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“I pick the team” manager tales, EFL bubble ready to pop

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There is an apocryphal tale that when Jim McLean was manager of Dundee United, a 12-year-old wrote to him to dispute team selection.  McLean, so the legend goes, drove straight to the senders address and on being introduced to the boy on the doorstep, stated, “I pick the team”, before turning on his heels and leaving.

When Neil Lennon and his former mentor Gordon Strachan coordinated a Man of the Match nomination for Scott Brown yesterday, it struck me that this was the modern equivalent of a McLean door-stepping.  Neil Lennon picks the team and his MotM quote was him letting you know where authority lies.  It’s not a McLean-level anecdote but is no less a classic of the genre.

Today, 10 MPs, two former chairmen of the FA and others, wrote to the Government asking for a taxpayer handout for the English Football League (EFL).    They note:

“Without any plans being made to rescue football clubs, many in the EFL and others in the National League as well, are now actively preparing to make all but essential staff redundant, cease playing, close down their youth academies and community foundations, and put their business into administration.

“This could lead not only to the failure of many historic community clubs, but the collapse of the national league structure that we have known for over one hundred years.  These are decisions that will be made in the coming weeks, with many clubs unable to meet their payroll obligations for next month.”

The EFL still hope for a rescue package from the Premier League.  They are also pushing the Professional Players Association, the players’ union, to make massive concessions on wages that were never affordable in normal times.  But right now, football in England outside the top flight is unviable this season.

Since the start of the pandemic, I have noted the precarious position of the EFL.  Chances of the existing structure surviving have never been slimmer and probably never will.  This bubble is ready to pop!

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  1. WESTCRAIGS/MADMITCH.

     

     

    Fraudgers wanted out in the summer of 2019 when he was tapped by China. The Kaiser told him he was going nowhere and so he hung on although his heart wisnae in it but it was always in the cards he would eventually leave.

     

     

    Somehow we won the LC but we also lost tae a scheidty sevco side just before the break.

     

     

    Allegedly he was set up tae take over at Leicester after the winter break, so the latter result didnae faze him, it fell through though.

     

     

    In an effort tae keep himself marketable we won a watch as he started tae take the job seriously and we started tae play better.

     

     

    They were also seemingly after Rafael but he indicated that would have tae wait until the season end, so he had his agent inform the Foxes he would come right away if they wanted and so he left us in the lurch with 2 tough games in Edinburgh, places he has struggled at, coming up.

     

     

    As for the 9 million, why not as DD has said he was the best paid Celtic manager ever and spent a lot of money in the windaes.

     

     

    He’s an effin snake and it’s a pity he didnae go tae wuhan.

  2. TONTINE TIM on 28TH SEPTEMBER 2020 11:07 PM

     

     

    Fair comment, but equally I stand by my point that the Scoddish and MSM use the term as a means of reinforcing from their perspective its comparative insignificance.

     

     

    Goodnight all.

  3. Celtic Mac

     

     

    I haven’t been looking in on CQN much but not after lock down I took the view CoVid was not going away soon and football was going to have to recognise a fundamental truth, it is an interdependent business and like love too much self interest will kill you.

     

     

    I have probably posted a link to this video on social media at least once a month.

     

     

    https://youtu.be/6uuM6te6MiU

     

     

    There is more than enough money in football to go around, it is just in the wrong places. The pot in the video could include profit from the UEFA competitions, which instead of going almost totally to the qualifying clubs, could instead be distributed to national associations as increased solidarity payments to be used to provide a financial foundation that enable clubs who serve a community to merge and so cut costs and keep the game alive.

     

     

    Its that or lots of clubs starve to death.

     

     

    In times such as these idealism becomes pragmatism.

  4. Wage reduction is the obvious but not easy answer.

     

     

    I dug out this article for Not The View from 2011 that has some relevance to today where I first gave long spoons a mention.

     

     

    Evolution Soccer – Revolution Soccer.

     

     

    “The socialism I believe in is everybody working for the same goal and everybody having a share in the rewards. That’s how I see football, that’s how I see life.” Bill Shankley. Liverpool FC.

     

     

    Football has experienced a curious phenomenon over the last ten years. Neither the fans nor the clubs can be considered the owners of the game. If we define ownership as the ability to dictate terms then it becomes self evident. The world’s best players and those who hang on to their coat tails now run the show and it filters down to the lower levels. These people are football’s new owners.

