One year on from a pivotal moment in Celtic history


Exactly one year ago today, just after lunchtime, one of the pivotal moments in Celtic history occurred.  Neil Lennon took his Celtic team to Kilmarnock, who had lost their three previous league games, and for 73 minutes looked like surrendering their league title chances just as Tony Mowbray’s team collapsed at St Mirren Park seven months earlier.

The manager later admitted to thoughts of resignation.  3-0 down at half time while already in heavy deficit to Rangers, who were riding a wave of positivity under the reinvigorating ownership of Craig Whyte, events looked to have escaped Neil’s grasp.

It is tempting to write the narrative that a half time talk or tactical change turned things around but turnaround was more difficult to explain.  Celtic were awful for the opening 28 minutes of the second half; like condemned men waiting for the inevitable.

Anthony Stokes started the recovery by exploiting Kilmarnock’s weaknesses.  A free kick drifted over a wall which didn’t jump and into the net.  Had the wall jumped, would history have been different?  Three minutes later Stokes fired into the corner of the net from distance, Jaakkola in the Killie goal was not equal to the challenge.  Suddenly, we were back in the game, back in the title race.

Charlie Mulgrew, who erred to gift Kilmarnock their third, equalised with 11 minutes remaining, surely there was only one winner now?  Not so, images of Heffernan’s last minute header from inside the Celtic six yard box gliding over remain vivid.

We escaped with a draw but it felt like a stay of execution, not a pivotal moment.  Neil didn’t resign, he stayed, beat Stade Rennes in the Europa League and never looked back.  The imperious positivity which surrounded Craig Whyte was ultimately proven to be a charade, those of us who told you Rangers were in peril were proven correct.

It is impossible to calculate just how much football has changed since Anthony hit that free kick, although imperious positivity still surrounds a charade which is doomed to fail, leaving a lot of football fans out of pocket.  If only the football authorities had a warning from recent history that light-touch regulation is dangerous, or had the mechanism to order a financial audit. They do, of course, but despite the traumas of 2012 I doubt they have the appetite to head-off potential problems. It’s easier (in the short term) to hope everything will turn out well.

Not that you need worry about any of this, you can chill and enjoy the season.

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  1. Kickinthenakas



    Sadly no I can’t make it due to work.


    Great holidays in my line of work but the downside is not being able to choose when to take them!!

  2. Paul67 – could you imagine the firestorm (probably literally) Chuckles and The Ear Whisperer could whip up if the SFL did what they should, considering the utterings coming from Ibrox, and ordered an audit?



    This is a ticking timebomb, fortunately the 3 divisions difference should insulate form the fallout to a degree.

  3. Borrowed from The Demise of Rangers in Pictures:




    The Loan Rangers



    Well, well, well.



    Anyone got a tin opener for this ‘can of worms’!




    Now I have been all over the Rangers story since the start, taking pictures of everything and anything surrounding the Ibrox scandal, then I starting doing this blog and I told you all how Ticketus own Rangers. I also told you about Ex Rangers player tax avoidance secrets.






    So I was doing a study on the EBT’ers or the Tax dodging bastards as I like to call them when I happened to stumble across some information that took me by surprise.



    First of all we must understand the difference between being Employed by (a football club) and being Loaned to (a football club) are two totally different things.





    Employment is a contract between two parties, one being the Employer and the other being the Employee.



    In football the Employer is the Parent club which means the club who holds the players full contract registration.



    A loaned player is one who is Employed by a football club and his services are Loaned to another club. This club becomes the Loaning club not the Employer.



    For more information please use the link below;







    Now lets look at Employee Benefit Trusts.



    The Employer establishes the trust, making contributions of an equivalent value to the deferred remuneration and the trustees will at a later date distribute the trust funds to employees or ex-employees.



    The basic idea is that the trustees can distribute the trust fund when it is tax advantageous to do so perhaps when the employee is retired or non-UK resident.



    The ideal is that there is no employee tax charge until the trustees distribute benefits which may be many years after those benefits have been earned.



    The tax charge may be theoretical rather than real the employee or ex-employee may have moved to a ‘low tax jurisdiction’ or ‘tax haven.’



    Further information can be found on the link below;







    Now it is going to get really tricky for David Murray to explain this one.



    Gregory Vignal receive £173,000 via an EBT when he wasn’t an Employee of Rangers.



