Pay your way or go to the wall


I’ve not touched the Anthony Stokes story on purpose. It’s one of those stories you could be writing for a week, if you started. Anthony enjoyed a successful period for Celtic but the writing has been on the wall since the latter part of Neil Lennon’s era.

He’s still only 27, with around half his career ahead of him, but it won’t be at Celtic. I hope he gets a club who can make the most of his talent.

Despite the riches brought by a new TV deal solidarity contract, many English Football League clubs are still under severe financial pressure, including Neil’s current charges, Bolton Wanderers. Bolton owe the vast majority of their circa £200m debt to owner Eddie Davies, so there’s a good chance that will be written off, but administration remains likely.

Bolton chairman, Phil Gartside, who I hear is now seriously ill, saw this coming years ago, when he proposed an EPL 2-type league reorganisation, while lobbying for the inclusion of Celtic and Rangers. The plan was kyboshed by his then fellow Premier League acquaintances. It would have been transformational for Celtic, and literally a life saver for Rangers.

That Bolton debt figure is pretty eye-watering but the returns from non-league club Forest Green Rovers caught the eye. Net debts reached £5.4m after season 2013-14, thanks to a £2.9m loss. In non-league football. There’s only one Scottish club with that kind of debt. Although I suppose they are also playing off-piste in the Championship.  Pay your way or go to the wall.  Long term that rule applies.

The football industry in England and Wales will survive for a while yet, despite the broken financial model. It won’t be until the TV rights value drops due to reliable and easy to access pirate feeds that the bubble will burst. And it will burst.  The underlying fragility in the football business is that your expenditure is either fixed or often contracted on a multi-year basis, while income is vulnerable to sharp shocks.  It’s not a healthy business to be running at a deficit in.

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    Maybe the powers that be are wary of AS upcoming trial for battering Elvis (Allegedly):)


    He hasn’t exactly helped himself.





  2. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on



    I have heard from Paul and asked him to send you my email address.


    Cheerio for now. I`m off to read about Dada and the Surrealists 0:-)



  3. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma on

    Good Afternoon.



    I watch no football on television at all.



    At one time, I could tell you who played in England, where each club was in the league, who was the top scorer and so on.



    Now, I have absolutely no idea. I don’t recognise the names of the players for each team and wouldn’t be able to tell you who sits in what position in the league.



    I don’t watch sportscene or match of the day.



    I am simply not interested and have other things to do with my time.



    Football is over exposed in the media, and the media efforts are poor in terms of content, production and entertainment value in my opinion.



    I have turned into Statler or Waldorf – take your pick.

  4. AN TEARMANN on 3RD DECEMBER 2015 12:56 PM


    An Article from the irish post. ‘Whatever happened to the Celtic way?



    very interesting piece, ta for that.



    Wille Haughey for chairman, he gets it.

  5. CultsBhoy can not relate to Celtic Board ambitions on or off the park on

    Stokes has been Caught in a trap since battering Elvis – he won’t come back.. Its Heartbreak Hotel for him I suspect….( come on lets flog this one to death – bring a bit of cheer to the blog))

  6. Paul67



    Anthony enjoyed a successful period for Celtic but the writing has been on the wall since the latter part of Neil Lennon’s era



    The part where he notched up 21 goals and 21 assists in Lennon’s final year at the club?



    Or last year, when despite being given a third less game time and played wide left, he grabbed 8 goals and 15 assists (highest number of assists by any player)? For perspective, if James Forrest wanted to achieve that, he’d have to cram four seasons into one.



    The added irony is that Stokes, more visibly than any other player, altered his body shape in accordance with Ronny’s ‘fitness’ demands.



    And then we have this season – a sudden halt to his appearances. 110 minutes in all.



    Samaras leaving was a HUGE blow to our European chances. Brown isn’t getting any younger. Once Stokes and Commons and Mulgrew have left the scene, we’ll have a very clear picture of where Ronny’s taking us.

  7. JJ,




    Nae worries.



