Double-header danger


Consecutive games against the same team are dangerous, even when you win the first convincingly.  We only need to think back to the 7-0 drubbing we dished out to St Mirren in 2009.  The Paisley team were so far outclassed they should not have been on the same field as Celtic that day, but a week later they knocked us out of the Scottish Cup.

Hibs were awful in defence on Wednesday and should have done better with the chances they had going forward, but they will have a point to prove this afternoon and can be relied on to fight “tooth and nail” to puncture Celtic’s title credentials.

If James Forrest is able to float into a central position Celtic should have enough, but they don’t have many game-winners like Forrest.

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  1. Right lads mr column didn’t book anyone untill 11 or so fouls committed let’s see what happens today against sheep/Huns hmmm.

  2. First tackle by a Dons player, first yellow card.



    Collum starting as he means to go on.

  3. Br\o/gan R\o/gan Trevin\o/ and H\o/gan on

    Good Morning,



    for a variety of reasons I have been able to attend the pages of this blog for the better part of a week, and so it was onlt at about 11pm last night that I was able to read Paul 67′a last two headers. By way of twitter I have seen some of the reporting of the speculation of the demise of Rangers PLC. I have not therefore read back over two days worth of posts and comments and so have no idea what has and has not been said by others. If I therefore point out the obvious and the already stated then my apologies in advance.



    On reading Paul’s two articles last night, I have to say that my initial feeling was one of annoyance and anger. Of course it was I hear you say– Rangers are getting away with it– bloody disgrace and all that. Whilst those emotions and feelings were undoubtedly there, they were not the sole causes of anger and frustration. In any event, Anger is never a good place from which to engage the grey matter. It blocks guile, brain power and leads to knee jerk reaction– and that is not what is needed here.



    Let’s just stop and look at where we are with football– certainly in Scotland and maybe just about everywhere wlse in the world too except maybe the poorest of countries.



    Association football was designed to be a game. A game for all to enjoy. When distinct professional and amateur teams started to form in the late 18th century there required a degree of organisation and regulation and so sprang up national associations to regulate leagues, cups and other competitions and so give football a structure. As time passed, those associations organised themselves Internationally so bringing about EUFA, FIFA and so on.



    In turn, that organisation and the ever advancing business opportunities that presented themselves as a result of organised football has lead to more and more regulation surrounding matters that are germain to modern football. Player registrations being restricted to certain dates, wage caps, limiting the number of “foreign” players in any one league, the ages of players and many more matters have all been the the subjet of regulation over the years. Of course commerial television contracts especially now seem to govern and dictate much of what EUFA or FIFA serves up, and leading those organisations is no longer an honorary position and is now a position of considerable wealth and status.



    It is into this mix that we introduce the current plight of one club– Glasgow Rangers– and its current parent company Glasgow Rangers PLC.



    Rangers have a long tradition in Scottish Football. They were in at the inception of football organisation in Scotland and were the “chosen” opponents for Celtic’s very first game, when our own club had not a single registered player to it’s name. For that game Celtic had to “borrow” players from other already established teams like Renton, Hibs, Govan Whitehill etc etc. Rangers for their part– were not seen as a sectarian club at that time– that was to come later– they were just a club to play against.



    Now it may seem trite to say this, but prior to that very first match, it would appear that everyone knew the rules to which they were to play. Pretty fundamental you might think. Yes but this current state of affairs with Rangers begs that very question– what are the rules of football?



    It would appear, going by the article from the Daily Record, that the rules just don’t count IF– and it is a big IF– the application of those rules jeopardises the financial future of the game in Scotland. Or to put it another way, by applying the existing rules properly that would leave a new Rangers company in the lower divisions of Scottish Football at least for a time, which in turn would jeopardise the TV contracts with the SFA etc etc. No Rangers?Then everyone else will be skint?



    Well first of all that is nonsense. Any existing contract with a TV company is certainly not jeopardised by the application of the SFA and EUFA’s own rules. No TV company can turn around and say that they are breaking their contract because Rangers are not in the top flight– that is just legal nonsense and always will be.



    The argument I think is that any renewa contract would be weakened because Rangers would be absent. That means armaggedon for everyone else! Oh really? I’ll come back to that.



    Separately, it seems to be suggested that all the other clubs need Rangers for their continued survival. Really? Ok how about the teams like Cowdenbeath, Albion Rovers, Montrose, Arbroath, Queens Park and so on– do those teams need a Rangers for their survival? Would their futures be made ever more secure if they had guaranteed gates from meeting a new Rangers team with its “big” support for a couple of years– or does the SFA solely exist for the benefit of the SPL teams?