    He was loaned from Liverpool to Rangers 2004-2005. His Employee Benefit Trust is subject to Tax and National Insurance as he wasn’t an Employee of Rangers Football Club, he was an Employee of Liverpool.




    Federico Nieto receive £24,500 via an EBT when he wasn’t an Employee of Rangers



    He was loaned from Almagro to Rangers 2005. His Employee Benefit Trust is subject to Tax and National Insurance as he wasn’t an Employee of Rangers Football Club, he was an Employee of Almagro.




    Both players were not contractually Employed by Rangers but received the benefits of being Employed by Rangers.



    Now surely the very fact that they are called Employee Benefit Trusts should have told the powers that be at Ibrox that these players were not entitled to and could not receive payments through them as they were not Employees.



    Or did they know and done it anyway.



    I’m sure we will find out in time but this is a ‘clear a sign’ yet that Rangers knew exactly what they were doing.



    They never thought they would get caught, but they did.

  4. Top 10 ? I have to admit I had my doubts about Neil in that game but the comeback in the second half showed it was a new beginning for Lennon and the team! HH

  5. Ernie



    I was being facetious.



    I agree though it would be incredible for a company to part with such a significant sum and not have a guaranteed means of recovering it.

  6. 4 Corners ABC documentary exposing Lance Armstrong comprehensively outs him and the governing cycling hierarchy. Reminiscent of the RFC and SFA situation.


    No longer LA (Lance Armstrong) Confidential.

  7. Allyhuntersgloves on

    Good day from the sunny algarve , enjoyed reading downfall on the way over on the plane , the boy sitting beside me didn’t ( I think he may have been a Sevco fan) “it’s all lies that you know”, no , I said, it’s actually the antithesis of that , he never said another word .



    Just a thought on the last post, a lot has been made of how investors wont be able to make any money on the Sevco share purchases , it would be a donation only. Is this really different from what we did with Fergus ? While in the early days the shares went up , none of the fans bought in to make money we bought in to save the club. Now Fergus built a stadium with the money and didnt use it for running costs, but all in all we made a donation to save the club and get a certificate we could put up on our wall. That’s what Sevco fans will also get, Green will walk away with a great profit so did Fergus.



    The only advice I would give them is organise yourselves before you buy anything , I still feel bitter that despite the money we invested we still don’t have a fan on the board .

  8. Paul67- its amazing what diferent people rememember about games. I had forgotten about Heffernans header but vividly remember Stokesy missing an open goal form 3 yds early in first half at 0-0.

  9. James Forrest is Neil Lennon! We are ALL Neil Lennon! on

    My old man swears blind that what changed that day was not on the park, but off of it. He swears blind that it was the Celtic supporters who turned that game around, that the Kilmarnock fans began to taunt the Troops in Hoops, and they responded by rallying behind the team and lifting their heads.



    Watching the game, you can actually see the moment where it happened. A great example of the 12th man giving the 11 on the pitch a boost.

  10. Paul67



    Have to say that the Celtic support that day were as much a part of the turnaround in fortunes as any player or member of the management team.



    Still get goosebumps thinking about it.

  11. The Battered Bunnet on




    Didn’t want to upset the equilibrium of the new post, you obstreperous *edit




  12. Bhoys thanks for replies re Tablet (inc tim malone :) ) I am trying to avoid the usual Apple up selling and a mate recommended the Nexus 7. Its for my 6 year old for games etc.HH.

  13. I think it finally sunk in with some players what it meant to wear the hoops and boys became bhoys.



    They haven’t looked back since and this group of players should be held on to as long as possible (regardless of value and offers) to become a great Celtic team!!



    Just my opinion ;)

  14. I had written the season off there and then.


    I will happily admit it.



    I kept the faith in 08 and even stood by Mowbray as long as I could but I had written the season off.


    I was not the only one, in the weeks before it we were all hearing defeatist noises from all corners. Blue noses purring in the pub, while celtic fans at the other side despaired about the team, hoping for a dramatic turnaround.



    Just makes that season all the more remarkable.



  15. Paul67



    I would rather the zombies were left alone, whilst they shamble towards the cliff’s edge.

  16. The last time Rangers had a share issue was 2004.



    Rangers were top of the league. The SPL that is.



    They had 40,000+ season ticket holders at full price.



    They had just beaten us 2-0 at Ibrox after Kenny Clark sent Thompson and Sutton off.



    They were still in the UEFA cup.



    They had spent over £8m in the summer bringing in the likes of Prso.