    I’d suggest a mutual friend could pass it on but I’m not sure I have any :)




  8. JJ and Green Man



    I think LG has previous and Kris Commons has spat the dummy before. I’m sure there are others that could be cited,



    Stokes is innocent until proven guilty on the issues in Dublin.



    As I say I am not suggesting the others should have been banned/suspended however do I think his ‘punishment’ is because it’s him, yes I do, that’s what irks me.



    Treat everyone the same.

  9. CultsBhoy can not relate to Celtic Board ambitions on or off the park on

    Re Stokes – I’d say ‘its now or never’ if he is to patch things up with Celtic

  10. Up_Over_Goal


    “if James Forrest wanted to achieve that, he’d have to cram four seasons into one.”



    That’s just cruel :oD)))£

  11. The Syrian bombing vote is just backward



    We know fine well that Daesh is a large militia that hides among the general populace. They do not have large bases like a traditional army. Air strikes are not particularly effective.



    We know that there are already so many war planes that there isn’t enough targets to go around. They often return having not dropped a bomb.



    We know fine well that this will cause civilian casualties.



    We know that civilian casualties will lead to more terrorists



    We know that the attacks on European soil have been committed by European citizens and not ISIS agents

  12. Shooie,



    I agree.



    What Kc done was far worse than the Stokes tweet.



    But Tonys off field antics are stacking up now.




    Guys have probably been given their jotters for less than what Suarez has ‘gotten away with’. His talent helped in getting a blind eye.



    Stokes just doesn’t bring enough to ignore his baggage.





  13. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    From the guards van on the last thread.



    Thunder Road, I also agree, re Johansen. I think that he will fill the Scott Brown role during his absence. I also think that Bitton and Rogic don’t work together in midfield. I would have Stefan and Nir on anchor duty, with Allan and Mc.Gregor alternating in the forward position. When a fit Christie joins up, we will have another creative No.10. KC will play a decreasing part in the team and will probably concentrate on his coaching badges. I know it sounds like Strawberry Preserve tomorrow, but I think we will be in good shape for the run in to the end of the season and hopefully be settled for the gerrymandered qualifiers.

  14. I’d rather see the back of Bankier and Livingston than Stoksey, now they have shamed the club.

  15. Cults



    AS will be all shook, he is caught in a trap, too many suspicious minds


    Can only end in tears,but crying in the chapel wont help:)





  16. Hi Geordie



    His abilities as a player should not come in to it in my view, that’s double standards, turn a blind eye because of who it is ?? Although I would accept repeat offending is relevant to punishment but in recent history all he has is a pending case, not decision yet, that’s it. If guilty take appropriate and consistent action, this was a tweet.




    On his playing ability my personal view is he offers more than most strikers recently acquired.

  17. SHOOIE



    You are right of course.


    In reality, the problem is AS is Irish.


    Hun media hate him


    Par for the course in Scoddland.





  18. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    Yeah I cannot agree that Stokesy has been treated fairly, he’s been taken up to Inverness and shoved up in the stands – on the back of not getting a game even as a sub for what seems like an eternity, of course he’s upset, he’s not going to be happy is he. Expressing his frustration Twitter – hardly the crime of the century. Did Ronnie and the 2 Johny’s think he would be happy – surely that would have been of greater concern.



    Suspended for 2 weeks, I’m afraid that says more about Ronnie and the 2 Johny’s than it does about Stokesy – It suggests they’re making up as they go along. Throughout all our dodgy form in Europe I haven’t been too concerned about the guys in charge of the team – but this has been badly handled and has me worried that these guys are simply not up to it. To me its the first real crack in the management wall.

  19. Anthony Stokes has been far more effective as aplayer than Samaras Pukki Balde Ciftci and the many other strikers who have come and gone, granted there needs to be internal measures for managing discipline but these should be consistently applied by HR/Footballing departments, can we be sure this is the case here however it may be an accumulation of issues, he is/was a proven SPL scorer but we went and got Ciftci who is another waste of money so we dont have AS goals assists and the replacement has flopped.

