International break gives Brendan valuable scouting opportunity


Remember when Celtic couldn’t keep a clean sheet? Saturday’s 3-0 win against Inverness was our sixth domestic shut out since Craig Gordon returned to the team after Dorus de Vries injured himself attempting to stop that incredible goal Kilmarnock scored on 24 September.

To put that into some kind of perspective, it took the 20 domestic games before that run started to collate six clean sheets, stretching back to Morton’s visit on 6 March. The longest domestic clean sheet run we achieved last season was three games. Say what you like about the goals from Moussa and Scott Sinclair – and we’ve been spectacularly impressive in attack – but this is a runaway championship because of Celtic’s defensive record.

And what a runaway it is. Remember when we were told we needed the competition we’d see this season? Aberdeen started with a poor five games and we discover there’s not competition at all. There is no competition worthy of the name, just scintillating football, and the stands are fuller than they’ve been in years. We’ll take a look at the rest of the league later in the week.

Brendan Rodgers will spend the international break scouting footballers, his team isn’t finished by a long shot. Usual caveats apply, January is a difficult month, etc., no guarantees targets will want to come, or be available, in January or the summer, but a lot of plans are underway right now for next season’s Champions League.  There are absolutely no detectable plans for dealing with the domestic challenge.

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re in November, winter is upon us and for many, a time of crisis looms. Watch this message from Brendan and the players – they are speaking to you and me.

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  1. NATKNOW I will. If you are back this way drop me a line, we can fish around Matakana or Motiti or go out to White Island outa Whakatane. Hail hail .

  2. KITALBA on 8TH NOVEMBER 2016 9:24 AM




    Hail Hail fella, hope yer well.


    Kit, I’ve not read that book but,….I don’t know if i’ll find anything in it to change my mind about Fergus.


    As for David Low – I sat with my bro at the back of the Shettleston Halls for the inaugural meeting of, Willie Wilson’s – Save Our Celts – and, there were a few Celtic dignitaries in attendance….


    Joe Beltrami


    Brian Dempsey (who’d just been ousted from the board)


    Jim Craig


    James Farrell


    Tom Grant


    Gerry Dunbar (Not The View editor)


    ….so, a guid Tim gathering.


    As the meeting ran it’s course, David Low, who was 2 rows behind my bro and myself at the back of the hall and, it was quite difficult to hear the speakers on the stage but,….what really stuck in a lot of Tims craws that day was, David Low gave his toddler who was with him, a key ring that had more keys on it than a jailer and, the toddler kept dropping the keys onto the wooden floor, only for DL to pick them up and let it happen again about 2 dozen times.


    Even though he was being eye balled he kept on, and on, and on, and…..well, for me he was a prick that could have been doing with a clout on the ear.


    Not the toddler – David Low.


    R sole of a guy….imho.


    Hail Hail

  3. As few as five is impossible – but these chaps are on a kitchen wall -way down south.


    Willie Fernie


    Bobby Murdoch


    Jimmy Johnstone


    Kenny Dalglish


    Danny McGrain


    Brian McClair


    Lubo Moravcik


    George Connelly


    Tommy Gemmell


    Henrik Larsson .


    Brian Mclaughlin .


    Joe McBride

  4. VFR800 Watched the videos so I know Jinky deserves the pedestal at Celtic park, just unfortunate for me not to have been old enough to see his genius live. Heard my da and my uncles sing his praise often enough. Same with Bobby Murdoch, true legends in the hoops. Did you know I saved a penalty against Billy McNeill……at butlins. Caesar wasn’t renowned for his penalty taking but I was particularly focused. Bobby Lennox and Tommy Callaghan played with us the next year ; ) . Hail hail.

  5. Anyway,….best player ‘EVER’ to play in British football


    ….Kenny Dalglish…imho.


    Best player to ‘EVER’ play for Cellic….


    …Bobby Lennox….imho.


    Best goal that the Jungle ‘EVER’ celebrated….


    …Murdo’s League Championship Clincher in the


    immortal 10 men won the League 4-2 gemme…Magical.

