Celtic work remains below-radar


I like the below-radar way Celtic have operated this transfer window.  Mikael Lustig arrived early without much of a murmur and Rabiu Ibrahim’s trial and signing went through with casual understatement, while Jaroslaw Fojut completed a pre-contract agreement before many of us had even reached his Wikipedia page.

Most of the headlines surrounding Celtic have been in connection with English clubs wanting our players, closely followed by public declarations of ‘I’m going nowhere’ from the players in question.

Compare and contrast with the situation over the city.  Almost daily Nikica Jelavic has to deal with a completely different scenario his club have placed him in, today telling STV, “The manager appreciates me and likes me, but I know the club are in a difficult financial situation and if they decided they needed to sell me, I would accept it.”

If you bump into Nikica tell him he’s talking rubbish.  His club were recently bought by a billionaire, they have no financial difficulties and they are reliably informed they are going to win their tax case.  Rangers players telling the media that their club are in a “difficult financial situation” are miles off-message.

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  1. Cults. If stokes has reached his level


    15 goals last year and 9 this year, then I would say that level is not what is expected of one of celtics only 2 goal scorers, we need and expect more goals



    We need to sign a player to lead our line and score 25+ goals a season




  2. dirtymac



    Sorry mate read it too quickly.



    As I said earlier I don’t think 30+ a season strikers are either necessary or realistic in the modern Scottish game.

  3. Bjmac. Tender landed on your desk. Mmm


    You seem to talk a lot about trains



    AnorackCSC. ;)).

  4. For some, the orthodoxy is that only a big spend on a reliable proven forward will ensure our progress. I think there are other ways to improve which are harder roads but more sustainable in the long run.



    Cast our minds back 3 months. We were 15 points behind and staring at an almost guaranteed 4iar according to many. There were loud and strident calls for the head of our manager, many from those who had been equally loud in proclaiming the Spartacus cry, “I am Lennon!”, last season.



    Now we are 4 points ahead and laughing like mad. What happened? How did we do it?



    We never spent money because the window was not open. Even when it did open, we were doing the old derided Bosmans and Projects approach. So, according to the advocates of the One True Way, we have changed nothing and, therefore, must be making the same old mistakes.



    So, how did we manage a turnaround? Are we back to saying that anyone could win this league because they “imploded”? Well that does not stack up. Because we are back to winning ways and are on as exceptionally good a run as Rangers were on at the start of this league campaign. We have done it without POTY, Emilio, and without Kris Commons goal scoring threat for most of it. And we will have to continue without our 2nd best player, prior to the arrival of Vic, Beram Kayal.



    Many think, a league win is inevitable because an implosion is just around the corner and, though they may be right, I remain unconvinced that this will not prove to be a hard slog to the title as all previous won titles have been. No one ever gets them handed out for nothing.



    I would argue that Lenny and the bhoys have done what every good team has to do. They have worked hard on the training pitch and they have developed and grown as players and as a team.



    Derided Bosmans like Matthews and Ledley have made instant impacts. Even Cha has contributed though he is unlikely to command a first 11 place when we are at full fitness. The projects and shirt sellers Forrest, Ki, Forster, and Rogne are all a year older but more than a year better.



    Amongst the successes, there have also been disappointments. Money seems to have been wasted on Hooiveld, Murphy, Rasmussen and Juarez.



    Other Projects like Josh Thompson, Ritchie Towell and Niall McGinn did not kick on. But their place can be taken by other emerging talent, McGeoch, Twardzik, George, Irvine, Watt & Toshney.



    The Jury is out on K. Wilson, Bangura, Blackman, Ibrahim and Lustig. It is too early to say if they will be Lljunbergs or Wanyamas.



    It is also too early to say that it will not be 4iar but I think a continuation of the good recent practices is as good a way to go as a £6m bid for a Luca Toni who may not have the temperament to join this young and happy and well trained bunch.



    I do not advocate a “do nothing” approach. I advocate a “do good things” approach. If we spend big and wisely, that’ll do me too. But we cannot continue to spend big and continue to be wise because accounts have to be settled. Most money gained from sporting success ends up back in the pockets of the players who were successful.



    My answer to “where’s the Sevile Money?” is that it went to Larsson, Hartson, Sutton, Petrov, Lennon, Lambert, Agathe, McNamara, Balde, Mjallby, Thompson and O’Neill.

