Lawwell: Barton “would prefer to come to Celtic”


It’s unusual for Celtic to comment on transfer speculation, but this statement clarifies a few issues.  Celtic chief executive, Peter Lawwell, today denied claims the club wanted to sign Joey Barton, instead insisting the player “would really prefer to come to Celtic” than sign for “his new club”.

Lawwell said:

“I think Joey’s been had by a bit of a matchmaker here”.

“I remember it well, we had just announced Brendan as our new Manager and I was with our Company Secretary in London at the time.   An agent called me saying that Joey was going to sign for Rangers but he would really prefer to come to Celtic and were we interested in signing him, but it wasn’t something we wanted to pursue”.

“These things happen to players sometimes in football, but needless to say we wish Joey well at his new Club”.

I hope that the “new club” and Joey sort out their differences.  They appear to be so well matched.


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  1. Fergus McCann said that Rangers FC being put out of the same league as Celtic was the worst decision ever!


    Soul-Selling-Basturts-Fae-Canada CSC

  2. :)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))






    :)))))) :) :))))))))))))))))))




    – guessin’ thu’ll no’ like that!








  3. Big Peter’s doing Joey a massive favour here. There’s no such thing as bad publicity and Joey’s book is out on Thursday. Peter know the game…





    Ouch. That is a below-the-belt comment from PL if ever there was one.



    I have no reason to doubt it,of course.



    Nor that PL would have preferred not to comment were it not for Barton bringing the subject up in the first place.



    IMO,when you are as thick as Barton’s behaviour suggests,you really need to listen to advice.



    Preferably from a highly-paid medical professional.

  5. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    I would much prefer not to give Joey Barton any more of a platform to sell his book. Can we get a quote with regards his decision to step down from the professional gaming board ?








    I doubt many of us have any interest in purchasing Barton’s book.



    Have you seen the price of crayons nowadays?

  7. It’s refreshing to see that Peter Lawwell can in fact respond unequivocally to questions surrounding Celtic’s acts and omissions, thereby clearing up any possible doubts and misunderstandings, on certain issues at least.

  8. “These things happen to players sometimes in football, but needless to say we wish Joey well at the new Club”

  9. Since, The Celtic Football And Athletic Company


    became,…The Celtic Football Club…


    ….there have been a handful of…


    …sparkles in the rain….


    The Wim Season….


    The MO’N era…..


    The 1st couple of years of the Neil Lennon era…


    Hopefully The Brendan era….


    Puppet-Managers weren’t on the same page as us so,


    …they urny getting a mention.





  10. BT afraid no luck so far re lift from Aberdeen but not to worry unlike the Warbmeister I have a plan B !!!! Hail Hail Hebcelt

  11. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    Sent my dad a text, hopefully he knows someone up there


    Hope u are well all things considered

  12. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on







    You can praise a Ford Car without endorsing Henry Ford’s Nazi principles.




    I mean, it’s not as if he was married to someone who was heavily involved in illegal sanctions busting with S. Africa and Rhodesia during apartheid and UDI times, nor did he raise someone who was actively implicated in an African military coup with mercenaries and real guns and killing.



    P.S. In a straight choice between the Board and me, I’d choose the Board too. Nothing whatever to do with achievement record but more to do with putting people with relevant experience into relevant posts. I still think Ian Bankier was/is a disaster despite his ability to run a whisky firm.





    Glad to see you know your limitations.



    A red herring called Denis ?


    Nothing more.



    Rhodesia ?


    And wasn`t Maggie right about the horrible Marxist dictator , Mugabe who still runs a corrupt and racist regime in Zimbabwe .


    Where have all the earnest anti apartheid protesters gone ?


    Marvellous example of racist double standards.


    Protests against a racist white govt. but not against a black one.

  13. And so the vilification of Joey gathers momentum.”He wanted to sign for Celtic””He bet on the Barca -Celtic game”.Now being openly referred to as”Gobby,troublesome,a liability”and similar adjectives.All words and incidents we would never have heard if Joey had been a good boy,and just played football.


    Level 5 now working overtime to whip up a shitstorm they hope will engulf him.


    Dear oh dear.The difference in the reporting on Joey has gone from The Messiah joining Rangers to the Antichrist now in our midst.All inside 3 months.I wonder why?.

  14. Happy Birthday to the King of Kings and also, yours Truly – The Teuch of Teuch’s





    Thanks to Murdochauldandhay for the link yesterday to the Sacred heart/Glengarry story – really enjoyed it, although I wish our CEO had read it too instead of commenting on a non entity like Barton.




    That “new club” mention however, sounded easier on my ears, especially when I heard it twice :-)

  15. Danny Mills on Joey Barton:



    “We’ve seen that throughout all his misdeameanours. He is a good player and sets himself high standards and expects everyone around him to be the same.



    “It’s almost like the Roy Keane syndrome. He expects everyone to be the same. He expects everyone to be as good as he thinks he is.”



    FAC the Act




  16. If we assume the best players in Engerlund play in the EPL,and each team only use the same 14 players each week,then all this hoo-hah is over a guy who was the 281st best player down their last season.And that’s being conservative in his favour.




