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. starry plough forza oscar, 15:33


    Welcome back, sir.


    You have timed it well. I thought we had many positives this weekend and there is a real buzz about Wednesday too

  2. dena29


    15:32 on 16 September, 2013


    SSN reporting Sevco look to bring in 2 new players




    This would bring the first team squad to 29, EPL has a limit of 25 players for first team squad, which is why Craig Conway has to go on loan to Brighton

  3. Manihoop



    at 15.40



    Hiya, pally?



    Nice tae greet ye..



    Ah am told that..



    The Queen Victoria Pub.which is Inside the RIVIERA CASINO..situated oan the Strip



    is the Place tae Watch.. ALL CELTIC GAMES.



    It is the Official Meeting and Watering Place..of the Las Vegas Celtic Supporters Club.



    Ah am sure that wull be yer best bet .



    Ah ,of Course, have Nevah bin there, but Ah am told it is a Great Celtic Pub.



    Good Luck.






  4. LiviBhoy - God bless wee Oscar on




    Home tie for Sevco in Scottish cup v Celtic easy worth £3m to them.




  5. dena



    The players signing for Sevco can win both ways.



    They are being very handsomely rewarded for losing ambition and playing in the lower leagues, at a wage level far higher than their last club paid them.



    If it goes tits up, they are free agents and will pocket all monies due and be free to top that up with a new contract from someone else.



    If deals are done to rescue Sevco and get them back to the top league, they will earn legendary status with Sevco fans for playing with them when they were in unfashionable leagues and enhance their chances of an Ibrox backroom job when their playing days are over.

  6. LiviBhoy - God bless wee Oscar on

    setting free the bears supports Celtic’s best fighter- Wee Oscar Knox



    You forgot the media work that will come their way too.




  7. Wednesday night we need to keep it tight to begin with. The one game last season we seemed to be a bit more expansive and attacking was v Juve at home and we were caught out. The longer we hold them, the more likely the home crowd will turn on them. Keep it tight with tried and trusted CL players and have many attacking options ready to come on when required.





    Lustig Ambrose Van Dijk Izaguirre




    –Matthews Brown Ledley Commons–





    Subs Pukki, Stokes, Boerrigter, Rogic, Balde, Kayal, Zaluska

  8. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    I suspect that the reason that Mc.Coist is recruiting a job lot of players is that if / when they go udders aloft, they will have some “assets” to flog.



    Then again, perhaps not.

  9. LiviBhoy – God bless wee Oscar


    15:52 on


    16 September, 2013





    Home tie for Sevco in Scottish cup v Celtic easy worth £3m to them.





    I get the monetary value of a game against us , what I’m questioning is the attraction of new players going to thems when the only apparent plus is one possible game against us. would seem like professional suicide to me for any player unless they were a sevco supporter.



    just my opinion , but I am biased could never see the attraction in playing for them LMAO



    4ever celtic HH

  10. Fanandpatriot



    Lenny will start Commons so one of your 11 will have to drop out. It’s a decent problem for our Manager as he has some solid options. Personally, I think he will not play Lustig and Mathews, so one of them will drop to the bench to allow Kris to take his slot in midfield.



    Those who are concerned about the lack of new signings starting the game should rest easy. Virgil is a cert, but it is not a game for the forward players, Derk and Pukki. We will spend 75% of the game in defensive positions, so we need to be tight across the back and in midfield. Personally I would be happy with Pukki as the lone front man but Stokes deserves his place right now. I will keep my fingers crossed that Sammi plays wide left.

  11. O.G.Rafferty



    I’m sitting here trying to pick a team for Wednesday, I can’t, glad that’s Neil’s job, I do think tho’ we will look to attack at pace should we get opportunities to do so, can see Neil springing a few surprises!



    Then again he might go tried and trusted, that’s it I resign from football manager!!!



    Bring it right on..

  12. The Narrowbhoat Tim on

    pogmathonyahun aka laird of the smiles



    If Ally the Clown has indeed moved to Northampton that’s awful big shoes to fill at the Ipox Circus!



    Coulrophobic CSC

  13. setting free the bears supports Celtic’s best fighter- Wee Oscar Knox


    So some mercenaries are playing waiting game for a possible big payout?


    I was going to say some respect for them but I really cannot they all deserve what thet get but sooner rather than later imo



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




    How so?



    We take a cut.



    SFA take a cut.



    They take a cut.



    Oh,wait-they take it all,as previous proves.



    Ok-carry on!

