Milan, the incredible Paul Murray, Tyneside No 1


I never like to hear Celtic fans talk about weaknesses in opponents like Milan. They may be weaker than they were a decade ago but Milan have never been weak. The one thing Celtic have in their favour is the element of surprise, despite last season’s epic achievements. Milan will have read the screaming headlines, ‘spine of the team sold’. They will know little about how effective Celtic can use the vast open spaces of the San Siro.

After defending resolutely against Barca, Celtic looked like a far better team against a less effective Juventus but we found the limit to our abilities. Juve exploited the gaps in defence left as we took the game to them. I would rather defend in numbers and take our chances on the break than try to go toe-to-toe in midfield.

The San Siro seems to bring the best out of Celtic. Jock Stein went there three times, drawing after 90 minutes on each occasion; losing once after extra time. Gordon Strachan’s team were also level after regulation time, losing only after extra time, and lost narrowly in a Champions League group stage game. Martin O’Neill’s Celtic came within three minutes of securing a draw before conceding twice late on.

There can be fewer European grounds on which Celtic have performed as well. Wednesday will require another almighty and intense effort but that is something Celtic are never lacking. Milan may not fear us, but they have reason to be worried.

I listened to former Rangers director Paul Murray on BBC Radio Scotland over the weekend. I know books have been written on the downfall of that club but I could write one on his own contribution. As a non-executive director, Murray’s job was to be the eyes and ears of other shareholders, to ensure the business of the club was in order and carried out properly. He was in a position to ask awkward questions, in fact, it was his job to ask awkward questions and to ensure threats to the club were uncovered and addressed.

In this instance he failed absolutely. Despite this, he trumpeted the 50% decline in the club’s debt during his tenure as a badge of honour, he told us his namesake, Sir David, was exclusively responsible for the sale to Craig Whyte and for the consequences of the EBT debacle. We were informed that Rangers won their EBT case, despite the fact that during the First Tier Tribunal the club accepted they operated an illegal tax scheme for five players, and the remaining issues are a matter of appeal.

Most bizarrely of all he rejected Lord Nimmo Smith’s findings on the conduct of his board before telling us he is absolutely certain he would be judged fit and proper to be a director of a football club. No remorse, not even a hint of self awareness.

Well done to the Tyneside No. 1 Celtic Supporters’ Club who walked from Newcastle to Celtic Park in aid of 1254125 and the Sam Bradley Care Fund. You can support their magnificent effort here.

The new issue of CQN Magazine is out! Click here for a proper read (don’t try to read the graphic below). It’s another great issue, thanks to all who helped.
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  1. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    On the day that the Concordia is refloated,The Narrowboat Tim resurfaces.



    Coincidence? I think not.



    Welcome back, ancient mariner.

  2. A Stor Mo Chroi




    12:00 on 16 September, 2013







    Mate, I’m the same, only I’m colour blind.






    ..so glasgow’s grey/black an white??

  3. Both my brother and I are referees



    My initial reaction upon watching the incident live was surprise that a penalty had been awarded. Watching the replays I then took the view that the arm of the defending player swung toward the ball and made contact deflecting the ball away from goal. As a referee in the position Willie Collum was/should be in, I can understand fully why he awarded the penalty as he would have saw a swinging motion of the arm deflecting the ball and that although their was close proximity of ball and hand it would appear to have been a deliberate motion.



    My brother – who referees at a higher level – also felt it was clear penalty kick.



    Both of us felt that once the penalty was awarded that the correct sanction would have been a red card for denial of a clear goal scoring opportunity as the trajectory of the ball appeared net bound.



    The Stokes caution was very harsh in my opinion – which in this case is admittedly biased as I am a Celtic fan!



    The laws of the game are very clear on the circumstances in which a caution for a goal celebration should be administered, however, they are very much open to interpretation!



    I imagine Wille Collum booked Tony Stokes as in his opinion the gestures made by the player fell into the category of being provocative, derisory or inflammatory. The law here is clear



    “player must be cautioned if:


    • in the opinion of the referee, he makes gestures which are provocative,


    derisory or inflammatory


    • he climbs on to a perimeter fence to celebrate a goal being scored


    • he removes his shirt or covers his head with his shirt


    • he covers his head or face with a mask or other similar item”



    Clearly Willie Collum felt that a split second fingers to the lips and a split second cupping the hand behind the ears fell into this category. I’m not so sure I agree but it’s a matter of interpretation. Perhaps if it had been one of the actions and not both he might not have cautioned him but because there was 2 distinct actions he felt it necessary.



    What is most irritating is the lack of consistency – well other than the consistency that our players are cautioned for these things…



    I once saw a Celtic player get cautioned at Ibrox for sinking to his knees and covering his face with 2 hands (Craig Bellamy) and still for the life of me cannot understand what was provocative, derisory or inflammatory about that! I can only imagine Stuart Dougal felt it was a “roman catholic” celebration or some other made up nonsense in his head….



