Citizen King, Xanadu lost


I followed Celtic’s accounts since Fergus took over and started posting them out to us.  Around the same time I began following those of David Murray’s MIH and Rangers, the fortunes of each, and ultimately of the rest of Scottish football, were intertwined.

Fergus ran a stable ship, but things kicked off when Dermot Desmond replaced him as Celtic’s largest shareholder.  In Dermot’s first season in charge, excesses were lavished with England and Liverpool legendary player, John Barnes, in charge.  That didn’t work out but the next season, with Martin O’Neill in charge, spending took off in a fashion never before seen at Celtic.  A treble arrived, but the financial losses were eye-watering.

The trouble was, we had all gotten used to this new level of spending.  Dermot was applauded (by some) for matching the “ambition” of David Murray, so much so, that finding a route back to sanity was always going to be a challenge.

Then came the Seville season.  Celtic Park was packed out for European fixtures until April, while domestic games were also a sell-out.  The commercial team did a deal with shirt sponsor NTL to have the new season’s strip launched early.  It looked like every able bodied person in Scotland had purchased the new Celtic strip.

That summer I waited for the accounts to drop.  This document would reveal our true potential.  The first sign of trouble was an email, “Alert for Celtic PLC Final Results”, on the afternoon of a Champions League qualifier.  I anticipated good news story, but good news would surely be stage managed better than to slip out on the afternoon of a game?

The document revealed we lost £7m, despite Stuttgart, Celta, Liverpool, Boavista, Blackburn and Siduva.  Despite all those shirt sales.  We beat MTK comfortably, lots of people were happy, but I knew why these accounts were released on a match day; Celtic were living beyond their means and that could not go on forever.

OK, so we released accounts on a game day, giving the news cycle four hours to digest and report before Henrik and Co. moved the story on.  On Wednesday, Newco didn’t press the publish button until they were a goal up against Kilmarnock!  This could be the work of Charles Foster Kane.

Within a minute, karma struck.  Kilmarnock equalised, Xanadu lost.

You will know the detail by now.  On a turnover of £32.6m, Newco lost £14.3m, this, coming years after comments such as: “just about breakeven” soothed the masses.

The accounts themselves are horrible, but, of course, now historic.  Income for this season will rise with Europa League qualification, while costs associated with the recruitment necessary to propel the club to fourth in the league will also rise significantly.

The question is, if you act like Citizen Kane, do you follow the same trajectory?

Really looking forward to Hearts tomorrow.  After the week they have had, a bit of karma must be coming their way.

Celtic Supporters’ Association
Annual Memorial Mass
for all Celtic Supporters & Their Families

Tomorrow at 12.30 the annual memorial Mass for ALL Celtic supporters and families is held at St Michael’s, 1350 Gallowgate, a short walk from the stadium.  A time for us to remember those who passed on the club over the last 130 years.  There will be tea and coffee in the hall for you before you head to the game.

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  1. Matchday in Paradise, no matter the weather; is there anything better?


    Especially at 3.00 on a Saturday.


    Hope it is dry enough to bump into MA&H, if not, S, sincere best wishes for the way ahead.




  2. 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 league 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 league. There’s Fallon, Young and Gemmel 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 league.

  3. BSR,



    that was a beutiful paragraph.



    you ever think of spacing it out and setting it to music ?




  4. Macjay



    I mean globally.


    Ideas…..good, bad, evidence-based, bigoted…or brilliant transcend borders or race or gender.



    Otherwise white clowns like you and I would still be waiting for Native Australians to teach us about fire.



    So/but yeah….Pakistan. India. North of Ireland. Tynecastle. North Carolina. Even….??Australia….. I hate to see it and I’ll readily call it out.



    HH jg

  5. MiT



    ” So.. what purpose is being served by whipping up hatred against NFL? And why not against other Catholics who played for the 6 counties? ”



    In a society where insidious anti- Irish/Catholic views already exists,only one devil figure is necessary. Neil Lennon has the misfortune to be that one.It also allows the perpetrators to claim that it has nothing to do with being Irish or Catholic as they can point to others who fall into that category but are not demonised.Packy Bonner springs to mind ( Though I don`t actually know if he is a Catholic !).


