King circles the wagons as clouds loom


Newco have cut Celtic’s ticket allocation at Ibrox from 7,000 to 800 tickets per game next season.  I understand their thinking.  There have been four games between the clubs at Ibrox, Celtic winning each: the first, coming from behind, the second, free-wheeling by a couple of goals, the third – scoring five, and the fourth – twice coming from behind, then winning with 10 men.

It is a litany of humiliation, played out while 7,000 have a party in a stadium, the rest of which is near-empty well before full time.  Can you imagine having to sit through this, season after season?  Of course they want to reduce our headcount and garner whatever competitive advantage possible.

There are problems.  League rules state a “reasonable number of visiting supporters” must be admitted.  This number should be agreed in advance with the visiting club, or else the SPFL board will adjudicate.

Then there is the small matter of the Ibrox safety certificate, which Dave King previously said depended on Celtic fans being given the Broomloan Stand.  The police insist each set of fans have distinct and separate approaches to stadiums at high-risk games.

Celtic will be happy to reduce the number of Newco fans they have to accommodate – it should shelve talk of having to put prison-grade toilet facilities in areas they visit.  Each away team will suffer a competitive disadvantage, but making visits to Ibrox trickier will do our European preparations no harm.

Whatever the police and SPFL say, Dave King has more to worry about.

He still has to get £11m out of South Africa and into a UK bank account.
He needs to satisfy the Takeover Panel before he can start a share issue.
He needs to satisfy the Court of Session over his failure to comply with Takeover Panel instructions.
He needs to satisfy loans due by 1 July (Oh you thought they were all going to be converted to shares, did you? Wait for this one).
He needs to fund a trading shortfall for next season.
He needs to find enough cash to keep the management team on-side before the transfer window closes.
And he needs to convince Uefa they satisfy Financial Fair Play regulations.  Straightforward if you have lots of cash, don’t need to use it to buy-out other shareholders at 20p/share, repay loans or fund a football team.

There is simply too much to do.  Better to circle the wagons by throwing some crumbs to the easily-deluded.  You know how this story ends.

It’s the 25th May.  It is also the weekend.  You have permission to wallow in nostalgia for 24 hours.  Enjoy it.

You can also participate in Green Day: donate £5 (see below) to the Foundation.  You’ll enjoy this too.

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  1. Starry,



    Thanks for the reply



    The Devlin’s indeed stayed in Leven Terrace originally in the prefabs and the a council house. One of the daughters was a nun and another married one of my uncles.



    the Ryan family in Newarthill was related to my wife.



    Mr. Ryan had died by the time I arrived on the scene but his wife Mary and their 3 children Rena, Mary and Michael grew up with my wife.



    The Cullen family 6 doors up from us in Crescent Newarthill.



    A small world indeed nand great to talk to you.






  2. williefernie on

    Already a year has passed since that truly wonderful day in old Lisbon town A most moving service at Mass in the morning,a trip to the Estadio Nacional ending in a Pink Street Party!And meeting a few of CQN’s finest into the bargain.


    A very well-measured response by the Celtic Board.Although I am a bit worried about the safety aspect to our 800 fans. HH,





    Hard to think that Franny was buried a year ago today. He was a good friend to many on here. And a huge loss to all who knew him.



    Most importantly,to his family.



    R I P

  4. Home in time for the Tom Rogic final this time last year



    If you’ve never been just go;



    A couple of Celtic supporters from separate parts of deepest darkest Lanarkshire hooked up again in Lisbon just like we did on our first day at Holy Cross high school. We were without a word of Portuguese on that day, but luckily ole Eurochamps67 picked up one word in fifty odd years ‘Obrigado’ and it was all we needed for the trip.



    Bruno our self appointed Portuguese ‘tour guide’ started out as taxi driver but the good shepherd was a scholar of his city, and although way too young, also a sage of 67′. On reflection, he may have saw these two bhoys coming and was happy to snooze in his Mercedes till we had seen all the sights then returned us home before collecting his signing on fee.



    It was a magical few days the highlight of which was sittiing in Estadio Nacional just outside paradise along with the songs and the souls of the modern as well as dearly departed Celts, at a place they call Jamor.



    The whole amphitheatre is untouched by time in the baking heat of Lisbon the Celtic spirits are all still there, and you’ll find it exactly as you imagined it all of your life very much alive and bristling with your history.