    Ah well al fun and game – I’m just happy we won!



    Will be around most of the day if anyone has any other “ask the ref” questions :-)


    With special thanks to my buddy moonbeams I was able to borrow his Cyclo Cross Bike yesterday, which came in very handy on a very very tough terrain,



    where approx 35 miles of 64 mile route to Cardenden was via Canal paths ( gravel and stoney paths, grass paths, mud, puddles thousands of them)



    A few challenges on the way, 59 mile an hour winds closing the forth road bridge to cyclists /walkers, after some persuasive skills the nice folks at forth bridge took us over in their maintenance truck to other side



    Despite, the muck, rain, terrain, what the hell do we care now



    We arrived in Cardenden, quite emotional actually, getting to visit the grave of John Thompson



    doubling this up by helping to raise awareness and funds for 1254125 made it all worthwhile



    Looking for your help to do one or more things today



    1. Please spread the word about 1254125



    2. If possible can you please donate to 1254125



    I enclose link







    Thanks mouldy67

  5. tommytwiststommyturns supporting Wee Oscar on

    Shameless re-post from yesterday, but for a good cause!



    I know people are probably suffering from charity fatigue after all the fundraising this year, but I’d really appreciate it if you could find some time to visit the Tyneside No.1 CSC fundraising page….TheWalfridWay.



    St Martins Bhoy and some of the club members normally do a fundraising event each year and this time they decided to repeat their feat of walking from Newcastle to Celtic Park. This was part of their fundraising for Celtic’s 1254125 campaign, with the main recipient being a young lad from the 6 counties with Neuroblastoma, Sam Bradley.



    Yesterday, Mouldy67 & wife, some lurkers (you know who you are!) and myself joined the Tynesiders and some good Tims from Belfast to do the last stretch from Hamilton to CP.


    It was a privilege to be included in a small part of their journey.


    When we arrived at CP, Angela from the Celtic Charity Fund had arranged access to the Jock Stein lounge so that we could see the Hertz game. We were very happy to discover that the club had also laid on soup and sandwiches. It was a really nice gesture and much appreciated.



    St Martins Bhoy has supported many different fundraising campaigns, including BringingMartinHome, The Kano Foundation & WeeOscar4Life, but his own track record in raising money for deserving causes is quite impressive. He is the very epitome of the Walfrid Way & the Celtic ethos and it was great to see this recognised by the club when he was invited into the boardroom and directors box at last week’s charity game.



    If you can, please help the Tyneside No1 CSC reach their target figure.


    Many thanks for your time.




  6. Clink \o/



    Yorkbhoy at 11.09


    Too much common sense there.


    Are you sure you are on the right site



    I got in from the CIA through the fillings in my teeth…

  7. tommytwiststommyturns supporting Wee Oscar on

    Ooops – link to the fundraising page at the end of Paul’s article!!






  8. I attended both matches at the San Siro against Milan in 2007 and 2008.



    We were narrowly defeated 1-0 on both occasions.



    I came to the conclusion that I was a jinx, and will, consequently, NOT be attending on Wednesday!



    2-1 to the Hoops this time!




  9. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS forza Oscar and Mackenzie on

    Just in from a meeting,and about the first thing I see is a pejorative comment from one of my-erstwhile-favourite posters referring to odd moonhowlers!



    Cracking post,BRT&H.



    As usual.

  10. Afternoon, bit blustery in old Ayrshire, heading for my allotment, off my heed..



    Ayrshire is Green and White



    Gid tatties there as well…




  11. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS forza Oscar and Mackenzie on

    I had intended to make a trip to Wimbourne today. Not that I wanted to. Not given the reason for it.



    TGLFW,LARRYBHOY,and all who knew him….



    Give MIKI67 a fond farewell.



    He’ll be missed on here,but much much more by you.

  12. aha new thread ….worth a re-post ….for your consideration and advices…




    ecobhoy says:


    September 16, 2013 at 8:43 am


    128 1 Rate This



    The darkest dirtiest secret in Scottish Football has now been revealed and it will shake the Beautiful Game to its core as well as the Scottish legal system.



    Boiled down and stripped of legalese the shameful guarantee states: ‘The SPL hereby undertakes solely and exclusively to Sevco and to no other Person . . . that the SPL shall not . . . take or commence disciplinary proceedings against Sevco . . . in respect of any EBT Payments and Arrangements’.



    What is even more incredible is that this deal was struck and distributed with the 5-Way Agreement before Lord Nimmo Smith began his enquiry and before the FTTT announced its verdict on the Rangers tax allegations.