    Anyway, off for the Arbroath Emerald Express.


    I hope Bada`s 18th minute suggestion come to fruition.


    Cheerio for now.


    Hail! Hail !



  6. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    JAMESGANG on 3RD NOVEMBER 2018 10:34 AM





    I mean globally.



    Ideas…..good, bad, evidence-based, bigoted…or brilliant transcend borders or race or gender.




    Otherwise white clowns like you and I would still be waiting for Native Australians to teach us about fire.




    So/but yeah….Pakistan. India. North of Ireland. Tynecastle. North Carolina. Even….??Australia….. I hate to see it and I’ll readily call it out.





    HH jg








    ” White clowns like you and I ”



    Speak for yourself.





    ” I hate to see it and I’ll readily call it out.”



    And I`ll call out the blinding hypocrisy of the ” me too ” and feminist movements.



    Where is their outrage about the groomed and assaulted young non Muslim females in Rotherham and several other English towns and cities ?


    Where is their support for the young Christian mother imprisoned in Pakistan?



    A deathly silence.

  7. Hot Smoked,



    Not only is Pat Bonner a Catholic but he’s actually one of them real, practising ones that visits a church at least once a week. Stand near him at the ole sign of peace and watch your own hands disappear into oblivion ;-)

  8. Macjay



    So your greatest opprobrium ref violent oppression in an issue caused mainly by bigotry with a touch of misogyny is to chide women who have been sexually assaulted

  9. …..and people who seek equality for women.



    That leap of logic could even you to criticise NFL for not getting involved.



    Honestly I give up. It’s like trying to converse with 85 year old wee free, Express-reading auntie



    Actually, come to think of it????



    HH jg

  10. JJ



    NFL is a lightning rod for the bigots’ ire.



    The flame-haired Fenian who didn’t know his place was at the back of the bus.



    HH jg

  11. What is the Stars on

    85 year old wee free express reading aunties have rights too you know.



    C’mon the blue rinsers

  12. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Morning all.



    Bit long winded so feel free to skip.



    Sifting Celtic cyberspace this morning, I’ve been struck by a minority opinion that the NFL thing is nothing to do with us as he is no longer involved with Celtic.



    While I respect that view, and see some logic in it, I disagree strongly.



    Anyone who has played, coached or managed at Celtic in our 130 years of unbroken history – it will be 131 on Tuesday – automatically enrols into the Celtic family.



    Like all families, we have some naughty children like Walker, Provan and Cascarino.



    We’ve also adopted some bad ones who have ultimately gone bad again (Kenny Miller?).



    Neil is one of our family.



    He is one of the good ‘uns.



    He has suffered terribly.



    He deserves our support.



    I will stand up and applaud him on the 18th minute today.



    Hail hail

  13. 18th minute applause……go for it and show our support for Neil……and to you Caldwell and other’s like you shame on you.3 nil to the champions.

  14. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    In case any posters have not read back over this and the previous thread,the Green Brigade are having their annual food bank collection today.



    There are 3 collection points , at the bottom of the Celtic Way, at the bus park off Janefield Street and at the entrance to section 111.



    Tinned meat, fish, fruiit and veg , UHT milk + fruit juice , nappies, toiletries, sanitary products in paricular are welcome. Cash donations can also be made.



    Our support’s generosity is incredible , let’s continue that.

  15. WITS



    Hero. This bit especially reads true….



    the greatest opponents of sharia law and Islamism are precisely people who have lived under its rule, and that no one should have lesser rights for having been born in the place where they were born.



    HH jg

  16. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    The latest attack on NFL took place Wednesday night.



    SRtRC finally tweeted on it at 10:41 today.



    Was their entire organisation away on a 48 hour holiday?

  17. fergusslayedtheblues on



    Changed days indeed







    and so it begins



  18. Hot Smoked, that is a good point. Having a focus for anti Celtic, Irish, Catholic is useful for some people. And not attacking others of that same category gives them an excuse of being holier than thou. Not that they got together to decide who the demon would be. They were led from above and it happened over time.



    More interesting is why the media settled on Neil Lennon. They were the opinion formers.



