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Ordinary men and women defeated a wilfully blind government

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With an understatement of historic proportions, Scottish Government minister Annabelle Ewing said should would “respect the will of [the Scottish]parliament” and set in motion the process to repeal the discredited Offensive Behaviour at Football Act.  This is a new approach from a government which has ignored the will of the Scottish Parliament on each occasion on this very issue – despite acting like wounded fawns when others do the same.

The Act was the brainchild of Alex Salmond, who exploited a Celtic-Rangers match which saw two Rangers players ordered off and a brief but angry shouting match between Neil Lennon and Ally McCoist. The game, however, was remarkably free from crowd trouble.

For years Rangers fans were being arrested for offenses of a sectarian nature. Celtic fans had rid themselves of ‘offensive chanting’ but things changed when SNP Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill sat through a Celtic-Rangers cup final deafened by chanting of ‘The Billy Boys’, he congratulated spectators on their behaviour. This saw the return of political chanting from the Celtic support.

SNP minister Christine Grahame made clear the intentions of Salmond’s Bill when she told Justice Committee meeting this Act would allow police to “equalise” arrest figures between Celtic fans and Rangers fans.

It was an appalling piece of governance and sectarian in nature.

61 SNP MSPs voted to retain the act yesterday, as Holyrood heard the most ridiculous nonsense in attempts to justify its place, citing sectarian comments made well away from the football environment. The SNP seem to know there is a sectarian problem, but are blind to any of their own shortcomings.

Credit for this reversal goes in considerable volume to the Fans Against Criminalisation action group, and to James Kelly MSP (Lab), who sponsored yesterday’s vote. Ordinary men and women defeated a wilfully blind, Peronist, government.

We can only be grateful that government does not enjoy a majority in parliament. Its authoritarian tendencies are clear, they did not look at the evidence and reverse their view, they simply didn’t have the votes necessary to continue to ignore all the evidence.

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Help Celtic FC Foundation in the process.
Generally reflect in awe at the goodness of club sponsor, Intelligent Car Leasing.

Intelligent Car Leasing have offered us 4 hospitality tickets for Tuesday’s league game against Hearts.  Winners will eat at the magnificent Walfrid and enjoy a complimentary bar.  I’ve done this, it is magnificent, a truly great way to watch Celtic with your nearest and dearest.  Proceeds go to the Celtic FC Foundation.

The auction went online yesterday closes on Sunday, so you only have a couple of days to bid.

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350 Comments

  1. PMTYH

     

     

    Cheers, hope so too! I’ve got the t-shirt from here with the number of things you can get fined for, pretty scary.

     

     

    The immigration form is also a belter, red letters “Drug Dealers will be executed”

  2. That loving cup picture is deeply disturbing and not to be viewed when one is enjoying breakfast, it really should have come with a warning.

     

     

    They look so happy it could have been taken on the day we do 10iar. If Sevco still exists by then of course.

     

     

    Delighted that the odious SNP got their sectarian even- it- up bill slapped down

  3. GORDON

     

     

    LUSTIG BOYATA AJER TEIRNEY

     

     

    FORREST BROWN NTCHAM SINCLAIR

     

     

    ÉDOUARD

     

     

    GRIFFITHS

  4. My pleasure to say a Hello and Hail Hail to CQN from the very busy Celtic fan en route to charity event

     

    and of course the game

     

     

    Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan

     

     

    Hail Hail

  5. THE MEDIA .

     

     

    First appearance of the Dembele to Roma story in a serious fitba paper(and online ) . It is a direct lift from a fly a kite /click bait site (it quotes the click bait site . That site has then updated it’s story quoting the serious fitba paper .Other click bait sites have followed . For what its worth -the quoted fee is 16 million euros.. No quotes from anybody at Roma but allegedly a big cheese Roma suit tried to sign Dembele for Sevilla when he was working for Sevilla and Dembele was at Fulham .

