Implicit backing for Neil after a long 48 hours


It was a long 48 hours before yesterday’s statement from chief exec, Peter Lawwell.  He explicitly acknowledged “hurt, disappointment and frustration following the team’s recent results”, but the implicit backing was there for “Neil, the players and the backroom staff”.

I have been critical of Neil’s decision in recent weeks, team plans change every hour but we do not appear to know how fix the fundamental problem.  What actually is wrong? is a harder question to answer than it appears.  It was not playing three at the back (or four), nor was choosing one player over another.  If only it was as simple as a solitary scapegoat in the team.  There is bigger question: Is the problem actually the manager?

It could be.  Responsibility to fix team structure certainly lies with Neil, but there are doubtlessly other things going on that few of us are aware of.  Neil carries the can, but he would be gone if the board thought that was all there is to the story.

Winning the league is going to take a huge effort this month and successful recruitment next month.  Having been denied the opportunity to scout players during the spring and summer, a great deal of work has gone into preparing for January.  Do the club have faith in this work?  Would another manager ‘put his name’ to those targets blind?

Your recruitment strategy goes out the door with the manager.  My suspicion is the club weigh the need for squad additions higher than changing the manager.  These are the questions that separate those who are paid the big bucks from those who write blogs.  Thankfully……

Celtic: Fifty Flags Plus One, an anthology of how Celtic won each of their league titles, is available now.  Starting with our first title in 1893, it details how Willie Maley brought consistent glory, then the sparse successes over four decades before Jock Stein arrived in 1965 and the more contemporary wins since.

It will rekindle memories you had forgotten and give insight into how the leagues were won.

SPECIAL OFFER, free copy of Seville, The Celtic Movement, while stocks last!

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  1. JAMES



    I’m not even going to respond to a single one. Let that be the final word on who the yahoo here is.





    You said last week you were flouncing.



    You were back on in about half an hour.



    Anger, violence, mad………………………liar?

  2. Seems a lot of the tactics alleged to be used by the board are the exact same used from those who pose arguments against the board at the slightest hint of scrutiny to their theory. …….

  3. Notthebus.


    Paddy McCourt in a, fairly recent, open goal podcast said that G.S. had no idea who he was, when he turned up for his first day of training.


    He suggests it was the biggest shareholder that arranged for him to be signed.



    See what J.F has done today, who recalls the days Paul himself would contribute to the debate, now it happens so rarely.


    Today’s leader, is out of kilter with the rest of the blogs and podcasts, that I engage with.


    I’ve never known such anger, anything who thinks this is only about the manager, isn’t paying attention or is deflecting, obviously imo.


    Incidentally, it’s outrageous what has happened to the 90 minute cynic guys, our PLC are happy to pick on one of our own,but allow the scummy tabloids, access, no matter have much they rage against us.




    What happened to the 90 Minute Cynic guys is plainly outrageous mate.



    All day, every day, the MSM snipes at our club, lies about it, rakes through the bins for whatever tittle-tattle they can find. Last month one tabloid regurgitated a story from a month before about Frimpong’s personal life which had the sum total of zero to do with another living soul.



    The press gets the red carpet. But fan media? Total disdain.



    The club’s entire press and PR policy is an ever evolving nightmare of epic proportions with this week producing – via the club’s own leaks – some of the worst headlines in years, followed by a call for unity. When they’ve been kicking the fans since Sunday.



    You couldn’t even argue that the price for admission at a press conference is conformity; some of these titles would kill us just to watch us die. it’s another example of the fans being treated with contempt. The last thing they want are people in there asking real questions, who can’t be fobbed off with “access” and tea and biscuits round the boardroom table.



    These guys did one thing wrong; they did what they were supposed to do.



    If you’re in the social media real and you’re not holding your own club to account, how can you honestly write about anything else? Those guys did their job and that’s the club’s response to it.




    MY last comment on this conversation:



    EVERYONE on here (apart from hunterlopers 😊) is your friend. Why make enemies? Remember who the real enemies are. We are all united here in our common L🍀VE FOR CELTIC. Other than this It doesn’t matter why or for what reason anyone posts on here or reads what is posted on here, and who are we to judge?…



    Take Care, Keep Safe, God Bless and Hail Hail!,



    Yours in Celtic, 😊 🧣 🍀



    TB&F. 😊 🍀

  6. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Thank you for this article Pablo.



