Getting your edge. Re-writing Newco history


I didn’t realise until watching TV last night it was Keith Lasley that Anthony Stokes ‘did’ on Saturday, the player who put Adam Matthews out of the game for a couple of months.  It’s a physical game, and I’m not going to concede violent behaviour is acceptable, but it would be super-human to not be affected by earlier violence.  We need to rise above this.

On a similar theme….  Another incident I missed at the game was James McFadden wresting Fraser Forster, who was holding the ball, early in the second half.  Minutes later Fraser threw himself to deny McFadden what looked like a certain goal.

Players need an edge to be able to summon their very best performances, and a wee nyaff climbing all over you is as likely to give you an edge as anything.  McFadden has a few years left in him.  He’s at a well-run club who will give him the platform to excel, if he can find the focus to deliver.

I see some re-writing of history today and over the weekend on where responsibility for Newco Rangers acute financial plight lies.  Among throwing blame on convenient scapegoats, one-time-hero-though-transparent-chancer Charles Green, and financial director, Brian Stockbridge, few seem prepared to offer up the prized oaf.

They banked £22m from a share issue and cash from circa 30,000 ticket sales, enough to see them through to top flight football, as long as they didn’t blow it on football bling.  So who was responsible for doing exactly that (if you can stretch the definition of bling to Jon Daly and even lesser appealing gems)?

Sure, Stockbridge and Mather signed off, and they certainly knew the financial situation the club was in, but we know enough of the story to explain why it happened.

Despite having a budget close to 100 times their opponents Newco suffered considerable humiliation at the hands of fourth-tier clubs last season.  Without reinforcements their chances of progress from the third tier was far from guaranteed – if they continued to allow Ally McCoist to run football operations.

McCoist was unsackable.  He played the fans perfectly, earning a ridiculous contract and shares a 1p each for his ability to put bums on seats.  Mather had to throw enough talent into the squad to ensure promotion with McCoist in charge, then rely on Charles Green to pull together another share issue.

The question you have to ask is, once McCoist had his reinforcements, who torpedoed the Charles Green supply ship?

No one is going to tell you Charles Green is a man you would want associated with your club, but before mob-rule ensured his attempts to raise investment cash were quashed, should someone not have asked the questions, why did the board find it necessary to bring such a pariah back and what happens if we throw him and his investment plans out?

We’re about to find out.

If suggestions that Newco will come close to expiring cash in hand before season ticket income arrives are accurate I expect they will get there, even if players don’t agree to a wage cut.  Companies can control when to pay creditors, even HMRC, who despite what is likely to be an acute interest in Newco, would take months to complete a debt recovery action.

Don’t get too drawn in the minutia of this, whether an insolvency event happens or not does not change the fundamentals, which we touched on last week.  Newco had a gamblers chance of turning into something resembling Oldco.

Spooking the SPL into giving them a ticket into top flight football would have seen them debt free and competing for last season’s SPL.  Three years of paying our bills while losing the league would have been pointless.  I genuinely think only one of Glasgow’s big teams was ever going to survive the SPL decision on Newco.

Had they liquidated Oldco, then flooded Newco with talent and won the league, Celtic would not have recovered, a reality that should be remembered when journalists talk about Scottish football harming itself in 2012.  It was them or us.
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  1. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy on

    It has been my long held view that it is only acceptable for a Celtic player to get a red card if an opponent follows him off the pitch on a stretcher ………… having merited the attentions of the Celtic player in question.

  2. pabloh_AKA_NEIL LENNON on

    John O’Neil/traditionalist88



    Personally I’m delighted he’s signed for an English club (obviously I’d like to see him back at parkhead one day). I will enjoy seeing him play more often, and think he’ll do a great job at Everton. May take him a while to become a regular seeing as they’re doing so well. Exciting player to watch at his best.



    Hail hail

  3. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    BMCUW 13.48


    Will you still be saying that if Lasley (or one of his team-mates) puts one of our boys out of the game for six months next time we play them?