  17. Davidopoulos on 20th September 2016 9:37 am






    It’s almost as if you deliberately handpick these words of the day to aptly describe some posters ;)





    ShockedAndStunned CSC



    FAC the Act




  18. First story on bbc 5live sports news is the investigation into JB betting on football matches. Going for the throat now



    A squirrel, a big expensive one but a squirrel.



    A win tonight and signs of improvement at the weekend and all we’ll hear is that the cancer has been cut out and Warburtons bat is magic again. Let’s hope so

  19. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    And now betting allegations?



    Operation “Get him out without paying compensation” in full swing.



    Truly Orwellian stuff.

  20. If anyone up here was in any doubt that Level 5 controls the media, all media up here then Barton situation is a clear indicator of this, if he was playing well and Sevco were going well it would never have been heard of, instead puff pieces would have been printed about how much he loves playing here, winning games for their fans and how he rejected Celtic, rats that we dont need, Sevco see this as an opportunity to get rid of a player on a high salary who is not performing well,the media will pressure him into leaving before it effects his family.


    Like someone else stated I hope he has kept his union dues up to date and gets representation from England.

  21. EXPAT_CELT on 20TH SEPTEMBER 2016 10:33 AM



    Barton is an old-fashioned street fighter, and as he doesn’t have a reputation or family in Scotland he has nothing to lose



    I reckon he’ll not be too worried about walking away with a pay off and a huge amount of publicity around the time of the release of his book

  22. All this is simply the result of making things up as you go along, having little planning, and thinking only short-term. They wanted a quick fix for their first season in the spfl



    At the opposite end of the spectrum we see our financial results released today

  23. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma on




    Many years ago I remember laughing like hell upon hearing the story about Tommy McLean being told. The wee winger, with the reputation for being a good crosser of the ball, had just signed for Rangers from Kilmarnock and was introduced to the Ibrox dressing room.



    Sitting on one of the dressing room benches was another “wee” man, one William Henderson, who until that moment had customarily occupied the right wing position for Rangers – the same position where McLean had played for Killie.



    Years later, Willie Henderson would remark: “When Tommy McLean walked into the dressing room at Ibrox I thought “Oh ho! He’s not here for my autograph!””.



    Last night, I sat two seats along from Willie Henderson at the Imax cinema. As there was no one sitting in the seat between us I was clearly able to observe this small and sharply dressed man.



    He wore a light blue suit, a sharp shirt and tie, the familiar spectacles, and was immaculately turned out. I also noticed how small his feet were. He was wearing a smart pair of burgundy lace up shoes, and they were small. Very small.



    Seated immediately to Henderson’s left was the unmistakable face, figure and voice of Robert Terrence Auld. “Wee” Bertie was also smartly dressed in the familiar green blazer and usual accompanying attire.



    At times during the evening I could hear Bertie’s familiar laugh, but more often I heard the entirely unfamiliar sound of Willie Henderson’s guffaw’s. Genuine laughter and genuine automatic reaction to the images and sounds coming from the screen.



    The cause of that laughter were the antics, tales, humour and skill of one James Connolly Johnstone from Viewpark Uddingston, and the fantastic wit and storytelling ability of his wife Agnes.



    Margot McQuaig and her colleagues at Purple TV have produced a remarkable film celebrating Jimmy’s life and times and the film will publicly go to air on 30th September on BBC Alba.



    For a variety of reasons, the film is not to be missed.



    There have been various films about Jinky and millions of words written about his skill as a footballer and so there is no need for me to add more verbiage about what the wee man brought to the game of football.



    While the film undoubtedly stresses how hard he trained, how determined he was to make it as a professional footballer and how he dreamed of playing for Celtic, the main thrust of the film is not about football at all.



    Instead it is about Jimmy the man, Jimmy the husband and father, Jimmy the friend, Jimmy the patient, Jimmy the singer and mad cap bundle of fun, Jimmy with the drink problem and surrounding all of that just Jimmy the legend and the legend that is and was …. Jimmy.



    Agnes Johnstone is a knockout in this film with an impeccable comedic timing in her stories which betray a deep love for a man who was perhaps not always the easiest to live with yet who was the fulcrum of her life. She was clearly his rock and the harbour which protected him and their three children in stormy waters.



    There are of course contributions from friends and fellow players. Big Yogi, Bobby Lennox, Jim Craig, John Clark, Tommy Gemmell, Bertie Auld, Willie Haughey, Archie McPherson and yes William Henderson Esq and others. All tell great stories of Jimmy and all come across as genuine, affectionate and a friend of the man under discussion.



    I have had the privilege of speaking personally to many of those mentioned above, other than Henderson, on a number of occasions and so am familiar with many of the wise cracks and stories you hear at footballing dinners and so on.



    For this film, Margot McQuaig had journalist Alex O’Hanley interview them all separately and let them tell their stories of Jimmy.