  5. SydneyTim says:


    25 January, 2012 at 23:27



    Cults. If stokes has reached his level


    15 goals last year and 9 this year, then I would say that level is not what is expected of one of celtics only 2 goal scorers, we need and expect more goals



    We need to sign a player to lead our line and score 25+ goals a season







    Now, I may have got the 30+ strikers stat wrong, but I’m pretty sure Celtic have had more than two goal-scorers this season.




    hamiltontim says:


    25 January, 2012 at 23:29






    Sorry mate read it too quickly.



    As I said earlier I don’t think 30+ a season strikers are either necessary or realistic in the modern Scottish game.




    In my opinion it’s better to have more than one or two goal scoring threats in your team.



    Anyone that can remember closely the Barnes season will recall how we started to fall apart when 50% of our goals got injured in Lyon.

  6. There is a jigsaw coming together behind the R*ngers tax case which could trigger a catastrophic sequence of events in the corridors of power – at least, some will see it as catastrophic. Are the winds of change beginning to blow?



    Recent statements would suggest the existance of two contracts for players entangled in the EBT schemes. If true, this would open up an entirely new thread which should be followed to conclusion.



    There is a requirement for all player contracts to be lodged with the SPL and the SFA. Every club has a duty to do so for every player. If R*ngers failed to lodge both contracts with the SPL and SFA for the players involved in EBTs, would it suggest they had a reason not to? If they had a reason not, would that suggest a lack of confidence in the EBT scheme? If this were the case, would this be the smoking gun that could indicate someone somewhere knowingly pursued a scheme they felt was not above board?



    If this were to be the case, the argument that they took advice in good faith gets blown out of the Clyde. And with it should go every trophy gathered during the period concerned.



    Who has the responsibility for ensuring the adminstration requirements are followed at a football club? Would that be the Company Secretary? Who would have been the company secretary at R*ngers? For part of the time at least, would it have been Campbell Ogilvie?



    The SFA have a duty to the game in Scotland. The President of the SFA is Campbell Ogilvie. If any of the above turns out to be true would Campbell Ogilvie not be obliged to resign due to conflict of interest? Surely the SFA President cannot continue in his role as President of the governing body while the governing body faces questions over the administrative issues (and possibly legal issues?) during the time when their President was Company Secetary and Director at the club in question?



    Stewart Regan has an opportunity to clear up more entagled long standing webs within an archaic orgainsation. I believe he will stick to the task in hand, and I also believe he has integrity and wants to be seen to do an honest job.



    This time last year he would have been dismayed to learn that his toughest challenges lay ahead after dealing with Hugh Dallas and a shambolic referee’s strike. I think he may be about to find that his toughest challenges do lie ahead and he will meet even more secretive obstacles than he met last year.



    Best wishes Stewart. Remain true to your principles and retain your integrity. There are some tough questions you need to ask of people. The rest will unravel and the truth will be revealed.



    This could be bigger than any of us imagined. RTC wrote an interesting blog in April 2011. This guy was on the ball long before most of us knew there was a ball.

  7. setting free the bears says:


    25 January, 2012 at 23:36



    My answer to “where’s the Sevile Money?” is that it went to Larsson, Hartson, Sutton, Petrov, Lennon, Lambert, Agathe, McNamara, Balde, Mjallby, Thompson and O’Neill.




    Aye, if we’re being totally honest, the Seville money (and then some) was actually spent two years before it was earned.

  8. Just in, read back and caught this.



    As writes of passage go though, and given its this guys first post, I am guessing he might be a hun.



    (how to start fights with your brother, chapter 1).










    A Lone Wolfe’s Tones says:


    25 January, 2012 at 18:11


    In response to a post in the early hours by my brother St Stivs.



    Saint Stivs says: 25 January, 2012 at 00:57






    Just been on my daily CQN lurk n seen your post from the early hours.


    Emotional stuff, tears in the eyes reading it n love you too Stevie.



    Funnily enough after your text yesterday i had been pondering over all the games you mentioned,


    all amazing games, experiences and memories and all down to you,


    so.. simply, thank you, thank you for making me a Tim, thank you for all those times,


    (even the baron years i have a peculiar fondness of – with you n wee John n Stiv O on occasion)


    n most of all thank you for being my brother n always doing your best by me n looking out for me down the years.