  4. traditionalist88 on

    pabloh_AKA_NEIL LENNON



    Agreed, expect Aiden back in the hoops one day- it’d be great if guys like McGeady, McCarthy and Snodgrass could honour their contracts before coming up the road for nothing:) Lure of playing for the Hoops and Champions league football, who knows:) Snodgrass contract up in 18 months apparently…




  5. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon, supporting WEE OSCAR..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    The new Celtic Bus, under construction at the moment……to be ready for 2025, when sevco eventually gain promotin to the SPFL……plan B is to loan it to the ipox Demolition Company…..that way, it will be money well spent ….hahahahahahaha




  6. Hi Traditionalist. Perhaps we just interpreted it in different ways. I remain a fan of his and wish him well at Everton. He needs to fulfill his early potential.


    Anyway, my main purpose for writing tonight was to hear from the Bulgarian poster who visited Leningrad. Burgasbhoy, is it you? I was intrigued by your comment that you know a namesake of mine in St P. I wonder if he would like to meet me in St P.





    Aye,true back in the day of Bertie Auld and Davie Hay.



    Not now.



    A tackle worthy of those fine fellows would see us losing a player for three months.



    Defo not worth that.

  8. pabloh_AKA_NEIL LENNON on




    I have been impressed with Snodgrass in recent seasons, seems pacey & powerful. It’s all about the money though isn’t it.



    McCarthy, as I’m sure many have said on here before, shouldn’t have slipped through our fingers.



    Hoping the new Norwegian midfielder is a success. I’m much less worried when we sign defenders & midfielders. If only we employed someone that could pick out a good striker…



    Hail hail





    Definitely yes,mate.



    We do not send our players out onto the park to be kicked to f…



    They are experienced players,they know how to give it back,and IMO they should.



    I will applaud them for that.

  10. I love how so many of the hordes talk about just needing enough cash to keep going until the European money starts rolling in.

  11. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy on

    bobby murdoch’s curled-up winklepickers ………fc not plc





    Ah Bertie and Davie Hay. Now those were the days. :-)) compared to those guys Lasley is a Subbuteo hard man.

  12. traditionalist88 on

    pabloh_AKA_NEIL LENNON



    Reading between the lines of Snodgrass latest comments about how he lives seconds from Parkhead when he’s up in Glasgow and followed us when he was younger, I think he’d be up for a switch at the end of his current contract, if not earlier.



    The McCarthy one was always going to come back to haunt us alright. The scouts are out far and wide, which is great, but missing out on the really good ones on our own doorstep, when they would have taken little or no persuading to sign, is extremely frustrating.




  13. I am not a believer in a Celtic player kicking an opponent and do think that Stokes merited his red card on Saturday. But I am more than happy that Lasley was on the end of his kick, as not only has he put Adam Mathews out of action, he was dishing it on Saturday without any talking to even from that apology of a ref. Oh for a wee Bertie or Davie Hay to protect our footballers.





    Good to see you posting again,bud.



    I agree with you that our record up-front is shocking.



    How do we deal with that at a time when a decent striker is worth his weight,plus his wife and kids,in gold?



    Much as I really really hate to say it,we can only ever get the scraps from the table here. Cast-offs,scouted by bigger teams and found wanting.



    Even a middle-grounder/mineshafter such as myself appreciates the problem in this regard.



    We simply are not attractive to the players we need. Short on the name in the game,CL chances,attraction to sponsors,oh,and wages.



    We got left behind about twelve years ago when we were consistently cheated to allow “bigger” teams to win. Sadly,we missed the reasons why that was happening.

  15. big nan



    13:34 on 20 January, 2014


    jungle jim



    11:31 on 20 January, 2014


    Big Nan


    The But and Ben at Auchmithie is still a wonderful little reataurant.




    Must get back up soon, and it is well named, as that is exactly what it was.



    Rye catcher, I drank often in The Masonic Arms in Inverkeithing back in the day when that title was apt. It is now a hotbed of Fenians and the former patrons must be livid when they pass by and hear the music that is played now.




    A fine establishment which now goes by the surname of the proprietor, must really get it right up them.


    Once overheard a conversation in the local bakery where 2 guys were talking about proposed plan to burn it doon as it wasn’t in keeping with the area, or words to that effect, needless to say it’s still standing.