  6. vfr800@girfuy.co.uk on

    Taurangabhoy on 8th November 2016 10:08 am



    The wee man was a joy to watch. I remember Jock Stein saying that rather than being remembered for winning the Big Cup that he’d rather be remembered for keeping Jinky in the game for 5 years longer than he should have been; a truly great man-manager!



    Also, I can honestly say I didnae know you saved big Caesar’s penalty!







    I don’t know David Low, I’ve never met him and I didn’t get a great impression about him from his book (everybody judges, fairly or not we are all guilty of making judgments). However, if what he claimed in his book was not true then he’d have been sued by now.



    I got his book in the Argyle Street store albeit a long time ago now.



    Fergus McCann pee’d me off a few times too but he delivered what he professed inclusive of his profit. I don’t think he ever duped anybody regards the financial health and stability of the club. That might have come later….




    NATKNOW I will. If you are back this way drop me a line, we can fish around Matakana or Motiti or go out to White Island outa Whakatane. Hail hail .




    Will do mate – no idea when though! :-)










    RebelYell.com is on standby for addy exchange. I’ll stick tae Kilwinning for my holidays!

  10. KITALBA on 8TH NOVEMBER 2016 10:14 AM




    Being a winklepicker…eh, ah mean a nitpicker(what’s the difference?)…


    …Fergus said he’d leave enough money to build Lennoxtown….he didny.


    He brought out – Bhoys Against Bigotry – when, if he was really a bhoy he’d have known that, bhoys didn’t, don’t and, hopefully never will do bigotry.


    He also tried to ban the ‘sectarian tricolour’ from Celtic supporters inside the stadium ???


    Ah mean,….maybe, just maybe,….there were some grains of truth in the, unhinged eejit Michael Kelly’s comment that,….”When McCann took control of Celtic FC, Celtic’s soul….died!”


    Maybe Michael Kelly got that one correct ?












    RebelYell.com is on standby for addy exchange. I’ll stick tae Kilwinning for my holidays!




    Cheers BUD! :-))

  12. A wee well earned days rest yesterday for all the Brown Shirts as it was Brown Shirt wash day doon the local steamie. As you can imagine a steamie being a steamie a fair few chin waggles were heard to resonate around the room. The main topic of course being biological versus non-biological in order to increase the life span of our amazing garments.



    But we did stray onto other topics like, the clique and our consider opinion after some discussion, very heated at times, is that the Clique will be renamed from this day hence forth to the CANQSTAS – like Gangstas only replacing a few letters to incorporate CQN. Nice eh?



    We also debated out top 5 greatest Celts and our top 5 players to have played for Celtic. This will conclude at the next steamie Brown Shirt wash day when we will cut our current top 500 in each category down to a more manageable 450ish in each.



    Anyway have a nice day.






    email with any relevent suggestions, moans or just thickoness.




  13. vfr800@girfuy.co.uk on

    KEVJUNGLE on 8th November 2016 10:25 am



    He brought out – Bhoys Against Bigotry – when, if he was really a bhoy he’d have known that, bhoys didn’t, don’t and, hopefully never will do bigotry.





    Paradoxically they did racism; do you remember the bananas and monkey chants from the Jungle for mark Walters? There was a lot of bitterness in the Jungle in the ’70’s and early ’80’s that could been viewed by some as bigotry as the effect of the “Troubles” pervaded mainland Britain.



    I loved the Jungle but you definitely look at it through rosegreen tinted specs. It was not unusual for a wee bit of aggro to develop between “great bhoys” from different areas of the toon, often as a result of too much bevvy! It was never a “united” stronghold; there were numerous factions in the jungle generally based on geography/gang affiliation.



    What it was though was a heaving, sweating (hauf-cut) gang of mad Tims. The focus was the team and not the Board until the early ’90’s. But I will say there were many times when a lot of the “good ole bhoys” didnae turn up when the team were really bad. It wisane so crowded then!