    (If i ever win the lotto ill make you a millionaire, its embarrassing to think of the cash you must have spent on me)



    I cant really pick a favourite game, there are many stand-outs for different reasons but the Juve game has to cap it for


    best atmosphere, it was unbelievable that night, electric – the hairs on neck n arms literally standing on end with shivers down the spine,


    just that feeling of, we are back where we belong, this is what we’ve waited for, this is the Celtic i’ve heard all the stories of,


    its still vivid that rush of the shaky hand stuff at the corner kicks.



    First game at cappielow, my only real memory of it was one of the twins (John i think) bare chested with a tricolour wrapped round him.



    Love street 86 i just remember shitting myself to be honest, it was mental, and a grown man on his knees in the street after the game


    with his hands grasped looking to the heavens rejoicing, always sticks with me.



    The centenery season just had that Tim magic that you cant explain, all that year you just knew it had to be,


    even when behind into the last 15 mins of games. Hampden, as a kid was such an occasion, i want the old Hampden back !



    All the Euro games as a kid too, the ball from Mick McCarthy against Honved, no one in school believed me, they all thought i was at it, i was gutted.


    The game against Partizan, what a game, what a rollercoaster.


    Overcoming a 2-0 deficit against Cologne to go through – my best memory of John Collins in a Celtic shirt (apart from his thems free kicks)


    Maybe just me but the atmosphere felt different then for Euro nights, cant place it, just really special.



    Not forgetting the thems games of 5-1 & 6-2, shame you weren’t there, hahahhahaha, Ouch !,


    but i was, again, thanks to you probably.



    Just one point about your post.


    My first game at the victorian toilet block was actually a 2-0 to us game in August 94,


    Burns first in charge at the bigotdome and our first since being band.


    Collins with his huns special free kick and Paul McStay who ran the show that day,


    I nearly lost my voice through singing, we pumped them on the park and in the stands, outplayed and out-sung, what an experience.


    The 3-3 each was the following season, another classic, the flyin pig denying us a deserved victory as per,


    i remember being right in line with it, feck knows how he kept out big Pierre with that effort.



    Seville still too sore, i’ve never been able to watch the game again,


    denied what was ours by cheating bassas, but i hold dear the run, seen every home game, and again just being there for the final.



    I feel something special building with Lenny again, i like what the club are doing with the scouting etc,


    just feel it needs to be better balanced, bit more quality where it matters, when it matters,


    n move on those that don’t work out quicker, the board is full of experienced business men, find a way – make it happen.


    Big changes on the horizon, just hope and pray the board stay true and make the most of them?



    I miss it, miss the Celtic, miss you n surprisingly miss the smelly wee port in allot of ways too.


    Rabbited on enough, could spend all day at this, hope you, Sandra, the little one n auld Susan are all well,


    oh n Brenda aswell hope she is through the worst of her recent troubles.



    As a last thought, when you going to take your little one to a game, you know you want to Stevie ! Keep it lit.



    Thank you Celtic, thank you St Stivs and thank you CQN.



    Hail Hail

  9. Guys , can everyone take a 15 min break from posting please ? I’ve just reached page 10 and every time i hot next page another gets added on at the end !



    Owen , just read your post – well said ma mhan. hope to see you soon.



    Oh , almost forgot ,




    The Kano Foundation



The Kano Foundation End of season fundraising dance will be held in the Kerrydale Suite at Celtic Park on sat 28th April. Tickets will be priced at £25 per head this will include a 3 course meal. Entertainment will be from Britiains no1 Michael Buble tribute act and a disco to finish off the night. We will be holding our usual raffle (prize donations welcome) and for the first time we have a fantastic auction prize. We hope to have a few special guests as well. look out for details of how you can purchase tickets on line. We hope you will join us for what will be a great evening.


    If you’re interested , please email eos@thekanofoundation.com



    Current list is (possibles in italics)



    Stephen Black +1




    CRC +1


    TTTT + 1






    Mouldy67 +1








    Bjmac +9

  10. Gary hooper has 4 goals in 8 games against the Huns



    Anyway you get the idea



    Hooper’s a goalscorer



    Good night all tims

  11. kikinthenakas says:


    25 January, 2012 at 23:51





    Spot on post



    St Stivs



    Deffo wee Declan!









    if you met Jimbo, he is no wee , and no croppy.



    he will give it to me tight tomorrow for that.

  12. Saint Stivs says:


    25 January, 2012 at 23:45



    hehe (hun part)



    Quality post – brings back some great memories.



