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. With the officials we have in Scotland combined with Sevco`s consant money problems, I am surprised that anyone is confident we will win tomorrow.


    My hope is that because of the `appeal` of the game to a wider audience, the officials will be more fair than they are when we play against the lesser lights of Scottish football.

  2. Reporter:


    ” Given that there are no Away supporters tomorrow, where do you stand on that?”



    Ange ( with an amused smile ) : I don`r stand on it.



    Then in response to a question about Beale`s comment that 60,000 Tims and no Huns might influence the referee:



    ” What? Does he think 700 supporters would affect that? ”



    ( Not verbatum but that was certainly the gist of it)

  3. I more and more think Beale suits them down to the ground. He’s a wee nyaff.HVS



    “I more and more think Beale suits them down to the ground. He’s a wee nyaff.”



    …and I second that :-))



    I thought van Bronkhurst was a decent guy. That is certainly not the case with this wide boy.



    Going to have a relaxing watch of Thistle v Queens Park.


    Cheerio for now.

  4. Haven`t got a clue why that comment was doubled then added an inexplicabl;e HVS.


    What does that mean?

  5. garygillespieshamstring on

    St Sivvs @ 7.09



    Didn’t realise Connaire had been a priest since as long ago as that.😃

  6. Tontine







    Finkin fings froo



    To your barrow boy lexicon




    Where will you watch it? Privileged to be goin along to see it tomorrow,swear aw youz madyins out foreign we can sense youz goin mental only cos we are :-)




  7. Evening all.



    Brilliant afternoon in the company of the best Tim’s you could meet.



    From a yarn told earlier in the day, a trio of tunes that may reverberate.



    Fire Brigade – The Move




    Fire – The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown




    The Prodigy – Firestarter




    The last tune is for my good friend TLT



    Nite all



    Stay classy



    ‘mon the hoops, stick it to that mob ‘ra ‘morra.




  8. as an aside,


    i am a wee bit suprised none of the media have talked about the positives of not having away fans at this fixture, less flashpoints around the ground, less focus on behaviours in it, home fans getting in and out safely without the detour routes, no away busses to escort, earl kick off, less bevvy on the streets, maybe allowing ambulance and a/e staff a breather and a “normal” saturday.



    less cost to the public purse, the only away fans will be in attendnace polis.



    i dont care about our fans going to snake mountain either, tales from others have told me of real terror gewtting in and out and a matter of time till someone is killed.



    one fglashpoint for fellow celts.



    the onion pears have taken to gathering at the very east end of duke street during these games.


    black outfits, union jacks and menance they look to pick out our stragglers, be aware and avoid this area,



    last time i passed them after the game and there was not a polis in site.



    they will also be regering the hampden early morning planned scuffles as now both are sets of ultras are banned for the cup semi final.



    can i make a real honest confession now as well.


    the fixture just doesnt register with me the way the original one did.


    i dont care about it much, it is just another 3 points, sure i enjpy beating them but i have no angst going into it, not frettin sweatin or worrying over the team, it is kind of just dont get beat, but if we can skelp them.



    its ours to lose, and i dont think we will.

  9. Celtic Football Club






    May 9, 2022





    Everyone at Celtic Football Club would like to wish @ScottBrown8 a happy retirement and thank him for his vast contribution to the club. 🍀



    Broony, You Will Never Walk Alone.



  10. bigrailroadblues on

    Good evening all from the Shipbank.


    Going to the game with my good friend Prestonpans tomorrow. I’m a nervous wreck. I may need a beer tomorrow. Ffs 65 years old and get into this state.😳

  11. AN TEARMANN on 7TH APRIL 2023 8:10 PM



    Tontine, Add Finkin fings froo To your barrow boy lexicon




    Where will you watch it? Privileged to be goin along to see it tomorrow,swear aw youz madyins out foreign we can sense youz goin mental only cos we are :-)



    *oh in my tim friendly spare room where if the officials play fair then we will be ok nut its not the likes of the Monsignor’s nephew I worry about but the var cheats.

  12. BRRB – no way you are 65.



    Njoi yer Abdul Quadir tonight, the morra morn and especially the morra efternoon.