    Again I don’t think they got together. It emerged over time. Eventually the sports editors in Scotland normalised it and they all followed each other. Read MIT posting. They all have a ‘natural’ inkling to be anti-Celtic. They are sheep like on the back pages. If they want to get on they follow the party line.



    We are not the establishment club. Traditionally the religion of most of our supporters was treated with hostility and mistrust from the Reformation. And Fear. Old habits die hard. If Neil moves away from Scotland another hate figure will be found.



    The ironic thing is religion is dying out. I wouldn’t like to put a figure on it but I wonder how many attendees at Celtic Park & Ibrox go to church every Sunday. Even more so, how many journalists? Most Scottish Celtic fans will by now be 3rd & 4th generation Irish. What is the problem?

  19. versus the purple huns, the first 60,000 plus at the reconstructed celtic park.



    1998-09-26: Celtic 1-1 Hearts, Premier LeagueThis is a featured page


    Match Pictures | Matches: 1998 – 1999 | 1998-1999 Pictures







    In the light of the Daily Record’s “Jock Brown told us to lie” story, following their complete duping over Riseth’s signing, Jock Brown sued the Record for £250,000.


    It appeared that Viduka was being approached as a signing target. Since the initial approach Viduka had been targeted by the Zagreb fans after his poor form and it looked like the Australian wanted out of the club as soon as possible. The problem was finding a fee acceptable to both clubs.


    Stephane Mahe (hip), Harald Brattbakk (knee) and Simon Donnelly (back) all collected knocks against St Johnstone, while Marc Rieper (ankle), Phil O’Donnell (thigh strain), Tom Boyd (thigh strain) and Regi Blinker (groin strain) were also doubtful. Rieper declared himself fit and played. Annoni dropped out of the squad. With the number of injuries and the tiredness evident in the team it was clear that sending 10 first team representatives (more than any other team in Britain) to the World Cup in the summer was affecting team performance and results.


    This was Vidar Riseth’s debut and he was played at left midfield


    The pre-match Press conference saw Dr Jo facing up to the Press and declaring his belief in the players at the club, but they were nearly all carrying an injury and all tired. He also denied that there had been a rift between him and Jock Brown, dismissing the allegation as an outright lie.


    Following this draw with Hearts the Press went out on full shark attack mode against the team and the management and back room staff. Hugh Keevins and Mark Guidi wrote articles which could only be called assassination attempts in the Sunday Mail.





    The result certainly put pressure on Venglos to start delivering. A tired team was under-performing (though the game was an improvement from the dire St Johnstone game) and there appeared to be strains within the ranks ( Match Report and Burley’s post-match comments). Even so a highest post-Taylor Report attendance turned up for the game but a good number left before the final whistle. Just to add fat to the fire, Jansen turned up to watch the game.





    Celtic: Gould, Mahe, Rieper, Stubbs , Larsson, Burley , Brattbakk, Donnelly, Lambert, Hannah, Riseth (Burchill, 83)


    Subs not used: Jackson, McKinlay, Kerr, McBride.


    Scorer: Donnelly (32)



    Hearts: McKenzie, Naysmith, Weir, Salvatori, Ritchie, McCann, Adam (McPherson, 89), Hamilton, Locke, Makel (Murie, 86), Pressley


    Subs not used Hogarth, Horn, Holmes,



    Bookings: Hannah (Celtic) Salvatori, McCann (Hearts)



    Referee: Willie Young (Scotland



    Attendance: 60,027

  20. David Low worked with Fergus McCann in putting together a consortium and has now issued a stark warning to the Ibrox side.



    David Low has warned Dave King and the rest of the Rangers board that they must concentrate on fixing their finances rather than spending money they don’t have in their quest to halt Celtic claiming 10 successive titles.



    Low, who was the financial adviser to Fergus McCann when he put together the consortium which prevented Celtic going to the wall in 1994, was shocked by the Ibrox side’s latest financial figures.



    Now, after posting a disastrous annual accounts in midweek – losses doubled to over £14m – Low reckons Rangers must now alter their approach.



    Celtic have won the last seven titles and the financial expert understands why the Ibrox faithful are desperate for Steven Gerrard and his Rangers players to stop that run but he claims it could be 2012 all over again.



