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Eye on the prize, Celtic

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We took Ross County to school the last weekend in October, resting eight players but still scoring four. That was a wakeup call for County, though, who turned a corner at the start of November. Since then they’ve played the four teams which separate them from Celtic, winning twice and drawing twice.

Partick Thistle busted coupons in Christmas Eve, inflicting County’s only defeat in two months. They are top half of the table and undefeated in two visits to Glasgow this season. Eye on the prize tonight, Celtic.

There are only minutes left on our competition to win two tickets for the Celtic end at Ibrox on Saturday, courtesy of club sponsor, Intelligent Car Leasing, in aid of our Mary’s Meals project. Competition closes at 13:00.

Funds raised will go towards putting food on the table for kids attending the Sean Devereux Primary School in Liberia.

To win all you need to do is donate a minimum of £5 at this MyDonate page AND email me your address: celticquicknews@gmail.com , putting Liberia in the subject line of your email. The winner will be chosen from the emails received and will be verified with the donations, so please put a common name or pseudonym in both.

The money goes directly to Mary’s Meals and will be allocated to the Sean Devereux school within days. Even if you don’t win, you’ll have done a great thing for spending £5, to get on with it; minutes left!!!

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  1. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    For those who believe that justice will be done on or around the 15th March by the supreme court can I just ask why you think it will and what makes a truthful verdict here it more important than Hillsborough ?

     

     

     

     

     

     

    HH

  2. AT- McLean’s brother was a no mark at Falkirk,Motherwell, who opted to play for Northern Ireland, about the same time Aiden and McCarthy chose the Republic.For the life of me , i can’t recall him getting the same abuse at every ground in the country, as those 2 ?HH

  3. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    Keep it simple and keep it going,Celtic.

     

     

    Two games till the sunshine break. You can take it easy then!

  4. A Bus Chase, A Polis and Belief Found in St. John’s Toon…

     

     

    Season 1997-98 was all about the league title. Despite the painful period of Rangers equalising our record nine in a row there was no doubt we were still the club for firsts, records and honesty. We would finally win the title this year-well that was the plan.

     

     

    It didn’t start well. As usual we had hope in our hearts but the early signs were not that good. In fact they were dreadful. We had a new management team, new signings and a real desperation from the fans that would drive the team at times and hamper them on occasion too. The league campaign started poorly with defeat at Easter Road: some Swedish guy called Larsson had a debut to forget teeing up (Celtic fan) Chic Charnley to score the winner. 2-1 to Hibs and the much wished for strong start didn’t materialise. Craig Burley also made his debut that day too and despite not being overly loved by the Celtic support he would play a part in the months ahead-as would the Swede! Wim Jansen’s understated words post match would prove to be prophetic and then some: ““What happened with Henrik was just part of football. He wishes he could change it but he’ll get over it.” Malky MacKay scored Celtic’s goal, I wonder what happened to him?

     

     

    The next league game was 13 days away so the bad start would be stewed over despite some promising signs in the League cup win over Berwick Rangers. A 7-0 win-at Tynecastle-was notable for the performance of the debutant Blinker. There were also debuts for Gould and Mahe as the team began to take shape. The forward line still didn’t appear to be clicking as some would like and the Scotland on Sunday seemed to be tempering our hopes for Henrik: “Henrik Larsson looks energetic, if not always sure of his passage, but he is certainly doomed to unfavourable comparison with the more natural goal scorer, but stricken, Jorge Cadete.”

     

     

    A 1-2 defeat at home to Dunfermline in front of an initially exuberant 46,000 Celtic fans seemed to already destroy our dreams of league success. Talk of Rangers on our bus was quickly squashed by one old sage who quite rightly told us to:”worry about ourselves instead of getting too concerned about they bastards across the river.” He was quite right, as per. We all drank far too much that night and the papers provided no cure for the hangover: “Henrik Larsson, in particular, was a lightweight force here, and Darren Jackson horsed around, but not with any great significance.” I was still singing, with hope in my heart, but I wasn’t sure if I fully believed now.

