Celtic, FFP and Gio’s sacking


You and I know there is still work to so, but ask Newco fans or client journalists and they will tell you, they are out of the league chase this season, the title is going to Celtic.  The question is why?  At the very least, they have to give some credit to Celtic.

Ange Postecoglou transformed Celtic from the moment he arrived, bringing players from a market few in Europe had proper access to.  Despite losing the title in 2021, the infrastructure at Celtic and profile of the squad was sufficient to raise money in order to scout, buy or loan with an option, Kyogo, Hatate, Maeda, Jota, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Juranovic, Hart and more.

The rebuild process continued at Celtic Park in the summer, consequentially, Celtic have won all but one of their domestic games this season.  They are imperious rivals, far stronger than the side which lost their way in season 2020-21.  If you want to compete against them, you need a comparable budget and scouting system; Newco have neither.

Despite taking over midway through a campaign, Giovanni van Bronckhorst won one of the two domestic trophies available to him.  His immediate predecessor won one from nine.  As we left Hampden in April, out of the Scottish Cup, we knew we had a resourceful rival.

In what seemed an impossibility, he eliminated Sparta Prague, Brondby, Borussia Dortmund, Red Star Belgrade, Braga and Leipzig on his way to the Europa League Final in Seville, losing in the narrowest of margins possible.  History will record that this record was one of incredible overachievement.

Then came the summer.  He sold his two best players, bringing in over £30m in transfer fees this calendar year, money that would have been enough to challenge Celtic, but he was allowed to spend less than half this figure.  After qualifying for the Champions League group stage – something I never thought I would see – Giovanni was given no additional funds.  Zilch!

Two weeks ago I explained some of what happened inside Celtic when Neil Lennon’s side came off the rails, why Celtic did not sack him early in the season, how it is easy to sack a manager but immeasurably more difficult to get the next decision right.  In particular, that “Proportionality of response is required if you are to be taken seriously by serious candidates.”

Celtic could have recruited those desperate for a job, but right then, they were not attracting a candidate that convinced them to hand them the keys to the kingdom.  If you think ANYONE inside Ibrox right now believes they have a plan to flip fortunes with Celtic, you are wildly mistaken.

In that earlier piece I wrote, “[Newco] can sack a manager who achieved spectacularly for them, or face down some entitled fans.  It will be a measure of their board if they are prepared to take abusive flack personally when a scapegoat is available.”

Abusive.  Flack.  Personally.  This is impossibly difficult.  I watched it at Celtic, when Peter Lawwell took on the grief because, as he told me at the time, he believed that firing Neil just months after his successes, would make it more difficult for him to attract a great candidate.  He wanted to be able to say to a new manager, “I have your back when the going gets tough”.  This counts in football.

The experience was painful and in all honestly, I don’t know if I would have gone through the same.  It is no surprise those in charge at Newco reached for a scapegoat instead of facing down their more entitled fans at next month’s AGM.

There is another pertinent question, why didn’t Newco sign anyone after disposing of PSV Eindhoven to reach the Champions League group stage?  Why were they unable to invest more of the cash they took in, or some of the guaranteed European revenue?  Why did they send Gio into battle naked?

For this, I refer you to two news articles published in September.

Firstly, Uefa’s statement on 2 September.  Newco were one of 19 clubs mentioned that Uefa said “will be monitored closely in the upcoming period” with regards to the new Financial Fair Play regulations.

Then in his annual report, Celtic chief executive, Michael Nicholson wrote, “Celtic played a significant role at a strategic and technical level in the development of the new regulations.”  Having crossed swords with Uefa on FFP for many years, last season, Peter Lawwell spent half a day a week working with Association on their new FFP regulations.

He was hugely influential in drafting their objectives, which were material in inhibiting Newco from splurging cash again – material in what happened today.  When I read the new FFP regulations in the summer, I mentioned to ‘sources close to Celtic’, “This is going to get wee Gio the sack.”  I wasn’t wrong.  From now on, if you want to catch Celtic, live within your means, run a good business, recruit good people and take your chances with the rest of them.

