



    You have to manage what you have and what you can reasonably afford and those who are willing to come.



    That all being said the post was indeed no more than a bit of nonsense– i am a nonsense kinda guy– although with a few wee points masked in there as well.







    na Sydney didn’y— I went over the edge a long time ago…. lol

  20. The Battered Bunnet on

    Can I point out politely that the premise that buying a £X Million forward does not guarantee success holds every bit as true as the premise that fielding only 9 players does not guarantee failure.







  21. WGS on 2 August, 2012 at 14:47 said:



    dream on and dream on are our chances of signing those two, more likely Jon Daly and Marius Zaliukas more likely, if anyone at all

  22. Auld Neil Lennon heid on

    The Battered Bunnet on 2 August, 2012 at 14:39 said:



    Excellent stuff, the kind of thing that should go mainstream. It does beg the question though about the fears that drove Regan and Doncaster and which they have allowed Sevco to manipulate them by. Maybe they have learned to be less afraid (although on a personal level when you require police protection/advice it is understandable).Lets hope giving Sevco a leg up via reconstruction is an idea that time will prove unecessary to follow up on.



    Lets hope the redistribution of wealth means a rise in playing standards and not just more money going out of the game into players pockets.(If ever an industry needed a wage cap to save it from itself its football)



    Finally how will Celtic make up the shortfall or is it small enough to be covered by squad reduction/player trading (excluding of course any CL windfall)?

  23. LuxCelt



    So you are berating the Club for not spending money it probably doesn’t have, but you (and I’m assuming you are in Luxemburg, the 2nd richest country in the world if I recall) more than likely do have and are refusing to spend it. Just out of curiosety, do you work in a bank?

  24. I don’t think we are overly dependent on Charlie Mulgrew to create goals- if anything I see him more as another weapon in our creative arsenal when we are playing well- as we are a team with plenty of goals all around the pitch: Ledley, Brown, Forrest, Ki ( if he stays), Commons, Sammy and even Paddy can chip in with goals out with the main strikers.


    For all I love Charlie Mulgrew I cannot say that I have often seen Charlie galloping down the wing- yes maybe in SPL, specifically the awesome Rugby game- as he really lacks true pace and is far too one footed at times. To compare Charlie with Izzy is a just unfair- Emilio is easily the best left back we have had since Danny McGrain. Yes he was poor when he came back from injury last season, then he eventually reached his scintillating brilliant best ( ie- the 3-0 hun game when he tore them to shreds at will). I cannot agree with Paul when he says Izzy is not a goal creator. When he is at his best he bombs up and down the wing and puts in devastating crosses all day long- have we such short memories as Celtic fans? The guy is not far off world class when he’s at his peak. It is the beginning of the season after all. Give the guy a break. Yes last night wasn’t his best but then you could say that about a few. I also cannot agree that he isn’t a good defender. All he needs at the moment is match fitness. Give him time and we’ll inevitably be raving about Izzy again, of that I have no doubt. Remember that we have played both Joe Ledley and Charlie Mulgrew at left back in Europe and they have been run ragged- Izzy is still our best bet because of his searing pace.


    Although I think Charlie’s best position is central defence I would be more inclined to go with Charlie on the left of midfield in front of Izzy, just as when we pumped the Orcs at Ibrox a few seasons ago in the “Sammy game”- he has the height Izzy doesn’t have and can delivery the ball into the box we need. I might sound like some sort of presumptuous upstart now, but I didn’t agree with crosses from the right being poor either- if anything more superior crosses came in from the right overall in the match, particularly from Matthews. One that comes to mind was in the 2nd half when he put one into a very dangerous area in the penalty box for Stokes after a brilliant lung busting run…unfortunately the defender got there first. Sammy on the other hand had one decent cross all night after getting himself into great areas (as much from his own good play as anything else, specifically in the first half) and wasted those opportunities by hitting the first man or dithering on the ball.


    But football is all about opinions. None of us is ever categorically right, it ain’t mathematics, there is no certainty to our conclusions, its a perception game- which of course is the seductive quality that adds to its allure as a bewitching spectacle.

  25. Hearing our attendance was the highest by some distance last night and that we can be attributed with over 50% of the total attendance for all 12 matches.



    Match Stats




    Goals scored 2 1


    Attempts on target 3 2


    Attempts off target 13 0


    Corners 12 3


    Offsides 3 2


    Fouls committed 3 8


    Yellow cards 1 2

  26. Son of Gabriel on

    shimmies33 on 2 August, 2012 at 13:59 said:



    Surely if we have not spent NET over Lennons Tenure it is a positive thing??



    Compare this squad to the one before he took over:


    Replace N’Guemo with Ledley (comparing him to Kayal is too cruel)


    Naylor/Fox/Braa-“rubber”-hied with Izzy/Mulgrew


    Kamara With Hooper



    I could go on.


    BRT+H is taking it to extremes to illustrate how the club is moving forward within the constraints of a business strategy based around having no external help.


    The way the business should be run.



    I have made my peace with that while wishing we would occasionaly splash out I understand why we dont.



    Great article BRT+H


    Yet another I happen to have saved.

  27. ..



    RogueLeader on 2 August, 2012 at 14:13 said:


    We have had Happy Clappers vs Mine Shafters, the ole Steven Fletcher now we have Net Spend.



    CQNers rolling back the years today.









    Try and Keep Up.. It is Now ThumbsUppers and ThumbsDowners..







  28. Just been sent a text that premiersports are showing last night’s game as free view today from 5:00.

  29. CELTIC fan Michael Jamieson is to get a heroes’ welcome at Parkhead. The Glasgow giants have invited the 23-year-old Olympic silver medal swimmer to Celtic Park to help him celebrate his success.



    Jamieson, from Robroyston, is expected to be in the East End on Saturday when Celtic are presented with League Champions flag ahead of their opening game against Aberdeen

  30. The Honest Mistake loves being first on

    The Battered Bunnet on 2 August, 2012 at 14:49 said:


    Can I point out politely that the premise that buying a £X Million forward does not guarantee success holds every bit as true as the premise that fielding only 9 players does not guarantee failure.


    I think we need some statistical analysis on the above statements to prove TBB’s theorem.

  31. The Honest Mistake



    No, they are not mutually exclusive, the difference is I am not a cheerleader for the Board, never have been come to think of it.






    Ok let us wait our Chief Executive’s tenure is up, and add up the numbers. Trust me it will be in the millions.






    Like I said, nobody believes it is easy to run a club, any club, but our Board are more than well rewarded for raising the equivalent of £1000 times fifty, an amount many of those supporters, us, already contribute. My point is that it is the Celtic support who pay the price of the deals Peter Lawwell is negotiating and being handsomely rewarded for.

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