    Seriously – how the heck did we manage to have JC and the Maestro at the same time?



    I remember JC used to do this thing when running with the ball and a defender on his back – he’d turn marginally away from goal, veering toward the touchline, then: BAMM, wee shimmy, turn around and dink the ball past the defender – he’s running straight towards goal. Fantastic player.



    The Maestro? I just couldn’t do him justice. Greatest vision on the pitch I’ve ever seen, from any team.



    Anyways, thanks for reminding me of some smashing moments in what was a rollercoaster of a time.



    Goodnight y’all.

  13. In a league where Celtic players, or indeed skillfull players from anyother team, were protected from the hammerthrowers and legbreakers of this world then Celtic would, I am certain, have strikers scoring in the 25+ category every season. If we had clubs prepared to spend some money and effort on maintaining a decent playing surface throughout the season we would have have strikers and midfielders scoring a lot more goals from good passing football.



    However we play in the SPL, where teams “getting in about them” and “not making it easy for them” or even “not being afraid to leave the foot in” are lauded over teams trying to play football on a consistent basis. We also hear that the pitch “should be a great leveler for the home team”.



    So yes we could sign expensive, high class footballers but would they be allowed to play high class football before some knuckledragging orc hammered into them from behind, the side and even the braver ones try it from the front. We wouldn’t have defenders rake their studs down Celtic players shins and it take 5-6 months to be back to their best in this mythical decent league either. We wouldn’t have Celtic players booked for celebrating when they do manage to score or have goals chalked off for imaginary infringements of the rules.



    As The Exiled Tim has said repeatedly compare our Europa League performances when the ref has been neutral to the performances when the Mibbery has been cranked up to 11.



    Its not always just about the calibre of player.



    Mistakes have been made at board level, by Neil and by the players but not all of our troubles have been self inflicted.

  14. CELTIC have been told that Stoke City striker Kenwyne Jones won’t be going anywhere on-loan.


    Express Sport understands that the English Premier League side received an approach from an English-based agent asking about the Trinidad and Tobago star’s availability on behalf of the Hoops.



    Work came back from Stoke boss Tony Pulis, however, that wouldn’t be interested in loaning Jones out.



    Celtic manager Neil Lennon has made it no secret that he is looking to land a big, tall physical striker in this transfer window and the big 27-year-old would certainly have fitted the bill.



    Former Sunderland star Jones has fallen down the pecking order at the Britannia Stadium and Lennon hoped he might have got him out on a short-term deal to strengthen their SPL charge.

  15. In 50+ years of following Celtic – I cannot recall us going out and signing a ‘proven’ goal-scorer from a club that was there or thereabouts at the top of their league.



    Yes – we have signed some good and proficient strikers but in the main there was always a question about whether they could make it for us.



    We have signed strikers ‘on the up’ – from; McBride, Wallace, Dixie, McClair – through; Skippy to Hooper in modern times.



    We have signed a number of strikers that have had to re-invent themselves; McGarvey, McGhee, Sutton, Hartson – maybe even Stokes today.



    We have also signed a catalogue of big ‘target’ men that have failed from; Craig, Cascarino through to Killen and Murphy.



    We have found very few that we envisaged as out-and-out strikers in recent years when we signed them – Henke (God Bless him) being the exception.



    Strikers are the curse of the modern financial game – difficult to find and if they have any kind of track record they will cost a fortune.



    Willie Wallace was £30K in his day – if we are looking at someone with similar potential then we would be looking at the likes of Rhodes at £5M+.



    Somehow I don’t see us entering that kind of market – we will continue to buy the likes of a; Hooper or Bangura in the hope that we strike it lucky.



    That said – these type of guys should be delivering 20+ goals a season in an attack-minded Celtic Team.

  16. Thanks lhads , caught up now. HH 250 posts – speed-read. Might have missed a few but wth .



    Few comments . Owen , nice to see you online , you’ve been missed .



    Bankiebhoy1 , country air agreeing with you ? You’ve been on fine form the last few weeks.



    SydneyTim , I’m not getting into a slagging contest but i have a couple of questions for you.



    Does your heartbeat quicken when you see Celtic play ? Do your palms get sweaty and your stomach knot ?



    Mine do . And how i enjoy it . Watching Celtic play – nothing beats it . HH



    MWD , HH Mate.