  6. So no one any info on situation with Gamboa ???

     

     

    Scullybhoy, very decent team selection :-)

     

    Could even play Griff in no.10 position and Moussa leading the line.

     

    Or leave Odsonne in there with Moussa up front

     

     

    Brendan’s choice

     

     

    Hail Hail

  7. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    HENR1K

     

     

    Most of them were wearing one of two ties.

     

     

    Hun offishul tie,or a red and white one.

     

     

    Anyone got a clue which restrictive little cabal that comes from?

     

     

    (Maybe asking on the wrong site,of course!)

  8. SCULLYBHOY on 27TH JANUARY 2018 11:01 AM

     

     

    Think we’ll start with three in central midfield. That’s where they are strongest so we need to win the battle there.

  9. Wee article worth a look on Newsnow Celtic re Charley coming here from a Chelsea fan perspective. They seem very happy with the prospect as opposed to the rest of their “loan army”.

     

     

    Lots of debate here recently about Odsonne Edouard. I am firmly in the “jury still out” camp. However, I was interested to hear Gordon Dalziel talk about him recently on Clyde. He said he had watched him closely throughout a recent match and reckoned his movement was absolutely fantastic and very impressive given his age.

     

    Food for thought maybe?

  10. BMCUW

     

     

    That quote you listed is a belter. Should give some of us pause to think.

     

    Worth reading again:-

     

     

    “Firstly, the levels of anger directed at a poor performance or a duff season or a stalled career are laughably misplaced, an indication of a complete misunderstanding of what sport is really about, the dizzying human mystery involved in translating talent and graft into tangible achievement. Nobody coasts through this, or doesn’t care. The people who coast and don’t care – you’ve never heard of them. They dropped out years ago.”

     

     

    P.S. I like Odsonne- He has 2 problems

     

     

    1) he is our 3rd best striker at the moment so we feel we don’t really need him. However if Dembele goes, he would be more valuable to us and, at 20, he might soon be number 1 choice

     

     

    2) He is supposed to cost £9m and he does not look like a 9 mill player yet. If he was available at less than 6, and he continues to kick on, he may not prove too rich a gamble for us.

  11. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    SETTINGFREETHEBEARS

     

     

    Aye,was it. I wish I’d said it myself!!!

  12. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Good luck to Brendan today on, what I believe is, his 100th competitive top tier match as Celtic manager.

     

     

    Respect also to the players. To play 100 times in just 527 days and retain such high standards is praiseworthy indeed.

     

     

    Add into the mix, terrible pitches domestically, international matches, repeated travel into Europe (twice into Asia actually) and you can understand why the players are a bit jaded.

     

     

    And we’ve lost ONE domestic game.

     

     

    Oh, and the team sitting second in the league, ELEVEN points behind us, have played 73 equivalent fixtures in the same period. ( if you can consider Progres an equivalent to PSG, Barcelona, Man City and Bayern Munich).

     

     

    Proud of this group.

     

     

    Hail hail

  13. Today’s CQN Coupon –

     

    BMCUWP Swindon

     

    JOBO Falkirk

     

    GFTB Fulham

     

    AWALK Swansea

     

    TET Dundee Utd

     

    LENNYBHOY West Ham

     

    POG Carlisle

  14. SOUTH OF TUNIS

     

     

    that’ll be Monchi, the brains behind sevilla’s Successful transfer dealings for a long time. It was seen as a big coup when Roma got him, most likely he’ll have control over the ins and outs.

     

     

    Not that it means the story is true of course

  15. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Friesdorpher

     

    My brother looking for a ticket, driving bus and just going to stay and watch fane

  16. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    If you spot my dad at his corner you can pass it on to him

     

    I’m going over to sit with my mum

  17. Paddy Gallagher on

    I’m looking for James Fegan lives in Ireland, found the guys wallet bank cards etc in the taxi… presuming he’s maybe here today for the football.

     

     

    This was posted on my cousins Facebook if anyone recognises the name give me a shout and we can return his wallet.