  14. Like I said Kev, Fergus had his faults, I never l liked how he treated Tommy Burns, Davie Hay and Win Jansen. He could be naively cruel. But had John Keane not fronted up the 1 million pounds there was another who was well prepared to do likewise. John Keane saved Celtic for Fergus McCann by accident or design.



    I thought the training ground was a DD venture though I am not 100% on that.

  15. vfr800@girfuy.co.uk on

    BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on 8th November 2016 10:46 am



    Cannae disagree wi’ that!



    I’m sure big Aitken could’ve scored that one but wanted to make sure it went in as an OG!




  16. Johnstone,Dalglesh,Murdoch, McGrain, Connolly,great football players,but in my opinion, there was only one Charles Patrick Tully,took a corner and scored twice,I was a very young Bhoy then,

  17. 50 shades of green on

    Favourite 5 is it.















    And anyone and everyone who scored against either of the Govan teams past and present.





    I remember the banana incidents,even though I wasn’t at the game.



    I had three tickets. My Dad,my Uncle Jim,and Neil all turned up. What can you do? Drive them there,try to get a spare,fail miserably and listen on the car radio.



    The thing is,I didn’t see too much wrong with it on the day. It was intended to get at the Rangers player,I don’t think it was a racist point being made.



    Move on only a year or two,I’m down in London and a good friend has the same name,accent-ish-,and nationality as me,but comes from Edinburgh and supports the huns. I get asked too often for comfort why I even let him in my company.



    Streatham,btw. Not terribly tolerant at the time.



    That’s when I realised how wrong the bananas were. To my shame,not before. I don’t wear sackcloth and ashes over it,just made damn sure to try harder in future.

  19. vfr800@girfuy.co.uk on

    kitalba on 8th November 2016 10:54 am



    IMHO John Keane knew precisely what he was doing and was happy for The Bunnet to do the work.



    Love him or loathe him, McCann did the hard and sometimes dirty work to bring the club back from the brink. He also put in his own money and guaranteed about £7M of Celtic’s debt.



    He walked away with a profit; I’m sure others made some money too; doesn’t make them bad people, just businessmen.



    I don’t think he was naively cruel though; I think he was “businessman” cruel. No room for sentiment from a guy like McCann.








    My Dad’s all-time favourite. You have excellent taste.

  21. Hunderbirds are Gone on




    Gadzooks! How could I forget Carl MUGgleton!



    KEV J



    For me, you got that one right. The reaction to Murder McLeod’s clincher in the 4-2 game was amazing. Everyone that was there that night knew we had witnessed something magical.




  22. VFR800@GIRFUY.CO.UK:



    Fergus got the job done but there were others who wanted the job too. Would they have done a better job????



    McCann was naively cruel to Win Jansen, Tommy Burns and Davie Hay. He was cruel and rude. I did not like him for it and to this day I do not like the man for it; regardless of how he is painted as Celtic’s saviour whether it is exclusively true or not.

  23. vfr800@girfuy.co.uk on

    BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on 8th November 2016 10:58 am



    January 1988. It was a bad day for Celtic; whereas I agree that some people didn’t necessarily appreciate the racist undertone of the bananas, I think most involved did. It wasn’t 1 or 2. I would say it was into 3 figures. Some guys had bunches of bananas FFS! If you recall it, the game was stopped at one point to remove the bananas because there were so many. At the very best it was covert racism by a lot of people.



    I was shamed and nearly ended up boxing because I let my feelings be known and the N word was being used along with the monkey chants. I was involved with The Anti-Nazi League at the time so was possibly a wee bit more savvy about racism than others. Fortunately a few of my mates backed me up and the 2 guys I was arguing with backed off.



    We beat them 2-0 but I didn’t enjoy the game, result or atmosphere very much at all. One of my worst experiences at a Celtic game.







    Maybe, but he did have hubris and an emigrant disdain for the Celtic history and culture.

  25. What happened to Dempsey????



    BRIAN DEMPSEY was the man who uttered the immortal phrase associated with Fergus McCann’s takeover of Celtic 20 years ago.