    I (or others) may not agree with some of it / much of it / all of it / any of it …..



    …. but at least it’s rational.



    Am considering setting up a business which supplies pitchforks and medieval wooden torches into the Glasgow area.



    Judging by (only) some of the recent comments on this forum I’ll get rich right quick.



    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith




    I’m not sure, given your performance on here today you’re the best person to be giving out advice on PR.



    Or maybe I’m completely wrong and this is all part of some low-rent Machiavellian plan to drive people from here and onto your own site.

  8. Notthebus



    Please, please, please stop being so nieve.


    I know 5 ex Celtic players and everyone tells me the same story, everyone thinks Peter Lawell is a nightmare.



    Now its not a crime to be an unlikeable guy if the job your doing is so productive for the football club.



    However, rest assured, no player is signed without the CEO approval.



    Also our CEO is meddling and making football decisions on a constant basis, I can guarantee that, put my life on it.



    As recent as last night I heard how Peter Lawell cost Celtic football club 20M.



    Once I have the last detail I will share with the blog, because I think it’s important that supporters know what is going on.



    Trust me Peter Lawell is ruining our football club, if you want further details, gmail me, I have to protect the ex players and ex staff so mentioning names on a public blog is not right.

  9. CELTIC40ME:



    You are absolutely 100% wrong in a way that is kind of mind-boggling.



    How does anything I say or do move people from a forum to a blog?



    Maybe you didn’t read where I said that I gain no discernible benefit at all from posting on here?



    Except that I enjoy it.



    Your more general point is all the more bizarre for its inherent contradictions. But to answer it, I’m not in PR. I don’t have an institution the size of Celtic to protect. If I did I would be a damned sight more careful about how I went about than they have this week.



    I’m not here to promote either the blog or myself; this is a common accusastion against me and a pretty weak one. I am on here once in a blue moon; if I needed this site I would spend longer on it. My point is, those who DO have a responsibility to promote Celtic, those who work for the club, have been dreadful at it this week, inconsistent, out of touch, arrogant, presumptious, they’ve misjudged the mood several times … not one thing they’ve done has made things even 1% better.



    Now, I don’t if you agree with that or not, if you do then what are we arguing about?



    If you don’t agree with it, tell me you think they’ve done right and we’ll talk some more!

  10. Guys,



    Its a blog. It’s a forum Paul 67 has given us to talk Celtic and beyond.


    In these challenging Celtic times I would expect vigorous debate and heated discussion.


    I would really worry and despair if all was calm with an air of defeatism.



    SFTB. You and I remember Ronny Delia’s tenure. Do you think that all our players played for the team and gave 100%.



    More importantly, do you think all our players are giving 100% in all our games ?



    HH to all, the journey continues tomorrow.

  11. If you are in a circle with footballers why are you posting revolutionary attemps in ousting Celtic’s CEO on a blog. Even without mentioning their name you have breached their trust. Or it’s “creative” writing and simply not true.

  12. J.F. 4.04.


    Thanks for kind response. which I’m grateful for.



    I don’t know the 90 minute cynic guys, but I felt in a really bad week for The PLC, this was up there with their worse actions.


    The manager has been uncomfortable with their line of questioning from day one, B.R would wax lyrical with these guys, when they asked their tactical questions about why moving x and y creating the other team a problem with a and b. etc.


    When Neil arrived his answer to why he done something was, I was just trying to win the game, the MSM laughed, he was clearly more at home with their inane line of questioning.


    P.S. Free the Big Jimmy 1.

  13. SID on 2ND DECEMBER 2020 4:21 PM



    If you can’t name names publicly don’t do it privately either, not unless you know and trust the person, even then I wouldn’t do it.




    Agreed 🤝 😊.



    Remember that friends don’t always agree with each other, and your best friends tell it as it is without (mostly) ever being abusive to each other or falling out with each other, and after the latter they usually reconcile… 😊



    Take Care, Keep Safe, God Bless and Hail Hail,



    Yours in Celtic, 😊 🧣 🍀



    TB&F. 😊 🍀

  15. Repetition of the same point over and over again does not generally change peoples’ opinion……..




    See, being a big fan of their work I had a bad feeling it was something like that.



