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Proof that top level football is not always great

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Yesterday was not a particularly good day for football.  The Edinburgh cup final was played before a half empty Hampden long before the end and Chelsea’s revival of catenaccio secured the Champions League.  If nothing else the latter proved that football at the very top level is not always great.  Perhaps the reason why truly great teams are so celebrated.

There is an interesting dynamic to Rangers in administration.  Creditors have a cash offer of around £8.5m to consider but eight players, Naismith, Bocanegra, McGregor, David, Whittaker, Goian, Lafferty and Edu cut release clause deals with Duff and Phelps for values greater than this.

Any CVA agreed next month (unlikely though it is) could be paid for by the departure of these players.  Charles Green could potentially be the second person to buy Rangers for only £1.

It is, however, unlikely that other clubs will offer money for these players before a CVA is agreed as they will be available as free agents should the CVA fail and those in control of Ibrox attempt to form a Newco.  Therefore, the chances of creditors getting their hands on any of these transfer fees are limited, no matter what happens to the company.

You can buy a hard copy of the new issue of CQN Magazine via Magcloud here.

The graphic below is just for a flick through, to read the magazine go here to it’s dedicated site.

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  1. Glendalystonsils likes a mr whippy with his lime green jelly on

    Although I’m as critical of Chelsea’s cattenaccio performance as anyone, I would blame Bayern’s inept finishing for last night’s result. Impressive as Bayern were in dominating the game, they seemed to have a rush of blood to the head every time they created an opening. A game of wild swings and pitiful sclaffs.

     

    A bit like my golf, in fact!

  2. Evening all

     

     

    Just been reading Alisdair Mclean’s post with the list of creditors of RFC (IA). Pretty sure I went to school with one of them (Dominique S Byrne of Nuffield Hospital). Owed £160. Jags fan as I recall .

     

     

    But why is Alison Walker – the Emily Nugent lookalike BBC Shortbread correspondent who made Rhona McLeod seem as professional as Richie Benaud- owed £600? As a licence payer I think we should be told.

     

     

    H x 2

  3. Good evening friends.

     

     

    Freezing the last couple of days and got sunburnt today. What a country.

     

     

    Fantastic day of golf with some great CQNrs. Thanks especially to bjmac for the invite to a 28-handicapper, Goldstar10 for refraining from laughter during our round and Paul my other playing partner.

     

     

    Jobo The Red

  4. antrimkev on 20 May, 2012 at 19:09 said:

     

     

    good chance robert green will stay with west ham now they’ve been promoted

  5. I kinda expected that reaction. Some people are nothing if not predictable. Stand by what I said. Understand Big Jock had the expertise to set up a team to defend. He did it against Dukla/Inter away amongst others. But never at home. Celtic should not be doing that at home against any team. Thats just my opinion. I disagree with MANY on here a lot of the time but I never descend to the gutter & start throwing muck at people…Lenny is what I believe to be a Celtic man: like Tommy he understands the fans, appreciates good football & holds his love of the club as close to his heart as his own breath. Just never took to Strachan- thought his team were becoming increasingly dreadful to watch.

  6. celtic40me on 20 May, 2012 at 19:19 said:

     

     

    he is away to spain me thinks

     

     

    Malaga?

     

     

    either way big Lurch is a decent goalkeeper – i would gladly have him here, but if after the last couple of weeks with the thai tims being around the squad (and the fact of being here for 2 seasons) dosent tug at the heart strings of being a Hoop – he cant have a heart, therefor cant be one of us!!!

     

     

    genuinley dont think the big guy has bought into being a hoop – (unlike Ledley, he fell in love right away) he sees his future elsewhere and fair play to him

  7. antrimkev

     

     

    FF to Hammers ?..what about Green is he moving on

     

     

    btw …i agree re his reluctance to sign up …foolish boy who is being badly advised ..also he should have some gratitude for the chance that he was given by Lenny and the faith shown in him

     

     

    as for yesterday`s cup final …2 biggest decisions in the game and Thomson got both wrong …overpaid incompetent

  8. Allesandro Del Piero plays his last game of professional football tonight in the Italian Cup Final versus Napoli (live on ESPN)

     

     

    Great article below from Paolo Bandini of the Guardian:

     

     

     

    Atalanta. Photograph: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images

     

     

     

    It might just have been the longest substitution of all-time. There were 57 minutes on the clock when the board went up showing No10 at Juventus Stadium, calling time on Alessandro Del Piero’s last home appearance for the Bianconeri. Approximately 60 seconds later, after turning to bow to the supporters in each stand, Del Piero reached the sideline, to be replaced by Simone Pepe. But it would be at least a quarter of an hour before anyone remembered there was a match in progress.