    A truely tree lined jewel etched in a hill above Lisbon magnificent in all its gladiatorial poise. When we sat down under the granite stage where the colossus McNeill greeted us with that gift from his Lions the atmosphere was still sheer Celtic.



    Retracing footsteps of Celtic fans who had gone before in the days of BBC’s black and white TV, with its grainy pictures when we caught worldwide attention as the first ever Kings of Europe from any cold country.



    I hope they never ever alter the stadium where the beautiful game was made to be watched and if you ever get the chance to go, you’ll never feel closer to Celtic this side of paradise, than I did on Thursday 25th May 2017.



    Holy Cross CSC

  5. I think we should take whatever tickets we can get for ibrox. We should however, make sure that we do a Risk Assessment and don’t give tickets to children or the elderly. It will not be safe for any Tims but the Bhoys or the Green Brigade could represent us well. Fit enough to protect themselves and to sing songs of victory for 90 minutes.



    I had decided never to go again to Ibrox as my little protest against the cheating, but was torn when watching our joy and waving Cheerio to the Orcs before the final whistle.




    He ho! this team will still hammer them

  6. Prestonpanbhoy



    Sorry to hear the loss of your mum, but try hard to recall the good times and laughs you had together. You have lost your best friend ever.




  7. Please excuse the repost and length, but here are a few words I wrote last year about my old dad and the Lisbon Lions, if anyone fancies a wee read…..



    A Joyful Lament to a Different Game



     Celtic fans around the world spent last season commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Lisbon Lions European Cup success. The current team played their part with an unbeaten campaign that culminated in a treble. But amid the joyful nostalgia there is the recognition that that the game has changed beyond all measure in the intervening period.












    It is a Saturday afternoon in Paisley, just outside Glasgow. The year is 1967 and a 28 year old man with a whimsical idea in mind is dialling a number in a telephone box, more in hope than expectation. A gruff sounding Irishman receives the call. A speculative request is made, and is granted after brief consideration. The necessary arrangements are agreed. The players of St Charles Boys Club should report to the stadium the next day at 10am for a tour of the ground. Some of the Celtic players – newly crowned European champions – are in for a light training session and will be happy to say hello. The man placing the call – my father – thanks the gentlemen on the other end, the Celtic assistant manager, Sean Fallon. A hectic evening ensues convincing disbelieving kids and parents alike that the proposed outing is not a hoax.












    On the Sunday morning, Fallon was true to his word and a dozen or so wide eyed Paisley youngsters were greeted by the man from Sligo, who warmly introduced them to legendary manager Jock Stein and club icon Jimmy McGrory, along with a clutch of first team players who willingly had a kickabout with them at the ground, followed by a full tour of the stadium.












    I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been told this story, both by my old man and by those who made the 10 mile trip to Glasgow’s east end with him. As I sat with my dad watching Brendan Rogers’ current Celtic team honour the 50th anniversary of the Lisbon Lions triumph with an undefeated treble in May this year, we reflected again on that impromptu encounter, laughing at the notion that a man in the street would have such direct, immediate and unfettered access to senior players and management at the home of the reigning European champions, while remembering that this was also a time when star midfielder Bobby Murdoch would take the bus to training on a daily basis and legendary winger Jimmy Johnstone borrowed money from the ball boys for a fish supper on the way home. Simpler times undoubtedly, when players and managers were still deeply embedded in their communities and were talented representatives and extensions of the wider support












    In football as in life, the generations elapse and things change, but these anecdotes – now half a century old and heavily laden with nostalgia – form the basis of a lament to the modern game, where elite players are for the most part, fiercely protected from their fans. The story of the Lisbon Lions has been split into tens of thousands of narratives but it remains eternal and special largely because eleven men, all from within thirty miles of Glasgow, conquered Europe with an earthy, gallus swagger which is entirely different to the pretentious conceit we often see at the top level of football today.












    I often argue with my dad that nostalgia can contaminate the memory when it comes to football but in the case of the Lions, the evidence pointing towards true greatness is overwhelming. Some might also argue, and not without reason, that Celtic fans have an inclination towards the sentimental but it’s important to acknowledge the club would not have the history and romance it has now, had those players not had the courage and ability they had then, but the magnitude of their unique achievements were not always recognised in some quarters. From the UK media, national team selectors and even from within the boardroom at Celtic Park they received contemporary applause, followed by oblivion, with the odd moment of rediscovery. Chief executive Peter Lawell and Martin O’Neill raised their profile greatly again around the millennium, though the fans had never allowed these ordinary heroes to be forgotten.












