Never follow Sinatra, where Celtic are now


There was an old adage in show business, “Never follow Sinatra”.  If you were on a bill with Frank, make sure you appear before him; do not wait until the audience was whipped into a frenzy.  No one could match his success, after him, the audience would be inattentive and disruptive.

We talked about this before when discussing the rolling managerial shambles at Old Trafford when their crooner hung up his mic.  It wasn’t apparent to me at the time, but Moyes is no Sinatra and never would be.  Their fourth tribute act is now clinging to his job while everyone knows he is not a good fit.

My friends, this is where we are right now.  Our own Sinatra left early last year for the Midlands without dropping a trophy and scarcely a defeat.  Neil Lennon took the interim job on the condition he would be considered for the permanent position.  Having delivered league and cup and enhanced his CV, he should have let some other mug try their vocal chords out on an audience that had been taken to the heights with unmatched regularity.  But that was never going to happen, he wanted the Celtic job, so would you or I.

Now you, me, Neil and apparently half the world texting me knows we don’t have Sinatra, and we’re midway through a gig.  Does anyone have Dean Martin’s number?

We hit the jackpot recruiting Brendan Rodgers in 2016.  Though not without his weaknesses (cough), he was highly talented with personal connections to the club.  The parallels with Martin O’Neill are clear, both transformed Celtic on the field and commercially.  Had there been a comparable option prepared to come to Glasgow in 2019, that commercial success would have made the decision clear, but there wasn’t.

The Dean Martin-types (Pochettino) are not coming.  They know not to follow Sinatra and they absolutely know not to walk into a club displaying the toxic withdrawal symptoms winning 11 consecutive domestic trophies apparently expose.

If a new manager arrived today and won the Scottish Cup, he would be forgiven if he checked for hemlock before supping from it.  That will deter those further down the food chain (Howe) from coming.  Anyone building a serious CV, with options opening out before them, would know there is a huge risk to career progression coming to Celtic this mid-season.  Instead, we would get those struggling for a job, or those who have never worked at our size of club/budget/pressure.  This is not all conjecture.

What is happening in the dressing room is important.  In the summer, several players had offers to treble their wages elsewhere but the manager asked them to stay, as it was a big season for the club.  None of them ‘pulled a Dedryck’, there was no manoeuvering.

This week, I heard independently from two people with access to the goings-on at Lennoxtown who assured me the players are 100% committed to the manager.  Everything is going wrong but the criticism and hostility has cemented their ‘sporting bubble’.  I doubt any with options to leave will want to stay at the end of the season, with or without this trauma, but some of our top performers are here because Neil Lennon asked them to give it one more season.

What happens if you sack Neil Lennon and ask an assistant coach to step up, bring in an unemployed drifter, or appoint someone from a smaller club who has never learned from or been tested at this level, is open to conjecture.  The possibility that you trip into the scenario Manchester United took feels highly likely.

As we all know, sacking your manager is the easy part, appointing a better successor is far more important.  Objectively, we have a far higher chance of making a horrendous mistake that bringing in a competent turnaround expert right now.  Our chances of getting it right in the summer will be influenced by how we, fans and club, react to the curtain coming down on our run of successive trophies.  Read the headlines and ponder, what kind of masochist are we going to end up with next?  This narrative needs to change or we will mix our own poison.

I’m not going to tell you we’re going to win 10-in-a-row because I don’t think we will.  I don’t think Neil will take us there and I don’t think anyone else will come in and make the difference.  None of us are accustomed to the defeats we have experienced in recent months, it is a bitter pill.  If we fail, the regrets will be long lasting, but short of a transformational appointment that is not going to happen today/this week/this month, we need to figure out how to get through this crisis without becoming a toxic destination for an aspiring manager.

And please, for all that he has gone through in our name, respect Neil Lennon, forever a Celtic hero.

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  1. ” SQUIRE DANAHER on 10TH DECEMBER 2020 3:39 PM


    HOT SMOKED on 10TH DECEMBER 2020 3:18 PM


    Maybe things were getting worse during the 9 and – with all due respect – you were failing to appreciate this.”



    Whether I `appreciated` that is neither here nor there. My point was that if Peter lawwell and Dermot Desmond are the `problem` , why has the level of criticism only reached fever point now?


    I accept that a dislike of the pair could have been simmering away all those years but I contend that the angry response now is because we are not doing very well and supporters used to success find that difficult to accept and need a scapegoat for perceived failure.


    Thanks for the polite response anyway.

  2. Henry Joy



    I posted agreement re an earlier post of yours ( about some of our support becoming Hun-like). I don`t need ackowledgement as such but I want you to know that your opinion is shared.

