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. hen1rik



    I got the correspondence from fat eck to Celtic through FOI, after seeing the letters to the huns and they did actually write on a few occasions to congratulate Celtic on various victories.



    This is part of what was said to Neil Lennon;



    “To win your first league title as a manager is a fitting reward for a season’s hard work. You have not only guided your team to a Championship title on the pitch but, equally impressively, dealt with well-publicised events off the field, testament to your strengh of character.”



    I’m not SNP btw and my dealings with them regarding anti-Catholicism makes me worry what a post independence SNP majority Scotland would be like.




  2. theglasgowcelticway on

    Will the SNP try a similar tactic as they did on the gay marriage consultation?Anyone who opposes,your vote diznae count.

  3. TBB



    substantial numbers of “racially aggravated ” cases wouldn’t be pursued if they were ordinary common law offences and many wouldn’t be persisted with



    In normal course of business negotiations take place with PFs …the deficiencies of cases discussed etc ….cases dropped …where a racial aggravation is alleged a PF will not / cannot drop them



    Regularly PFs will admitted that cases shouldn’t have been taken up but they are stuck with them




    Just my experience mate …

  4. Mountain_Bhoy is Neil Lennon on

    Italiabhoy,less of the patronising please.I have worked in and travelled extensively throughout the US. It aint the Hollywood version we all get spoon fed constantly. the american dream is a myth.

  5. Rogue


    Unsure of this


    but I don’t think the constitution of a modern democracy


    written along party political lines has any chance of consensus

  6. Clink\o/ – you are absolutely correct, it doesn’t. My point is can any of the politicians today, of any hue, be trusted to do it?



    I say absolutely not

  7. Phil Tweet


    Phil MacGiollaBhain ‏@Pmacgiollabhain


    What would happen to the Sevco share flotation if BDO went to court for a Judicial Review on the asset sale? I have no idea #CrowdSourced

  8. I’ll leave the Independence debate aside for the present because I fear we’ll have 2 years of this to little or no effect. The polls have shown that we have 30% or so of Scots who feel strongly about identifying themselves as Scottish, a further third who see themselves as happy with current arrangements, though they are not as vehement in their position as the pro-Independents, and the final third don’t give the issue much thought. And these figures have remained relatively stable through decades of pro- and anti-independence argument. The bookies do not foresee a change to a majority yes vote any time soon and we’ll all have to get back to living with each other.



    Anyways, back to the Killie game cos I was there. Paul is right to remind us of the vagaries of that game. The first half was very like Mowbray’s St. Mirren game in that Kilmarnock looked like they could score with every attack, not because they were good, but because we were so bad that night.



    Neil Lennon’s half time subs did no more than stem the tide. Mo Bangura ran around to no great effect but, at least he was harrying. Big Vic came on and occupied space but did not give a typical Big Vic performance. After 68 minutes, with the score still 3:0 to Killie, Neil made his final throw of the dice by making the seemingly inexplicable sub of El Khaddouri for Cha (Loovens Wilson and Rogne remained on the subs bench unused). Inexplicable as it seemed, our shape did look a bit better with this non-descript journeyman on.



    Through all this failing period, when Hooper and Kayal had been taken off and it may just as well have been Stokes and Ledley or Ki, such was the generally flat performance level, one player stood out for Celtic.



    It was not the guy who you rightly credit with starting the turnaround, Antony Stokes, but our youngest player, James Forrest who, drifted into the centre midfield to harry and contest with Killie’s Sheils and Kelly but also to try to create. Wee James’s efforts that night deserved better with older players letting the side down and hiding.



    And yet the turnaround came, not from James’s excellence, but because Antony Stokes reverted to greedy striker mode. Having seen Charlie gift Killie their 3rd goal, he exercised his right to tell Charlie to back off and he sent a fairly decent but not exceptional free kick into the net. Three minutes later, he sent a petulant lazy shot towards the goal which the keeper should have saved but it went in. And, with panic setting in, Charlie bundled in an equaliser.



    We had 10 minutes to win it but, just as Killie had got their 3 goals easily, so had we with our second half goals, and Killie had a great chance to win it with Heffernan’s header, showing again that we were a poor team on that lucky night.



    I remember my emotions that night and on the blog over the following week. I was genuinely puzzled that our August to Early October form in 2011 was in such stark contrast to our end of season form from the year before. Well, up to the re-arranged ICT game anyway.



    Killie had not been the only weak showing in starting that season. We lost at home to St. Johnstone. We had lost heavily to Rangers after we were 2:1 up at half time. We had been poor in Sion and the previous week had lost to Hearts 2:0. There were strong indications that Neil’s influence had waned and that a weak minded group of players would see him sacked.