  18. BT, done, it’s yours (your brother). I’ll be at the Corner around 2.30 and will pass on to your Dad if he’s not there yet. I won’t be in a desperate rush to get in, so can wait there for a wee while. HH

  19. How Hibs became the first British club to play in the European Cup

     

    Hibernian

     

    Guardian Sport Network

     

    Hibs had only finished fifth in the league in 1955 but they had floodlights, prestige and the foresight to see that a European competition would catch on

     

     

    By Jon Spurling for Nutmeg, part of the Guardian Sport Network

     

     

    Jon Spurling

     

     

    Mon 8 Jan 2018 12.02 GMT

     

     

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    Hibs made it to the European Cup semi-finals, where they were beaten home and away by Stade de Reims.

     

    Although Hibernian had finished a disappointing fifth in the league in the 1954-55 season, they were entirely suited to be Scotland’s first representatives in the inaugural season of the European Cup. That was according to L’Équipe editor Gabriel Hanot, who decreed that a club’s past achievements and appeal to spectators were key to entry, rather than simply winning domestic titles.

     

     

    “The feeling is one of enormous pride that Hibernian are embracing a wonderfully exciting new European competition,” said Hibs manager Hugh Shaw. “My chairman, Mr Swan, has long since advocated a tournament between European club sides. As for some of the debate about which teams should or shouldn’t play in the new competition, I leave that to others to speculate. The politics of football doesn’t interest me.” Yet politicking had gone a long way to smoothing Hibernian’s path into the competition and there was no better politician in the game than Swan.

     

     

     

    Hamish McAlpine, the goalscoring goalie who inspired a piano ballad

     

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    The participating clubs in the first four seasons of the European Cup were selected by L’Équipe. Hanot had initially invited Scottish champions Aberdeen to participate but, when informed that ties would be played on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, the club’s board declined as they believed playing under floodlights (which weren’t installed at Pittodrie until 1959) would give rival sides a clear advantage. There were also rumours they thought the European Cup would not generate enough income to offset the expense of air travel.

     

     

    Celtic, Rangers and Hearts had finished second, third and fourth in the league, respectively, but in the era before TV revenues, none of those clubs wanted to compete in the first European Cup. “It took a couple of years for clubs and their boards to recognise the potential of the competition,” Swan later reflected. “But I like to think that at Hibernian, we’d always been an outward looking club.”

     

     

    By 1954, Leith-born Swan had risen to the heights of SFA chairman. As the owner of Littlejohns bakery in Edinburgh, he was a high-profile business figure and he had always been skilled at using his contacts to ensure Hibernian were at the forefront of developments within the game. As far back as the early 1930s, with the club in the doldrums during the Great Depression, Swan (appointed chairman in 1932) had predicted that in the future floodlit matches would make football more spectator-friendly during the winter months and that clubs would one day play in all-seater stadia.

     

     

    After the second world war, Swan made good on his mission statement to “make Hibernian one of the finest teams in the land”. The Famous Five forward line of Gordon Smith, Lawrie Reilly, Willie Ormond, Eddie Turnbull and Bobby Johnstone inspired them to three league titles, a run that stands up to anything achieved in Scotland by a non-Old Firm club. The club’s zenith came in 1951, when they won the league by a whopping 10 points. Swan boasted that one day Hibs would be playing in a 90,000-capacity stadium. While that never happened, 40,000-plus crowds swarmed to Easter Road to watch the buccaneering Famous Five, all of whom would eventually score more than 100 goals for the club. Their international reputation grew exponentially when they retained the title in 1952 and Hanot wholeheartedly approved.

     

     

    Hibs in action at Easter Road in 1951, when they won the league by 10 points.