  3. jeez_I_thought_blinker_was_pants on

    Can’t be that hard to find a manager to come to Celtic,….. Mad Vlad at Hertz managed to find about 20 of them



    A couple of them were even half decent, he sacked one when they were top of the league.



    So, we’re f***ed



    Suck it up and don’t complain.



    Oh…… buy some books

  4. glendalystonsils on




    Good point . How many professional Rugby teams are there in Scotland compared to football ?

  5. CLINK\O/ 3X3 on 10TH DECEMBER 2020 2:02 PM


    SFTB at 1.07.



    One of your best yet. Totally agree



    *aye me tae, I could have written that myself.




    CHAIRBHOY on 10TH DECEMBER 2020 3:35 PM


    CELTIC40ME @ 2:39 PM,



    The move and narrative were controlled by the Celtic Board, they blackened Brendan Rodgers’ name and didn’t come clean as they didn’t want any blame.



    *pretty much accurate until you got tae the above, he blackened his own name by leaving when he did with a League and Cup tae win. Was he afraid he wisnae up tae it or did slippy have his number. We’ll never know unless the latter ends up in the EPL and hands him another thumpin.

  6. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    Many will live the rest of their days only seeing Celtic win the league






    I’ve said for a while that very few people realise the enormity of what happened in Scottish football in 2012. Some thought there would be a three-year blip before ‘normality’ was restored. Until very recently prevailing perception is that the current ‘abnormal’ circumstances may last 10 years. The old normal isn’t coming back.



    When I talked about how few people realised the permanent consequences of Rangers liquidation on the Scottish football to my brother, he was of the view that the penny wouldn’t drop until Newco were in their second season in the Premiership.



    They had all the excuses in the world when they were in the lower leagues, and a genuinely good excuse during their first season in the top flight, but when things don’t improve in the second season, a retrenchment will start.



    By then it will be evident that the legendary gap below Celtic is huge, that Newco are effectively cannon fodder, that their fans are a cash cow topping up the coffers of every club they visit (including Celtic), but that no matter what they pay for their season tickets, Newco will always be underfunded.



    Season ticket sales at current levels are not sustainable to watch a team fail so miserably. Even this miserable team is not sustainable with the current business model. The retrenchment will be real and painful. Questions are now being asked about how they get themselves out of this mess (16 years too late). There will be no answer.



    They will win the odd game against Celtic, and pick up a cup occasionally (if Ross County can do it anyone can), but Newco will only win the league if Celtic get their big move. Many football fans in Scotland will live the rest of their lives only seeing Celtic win the league. Just think of that for a moment. Buying your losers ticket each season will be a painful business. Some will find other things to occupy themselves with.

  7. “It not only says “do nothing for fear of something worse” but it says “do nothing because the second rate karaoke singer we replaced Sinatra with is the best we can get at the moment.”



    Sadly, he’s spot on.

  8. glendalystonsils on

    , Newco will always be underfunded.



    ….unless FFP regulations are suspended or ignored .



    There . That reads better .

  9. Bada/ Glendaly


    My understanding is that football has been given 30 million, 20 million loan and 10 million in grants.


    Rugby Union has been given 20 million of which 15 million is a grant and just 5 million a loan.


    That’s from BBC website.


    That’s incredible, I have no idea why the money has been awarded, in that way, but I would be very interested to know, if anyone could explain it.


    It looks like elitism to me.

  10. BGFC



    Mibbee the post was aimed at the Grey Brigade. After all, many of us on here are auld codgers!



    Mibbee a generation meant 3 years?



    I’m sure someone will be soon to clarify the definition!



    In other news, M’on the Celts!



    In other, other news, listening to some songs of freedom fuels my soul and is a good antidote to the ‘not even on the bus, let alone the back of it’ acquiescence.



    Bring back the Fightin’ Irish.



    HH jg

  11. Why on earth would Paul67 agree to be a puppet for Peter Lawwell? Lots and lots of posters drip feed this puppet scenario into their comments, but why on earth would he do it, whats in it for him? He may know the man – may even talk to him occasionally – but agree to flush away his own credibility so he can be PL’s marionette? Really? Not buying it.

  12. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    ROCK TREE BHOY on 10TH DECEMBER 2020 5:47 PM


    “It not only says “do nothing for fear of something worse” but it says “do nothing because the second rate karaoke singer we replaced Sinatra with is the best we can get at the moment.”



    Sadly, he’s spot on.





    I agree that’s what it says – I don’t think he is correct though.



    I just do not accept the assertion that, if the Celtic job was available, there would not be a large number of very good candidates. It is a bigger club than most in Europe, they pay very decent wages, there will be qualified, experienced people out of a job (there always is in football) – I just don’t buy that none of them would be interested in managing Celtic.



