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. TheLurkinTim on

    And I even forgive y’all for your ignorance about people with achondroplasia….emphasis on people ;-))




  2. We can be assured that Ange doesn’t do complacency .



    I’m so missing this game.. tV is a poor substitute.


    Parkhead is indeed Paradise without the huns. More Tims to witness the Ange journey.



    Happy Easter & COYBIG.

  3. I would advise Ellie Dickson to head down to the Sarry @ 08.30 hrs for some breakfast and lubricant.



    The lubricant in there can refresh the parts others can’t reach, especially the vocal cords.



    Jota on the wing.




  4. Melbourne Mick on

    O.k bhoys up you get, it’s time for another Easter rising.


    🇮🇪 💚


    H H Mick

  5. bigrailroadblues on

    Good morning all from Govanhill. Nearly time for bus to McKinnons, roll n skwerr and a few beers to soothe my furrowed brow.


    Gerrintaethum the mighty Glasgow Celtic!!!!

  6. Good morning all from a sun filled Garden of God.



    Hun skelping easter rising sounds good to me 5 – 1 to those Handsome Bhoys in Green and White.



    Oh by the way tgat BRRB and Big Jimmy lead me astray yesterday, my heed was pounding earliear but after my fry up(making it for whole hoose)I will be good to go.



    My grandson just off phone, Granda you making a fry up as me and dad are coming to yours to get uncle David to go to game later so make us something….ffs



    Feckin Jamie Oliver here.






    D :)

  7. Lovely day for it.



    We need to really get behind our team to create the energy today.



    In the tough times they need support and not the moaning consumers who know better with their derision.



    We can make it the best of places or the worst.



    Hopefully today is the best.

  8. Soon be leaving a rather grey Arbroath heading for what I hope will be a dazzling Paradise.


    As always, a bit nervous before any game and a wee bit more so for this one. I hope those feelings dissipate quickly after KO and disappear altogether before too long.

  9. “BURNLEY78 on 8TH APRIL 2023 7:46 AM


    We can make it the best of places or the worst.”



    Whilst agreeing with your general sentiment, I don`t recall our support ever being ` the worst`……unless you meant something else and I have misread.

  10. Another game against der hun.


    We’re missing a few key players, so any victory will be incredible. We should have too much quality for them.


    Hoping for a 2 goal victory, low heart rates all round and patience with fellow fans

  11. To the posse of Celtic fans travelling far and wide to the game, safe journey ghuys.



    Looks like it’s going to be a pleasant day for a game of footie, here’s hoping the outcome is too.



    COYBIG. 🟩⬜🟨

  12. Happy East Saturday derby day fellas.



    Would any of you know how I would be best to advise the club that the seat in front of me is needing amended fixed at Celtic Park?

  13. 3:30am and sleep is impossible.


    Initial encounters will ne crucial today. We all remember how Barry Robson made his first impact.


    I have confidence that the back four led by the Rock of CCV will resist whoever turns out for the Huns feint line.


    It’s a Hatate missing midfield that concerns me. Reo has the ability to win a bball and make quick use of it by seeing a pass no one else has. I hope his replacement steps up to the plate and resists the bullying tactics of the Huns.


    For all those travelling already, be safe.


    ‘GG Insomnia CSC

  14. If we play to our max today we win as i feel regardless of who is fit this squad is the best in a long time.

  15. Well here we go . Get the job done today bhoys , no matter what some fans think I recon we will need to be up for this today ,it won’t be easy We have the players , we have the manager , and you have 60000 fans behind you . They will try to bully us , that’s there all time game plan , I hope Clancy , Beaton and Walsh realise they are being watched very closely today . Come on Celtic .

  16. Morning all,


    Walk the dog , then get ready to head into Paradise.


    Bright and sunny day , should be quite an occasion.


    Any win will do HH

  17. FAO The MOD and/or PAUL67…


    Can either of you Bhoys Email or Text me the Email Address for ” ST TAMS” ASAP ?


    Cheers Bhoys.



  18. Melvin Udall on

    Cracking day for football. 🌞


    Mon the hoops!


    Should have too much for these today. Even with the help from their brothers in the SFA.



  19. FAO ST TAMS….



    I have Emailed BOTH PAUL and the MOD yesterday, and I also Texted the MOD. I havent had any reply as yet.



    Maybe, YOU can also Email them and get MY Email Address from them, you may have more luck ?


    BRRB does NOT have your contact details, as I was drinking with him yesterday all day, maybe IF you MEET up with his Today at the game, you can get my PHONE Number from him ?



    Cheers Mate.



  20. BRRB….



    I had a nice surprise when I got home last night and checked my Horse Bets yesterday.



    I had WINNERS at Early Odds of 16/1, 10/1, 6/1, 11/2, 4/1 and 6/4.



    I won about £120 for my modest stakes, Lucky 31, and Lucky 15 Bets.



    Dont get too Bevvied BEFORE the game Mate…LOL



    Take care.



  21. bigrailroadblues on

    Big Jimmy


    I’m meeting Prestonpans at 11. He’ll have guzzled a bottle of gin by then. The man is incorrigible.

  22. MODERATOR1888 on 8TH APRIL 2023 9:11 AM









    I have emailed it to you




    My apologies Mr MOD,as Ive just checked my Emails.


    I was a wee bit Tipsy when I got home last night, and this morning I had ASSUMED that I had checked my Emails from yesterday….I hadn’t….so Ive just seen your Emails.


    Many Thanks for providing ST TAMS Email Address, I owe you a Beer or TEN !




  23. lets all do the huddle on

    looks likle the flag bhoys have been busy overnight at the roundabout on pollokshaws road and thornliebank road (?).



    a good view if you are heading into town on that train line



    St Tams





    Does your mobile number end 889?




    its okay now, as The MOD sent me an Email last night with ST TAMS Email Address.


    Come back with THREE POINTS Today mate.



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