    We need clear unequivocal statements by Lord Nimmo Smith and Neil Doncaster and someone, anyone at the SFA who isn’t ‘conflicted’ to reveal the long hidden truth behind the most serious revelation ever to shine daylight on the many dark secrets held in the Hampden bunker.



    Many of us have incessantly debated the controversial findings of Lord Nimmo Smith’s Inquiry into Rangers’ EBTs since its release in February this year. There was widespread disbelief at the conclusions and many believed it was just another example of how the scales were weighted in favour of Rangers.



    Anyone who has followed my posts will know that I have always supported the integrity of LNS and his two learned colleagues in the sense that the woeful preparation and presentation of the SPL case gave the Tribunal little or no room for manoeuvre in reaching its conclusions. And of course there was the ludicrous intervention of the SFA’s top man in Player Registration which made the name ‘Bryson’ synonymous with ‘clown’ among Scottish Football fans.



    On top of that LNS breathed life into the’continuing club’ controversy which has fuelled incessant and often bitter internet debate and indeed sparked the recent vicious attacks on Jim Spence and his family and BBC Scotland – once again – by Rangers fans many of whom openly boast they refuse to buy a TV Licence to support an enemy of Rangers.



    For months now we have witnessed an outpouring of information from Charlotte Fakes who has risen above early suspicion that her works were indeed clever fakes to the point that no one disputes their authenticity and, indeed, she has allegedly been reported to the Information Commissioner which is probably the best possible guarantee of the authenticity of the documentation she has provided even though her motives are still unclear.



    She recently released what appears to be the final draft of the 5-Way Agreement between Oldco Rangers, Newco Rangers, the SFA, SPL and SFL which had important snippets not present in previous versions including a promise by Rangers and a prominent external newco shareholder not to take legal action the SFA, SPL and SFL and their officers and officials.



    This was first alluded to in the Rangers AIM Prospectus in December last year but the reasons for the Rangers undertaking have never been clear although the documentation seemed to suggest that Rangers had been wronged in some way and was holding back on justifiable legal action possibly because it felt blackmailed by the threat of total expulsion from Scottish Football if it didn’t agree to the sanctions of the 5-Way Agreement which had originally mooted title-stripping.



    One thing that puzzled me when the 5-Way Agreement was revealed was why there had ever been any need by the Scottish Football Authorities to keep it so tightly under wraps. Everything was basically in the open by then in terms of sanctions although there was the curious matter of the no legal action clause.



    But yesterday Charlotte Fakes released a brutal hammer blow which will destroy all remnants of tattered credibility in the Hampden suits and, more importantly, cast serious doubt on the integrity of the Scottish legal system which must be urgently dealt with.



    So what has Charlotte gone and done? Only release to the world details of the secret and tawdry side deal proposed by the SPL and agreed to by the SFA and SFL to grant immunity to Rangers newco (TRFCL) from any disciplinary action arising out of the use of Rangers EBTs and the failure to annually register the payments involved with the SFA.



    This guarantee was made months before the Lord Nimmo Smith Inquiry sat for the first time and even before its Notice of Commission was prepared and it was given even before the FTTT largely ruled in Rangers’ favour over its use of the EBTs.



    At this stage we don’t know if Lord Nimmo Smith and his two colleagues were aware of this incredible secret stitch-up between the signatories of the 5-Way Agreement before they heard any evidence or whether they too were kept in the dark by the Scottish Footballing Authorities who have honed their skills as mushroom farmers for decades by feeding BS to Scottish football fans.



    What we not only need but deserve is a clear statement by Lord Nimmo Smith on behalf of his tribunal and its decision as to whether he knew before any evidence was given that a secret guarantee of immunity had been given to The Rangers Football Club Ltd. If he did know can he explain why he was prepared to proceed on that basis and help create some of the aggro which is tearing apart the fabric of Scottish Football and poisoning Society with strange and alien concepts of a never-ending always continuing football club which defies liquidation of its legal operating entity and repeatedly and eternally rises intact from the ashes as a company with a brand new legal entity but which isn’t a Phoenix company.



    As to the SFA and SPL/SFL now in the persona of the shiny, brand-new SPFL – unless it too takes no responsibility for the deeds of its deid ancestors – what we need is a straight answer to whether the Charlotte Fakes documentation is bona fide and whether it was signed by Neil Doncaster whose name is on the draft and distributed to the SFA and SFL as stated along with the 5-Way Agreement.



    And as for the SMSM isn’t it time you actually grew a pair and dealt with the serious allegations raised by the release of the Charlotte Fakes material. Does the public interest count for nothing in Scotland? If you or your editors are frightened of the ‘dirty little secrets’ an aging and failing PR man in crisis has on you then now is the time to be Spartacus and if you can’t manage that at least do a Jim Spence. You don’t need to use the documents if you are scared – all you need to do is ask the questions.