     

     

    We had two games in a week in Perth and these would prove to be pivotal in this extraordinary season. At the time of the first one though no-one would have believed this team would win the league. A 0-1 midweek Coca-Cola cup win over St. Johnstone with an extra-time penalty by Simon Donnelly (awarded by Hugh Dallas) didn’t set the heather alight but we won. We had a few players missing, confidence was low but we ground out a result. As we returned home in the car to Airdrie the four of us were agreed there were some good signs especially from Burley and if our forwards clicked we may still have a chance. Then the driver turned the rebs up and left us alone to our thoughts.

     

     

    Back to Perth four days later and this would be an altogether different experience. Firstly a full bus was leaving from the Wayside pub and there would be a crowd of 10,000 plus at Mcdiarmid Park. We had to put points on the board and defeat would be a disaster. It felt like a cup-tie and would turn out to be an unforgettable day in lots of ways. The day began with talk in the papers of Celtic pursuing the Brazilian forward Bebeto –it was quickly denied by Jock Brown but it gave us a few hours of fun. Jorge Cadete was ready to move to Spain, Peter Grant signed for Norwich and Wim the Tim wanted a striker, we wanted to believe it. I’d invited my big pal Graham (a Strathclyde detective) who loved the Celtic, to travel on our bus. As a youngster up north he used to travel to the west on the local Rangers bus and then make his way to the Celtic match. I told him about our bus for years and he couldn’t wait, it would certainly prove memorable! Initially it went well. He was suitably fed and watered in the Wayside and the Bhoys from the bus took to him right away, despite his job. They weren’t slow in ribbing him but he loved it. The women, who block-booked the front six seats, fed him sandwiches and tales of my youth. I knew they’d love the big handsome b*****d!

     

     

    Perth was always a great day out. We used to head into the city to the Celtic club but for a few years now Auchterarder was the stop as we bantered with the locals in the Golf View. What could go wrong? Approaching the Castlecary arches the banter on the bus was cut short by the driver’s use of expletives. A car in front pulling a trailer containing red chips was blissfully unaware that the cover of his trailer had come off and his red chips were spilling onto the road. Unfortunately for him and us two had cracked the windscreen of the bus. He quickly became aware as he took a left from main carriageway towards the village of Castlecary. So did the 52 seater Celtic bus. He didn’t look to be stopping and decided to try and tire his pursuer out. The bus appeared to read his every move and the stalking continued up and down this usually by-passed, quiet village. Much like one of those doomed antelopes in an Attenborough series, he made a fateful move and turned into a cul-de-sac. The bus appeared to lick its lips and went for the kill, blocking the driver’s escape. The realisation of what was happening had sobered up this merry band of Tims, although big Graham’s face was a picture. Time stood still. Fortunately our resident prison guard-Big Mick-blocked our driver’s route to the door and our off-duty polis sprung into action to smooth things over with the car driver and the growing band of cul-de-sac residents who were wondering what the hell a Celtic supporters bus was doing so dangerously close to their manicured lawns. After a fraught ten minutes or so as we discussed a fleet of taxis to Auchterarder or straight to the game, Graham returned with the good news it was all sorted and he had the driver’s insurance details. The residents went back indoors, Big Mick released his ‘hold’ on the driver and the sandwiches were passed round the bus from the front as the Buckie was passed from the rear. We were back on the one road. My nerves were shot as I wanted big Graham to have a great experience however he loved it and after fifteen minutes on the bus he was elevated to hero status by being told to put his money back in his pocket by the convenor. He’d saved the day. He told me several beers later that the driver-a rather short-sighted-old gentleman worryingly wasn’t aware the bus was chasing him and he was looking for a bungalow in Castlecary to carry out some landscaping. He was lucky he wasn’t made into a permanent garden feature but finally Perth beckoned via the Golf View.