    Knoxy2000 , Bundoranbhoy . HH . Hope Oscar is doing well . Good on you Bundoran for your donation. I’m in again in about 2 weeks. Knoxy2000 , how about if i video how easy it is and post it ?




  17. sorry, off to bed now but had to give this a wee Aw Naw update or did i ?



    from The Blackpool Gazette.



    might be an italian publication, i dont know.







    Sponsored by



    Dream housemate for new boy Fleck


    John Fleck warming up before his Blackpool debut against Crystal Palace.


    By Steve Canavan


    Published on Wednesday 25 January 2012 14:02




    John Fleck is currently living the dream in more ways than one.



    On top of getting his wish to join Blackpool on loan, the 20-year-old is lodging with a bloke he used to cheer from the terraces as a young lad.



    Fleck is a huge Rangers fan and was a regular at Ibrox in the days when Barry Ferguson was skipper.



    The Seasiders new boy now finds himself staying with Ferguson until he gets himself a house sorted on the Fylde.


    Moving into Arties Hotel was a dream, the host Vinny is some man, but he should wear socks when serving breakfast,


    I mean Bullit, ma dug, isnae used to barefooted strangers, but anyways ………



    Fleck said: “Barry was Rangers captain when I was growing up, so he is someone I’ve always looked up to. I was with him at Rangers when I was a bit younger and it was a bit strange to be at the same club as someone you used to watch and admire.


    “But now I’ve got used to it and it is just great to be playing with him again. His how naw to get booked while pleading innocence after hurtin someone stay behind lessons at Murray park were an edukation themselves.



    “It has helped me settle in at the club too – being with the likes of Barry and Danny Wilson, who I also know from Rangers.


    “All the lads at Blackpool have been great with me. I could see straight away what good team spirit there is, and that was obvious in the way we were able to come back from a goal down on Saturday and win.”


    Fleck is on loan until the end of the season and made his debut in the win over Palace.



    Playing in his favourite position, somewhere on the pitch, he almost scored a stunning goal but his curling shot just beat the post settling near the corner flag.



    “It would have been nice to get a goal in my first game and it was a bit unfortunate it didn’t go in, but I’m sure if I keep having a go, a goal will come at some stage,” he added. But the offside rules here, and the nearly non contact nature of the sport, and the weird impartial refereeing, it makes it really difficult to score a proper goal”



    He’d like it to happen on Saturday, when he gets his first taste of the FA Cup as the Seasiders host Sheffield Wednesday in the fourth round.


    “I’m looking forward to it,” Fleck said. “Obviously the FA Cup is a massive competition in England, and it will be good to play in it and hopefully help Blackpool progress.“I want to play as often as I can and help the team win as many games as possible, again though the draw is strange, why should any team in tanga-orange have to play a nearly big team, at Rangers it was much fairer, home games till the semi allways against the shitiest team , and then the lowest league draw, thats what the tv companies pay for.”



    And Blackpool is a special place, there lots of good Scottish names down here, the Martins and the Campbells are all well know, and Dunky, the taxi guy took me here, and said as soon as i settle in we can go to the Royal Oak, the Conservative club, and i cant wait, if ever there were Unionist type establishments it must be them.


    Not to sure about Saint Cuthberts, he mentioned, but then again, its England , no chance of any Kaffy types aroon.



    Fleck added though, I am glad La Liga options didnt work out, these guys, offered me a single contract, never seen it before at Rangers we allways had 2 or 3 (with image rights for TK Maxx), i dont trust these fly by night guys.









    hello Mr Campbell.

  18. i’m sure it’s been said over and over but, how many times over the past few years have we looked at the rotten lot at this time of year and said they are in a mess we don’t have to worry, we don’t buy quality players and they go on and win the league. the day won’t come quick enough when they are truly gone. anyone know of a celtic pub in the Washington D.C / Bethesda area? will be there on Tuesday.

  19. HMRC sources confirmed the petition has been sent to the Championship club (Portsmouth).


    ‘Ensuring tax is paid on time should be at the centre of a club’s business strategy just like any business,’ said an HMRC spokesman.


    ‘While a winding-up order is a last resort, there is little HMRC can do for a business – be it a football club or not – whose viability is dependent either on not paying the UK taxes to which they are liable, or on special treatment not available to other customers.’

  20. vanessariddle Vanessa Riddle


    Wow! “Anonymous” has just donated £5,690.00!!! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! #vanessariddleappeal


    10 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply


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