Champions comparable only to team of 2004, bury bad news


History will record that season 2012-13 was more successful for Celtic than season 2013-14 but the champions’ league performances this season have been comparable only to those of season 2003-04, when the club completed a 25 game winning streak.

With seven games to go we have already collected five points more than the team which reached the knock out stages of the Champions League last season, and this season we have had a worthy competitor for second place, who are favourites to complete the domestic treble of League Cup, Scottish Cup and Best of the Rest titles.

Kris Commons, Virgil van Dijk and Fraser Forster have correctly gained enormous plaudits throughout the season but the story of Celtic’s success is more nuanced.  We don’t just have a great keeper and a great central defender, we have a central defensive partnership which is better than either of the two partnerships I watched in the Manchester derby on Tuesday night.

In other times the story of our season would be the injuries at right back, but the standard of cover there, with Lustig, Matthews and Fisher, is such that no one really noticed.

The strikers didn’t really get going until Leigh Griffiths arrived in January, and much of our player investment over the summer missed the target.  This had consequences on the autumn, when we came up short of last season’s (over) achievements in the Champions League, but we have a plentiful squad of players, including Forster, Lustig, Matthews, Izaguirre, Ambrose, van Dijk, Brown, Johansen and Commons who are more than capable at Champions League level, with others knocking at the door.

Congratulations to Neil, his technical team, the many who work to keep the ship pointing in the right direction, some behind the scenes and some front of house, and to each of the players who left their mark in the history books.

On the equivalent day six years ago, we recorded that Gordon Strachan had joined Willie Maley and Jock Stein as the only Celtic managers to have won three consecutive titles.  Neil Lennon’s name is now added to that list.

With all this championship coverage, did the phrase ‘Good day to bury bad news’ slip into anyone’s mind?  “There is a reasonable expectation that the Company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence”.

You know when your chairman tells you he has a reasonable expectation the company will continue in existence that there’s nothing to worry about.  All the doubters have been put in their place.

Seville – The Celtic Movement, is out now:

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  1. tom molach



    10:00 on 28 March, 2014



    “Laxey has, pursuant to an agreement entered into today, transferred all rights and obligations in relation to the Laxey Facility to Mr George Letham including all its rights in relation to the standard security granted as security for the Laxey Facility. Mr Letham is a shareholder in the company and a lifelong Rangers fan.“The Laxey Facility, now transferred by Laxey to Mr George Letham, remains subject to the same terms and conditions with the exception that the premium payment has been reduced to £45,000 and remains payable in shares or cash.”Nothing anywhere saying “no cost”. What is does say is “pursuant to an agreement entered into today”. In other words:“Dear Mr Laxeys, we want to cancel our £1m loan and repay you because we’ve got a better offer”.“Fine, Mr Sevco, we will be happy to do that. That will be £1.05m please. If you want a loan next month then come back to us”.




    When is a contract of agreement not a contract, when it’s Sevco…



    Ayrshire is Green and White

  2. Boab1888



    Peter May has written a trilogy based in the Western Isles, The Lewis Trilogy, available on Amazon Kindle. It’s not the ‘Golden …?’ something you were looking for, but this set of books is a right good read (as a substitute?) If your wife likes the author then she can delve into hunners of his earlier books, some set in France, some in China.

  3. macjay:



    I think Jeanette cares about our club just as much as you or I, or anybody else.

  4. Frank Ryan's Whiskey on

    Interesting article given the debate over the ownership of Scotlands mineral resources and any economy based soley on revenues generated from the exploitaition of one mineral if the state doesn’t actually own the the mineral being exploited.



    Last paragraph sums it up





    On August 28, 1928, in the Scottish highlands, began the secret story of oil.



    Three men had an appointment at Achnacarry Castle – a Dutchman, an American and an Englishman.



    The Dutchman was Henry Deterding, a man nicknamed the Napoleon of Oil, having exploited a find in Sumatra. He joined forces with a rich ship owner and painted Shell salesman and together the two men founded Royal Dutch Shell.



    The American was Walter C. Teagle and he represents the Standard Oil Company, founded by John D. Rockefeller at the age of 31 – the future Exxon. Oil wells, transport, refining and distribution of oil – everything is controlled by Standard oil.



    The Englishman, Sir John Cadman, was the director of the Anglo-Persian oil Company, soon to become BP. On the initiative of a young Winston Churchill, the British government had taken a stake in BP and the Royal Navy switched its fuel from coal to oil. With fuel-hungry ships, planes and tanks, oil became “the blood of every battle”.



    The new automobile industry was developing fast, and the Ford T was selling by the million. The world was thirsty for oil, and companies were waging a merciless contest but the competition was making the market unstable.



    That August night, the three men decided to stop fighting and to start sharing out the world’s oil. Their vision was that production zones, transport costs, sales prices – everything would be agreed and shared. And so began a great cartel, whose purpose was to dominate the world, by controlling its oil.



