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Four games stand between Celtic and more history

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‘The magic of the Cup’ was perhaps missing as Celtic eased Brechin City out of the competition on Saturday but the occasion provided Brendan Rodgers with the perfect opportunity to exercise limbs in competitive action for the first time in three weeks.

Four games now stand between Celtic and a second consecutive treble, at least one of which will be at home (to Partick Thistle), with two at neutral Hampden, should we get there. Celtic have won six on the bounce at Hampden since Tom Rogic’s penalty missed the target in the Scottish Cup semi-final of 2016. Whatever mental block we had at the place before Brendan arrived, it is well and truly sorted now.

More about Thistle tomorrow. They may be second bottom of the league but there are reasons to believe tomorrow’s game at Firhill will not be straightforward.

It occurs to me that you and I have talked about making history so often in recently.  These truly are incredible times.

I see Chris McCart has been busy with plans for a ‘colts’ team to enter the bottom tier of Scottish football.  Not sure how this would workout but I just hope the hoards of conservatives (small c) in our game don’t block an innovative change without just cause.

NEW CQN PODCAST OUT TONIGHT WITH THE ORIGINAL HOLY GOALIE, JOHN FALLON

A Celtic State of Mind presents its 31st instalment of insightful discussion around the culture of Celtic Football Club, the city of Glasgow, and fans of the reigning treble-winning Scottish champions.

Paul John Dykes and Kevin Graham are joined by Lisbon Lion, John Fallon, at The Penalty Spot in Glasgow.

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The interview took place as part of A Celtic State of Mind’s first live event – Five-a-sides at The Penalty Spot – and, as such, there is some background noise (including mobile interference – apologies) from the audience.

John – The Original Holy Goalie – discusses pay disputes, bonus rows, cigarettes & alcohol at Seamill, breaking up The Lisbon Lions and The Quality Street Gang, the battle of Montevideo, his volatile relationship with Jock Stein, and he finally tells the full story behind his European Cup winners’ medal.

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The CQN Podcast has gone from strength-to-strength over the last few months, and there are many more guests lined up in the months ahead from the world of sport, music, film, art, broadcasting, literature and politics.

Our first two editions of 2018 have attracted huge audiences for the interviews with former Celtic Director Tom Grant them politician and life long Celtic supporter Tommy Sheridan, who likes a rant!

Talking about rants, we hand over to the Original Holy Goalie, when it comes to matters concerning Celtic, he has an opinion on everything. Legend!

Connect with A Celtic State of Mind @PaulDykes, @anorthernprose and @CQNMagazine and subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or through your podcast player.

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  1. Hail! Hail!

     

     

    Anyone know why the last few articles on Phil’s website have been pulled ( or is it just an admin error ? )

  2. Celtic Reserves should be a great addition to the SPFL pyramid.

     

     

    Works well in Portugal – a league not dissimilar to our own.

  3. Paul67

     

    I thought Sevco had withdrawn from the reserve / development set up so they could test themselves against europe’s best :)

  4. 4 games between us and another treble? That’s a rather bold assumption you’re making Paul . There are some potentially difficult league matches to negotiate yet, and whilst I believe we will win the league, I’d prefer to retain a sense of caution until we see the remainder of Jan and the whole of February out before assuming the league is won.

  5. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    PAUL67

     

     

    I think it spelled hordes.

     

     

    Hoards is for our biscuit tin.

  6. twists n turns on 22nd January 2018 12:31 pm

     

    Seconded :))))))))))

     

    Hope this finds you well sir.

  7. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    NATKNOW 1144

     

     

    Phil called her out on it,as did Dan McGinty in Irish Voice.

     

     

    For all that she has a First-Class Masters,and a job as an MP,she still has a lot to learn.

     

     

    She’s no loss to The Diplomatic Corps,for sure.

     

     

    And the more that a highly intelligent person like her comes out with prepared comments like that,the more I think she knows what she is doing.

     

     

    Which is pretty ugly.