    They are very tactics oriented, and know their stuff really well. I wasn’t aware that they had a good relationship with Rodgers, it’s certainly no surprise that the current manager was uncomfortable with them.



    This is why our media can’t hold a candle to the English based press and especially the guys in London, many of whom have written books on tactics and management styles … they eat people alive up here. They’d have guys like Lennon and McInnes for breakfast.



    We are fortunate that some of the bloggers are that good, and the club should have given them front row seats to show up the MSM and teach them how it’s done. Unfortunately the club were even more uncomfortable with it.

  17. Not sure of the purpose of the article. It is smoke and mirrors.



    Managers needs to go. Overdue and every day he stays diminishes 10 chance.



    The spin from Lawwell is not to be believed. He is the root cause and with the league gone if the manager stays January well be a selling month as the downsizing gathers pace.



    Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

  18. MARTIM1980 on 2ND DECEMBER 2020 4:28 PM


    ‘Repetition of the same point over and over again does not generally change peoples’ opinion……..’








    It can do if their experience of external circumstances indicate that what you are saying is correct.

  19. MARTIM1980 on 2ND DECEMBER 2020 4:25 PM


    ‘If you are in a circle with footballers why are you posting revolutionary attemps in ousting Celtic’s CEO on a blog. ‘







    That’s an odd question, and maybe displays the degree of bias in your viewpoint.



    Imagine you had been told by a number of players/ex players that a particular individual was ruining the Club surely you would do whatever you could to raise the alarm and to get them ousted?

  20. James Forrest



    Keep doing what you’re doing mate.


    I don’t care who you are or even your motives although I know they are sound.


    I don’t care if you have a blog.



    All that is important is your message the details of what you say.



    All I care about is our football club getting out of this mess.


    All i care about is our club getting back on track and progressing.



    Posters attacking you for an opinion which will be proven sound in time are distracting their energies in the wrong direction, while our season will soon suffer the last fatal blow leaving us with loads of meaningless fixtures.



    Its not about personalities or a posters tone it is about the damage our board are doing to our club that’s all I care about.



    I know our board are clueless with on field matters but they are far from stupid.


    I don’t believe they even believe this is the right action to save our season this decision has been made with a motive that I believe is financially driven.


    Otherwise, no one can think this is the correct course of action if they care about salvaging the season.



    Philbhoy, you have been spot on about Lennys ability to take us forward, please direct your energies on doing what’s best for Celtic, your difference of opinion with James is not important, keep your eye on the ball.

  21. SFTB @3.35



    I really enjoyed reading your post. Thank you for replying.



    Your last paragraph …..



    ‘Just ask yourself, how many times, as a lesser performer, in your own sport, did you lose because you did not care enough. Personaly, having played for 25 years at a senior level in my sport, over 600 games, I cannot think of one. And yet, I often played crap.’



    In my case – rugby – I usually cared lots. Sometimes too much, finishing sometimes staying on knowing I’d broken something. Starting and playing another with a ruptured bicep. Not clever.



    I played best and hardest when I was happy. Was often distracted on the field, if unsettled off it.


    And as a 20-something, I did fall out with at least one coach and my heart wasn’t really in it for the rest of the season.



    So I look at Ntcham for example And I think I can empathise.



    Stay safe



    HH jg

  22. glendalystonsils on

    Off at a tangent here, but just want to get something off my chest . As a regular reader of ‘NewsNow Celtic’



    a recent feature has been a flurry of articles and opinions on Celtic by Alec McLeish and Craig Levein .



    Two a###holes whose only interest in Celtic is to wish us ill .


    The SMSM really are so transparent.

  23. SID



    His constant abuse of our host should be challenged.



    Exactly what I did.



    I know the problems at CP right now and where they emanate from.



    No need to tell me to keep my eye on the ball.

  24. Greenpinata



    “SFTB. You and I remember Ronny Delia’s tenure. Do you think that all our players played for the team and gave 100%.”