     

     

    How has this happened for it would be impossible in normal business? It happened because the player’s paymasters, the support, set no price on their desire for glory and success. The paymasters have become the slaves of glory and football is paying the ultimate cost.

     

     

    Along with the desire for glory at any price is the working man’s thinking that a player, like any working man, has the right to negotiate as high a reward for his labour as he can. As a left leaning Glaswegian who has had to strike for improved conditions in normal business, I subscribe to that notion and paid my dues to defend that right. However football is not like normal business. In normal business if a worker negotiates a wage that makes the company uncompetitive because the rise exceeds the income it will generate, that company will eventually go out of business. Thus a reality wage ceiling is in place. This is a good thing because it means the company can continue to offer employment to all its workers and continue to serve its customers.

     

     

    However in recent football history the influx of TV and sugar daddy money has enabled a wage to be offered that goes way beyond the business’s ability to sustain, but unlike normal business, clubs do not, by and large, go out of business. They find ways of reforming and carry on, but at a cost to those players not in the top earning bracket, or to the workers in companies who served them. It has meant smaller squads, fewer players able to earn.

     

     

    It is a curious socialist philosophy that supports a player’s right to get as much as he can from the game, but ignores the consequences for his fellow players/workers without whom there would be no game.

     

     

    A good analogy is in order here. Modern football is like a description of a scene from hell where a visitor looks into one room and sees an emaciated group around a table on which is set a large pot full of stew. They cannot eat because their arms have been set straight at the elbow and elongated so that they cannot get a spoon in their mouths. It is a miserable place. Then the visitor goes upstairs and enters a similar room with occupants similarly handicapped, but where everyone is well fed and contented. “How can this be?” he asks his guide. “Well downstairs all their energies are spent in the nigh impossible task of feeding their insatiable hunger, whilst up here they simply feed each other.”

     

     

    The thankless job of managing the downstairs room falls to the custodians of clubs, but their hands are tied by the players’ real paymasters, the support, demanding the custodians throw more food into the room, rather than teach the occupants the benefit of feeding each other for the good of all.

     

     

    Not all players and agents are greedy men, John Kennedy’s magnificent gesture to give his testimonial money to famine relief is a demonstration of this, and there are other players who also carry out charitable acts. However, overall, it is players who exploit the support using the support’s desire for success to demand from custodians wages that starve lower reaches of the game. There is more than enough finance to satisfy both players and supporters needs, it just needs to be distributed more equitably.

     

     

    Hopefully this phenomenon will end when the unconscious paymasters – the support, who should be the owners, waken up and realise that they are being exploited, not by the custodians of clubs, but by their fellow workers the players. When this realisation finally dawns about who currently owns football a consensual wage ceiling might emerge to allow football to again become the people’s game. There is no natural ceiling to ensure wealth generation is preserved or that the wealth created is more fairly distributed. One must be created.

     

     

    At some point the age old class struggle of exploited worker versus owner will be repeated, except the battle will be between a more aware and responsible support and the new owners of soccer, the players.

     

     

    These are not to be confused with the players of the past, fellow workers of their time exploited by then club owners. Players like Bobby Evans, Willie Fernie, Jimmy Johnstone, Bobby Murdoch etc. These guys and their fellow professionals were working men all their playing lives.

     

     

    Those days, however, have gone.

     

     

    Edit 29/09/2020 . Then again, perhaps not.

  5. PICINISCO on 28TH SEPTEMBER 2020 4:49 PM

     

     

    “That leaves the players. Pretty much all the money generated in football since the start of the EPL has gone into the players pockets, rightly or wrongly. If there’s to be redistribution of money from the EPL to the EFL to save clubs, then it’s obvious where it has to come from: the EPL players will have to take pay cuts.”

     

     

    I’ll be stunned if anything like that happens, though in these strange times, maybe it will.

     

     

    ===============

     

    I hadnt read your comments at 4.49 as I was working my way back, but had I, I would have addressed my previous post to you.

  6. Interesting discussion around wages, wealth, entitlements and greed.

     

    In Australia the AFL, NRL and A-League clubs all have a salary cap to even-field the comp year to year

     

    In AFL, the worst performing teams get the first picks of the emerging talent in each new season draft.