    Whether it is Paul’s own belief at this time, or he is merely passing on the thinking of our CEO via the blog (and before anyone views that as disparaging to Paul, most accept that one of the benefits of CQN has always been the understanding that we are sometimes given insight into PLs views) – I really don’t think that’s a plausible suggestion.



    If you don’t ask for a dance, you’ll never get a lumber.






  13. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    JAMESGANG on 10TH DECEMBER 2020 5:57 PM




    Mibbee the post was aimed at the Grey Brigade. After all, many of us on here are auld codgers!


    In other, other news, listening to some songs of freedom fuels my soul and is a good antidote to the ‘not even on the bus, let alone the back of it’ acquiescence.


    Bring back the Fightin’ Irish.




    Indeed – and bring back Gorgeous George Samaras (and his wife).
















    HH jg

  14. I think Paul67 is the same as me and others… He thinks slagging Celtic in public is like slagging your family in public.


    I’ve read his blogs for years and I would say he’s always interesting but is always mindful that he’s not just talking to Celtic fans.


    Some of the answers to his leaders are personal and full of disdain and maybe even jealousy?



    My only hope for tonight is that Barkas makes a big save.



  15. Paul67


    Any explanation in how we find ourselves in this current dilemma ?


    How on earth did we blow it ?


    Who is responsible ? (Root cause and not scapegoat)



    Lots of questions

  16. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Increasingly concerned reading these Pravda posts whether P67 is a Celtic fan or a Peter Lawwell fan first.

  17. hopefully we will go 4-3-3 tonight and get players up the park, we have tried every formation and it hasn’t worked , time for a more attacking formation other than a back 4 and 2 sitting midfielders trying to protect the back 4 who we know are crap at defending , so lets score more than we concede.

  18. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Cheers Pablo.



    While not agreeing with everything in your leader it was an definitely worth a read.



    Actually started to type “enjoyable” but paused.



    The articulation was enjoyable.



    The reality behind the words not so.



    So, for our 10IAR aspirations, this gets fixed from within or not at all?



    Sobering but unsurprising.



    PS – Pablo – text me when you are ready to post a new article?



    I’ll knock up a standard …



    “You’re Lawwell’s puppet / this is the worst ever / honest to God”



    type message and cut and paste it as the first comment every time.



    Will save some posters the bother.






    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith

  19. Around 50,000 people have died in Scotland since Paul wrote those words in February 2017.



    The biggest false assumption that I see Paul67 making in that post is htat their SB sales would drop off through lack of success.



    Maybe there’s something in the Scottish Psyche that can only rally round adversity and cannot cope with success.

  20. In the summer, several players had offers to treble their wages elsewhere but the manager asked them to stay, as it was a big season for the club.



    so the several decided to stay and not turn up.

  21. CELTIC40ME on 10TH DECEMBER 2020 2:39 PM






    The board did not know when BR was leaving.




    He upped and left overnight






    Please. He had given notice by showing interest in the move to China some months before to the extent that we were signing players in the January window whom he know little about. Bayo & Shved. BR may have done a midnight flit but the board were negligent at best if they didn’t see it coming.

  22. Hi Bhoys


    Some good news after years of asking him to stop buying the daily ranger (record), my 86 year old father in law has seen the light.




  23. prestonpans bhoys on

    Huns first shot on target goes in after 31 minutes, said before the carry some luck in that tournament



    ” O.K. I’ll go in goals ,………… but I’m no divin ”



    Vasilis Barkas





    Superb, that gave me a good giggle.


    That’s exactly what it was like back in the day!!

  25. If the board are as good and clued up as some on here seem to think they are, there is not a hope in hell that BR upped and left overnight and joined an other club the same day without them knowing anything about it, I wouldn’t even expect a thick hun to believe that, but there are lots on here that do, there’s your Record readers for you SFTB.

  26. My own cognitive dissonance has allowed me to support PL and DD who, frankly, stand fir everything in the world of work and economics that I hate.



    At least this situation has awoken me from that slumber.



    Deals with Adidas are easy when you are winning. Sponsorship the same. No particular praise is merited for those things. The winning bit is key. The football operations are central. And that has been inadequate.



    On the article, I have a source in a workplace that I know of who tells me it is an awful place to be right now. I have another who loves it. The former hates his boss the other guy would walk through brick walls for him. I don’t know who is right. But to quote a source assuring us everything is alright in that respect?



    I love CQN and I have huge respect for our host but an article that essentially says ‘accept defeat this season and play nice about it or no one will want to come here’ is poor. A good manager/coach getting paid the right money is coming to Celtic. They don’t give a damn about fan protests or pressure. If they did they wouldn’t be top managers.



    Seriously. The low points are not confined to the pitch it seems.