Dermot Desmond puts on the greasepaint


Dermot Desmond held his hands up in an interview with club media, acknowledging mistakes that led to the collapse this season “without qualification”.  In reality, there is usually a myriad of reasons why any project fails but ownership of mistakes is the first step in putting things right.

He challenged “conjecture coming from some journalists, commentators and pundits that they foresaw the outcome of this season”.  In my preview ahead of the new season starting in August, I put our chances of winning the league at 70%, up from my estimate for the previous season of 50%.  I doubt anyone expected the abruptness of the collapse, but many of us are not totally surprised to be in second place.

The interview discusses managerial recruitment, “process is underway and is taking place privately” and acknowledges the high turnover in playing squad ahead this summer and a commitment to learn from mistakes made.

I get that Dermot Desmond is reluctant to take a higher profile role at the club, the hostility fired the board’s way, even during the quadruple treble era, was unrelenting.  Remoteness is not always a friend, though.  Dermot might feel the same frustrations and disappointments as the rest of us, but if he never shares these feelings, a sense of aloofness builds in the vacuum.

The board overwhelmingly present to the fans through the chief executive, with the chairman on his feet one day a year and signing the odd statement, and the major shareholder a largely unknown figure.  It is unbalanced; it does not serve the board and therefore the club well.

Dermot, in your statement you said, “football is not an exact science”, which is correct.  It is as much an art, theatre for the millions.  You need to put on the greasepaint more often.

Hearts, ha!  Knocked Newco Rangers out of the Scottish Cup last season, lost to Brora Rangers this season, who have played only one game since Hearts brave but futile attempt to stop our record fourth consecutive triumph.  Not that it made me worry about Falkirk…………..

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  1. Reading the rumours on here about Roy Keane, I find myself asking why I’m not as bothered as I should be.



    I think he would be a disaster. I think he’s an arrogant zoomer. But I’ve perhaps got to a point of not caring in a way I could never have anticipated.



    Hh jg

  2. JG- same here, I can’t believe that I really don’t care at this moment, the passion is gone…..

  3. How is Nicky Hammond keeping his job?


    Like Congerton before him.


    He has been an abject failure and his judgement of a player is beyond suspect.







    Bolingoli,Taylor ,Duffy ,Kenny .



    I repeat .


    How on earth is he trusted by our club?



  4. squire danaher on

    JAMES FORREST on 24TH MARCH 2021 10:00 PM



    I read your piece.



    I would have thought that, given its content, you would finally have banned that Hun from making comments on your site.

  5. Bray Street




    You said :- ““No, they all weren’t all bound to be right one day. But given what has happened it was almost inevitable some of them were. Which ones? Well the ones we can all identify as having led to failure.|




    I replied that your final sentence was a self- fulfilling prophecy




    You replied-


    “This was not a self-fulfilling prophecy since the people who fulfilled this prophecy were not those making it. Those who fulfilled it were those in charge who told us he was the only man for the job.”





    You are quite correct. It is nothing like a self fulfilling prophecy. I got that dead wrong. It was merely ill-defined. Just what are the ones we can all identify as leading to failure?



    The prophecy of doom was justified by outcome this year only. Those that decried the Neil Lennon appointment the first time in 2010 were justified in that he lost his first tilt at the title, even though he made a pretty good fist of resurrecting us from the Tony Mowbray era. Those that foresaw failure when he took on the caretaker role in the wake of Brendan’s February departure do not get to claim a justified prophecy because, again, Neil Lennon, saw us home in style that season. His being in charge did not inevitably lead to disaster. It was neither crucial nor decisive.



    Only those who restricted themselves to predicting failure in the post-Hampden shower appointment period can claim any sort of accuracy in prescience. There was nothing crucial or decisive in appointing Neil and the loss of the league being an outcome, as we had him as manager before and he won leagues and failed to lose them.



    The appointment of Neil was not the only “unique” aspect to this season. It was also the season of no attendance and of Covid outbreaks and suspensions. It was a season of government one-eyed criticisms of our club. It was a season of lockdown and an explosion in social media use. And finally, it was a season wherein Sevco have gone unbeaten in the league.