    Everyone knew they had debts but they were played down by the media and dismissed as manageable.



    Murray’s star was on the wain but he could still purvey moonbeams and dazzle the bulk of their fanbase who saw him as a demi-God.



    With that background, and during a time of relative financial freedom for most people in the country, he was able to persuade the rank and file Rangers fans to give him just over £1m of their money. Leaving him to pick up the rest of the £50m he expected to get.






    Now Chuckles Green, during a recession and closer to Christmas than when Murray did it, expects 20 times that out of the same group of people. A group of people far less enchanted with the him. A group of people far less enchanted with the club and it’s position languishing in the bottom tier of football.



    What is it they say about repeating a course of action and expecting a different result?

  17. Allyhuntersgloves:



    “I still feel bitter that despite the money we invested we still don’t have a fan on the board”




    I don’t think that’s the case

  18. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    ernie lynch



    11:54 on 15 October, 2012



    I agree…..Ticketus haven’t walked away from this…….



    Can ANYONE confirm whether BDO did take over on 12 Oct…..????

  19. Someone earlier asked about another Alex Thomson blog over the weekend – it didn’t run and unlikely to now

  20. Hands up ,i thought it was time for a change.The next home game v Hibs was just as bad.I think re-entry to the Europa League gave Neil the time to get his ideas across,but hey what di i know :) Remarkable turnaround.

  21. From the Evening Times (cannot believe they still go to this muppet for his views):



    Gers chief executive Green launched a share issue last week he hopes will raise £20million for the Ibrox club. But the English businessman has publicly admitted in the past his group are looking to make a profit on their £5.5million investment.



    Contextual targeting label: Finance



    And doubts remain among large sections of the Light Blues support about where their money will go if they choose to invest.



    However, Green has met with official supporters’ groups and confirmed any cash raised will all be ploughed into Rangers.



    “In recent meetings, both with ourselves and other fans’ organisations, many of the issues that have been troubling fans have been addressed,” said Rangers Supporters Trust spokesman Mark Dingwall.



    “The money from the share issue will remain in the club and won’t be distributed to his group through dividends.



    “In addition, the property assets of the club will remain within the club and will not be sold off. We welcome Mr Green’s openness in dealing with the fans.”



    Dingwall added: “We have asked Mr Green how his group plans to make money and he told us by uplifting the share value.



    “The only way they can do that and crystalise their investment is by having a properly run club. It is in their best interests for the club to flourish.”



    He went on: “After all that happened under the stewardship of the David Murray and Craig Whyte regimes, Mr Green’s group was always going to be examined very carefully.



    “But so far I think many fans have been very positive about the initiatives put forward by Mr Green and his group.



    “There has also been mention of non-executive directors being appointed to oversee the corporate governance of the club.



    “Having a unified fans’ voice and representation on the board is positive. Fans are capable of playing their part in the running of the club.”

  22. Imagine one day you are out and about and bump in to a neighbour who, to be fair, has never shown much love for you, perhaps been openly hostile.



    You tell the neighbour straight faced, slightly gleefully maybe – that his house is subsiding. There is a big crack at the side of it you can see from your own house.



    Your neighbour says ‘aye right’ and dismisses your claim and your other neighbours, a bit afraid of this bully boy neighbour decide to tell him his house is great and could never subside because it’s the best house in the street. Some of them have seen the cracks and are talking behind his back but don’t want to upset him.



    After a while he can ignore the subsidence no longer and gets a series of shyster builders in who pretend to shore it up but do so using temporary measures while actually making the structural problems worse. His house eventually collapses. Does he thank you for being honest? No he gets more angry and thinks you somehow caused it all without ever looking in to the real reasons why it collapsed.



    Anyway – he rebuilds a smaller house on the same ground but does not sort out the foundations and does not listen to advice about being careful of who does the work. And you tell him AGAIN that he is going to have the same problem.



    You would think he would listen. But he is one stubborn, arrogant numpty so he just lets the builders get on with it. They make a fast buck hand over the keys and get the hell out of there before the cracks once more appear.



    You can only tell him so often. Time to make sure your own house is secure when his collapses again.

  23. Allyhuntersgloves on

    Richie , explain who the fans representative is on the board , because I don’t remember voting for one ? Celtic took our money and now refuse point blank to have a fans representative coming out with the ” we are all fans ” guff , there are plenty of articulate people in the fan base who could represent and protect the fans interest but its a closed shop for us

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