Scottish Government’s confusing policy relents


My appetite for circulating in public diminished after hearing news of how the virus has taken hold in several towns across the country.  Public health always comes first, with the consequences of the economy and children’s education following closely.  Nothing else really matters.

Despite that, we have to learn how to navigate our lives through this and news that 300 people will attend Ross County – Celtic and Aberdeen – Kilmarnock on Saturday is very welcome.  Not much will be learned from such a low number, perhaps only that the temperature measuring equipment used works (it has already been tested in greater numbers, it works), but it feels significant that the Scottish Government acknowledge that controlled trials of any activity is necessary and responsible behaviour.

And be clear: despite being practically the last activity permitted, the health risks of socially distanced, well policed, outdoor gatherings is negligible to zero.  Pubs reopened for indoor custom in Scotland eight weeks ago, without police oversight or any prior trials.

Now that the concept of holding trials has been agreed, the next step must be to hold meaningful trials, when we will learn how efficiently thousands of fans filter through entry systems.  Who knows, maybe taking fans out of the pub to an outdoor stadium to watch the game will slow the virus.  If only the world’s entire scientific community would speak clearly that indoor meetings are more dangerous than outdoor, the Scottish Government’s Indoor Pubs First, Outdoor Football Last policy would be less confusing.  Not that policy from London is any better; I’m beginning to think the SNP’s strategy of shadowing Boris Johnson’s government on Corona planning is not such a great idea.

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  1. Philbhoy


    If it continues into next season there maybe no one else to play – the whole landscape of football competitions will change.

  2. I bought 2 VSTs this season.


    Despite on really needing one to watch the games.



    Partly on principle. Partly to make sure that my wife didn’t lose her real seat.



    Next season? Who knows. Maybe just buy one?



    HH jg

  3. Tim Malone Will Tell on




    I have personally watched Watkins develop into a very fine player, playing for a good team in a good league – just because most Celtic supporters know little about him doesn’t mean he is a bad buy for Villa.


    I would suggest that the EPL would view Eddie as being fairly equivalent in both skill and risk i.e. current worth is £28 million plus add ons.

  4. What are the metrics of a successful transfer policy and how do you measure them.?



    I read a reasonable article on the internet recently which outlined all our transfer activity over the past 5 seasons and asked the reasonable question – are we getting bang for buck?





    The list of players put up were:-



    2015-16-Boyata, Janko, Ciftci, Scott Allan, Christie, Simunovic, Cole, Sviatchenko, Kazim-Richards


    2016-17- Ajer, Dembele, Toure, Sinclair, Devries, Gamboa, Kouassi


    2017-18- Hayes, Benyu, Ntcham, Compper, Morgan, Hendry


    2018-19- Bain, Edouard, Izaguirrre, Mulumbu, Bayo, Shved, Gutman, Perez


    2019-20- Jullien, Bolingoli, Elhamed, Taylor, Frimpong, Klimala, Soro





    I recognise that a few of our Youth punts were excluded from that list but these were the main buys for the immediate senior squad, with the possible exceptions of both benyu and Frimpong. The article accepted that no club is going to have 100% success in the transfer market, so, that raised some questions in me.






    What would be an acceptable level of success in this sphere?


    What percentage of success have Celtic had over the 5 seasons listed?


    Is this poorer than the average percentage for comparable clubs?


    And finally, how do you measure it?






    You might have bought, say, 8 players- 2 were successes, 2 become squad members who play 10 to 20 games a season and 4 who did not make it onto the pitch very often. You might chose to calculate that as, say , a 50- 75% success rate. That is using time on the football pitch as your metric.


    However, if your 2 successes are each, subsequently sold for £25m plus and you break even when selling on the squad members, but take a loss of £5m for each of the 4 who did not make it, is that a financial success of +£30m.





    Or do you have to deduct wages and bonuses and other costs before evaluating that is a successful year of trading. That is using player trading profitability as your measure of success- not something the fans want to think too much about.






    And then, there are the value of the trophies won by the players when with your club. How do you measure what they are worth and what contribution your transfer activity made towards it? Is CL qualification really worth £30m plus to the club as outright profit? Is the league title really worth the same since you could not attempt qualification unless you were a league winner, most years? Even a player who did not quite make it with the club, could be responsible for pressuring a first team member to improve his game so that the team benefits. How do you then value the trophies and titles won?






    And then there are the trophies lost- not many domestically, I grant you but an ever decreasing spiral of difficulty in being relevant in Europe. This gets explained differently by different viewpoints within the support. I belong to the Glass Ceiling Explanation group that suggests we are competing in an unfair market with TV money used as a steroid to allow less relevant clubs in the larger leagues (Southampton, Villa, Celta Vigo, Nimes, Atalanta etc;) to attract players that we were interested in, and that there is no amount of sane increased spending that allows us to bridge that gap. The alternative view is that we should Top Load our spending, spend a little more (rarely specified how little is little), spend it earlier, bed in a team and these difficult Euro qualifiers will become somewhat less difficult and we will pay ourselves back with a higher ratio of CL Group qualifications than we currently do.






    Both arguments are legitimate projections and, in fact both predict the same outcome. A desire to be cautious and I’ll say risk-aware, rather than the jibe risk-averse, leads to a recognition that you are unlikely to get as many Group appearances as you might do. You are somewhat accepting of your lot and, in the words of Hawkeye in Last of the Mohicans, you are just staying alive in these risky times until you can get rescued. The “Spend a Little More” Group also predicts that, if you do not do so, the same outcome will occur-there will be fewer Group qualifications too. Trouble is no-one, but the fans on the sideline,are heavily invested in a let’s call it “Higher Risk” approach, rather than the pejorative “Risk Oblivious”. No-one is going to put that to the test. Certainly, not a Dermot Desmond nor a Fergus McCann.