     

     

    The locals in Auchterardar loved the banter and were never slow in revealing their true blue credentials. Our merry band of battle hardened Tims never backed away from a verbal joust either and it’s fair to say held their own in the pre-match babble. It appeared the locals believed we’d win not very much that season (being polite here) and we shouldn’t be resting our hopes on the dreadlocked Swede. It appeared they had followed our disappointing start to the season in as much detail as we had and they were already putting their orders in for 10 in a row T- shirts. Peace broke out as we always bought them a few whiskies as we left and we were ‘allowed’ a couple of songs. I swear some of them tapped their feet. Arrangements were made for post-match hostilities and at last we set off for the game.

     

     

    There was a huge turnout of Celtic fans and a decent turn out of Fair City residents too-they smelled blood. Celtic were on the back foot from the off and the old doubts were creeping around the alcohol fuelled bravado from earlier. O’Boyle scored early doors but his delight was short lived as he was ruled to be offside. They were giving us some bother down their left exploiting David Hannah’s weaknesses at right back. A superb save from Johnny Gould appeared to be the turning point and Celtic at last went on the front foot. Wieghorst, Larsson and Jackson began to impress as the Celts pushed forward. We hit their woodwork twice in the one move with efforts from MacKay and Burley and the belief started to grow. Then for me the season truly began: Henrik started and finished a wonderful sweeping move, a minute before half-time, with a bullet header. Our dread-locked hero had arrived. Regi Blinker would hit the bar in the seconds before half-time as the Celtic support went into raptures during the break. We continued on the front foot in the second half as belief coursed through the veins of the team and they grew into the jerseys in front of our eyes. The busy Darren Jackson scored a cracker to seal the victory and we had points on the board at last. We dared to believe… again!

     

     

    Predictably the Auchterarder blue brigade thought we were just lucky and St. Johnstone were useless anyway. We thought different as there was energy about the performance and after a slow start a relentless push for goals. Two or three signings (it was always thus) would make a real difference. After drinks and the traditional fish supper we departed for Airdrie belting out: “We’re gonna win the league.”

     

     

    Crucially we added Rieper, Lambert and Brattback in the coming months and only lost two games prior to the New Year. St. Johnstone would feature once or twice again in the coming months but that’s another story.

     

     

    Big Graham’s debut was memorable and didn’t end till he rocked up at my house at 3am-6 hours after me-but his winning smile got him out of that one too with my (then) Mrs. Big handsome Tim. He had a few more adventures with us but he still speaks fondly of his ‘debut’ and the day his career flashed in front of his eyes.

     

     

    HH

     

     

    Margaret McCreadie RIP.

  5. No idea what happened with the Nagbe transfer,but I find it very strange.Who pulled the plug?If it was Portland Timbers why no comment from them?.Same in reverse with Celtic.Once again I think the Celtic PR dept,if we have one,have dropped the ball here.We all know what the majority of fans think about our transfer policy,regarding paying out money.This will add fuel,justly or not.The boy wanted to come,obviously BR wanted to sign him,so what happened?.None of us want to listen to any of the rubbish from the SMSM regarding our transfer business,but we should be given some info by Celtic.We all have been led to believe that BR is in charge,have we not?.No matter what way you look at this,it seems something is not straight.

     

    We should be told.Why the secrecy?.

  6. Bro McLean gets the gig for Saturday. He has a good track record of cheating Celtic out of a treble and then some. Fleming appointing McLean is the SFAs first crack at Celtics unbeaten record. The only way Sevco will score on Saturday is a penalty and the only way they will win is we have 9 against their 12. McLean will do his utmost for a penalty and red card like the semi final. Winning there will will be even sweeter now.

     

     

    Bobby Madhun will be held in reserve for an away Scottish cup tie at Tynecastle to try and derail the treble.

     

     

    It won’t work no matter how many McLeans or Madhuns to put in our way. We are on our way to 10.

  7. Turkeybhoy,

     

     

    Brendan is in charge of the complete football dept. Unfortunately he is dependent on the Bonus Thief and Res12 wrecker to close the commercial deal either with the club or the player.