    The result is a number of first-hand accounts of Jimmy the schoolboy (Yogi), Jimmy the ball boy (Bobby Lennox), Jimmy the player (Bertie), Jimmy the terrible air passenger (Jim Craig), Jimmy the UFO and Alien watcher (John Clark), Jimmy the friend in need (Willie Haughey), Jimmy the team mate (Tommy Gemmell) and Jimmy the opponent and friend (Willie Henderson).



    There is great humour in the film at times, yet at others it is nigh on impossible not to shed a tear. The film follows Jimmy and his family through the ups and downs of his life and his brave and courageous fight against motor neurone disease.



    Many of us have our own Jimmy Johnstone stories, both personal and footballing stories, and this film is precisely that – a collection of stories about a remarkable man told by his wife and children and his closest friends.



    However, for the football fan who is genuinely interested in football, particularly Glasgow football, the film delivers a message and a story that is part of, yet goes beyond, Jimmy and the others named above.



    There is a scene in the film where the normally loquacious Henderson is asked for his thoughts on visiting his great playing rival and friend towards the end of his life.



    Wee Willie pauses, almost stutters, tears up and in a sort of choked whisper utters one word – “Hard!”



    It is a very moving moment.



    Agnes Johnstone tells stories of the phone calls from John Greig, “Sandy Jardine, God rest him” and others and as I sat there my mind began to wonder to a scene I often witnessed myself a number of years ago.



    Very often on a Friday I used to go for lunch to a certain restaurant in Princess Square. As often as not, a few tables along from me you could see Simon Donnelly, Henrik Larsson, Giovanni Van Bronkurst, Lorenzo Amorouso and others all sharing a meal.



    To be fair, you never saw this on the day before a Celtic v Rangers match and you never saw Alan Thompson sitting with Fernando Ricksen.



    Years before I was taken for a haircut by Dixie Deans of Celtic and Johnny Hamilton of Rangers and in my early years I knew of the great friendship between the likes of Jimmy, Tommy Gemmell and Wee Willie.



    I once watched Willie Henderson preview a Scotland v Wales match and all the talk was about how Wales’ Leighton James had just completed a transfer for the then record sum of £250,000. Willie, smoking his torpedo cigar bluntly remarked “£250,000 wouldn’t get you a deposit on Jimmy Johnstone!”



    After the film last night, Bertie, Murdo McLeod and Willie took to the stage to talk about Jimmy. Before answering a question put to him by Archie McPherson, Henderson took the time to make a short speech about Jimmy which concluded with him saying “I cannot speak about Jimmy highly enough as a player or a man”.



    Wee Bertie also talked about Jimmy turning Davie Provan of Rangers inside out and added “But you know what? Big Provan never once tried to kick him – not that he could get a hold of him to kick mind you – But he didn’t try. There was just respect there, and in return there was no rubbing the noses in it, no antagonism, no nastiness.”



    What a contrast to today’s football in this city as portrayed by a media who, in my opinion, openly seek out division, rancour, antagonism and all that is bad about a footballing rivalry with little or no room given over to anything that can be classed as good or decent.



    In some quarters of the media, maybe most, good and decent doesn’t sell apparently.



    This is a remarkable and moving film, brilliantly shot and directed about a great football player and a special man.



    However, for me it is also a beacon of hope!



    In these times when there is endless points scoring on social media amongst opposing fans and where rivalry is often replaced by out and out bigotry, insults and the most awful use of words, this film is a reminder of the fact that friendship and respect has existed and flourished between Rangers and Celtic Players (and fans) going back over decades.



    I have witnessed scenes where there has been great humour and enjoyment amongst fans wearing green and white and royal blue shirts but these are very rarely highlighted by a media which does all that it can to fuel a fire and create a rivalry that is unhealthy and little to do with football.


    Football is a game. It is not an excuse for tribal warfare, insular ignorance, out and out bigotry and an appeal to the lowest common denominator in human behaviour.



    Margot McQuaig’s film is testimony to the fact that the greatest rivalry can lead the way to the greatest of friendships resulting in endless laughter in good times and in automatic and heartfelt tears when times get “hard” as Willie Henderson says.



    This is the tale of Wee Jimmy, Wee Bertie, Wee Bobby, Wee Willie, Wee Luggy (who points out that Jimmy called everyone “wee man” and big Yogi who might have been an exception to that rule.



    Many of these great players were “wee” men but they had big boots socially and did not allow the baggage that comes with being a footballer in Glasgow to dictate who they would be friends with or how they would conduct themselves either on or off the park



    This film, as well as proving what a remarkable family the Johnstones are and were, is a huge credit to those who participated in it and to those who made it.



    It is not to be missed not least because it contains a lesson or two or us all.









    If yo in any way liked this piece of writing, please feel free to show your appreciation by supporting myself and others who are sleeping out for the homeless (irrespective of which football team they support or if they support none at all) on 12th November via the Celtic charity foundation.



    Donations can be made here:










  24. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    In the All Ireland final, Mayo score 2 goals and 15 points, Dublin scored 9 points.




    The game ended up a draw and replay.




    Who said the GAA wasn’t a fix?

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