    But now Dempsey has revealed one word of his victory speech from the steps of Celtic Park on March 3, 1994, was changed to reflect the bloody conflict that had gone on behind the scenes before the club’s boardroom dynasty was overthrown.



    It was the former director turned collaborator with McCann who addressed an excited throng of supporters gathered in the car park outside the ground as midnight approached.



    And he ended a day of historic negotiations by saying: “The battle is over, the rebels have won.”



    That was Dempsey’s interpretation of what had gone on. But it wasn’t what McCann had asked him to say.



    Dempsey said: “We were sitting in the Walfrid restaurant having dinner while our lawyers were finalising the takeover.



    “Fergus saw me as the face of the takeover campaign and declined my invitation to speak to the waiting crowd himself.



    “But he asked me to say, ‘The game is over. The rebels have won’.



    “I told him we had been involved in a bloody conflict that was more of a battle than a game. So that was the word I inserted into a defining speech that was his original idea.”



    The story of the speech sums up the relationship that existed between McCann and Dempsey.



    They were singing from the same hymn sheet in terms of saving Celtic from going into receivership but sometimes the words were different, depending on who sang them.



    And that was true of their relationship from the outset as the process of unseating the families who traditionally ran Celtic’s boardroom, the Kellys, Whites and Grants, was begun.



    Dempsey said: “I was introduced to Fergus in 1991 by a mutual friend. He was a single-minded, driven individual who stood no nonsense and saw Celtic as a money-making machine.



    “I was a former director who had been thrown off the board at an agm by directors who saw me as a risk.



    “The club was drifting into serious financial trouble and the board was too afraid to deal with the problems that confronted them.



    “I contacted Fergus at his then home in Canada and we agreed to meet in Phoenix, Arizona.



    “That led to Fergus flying over to Scotland to see what could be done in order to take over from directors who had only ever given him short shrift when he had previously tried to do business with them.



    “The Celtic board were always guilty of underestimating McCann because he gave off the aura of a socially awkward wee man who wasn’t big on chit-chat. They didn’t know what they were facing.”



    A rude awakening for the directors started with a late-night phone call to Dempsey’s home by former Celtic chairman Kevin Kelly on Wednesday, March 1.



    Dempsey said: “I hadn’t spoken with Kevin for a year and the conversation began awkwardly before I asked him what the true purpose of his call might be. He said, ‘We’ve got a wee problem. The bank want one million pounds by five o’clock tomorrow evening or else they’ll put us into receivership’.



    “I remember saying to Kevin, ‘And that’s a wee f*****g problem’.



    “We agreed to meet at 8.30am the following day and had a bank manager, Dominic Keane, investigate exactly where the club stood.



    “He told us Noble-Grossart had already been appointed as receivers by the Bank of Scotland. That was how serious they were about wanting their money.



    “I told the bank we couldn’t meet their five o’clock deadline but I would guarantee them the money the following day.



    “They agreed to accept my personal guarantee and said I could have six weeks in which to put the million pounds in the bank. When I called Fergus to tell him what was going on he wasn’t inclined to fly back to Scotland because he felt he’d been hounded by the press.



    “But at 9.30am the following day, I received a phone call from the bank to say Fergus was standing there in person ready to deposit one million pounds with them.



    “I didn’t want any internal warfare. I wanted a smooth transition that would remove the old board and instal new people to run Celtic.



    “So I agreed to do it Fergus’s way and we started to acquire the directors’ shares, with the exception of Tom Grant. He didn’t want to sell.



    “The negotiations were completed at Celtic Park but I always remember our legal people had to bring their own office equipment with them to do the job properly.



    “There was only one typewriter inside the ground that belonged to?the club.”



    But as business partners the men who had conspired to rewrite Celtic’s history were incompatible and their differences of opinion meant McCann and Dempsey couldn’t sit on the?same board.



    Dempsey said: “It was as if we had two different ledgers. Mine was all about the heart and soul of the club I’d been brought up to support.



    “Fergus’s ledger dealt exclusively with profit and loss.