     

     

    With players he knows like Sinclair he can know the players demands but even that one dragged on as Lawwell haggled with Villa. With the US player the club fee and players package will be in Lawwells hands. He can scupper any deal as he sees fit—-just a bit like Res12.

     

     

    There will be no transparency or open PR at Celtic until control freak Lawwell is gone. I was hoping Dermot would have cleaned him out by now.

  8. TURKEYBHOY

     

     

    What if Portland are asking for more than Celtic value him at? What if Portland are hanging on to see if they can generate interest from EPL team? What if Celtic are playing hardball and walking away in the hope that Portland will do the deal sooner rather than later? What if a better alternative has become available?

     

    Ideally the club should come out and tell the support what’s happening, but they can only do that once deal is dead. I suspect it may not be.

  9. Doesn’t matter who the referee is on Saturday, the same as every other game we play domestically. They are all dreadful and referee in the image of Dallas (snr).

  10. For those speculating ( fair enough) or making unsubstantiated claims ( not fair enough) about the reasons for the Darlington Nagbe deal being off ( Is it?) I would point you in the direction of a post by Tontime Tim ( I think) about how transfers work in the US. According to Tontime, the `selling` club has no real say in the matter.

     

    better to have some real information if you want to make a meaningful comment.

     

     

    JJ

  11. !!BADA BING!! on28TH DECEMBER 2016 12:39 PM

     

     

    AT- McLean’s brother was a no mark at Falkirk,Motherwell, who opted to play for Northern Ireland, about the same time Aiden and McCarthy chose the Republic.For the life of me , i can’t recall him getting the same abuse at every ground in the country, as those 2 ?

     

    HH

     

     

    I recall him but didnt realise it was his brother.riddled wi knuckle rubbing bigots!

     

     

    —————————————————

     

     

    Lucky Cody

     

    I made comment bout the herald at end of last blog, soz I amheading out now.a scurrilous rag

     

     

    HH

  12. MARGARET MCGILL on 27TH DECEMBER 2016 9:37 PM

     

    Tontine Tim on 27th December 2016 9:29 pm

     

     

    dafter than Curtis? define daft?

     

     

    *Alan Curtis is Welsh born, played for the Swans three times as well as Cardiff and Barry Town (2), been capped by his country at every level and has been part of the backroom staff at the Liberty Stadium for over 20 years.

     

     

    They have had a few notable managers including John Toshack, Jan Molby, Brendan Rogers and the best player in the Laudrup household © MON.

     

     

    They are then bought by a couple of septic tanks both have NBA senior management experience as well as a minor involvement with the MLS DC United.

     

     

    First move is to appoint a former US national team coach who has trawled through the colleges and MLS with a couple of brief appointments in Egypt, Norway and a French Ligue 2 side and they expect him tae be their saviour in the cut and thrust EPL.

     

     

    At least Guidolin had a decent European pedigree and Gary Monk seems tae be doing no too bad at the poison chalice that is Leeds.

     

     

    We have supporters who moaned and still do about Ronny who had a least a decent Scandinavian pedigree, Bob Bradley is, was and always will be a daft appointment. He’s a breest.

  13. LUCKY CODY,

     

     

    Anything could be true,but with things seemingly so far down the road,we should be told something.

     

     

    HOT SMOKED,

     

     

    So if Celtic offered Portland 200 grand,they would have no say in it?.

     

    Is this what you are saying,because I know nothing about USA transfers.

  14. Turkeybhoy

     

    I know no more than you but I am sure Tontime Tim posted something along those lines yesterday ( and I notice he is posting at the moment so perhaps he could repost the one I am talking about).

     

     

    TONTIME TIM. PLEASE RESPOND !!!!

     

     

    JJ

  15. HOT SMOKED on 28TH DECEMBER 2016 1:14 PM

     

    For those speculating ( fair enough) or making unsubstantiated claims ( not fair enough) about the reasons for the Darlington Nagbe deal being off ( Is it?) I would point you in the direction of a post by Tontime Tim ( I think) about how transfers work in the US. According to Tontime, the `selling` club has no real say in the matter.