    And then came a draw in Rennes, a couple of domestic wins, followed by a draw against Hibs at CP, followed by 4 wins before we lost narrowly in Madrid. Then there were 17 matches from Dec. to Feb, where we won every one bar a draw with Udinese in Italy before Aberdeen ended our domestic run with a draw in March.



    The excellence of our mid-season was just as puzzling as our softness in the season’s start. Maintenance of form remains one of the great mysteries of sport but a spot of heroics from wee James Forrest and a touch of productive petulance from Antony Stokes saw us through a very dark period and gave us some time to seek our salvation.



    Those of us who stuck with Neil Lennon at the time were accused of having blind faith. I disputed that view then and still do. I felt I had evidence, from Neil’s previous season and a bit, that we had the right type of restless, dissatisfied manager who would never accept complacency and softness.



    I felt August to October 2011 had been an anomaly and so it proved. But I remember the fear I had that, perhaps March 2010 to June 2011 had been the anomaly. Thank God my faith was right and my fear was wrong.

  9. Mountain_Bhoy is Neil Lennon on

    clink,exactly. 300 years of anti catholicism while part of the union.. the hanoverians never did forgive the jacobites..



    perhaps folk using the catholic card as a reason for keeping the union must be happy with the way its been dealt with in the last 300 years!

  10. In the uk the orange order are an insignificant rump. In an independent Scotland they would be proportionally much more significant force. You might also say “fabric of the nation”

  11. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    19:56 on 15 October, 2012



    There are a number of people in Scotland who have the same ideals as those expressed by Irish Nationalists…….but not enough, unfortunately………and, your right, it’s a different scenario today. Independence is being sought by a power-hungry little fart …….. I actually voted SNP for a few years there, but NEVER again, while Salmond is the FM?..

  12. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    20:16 on 15 October, 2012



    Correct …… Salmond panders to them for their vote (pointless)……..confused little politician ……..anyway, their having a laugh if they think all the little loyalists are going to vote SNP ………..and, Alex, if you want to have ANY chance, you better stop the current IMMIGRATION to the SW …… There’s a wee song about that, which might help you …nudge nudge,….wink, wink ………

  13. Mountain_Bhoy is Neil Lennon on

    neganon2, how sad it is that the OO are dictating to folk how they vote for our future.. and youll allow that?



    long term,which is what we should focus on,they will be finished. they are allready dying out. look at the bigger long term picture

  14. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    20:20 on 15 October, 2012


    Celtic equalise 1-1



    Is it on the telly, please..?

  15. SFTB



    I remember thinking at half time that I was going to be drunk by 4 if it kept going the way it had in the first half..



    wasn’t sure if the 4 was goals against or 4pm…

  16. BT



    I watched that game in Tenerife ….think I was drunk by 4



    I remember in a bar laughing like a drain at the Hun score …think St Mirren equalised in the last minute

  17. Ernie Lynch/ 67 heaven



    Whilst I agree with some of what u both say I just cannot see how things will be worse in an independent Scotland.



    The orange order and institutional sectarianism have diminished in my lifetime and majority of Scottish people see them for what they are, doomed preachers of hate.



    Cromwells men have ruled here and in Ireland for far too long and I for one want no part in their imperialism and illegal wars.



    I will stand up for an independent , socialist , tolerant Scotland and I believe it can be done.If we need to use Salmond to get it, so be it.



    He will not in all probability Bevin charge.



    Hail Hail enjoying the Craic .

  18. Sevco: IPO or Cheerio



    For the many who read last Thursday’s post regarding the folly of the proposed Rangers flotation, you probably thought that it was simply another bit of chat about Rangers that ends with Rangers looking a bit silly.



    There is, however, something more to it than that.



    We know that the flotation has been rushed.



    We know that Duff & Phelps job is over and that all BDO need is a date to start the liquidation process.



    We know that BDO have the legal right to potentially overturn a sale and freeze assets should it so be required.



    Is it that that is what has caused the rush to float?



    AIM rulebook rule 2:



    An applicant must provide the Exchange, at least ten business days before the expected date of admission to AIM, with the information specified by Schedule One.



    A quoted applicant must provide the Exchange, at least twenty business days before the expected date of admission to AIM, with the information specified in Schedule One and its supplement.



    If there are any changes to such information prior to admission, the applicant must advise the Exchange immediately by supplying details of such changes. Where, in the opinion of the Exchange, such changes result in the information being significantly different from that originally provided, the Exchange may delay the expected date of admission for a further ten business days (or twenty business days in the case of a quoted applicant).