     

     

     

    Del Piero had been congratulated individually by every one of his team-mates on his way off the field, but now Juventus’s fans wanted the same opportunity. At first he walked over to take his place on the bench, stopping to sign one young fan’s autograph as he went, but no sooner had he sat down than the 40,000 in attendance were calling him back to his feet, demanding an encore.

     

     

     

    Twice he stood to wave, but quickly it became clear that even this would not be sufficient. And so he descended from the bench and set off on a lap of honour, walking around the edge of the pitch and collecting the scarves which fell at his feet like flowers on the stage of a virtuoso musician. Supporters openly wept as Del Piero fought back his own tears. He would later admit he pretended to tie his shoelace at one point, so we wouldn’t see him cry.

     

     

     

    Many supporters continued their futile protest against the decision to let their captain leave, begging for one more year, but while this season has shown Del Piero still has the qualities to contribute it is also hard to imagine a more perfect parting. After 19 years which have included lows – not least the 2006-07 season spent in Serie B – as well as highs the man whom Gianni Agnelli once nicknamed Il Pinturicchio was bowing out at the very top.

     

     

     

    He had given those supporters one last goal to remember him by, fooling everybody as he shaped to fire one way from the edge of the D before crashing the ball into the opposite corner. That strike, in the 28th minute, had helped his team to complete their unbeaten league season – becoming the first-ever Serie A side to do so in a 38-game campaign. Previously Milan had gone unbeaten over 34 games in 1991-92, and Perugia over 30 games (though they failed to win the league) in 1978-79.

     

     

     

    Monday’s newspapers carried all the statistics you could ever wish to know about a remarkable career. In 19 years, Del Piero has played 704 games for Juventus, enjoying a total of 48,785 minutes on the pitch. He has scored 289 goals, hit the woodwork 68 times and missed 12 penalties. He has won 387 games, drawn 197 and lost 120. He has been shown 50 yellow cards, and just two red.

     

     

     

    To an extent all those figures are premature, with the player still set to play a role in the Coppa Italia final against Napoli on Sunday – as long as he can shake off a knock picked up during a challenge with Riccardo Cazzola in the first minute of the game against Atalanta.

     

     

     

    But in any case those numbers feel meaningless. Del Piero’s career is not to be expressed in statistics as much as memories – of the shy but talented teenager who announced his arrival from Padova with a goal against Reggiana back in 1993, of the young man who marked his father’s passing by scoring a beautiful goal against Bari in 2001, of the 30-something who finally put all those international disappointments behind him by scoring the second goal in Italy’s 2006 World Cup semi-final win over Germany.

     

     

     

    If so many tears were shed for Del Piero on Sunday, it is not for the goals that Juventus will now miss – though make no mistake, he has been crucial on occasion this season, not least in providing a late winner against Lazio – but because his departure marks the end of an era, both in the team’s history but also fans’ lives. “He will always be our captain,” said the club’s president, Andrea Agnelli, at full-time, but what really hurts is the realisation that cannot be the case.

     

     

     

    Similar emotions were being played out on Sunday at San Siro, where fans displayed huge shirt-shaped banners bearing the names and numbers of Alessandro Nesta, Pippo Inzaghi and Gennaro Gattuso, all of whom have almost certainly played their last game for the club. The image of Inzaghi’s face, contorted with joy as he celebrated his 126th goal for Milan (at a rate of one every 144 minutes) in the second-half of that game said more than words could about what it has meant to him to play, and score for this club.

     

     

     

    Inzaghi has been frustrated with how he has been used by Massimiliano Allegri this season, and he – like Del Piero – feels he still has something to give. “It’s tough to stop with 316 career goals, I have Baggio ahead of me on 318,” he said at full-time. “Used in the right way, I can still give a lot in the last half hour of a game … Maybe I’ll copy [Thierry] Henry: I’ll go to America and come back for a few months to Milan. I’ll speak to Galliani and then we’ll see.”