    Strangely enough last time I visited the fine establishment there was an awful looking woman in Sevco top sitting at the bar, poor soul must have missed the change in ownership.




  16. embramike supporting wee Oscar and Res 12 on

    Bsr – where to beguine ??? Cappuccino everywhere or at least something that looked like it!!

  17. Divitbhoy, I knew most of the Tims from Inverkeithing, as I had been at school with them and would go to the games with them on occassion.



    Mike McQuade, Brian Coll, Charlie Gallagher, Gerry “Tookie” Coyle, Johnny Auld, etc.



    A lot of my friends in Inverkeithing were Tar Babies and at that time 60s 70s drank in Conner’s pub, The Volunteers. Quite a place.



    Inverkeithing always had a strong Irish flavour because the Irish navvies who built the dockyard had stayed at Jamestown and many stayed on.

  18. Ah Big Nan, I meant to write to you on CQN some time ago in relation to John Kennedy Toole. Is is right to say that you adore ‘Confederancy of dunces’? I am sure that I heard you saying that on Desert Island Tims. Well now is my chance to say how delighted I was to hear you namecheck that masterpiece. It really is one of the funniest and poignant books one can read. Keep up the good work regarding the masons. Hail hail.

  19. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy


    14:19 on


    20 January, 2014


    It has been my long held view that it is only acceptable for a Celtic player to get a red card if an opponent follows him off the pitch on a stretcher ………… having merited the attentions of the Celtic player in question.



    Here Here!

  20. pabloh_AKA_NEIL LENNON on

    Bobby Murdoch’s..



    Yes, haven’t been on CQN much recently, still been reading the articles mind you. Need to get back into it!



    With us buying players, there’s a fine line between having a team good enough to do well domestically and being good enough to qualify for the champions league. It’s sad to say, but just qualifying for the group stage is a good achievement for us just now.



    I know we are a big club but for us to buy players capable of shining at CL level is hard. As you say, transfer fees and wages are limited before you even try to attract players to play in Scotland. I must say, we are doing well defensively and in midfield but at the moment we are struggling to sign players that make a real impact in attacking areas at the top level.



    What a find Van Dijk is, we will do well to keep a hold of him. He strolls through games, like top central defenders do.



    Hail hail





    I’ve saved that book title thanks to you and BIG NAN.



    Read about it on WKIPEDIA aye I know and am wondering why I have missed it till now!






    Btw,I’ll try to get BURGAS HOOPS details and pass them on.

  22. Paul67



    “SFTB, I don’t see how option 2 would have come about. Giving a history-less Newco access to the top flight was never proposed by the SPL and was never asked for by Sevco. No one wanted it and there was no mechanism to make it happen.



    ‘No to Newco’, don’t change the rules, was the campaign. Not ‘No to Newco unless they agree to the following’





    I see eddieinkirkmichael has raised some of the questions I would have asked here but I was late in getting back to you.



    I was, at least, one Celtic fan who wanted part of this solution (the new history part; after that the division they were placed in is of little interest to me) and I do not feel I was alone as Auldheid has indicated.



    Your explanation comes close to saying that, because it was not proposed, it was not possible.



    Now, the precedents seem to keep changing so determining what was possible is a difficult exercise. Given that we now have an “unreal” solution involving clumpanies, I cannot see anything unfeasible about my outcome. Unwanted by Rangers, sure, but unwanted by nobody,I am less sure of that and would happily have put my contention to a vote by fellow football fans in Scotland, the paying public.



    Precedents change. Back in the day, Third Lanark went bust and disappeared because no one could save them. But then the gentleman’s club of SPL was formed and Airdrieonians went bust. To this day, no one has officially had Airdrieonians history transferred to them. But Airdrie United did have Clydebank’s share transferred to them and that gave wiggle room for the Rangers/Sevco solution. Curiously, however, Gretna were not offered a similar option and had to set up as a new club without history in The East of Scotland League. I am fairly sure that the start up and running costs of an East of Scotland and a Div. 3 outfit cannot be too far apart, since many of them keep bidding to join, but Gretna were never offered a Div.3 solution, with or without any history.



