Celtic point to prove, burying bad news


Neil Lennon took his players to the vast open spaces of the Camp Nou last year, took the lead and held onto a point until the fourth minute of added time.  It was an enormous and disciplined achievement.  I feared we would suffer a backlash when Barcelona visited Glasgow.

What we experienced instead was more of the same.  Barca played some of the most mesmerising football we have ever seen, but it took them until the 92nd minute until they managed to beat Fraser Forster, this time, too little, too late.

Barca have the best Plan A in football but they were unable to effectively change when making no progress and unable to cope with Celtic from set pieces, while their own concentration was called into question.

While our visitors will be keen to make up for their disappointing result in Glasgow last season, Celtic have their own disappointing result to avenge.  The heroic tales from Milan last month count for nothing.  Celtic need to show they have the necessary edge.

We are the team with something to prove.  We are the only team who can leave Celtic Park tonight with any material achievement; a win would do nothing for Barca, whose place in history is already acknowledged.  The only prize in the game worth having – professional honour – is only available to Celtic.

Tonight we have a rare opportunity.  Take it, Celtic.

A good day to bury bad news

Rangers International FC PLC accounts, released this morning, curiously report “First team wages/turnover ratio at 43% while total staff costs are £17.9m, or 94% of turnover.  I’m not convinced this is evidence of a vast and unnecessary filtering of cash out of the club.  While the board and management will take a slice of the extra wages this total figure is not unusual, or unexpected.  It takes several hundred people to run a football club with an average attendance at 39k.  There is not a whole lot they will be able to do about this figure.

DM Hall, who produced fabulous property valuations for Ibrox and Murray Park when Sir David Murray was in charge, are back, this time valuing the assets at £65.2m and £14m respectively.  This is vastly more than was paid for them last year but still a fraction of what DM Hall valued the properties at in 2005.  The combined existing use valuation recognised in the accounts is £42.5m – a tidy sum, if achieved by sale and leaseback.

The club has operating costs of £33.6m while income is £19.1m.  They are clearly spending more than necessary.  When looking to cut costs there will be some low lying fruit (or Greggs pies) but cutting into the player budget, or back office staff costs will be difficult, while cuts to policing, rates and utility costs are unlikely.

Cash at 30 June 2013 was £11.198m, so, before cost cutting and after exceptional costs are removed, they are looking for circa £18m cash to fund operations until 30 June next year.  There are several established ways to achieve this, including ticket securitisation, used by both previous owners of Ibrox.

A significant uplift in season ticket prices is also likely to be necessary.  Charles Green set initial ticket prices low.  An appeal could surely have been made to fans to step forward and offer support at a higher price, but Green was under pressure from Paul Murray’s various attempts to win control-while securing fan support for his Blue Knights group.

If Murray hadn’t run his ultimately-doomed campaign, Green’s need to over-promise and under-price, in order to sell any tickets, would have been different.  As would the operating deficit reported today.
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  1. Celtic, Celtic thats the team for me,



    Celtic, Celtic on to victory,



    They’re the finest team in Scotland, I’m sure you will agree,



    We’ll never give up till we’ve won the cup and the Scottish football








    They come from bonnie Scotland, they come from county Cork,



    They come from dear old Donegal and even from New York,



    From every street in Glasgow they proudly make their way,



    To a place called dear old paradise and this is what they say.





    Celtic, Celtic thats the team for me,



    Celtic, Celtic on to victory,



    They’re the finest team in Scotland, I’m sure you will agree,



    We’ll never give up till we’ve won the cup and the Scottish football







    There’s Fallon, Young and Gemmell who proudly wear the green,



    There’s Clark, McNeill and Kennedy the best there’s ever been,



    Jim Johnstone, Murdoch, Chalmers, John Divers and John Hughes,



    And sixty thousand Celtic fans who proudly shout the news.



    Celtic, Celtic thats the team for me,



    Celtic, Celtic on to victory,



    They’re the finest team in Scotland, I’m sure you will agree,



    We’ll never give up till we’ve won the cup and the scottish football




  2. DeniaBhoy in awe of wee Oscar's Courage on

    As part of the news coverage of the armed forces day at Ibrox, I keep seeing quotes along the lines of “we’ve always been proud to show our support and have close relations with the armed forces” . . . but is this true? I cannot recall any of this kind of stuff from the 70s to the 90s when I lived in Scotland. All this jingoistic, nationalistic, fascist-flag-waving, damn-buster humming started when? I know they began a love-in with the English national team around the time of Woods, Wilkins, Butcher, Hurlock and co but trying to “own” the British Army is something else all together.

  3. ASonOfDan



    Goodwill occurs when someone is purchasing a business and say you buy a business for £10m but it is only worth £8m, then the extra £2m is called goodwill and can be accounted for in accounts.



    What Rangers International have done is bought the assets of the business for less than they are worth (when I say worth, what that means is what someone has valued them at) and so the difference is the negative goodwill. This is then added as a gain in the profit and loss statements.