    Worse still is the concept of survival of other teams dependent on Rangers PLC or otherwise. With respect, surely enough is now known to compare Sir David Murray’s tenure at Ibrox with that of Sir Fred Goodwin at the Royal Bank of Scotland. Here you have an organisation which ran wholly out of control with no regard whatsoever for the rules of the state, the rules of the SFA even, and by dint of an argument presented by an insolvency practitioner is supposedly about to say to the rest of Scottish Football “Let us in — or else!”. “We — the worst run club in Scotland– who don’t pay our taxes, don’t pay our bills and who need protection from our creditors– are the saviours of Scottish football!” Eh–to borrow a phrase from another sport– ” You cannot be serious?”



    Think of the damage that other clubs have suffered under this Rangers regime. Where once we had a strong Dundee United, Aberdeen, Hibs etc– The Murray millions and desire not to pay taxes (unlike everyone else) has meant that with excessive spending Ibrox were able to make sure many of those teams were never on a level playing field. This pratice ruined those teams, reduced their support, spoilt their businesses with no concern whatsoever for those clubs and no intention of playing by the same financial rules.



    Steven Presley has openly complained about this “financial doping” and it can be seen to have damaged clubs like Falkirk who wanted to move to a new stadium and build up a support base as of old– exept of course Rangers were able to come in and prise away a player like Alan Gow and then simply never play him in a game– he just wasn’t available to hurt Rangers any more because he was on their books– or maybe he wasn’t on the books but you know what I mean. Same with Andy Webster, Neil McCann and countless others over years. How many players did Advocat have at his disposal in his time who never played?



    What about Chairmen like Geoff Brown at St Johnstone? A thoroughly decent man from what I know, who runs his club on a straight line with a real community ethos in Perth. A guy who has never held back a young player or manager and who has had to suffer demotion and then fight for promotion from time to time and all the financial hardship that brings. He paid his taxes, stuck his money in, cut his cloth when he needed to and so on. Are the Sottish Football Authorities prepared to allow a situation whereby it an be openly seen to bend or change the rules to “acommodate” a team who throws all such attributes and sense of fair play out with the bath water? Is that what we have come to in Scottish Football?



    Of course Europe is a different matter– because there is a moratorium on playing European football for 3 years after formation. So let’s say that Rangers New Co are allowed into the SPL ( God help us ) and win the title for three years on the trot. They will never kick a European ball. They will not get a single dime in European money and as we have seen from elsewhere on current levels they need European money to survive– without that money they run at a multimillion pound loss each year and that is a fact. So let’s examine the fairness or common sense of such a proposal. How would Rangers new co demonstrate to the SFA that the tearing up of the rules benefit football in Scotland? How does it help St Johnstone or St Mirrin etc? Answer– It doesn’t– unless they play in Europe and Rangers inclusion in the SPL under a new co has no influene over who playes in Europe as they are barred anyway. The other clubs without Rangers may be able to strengthen and make a better fist of it in Europe. They gain some European money on merit– not by devine providence or by back room rule bending– or blatant illegality as has been the norm!



    Then there must be severe doubts about how a new Rangers would survive? Would they be back again in 3 years with the same argument– because in that time there would be no European football. Not only that, does this then form a template for every other club not to pay taxes and banks etc and still survive?



    No– if the SFA were to change the rules as suggested by the article it would be the end of all of the clubs in the league in a stroke. Existing credit from the banks would be tightened immediately as there is no apparent penalty for footballing failure within the SFA. Teams in the upper echelons of Scottish Football could simply go bust, make the Rangers application and leave their banks and revenue debts behind! Oh yeah? Do you think that the banks would not look at such a situation and beome ever less inclined to invest in Scottish Football as a whole– and believe me that investment is needed. Remember it is the Clydesdale Bank Premier league– before it was the Bank of Scotland Premier league and so on. If the banks pull their credit at the existing clubs do they all just reapply under a phoenix company– oh and where would they go for a bank?



    Allowing a rule change to acommodate Rangers does untold harm to the other clubs and does nothing– absolutely nothing— to benefit their financial position.



    Whatsmore, who is going to be in charge of this new Rangers? Craig Whyte? Will he now pass a more stringent fit and proper persons test? What experience of successful business does he actually have? How do those other chairman feel about allowing a new club under this man’s sole charge into the more lucrative areas of Scottish Football? What are the experiences so far of Stephen Thompson & Co in dealing with him? Would it be time for Mr Whyte to lay his entire career open warts and all and allow a complete investigation into where and how he got the money to invest in Rangers at all– and bare all of his past business dealings for all to see? After all if you are asking for extraordinary rule changes then you can expect extraordinary scrutiny as to why, how, and who will be in charge of any operation granted such leeway from day one.



    However, the article does not mention something that I think is very very salient and that is that there are two so called “Big” clubs in Sotland– and that in the event of allowing Rangers such dispensation you are clearly saying that Scottish Football cannot survive without one of them.



    Where does that leave Celtic? With balanced books, financial clout and so on– are Celtic really going to sit in a league where they are apparently essential to the financial well being of every other club yet where the financial excesses of their main opposition go completely ignored and in real terms unpunished? If a whole new system is up for renegotiation and the whole league is doomed to financial ruin if Rangers don’t get back in do you think Celtic as a PLC do not have a legal as well as moral duty to look after the rights of it’s shareholders who invested in a club that plays in a struture where there are strict finanial rules and penalties?