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  1. Michael Beale effectively managed them before (sneaky double entendre) so if I was a bear, I’d want him.



    He may have moved on of course with his success in England

  2. hahahahhaha – the holy spirit in line for the gig at ibrox ………….



    Pie & Bovril 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿








    Next Rangers Manager


    Latest Odds



    Sean Dyche 3/1


    Kevin Muscat 4/1


    Michael Beale 6/1


    Kevin Thomson 8/1


    Kjetil Knutsen 8/1


    Steven Gerrard 9/1


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    Marcelo Bielsa 12/1


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    Andre Billas Boas 14/1


    Big Sam 14/1

  3. From The BBC



    Ultimately, Van Bronckhorst has to take responsibility for the poor domestic results and embarrassing Champions League campaign.



    But there is a collective responsibility at the club for what ultimately happens on the pitch, so there is blame to go around.



    The unconvincing January recruitment of Aaron Ramsey and Amad Diallo on loan while Celtic strengthened and won the title was followed by a summer window which has left many Rangers fans cold.



    Left-back Ridvan Yilmaz has barely played, Rabbi Matondo has been poor in his limited minutes, while Ben Davies has had intermittent injury problems and John Souttar and Tom Lawrence have been out for months.



    Antonio Colak, the league’s top goalscorer, is the only major success so far.



    Sporting director Ross Wilson has come in for criticism for that record, and while the club managed to sell assets like Patterson, Aribo, and Bassey for big money, it’s now difficult to see where the next healthy sale is coming from.



    That situation, and the fact director loans have to be repaid, will hinder whoever the Rangers manager is in the short term.

  4. We’re someway out in front of the huns in every way possible, from manager, coaches, all aspects of recruiting and we have a bigger bank balance. The task for their new manager is considerable.



    Ange will stay focused on his aims which I suspect are more European based than merely staying ahead of a weaker rival. We will not thread water under Ange.



    Not surprised by P67’s continuing attempts to get Peter Lawwell beatified. Lennon was shown considerable backing after Cluj and Ferencvaros.



    When the wheels have come off then a responsible executive has to act. Leaving such a manager in charge spreads a cancer through every facet of the club. The huns have done what they had to do. Let’s see who they can attract for mission impossible.

  5. It has been on the cards for weeks now. The Sevco Board have done the easy part, getting rid of someone that (for a variety of reasons) is not getting the results their petulant impatient entitled fanbase seem to think they deserve.


    The much more tricky part will be getting someone with any quality to commit to a project that begins with a bloated unfit demotivated shower of underachieving journeymen. And to top it off there is unlikely to be much cash to spend in sourcing improvements.


    Depressing reading for Der Hun but another wee bonus for US.


    MON the Hoops. HH

  6. RANGERS Football Club confirms today it has parted company with manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst. The board would like to put on record sincere thanks to Gio for all his efforts since his appointment as manager.



    Arriving at the club 367 days ago , Gio led the club to our first European final and won the Scottish Cup for the first time also, beating our previous best of runners up in 2016 . He also led the team to the club’s first ever Champions League qualification.



    Unfortunately, results and performances over recent months haven’t met expectations and the decision was made today by the board to terminate the contract of the manager,



    The search for the new manager is now underway. Hopefully before the AGM.



    Chairman, Douglas Park, commented: “I want to thank Gio for the hard work he has put in over the last 12 months and, especially, the achievements of taking the club to the Europa League final and winning the Scottish Cup last season.



    “Unfortunately, recent results have not met neither our nor Gio’s expectations, and we have taken this difficult decision to sack him today. Everyone at Rangers wishes Gio every success in the future, except for the upcoming unfair dismissal tribunal ”



    No surrender and god bless the king

  7. The huns biggest obstacle to attracting a good manager is the fact that GVB got nada to spend after CL qualification. Good luck trying to convince someone they’ll be given a meaningful transfer budget after that.