    It doesn’t really mean very much in the day to day running of a business but just keeps accounts in order.




  4. Just in to say….



    Jobo Baldie was on the money this morning when he said


    it will be the – ‘Efe n Virgil show’ imo.



    From a ying – yang point of view, it’ll be….


    Celtic 1-1 Barcelona




    Celtic 0-2 Barcelona


    Only saying.



    Take good care Celts and have a good night and


    always remember one thing….


    We start the game tonight being ghreat amigos


    with Barca – we finish the game as Ghreat amigos


    with Barca. ok



    Hail Hail – Off oot.

  5. minx1888 praying for Wee Oscar on

    Could not care less about “yon deid club” today.



    Today is all about Celtic, cannot wait to get along and cheer on my Team. And as that Champions League music blares out across the stadium I will spare a thought for those no longer with us



    YNWA Pablo and Miki67




  6. 50 shades of green supports wee oscar and his family.h.h.wee mhan on




    Your last post in the previous article.



    My sentiments exactly mate.



    Lang may he reign.





  7. Folks,



    Had a client cancel on me tonight – 2 x tickets for Jock Stein Upper. Face value £49 / each. They were bought through StubHub (+ booking fee of 14.70 !) but happy for 2 @ 100 quid. Anyone interested let me know and I can meet in city centre.

  8. setting free the bears supports Celtic’s best fighter- Wee Oscar Knox:



    can I ask which part of the ground is the ticket is for?

  9. Finished early and heading off to Cappielow for the young guns game, hearing its pay at the gate, can anyone confirm?




  10. If I can be forgiven for asking one question on the Rangers accounts before I get back to the more important matters.



    I picked out this quote from the Finance Director’s report:-



    “The business strategy remains for the Club to keep Ibrox Stadium and Murray Park free from any kind of security over bank debt. These assets will


    continue to remain under the full ownership of the Club.”



    Now, does that statement pass the test of being truthful as far as known facts go? Or is it ambiguous enough to mean anything? Does Craigie Whyte own the stadium or not? If he does, how can Stockbridge state the above?

  11. Afternoon Timland warm and hun free in the mountain valley.



    Not too long now.



    This time last year the nerves were unbearable, not so bad this time, don’t know if that’s good or not.



    Whatever, we are playing arguably the best team the world has ever seen, that is what we wanted at the start of the season.




  12. Incredibly nervous but also incredibly excited about tonight.



    Would happily play Barca every season. In a few years time maybe we will.



    Expecting another fantastic European night at CP. The scenes will be beamed worldwide yet again – and not a single member of the Armed Forces in sight!



    To all those going tonight – have a great time.



    I’m jealous!




  13. Afternoon all



    Unable to make game tonight as ill. A very popular uncle I am.



    Good luck to the Bhoys tonight



    Jimbo67 supporting Oscar Knox

  14. The whole set of accounts alternates between the term club and company. Zombies in for a hard winter.

  15. @ minx1888 praying for Wee Oscar


    11:47 on


    1 October, 2013



    Great sentiments


    Sorely missed

  16. GrannyMacsBhoy on

    A Light Insanity



    Hi if you are out there give me a wee shout back as those seats you are looking for are sorted.



    HH GMB

  17. setting free the bears:



    cheers mate, but I’ll have to pass on it. The person I needed a ticket for can’t go to the upper tier.

  18. NatKnow - Supporting Wee Oscar on

    Mucho excited about tonight and very jealous of those going! The fanzone in Merchant City sounds like the place to be for cultural exchanges. But after the drinks and handshakes, can we please get pure tore intae thum?!




  19. Chairbhoy@08.02



    “I was trying to show the European Cup and the Champions League as different competitions.” The argument I was addressing was that getting to the last 16 of the CL was a superior achievement to reaching a Uefa Cup or Europa league final. It could not have been hunguffery because it was an argument being advanced by many CQNrs…”



    The opening quote contains a first sentence which is yours and runs into the rest of the quote which is mine. That gives a false impression that I said all of the above.



    You then said:-



    ”Yes I’m not disputing the fact that the last sixteen in the UCL was seen among Old Firm supporters as a holy grail.



    I am blissfully unaware of how the other side viewed this progression but I am stating that we “Celtic” fans started talking about this being the next level in the post-Seville period.



    I try not to use the OF term but in quoting it back to you, I am saying that Celtic fans in the 90s were not talking about post 16 CL as any sort of benchmark- qualifying for the CL was beyond us. even in 98/99, our only CL experience of that decade, we did not make the Group stage so talk of last 16 was absent.



    MON changed all that and we did begin to talk about CL before Seville but still we only had one Group Stage experience before our Seville final. I am placing th majority of this narrative in the post-Seville period because that is where it belongs; we did not talk of last 16 in the 90s and talked very little of it before Seville.



    “Now in the Nineties IMO this position became entrenched, I believe it was because Rangers looked like the only Scottish team capable of doing this, and were in fact pouring money into the playing side to achieve this.”