     

     

     

    Milan would beat Novara 2-1, while Juventus overcame Atalanta 3-1, but in both cases the matches had become almost side-shows to the farewell parties – with the Rossoneri also saying goodbye to Clarence Seedorf and Mark van Bommel. Juventus’s match was technically still ongoing during Del Piero’s lap of honour, but nobody was watching. In those minutes it felt as though even the players on the field were aware – nudging the ball about without any great purpose in a match that had otherwise been perfectly competitive.

     

     

     

    There were matches of significance this week – Lecce’s relegation confirmed as they lost at Chievo, while Udinese completed the quite unthinkable achievement of claiming third place. Despite having the sixth-smallest first-team wage bill in Serie A – roughly one-eighth the size of Milan’s, despite selling Alexis Sánchez, Gokhan Inler and Cristian Zápata in the summer and despite losing key players such as Mauricio Isla to lengthy injuries, they had somehow outstripped Lazio, Internazionale, Napoli, Roma and the rest.

     

     

     

    Yet where last season’s fourth-place finish was met with unreserved celebrations, here too was a hint of melancholy. Antonio Di Natale is yet to decide whether he will return for another season or retire, as he first threatened to do following last week’s win over Genoa, and the manager Francesco Guidolin sparked concern over his future too at full-time. “I need a rest, I am very tired,” he said. “I don’t know if my health will allow me another season like this one, if I’ll even be ready by July.”

     

     

     

    And so the supporters are left with uncertainty, just as they are over Del Piero’s next step. The forward has confirmed his intention to keep playing, noting that “I have my whole life to be a director” and hinting at an interest in English football but adding that he has nothing lined up as yet. “It has been 19 years since I had to worry about transfers,” he said. “The only thing I want to underline right now is the relationship that has developed between me and the people here at Juventus over the last 20 years.”

     

     

     

    Two decades which are now coming to an end. But not before the mother of all celebrations in Turin.

     

     

     

     

    Talking points

  9. Top Corner

     

     

    There was me looking for some sort of Payola type scandal linking RFC (IA) with the national broadcaster. Mind you I am sure Peter Thomson , Roy Small, Rev Murdo McPherson and Wee Chick didn’t need paid (or in fact not paid) to bum them up.

     

     

    Ah well .

  10. ….PFayr on 20 May, 2012 at 19:28 said:

     

     

    i thought i read in the paper the other day that Green was offski to spain because him and sam didnt see eye to eye – could be paper talk i know but

     

     

    FF is a good goalkeeper getting a lot better from the naive scared goalkeeper we got from the goerdies 2 seasons ago

     

     

    i dont get it – we were lucky enough to be born into this family. others have came and fell in love with our family – Hartson, Sutton, and The King of yesteryear, and an awful lot more, good and bad – this current team Super Joe fell in love right away, Sammy loves the place, Hoops i think has got us as has Cha, Big Vic, Matthews and Zaluska in a big way

     

     

    FF dosent see it and good luck to the big guy

  11. It kinda goes without saying that you are happy at winning any game. Particularly against Man U. But we didn’t win that night. Just didn’t enjoy that game as much as when we gubbed Barca, Juve, Benfica & most of all, the Milan game when McDonald scored. That was one of my most cherished memories in football…but flay me for having an opinion that might be opposed to your own.

  12. antrimkev

     

     

    You might be a bit previous with that, according to a simultaneous tweet from @celticrumours :

     

     

    Hearing things are looking encouraging with regard to keeping Fraser Forster.

  13. Tommy Joad on 20 May, 2012 at 19:32 said:

     

    A fantastic footballer. Also, stuck by Juve when he could have went elswhere, a rarity in modern football (they are still cheating bassas though)

  14. Topcorner/jimbo67 Re Alison Walker she did,nt work for RFCIA Tv it was another Alison whose surname escapes me at the moment. Alison Walker- who I won,t hear a bad word about- left Shortbread some time ago, is now freelance with her own media company. Sorry to be so pedantic but you can gather I think Alison W is the bees knees. Hail Hail Hebcelt

  15. hebcelt on 20 May, 2012 at 19:39 said:

     

    You’ve a talented daugfhter Mr Walker.

