Robertson caved to Nicholson over must-win game


When Michael Nicholson picked up the phone to Stewart Robertson last month, he gave the Newco chief executive a dilemma.  Nicholson said Celtic were finished with the 700 away fans limit when the teams meet each other.  It did not allow visiting fans unrestricted entry and egress from games, along routes which had reduced flashpoints for a century, and therefore created an unnecessary safety risk.  It was Newco’s choice but Celtic’s options, either revert to 7,000 visiting fans or have none at all.

We have already covered how Robertson had boxed himself into a corner years earlier, when he located the Newco ultras group in the Broomloan Road stand, only to dislocate them whenever Celtic visited.  That was incredibly short sighted and soon led to a straightforward challenge: give primacy to your own fans or to Celtic fans.

Robertson will scarcely let a moment pass without the weight of his club’s financial problems weigh down on him.  He knows winning the league, with automatic Champions League qualification, would allow him to delay the worst consequences of Uefa’s enforced financial restrictions, which limit his ability to renew contracts and sign players.

On hearing from Nicholson, Robertson’s mind, therefore, would immediately go to what he needs from tomorrow’s game – a win.  This alone is not enough, but it is absolutely necessary to ensure Newco remain in the title race, even remotely.  It is just as important in their desire to be competitive next season.

So Robertson’s choice was simple: go into a must-win game with 7,000 fans, or go alone.  The former would give Newco their best chance of remaining competitive in the years to come, the latter would pander to his ultras and damage the club’s prospects.

It is not the job of the directors to be popular, or to pander to any group, no matter their sense of self-importance.  Often, they have to be unpopular, especially if it means diminishing your club’s chances of winning an absolutely must-win game.  And diminish his club’s chances is what the fool did.

I don’t know if Michael Nicholson is a strategic genius who set a trap for Robertson, or if he just played the hand in front of him.  Either way, Celtic have the advantage.

To the game itself.  After two lacklustre Celtic performances in his absence, Aaron Mooy is certain to start.  It will be his first game in four weeks, most of that time he has been injured, although I have great hopes for the balance he will bring to the team, he cannot be at his sharpest.

Greg Taylor took what looked like a straightforward muscle knock against Ross County last weekend.  If it is nothing more than a standard knock, he should be ready for tomorrow.  Greg’s importance to Celtic this season can scarcely be overstated.  He is a crucial part of how we attack and an endless source of energy getting back.

Reo Hatate strained a hamstring three weeks ago.  The minimum period for recuperation from this particular injury is three weeks, but hamstrings take months to fully recover (years if you are above a certain age).  If Aaron and Greg are fit, I would save Reo for the more important Scottish Cup game later this month.  Ange Postecoglou likes a big line-up refresh around the hour mark, tomorrow is likely to be no different.

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  1. ha, they ended up in the scotia, rogano and even doon clyderbank and the port,



    like today when the sun is out the lower clyde has wonderful views.




  2. On this Good Friday just thought I would share this with you:



    There has long been a story that Pontius Pilate was actually born at Fortingall in Perthshire, also known as home to an ancient yew tree that could be as much as 5,000 years old (and, if so, is probably the oldest living thing on Earth).



    It seems that between the Romans’ first incursion into Britain and their later invasion, Caesar Augustus dispatched envoys to establish diplomatic relations with some of the important British and Caledonian chieftains. These included a Caledonian chieftain called Metellanus, whose stronghold was at the head of Glen Lyon.



    A member of the Roman delegation to Metellanus’s tribe fathered a child with a Caledonian woman, and this child subsequently returned to Rome with his father (and, possibly, his mother), and was brought up as Pontius Pilate.



    Still can’t find any info on the rumour that his wife was Irish haha

  3. just the same as the man who becomes saitn patrick – roman about on the banks of the clyde, and stolen from there

  4. Melbourne Mick on

    I bet the shipwrecks are roamin all aboot


    the Gallowgate 🤣


    H H. Mick

  5. Bealin in the Daily Express saying there form has matched Celtic?


    15 matches


    Celtic scored 51 goals lost 8 = +43 Gd


    The Rangers scored 36 goal lost 12 = +24 Gd


    Porkies told again

  6. On the away fans situation.


    I was at a fans forum on Tuesday.


    JPT, seemed confident that there would be fans back in for next season

  7. ange on bernie.













  8. the huns board will not go back to a full broomloan for celtic supporters.



    they have sold out the stand to season ticket holders, they will not go back on that revenue stream. they need the money.



    they also need to move the onion pears that wont happen.



    any about turn would be commercial dumbness,

  9. After sevco starting an unwinnable arms race re away fans, I see one of the online red tops has a piece on mccoist treatment, at Celtic Park, last season being worst ever.


    Spin, din and bluster

  10. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Disappointed but not surprised that Reo missing tomorrow. Had assumed he would be. A big miss for us because of his unique ability to run in behind.



    However, excellent news that Mooy and Taylor are fit. Moot’s control and Taylor’s fit with the system. Bernie is excellent going forward, but a risk in defence.

  11. Nickname – “The Duke”


    His nickname was “The Duke“, and he was also described as the “Prince of Dribblers“.



    “The Duke” nickname was derived from the French President Patrice de Mac-Mahon, duc de Magenta, the descendant of an Irish soldier who had severed under Napoleon.



    It is said that when the French President died in Oct 1893, a paper boy sold out his stock with cries of: “McMahon deid! Whit’ll the Cel’ic dae noo?”



    However, the nickname is also likely derived from a certain likeness to the Duke of Wellington from the Napoleonic War era, but then that tale isn’t as romantic as the one above.

  12. St Tams :-))


    Thought it was apt.:-) you not swallyin today? Was goin to say you could see bigjimmy there.


    Think brrb has Jimmy’s number




  13. !!Bada Bing!! on

    st tams- will only happen they don’t sell STs for the Broomloan Rd Stand,can’t see that happening

  14. AT


    No .


    Off to Aberdeenshire for a week straight


    after the game tomorrow.


    Wife gave me a list of chores , while she’s at work

  15. shipbankers caught on the move on cctv







    Past Glasgow






    Mar 29


    Greendyke St at Saltmarket c1902. From 1834-77 Mumford’s Theatre (aka Mumford’s Geggie) occupied the wooden building that became John Cornin’s clothing store.



    It was demolished as part of the City Improvement Trust’s slum clearance programme.



  16. garygillespieshamstring on

    On the Good Friday theme, I heard in the gospel today that Malchus (sp?) was the servant who had his ear cut off by Peter.



    Wondered if that incident was the origin of someone “getting the malky”.😀

  17. anyone looking for a tiba fix – benfica v porto on btsports now.



    jota on the wing

  18. in a double dearie me, see listening to beales presser, he talks absolute cliched barrow boy pish.

  19. Moderator1888 on

    Saint Stivs



    Its all they got left now



    You think for one second we will hear any of the “we need opposition fans in the stadium” at the toilet bowl when we go there???



    Look a squirrel



    They are full of it (pash) and the press lap it up

  20. aye



    copyrighted with KEEP IT LIT



    one list i do miss is the old CQN Lexicon

  21. I’m very confident about tomorrow, we have far too much for them. However, a tad concerned about Mooy not being at match fitness, but in Ange I trust.


    4 – 0 the good guys




  22. I want 5.



    get to the century of goals against somethng pretending to be rangers

  23. SAINT STIVS on 7TH APRIL 2023 6:27 PM



    in a double dearie me, see listening to beales presser, he talks absolute cliched barrow boy pish.



    *he’s a wee spiv and has conned that mental mob.

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