    They were the only fans talking of European progress at that time. We were talking of actually making it into Europe I.e. Getting by the CL qualifying stage or beyond 2 rounds of UEFA Cup was the height of our European ambition and discussion in the 90s.





    ”But you are right it was a good discussion. Paul67 actually did an article saying he would rather have a UEFA cup run than UCL, as the competition was more suited to our level and we were much more likely to get European football after new year and we more co-efficient points.”



    I am not sure if it was Paul’s preference for Europa rather than an appreciation of our limitations at CL level. As it turned out, achieving last 16 twice under WGS and again last year by NFL, took most of us by surprise.



    Though we may gain more co-efficient points via a Europa run, reaching a Europa quarter, semi or final would be would be a hard task too. My preference remains getting into the CL Group mix and seeing what mayhem we can cause with occasional progress being a welcome bonus to a club and players punching above their weight

  20. joe_joe_john_bobby_teddy on

    850k per year and a hot air balloon full of 1p shares, how does he get away with it, why do they let him get away with it……

  21. maestro-number8 on

    Why I love Celtic. And why you do too.



    We love Celtic for many reasons.



    Because of Brother Walfrid.



    Because of Willie Maley.



    Because of Jock Stein.



    Because of the Lisbon Lions.



    Because of Danny McGrain.



    Because of Roy Aitken. FEED THE BEAR.



    Because of Johnny Thomson.



    Because of Johnny Doyle.



    Because of Tommy Burns.



    Because of Phil O’Donnell.



    Because of Neil Lennon.



    Because of Martin O’Neill



    Because of the reason why we were formed in the first place on 6th November 1887. ‘’ A football club will be formed for the maintenance of dinner tables for the children and the unemployed ‘’



    Because of our first match when we beat Rangers 5-2 and Neil McCallum scored our first ever goal.



    Because of our first major trophy in 1892, the Scottish Cup.



    Because of our 1st time as Champions in 1893.



    Because of the 6 in a row that we achieved from 1905-1910



    Because of the 9 in a row that we achieved from 1966-1974



    Because we know this team off by heart : Simpson,Craig,Gemmell,Murdoch,McNeill,Clark,Johnstone,Wallace,Chalmers,Auld,Lennox…… and not forgetting Fallon, McBride, Hughes, O’Neill, Gallacher,



    Because of all of the special entertainers, such as Patsy Gallacher, Jimmy Johnstone, Lubomir Moravcik, Charlie Tully to name a few.



    Because of all the amazing goalscorers, men such as Henrik Larsson, Bobby Lennox, Stevie Chalmers, Kenny Dalglish, the great Jimmy McGrory, Dixie Deans, Jimmy Quinn, John Hughes, Sandy McMahon, Jimmy McMenemy, Adam McLean, Willie Wallace, Tommy McInally, Charlie Nicholas, Jimmy McColl, Harry Hood, Brian McClair, Bobby Collins, Johnny Campbell, John Hartson, Neilly Mochan, Frank McGarvey, Joe Cassidy, Jimmy Johnstone, Bobby Murdoch, Alec Thomson, John Divers, Patsy Gallacher.



    Because of the amazing Celtic support, never more inspiring than in Seville.



    Because of the great one-off victories in winning the Empire Exhibition trophy, the Coronation Cup, The Victory in Europe Cup, the St.Mungo Cup, the Alfredo di Stefano trophy, the 100th Scottish cup in 1985, the Double winning centenary team in 1988.



    Because of the famous 7-1 victory in the 1957 League Cup Final ‘’ oh Hampden in the sun……’’ Beattie, Donnelly, Fallon, Fernie, Evans, Peacock, Tully, Collins, McPhail, Wilson, Mochan.



    Because of the famous Hoops – world famous, unique and beautiful.



    Because of the 1979 4-2 victory when Johnny Doyle was sent off and 10 men won the League.



    Because of the 1986 victory at Love Street in the Lime Green strip.



    Because of the demolition of Sporting Lisbon in the Lime Green strip.



    Because of the 6-2 game. Big Chris Sutton became a Celtic man that day.



    Because of the Treble in 2001.



    Because of men like Fergus McCann, Wim Jansen & Harald Brattbakk. Thank you for 1998.



    Because of Paradise itself and that feeling of pride and togetherness when you walk into Celtic Park on matchday.



    And because of Paul McStay, my all time hero.



    Remember for all those going along tonight.



    We need to do what we do best. SUPPORT the Bhoys.



    It is going to be very difficult and we need to back the team all night.



    They need us all night. No criticising anybody for a pass that does not reach it’s intended target.



    No moaning and groaning. We might go a goal down, we might go 2 down but keep SUPPORTING the Bhoys.



    It might not guarantee us a draw or a victory but it will help the players in their quest to achieve this.



    We can inspire them. We’ve done it before…….let’s do it again.



    Enjoy the occasion and sing your hearts out like never before. It will be magical if we do it again.



    If we don’t, then we still be Celtic SUPPORTERS faithful through and through.



    It is magical being a Celtic SUPPORTER.



    Something inside so strong.



    Come on Celtic.