  16. TopCorner –

     

     

    thanks for your post on page 3 at 18:38. personally, I think that is dynamite!!! Fair cheered me up (and I was perfectly cheery before that anyway!). Where’s that aftersun…

     

     

    TopCorner on 20 May, 2012 at 18:38 said:

     

    clip from radio yesterday

     

    whyte still only show in town…

     

    http://soundcloud.com/lonesomeboatman/wishart-1

  17. wonkyradar

     

    You may not like Gordn Strachan, but surely you have to admire the fact he won three league titles in a row whilst slashing the wage bill?

     

    He also gave us Nakamura and that night against Man U, beating Benfica, running AC Milan to extra time, I happened to like how he dealt with the meeja, treating them with the disdain they deserved. He continues to talk about how much he loves Celtic and how the club gave him so much.

     

    The way he represented the club at the time of Tommy Burns passing, surely you have to conceded he did that well?

  18. Bloke109 is Neil Lennon on 20 May, 2012 at 19:39 said:

     

     

    never trust that tweet rubbish lol

     

     

    as i said im happy enough if he stays and i wouldnt say anything bad if he went

     

     

    i actually think he is a decent keeper and getting better

  19. Neil Lennon Abbot of Clonmacnois on

    1,872 people walked a mile aroon the brox and raised “nearly £70 grand”. That’s absolutely just about the most average thing I’ve ever heard.

     

     

    £35 per walker!

     

     

    Hashtagwhatsthepoint

  20. Hebcelt

     

     

    When I said La Walker was an Emily Nugent lookalike I did of course mean the girl Maria who worked as a hairdresser the last time I watched Corry

     

     

    H x 2

  21. antrimkev

     

     

    Yes, agree with that. I feel that about any of our players – hope they stay, if they don’t there aff their heids (it doesn’t get any better for most, and conversely that’s maybe a reason to leave) and we move on and bring in someone better. Lenny’s earned our trust in the transfer market I think.

  22. Abbot

     

     

    apparently only 600 turned up (according to Twisty)

     

     

    they did have an Orange Band tho

  23. Neil Lennon Abbot of Clonmacnois on 20 May, 2012 at 19:48 said:

     

     

    i really dont get them, its as if they dont understand that there is over 100million pound of debt – and they keep raising a few grand

     

     

    it genuinley hasnt registered with the hun yet that they are donald ducked

  24. BJMAC Cheers for organizing Golf today enjoyed it I ain’t played enough to top your 40 points but a few more games and I will, challenge set! As for the 1st 4 ball they must be relegated to last out every time It was Ryan I believe! cheers from Red face PJBruce me boy says I have a tomato face! Roll on July

  25. Jobo

     

    at your service, captain

     

    :)

     

    off to sleep here, nearly 11pm

     

    hope montpellier can do it

     

    kick-off in 10mins

     

    night all

  26. Doc:

     

     

    I can forgive the man almost everything because of the Naka factor. In truth I’m probably just being a carmudgeonly & cantankerous git- I’m kinda always like that on a Sunday. Had to get up at 5 this morning. Posted before on certain days when I know I shouldn’t & end up making a fud of myself. I’m too tired to really put my thoughts across the way I want…it all comes out wrong.

     

     

    We live & learn.

     

     

    HH

  27. Neil Lennon Abbot of Clonmacnois on 20 May, 2012 at 19:48 said:

     

     

    oh yes Lenny has earned our trust

     

     

    if he can get 300k for Murphy even better

     

     

    to be honest although the sh*te hangs about them, we are getting on with our business – nobody coming in as yet – but a lot of deadwood being shifted

  28. ….PFayr on 20 May, 2012 at 19:28 said:

     

     

     

    ”..also he should have some gratitude for the chance that he was given by Lenny and the faith shown in him”

     

     

     

    I don’t think he owes us anything.

     

     

    He is/was a loan player who had to work very hard to overcome what almost amounted to open hostility from a large part of the support.

     

     

    And I’m not sure how hard Celtic pushed to have the initial loan deal made permanent.

     

     

    I hope he stays, but if he goes I hope he manages to fulfill his potential.

  29. Tim Cup about to start..

     

    I actually applauded Del Pieros goal at Celtic park when he put juventus 1 up..

     

     

    I had a wee drink in me to be honest…. o))

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