Pain of defeat is no tonic


Rangers won three consecutive Scottish Cups in the 60s and Aberdeen repeated the feat in the 80s, however, Celtic have never won the Cup more than twice in succession.

The closest we came to three in a row was the 1990 final, when Sunday’s opponents, Aberdeen, won the trophy on penalties after the game ended 0-0.  The double was achieved in the Centenary Season, before Joe Miller’s famous winner in 1989, but we were a busted flush by season 89-90.

A last 16 win over Rangers at Celtic Park was illusory.  That season, Celtic finished fifth in the league; ahead of Motherwell and Hibs only on goal difference (Celtic had a goal diff. of zero).  We were four points ahead of second bottom St Mirren.

29 years on, it is hard to explain how much we thought we needed to win that Cup in 1990.  After a cataclysmic season, there was a chance to celebrate with an historic third successive Scottish Cup.  Instead, we walked out of Hampden that afternoon telling ourselves a Cup win would have papered over the cracks, and that medicine of defeat would be a more effective tonic.

That was rubbish.  Defeat is not a wake-up call, then it was a portent of what was to come throughout the 90s.

No Celtic fan who walks into Hampden on Sunday will have the sheer desperation to beat Aberdeen that we had at that 1990 final.  But, unlike then, this time, we can look each other in the eye and say we deserve to join the three-in-a-row Scottish Cup winners’ club.

We have planned for our current success.  Form outside the competition supports the ambition.  If we win this Scottish Cup, we have earned it.  29 years is a long time to wait for compensation, but I firmly believe that without the pain of defeat, we cannot experience the full jobs of triumph. I want this for my May 1990 self.  I needed a break that day.

15th Annual CQN Open Golf Day

This year’s CQN Open will take place once again at Aberdour Golf Club on Friday 21 June.  The usual successful format and costs are £80 for the golf and evening event, £40 golf only and £40 night time only.

Please contact john@thewoodsidehotel.co.uk if you would like to come along.  Speakers and charitable beneficiaries to be announced.  Anyone seeking overnight accommodation, please contact John at The Woodside Hotel. John has an attractive package including a game at Burntisland Golf Club the day before the CQN Open, should you wish to hone your skills on the Fife Riviera!

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  1. Beatbhoy




    “What if he had Dunfermline as Scottish Cup Winners, European competition Quarter Finalists, Hibs as Summer Cup winners and third top of division one on departure, all in just over 4 years, both clubs having had genuine relegation worries before he took the reins, on that CV?”





    The excitement was high when Jock came but we were not recruiting Helennio Herrera or Miguel Munoz or Matt Busby or Bill Nicholson.




    The thought of any other Scottish club getting through more than one round in Europe (bar Sevco) nowadays is laughable. A fairer reflection would be in our modern recruiting period post Bosman and post – Big 5 leagues.




    An equivalent of Tommy Burns would be Jack Ross (before he left for Sunderland of course) or Gary Holt (to provide the ex-Celt link). An equivalent to Lou Macari would be Paul Lambert. An equivalent to Dr. Jo or Wim would be Craig Brown or Patrick Kluivert. An equivalent to Tony Mowbray would Be Tony Pulis or Alan Pardew.




    Would any of them excite our fan base?




    We are looking for a big fish too come to a small pond and, as we saw with Brendan, as soon as they are successful and develop any sort of rep with us, they swim away to a bigger lake.




    Our best hope in manager recruitment is to go the same way we do with players and recruit promising newcomers before they get snapped up.

  2. Rescue bat over the bay at the second. Pin back left.


    Heart of the green, uphill putt. Safe par 3.


    Walk round the bay to the third tee.


    Don’t go left.

  3. SFTB-bada Bing







    “A DoF might be able to control squad numbers, the amount of money going out the door every week ”







    Is that not what PL gets it in the neck for trying to do.



    The biggest problem i have with PL,is his own DoF position he has created for himself, he is an accountant.

  4. weebobbycollins on

    Bada…and a very good accountant he is…don’t believe me?


    Ask Peter Lawwell…

  5. SFTB



    The point is that there was a lot more to Jock’s CV than that he had managed Dunfermline and Hibs, as you described it. It already evidenced proven achievement, and the potential was obvious, hence, as you say, the high excitement at the time.



    Thank goodness we didn’t get the original bus parker wi’ wheel clamps on!



    “The thought of any other Scottish club getting through more than one round in Europe (bar Sevco) nowadays is laughable. ”



    And that statement would have been laughable too just last season.



    However, they have since made great Progrês! ( If we niederkorny joke).

  6. Bada Bing



    ‘The biggest problem i have with PL,is his own DoF position he has created for himself, he is an accountant.’



    But the job spec you gave to the DoF includes acts of accountancy- i.e. moving on unneeded squad members- where does a pro footballer learn how to do that before he moves into coaching. I don’t think the Largs course includes transfer strategy lessons.