    So when Rangers went bust, those existing rules for the Airdrie United or Gretna solutions could have been applied. Since there was no other convenient “totally dead” club whose share could be offered to them (though Michael Johnston might have sold Kilmarnock’s share and some Third Division club owner might have wanted out if Killie was too dear an option For Charlie Green), then the Gretna solution could have applied. In effect, that would have been a tier level one below what eventually came about, hardly a world of difference to the way this eventually played



    But this novel idea, concocted in a secret agreement to which no member club of the SFA bar Rangers and Sevco are privy, was dreamed up out of thin air and was quite palpably both a Plan B and a commercial law nonsense.



    It was Plan B because the terms of the 5 way agreement have been leaked and the original proposal investigated was a “title stripping whilst remaining in the top flight” option. The likes of Regan and Doncaster were too new to Scotland and too wary of celtic to have dreamed that option up without a tacit nod (deniable if found out) from either PL or DD. In return for a transfer of share (agreed), the SFA, SFL and SPL negotiated a tentative agreement to explore title stripping (not fully signed off by the Sevco side, therefore, of little value). Once Charles Green had his transfer of share, I doubt that any past titles would have been surrendered quietly. However, when the Tax case verdicts and the LNS verdicts came through, they were further emboldened in this regard because the SFA, SPL and SFL could not deliver their part of the bargain, top flight membership.



    Now, this may be where the unseen fenian hand operated, albeit in the unlikely fenian shape of Stephen Thompson. Celtic must have had wind of plan A and decided that,after all, they did not like it, preferring the option of evicting them from the top flight and let them take a Gretna chance, But the flaw I see in that being at all convincing is that, once they are outwith an SPL vote they are outwith Celtic’s sphere of influence. A placement starting in the First Division was a possibility that Celtic, Stephen Thompson or any other SPL chairman could not influence. Indeed with Jim Ballantyne leading the charge, a strong effort would have been made to try to obtain that end. That it did not work, seems to be down to the Credit of the likes of Turnbull Hutton and, bizarrely, Stranraer FC, but certainly was not of Celtic’s doing and was a risk they seemed prepared to face i.e. Rangers back in a year.



    So let us examine why no one, apart from a lot of Scottish football fans I would contend, wanted the new club outcome. It seems to me that it was both the fair and legal outcome of an application of the rules. After all Gretna are a new club, Third Lanark eventually became a new club and while Airdrie United broke that rule, they are not a continuation of Airdrie United so why could the existing SPL not have met and proposed a new club operating out of Ibrox be invited into the SPL, a gentleman’s club, after all, that can make its own rules up, provided enough member clubs vote that way? Do you not think that cash strapped clubs like Hearts, St. Mirren etc; would have wanted to keep the Rangers fan base on those terms? We could have had fair and existing rules applied, a preservation of the time-tested moral hazard that profligate spending means liquidation and death, and the remains of the Rangers crowd willing to transfer their allegiance to a new club, officially without history but playing in the same strips out of the same ground.



    That it did not happen tells me two things. Firstly, that there was panic and a belief in the Armageddon scare story. Chairmen and legislators must have been convinced that significant numbers of former rangers fans would have walked away and never came back to support Scottish football. Well, bizarrely, I have more faith that a significant number, a lot more than 50% of them, would have transferred their support in a GIRUY manner to other clubs. Rangers fans, for all their faults, are quite similar to us in having the football bug and preferring that pastime to other options. How many genuine football fans do walk away from their club? I think history is showing that the Armageddon fear was exaggerated.



    Secondly, you hint that it was naked self-interest that led Celtic to believe that the “continuing but demoted club”, because that is what this solution is asking us to accept, needed its continuity of history in order to emerge, even though Airdrie and Gretna fans did not need that incentive. Celtic calculated, you suggest, that having them in the top division, debt free was too strong a risk for Celtic to contemplate. It seems you believe that, if they remained debt free in that top Division, they would have had advantages with which we could not compete and, even if they started from a point of zero titles or cups, they would be depriving us of too many titles and cups over the next few decades because of the commercial advantages of my proposed solution. It seems to me, however, that in a new, albeit debt-free club, the TUPE situation would still have applied. McGregor, Naismith, Fleck, Whittaker, Ness etc; could still have walked if other clubs offered more than the newly commercially advantaged Sevco could have.