  20. SHOOIE



    Don’t forget, in Scotland you can send explosive devices through the mail, and the scoddish courts will treat it as the equivalent of student Rag week.


    However, woe betide you, if you are Irish and swear on Twitter.




  21. Sorry to interrupt the amateur party political broadcast, here’s a Celtic story.



    Celtic’s u-17 side returned to league action on Sunday with a convincing 6-0 win over Hearts at their Herriot Watt Training Complex.



    International commitments and a variety of postponements meant that it was the first league outing for Michael O’Halloran’s side since October 12.



    Two Glasgow Cup ties, against Queens Park and Partick Thistle, plus a weekend trip to Liverpool for the u-16 side had kept most of the squad active as they travelled east to face Hearts having beaten the Edinburgh side 1-0 at Lennoxtown earlier in the season.



    Playing on the artificial turf ensured that the match went ahead with Michael Johnston opening the scoring for the visitors from the penalty spot in the ninth minute.



    Against Thistle in the Glasgow Cup Celtic scored six times in the last half hour- O’Halloran had to settle for five against Hearts as his side turned on the style and discovered the killer instinct around goal.



    Right-back Sean Bowers created the second goal for Christian Antoniazzi with Ross McLaughlin putting the hoops three in front after a great flowing move.



    Despite leading 3-0 Celtic refused to ease up with Johnston scoring three times in the last ten minutes to complete an outstanding team performance.



    Johnston was a late substitute for the Celtic u-19 side in their 3-0 UEFA Youth League win over the Puskas Academy. In a brief substitute appearance for the Development side last season he scored in a 2-0 win over Kilmarnock.



    Tomorrow night Tommy McIntyre takes an u-21 side to Aldershot to face Chelsea in the Premier League International Cup.



    HEARTS 0-6 CELTIC (Johnston 4, McLaughlin, Antonazzi)




    Read more at http://videocelts.com/2015/12/blogs/younghoops/four-goal-johnston-breaks-hearts#Jys7YiCYxrYFAYUm.99

  22. Dessybhoy



    Samaras, Pukki and Balde all got the boot and the club gave Stokes a new contract. I think they agree with you on that.



    Ciftci has been poor so far but lets not forget he missed the start of the season because of a ban and hasn’t really started many games. Time will tell on that one.



    I understand Stokes’ frustration about being on the sidelines. I don’t really know the ins and outs of his disciplinary record but he was the most fined player according to Neil Lennon. Airing your frustration on Twitter isn’t the brightest move.

  23. Tommy Burns raised this Bhoy highly, as do I, he is a player.



    Celtic are showing an interest in St. Johnstone’s striker Michael O’Halloran, who started his career with Celtic. He left at the young age of 16 to join Bolton before returning to Scotland in 2014.



    Celtic were one of numerous clubs who had scouts at St. Johnstone’s recent match with Dundee. O’Halloran has came into some decent form this season and has impressed throughout.



    This season so far, O’Halloran has played a total of 19 games, scoring 5 and assisting 9 times. In his time at the Saints, he has scored 17 and assisted 15 in a total of 84 games. He is primarily a striker, although he has been playing out on both wings this season. When he has played as the striker on three occasions this season, he has scored 2 and assisted once.




    It doesn’t really come as a surprise move, given that Celtic now actively pursue the best prospects around Scotland and then sign them up. Scott Allan, Gary MacKay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong are all examples of this. Ryan Christie is another, although he has been put out on loan again to Inverness.



    O’Halloran is still young at the age of 24 and has appeared to have caught the eye of Ronny Deila. He is a hard working, powerful player with bags of pace. He also knows how to find the net.



    Celtic face a fight to sign him however as Swansea are one of numerous other clubs looking at him. Swansea also had scouts at said game above and could be ready to make a bid. However, Celtic could be favourites after O’Halloran started his career here. Maybe he would jump at the chance to show Celtic they were wrong to let him go….

  24. TD67



    I don’t think anybody is defending how stupid AS can be, no doubt he does daft things.


    However, that gives the bigots the change to give him stick because he is an Irish Celtic player.