    I am not claiming that any or all of these contributed to the league loss (apart from, obviously, their unbeaten season) but, having Neil Lennon as manager was not unique to this season so it could not be the decisive factor and other factors were unique to this season.



    So I am prepared to concede that those who restricted themselves to calling doom in this season and in no other season, did get it right. If they can show, through their social media record that, they never said we would lose a league until the Hampden shower appointment, then I, unreservedly, believe them to have called it right.



    But, i fear we are talking about a much smaller number of successful prescients and a much larger number who fall into the category where I placed them. The lottery players who all pick numbers 1-6 inclusive, have as much chance of being successful one day as any other lottery picker but they cannot claim to “know” that these numbers would come up in their lifetime. The same applies to those who always forecast doom and I gave examples of this, from CQN under BR’s tenure, in my earlier post.



    When I try to analyse where we went wrong this year, I find it hard to avoid the conclusion that “Honestly- I do not know”.



    Of course, Sevco’s unbeaten form is a huge factor but nobody, even those who were warning us that Sevco were improving, were predicting this level of improvement in them. We retained the service of players we expected to lose, mostly Edouard, and recruited with sizeable transfers and loan payments. We lost only Forster, from our regular starting 11 and 2 squad players, Jonny Hayes and the constantly unavailable through injury, Jozo Simunovic. We recruited a £5m international keeper, a hugely promising young Scot in David Turnbull and a Swiss International striker. We got Shane Duffy in on loan to add experience, height and aggression at the back. Most fans were positive about the recruitment and the preparation for the 10……..



    ……..until we started to play.




    The pre-Xmas form was a mixture of dull and torpid midfield play, allied to an inconsistent over-playing attack and a defence that was liable to instant collapse, especially under aerial challenge. These were all new factors and had not been regular features of previous Neil Lennon or Scott Brown teams. I accept that accusations of tipy-tappy football have been leveled before. As have cries of torpid performances, shot shy attackers, and the defensive sieve. But, they were not criticisms uniquely laid at Neil Lennon’s door- every Celtic manager got these.



    There is no disputing that our Euro form was as bad as RD’s Celtic against Legia, Neil’s Celtic against Utrecht, or Brendan’s Celtic vs Barca and PSG. We have rarely strung two good Euro campaigns together. The Ferncvaros/ Sparta Prague disasters contrast sharply with our Europa run the previous year under Neil, where we headed Lazio, Cluj and Rennes. So, again, there was no decisive link between appointing Neil Lennon and Euro failure.



    I saw the same Celtic failures this year that everyone saw.



    I did not see the inevitability that a few of our suppport may have detected uniquely this year.



    But, the one agreement I will make is that we have not yet recovered from this season’s slump and we will have to do so quickly if we are to put a dent in their unbeaten record and deprive them of a Scottish Cup where they will be seen as rightful favourites.

  6. TINYTIM on 24TH MARCH 2021 10:38 PM



    How is Nicky Hammond keeping his job? Like Congerton before him.



    *the latter seems tae be doing all right with the foxes.

  7. It was around this time, probably a week or two earlier in March 1975, that I finally realised that we were not going to win 10 in a row. But then it meant we were not going to break a record that we alone had created. One which had eclipsed that of Willie Maley seventy or so years earlier. Jock and Billy had added another three titles to that great achievement. I was up in Aberdeen that Wednesday, playing University football that afternoon, against Aberdeen, some really good players at that level in those days, and still young enough to get in a bit cheaper to Pittodrie that evening. Lost 3-2 if I remember rightly, long coach ride home, but deep down I knew, that that the journey which began in 1965 was all but over. Even the Rangers supporters in our team knew enough to realise a particular type of disappointment. Tontine Time has covered this better than I ever could, suffice to say we were both there at the time. Still good enough to win the Scottish Cup later that season, a final farewell to our to our greatest ever player and captain, Billy McNeill. The journey this season, to eclipse that of 1965-74, ended some time back, and ended with no direction known. Be great if, as Billy did, our Captain Scott, could end holding up the Scottish Cup in his final season, but to do so we need to once again dig deep. A whole lot deeper than we have thus far.