    All players try. That’s a different matter than “all players play for the team”. Some greedy bassas shoot when they should pass and some players , lacking in confidence, do the opposite.



    Mark Viduka said he only gave 80% when he was with us and he was always a moody sod but no Celtic fan, at the time, accused him of not trying because he was scoring loads. We saw a languid player but not a lazy one, and his style was exactly the same when he went down south.



    The only difference was not one of effort, as Mark asserted but, of coming up against more accomplished defenders more regularly. He had to concentrate a bit more but he was still the same languid, effective, bundle of misery that he had been with us.



    Now, some players can be angry with the manager. If you’ve read the CQN books , you’ll know how many of the Lions, whilst acknowleding Big Jock’s abilities, thought he was a heartless bassa. But they still tried hard ,whether for themselves, or their team-mates, or the club, it matters not- they still tried. I am still waiting for someone to say they deliberately did not try in a sporting contest (unless they were bribed to do so) – Have you ever heard a spokesmen say so?



    Kris Commons obviously did not get on with Ronny Deila and John Colllins as the laossez-faire elements of the first NFL era were being reversed. But Kris was also in his Scott Brown waning powers period then too. He thought Deila’s regime was harming his form and that of the team but, as it turned out, he no longer had any form, as he proved in going to Hibs to sit on the bench.



    Players can be petulant and stupid and selfish and arrogant and lots of things but non-triers are too easily found out in sport. You measure who runs fast and who runs longest and who declares themselves available most often (not always a wise thing, as Mikey J found out. Tom Rogic is not lazy but he is not fast either when it comes to covering ground. Wee Frimpong runs all day- he may be a bit “lazy” in thinking his way through a game but that’s not really laziness; just a lack of experience.



    It was a bit of petulance and frustration and poor judgement from Antony Stokes that sparked a late and important comeback in the Killie 3:3 game, he really had no right to expect to beat the keeper when he unleashed an average type of shot, but he did, thank God because Neil’s half time talk had produced s precious little.




    Two comedians, in any other country they would be considered jokes amongst the footballing community.



    Here, they are darlings of the press corps.



    Go figure.

  26. SID on 2ND DECEMBER 2020 4:21 PM






    I’m asking if there is a shred of evidence, real hard evidence.



    Believe me I am surrounded by” ITK” friends and colleagues who all have their opinions on the running of our club their argument. Much like yours i expect, falls apart like a chap sute when you ask for even the slightest bit of hard evidence that will bear scrutiny.



    To be clear, I have an open mind on the subject, There is no evidence worth talking about, so I conclude, doesn’t happen

  27. Barcabhoy





    Football is full of critics . many of whom oversell their own business record, and their“ inside connections “ , lie about who they know and who listens to them



    I’ve a lot more respect for critical fans who are honest enough to admit they aren’t ITK or business tycoons

  28. glendalystonsils on




    James …….indeed. Makes it all the more important for bloggers such as yourself and Paul to combat the kind of bitter , brainless , uninformed pish that comes from this pair and their ilk.




    Nobody is going to provide “hard evidence” of that as you know well.



    But this is why the legal system allows circumstancial evidence … and there is, as you know, plenty of that to go around. As I said, I don’t even question the assertion any longer, that’s how firmly I’ve been convinced. Rodgers comments alone are devastating … we shouldn’t disbelieve them only because of how he behaved later, I wish I could put it down to that and be convinced.



    Rodgers expressed his total bafflement about Arzani the year before he said the same about Shved. He wasn’t eyeing the exit door at that point, he was genuinely clueless as to where the story came from. At Ronny Deila’s first press conference they unvieled his first signing!



    You could tell he had never clapped eyes on Gordon before in his life!



    Or his assistant, who he had no say in the choosing of at all.



    Then there’s the current squad and some of those in it, Soro being the best case in point. Nobody is going to tell me he’s not, at the very least, up to the standards of the SPL … in some ways I welcome the manager not wanting to play these guys. In others, I think it’s ridiculous as if he has issues with the strategy he ought not to be supporting it with his continuing in the job.



    I understand your point about the lack of hard evidence, but I’m not sure I understand how you got to the conclusion that it doesn’t happen at Celtic. I know it does. I don’t need further convincing.