  25. Awe well that’s it then the Mullet has spoken, retarded ice hole and a cork sucker.



    Meanwhile Scotland assistant manager Stuart McCall reckons it is far too easy to score against Celtic these days.


    And the ex-Ibrox caretaker boss, who last season failed to get the new club through the play-offs, believes the Hoops are missing two influential players in the middle of the rearguard that has leaked 11 goals in the Europa League and 12 in the Premiership. (McCall’s Rangers side lost 6 in 2 games against Motherwell in those play-offs and he lost his job).


    McCall said: “Virgil van Dijk and Jason Denayer were key men last season, but, of course, they have moved on.


    “The defence has struggled and just look at Caley Thistle’s goal at the weekend, for instance. It was a little bit soft.


    “It was a great first touch from goalscorer Miles Sorey, I’ve got to say. But it was right down the middle, through the heart of the defence.


    “Celtic tried to play a little bit of football around the halfway line and got caught.


    “It was like a knife through butter. One simple pass, a great touch to get away from the two centre-halves, Dedryck Boyata and Jozo Simunovic.


    “And then the ball’s in the net. It was too easy.”


    – See more at: http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/too-easy-to-score-against-celtic-mccall/#sthash.YvAQsnuv.dpuf

  26. Welcome home Davie Bhoy.



    CELTIC great Davie Hay has returned to the Hoops – for the FIFTH time!



    The club legend has just been appointed to the board of directors for the club’s Development Pools.



    It’s yet another new role for Hay at the club following his previous stints as player, manager, Chief Scout and assistant General Manager.



    All net proceeds from the Pools go directly to the Celtic Youth Academy, which has in recent years produced talents such as James Forrest, Callum McGregor and Kieran Tierney.



    The Pools donated approximately £750,000 to the Academy in the last financial year and Hay said he is looking forward to playing his part in continuing to raise money to help bring young players through to the first team.



    He said: “I’m delighted to be involved again with my club. Eric Riley spoke to me a while back and through him I was offered the position and I’m grateful for that.



    “It’s different to what I’ve done for the club before, but just to be involved with Celtic is great.



    “I still come to the games regularly and I have an interest in the Academy as well because my grandson just joined this season.



    “I know how well it’s all run with Chris McCart at the top all the way down to St Ninian’s High School in Kirkintilloch.



    “I’d say it’s the best in Scotland, if not Britain, and, hopefully, over time we’ll get more players coming through.”



    Hay will take his place as a director alongside former captain Tom Boyd, who has been a board member since 2014.



    * Don’t miss some startling revelations from Davie Hay in CQN’s latest book ‘The Winds of Change’. You will be amazed at some of the names he wanted to bring to Celtic when he was manager.



    We can exclusively reveal he almost signed Liam Brady! And there are other secrets that are now revealed in our latest book which is the follow up to Caesar & The Assassin. You can order it now at CQNBookstore.com.



    – See more at: http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/the-assassin-is-back-at-celtic/#sthash.Uyb2ovpw.dpuf

  27. Apart form anything else I thought AS comments were a bit of a smack in the face for fans that spent time and money to endure the same horrible conditions.



    As were his comments about having to endure double training for his money. Sounds like life is terrible for him.

  28. Very true.



    Getting Out Of Hand….


    Football players falling out with managers and team mates, even fans, is nothing new, certainly not in Scottish Football.



    It’s been going on for decades, only nowadays instead of disputes being kept indoors at the club involved, injured parties, usually the player involved turn to social media to show their displeasure and vent their anger.



    These kind of actions never end well for the player. It’s deemed as a breach of discipline and is usually dealt with accordingly.



    However, if the player involved is looking for fan support and is hoping to alienate the manager from a section of that support, then what has he got to lose?



    Anthony Stokes was unhappy at being paid to sit on the bench, last Sunday during Celtic’s visit to Inverness. Unlike some players who travelled and didn’t get stripped, he questioned the managers team selection and complained via Twitter. He could have asked the manager face to face, of course.



    Stokes, in my opinion knew exactly what he was doing.