  8. BRAYSTREET @ 8:45


    EMERALD BEE @ 9:00



    Quite simply the two most erudite posts I have read about the Celtic situation on this, or, any other forum.



    James Forrest @ 10:00



    That is a powerful piece and I agree with every word of it, save for what you write about the Easterhouse killing – I haven’t yet managed to ascertain the exact circumstances and therefore reserve judgement until I do.



    Having said that, how can you even countenance independence for Scotland?



    Those who’s disgusting behaviour you so graphically call out will be bigger fish in a smaller pool in our bitter little country. They will seize any opportunity to exploit a constitutional situation that the majority of them neither voted for, nor, wanted.



    They will make their business & their goal to infiltrate all and any institutions that may encroach on their culture & way of life. A culture that manifests itself in ways that you concisely describe numerous times in your piece.



    Who will stop them? – our 17% here in Scotland? We have like minded souls and friends in England that far & away outnumber the total Scottish population. You and those like you with SNP Independence sympathies would cut us off from these people and subject us to the ‘law of the jungle’ in a country that would be de facto bankrupt from day one.

  9. Good morning cqn from a dry but cold Garngad



    EMERALDBEE \O/ A DOUBLE NINER!! on 24TH MARCH 2021 9:30 PM – Spot on Emeraldbee, great post.



    D :)

  10. Squire D @11:07


    I Read James Forrest and agree with you about the Hun (lets call him Ted) being allowed on his site. My thinking is that it a fellow bloggers alter ego and is only there to get numbers for the “hits” on the up.


    Just my thoughts and could be totally wrong.

  11. Some have suggested Nicky Butt could be in line for Salford or more realistically, Preston.



    He’s highly regarded for his work at United and I wouldn’t object to him being at Celtic in some capacity…..but not with Roy Keane.



    Paul67 says pundits try to scare us with the name Roy Keane but I’m scared this story is gathering momentum…

  12. Good morning CQN



    I am still in shock at the senseless brutality that took Kamil Charyszin life leaving a family in utter devastation, i hope that Kamil’s family are getting all the support help, and love that they need, beyond helping this family all I want to hear is these perpetrators have been caught and held to account for this horrific senseless madness.



    Can the political zealots with their tribal madness think of Kamil’s family before you use them in your political arguments?




    I see posts referring to apathy concerning anything on updates from the club they support, passion is on the wane for Celtic FC over a lack of honesty, accountability, and transparency, the club shamefully has been indifferent towards a fanbase who answered the call from the club to purchase the full cost of the season book at the beginning of the season, fan groups met pre-season with the club on this issue, they were told added value would be forthcoming, indeed a communique from Celtic FC stating added value to those ordinary fans who despite economic fears amidst a global pandemic dug deep into family finances to support the club, their reward for a financial sacrifice, mismanagement of the club the added value has not been forthcoming, engaging with the PLC is not a rewarding experience, the PLC only give information out on a need to know basis and as far as they are concerned fans don’t need to know, below is Celtic trust requesting for a new way of communicating with OUR club it belongs to us all, i hope you will give it the due consideration it deserves



  13. !!Bada Bing!! on

    GeeBee- Gary Bowyer in at Salford until the end of the season, I’m worried why Butt would quit a top job like he has…….

  14. I just dread this happening – Dermot, Neil’s second permanent appointment can be seen in context as a mistake. For the love of God do not compound disaster with short-sighted stupidity.



    I wanted Roy as a player in his pomp, not now as a flawed former manager and pundit.



    He’ll shatter the flimsy framework of the Support and leave us in the lurch when he;’ been cornered and harassed by a unified Hundom……….He’s a millionaire – let him find another hobby somewhere other than Celtic Park.



    Our Club needs special care and attention right now. The football club needs its fans onside and raucous – his appointment confirms The O&& F$$$ Circus is still in business.





    JAMESGANG on 24TH MARCH 2021 10:30 PM


    Reading the rumours on here about Roy Keane, I find myself asking why I’m not as bothered as I should be.







    I think he would be a disaster. I think he’s an arrogant zoomer. But I’ve perhaps got to a point of not caring in a way I could never have anticipated.