  8. Peter Lawwell may be worth while for his contacts etc in UEFA.


    He should be kept a long long arms length away from all team matters,including buying and selling players.HH

  9. At last CQN seems to be awakening to woman and girls being tortured, imprisoned and terriorised for the crime of being female.



    Woman, life freedom.



    # MahsaAmini.

  10. bournesouprecipe on




    Comparisons with a dead club get Celtic nowhere.



    New depths of maniacal self entitlement aready earned Sevco the worlds worst Champions League deficit on record. It’s firmly reestablished the gift that keeps on giving,



    ‘ Celtic park was built with 60,000 seats for a reason ‘



    Fergus McCann



    A properly run Celtic is all that it takes.

  11. Looks like Paul has had that article oven ready for a while.


    Whoever their next manager is, he will be on a tight financial leash, more so than GVB. They have little worth selling, they have several injury-prone crocks and a smattering of soon-to-be pensioners.



    Martindale will be the cheap option.


    Fans want Dyche.


    Muscat with Moore as his sidekick being mooted as a possibility



    Surprisingly, Duncan Ferguson doesn’t seem to be getting mentioned. Would have thought he’d have the right, er, character for Ra Peepil.

  12. What is the Starz on

    God bless Peter Lawwell, keeping the green flag flying despite the malcontents begrudgers and naysayers

  13. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Very strange, Paul. Last week you were urging Celtic to be ambitious yet we get these constant stream of articles comparing us to a club that if we just want to be a bit better than would indicate zero ambition!

  14. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “I watched it at Celtic, when Peter Lawwell took on the grief because, as he told me at the time, he believed that firing Neil just months after his successes, would make it more difficult for him to attract a great candidate.”




    Absolute garbage! Managers know the score these days. Plenty of good managers would always be interested in the Celtic job. The ones that would be scared of the sack are the ones you wouldn’t want anyway.

  15. GREENPINATA on 21ST NOVEMBER 2022 12:39 PM


    ‘At last CQN seems to be awakening to woman and girls being tortured, imprisoned and terriorised for the crime of being female.’







    Not strictly accurate.



    They are being targeted and criminalised because they are challenging the regime, not because they are women as such.

  16. WHAT IS THE STARZ on 21ST NOVEMBER 2022 12:43 PM


    God bless Peter Lawwell,







    I’ll see you and raise you.



    Peter Lawwell bless God.



    Now beat that for sycophancy.

  17. One of the only things that would attract anyone to the Hun job is that the establishment will cheat for you. Possibly wages if you are at a lesser club or you are unemployed or you are a died in the wool Hun who sees the job as some kind of cruisade. The new encumbant will get a maximum of a season and a half to put the Hun ” back where they belong”. They pretty much need a new team. Good luck unless we are worried about the ” old firm “

  18. Ernie,



    Females are being persecuted because they want choice and equality.



    Are men subject to the draconian morality police dictates?

  19. A multitude of Var personel and sophisticated equipment miss Harry Mcguire being blatantly held back in the box.

  20. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Lot of puff pieces on Lowball lately. On a completely unrelated matter, anyone know when the new chairman is announced?

  21. why oh why do you have to bring thems up , we have enough to get on with , we are half of nothing , let the old firm try to sort themselves out.

  22. Iran brought four goalkeepers to Qatar. Maybe just as well, terrible clash with own defender.


    Goalkeeper number two now on.

  23. From BBC who say Huns “Part ways” with Van Brockhorst.


    Rangers’ league record under Gio:


    Played 40


    Won 28


    Drawn 8


    Lost 4



    3 of the 4 defeats (and one of the draws) were to Celtic.



    Perhaps sums up the lack of margin for error of a Rangers or Celtic manager…

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