  8. Gene

     

    Yeah that’s an added note of caution.

     

     

    Lefty:

     

    I’m good bud, hope you and yours are well. I’m still counting down to retirement but the days seem to be getting longer!

     

    5 months to go….. tick tock

  9. Whilst I’m pretty confident we will win the league, its not a foregone conclusion, performance levels need to be stepped up a few gears to ensure that we retain the league hopefully with a bit of style.

     

     

    Transfer window so far has been underwhelming to say the least, we need one or quality players in to lift the squad, get it done Celtic!

  10. Colts teams are a good idea but shouldn’t be limited to us and them. I realise this proposal is only a trial but if I was Hearts or Aberdeen for example I would be asking why a team who has withdrawn their team from the development league are being allowed into League 2 ahead of teams who participate and support the current structure.

  11. *FROM FAC*

     

     

    As Scottish football goes in to brief status of hiatus in the early weeks of January, fans tend to fill the gap of the winter break by discussing transfer gossip, possible singings, the dissapointment which would accompany losing their star player to the vultures circling down south, and how their squad is likely to shape up for the second half of the season. This year however another talking point for fans has once again reared its head.

     

     

    I suspect that the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 (OBA) needs no introduction. Most fans know of its existence, plenty will have heard the arguments for and against it and too many have felt its impact having been harassed and villianised whilst attending football matches, or perhaps even arrested and charged under it. Having been first introduced in 2011 and subsequently enacted in 2012, it thankfully appears that 2018 may be its last hurrah, the year in which it is removed from the statute books and consigned to history as a warning tale for future governments about the dangers of arrogantly imposing legislation against the advice of experts and against the will of the communities set to be affected by it.

     

     

    Fans Against Criminalisation (FAC) have challenged this legislation from the outset, and the support we have received from the wider Celtic fanbase has been incredible. Thousands have answered our calls at varying points over the years, by attending demonstrations in George Square, by taking part in online campaigns and by donating generously to help those facing monumental legal costs and the prospect of losing their employment as a result of being charged under this dangerously illiberal piece of legislation. We would now like to ask fans to join us in making the final push over the next few months to hopefully ensure that time is now called on the hated OBA.

     

     

    When FAC was initially formed 7 years ago to oppose the introduction of this new SNP-sponsored Bill, we were made up of the 5 main Celtic fan organisations; Celtic Supporters Asssociation, Affiliation of Registered Celtic Supporters Clubs, The Celtic Trust, Association of Irish Celtic Supporters Clubs and the Green Brigade. In spite of this however we never intended for this campaign to be exclusive to those of a green and white persuasion. We understood that this legislation would spell trouble for all football fans in Scotland.

     

     

    It did remain clear though that the Celtic support had even more to fear than most, the SNP’s Christine Grahame was kind enough to spell it out for us in a parliamentary committee meeting; the arrest figures between Celtic fans and Rangers fans were to be evened up. If fans of other clubs were to face arrest and charge for loudly proclaiming their desire to wade knee-deep in our blood, we too would now face arrest and charge for offending people such as these by merely expressing the aspects of our social, political and cultural identity which still provoke both hatred and contempt in modern-day Scotland.

     

     

    Even the SNP’s self-styled socialist firebrand Mhairi Black recently denigrated the Irish diaspora in Scotland by referring to people who identify with this community as ‘’plastic Irishmen’’. If such an offensive term was barbed towards any other immigrant group in Scotland there would have been an outcry. However the contempt that Black and elements within her party have for the Irish in Scotland is unmistakeable, which is why legislation criminalising expressions of Irish identity has been passed without pause for concern.

     

     

    The reality is that Celtic fans have now bore the brunt of this. Before the legislation was even enacted the culture of policing fans was changing as the Bill was passing through Parliament, with one young Celtic fan who had never been in a day’s bother in his life, remanded in custody for a minor football related offence until his trial date months away, meaning that he was due to spend his 18th birthday and Christmas in Polmont Prison. Only political intervention prevented this from happening. When the Act was enacted in 2012, the situation became markedly worse again.