    When Jock Stein arrived as manager in 1965 there was no drum roll to accompany him. Trumpets did not play. His limited playing career and plain speaking offered no hint of his visionary attitude to the game. He was an ex miner whose values of modesty, humility and teamwork were forged in the pits, a man who in the words of Hugh McIllvanney was “educated below his intelligence”. His impact on the club and on his players was seismic. Victory over the mighty Inter Milan in Lisbon was as one sided as a 2-1 victory could possibly be, where Celtic dominated proceedings entirely, despite the oppressive heat and the concession of an early goal. It is unlikely that there has ever been a more fruitful or historic collaboration between two full backs than Jim Craig’s perfectly timed cutback for Tommy Gemmell to hammer in the equaliser from the edge of the box, a combination which epitomised the relentlessly attacking nature of the Celtic performance. When Stevie Chalmers diverted Gemmells strike beyond the one man barricade of Giuliano Sarti, the Italians had long since abandoned any pretence of attempting to win the game.












    Re-watching the entire ninety minutes is an illuminating experience; Celtic were absolutely masterful.












    Millions of words have been written about this special team so when the anniversary documentaries and articles began to be trailed it was hard to see where the fresh angle would come from. The new perspective on their achievements came with a heavy dose of melancholy and sadness, with news earlier in the year that team captain Billy McNeill was in advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease, which was closely followed by the passing of Tommy Gemmell. These were hard blows for a group of men who are close as brothers and the anniversary celebrations were coloured by recent developments. The sight of Billy McNeill with the group in May this year prompted some throat clogging emotions for Celtic fans of all ages.












    Jimmy Johnstone overcame the limitations of his genetic inheritance, not to mention some medieval tackling, to be voted the greatest Celt of all time. Bertie Auld epitomised the Glaswegian essence of the team with streetwise attitude and ability, while Bobby Murdoch held the compass every time the team advanced. But McNeill was the undisputed leader of the team. This son of a blackwatch soldier led the team out in Lisbon with the quiet nobility of a gladiator and ended it by ascending the concrete stairs alone, to be immortalised in the most famous photograph in the clubs history with the big cup. It must be difficult for family and ex-team mates to see a figure of such physical and mental fortitude in his current health.












    Sporting icons, even the greatest, do not exist in a vacuum and the remaining Lisbon Lions are old men now. Even those St Charles Boys Club youngsters who attended Celtic Park on a bright Sunday morning are in their sixties. While all would acknowledge the incredible job Brendan Rogers has done in his maiden season to connect players, fans and management again, it would be an offence to most fans sensibilities to compare the two teams. It is equally futile to compare eras and traditions but one wonders what Jock Stein would have made of the corporate carnival of vanity that passes for the Champions League today, or what McNeill might think of the actions of Sergio Ramos in ensuring the dismissal of his opponent in the recent Champions League final.












    The remembrance of the Lions was a season long celebration and they were commemorated brilliantly by supporters in the 67th minute of every game at home and away, in Scotland and abroad. For Celtic fans of my father’s generation, that Celtic team were men like themselves with the same daily concerns, who just happened to be sportsmen. Perhaps this is part of the reason why they continue to be so celebrated.












    Sometimes it’s unhealthy to dismiss modern progress or to lapse into sentimentality for an extended period of time, but in the year of the Lisbon Lions 50th anniversary, it’s been entirely justified. There will never be another team like them.

  8. Fifty one years ago a this time, I was just finishing dinner in the centre of Lisbon. Shortly afterwards with friends, I took a taxi out to the stadium. On the way there, the driver insisted as we had hired to taxi for the day that we should visit the famous Geromino Monastery. Which we duly did, and full of the joy of seeing that wonderful place, we made our way out to the Stadio.



    One year ago, after Mass and lunch outside the Basilica of Nossa Senhora dos Martires, I took off with a few others to the Stadio. I had been there twice before, but this time it was very different. Memories flooded back. Jinky on his wing entertaining the Portuguese who loved him. Bertie and Bobby controlling things, shots raining in on the Inter goal, Ronnie’s backheeler. Tommy’s goal and Stevie’s rounding it off. Then the invasion of the park and finally Big Billy showing the Big Cup to the travelling supporter and every other Tim in the world.