    Whatsmore, if the rules of the SFA can be torn up so easily– whether that be once, twice or whatever how does that impact upon any club in future where there are shareholders? That even applies to the new Rangers! Imagine Whyte wants to sell New Co. A buyer comes in and looks at the deal and then asks– “What happens if I buy this and run it properly? What’s to stop Hearts from spending Millions it doesn’t have, backed with Romanov’s alleged credit, gaining success at my expense and then folding and coming straight back in? What are my shareholders going to say about that? Where is the accumulated value you get from proper governance and success– when others do not have to comply with the rules?”– Answer– the value of Scottish Football would be terminally down the pan!!!!!!



    But above all of this is the sheer natural injustice that would result from any such proposal. Justice is not something that you can pick up and then discard when it pleases you. It is a constant– without it being a constant– you get a mockery and a disgrace which leaves a bad taste in the mouth–souring everything.



    Rangers have been ran into the ground financially. They are a business that has failed and failed spectacularly. They have bought and robbed for success over more than a decade and that is now open for all to see. Hugh Adam predicted it all oh so many years ago– and while his comments were reported nobody really took much notice or heeded his warning. He was regarded as a fool in some parts. Remember Murray’s famous and jingoistically offensive boast– ” for every fiver Celtic spend we will spend a tenner” — except that they didn’t have the tenner to spend and the rest of Scottish football should remember that they didn’t tend to spend the money they didn’t have in Scotland!!!!! Rangers helped fuel the wage increases in Scotland which the smaller clubs could not compete with. In short such was Murray’s ego and greed that he deliberately and alulatedly set out to screw football for the benefit of the Ibrox attendees. Oh he also took away all the rights and voices of other Ibrox shareholders with his ahare issues backed by money he did not have– and he always said that he would “choose” his suessor and it would be the right “type of guy”! I leave you to judge!



    Rangers and Murray have proven to be the doom of Scottish Football. A man and an organisation that could not play fair, did not want to play fair and who had no concern about not playing fair. A New Co Rangers club is a real possibility but it is only of any value to Scottish Football at all if it plays by the rules– yet we are being seriously asked to countenance a situation whereby a new club joins up but only if the rules are changed to accommodate their needs. That is rediculous. Espeially if it omes from a man who has a track record of disqualified for breaching rules. One should always be wary of a man who explains a breach of rules as a mere technicality!! When Parliament set out those rules and the sanctions for breaking them I am sure that they did not described them as “mere technicalities” that an be ignored.



    It an’t be the case that you change the rules just for one club and TV rights!



    If that is corret then why not let Rangers shoot into bigger goals? Why not change the rules to say that if they score then the opposition have only 5 minutes to equalise or Rangers are declared the winners? Why not say that if the opposition sores then Rangers should get five penalties imediately and they have to score all five just to stay in the game or that they are allowed to bring on an extra man or two? Rediculous? Yes of course– but you see it would make great telly wouldn’t it? You can change the rules of football and ratings will soar– why not banish all fouls and encourage outright physial violence on the park— wow the TV ratings will jump through the roof! But it will be Rollerball not football.



    Of course for Celtic there is an ultimate sanction. It is a lovely story– how within six months a group of volunteers cleared the six acre site, built a football field, an earthed terracing a stand, pavillion and changing rooms for that first game in 1888. That ground was leased for just £50 per year. By 1891 the landlord wanted to increase the rent to £450 per year. The result? Celtic summoned it’s volunteer force and yet again built another new ground along the road for the start of season 1892-1893 leaving the old landlord with nothing at all.



    Perhaps– only perhaps– there is a lesson there. If you know your history and all that??????



    Oh and we all know who Celtic played in that first game. But what about the second game- the third? Fourth? and so on?



    Celtic Football Club——- dealing properly with chancers– since 1887 (ish )




    PS Steve Earle was helluva good on Thursday night!!!!!!

  4. Paul’s article brought to mind an an earlier sequence of games against St Mirren. In 1962, I think, Celtic absolutely hammered them at Love Street on a Monday night. One of the St Mirren players said it was like playing Real Madrid. On the Saturday they gubbed us in the Cup SF at Ibrox. There was a mini riot, bottle throwing and a pitch invasion and that was that. (Incidentally, there were a lot of very good Celtic players at Ibrox that day.)

  5. Ratboy tries to take off a guy’s leg and writhes in agony. Hope you are really hurt and not pretending to escape your deserved booking.


    Booth think the challenge was fine and we have blood gushing exaggeration Naithsmith bye bye ya wee s h ite

  7. tommytwiststommyturns on

    Naismith gone down with a serious looking knee injury….there was no diving involved!





    Really enjoyed watching Steven Naismith f u ck off B ooth


    Should have been carded for that assault on Milson