     

     

    One Celtic fan was arrested at Glasgow Aiport in front of his panic-stricken family, only for his case to be dropped within weeks. Another fan was arrested for holding a banner which depicted a zombie. There have been instances of Celtic fans being charged, facing prolonged court battles, placing their financial security, relationships and employment at risk only to be found not guilty. The same people have then been charged again, put through the same process which drags on for much longer than a normal trial, with the concomitant damage now heightened, actually resulting in dismissals and breakdowns in relationships, only to then get another not guilty verdict.

     

     

    In one instance, 7 Celtic fans were arrested for singing the Roll of Honour, a song which lauds the bravery of the ten Irish hungerstrikers who starved themselves to death in 1981 rather than accept their criminalisation. People such as Tony Blair, Tony Benn and Nelson Mandela have equally commended their bravery, yet to do so in Scotland is now potentially a criminal offence. For these 7 fans, the court case dragged on for over 2 years, reaching nearly 20 appearances at court. The legal costs were monumental, the damage done to each of their lives appalling. They were subsequently given an Absolute Discharge. The entire thing was a scandalous waste of time and energy.

     

     

    The Celtic support has suffered a sustained attack at the hands of the Scottish Government and Police Scotland. Almost all fans who follow Celtic away from home will have some tale to tell of police harassment over the last 6 years. The experience of following our club across the country has changed dramatically. Orwellian levels of surveillance are now routine. The police give soundbites about only filming during what they perceive to be offensive songs, only to have cameras trained on our fans for almost 90 minutes straight. Supporters buses are being stopped and searched for a few cans on journeys to places like Dundee and Aberdeen with greater frequency than ever before. Fans are consistently being charged for singing songs which serve as mere expressions of our political and cultural heritage.

     

     

    But we have endured. As a support we have remained as defiant as ever. The croppies have not lay down. And now we stand on the cusp of a monumental victory. MSP and Celtic fan James Kelly’s Bill for the repeal of the OBA is currently passing through the Scottish Parliament.

     

     

    Having taken the time to thoroughly gather all the required evidence and scrutinise the principles of the Bill, the Justice Committee by majority has voted to support the repeal. The Stage One vote will now take place on Thursday the 25th of January. If we win this, we will hopefully be just a few months away from the final vote and repeal. If repealed, this will be the first time in history that the Scottish Parliament has repealed legislation that it itself has enacted. If repealed, the Celtic support willl have endured this onslaught and still come out on top. If repealed, the rebels will have won.

     

     

    But we need to win this vote on the 25th first. To help us do that and to play your part, please take 30 seconds out of your day to click the following link and take part in the FAC email campaign to urge your representatives to vote for repeal.

     

     

    https://www.celtictrust.net/index.php?func=d_home_msps

     

     

    If anyone needs a bit more convincing, you can watch the FAC short film here on the OBA.

     

     

    https://vimeo.com/246226582

     

     

    And fingers crossed that should we win this first vote, we will be announcing more plans shortly to help ensure that the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act does not live to see 2019.

  12. ESTORILBHOY on 22ND JANUARY 2018 12:21 PM

     

     

    Hail! Hail!

     

     

    Anyone know why the last few articles on Phil’s website have been pulled ( or is it just an admin error ? )

     

    ———————————–

     

     

    I noticed that too – the articles were there last night.

  13. BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on 22ND JANUARY 2018 12:37 PM

     

     

    NATKNOW 1144

     

     

    Phil called her out on it,as did Dan McGinty in Irish Voice.

     

     

    For all that she has a First-Class Masters,and a job as an MP,she still has a lot to learn.

     

     

    She’s no loss to The Diplomatic Corps,for sure.

     

     

    And the more that a highly intelligent person like her comes out with prepared comments like that,the more I think she knows what she is doing.

     

     

    Which is pretty ugly.

     

    ——————————————————————————————-

     

     

    Agree mate.