    Hh jg

  15. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    Watching last weekend’s derby on a monitor screen it crossed my mind, as Callum McGregor ages he’s morphing into an Alan Thompson lookalike wearing the hoops.



    If he’s to be our new captain then I hope he adds regular hunskelpin’ goals to his repertoire in the next few months.

  16. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    “The board overwhelmingly present to the fans through the chief executive, with the chairman on his feet one day a year and signing the odd statement, and the major shareholder a largely unknown figure. It is unbalanced; it does not serve the board and therefore the club well”






    Indeed Paul.



    Has anyone seen the club org chart?


    (I haven’t since the Brian Quinn era).



    Our SLO is a nice guy but has no juice.



    The guy or gal whose job it is to communicate with (not just inform) the fans should have a seat at the big table.



    And should not be the CEO.


    (He can get trotted out for the occasional big ticket item)



    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith



    We’re Not Half of Anything

  17. James Forrest. Cracking piece.



    I know it’s not right to pre-suppose them motives of those who murdered Kamil Charyszyn. But when the are media outlets providing details of the shouting before the attack and the way the attackers were dressed, including a picture of a policeman standing outside a police-taped house entrance where the bunting and red,white and blue balloons are prevalent, the it is more factual than supposition.



    It was a racially, sectarian, anti-Celtic, anti-Polish, anti-Catholic motivation that fuelled the murderers. Lain and simple.

  18. James Forrest



    As usual my first reaction was to scroll past your post .


    As I’ve said before .


    I normally don’t have the patience for the length of your posts and I find them in general ,to be too long winded.



    Your last post was probably the best that you have ever written on here.



  19. Ethnic cleansing and the 17% is back!!! Anyone know who this 17% is?



    JHB is a troll who spends his whole life trying to frighten the life out of normal people who only want the best for the families and friends. He would have us all at each others throats and behind the barricades in our trenches and gun emplacements, he is dangerous and does not speak for me.



    The fact that he is allowed to spout his sectarian division and scare stories on this site every day is really sad and dangerous.



    We should be healing divisions in our society not deepening them, he is the kind of dangerous individual that leads to no go areas, sectarian institutions gaining members and general fear and mistrust. Hate is all that he knows.

  20. lets all do the huddle on

    mcgregor isnt, nor ever will be, half the player alan thomson was for us



    he wont even get close to his hunskelpingness

  21. !!BADA BING!! on 25TH MARCH 2021 7:53 AM



    Let’s hope so. Rooney looks like he could do with the help and to be honest, it’d kick the Keane rumours into touch…..for now.

  22. squire danaher on

    TIMMY7_NOTED on 25TH MARCH 2021 8:12 AM



    I agree



    The argument used in that post was virtually identical to the No Surrenderist raging of a 6-county Loyalist.

  23. A Keane/Butt combination is a car crash waiting to happen. If it materialises then I am underwhelmed. That said,what top manager would touch this job?

  24. Squire , Exactly its been cut n pasted from FF with a few subtle changes.



    He is dangerous and individuals like him don’t want equality they want division.



    Divide and conquer, Churchills favourite tactic.

  25. “LETS ALL DO THE HUDDLE on 25TH MARCH 2021 8:18 AM


    mcgregor isnt, nor ever will be, half the player alan thomson was for us


    he wont even get close to his hunskelpingness”



    Didn`t you know it is not possible for present day players to be as good as those from the past?



    Fast forward to 2041 and Callum McGregor will have improved tremendously.

  26. Many people tell me that they are `perfectly capable of making their own minds up` on many given matters.


    Is it just a coincidence, therefore, that Roy Keane is being spoken of by so many in connection with the Celtic Manager`s job?

  27. HOT SMOKED on 25TH MARCH 2021 8:49 AM


    Many people tell me that they are `perfectly capable of making their own minds up` on many given matters.



    Is it just a coincidence, therefore, that Roy Keane is being spoken of by so many in connection with the Celtic Manager`s job?




    😁 You subliminally said it.



    The reality for myself now is, I’d said if there wasn’t a change in the management that I wouldn’t renew and now that that’s happened I will renew irrespective of who it is.

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