  30. Ernie it’s not an odd question, it’s just i don’t believe it sorry. Many are falling over themselves right now to stick the knife in.

  31. James Gang



    As I said to Greenpinata- players do a lot of things wrong but laziness and not cating about the game and their performance is rarely one of them.



    You don’t have to love your coach or your team-mates. You don’t have to love training and team talks and tactical expositions but you do have to have a prie in yourself to compete because, if you don’t somebody else takes your place. I never met a sportsman who wanted to be a sub. I “won” my biggest National Medal as an unused sub.



    The other player, a younger guy, refused to take his medal, and he was back again within 3 years to claim a medal as a player in his own right.



    I took mine because I knew I was on the way down to the reserves and a lower level and I had little hope of getting back there. In a way, both of us were right and did the right thing by ourselves. I was proud to have earned that medal as an unused sub ( I had played in earlier rounds of the cup) but I was not proud to be a sub.



    I am still waiting for someone to admit they never tried but had a sporting career anyway. The nearest I knew was coaching a very talented young fella who could have become an international player but he played another sport and felt he was more talented than that and gave up on our game in his early 20s. He was a ranked player in his own sport and he enjoyed that more but he scarificced a chance rather than gave up on succeeding.

  32. Martim 90



    I post because I care about our football club, I post and have done for about 8 years on this blog, not just about our CEO about all different subjects like the cheating, SFA shenanigans.



    All posts that give an inside into what’s going on behind the scenes.



    For example, referee’s and officials at another fixture celebrating, in front of a TV screen as our players were walking off after our latest defeat to Sevco.



    I was the first to mention a major dressing room revolt in Ronnys second season after going out of CL, just a coincidence we went out of LC to Ross County beaten by lower league Sevco in Scottish , posted our worst ever EL group points total and watched as our players went through the motion, our worst season in a decade, sound familiar?



    I’m breaking no ones confidence if I don’t mention the source, journalists make a living from it.



    Yeah accusations of creative writing and making up stories, allows you to dismiss the message and bury your head while things get worse at our club.




    Its not hard, I



    ‘m throwing it out there for one of these multitudes of players, agents, coaches, scouts to quote that Peter Lawell buys players without the Managers knowledge. There must be one..surely?!



    If you know that for a FACT..share it with me and if the evidence is compelling, I will change my mind.

  34. I said the other day I’d complained to the BBC about their article on ‘best start for 50 years’



    This is the reply



    Dear Mr



    Thank you for contacting us regarding the BBC Sport website.



    We note your unhappiness with the headline ‘Rangers’ best start in half a century – is Celtic’s perfect 10 now under real threat?’ and appreciate your view that this is “impossible for an 8 year old club.”



    In keeping with a judgement by the BBC Trust (the body which previously regulated the BBC) on this matter, we will continue to refer to the team on the field as Rangers FC and only when reporting on the business matters pertaining to the club will we, when and as appropriate, refer to the old and/or new operating companies.



    The BBC Trust finding on the issue may be accessed (on page number 25) of their archived June 2013 bulletin at:





    While aspects of this finding may not entirely align with elements of your complaint, the underlying theme – that of how the club should be described – lies at the heart of the finding. In this respect we would draw your attention to the BBC Trust’s conclusion points on page 5 of the bulletin, as summarised below:



    The Committee concluded:



    – that the choice of the right language by the BBC was highly dependent on the purpose and context of the output, including the intended audience and, for example, whether it was a sport story or a business story.



    – that, while there was no reason to treat the football club itself as “new” simply because the assets that make up the club had been transferred from one company to another, there was good reason to distinguish between “newco” and “oldco” when referring to the owning companies and the corporate transactions involved in the sale of the club.



    Nevertheless, we would like to assure you that we value your feedback on this matter. Please know that your complaint has been forwarded to the team at the BBC Sport website on our overnight reports.



    These reports are among the most widely read sources of feedback in the BBC and ensures that your complaint has been seen by the right people quickly. This helps inform their decisions about current and future reporting.



    Thank you once again for getting in touch.



    Kind regards



    Terry Hughes



    BBC Complaints Team