     

     

    Who do you think she means when she refers to people as “plastic Irishmen”??

     

     

    I think she should explain.

  14. Anyone ask what Levein meant by saying Hearts had restored the natural order after beating Hibs? He must be asked to explain this by the SFA who run that competition, it sounds to me like we are the people.

  15. Yes some tough games coming up in the League, the next half dozen will determine how easy or tricky the run in will be. It will come down to how prolific we are in front of goal, if we show hunger and desire to get the ball forward quickly and commit players into the box the goals should come. At least one addition of genuine quality in the forward area will help along with the return of Roberts in a few weeks time. We should be looking to get the goals per game average up over 2.5.

  16. Dessybhoy- that’s what i took from Levein’ s comment.I thought he was a reasonable guy, his appeal on Laffatme’s red card v Sheep, and subsequent comments, have changed my opinion of him.

  17. If it were deemed a good idea for our Colts (or anyone’s Colts) to enter the pyramid then they would surely have to apply to start in the Lowland / Highland leagues and work their way up from there. Going straight into League 2 simply makes EKFCs chances of eventually qualifying for the Champions League even more difficult!

  18. NATKNOW on 22ND JANUARY 2018 12:50 PM

     

     

    Why should she have to explain? She’s a young pretty raw working class women who says what she feels and the occasional daft phrase spills out – so what and we’ve all been there, haven’t we? I may not agree with everything that trips out of her mouth but at least she not another identikit politician. For what it’s worth, I remember when Irish themed pubs were opening at the rate of knots in the late nineties, they were often referred to as Plastic Paddy pubs mainly by people I knew who were either Irish born or by heritage. Quite frankly, there are bigger things happening in the world of politics to get your knickers twisted over ffs.

  19. Some now a tad worried about us winning the league.

     

     

    Dear me.Dont know wether to laugh or greet.

     

    Nah,just have a drink.

  20. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    ROBINBHOY

     

     

    Black is lacking the mouth in fast forward brain in rewind facility that we all aspire to.

     

     

    Difference is,we mouth off and regret it spontaneously,natural reaction to a contentious comment.

     

     

    She made a conscious decision to print that.

     

     

    I’m only surprised that she referred to plastic Irishmen,and not plastic Paddies.

     

     

    But you know as well as I do,and she does,what she meant.

  21. !!BADA BING!! on 22ND JANUARY 2018 1:13 PM

     

    M O’ Neill tells SFA to GTF…

     

     

    TIme for the Club doctor to make sure he has plenty of medical certificates to dish when our players are called up for stupid internationals, especially those at the end of this season.

  22. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    HAMILTONTIM

     

     

    That’s one very powerful post,mate. Send me details on how to join The Celtic Trust,please.

     

     

    Feel free to post the details on here instead should you feel so inclined.

     

     

    HH

  23. ​​​​​Moonbeams, All the best for your Dad. Prayers said.

     

     

     

    Thanks Auldheid and others for the thoughtful posts on the topic of Forgiveness.

     

     

    I enjoyed reading the paper you posted yesterday.

     

     

     

    ‘Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.’

     

     

     

    Essentially, I believe to deny forgiveness or put conditions on forgiveness is really counterproductive. As we become more aware, it becomes clear that the denial of forgiveness,however difficult, ultimately means that the wrongdoing of the other continues to cause us harm.

     

     

    Forgiveness doesn’t mean liking someone or letting them do whatever they like. It’s essentially a means of letting go of the hurt that they caused. That pain is corrosive and will affect all of my personal and professional life, if I don’t find a way to let go. It will make me bitter and ultimately make me spiritually, emotionally and physical sick.

     

     

    Additionally as the Lord’s Prayer states the individual does not experience the full benefit of God’s loving forgiveness until he/she forgives the trespasses of others.

     

     

    A practical way to a healthy life really.

     

     

    It’s about Unconditional Love for me. Love is a ‘State of Being’. We we are usually ‘blinded’ by the defects of the ego. As these defects and conditions ‘disintegrate’ through a process self awareness and loving forgiveness the individual begins to become ‘fully alive.’