     

     

    better to have some real information if you want to make a meaningful comment.

     

     

     

    Going by your post,you dont have any “Real information”,yet you have posted what I would hope you think is a “Meaningful comment”.

  16. Turkeybhoy,

     

     

    As somebody said earlier all transfers are handled through league ; however presumably the money ends up with club so they must have a say. Thank god we don’t have this system in Scotland as the SFA would be in their element.

     

     

    It’s probable negotiations are still going on. However on your question of who has control of transfers. The football side is now back with the manager — Brendan. Lawwell has to complete the commercials. Brendan has had the player over and he wants to come. His part is now effectively over and the Res 12 magician Lawwell comes into play. Nothing could possibly go wrong.

     

     

    Lawwell will eventually drive Brendan out of the club by stalling on closing transfer deals.

  17. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    This must be an ideal opportunity for some Scottish football fan to get in an injury claim having attended Ibrox.

     

     

     

    HH

  18. Turkeybhoy- i think the MLS set transfer fees and take a cut of any deal, i’m guessing the player isn’t too happy, some say the fee went from 3mil to 6 mil…

  19. Last week Sevco had to ‘battle’ QPR to hold on to Clint Hill,no laughing at the back….today Fulham in for Rob Kiernan for £2 million….some serious drink being taken by the Level 5 lapdogs these days…

  20. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    LUCKYCODY

     

     

    The Sinclair deal certainly dragged on,despite a fee being agreed and the player,agent,manager all for it.

  21. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    ROYCROPPIE

     

     

    Takes me back,away trips were always,erm,well-planned.

  22. Repost by popular demand :-))))))

     

     

    *So we offer Portland 3m for Darlington Nagbe, agree terms and then the Timbers change the rules, ala Torino and big Jozo or us and krackerjack from Split in 2010 when again the rules were changed and we walked out, and ask for 6 m.

     

     

    I find this a bit strange no not the Azzuri or Croat slant but the American one. As far as I’m aware the MLS owns all the players contracts and similar to all US sports including the NFL, NBA and MLB players are not bought and sold but are traded and unlike FIFA rules without the players’ consent.

     

     

    After the lessons learned from the old NASL when clubs threw money away tae over the hill and over aged players, i.e. Pele, Beckenbauer, Carlos Alberto, Cruyff, Neeskens, Der Bomber, Best, Marsh and Cardiff’s most famous Italian Chinaglia which became unsustainable, whereas NFL owners in 1980 were spending on average 40% of the team’s budget on player salaries, NASL owners were averaging over 70% of their budget.

     

     

    As such in 1985, the NASL suspended operations for the upcoming season, when only the Minnesota Strikers and Toronto Blizzard were interested in playing.

     

     

    The latter incidentally featured a variety of Scottish players including one of the most despised among Celtic supporters, the thug who ruined Brian McLaughlin I career.

     

     

    Ironically he would be replaced as Tim Public Enemy No. 1 11 years later by the failed New York Bulls coach.

     

     

    So instead of operating as an association of independently owned teams, MLS is a single entity in which each team is owned and controlled by the league’s investors.

     

     

    The investor-operators control their teams as owners control teams in other leagues, and are commonly, but inaccurately, referred to as the team’s owners.

     

     

    MLS salaries are limited by a salary cap, which has been in place since the league’s inception in 1996.

     

     

    The purpose of the salary cap is to prevent the team’s owners from unsustainable spending on player salaries and to prevent a competitive imbalance among teams.

     

     

    When an MLS club sells one of its players overseas, the club and the league split the transfer revenues, with the club retaining from 33% to 75% depending on the player’s status and tenure.

     

     

    So it is NOT the Timbers that decide DN’s trade to us but the MLS as was the case when we tried to sign Torontonian Dwayne Anthony De Rosario.

  23. Don’t worry about Mclean on Saturday, I am sure McCann will have his rulebook to hand to ensure fair play.

  24. Stunning support for our Mary’s Meals raffle. £1046 raised in the space of a day.

     

     

    Money is already with Mary’s Meals and will be allocated to the Sean Devereux Primary School within a week.