    Instead of knuckling down and showing the manager in training that he’s worthy of a place, he played the victim card. Poor me.



    As Ronny has said time and time again, EVERY player has to show in training they are good enough to play, They have to earn a place in the team.



    Since Sunday, the very same fans who scream for Stokes to be replaced have now given him hero status. The same player who struggles to keep a corner in the park is suddenly our answer to Messi!



    Anthony Stokes has been at Celtic Park long enough to know there is a code of conduct for every player. He seems to think it doesn’t apply to him, for some reason, and is quite happy to cause as much bother as he can.



    In every dressing room around the world, its always the players who aren’t playing who are the biggest shit stirrers. Its almost like human nature.



    And Celtic’s dressing room is no different.



    Players have a lot more power now than say in the days of Big Jock, but are more prone to take the huff and show a petulant side that’s no good for anyone.



    P.S. Just a wee reminder, that the same Anthony Stokes, decked in Celtic scarf, made the half-time draw at Celtic Park when the Hoops entertained Dumbarton in the Scottish Cup in 2007. He told the crowd he was signing after the game, only to jump in a car with his Dad and sign for Roy Keane at Sunderland.



    Celtic News

  29. Tony



    Can you really disagree with what he said?



    My girlfriend has no interest in Football and she asked me one day “do you really hate every Rangers player? Can you not name one who you think is a good person?”



    The one player who came to mind was Stuart McCall. Genuinely nice bloke who just happened to end up playing at Ibrox. I’ve came across him a couple of times through coaching and he’s always been a decent chap.

  30. Anthony has made a few errors and has a bit of history of indiscipline. TD67 is hinting he knows something the rest of us don’t. He made indeed be telling the truth but in the absence of knowing any fresh dark secret, we can only judge events at face value.


    Kris & Griffiths sinned and got immediate absolution, Stoksey got the book thrown at him, seems it was decided to make an example of him,


    To me he has been treated unfairly, he is a guy that really gets Celtic but too much has now happened, best thing for both Club & player is for him to leave in January. He will go with my thanks and best wishes,

  31. lennon's passion on

    Heard a wee snipet a while back that the powers at Paradise were unhappy with the company Stokesy keep in Glasgow.

  32. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    CORKCELT. As a player I have always liked Stokes as I think he is one player who tries 100% when in the team.However he probably earns more in a month than I do in a year for me that makes him a priviliged young man. To go to Inverness to watch the hoops cost our supporters a lot of money and they felt the cold as well but Stokes was getting well paid for being there.I honestly dont think the Bhoy is the brightest but he needs to learn Celtic isnt all about him. H.H.

  33. I’ve been sent a copy of a text that AS sent to RD…its as follows…



    Big Boss Man,


    I’m in Room 67 of the Heartbreak Hotel staring down at my Blue Suede Shoes…I really am All Shook Up at what’s happened and it looks like I’m heading for A Blue Christmas.


    All I ever wanted was for you to Love Me Tender…and Treat Me NIce,but was there ever A FooL Such As I ?


    I know sometimes you think I’m the Devil In Disguise…but when I signed for Celtic all I wanted to do was Follow That Dream…and for it to be Never Ending.


    Now as I face a walk down The Long Lonely Highway all I ask is that you Please Don’t Stop Loving Me and with Jailhouse Rock a possibility for me in the near future ,I’d hate to think my future lies In The Ghetto.


    RD’s reply was….



    You’re A Heartbreaker,


    What was always needed from you was A Little Less Conversation so Don’t Be Cruel you Poor Boy…’Cos if you go on a rant onTwitter…then That’s When Your Heartaches Begin…When instead you should be Playing For Keeps.


    You’ve got yourself a Mess Of Blues and if you want things to change..then It’s Now Or Never…and I guess there’s no use asking Are You Lonesome Tonight ?…


    Well all you have to do is…


    Follow That Dream…and there will be Peace In The Valley.


    Merr Christmas Shep.

  34. “Griffiths sinned and got immediate absolution”








    A four weeks wages fine says otherwise.




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