     

    Facebook Twitter Pinterest Hibs in action at Easter Road in 1951, when they won the league by 10 points. Photograph: ANL/Rex/Shutterstock

     

     

    The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage

     

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    It helped that they had installed the first major lighting system in Scotland in 1954, having been impressed by the lights of Racing Club Paris three years earlier. This was a prerequisite for any journey into European football and, after visiting Edinburgh that year, Hanot purred with pleasure about “Hibernian’s willingness to embrace this exciting development”. Aberdeen steadfastly refused to play under the Easter Road lights until 1957.

     

     

    Then there was Smith’s testimonial match against Matt Busby’s Manchester United at Easter Road in front of a crowd of 50,000. Hibs ran out 7-3 winners, with the Famous Five in full swing. “The match provided the finest football entertainment I have ever seen,” read the report in The Scotsman. “In football artistry it far surpassed anything seen in Edinburgh … if all games were like this all grounds would need to be Hampdens.” Busby was almost as effusive, saying: “Although this wasn’t a competitive game in the strictest sense, players on both sides gave it their all, and Hibernian are a wonderfully gifted and fluid attacking unit. They are a truly wonderful side.”

     

     

    In 1953, Hibs were invited to play in Brazil in the Octogonal Rivadávia Corrêa Meyer, a tournament the Brazilian football association called a World Club Championship. The marathon six-stop journey at least gave the players the opportunity to “watch the Coronation at every stopping point,” recalled Reilly. Despite a thrilling 3-3 draw with Vasco Da Gama, Hibs finished bottom of their group after defeats to Botafogo and Fluminense in the mighty Maracanã. But that wasn’t quite the point; in Hanot’s eyes at least, Hibs’ willingness to travel the vast distance marked them as a cutting-edge outfit.

     

     

    To further emphasise the club’s willingness to experiment, they took (according to fanzine Mass Hibsteria) “three sets of boots: the usual football boot of the day, a lighter ‘shoe’ with studs, which they had bought while touring Germany, and a lighter rubber-soled shoe.” Shaw also insisted the club take three sets of jerseys of differing materials so players could adapt to the variable weather conditions. Shaw also experimented with his tactics by dropping Reilly back to dictate play, a move that would serve them well in the European Cup.

     

     

    Gordon Smith leads out the Hibs players against Manchester United in a friendly in 1952.

     

    Facebook Twitter Pinterest Gordon Smith leads out the Hibs players against Manchester United in a friendly in 1952. Photograph: Colorsport/Rex/Shutterstock

     

    The 16 competitors in the first European Cup were a microcosm of politicised post-war Europe. There were no representatives from the Soviet Union, as the communist governments were wary of footballers travelling west. Isolationist Football League secretary Alan Hardaker “advised” Chelsea against taking part. Saarbrucken were present and correct, invited by Hanot because the Saarland was not yet officially part of West Germany.

     

     

    In truth, Hibernian were a little past their peak by the middle of the decade. Johnstone had joined Manchester City in March 1955; Smith’s pace had waned after he broke his leg in 1954; and an attack of pleurisy had affected Reilly’s form. But as West German champions Rot-Weiss Essen discovered, they were still a vibrant attacking force when in form.

     

     

    “There was no lack of motivation in our ranks as it was only 10 years since the end of World War II,” recalled Reilly in his autobiography. “We may not have been bearing old grudges, but we were harbouring poignant memories.” The Hibs players were under strict instructions to keep things as tight in the first leg in Essen. But, playing in front of a 30,000-strong crowd at the Georg-Melches-Stadion – including some British troops stationed there – Reilly and his team-mates decided throw caution to the wind. “To ask Bobby Johnstone, Gordon Smith or me to do this [play defensively] was not in our make-up, and after 10 minutes, we thought ‘to hang with this’.” Despite the foul weather and boggy pitch – “we felt right at home,” confessed Smith – Hibs moved the ball around at pace and rattled in four goals without reply, with Turnbull having the distinction of being the first British player to score in the European Cup.