    Gordon Smith reckons Rangers fans should be ‘worried’ by latest financial results


    Low reckons Rangers could go bust unless they start to live within their means.



    “Rangers have failed to make a profit since they imploded six years ago,” he said. “By my reading, their losses since then have totalled £38.6m and that’s just madness.



    “Never mind the football side of this, as a financial guy looking at their accounts, their business model makes no sense. Spending more than you earn year after year…how do they get their money back?



    “Their cash is due to run out again early in the New Year and they’ve admitted another £4.6m in loans will be needed, with another £3m required next season. Yet Steven Gerrard is talking about signing more players in January.



    “However, after those horrendous accounts, I imagine the only way he’ll be able to do that is by wheeling and dealing, shifting some players out in order to bring others in.




    “But that’s easier said than done – plus Carlos Pena and Eduardo Herrera are still under contract and due to return in January.”



    The pressure on King and Co will be ramped up if a rejuvenated Celtic make it eight in a row this season but Low insists they have to ignore the fans’ pleas to splash even more cash to end that run.



    “When Fergus took over at Celtic, a lot of fans didn’t like how he dealt with Rangers being on top,” he said.



    “They wanted us to go into the red to strengthen the squad but he refused to do that.



    “He told me: ’I can’t get hung upon this nine-in-a-row thing. We have a stadium to build and a long-term plan we need to stick to. This club is going to be around for the next 100 years and I’m not going to put that at risk just to stop Rangers reaching 10.’



    Celtic are the dominant force in Scottish football


    “As it happens, we were lucky enough to be able to stop them doing that under Wim Jansen but it was never the be-all and end-all for him and Celtic are reaping the rewards of that now.”



    In fact, Low claims it would be pointless for all the King’s men to even try and match Celtic’s spending power.



    “The fact is that, unless some oligarch buys the club, Rangers cannot compete with them,” he said. “Celtic’s wage bill is currently £59.3m – almost double that of Rangers’ turnover of £32m. That buys you better players.



    “Celtic’s turnover was over £100m last year and they have £27m in the bank. The financial gap between the clubs has never been bigger – Rangers are closer to Hearts than they are to Celtic.”



    Low also argues that Rangers need to balance the books sooner rather than later.



    “How does it end and at what cost?” he asked. “Does money literally not matter any longer? I can’t see the logic in their approach.



    “Financially, Celtic are unassailable. There’s no glimmer of light for Rangers – it’s as bad as it’s ever been for them, which is why they need to rein in the spending.”




    Another jelly and ice cream event coming soon?




  21. prestonpans bhoys on

    Bus at noon then off we go, looking for a good win then home to laugh at the Hertz fans as they arrive back in the pub?

  22. Here’s the Show Racism the Red Card tweet on the assault on Neil Lennon:



    @SRtRC Scotland


    No one deserves to be abused in this way. Whether it is under the name of racism or sectarianism it is still 100% unacceptable. We support Neil Lennon at this time and urge @spfl @ScottishFA @PFAScotland to work together to ensure no-one has to experience this behaviour



    Posted about an hour ago.



    I have been sceptical about the claims of deliberate lack of action by Show Racism the Red Card in dealing with anti-Irish actions, but this response is dreadfully revealing:


    * Late, very late actually


    * “Whether it is under the name of racism or sectarianism…” – it’s racism, it’s your business, supposedly. Weak and conditional. Why would you haver like this?


    * “We support Neil Lennon at this time…” – also motherhood and apple pie I suppose. Weaker and. again, conditional.



    This looks like the result of a difficult internal discussion along the lines of “I’m afraid that we have to do something; what’s the least we can get away with?”

  23. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    I was working behind the bar when Packie Bonner had his Irish Stag Night.



    After buying a rake of pints, he made to take them back to the table.



    I said to him, ” I’ll take them over, in case you drop them”.



    Big Packie no’ too pleased.


    Still, he did meet my sons and I outside Celtic Park a few years later and gave us the guided tour.

  24. SSAINT STIVS on 3RD NOVEMBER 2018 11:25 AM




    I remember a 06.05 ko at Paradise against St Johnstone with a > 60 k crowd. A record crowd if I remember correctly.




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