     

    In the last 20 years of AFL comp there’s been 10 different winners of the ‘flag’ out of a field of 18.

     

    Pretty representative and egalitarian it’s easily argued. The A-league is prob equal to Scot Champ’ship level.

     

    How many EPL fans want that kind of parity. How many in Europe. How many of us Celtic fans either?

     

    I’d defo vote for it (only after we do the 10 ;))

  7. QUADROPHENIAN on 29TH SEPTEMBER 2020 3:44 AM

     

    Interesting discussion around wages, wealth, entitlements and greed.

     

    In Australia the AFL, NRL and A-League clubs all have a salary cap to even-field the comp year to year

     

     

    xxxxxxxxxx

     

     

    HH

     

    agreed I like the salary cap BUT same problem = greed

     

     

    most off the revinue from footy go to the TV stations. The salary cap is way to low. for every million dollar contract(4 years) means other players are under $200 000 considering it the major sport in the non cricket season, not enough for professional athletes with very short careers in an industry that turns out billions.

     

     

    something for the Celtic supporters- pre salary cap, The Victorian Football League was like the EPL now. WA and SA were the other football leagues but couldnt compete with the money of the VFL. Every year our best players went east, decimating the other states year after year, the bigger clubs in the VFL would buy players from other states , not to play them but so other clubs in the VFL couldn’t have them.

     

     

    In 1987 they let an western Australian team join the VFL.( Like Celtic joining the EPL.) Like Celtic we had to listen to the usual rubbish same same – Celtic mid level club, championship level team etc etc. could never win the EPL. ( absolute toshh WE know this). The West Coast Eagles could never win in Melbourne!!

     

    The first year we didnt win a game in Melbourne.

     

    5 years later, first interstate team to win the VFL/afl as it became known.

     

     

    too many folk getting rich for an salaried cap in Europe,(plus it is a restriction on earnings). Will Celtic ever play in the EPL? i DOUBT IT, “THE TURKEYS DONT VOTE FOR cHRISTMAS”

     

     

    Celtic would reign supreme in the EPL . The English are just scared lol.

     

     

    Why they wont let Glasgow Celtic in the EPL. this:

     

    Established in 1986, the Eagles compete in the Australian Football League and have won four premierships. The club has appeared in more finals campaigns than any other AFL club since 1987.

     

     

    PS MM the Brisbane lions joined the same year as teh eagles and me to0 have soft spot for them.

     

     

    apologies in advance , I know this is a Soccer forum (hehehehee)

     

     

    HH

     

    peace

  8. QUADROPHENIAN on 29TH SEPTEMBER 2020 3:44 AM

     

    …Pretty representative and egalitarian it’s easily argued. The A-league is prob equal to Scot Champ’ship level.

     

     

    XxxxxXxxxx

     

     

    generous, as good as that?

     

     

    :o)

  9. BADGERHC on 29TH SEPTEMBER 2020 6:56 AM

     

    I’ve seen some pretty decent stuff in A-league. Some pesh too tho ;)

     

    To me, a salary cap steps in the right direction of equalisation, albeit being open to breaches and misuse.

     

    COVID is reshaping the commerces of all industries incl fitba so Leagues need to keep an open mind as to a system that helps makes their game viable.

     

    And pray for a vaccine like the rest of us. HH

  10. THEBHOYFROMU.N.C.L.E on 29TH SEPTEMBER 2020 7:34 AM

     

    If you lived in the Parkhead area as a fan how would you refer to the stadium?

     

     

    ###

     

     

    Or if you lived nearby and visited the area frequently?

     

     

    Then you would call it CP.

     

     

    Otherwise you would call it Parkhead. It’s a form of synecdoche.

     

     

    If you jumped in a taxi and said you wanted to go to Parkhead I’d be surprised if you didn’t end up at the stadium.

  11. ERNIE LYNCH

     

    “If you jumped in a taxi and said you wanted to go to Parkhead I’d be surprised if you didn’t end up at the stadium.”

     

     

    If you had a Celtic scarf on, otherwise you’d be asked whereabouts in Parkhead do you want to go! por cierto.

  12. theBHOYfromU.N.C.L.E on

    ERNIE LYNCH

     

     

    I live a 25 minute walk from Celtic park…….as i’ve always called it,so in that aspect you are correct.