     

     

    Those defects had combined to create an illusion, the individual was never Present and became progressively more isolated. They existed in a dream like state, crippled and angered by regrets/resentments, dominated by projected fears for the future. This person had very little grasp of the opportunities and wonder of life.

     

     

    As we become aware and begin to ’empty out’ our defects it becomes apparent that God’s love for us was always unconditional. He/she always forgave us. Like most parent/child relationships, where a parent would forgive almost anything of the child. The kind of unconditional love that a parent has for a child in it’s very first moments of life. No conditions, just an absolute love for that child’s being. Just a heartfelt desire to make the child aware that they are completely loved and safe.

     

     

    Given the current situation in Scottish Football where there appears to be no satisfactory administrative oversight and where wrongdoing is both historic and current,thoughts of forgiveness are demanding. It’s meant to be demanding of me. It’s part of my journey. The pain of the ongoing situation is really like a wake up call. The call is really an opportunity to evolve away from a harmful self centred divisive cycle.

     

     

    As St Paul says ‘Love delights in the Truth.’ My challenge is sometimes to evolve beyond the constraints of a very limited egotistical life and accept the changes that life is offering. The pain for me is really in the resistance to those changes or my obsessions that I can change other people, or that I am in control of things. That isn’t my purpose.

     

     

    My purpose is to become honest with myself and by doing so I evolve towards an experience of unconditional love.I become aware that the harmful regrets and resentments were always a waste of time. I come to appreciate that I was always loved unconditionally but I just couldn’t see it. I then develop the capacity to reflect that love unconditionally upon others.

     

     

    It also becomes clear that the obsession with cheating and anxieties and stresses related to that are really a huge burden on those involved in the cheating. As insight develops the penny drops that the cheating is really pointless and ultimately causes huge personal pain and cost to everyone involved,at Sevco and elsewhere. I forgive them and leave them with the burden. I am free of the corrosive effects of the toxin.

     

     

    I don’t carry it.

     

     

    If that is contrary to a divisive, greedy, dishonest mantra then perhaps there is a more profound message in Resolution 12 than was initially anticipated.

     

     

    In effect,in the absence of clarity from the Plc Board I move away from a toxic, harmful activity and I experience much more of the beauty that life has to offer. What other Celtic Supporters decide to do is their own business, wherever we are ‘on the one road’ is valid.

     

     

     

     

    HH

  24. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    M6BHOY

     

     

    I don’t get this. You won’t go to see your team because they lied down to the Masonic anti-Irish establishment in Scotland.

     

     

    Yet you defend Black’s comments?

     

     

    One thing for sure,no matter what you think of our executive,they’ve never called us plastic paddies.

  25. Hi Paul67,

     

     

    As you are no doubt aware, as you keep reminding us, the route to the Finals of Cup Competitions are laced with potential “banana skin” ties.

     

     

    Has your confidence in BR grown so much that our invincibility in these fixtures are all but guaranteed?)

     

     

    If we are going to do back to back trebles, we will have to improve on last months performances.

     

     

    On the Colt Teams. I think this is a good idea although for the life of me I can’t see how the Colt Teams will be selected.

     

     

    It’s Scottish Football, once again, throwing away any semblance of meritocracy to allow an “old firm” initiative. So wrong.

     

     

    If development teams from two SPL Clubs are to be invited then the invite should come on a competitive bases…

     

     

    The first and second best Clubs in the SPL

     

     

    Or

     

     

    The first and second Clubs in the SPFL Development League

     

     

    Or

     

     

    The first and second Clubs who have the best track record of supporting youth development.

     

     

    Or

     

     

    So and so forth….

     

     

    Not the perceived “old firm” Clubs.

     

     

    Saddened to see Celtic, who have been part in so many National and International Development initiatives recently, going along with this tawdry “old firm” plan.

     

     

    Hail Hail

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