    As I’m sure we’re all aware, were BDO to attempt to overturn the sale to Charles Green that would be what one would term as the information being significantly different to what it is currently.



    In addition, rule 7:



    Where an applicant’s main activity is a business which has not been independent and earning revenue for at least two years, it must ensure that all related parties and applicable employees as at the date of admission agree not to dispose of any interest in its securities for one year from the admission of its securities.



    This rule will not apply in the event of an intervening court order, the death of a party who has been subject to this rule or in respect of an acceptance of a takeover offer for the AIM company which is open to all shareholders.



    What this means is that Green and cohorts are locked into Rangers until October/November 2013 unless BDO overturn the sale.



    Herein lies the sheer genius of Charles Green.



    BDO are going to take over the liquidation of OldCo shortly. BDO may well find reason to try and overturn the sale of the assets to NewCo. Should BDO attempt this pre-share issue, then it’s a very easy case against Charles Green’s Sevco consortium. Should BDO attempt this after the share issue, then it’s a long protracted case involving potentially thousands of individual shareholders that would more than likely go past October 2013.



    There are, therefore, two logical conclusions that can be taken from this.



    Conclusion 1 – By diversifying and expanding the amount of owners of Rangers, Charles Green hopes to prolong any court battle with BDO long enough to allow him to get out of the club with a profit and the other smaller shareholders left with a club that may well not be theirs.



    Conclusion 2 – Green knows that BDO will be coming for him and that, should they start a legal challenge prior to a share issue being completed, it will put a freeze on the club’s business and they will run out of money. Green then rues his luck, loses his initial investment and walks out of Ibrox with his tail between his legs.



    It is a bizarre race against time where Charles Green and the current Rangers board realise exactly what BDO could do to the club and exactly what that would mean in terms of the working capital for the club. Their tactic is to muddy the waters as much as possible, to get as much dirt away from themselves as possible.



    Oh there’s a final AIM rule I should mention. Article 9:



    The Exchange may make the admission of an applicant subject to a special condition.



    Where matters are brought to the attention of the Exchange which could affect an applicant’s appropriateness for AIM, it may delay an admission. The Exchange will inform the applicant’s nominated adviser and may notify RNS that it has asked the applicant and its nominated adviser to undertake further due diligence.



    The Exchange may refuse an admission to AIM if it considers that:



    • the applicant’s does not or will not comply with any special condition which the Exchange considers appropriate and of which the Exchange has informed the applicant’s nominated adviser; or



    • the applicant’s situation is such that admission may be detrimental to the orderly operation or reputation of AIM



    Should Rangers really be in need of the money earned from a share flotation to cover day to day costs, then if BDO are able to get involved before the share issue, AIM status can (and would) be refused, Rangers will not see 2013.



    It’s a race to the death.



    the football life

  19. The Battered Bunnet on

    PF Ayr



    Per 2011 data, 42% of convictions carrying a Religious Aggravation were directed at Police Officers, which probably explains in part the remarkably high rate of convictions achieved.



    A further 10% were directed at other public sector workers – hospital, ambulance staff etc – and 33% were directed at the community at large.



    Only 22.6% of offenced were directed at individual members of the public.



    For Religious Aggravations, procedings were initiated in 85% of cases.



    For Race Crime, procedings were initiated in 81% of cases. In 63% of cases, the crime was racial harrassment or behaviour against an individual, with 37% related to a statutory aggravation of another offence. In other words, for Race crime, the offence is typically racial behaviour against the person, contrary to religious aggravations data.



    The data indicates that Race crimes are not being preferentially pursued as you suggest.



    We can slice the data this way and that, but the weight of evidence points to offences against the other being widespread throughout Scotland, and a league table of victims really doesn’t help. We are apt to abuse folk on the grounds of protected characteristics irrespective of the characteristics to hand.



    Nevertheless, I have shared the base data (obtained under FOI earlier this year) with umpteen journalists, both mainstream and niche, and none have chosen to write about it.



    My conclusion is that the data are embarassing to the nation, but provide little scope to make a minority argument to those so inclined.



    We need to up our game big time.

  20. Mountainbhoy – your not thinking straight here.



    Its not the OO that are driving my thinking – its the inherent nature of this country (the country which brings in political sectarianism to all catholics to be prosecuted for blessing themselves).



    You think you are looking long term – well let me assure you that the sectarian genie will be out of the bottle in an independent Scotland and all this “progress” you believe has been made will unravel before your very eyes.



    If that isnt the case please explain how the political sectarian law can be passed in Scotland by a Scottish parliament in 2011/12?

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