    “The thought of the club I regarded as being for the Celtic community going into receivership took my breath away.



    “That’s why I didn’t dig my heels in when Fergus arrived with his money. He acquired 51 per cent of the club and was entitled to have his say.



    “Celtic had to stay intact and when I look at what’s happened to Rangers over the past two years I know Fergus was right.



    “He wasn’t emotionally involved with Celtic in the same way I was. I’m not sure Fergus had emotions.



    “His motto was, ‘We’ve got a plan and we stick to the plan’.



    “The plan was right and he resurrected Celtic.”



    Dempsey’s memory of the day McCann went to Celtic Park for the first time as owner of the club?summed up perfectly the way the two men thought.



    He said: “Celtic were playing Motherwell and it was put to me that Fergus and I should walk out into the centre circle and be surrounded by the players while they applauded us.



    “I rejected that idea because I’ve always believed that it’s the players who thrill the Celtic supporters, not the suits.



    “The fastest Fergus moved that day was when someone told him there was a problem with a turnstile.



    “He ran round to see what the problem was and made sure there was no difficulty in getting as many paying customers into the ground as was humanly possible.



    “Now they’re talking about whether a statue should be erected outside the ground in Fergus’s honour.



    “I would have no problem with that happening so long as there was a second one built to recognise what Dermot Desmond has done for Celtic over the past 20 years.



    “Dermot has put more money into Celtic than Fergus did but I have to qualify that by saying I’m glad I met McCann.



    “I learned an awful lot from him but I wouldn’t necessarily want to be him.”

  26. vfr800@girfuy.co.uk on

    KITALBA on 8th November 2016 11:08 am



    He wasn’t a likeable wee man. He was rude and treated people badly but he did the job that was required.



    Could others have done the job better? We’ll never really know, but I think some of the others were possibly too close to some of the key “players/personalities” at the time and wouldn’t have been as impartial as Fergus McCann. For instance, could others have side-lined Brian Dempsey so easily? I’m not necessarily saying it was the best move to oust him completely but he had served his purpose by then and wouldn’t, IMHO, have been as effective as Fergus McCann. Sentiment wouldn’t have allowed that.



    Whatever else happened, history tells us Fergus McCann was instrumental in saving Celtic from financial meltdown; for that I am very grateful!




  27. KITALBA on 8TH NOVEMBER 2016 11:15 AM



    His primary motivation was to make money and I don’t think he had any patience with those he thought would hinder him achieving that objective.

  28. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    Morning Celts



    Fav Celts…



    Bobby Lennox




    Danny McGrain


    Kenny Dalglish





    Could go on all day really :)



    KEVJ Hunskelper…..With you on Fergus….and, Bobby Lennox, a wee genius who destroyed the Huns with a smile on his face.


    Rebel Flag Flying High




  29. vfr800@girfuy.co.uk on

    ernie lynch on 8th November 2016 11:19 am




    VFR800@GIRFUY.CO.UK on 8TH NOVEMBER 2016 11:09 AM



    ‘I was involved with The Anti-Nazi League at the time’






    As I recall the ANL wasn’t active at the time.





    OK, it was called Anti Fascist Action at the time (one of the 2 groups to emerge in the time between ANL closing and reopening), but in principle it was the same thing; Red Action were also involved but were more into “direct action”. If I had named AFA not many would have known what I was talking about.



    Anyway, it gives you something to pick up on rather than try and contribute to any debate in any meaningful way.




  30. Simpson,Craig,Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeil Clark, Johnstone,Chalmers, Wallace, Auld, Lennox, McBride, Fallon, Hugh’s, Callaghan, Hood, McGrain, Dalgliesh, Macarri, Connelly, Bonner, Aitken, Doyle, Burns, McStay, McClair, Fernie, Tully, McGrory, Larson,Lubo, Naka, Lennon, Lambert, Van Dyke, Holy Goaly, Vaduka, Wanyama, Griffiths.



    Pick 5 oot of that lot,? Good luck wi that, and I’m afraid your kidding yourself on if you can, IMO