    If you are told ‘No Comment’ then publish and be Spartacus and let the public know the truth and make their own judgement on the way Scotland and Scottish Football is run. If you continue to hide behind weak excuses think about moving to PR as that would seem to be your true home and there will be no crisis of conscience as none exists there as far as representing commercial non-ethical clients.



    However be assured that if you cower in a dark corner, close your eyes and dream of being a Twitter Warrior then your readers will continue to judge your inability to tell the truth and turn, in ever increasing numbers, to the internet for their news albeit with many imperfections but at least with lots of people trying to prevent the truth being choked by a surfeit of succulent lamb.



    And Lord Nimmo Smith as probably your staunchest supporter since your tribunal decision was issued I think I am entitled to ask another question on behalf of the much-respected poster Auldheid who truly has the wisdom of age – as reflected in his moniker – and the energy and perseverance of a young bull elephant when it came to uncovering and revealing the implications of Rangers DOS and the reluctance of all concerned inluding SMSM to mention it.



    I had always thought that this cloak of secrecy was to hide the implications of the Wee Tax Case which should have prevented European entry for Rangers, without the sleight of hand of the Hampden suits. But now I wonder if there was a much darker motive in play as part of the secret immunity for TRFCL.



    Quite simply LNS! Were you ever told or given evidence concerning the details of the Rangers Discounted Options Scheme as distinct from their EBT scheme and were you aware of the un-appealed FTTT Decision in the Aberdeen Asset Management(AAM) case concerning DOS schemes which ruled them as illegal under tax laws?



    In your tribunal decision you refer to treating the EBT scheme as a continuation of the DOS scheme – cloaked under a suitably confusing name – but did you know that one very senior witness to your enquiry was well aware of the differences and I would find it incredulous that they were unaware of the implications of the AAM FTTT Decision on the Rangers DOS.



    And if you weren’t apprised of the differences then it’s over to Neil Doncaster to explain whether this was another dirty secret and if not how did the SPL fail to discover and present absolutely critical evidence re the Rangers DOS which IMO could well have led Lord Nimmo Smith to stripping titles.






    The document released by CH detailing the squalid immunity deal for TRFCL can be found at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/168302228/SPL-Undertaking-Letter

  13. Why Do I Bother? on

    Favourite Uncle: Yes, you are right. It is kinda pointless podium chasing. It doesn’t make you a real winner or anything.



    A bit like Sally claiming Sevco are as good as Celtic ‘cos they beat Arbroath so ‘convincingly’….



    Go on Sally, just you keep on beating those top class teams and have a good laugh at Celtic struggling to compete with Milan, Barca and Ajax.



    We’d much rather be up against more elite teams…

  14. bournesouprecipe @ 12 10



    ” Milan are better than Juve



    Jim Duffy Scottish Expert .”



    Jim must have watched Milan beating Juve [ on penalties ] in this year’s Trofeo Tim



    A game which featured an astonishing Llorente miss ..

  15. Paul67



    Same question, different week.


    Just when are the accounts coming out?


    Why would the club want to delay publication?



    Is there an issue that needs news management?

  16. Paul67



    Varga had headed us level on the hour mark and with 13mins to go (unlucky for some) Inzaghi came on for Seedorf……………………



    The ‘Bob Marley’ moment after the game was the only thing that cheered me up!

  17. Paul67



    Correction – Varga scored just before Inzaghi came on!



    Starting to get flash-backs!!!!

  18. MadMitch


    12:37 on


    16 September, 2013





    Same question, different week.


    Just when are the accounts coming out?


    Why would the club want to delay publication?



    Is there an issue that needs news management?




    understatement of the year if CF ,s material is true….and just in time for our CL campaign….makes you think …..

  19. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    thomthethim for oscar ok



    I’m unsinkable!



    Mary Celeste CSC






    Molly Brown ?




  20. Handball.



    Referees have far too much discretion on this. The inconsistency in application is clear for everyone to see, week in, week out, across the globe.



    Not saying there is anything such as a biased ref….but if there was….what a great opportunity. ‘I’m giving a penalty’. ‘I’m not giving that’. Whatever suits your fancy.






    Treat them like corners. Sometimes a defender deliberately hoofs the ball out for a corner.



    Sometime the ball just comes off him and goes out, even though he didn’t mean it.



    So….my solution….every handball is a foul. End of story.



    That way, the ref’s only option is to say he didn’t see it.



    I know it will never happen. But I also know it is the right thing to do…..:)

  21. At the penalty incident you can clearly see Hertz Wilson has a firm grip of Virgil’s shirt – would you have awarded a penalty if you had seen this?



    IMO i thought it was more of a penalty than the handball!




  22. MadMitch


    12:37 on


    16 September, 2013



    Can I just check why you think they’re late? Companies House says they’re not due until the end of the year.

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