  13. It’s Parkhead for me, always will be.

     

    The Adidas Parkhead arena sound good to me, and we get a few million to boot.

     

     

    Besides that; This Lockdown ( current and future ) demonstrates the absurdity of market forces dictating footballing wages at the top end.

     

     

    Have our key workers e.g. Supermarket check out staff, porters, Care home workers etc etc had a substantial increase in renumeration to reflect the word key.?

     

     

    HH.

  14. Celtic should make enquiries about the boy Stewart up at Ross County ,With Ajeti out for a few weeks or more ,and Griffith’s not match fit ,Stewart or Nisbet at Hibs with Griffith’s as part of the transfer,what do you think of that .

  15. Good morning all from a refreshed, sunny but chilly Garngad

     

     

    Refreshed because I had a great nights sleep after copius amounts of alcohol at Haggerston and being off work today.

     

     

    Ok- it was always Parkhead for me until I had my kids and grandchildren and starting using Celtic Park.

     

     

    What about getting £10 million from Adidas to call it “The Celtic Adidas Arena” 😂🍺🍺🍺🍺

     

     

    Bring on Thursday

     

     

    Hail Hail

     

     

    D :)

  16. Good morning from a misty moisty North Staffs.

     

    We’ve got the choice of Celtic park, Parkhead or Paradise.

     

    They’ve got ipox, Victorian lavvy or snake mountain..

  17. I stayed down in Dalmarnock /Brigton,When in the pub mostly of us Celtic Supporters would be asking one and another going to Parkhead for the game.

  18. MM ( ! )@ 9:42pm

     

    `Consequently be yourself — do not change your language just because the SMSM use it.

     

    That means they control you.`

     

     

    Consider this scenario:

     

    The ground is called Celtic Park but the MSSM refer to it as `Parkhead`. Many readers of the MSSM then call it `Parkhead`. Some challenge this mind control and call it Celtic Park.

     

     

    Who is being controlled?

     

     

    PS I would like to see `Paradise`used more often. I think it annoys the MSSM/ Huns !

  19. Was in my first pub in six months last night, with an Arsenal-supporting mate to watch the Liverpool/Arsenal game, and have a few socially distant pints!

     

     

    Anyway, two things struck me about the game, Kieran Tierney was fouled twice, once by a wayward arm swung towards his head and once when he was caught on his foot after clearing the ball. BOTH fouls resulted in immediate bookings! I pointed out to my mate that that would never have happened to him up here, wearing a Celtic jersey and referenced the kickings that wee Frimpers took on Sunday without any action from the MIB until late, late in the game.

     

     

    Duty of care and all that Celtic?

  20. New Rule of 6 for going to pubs in England, courtesy of Mike from the Nag’s Head –

     

     

    You don’t sing

     

     

    You don’t dance

     

     

    You don’ tell rude jokes

     

     

    You don’t use bad languauge in front of ladies

     

     

    You don’t drink too much

     

     

    You just sit down quietly and soberly and enjoy yourself.

  21. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    The bhoyfromuncle @ 8:33 …

     

     

    “What to call the stadium………..wonder if that Govan mob from Ibrox have this problem?”

     

     

    The Fixed Charge Arena?

  22. auldheid

     

     

    From the wee wee hours. Good to see a couple of posts from your good self. No easy answers when the cows came home. Or is the chickens, need to get our farmers back on here, or have they all been hounded out? Saw a programme on ITV recently where David Dein told us that when he first got involved with Arsenal back in the early 1980’s their turnover was £1.5 million pa, not sure what Celtic’s would have been then, but the Gunners could still afford to pay Charlie Nicholas £2000 a week, as opposed to the £200 we were paying him. Your Fernie, Evans and Murdoch tradition right there. But from there to paying Ozil £300,000 a week, that’s a quantum leap, even the far superior Ruud Gullitt only asked for £2 mill pa. Netto.

     

    Doubt any player in EFL 1 and EFL 2 is breaking the bank, but collectively, players in the Championship, and elsewhere need to realise, as do their agents, that they are part of the equation.

  23. the bhoy from uncle

     

     

    You mentioned the other day that the London Road now has a cycle lane. Should be fun getting off the M74 at the Cambuslang junction if and when crowds are allowed back in ‘The Park’ (@Fergus McCann) at some point in the future. What next, a bike park in front of the South Stand?

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