    Just watching the Press conferences. I’ve got 16/1 for over 4.5 Celtic goals. I’m happy wae that.



    Not long now.



    511 on Virgin isnae a good recording as SKY – Hun Channel tbh – cut away to the most brutal of fitba watches. It needs to be 513 to get all the reactions.



    Come on Callum & his Bhoys on the Billy Stark – Let’s do this.



    Recording the game early doors. A wee goal Early D. It would be M’onumental.



    Time to put them, Old Firm fc, in their place. Firmly.



    Ange is Incredible.



    I’m getting older now. The Sporting Lisbon night was an Unbelievable night for me…… there are so many… but what a night 2/2/2022 was and I loved the 4-0 earlier this Season but IMHO that night was truly Magical.






  13. Well enjoy Tontine


    We play it all tomorrow


    Full shift and we will get a return




  14. Ange is Ruthless.



    And I reckon Tomoki will be in the midfield.



    Callum is a cert, as Aaron husnae played a lot, I wouldnae expect him to be automatic. I think he will but.



    On the Danny McGrain tae Dalmarnock I will wait for the Celtic Team Sheet with bated breath – Celtic Suffocate them early D’s.






  15. Dinnae follow any crowd.



    NJOI as much you can.



    I’m wae Kojo about Tattoos.






    Look Back.



    Celtic is BIG.

  16. bigrailroadblues on

    Good night to you all from Govanhill. I may have a nightcap in Paddy Neesons. I suffer badly from nerves regarding playing these lowlife. Gerrintaethum Celtic!!!!

  17. Watch yourself brrb and get your rest .


    Don’t need tired soldiers the morra -))


    Enjoy wi heading in to Glasgow now.




    Early breakfast meeting hehe.


    Safe home brrb.




  18. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    EFL highlights on just now.



    Ryan Porteous (yes him) theatrically threw himself to the floor in contact.



    What do you mean did he win a foul?



    Of course not.



    He’s not in Kansas anymore.

  19. Celtic is Massive.



    Defo Tcha……



    No Huns @ the Holy Ground,



    We are Miles ahead of thems.



    They, traditionally, CHEAT. Anyone & Everyone.



    Even the Departed Queen (I have actual Respect for) Taxes.







    It’s gonnae be something else, the mora..



    Ange is – well there is Genius Almost in the Anagram…………









  20. My biggest concern for tomorrow is the insane level of expectation and entitlement amongst our own fans.



    We are playing a team which has gathered the same number of points as us since their new manager came in. They are out closest rivals and we are minus our top player and a forward who has an outstanding scoring against them at Celtic Park.



    The last 2 home league games has seen us stutter to wins after conceding first against poor Hibs and Hearts teams.



    On both these occasions our own consumers were ‘on the back of the team’ with their moans from pretty early on.



    Home advantage with a big support can be an advantage but it can work against you when a crowd turning up feeling entitled and expectant don’t get it all their own way.



    Aside from the VAR man and Clancy who sucks the life out of every match anyway, my only worry is ourselves. Our fans and the expectation of an easy win. Turn up and be entertained.



    As with February 22 and the first game this season at CP we need the fans and the team aligning from the first kick. Only then will I feel positive.



    Even a draw will be fine for me tomorrow. 4 wins would then be all we need from the last 7 games.



    I would still love us to get the hundred with a 6 nil mind you.

  21. Burnley78,



    Our Celtic put up an incredible early performance @ the Hate Factory.



    Got the jitters efter a Mad moment frae JH.



    I know whit yer sayin’.



    I’m confident, despite not having Any hearing because of a bad cold, we will win.




    I Will Hear the…….






    It is gonnae be Mega.

  22. Saint Stivs,



    Hopefully a Treble.



    Big Chris called it right in the media.



    I got 5 on it.






    I huv nae idea why…………………………






    Has me so Emotional.



    He Loved being on the Holy Ground.



    I taxed his name…… for Rudi Vata!!!!




  23. TheLurkinTim on

    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” …and that’s wen the Shipwrecks met up again…😂



    An awesome day it was Por Cierto ;-))




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