    As I said at the beginning, there is an inherent and unavoidable tension between spending and recruitment, in all clubs, not just Celtic. Whether we ask a Senior Football management figure (Peter Lawwell, Leanne Dempsey, Martin Bain) or an older manager or scout (Joe Kinnear, Michael Zorc, Ralf Rangnick, Damien Commoli) they instantly become a lightning rod for dis-satisfaction. They instantly become just another “suit”.




    Here’s a description of the successful Sporting Director at Liverpool today:-



    The club has been strong enough to bring in some incredible players like Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Alisson and Naby Keita. Also, he has made some incredible outgoing transfers like Phillippe Coutinho’s department to Barcelona for an initial £105 million, which could rise to £142 million with various clauses being met. The latest example of Edwards’ brilliance is Dominic Solanke’s transfer to Bournemouth for an incredible fee of £19m.




    Now- how many people can name him?



    He is called Michael Edwards.




    Michael Edwards is the man who has made Liverpool competitive on the market again. The 39-years-old sporting director was promoted into one of the most powerful roles at Liverpool Football Club in November 2016. He is responsible for Liverpool’s incredible achievements in the recent transfer windows. (as reported in the Liverpool Echo.




    Now, is Edwards a Football man or a suit?



    “tarted his football career at Peterborough United where he came through the youth system and was an apprentice professional when they were in the Championship, playing as a full-back. He was released after getting no further than the reserves and went into education, getting a degree in business management and informatics at the University of Sheffield. He continued to play semi-professionally before moving into football analysis with Prozone. He first came to Liverpool as a Sports Analyst.



    Maybe we should throw the CV of Celtic by Numbers as a replacement for PL. Most of us enjoy his work more than we get any enjoyment from PL’s work.

  7. WBC- I’m not sure about a DoF role at Celtic, Huntlybhoy made a very interesting post IMO,and it’s well worth considering. The conundrum is who appoints the manager? The DoF?,or who appoints the DoF? The manager? The Board? HH

  8. SFTB- Thanks for your reply, i have noticed that a lot of ex top players are doing business courses rather than coaching courses, and are then looking at CEO type roles at current or former clubs.One i noticed a few months ago was Chiellini at Juventus. As i said, I’m not sure it would help us ,but an ex player who is business qualified, may be better recieved, than a CEO who has self proclaimed ability. HH

  9. Hunderbirds are Gone on





    I think a Director of Football role (whatever it is called) makes very obvious common sense. A strategic manager if you will, to complement the “Manager”, who’s role is more tactical. If you hope to have any continuity in the Club operations over the medium and long term, then there must be a DoF. Football Managers have a short shelf life, especially at Celtic, where it seems, missing out on a single trophy, may see you receiving the ole P45 (should that be Colt 45? he’s getting the bullet ?). Ronny Deila must be in a fairly select club within football, who loses his Job after securing back to back Titles. I know he “resigned”, but I am sure that there was… ahem, pressure from within the club, to help him reach that decision.



    Generally speaking, no Celtic manager will survive, certainly two seasons, maybe only one, without winning the league, without losing his job. In that instance, it is unlikely that everything the individual Manager did, was bad practice, and some aspects, or practices of his tenure, may be worth retaining. With a capable DoF, this evolution will be seamless.



    I don’t personally think Wenger would be right for that job. He will be set in his ways, and his hunger may be in doubt. After his time at Arsenal, he deserves his retirement.



    I am not in a position to identify any one person for that job. The remit is wide ranging, and requires a very broad skill set. My feeling is that a current number two at a big European club, in his thirties or early forties, might be the man. Maybe even someone outside of football, but with top level professional sport experience (What ever happened to Clive Woodward and whoever it was he joined?)



    The role, for me, is a no brainer. The candidates? That’s a harder question.




  10. Hunderbirds are Gone on



    Many thanks for that info. I had just actually wandered onto that site after my post to JJ.



  11. Hopefully the next Manager can work under our DoF as clearly the previous Manager and he could not get on.

  12. The Battered Bunnet on




    PL’s is an interesting career. He was an accountant, holding the role of Financial Controller at Celtic way back. He then undertook a similar role at Clydeport under Tom Allison, before being brought back about 10 years later to Celtic as “Executive Director” – not MD or CEO. Doubtless Tom Allison was the push behind the appointment.



    At that point in time he had his financial management badges and experience, and a little knowledge of behind the scenes at a football club from his earlier stint as FC. He was appointed Chief Exec in 2005.



    His tenure at Celtic is now the greater part of his career, and while doubtless his financial management credentials are impressive, he is now a self-made specialist Celtic CEO. His knowledge and experience in all aspects of running Celtic now outweigh his professional quals and experience.