     

     

    One of the German national newspapers reported the next day: “The Hibernian team from Scotland gave the greatest display by a British team since the war.” Although the return at Easter Road was something of a damp squib, the 1-1 draw took Hibs in the quarter-finals, where they were drawn against Djurgardens, an amateur team from Stockholm. Due to the Scandinavian winter, both matches were played in Scotland, with the Swedes opting to play their “home leg” at Partick Thistle’s newly floodlit Firhill ground. Hibs won 3-1 in Glasgow and 1-0 at Easter Road to reach the last four.

     

     

    “At that point, I’d still say the competition hadn’t entirely captured the hearts of our supporters,” said Turnbull. “Perhaps because by the time we played at Easter Road, the ties were seemingly already done and dusted.” But the semi-final clash with Reims, whose magnificent winger Michel Hidalgo and striker Raymond Kopa were at their pomp, was pure box office. Despite creating the better chances, Hibs were let down by defensive sloppiness, with Michel Leblond giving Stade Reims the lead in the Parc des Princes. As Hibs marauded forward in search of an equaliser, Kopa exploited the open spaces and grabbed a late second goal for his side. At the highest level, Hibs’ gung-ho approach had let them down.

     

     

     

    The Lisbon Lions 50 years later: still the greatest story ever told in Scottish sport

     

    Read more

     

    In the second leg, 45,000 fans created a bear pit atmosphere at Easter Road as Hibs lay siege to the Reims goal, but the French side broke clear and scored a killer third goal. “In terms of chances created, we had much the better of things over the two matches,” recalled Smith. “But tactically Reims, who lost 4-3 to Real Madrid in the final, were light years ahead and could alter the pace of the game as they pleased.”

     

     

    Hibs’ domestic rivals remained more than a little sniffy about the European Cup. For now. On the night Hibs played Djurgardens at Firhill, Celtic played at Parkhead and the programme notes read: “Already interest in these floodlit evening games is on the wane.” Nothing could have been further from the truth; more than a million spectators had watched the fledgling competition, with Hibs more than playing their part. Had the competition started a few years earlier, they may well have won it.

     

     

    Forward-thinking managers such as Bob Shankly, who steered Dundee to the semi-finals in 1963, and Jock Stein, who led Celtic to their victory in 1967, eventually gained more recognition for their teams’ exploits. But it was Hibernian – and their modernising chairman – who first shone a beacon for Scottish clubs in the thrilling new floodlit world of the European Cup.

     

     

    • This article is from issue six of Nutmeg magazine

     

    • Follow Nutmeg and Jon Spurling on Twitter

  20. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Cheers A

     

    I’ll make sure he makes a donation to charity of your choice

  21. 50 shades of green on

    Canny see us starting with a back 3 today so.

     

     

    Reverting to the usual 4231.

     

     

    Cragie G.

     

     

    Big Mick. Dedryck, Kris A, wee KT.

     

     

    Ollie n Broonie.

     

     

    Jamsie,Cal Mac, Sinky.

     

     

    And up front its anybody’s guess,

     

     

    I want it to be Moussa, but think the Griff might just get the nod.

     

     

    3 v 2 for ra Celtic.

     

     

    @@@@@

     

     

    Time for the off only 2 jumpers this week and nae sunglasses:-) :-)…

     

     

    H.H

  22. lets all do the huddle on

    Jack Rodwell at CP rumour….

     

    —–

     

     

    he was meant to be

     

     

    but Ross Hall moved his appointment to 3pm because Robbie Keanes medical is taking longer than expected

  23. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    I don’t have contact details for Jon Spurling but his article (posted by Timgreen) on the famous five inspired Hibs team is terrific from a football story perspective.

     

     

    However the reference to ‘Mr Swan’ as a modernising chairman is, IMHO, an error.

     

     

    Perhaps someone here who knows Jon could (very respectfully) convey the view held by many a Celt – Swan was an opportunistic Freemason from Hibs who chose to side with SFA bigots whose aim was to inflict considerable detriment upon Celtic.

     

     

    Plus ca change