    Four others soon joined them, and they came to be known as the Seven Sisters – the biggest oil companies in the world.


    At the end of the 1960s, the Seven Sisters, the major oil companies, controlled 85 percent of the world’s oil reserves. Today, they control just 10 percent.


    New hunting grounds are therefore required, and the Sisters have turned their gaze towards Africa. With peak oil, wars in the Middle East, and the rise in crude prices, Africa is the oil companies’ new battleground.



    But the real story, the secret story of oil, begins far from Africa.


    In their bid to dominate Africa, the Sisters installed a king in Libya, a dictator in Gabon, fought the nationalisation of oil resources in Algeria, and through corruption, war and assassinations, brought Nigeria to its knees.


    Oil may be flowing into the holds of huge tankers, but in Lagos, petrol shortages are chronic.


    The country’s four refineries are obsolete and the continent’s main oil exporter is forced to import refined petrol – a paradox that reaps fortunes for a handful of oil companies.


    Encouraged by the companies, corruption has become a system of government – some $50bn are estimated to have ‘disappeared’ out of the $350bn received since independence.


    But new players have now joined the great oil game.


    China, with its growing appetite for energy, has found new friends in Sudan, and the Chinese builders have moved in. Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir is proud of his co-operation with China – a dam on the Nile, roads, and stadiums.


    In order to export 500,000 barrels of oil a day from the oil fields in the South – China financed and built the Heglig pipeline connected to Port Sudan – now South Sudan’s precious oil is shipped through North Sudan to Chinese ports.


    In a bid to secure oil supplies out of Libya, the US, the UK and the Seven Sisters made peace with the once shunned Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, until he was killed during the Libyan uprising of 2011, but the flow of Libyan oil remains uninterrupted.


    In need of funds for rebuilding, Libya is now back to pumping more than a million barrels of oil per day. And the Sisters are happy to oblige.


    In the Caucasus, the US and Russia are vying for control of the region. The great oil game is in full swing. Whoever controls the Caucasus and its roads, controls the transport of oil from the Caspian Sea.


    Tbilisi, Erevan and Baku – the three capitals of the Caucasus. The oil from Baku in Azerbaijan is a strategic priority


    for all the major companies.


    From the fortunes of the Nobel family to the Russian revolution, to World War II, oil from the Caucasus and the Caspian has played a central role. Lenin fixated on conquering the Azeri capital Baku for its oil, as did Stalin and Hitler.


    On his birthday in 1941, Adolf Hitler received a chocolate and cream birthday cake, representing a map. He chose the slice with Baku on it.


    On June 22nd 1941, the armies of the Third Reich invaded Russia. The crucial battle of Stalingrad was the key to the road to the Caucasus and Baku’s oil, and would decide the outcome of the war.


    Stalin told his troops: “Fighting for one’s oil is fighting for one’s freedom.”


    After World War II, President Nikita Krushchev would build the Soviet empire and its Red Army with revenues from the USSR’s new-found oil reserves.


    Decades later, oil would bring that empire to its knees, when Saudi Arabia and the US would conspire to open up the oil taps, flood the markets, and bring the price of oil down to $13 per barrel. Russian oligarchs would take up the oil mantle, only to be put in their place by their president, Vladimir Putin, who knows that oil is power.


    The US and Putin‘s Russia would prop up despots, and exploit regional conflicts to maintain a grip on the oil fields of the Caucusus and the Caspian.


    But they would not have counted on the rise of a new, strong and hungry China, with an almost limitless appetite for oil and energy. Today, the US, Russia and China contest the control of the former USSR’s fossil fuel reserves, and the supply routes. A three-handed match, with the world as spectators, between three ferocious beasts – The American eagle, the Russian bear, and the Chinese dragon.


    Peak oil – the point in time at which the highest rate of oil extraction has been reached, and after which world production will start decline. Many geologists and the International Energy Agency say the world’s crude oil output reached its peak in 2006.


    But while there may be less oil coming out of the ground, the demand for it is definitely on the rise.


    The final episode of this series explores what happens when oil becomes more and more inaccessible, while at the same time, new powers like China and India try to fulfill their growing energy needs.


    And countries like Iran, while suffering international sanctions, have welcomed these new oil buyers, who put business ahead of lectures on human rights and nuclear ambitions.


    At the same time, oil-producing countries have had enough with the Seven Sisters controlling their oil assets. Nationalisation of oil reserves around the world has ushered in a new generation of oil companies all vying for a slice of the oil pie.


    These are the new Seven Sisters.


    Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Aramco, the largest and most sophisticated oil company in the world; Russia’s Gazprom, a company that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin wrested away from the oligarchs; The China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), which, along with its subsidiary, Petrochina, is the world’s secnd largest company in terms of market value; The National Iranian Oil Company, which has a monopoly on exploration, extraction, transportation and exportation of crude oil in Iran – OPEC’s second largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia; Venezuela’s PDVSA, a company the late president Hugo Chavez dismantled and rebuilt into his country’s economic engine and part of his diplomatic arsenal; Brazil’s Petrobras, a leader in deep water oil production, that pumps out 2 million barrels of crude oil a day; and Malaysia’s Petronas – Asia’s most profitable company in 2012.



    Mainly state-owned, the new Seven Sisters control a third of the world’s oil and gas production, and more than a third of the world’s reserves. The old Seven Sisters, by comparison, produce a tenth of the world’s oil, and control only three percent of the reserves.

  5. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on



    10:14 on


    28 March, 2014



    We`ll have to differ on that,Kit.


    I suspect self interest.

  6. Wallace plans early budget for McCoist



    Graeme Macpherson


    Football Writer


    Friday 28 March 2014


    GRAHAM WALLACE, the Rangers chief executive, has revealed that manager Ally McCoist will learn his budget for next season before his review of the business is concluded.



    The phrase “You could not make it up”is overused,but not in this instance.


    Graham,Mc Pherson,you sir are an @rse.

  7. Maybe we should get Deek as former players spokesman





    Former Hibs star Derek Riordan would like to see his old team consign Hearts to relegation, saying: “I’d love to go there and put the final nail in the coffin…” (Edinburgh Evening News)

  8. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on



    10:29 on


    28 March, 2014



    Remember when wee Gordon S.was being vilified because “Deek” was not included in the team?

  9. MickTT



    09:14 on 28 March, 2014



    Fair enough agree to disagree,I will go back to ignoring anything post the witching hour,it certainly added nothing to my day.

  10. Macjay:



    you enjoyed your history, you enjoyed the laughs at them when they claimed we left our lights on to guide the bombers… putting another myth to bed, do you remember anything about Pope Pius XII (maligned as Hitler’s Pope), the x-report and Halder/Brauchitsch?



    Big clue in the question.

  11. NFL on SSN from 6pm tonight



    Q1 – Neil, will you be moving to england in the summer



    Q2 – Neil, how much does the absence of (a) rangers make the league easy for celtic



    Q3 – Neil, will VVD and FF be sold in the summer



    Q4 – Neil, did the hooligan element among your support ruin the title party on Wednesday by invading the pitch



    Right Neil, thats us given the token 2 minutes to discuss Scottish football, so now, who do you think is going to win the EPL

  12. 67 heaven your championship “prize” has been packed and will be delivered to you tomorrow afternoon. See you then. Hail Hail Hebcelt

  13. macjay1 for Neil Lennon




    I was thinking the BOLD DeeK might have to watch himself out and about in Edinburgh



    Then I remember he is banned from going out anywhere in Edinburgh.








    Btw,wearing a blue and white t-shirt!

  15. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on



    10:34 on


    28 March, 2014



    Don`t know much about Pius XII except that he was accused of ignoring nazi atrocities and the transportation of Jews from Italy.

  16. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on



    10:44 on


    28 March, 2014



    Sorry to hear that.


    Thought he had a future.

  17. Just received an e-mail from Celtic Park offering me the opportunity to purchase hospitality packages at the stadium for the opening ceremony at the games, not too shabby a price at£575 a head.


    Wondering wether to take up the offer using the the money put away for next seasons champions league

  18. jinkyredstar cuts it back for Neil Lennon on



    Sorry cant help with your original question but can recommend ‘Calling Cards’ by CQN’s own GordonJ- nice twisty crime thriller set in Glasgow- available for Kindle

  19. Boab1888



    I think the book was The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.



    The Lewis Trilogy by Peter May are also an excellent read.




  20. Bmcuwp



    “Btw,wearing a blue and white t-shirt!”




    Nae surprise there then.



    And red breeks annaw nae doot




  21. Had a wee peak at a Huns forum ( I know but there funny) and a hun suggests playing friendly matches at ibrokes against big teams to make money which is fine but then another clever hun agrees and suggests playing Newcastle AWAY because it’s a good night out hahahahahahaha no wonder these mugs are in the state there in.


    Mad stupid zombies HH

  22. Morning all.



    Ibrox a museum?!



    Aye, à museum of horrors and the grotesque.



    Admission a pound.




  23. Hamiltontim is praying for Oscar on




    Do you have any evidence whatsoever that the person you’re referring to has committed so much time, effort and personal cost purely out of self interest?

  24. A wee update for our wee hero………..



    @Wee_Oscar: A big book of messages and pics from classmates was delivered by Oscars lovely teachers today. So precious #TeamOscar http://t.co/k1EgCqCTkh



    Weefra HH supporting and praying for Wee Oscar.

  25. Celtic were accused of having Parkhead ‘shut down’ because of pro-nazi chants by the Celtic support.