  15. You would think after the first administration peeps on here would realise that administrators aren’t what we think they are/should be.



    Even over at the mini huns the administrators have knocked back a bid for a youth player.



    I always thought administrators were there to get as much money as possible into a failing company.

  16. From The Scottish Football Monitor for anyone who hasn’t read this.



    Sorry if posted already just logged in.




    ecobhoy on September 16, 2013 at 8:43 am


    171 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

  17. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    sftb 15:53



    Even McCoinho could get out of that league with a 15-point penalty. The Championship will be a lot tougher though. I’m guessing the plan is for admin this season. Then next season they’ll have a clear crack (no penalty) and with a strong squad.

  18. LiviBhoy - God bless wee Oscar on




    All about the cash to players these days. Rangers paying these guys 4 or 5 times what other clubs would. Easy cash.




  19. tigertim



    14:27 on 16 September, 2013


    Are none of our new signings going to play on Wednesday night, no Biton, no Pukki/Balde, does only the centre half merit a start, will Boerichter play if Sammi does? bad transfer window if that is the case.



    if they don’t all play its been a bad window …….


    Have a word with yourself where is the reasoning for that comment

  20. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    starry plough forza oscar


    16:02 on


    16 September, 2013


    thomthethim for Oscar OK



    Or it could be that he is just one of the worst football managers in history!








    I never thought of that!



    Welcome home.

  21. MnCelt



    Nobuddy ,oan here..or.. in… Saturn.. for that Matter..



    Will Agree More,wit ye,pal..



    That .. Sammi, is NO LONELY LINWOOD STRIKER..



    Sammi,is a Wonderful.. Hustling.. Raiding.. Left Winger.. Par Excellence.






    As Sammi, MUST be in oor Team , agin the Italians..



    The only Spot open.. Is for Sammi , tae Be OanHis Oanio.



    Up Front..



    at leastg…



    IN THE TEAM SHEET.. of Course..



    There is jist Nae Ither Place open.. oan the Team Sheet fur Him.



    Oor.. Five agin the House Mid Field.. Is



    Written in Concrete.. (in ma opinion,of course)



    And it must be



    Matthews, Broonie, Ledley, Mulgrew, Commons.



    So ye kin see..



    If Sammi ,plays



    He mus be Penciled in..



    as .. The Lonely Linwood Striker.. up front..Oan his Oan Nio…




    Maks sense tae Me.






  22. I don’t think you can say if the team is stronger or weaker at this point of the season. It’s not as simple as matching who is sold and bought. The important bit is how the team plays together ( I know it’s early days but I thought we looked more energetic going forward against Hearts)

  23. LiviBhoy - God bless wee Oscar on




    They will make plenty from the TV cash and from shirt sales and tickets for other matches. It will give them something to shout about from the day draw is made until we pump them.


    I think McMoist fancies the Scottish Cup this season. His cup record is awful though. Long may it continue.




  24. Manihoop I agree with Kojo the Queen Vic in the Riviera.my son and five of his mates are in Vegas,staying in Caesars Palce but going to watch the game in there. Look out for six boys from Stornoway cheering the Bhoys on even though three of them are supporters of the deid club. Hail Hail Hebcelt

  25. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    LiviBhoy 16:12


    I think McMoist fancies the Scottish Cup this season. His cup record is awful though. Long may it continue.



    He’ll fancy it until they get dumped out, then say that promotion was the priority all along. Just like last season…..

  26. LiviBhoy - God bless wee Oscar on




    Celtic get knocked out by one of the Premiership sides he has to fancy it. Better get Myth back on the coaching staff.




  27. hun skelper


    16:07 on 16 September, 2013



    “if they don’t all play its been a bad window …….


    Have a word with yourself where is the reasoning for that comment”




    I never said the above, please reread.



    I said if NONE of them started then IMO it would be a bad transfer window, it would mean we lost 3 first team starters and signed none, for this game.

  28. Vinibhoy - Supporting Wee Oscar + Mackenzie on



    I think there may just be room for Sammy and Stokesy, and this decision could make Celtic more solid at the back…



    Izzie on the bench, Mulgrew in at LB, Sammy LW, Stokesy up top..



    Makes sense to me ;0)

  29. After reading that document regarding title stripping if that doesn’t get fans moving then nothing will I’m afraid.

  30. hen1rik-the charade is unfolding,but no lapdog will touch it,the Gang’s continuing intimidation will see to that.Alex Thompson might be the only one brave enough.

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