    As it is, they could be back within 4 years of their “demotion” with an SFA and SP willing to endorse the continued history narrative because, as you say, we never envisaged the prospect of them being a club without their history.



    We may well win 10 or 20 titles in a row but, however many it is, eventually the wheel will turn and a historically well supported club will be back being competitive at a sporting level. Instead of a 2012 situation of 43 titles to 0 advantage, you are offering a 2025 scenario whereby we may have 56 titles to their “officially acknowledged” 54, an advantage of 2.



    Forgive em, if I do not still think that my “never considered” outcome might not have given us more than we have got.

  23. Much appreciated Bobby. Yeah that book really is deserving of all the accolades. It can usually be found in Oxfam type charity shops where students frequent.











    I’m due a trip to Bath and there’s an Oxfam across from The Lamb.



    And loadsa students.



    Now,where do the ones with a white stick and a guide dog hang out,that’s the problem!

  25. could somebody point me in the direction of a dvd featuring Nakamura and his time at Celtic

  26. Call me a romantic, but I generally hate to see a Celtic player taking out an opponent. Generally… However, “when I were a lad”,the likes of Bertie Auld would simply go into a tackle with someone and the opponent would not get up, and no-one could see how he had done it (for those of you old enough, think of Michael Hordern in the Up Pompeii film). When it came to expressing your opinions on a truculent opponent, Bertie was an artist, John Greig was simply a thug (almost like comparing Liston to Ali). I don’t like stupid tackles.



    What Stokes did was to put in a wild tackle underneath the referee’s nose, right at the end of a game already won. If you want to be cynical, you would say that doing that early on would have been much more productive. He also will have managed to get himself banned for at least one game, and I don’t think that it made any difference to Lasley’s perceptions at all. So I would say that what he did was stupid and undisciplined.



    I’m not young Anthony’s biggest fan, but I do think that he has been putting in a shift for the team recently – making the space for others to shine.

  27. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    There was only one loser on Saturday and that was Celtic Stokes will miss the next game and his clumsy challenge did not hurt the well player. He might be a not bad footballer our Stokesie but he has cotton wool for brains. H.H.

  28. JOHN O’NEILL, I found the book as you desrcibe it.



    For some reason I couldn’t stop laughing at anything written about Jones, the sweeper up in the bordello?



    Long time since I read it I must dust it down and read again.

  29. Doctor Whatfor on




    I have it on good authority that in your playing days there were dedicated stretcher bearers following you around. And they wurnae fur you!!




  30. LiviBhoy - God bless wee Oscar on

    I think we miss a street wise operator in our team. Not had one since Barry Robson and Paul Hartley departed Paradise.


    In the match against the deid team that we had to win at Celtic Park they took out 3 players between them in the first 5 mins and I think one was a foul.


    Get your retaliation in first!




  31. Doctor Whatfor on




    Jackie McNamara regularly stiffened thon Craig Moore and very rarely was a foul given. He was also the sneakiness handler of the ball I ever saw.

  32. Big Nan, the Jones dialogue is hilarious indeed. He is cool as Virgil Van. I can see him now in that dingy, dark bar blowing up huge puffs of smoke.


    I find it surprising that not many posters seem to be worried about potentially paying 4-6 million for Snodgrass. It sounds like paper talk though. Why would we pay bloated English fees when we are reputed to have terrific scouts?


    Anyway, off oot.

  33. TBJ Praying for Oscar Knox on

    I wanted to do that wee twat lalsey on Saturday … glad somebody took him out.



    Hopefully he gets a bad one soon

  34. Doctor Whatfor on

    tbj praying for wee oscar



    He’s a hard guy to hit. He gets rid of the ball too quickly. My faither held on to a dram longer than he holds the ball. He clearly understands that he is a marked Mann in every ground. It was lovely to see him stiffened but then he got up.

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