    But with the memories, there was also the reality that I was the only one of the group in the taxi who was still alive. So I stood there in the Stadio and said a prayer for the repose of their souls. My hope was that the joy we shared seated together on 25th May 1967 was a joy they were sharing together in the Eternal Paradise with Big Jock and so many others who made that joy and its lasting memory possible for us even 51 years on. See many of you tonight, DV.

  9. Tobago Street on

    “Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice;


    Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment.”


    Listen to everyone’s opinion, but reply or respond to the reasonable.


    Admit when your wrong, but keep your judgement to yourself,


    wait for the opportune or right moment to express your thinking.



    Neganon, when you spoke to Celtic about their silence being an


    ‘abdication of leadership and simple cowardice’ how did they respond?




  10. BMCWP



    I was told you chucked it and thought if anything would get you posting even just for today it would be the anniversary of Frannys burial .



    The auld bugger will be smiling at his timing .



    Yes he meant a lot to so many .



    Hope all is well with your goodself ……. don’t know why you left but glad you reconsidered.

  11. Celtic by numbers .



    Terrific analysis .



    One question if I may .



    The possession and pass completion stats don’t seem to reflect a game which Celtic totally dominated .



    Was territorial advantage another stataistical factor ?



    That said , no surprise that the stats show Bobby Murdoch as man of the match .

  12. weebawbabitty on

    PRESTONPAN BHOYS , thoughts and prayers mate on the loss of your mum MINT TOFFEE TREATS welcome KEVJ hope you are good my Blantyre friend

  13. weebobbycollins on

    Prestonpans Bhoy…I lost my mum recently and I think I know how you’ll be feeling right now. Sincere condolences.




    Went swimming in the loch with our dogs Monday, Tuesday ….Wednesday and thursday was far more pleasant as it was scorchio .


    You picked a good day for your trip , thanks for replying ;))

  15. Delaneys Dunky on




    Sincere condolences on the loss of your mother.


    May her soul rest in peace.

  16. Marspapa/BMCUW



    Thanks for the shout of Franny,The Barca mole,much missed,he was a Celtic titan B,not only did he play his part in starting those clubs he was a massive part of the Pollok area and it love of all things Celtic,Jimmy not paul i am sure will be able to talk of more Celtic sortes :-)



    Prestonpansbhoy YNWA



    off out now to meet a few Celtic men and woman.talk bout our history and our club :-)





  17. weebobbycollins on

    BSR…Holy Cross…Lisbon ’67…Rutherglenish…………………………….hmmmm!

  18. Kieran Tierney’s overall Celtic record:



    130 appearances, 7 goals, 31 assists.



    8 yellow cards, 0 red cards.



    11,118 minutes played.



    7 major honours.



    20 years old.







    Your spot on with JIMMYNOTPAUL . Franny and I were going to surprise him with a visit as it only ever seemed like funerals they met up . Franny looked after T’s daughter when she worked / moved down south .



    BUTSYBHOY is another who could tell a few of their stories … anyhoo I was only in Frannys life but a shortwhile but he left an everlasting impression ….



    I dont know if you remember me asking if I could go hill walking with you and Billy a while back ….well I found out this week its not for me lol!!….tried what I thought was a massive climb , lungs bursting , thighs burning only for an older frail woman passing me and saying wail till you start the ascent .



    ps …if you speak to”CHOO CHOO” the NUTMEG kING tell him I was asking for him ( LIONSROAR )

  20. leftclicktic on

    Prestonpans Bhoy


    Thoughts with you and yours at this time may your Mam R.I.P

  21. itscalledthemalvinas on




    I was at that game in the early eighties. We were in the enclosure as I think that was when they were building the new broomloan stand. The monkeys were lobbing objects down on the Celtic fans which was met with a stampede up the stairs to sort them out. Cops got a hold of the situation and positioned themselves in front of the monkeys so there was no more missiles.


    Celtic got a draw that day-think it was Allan Sneddon or Mark Reid who scored the equaliser.

  22. A previous poster mentioned the grainy black and white pictures from Lisbon on the BBC. That was probably on BBC 1 which did not have technology to broadcast in colour. Plus most TVs could not receive colour broadcasts any way. BBC 2 was broadcasting in colour and you could watch in colour provided you had the latest TV set. Our next door neighbours had colour TV and I was fortunate to watch the game with them.

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