    While 15 years ago his football credentials were thin in the ground, nowadays he’s amongst the best informed and effective business leaders in football. Few folk have his acquired knowledge or his track record. He’s paid at the top end of the EPL scale for the very reason that he’d be a shoo-in for the same role at (m)any major clubs down south.



    His days of counting beans were left behind long ago.

  13. Bada Bing,



    Interesting point you made about footballers looking into the business side of the game upon retiring rather than just the traditional coaching path most go down.


    It’s apparently Gerard Pique’s ambition to be Barca president someday and he clearly understands all of the politics and pressures associated with the role and thinks he’d succeed.


    Are there any ex-players of ours who you can think of that would have the intelligence and confidence to carry out the DoF role? Maybe he’s already on the coaching staff (John Kennedy)?

  14. !!Bada Bing!! on

    SUPERSUTTON on 11TH APRIL 2019 1:07 PM


    Anybody know what Wim Jansen is up to? Or Dr Jo Venglos?







    Asking for a friend.




  15. Bada Bing!



    Oooooooft! Duck and cover!



    Let’s face it though, he’d probably be the ideal man for running our youth structure! Not so sure about his talents in other areas of the DoF role that have been discussed on here but there must be a place at our club for someone with his knowledge and history.



    I may be slightly biased as the first season that I can remember watching as a kid was 94-95 and Collins was my first “favourite Celt”.

  16. Bada



    The same John Collins who just recently, as a pundit appearing with Keyes and Gray for the Sevco match, condemned Scott Brown for getting elbowed and punched by his opponents?



    Yeah, bright as a button, he is.



    I’ll give you the confidence part, though, in the Mr Chocolate sense.

  17. So in order the manage the squad size direction and fiances we add someone (dof) for maybe 500k a year who adds to overall cost of football department and now it has less money to invest in the squad. No thanks



    Celtic had a structure which employees fit into it from the scouts to the players and managers alike. We have a plan which sees us invest in young players with potential and production of academy players. We have seen some great talent because of it and by all accounts We have some very talent kids in out team and on the way through the academy.



    We can all argue about the merits of individuals but its fair to say We have a very well thought out plan in place. It could be improved but i am not sure we need a dof for that.




  18. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Beatbhoy- i posted his name in jest.He was in our hotel holding court,the morning after Seville Final, kept on slagging the team for giving the ball away,in his usual idealistic style, i walked away…….

  19. Bada






    If only Collins had been talkIng about Broony in jest!



    Even arch-Zombie Gray and his sidekick couldn’t believe what they were hearing.

  20. Beatbhoy,



    Never saw that clip, disappointed in Collins if true (but not overly surprised). One thing about Collins that has always puzzled me is his relationship with Broonie. Remember his infamous “dunno” interview while at Hibs and all of the fallouts were going on? Surely there must have been some bad blood afterwards? Anyway, he ends up being assistant manager and I was amazed at the time that no-one in the media seemed to focus much on their previous history.

  21. A wee thing I do most seasons is to look at a team of players from other SPFL clubs who I think have done relatively well this season. As a recognition that they have done better than expected this year, I have even included some Sevco players this time:-



    Team 1



    McGregor (Sevco)



    Tavernier (Sevco)


    Hackett (Livi)


    McKenna (Dons)


    Lowe (Dons)



    Dicker (Killie)


    Shinnie (Dons)



    Horgan (Hibs)


    Turnbull (Well)


    Kent (Sevco)



    Morelos (Sevco)




    Team 2



    Kelly (Livi)



    Tait (Well)


    Kerr (St. J)


    Devlin (Dons)


    Findlay (Killie)



    Ferguson (Dons)


    Haring (Hearts)



    Hastie (Well)


    Stewart (Dons)


    Aryibi (Well)



    Ikpeazu (Hearts)




    I would not be recommending any of them as immediate Celtic class but I think Turnbull and Ferguson are young enough to develop into interesting players.

  22. Huntlybhoy



    Not hearsay, saw the clip for myself.



    Given a chance by Keyes to backtrack, but wouldn’t do it. “No place for it (Scott’s behaviour) in football” he added instead.



    Much to Gray’s astonishment.

  23. Stephbhoy,



    I wouldn’t be opposed to NOT having a DoF in place if I was supremely confident in the manager that ends up being appointed. If it ends up being another big hitter (Benitez) then I don’t think I’d worry but I’d worry if it was Lennon again or someone like Jack Ross or Alex Neil.

  24. Huntlybhoy



    When does a DoF become unnecessary?



    Jack Ross has managed for 4 seasons now with 3 clubs.



    Alex Neil has managed for 6 seasons with 3 clubs.



    Benitez has managed for 25 seasons for 12 clubs.



    When do the L plates come off to justify being DoF-less?



    Does Benitez not need someone to tell him no?

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