     

     

    Sincere thanks to all who helped.

     

     

    Winner not informed yet but I’m able to hand deliver the tickets, so will knock on his door either this afternoon or tomorrow. Safer that taking a risk with the post.

     

     

    Looking forward to it.

  25. The Scottish transfer window runs from 1st January until 1st February.

     

     

    Why should we be told about the status of a transfer negotiation on the 28th December when a) the window is not yet open and b) it has over a month to run for deals to be resurrrected.

     

     

    If our negotiators, whether they be Brendan or Peter or Brendan & Peter agreeing together, tell us their parameters, sticking points, dealbreakers and upper & lower limits, who benefits?

     

     

    Those that believe in Brendan or Peter or Peter/Brendan will accept the explanation and say “they know better” and move on after hearing an explanation.

     

     

    Those that do not believe will just be waiting to dispute what they are told and tell the person informing them that they are wrong and should have acted differently.

     

     

    Either way, if they are told, then so have the Portland Timbers been told. So have the MLS. So has Darlington’s agent and so has every other potential rival bidder. Information of this nature is valuable and you do not reveal your poker strategy. All that would happen is that the opposition would know better how to play you and half your own supporters will disbelieve you and the other half will, with the benefit of their vast experience of transfer negotiations, just criticise your technique and urge you to act differently. Telling the truth is a lose:lose scenario here.

     

     

    Where did this sense of entitlement to be told the details of transfer negotiations come from? Did Mr. Stein or Mr. McNeill ever give us a step by step bulletin on a transfer negotiation? Did they tell us of every failed transfer negotiation? and if it did slip into the papers that we walked away from a deal to get a player, how would we respond?

     

     

    Would it be :-

     

     

    A) Well Done Celtic. The player was obviously not worth that expense and you were right to walk away.

     

     

    B) Just Pay it Celtic! It’s the going rate! Stop being cheapskates! The only way we are going to be a big vlub like those EPL fellas is if we start paying transfer fees and wages like they do. Then we’ll win the European Cup and make enough money so the speculation pays for itself, even if we re still stuck playing 95% of our football in Scotland.

     

     

    C) I bet Brendan wanted him and it was just that Peter Lawwell who stopped it because there’s no bung in it for him. (usually from the same people who told us PL had been sidelined)

     

     

    D) I bet Peter Lawwell had it all under control and it is just that wobbling vacillator, Brendan Rodgers, that lost us this deal. (ok that might be a minority view but I bet there’s at least, one supporter, who would adopt that default mantra.

     

     

    The story of the lost deal was published in The Scottish Sun, an outlet to which we do not give house room as a believable source. Except when it suits us to do so, it seems.

     

     

    Now, openness and fan involvement are good things. I am not in the business of criticising uncriticisable things like Mom’s Apple Pie and the American flag BUT…..

     

     

    Why do I need to know the details of ongoing transfer negotiations or the reasons why a deal broke down, if it indeed has? Why do you need to know? Who benefits and who loses out of such transparency?

     

     

    I would like my club to have the advantage in transfer negotiations of keeping their cards close to their chest. I don’t want them to have to play with their cards face up, against opponents who are not being held to the same rules.

     

     

    So, on balance, much as I’d love to know, I have to accept that it is not in the interests of the club that I support to tell me….

     

     

     

    Or you

     

     

     

    Especially you :-)

  26. Moravcic- i read your namesake and Henrik will be in charge of teams for a Lisbon Charity Match…

  27. Turkeybhoy

     

    ” Going by your post,you dont have any “Real information”,yet you have posted what I would hope you think is a “Meaningful comment”. ”

     

    I was thinking the very same as I posted ! The `Real Information ` I had was that Tontime Tim had posted on the matter and, from memory, felt that his post shed some light on the matter.

     

    I see the bold TT has reposted ( thanks, TT ) so have a read and see what you think.

     

    All the best,

     

     

    JJ

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