    Fergus is now a revered figure amongst most of the support, but he was reviled when he was here. He allowed the old dead Rangers to achieve 9iar because he would not loosen his purse strings to sanction player buys to attempt to bridge the gap. Poor Lou Macari had to raid the Army for two players because Fergus stuck to his Frugal Plan as he wanted to ensure success of the Stadium build and saving the club from its enemies before he loosened them. When he eventually allowed Tommy Burns to go for Van Hoojdonk, Cadete and Di Canio, we nearly stopped them, but we didn’t. Is that a fact in favour of Risk-Aware or Higher Risk spending? You takes your pick and chooses a side but it remains a legitimate argument either way. We did eventually, stop the 10 with the burgeoning genius of a medium-price punt who was a Swedish player in the Eredivisie. We achieved the stopping of the 10iar with a squad that was, on paper, a less stellar squad than Rangers (as they were then) had, and with a manager who had never done anything very much as a coach and was at war with his general manager. So many of the factors that predict success just did not apply that season.






    The final unknowable financial in all of these equations is the one posed by Auldheid recently- the price of the Soul of our club. Are we the club of Walfrid, a sporting outlet to raise charity for non-football aims? Or was that question settled early in our history when John Glass and others ensured that football and financial success were our main aims, and the ones that brought the crowds flocking, with charity as merely a welcome sideline; a tail but not a dog?


    I do not have all or, indeed, most, of the answers to these questions. I am merely trying to assert that this critiquing of the club is not as easy as it looks.







    The above by SFTB. Guest articles always welcome sentinelcelts@gmail.com






    awfy braw …



    smiley we are all Micky Malones bairns thing




  5. Jamesgang- I never said I did want to get around the stupid rule.



    But if I was a doubter I would say why would a Government say its safer at a pub or restaurant than in say my house with 3 orc4 people I work with.



    Absoloute madness driven by an out of date and under funded police force.



    Hail Hail



    D :)

  6. There are few certainties in lfe, but mad mitch spouting his interminable pish, interspersed with the predictable playground level name-calling is still an absolute stick-on. Don’t ever change, ya rocket!

  7. Well this article did not find anyone with their listening ears on, or their reading for meaning specs either.



    There are the Nats above Celtic lovers whose response has ranged from Pile of pish- through Labour clowns to written by Douglas Ross and “wee” Paul67 jibes. A healthy and imaginative bunch of insults and jibes but hardly a reasoned rebuttal.



    The we have those who replied to a call for thousands or a full stadium being back at football with a nightmare scenario of packed attendees breathing down each others neck on the bus and train before doing the same at CP. Despite the absence of all these details from Paul’s article and despite his inclusion of phrases such as “health comes first”, “Filtered entry”, “socially distanced”, “well policed” and “meaningful trials”, all those red signs that the argument should not be reduced to the polar extremes of “Well, if you’re looking for thousands to travel packed in trains and stadiums, you are just pyoor stupid!” form of reasoning, were ignored and the responders just pretended they were there and refuted them.



    Let’s get our facts right first. A trial starts this weekend. It is already here. In 3 days time 300 Ross County fans will attend a match in Dingwall and 300 more will attend a match in Aberdeen. That’s in the Senior professional game which depends on fan interest, since it generates revenue, to survive and thrive.



    If, as with the Rugby, this gets the nod for further careful trials, then we could see the first grouping of fans allowed to go to CP, maybe for the Livi match. Whether that will remain as a figure of 300 or whether it can rise to 500, you can almost guarantee that we will not be allowed above the 700 Rugby crowd that got to attend a rugby match, 14 days ago.



    Now, all developments are moot in the face of a resurgent Covid Spike. Maybe the RC and Dons tickets will be cancelled at short notice or further restriction shave to be enacted just before the Livi game. These are all real possibilities and risks. Anyone lucky enough in the ballot may not get to realise their luck.



    But, there’s a world of difference between saying ” It migh not get to happen” and being told “Naw! Just Naw!”



    All the objections raised so far are surmountable:-



    All travelling in the same crowded train or bus- Rules exist which transport companies have to enforce. Fail to obey them and you don’t travel.



    All packing at the entrance, food outlets or toilets- these too are stewarded and , if you break the rules, get the polis to eject them and remove them from further ballots.



    Drinking in pubs before games- this is already legal but you have the additional protection that anyone turning up drunk/angry or drunk/incapable can be refused entry too. Hell, you could drum up 300 teetotallers from our crowd and give them first go.



    Anyone turning up for the first trial will be well looked after and controlled. the event will not be allowed to be a failure. The first trial, if Covid does not prevent it, will be an outright success. What we need to worry more about is the 2nd or 3rd or 4th trials because, as ever, people relax and lose concentration and compliance. That is happening in the wider world already.



    It is legitimate to assess our situation and say it is better that football crowds, not even small ones, should be allowed in football stadia just yet.



    It is not legitimate to disallow it while pub and cafe activity is allowed to go ahead and prosper if rules are followed or be closed down rapidly, if they are not.



    And it is downright snobbish and bigoted to allow the crowds for the posh boys’ games, whether that be Rugby, Cricket, Golf or Horse Racing but to treat football, yet again, as a pariah.



    And it is not legitimate to play the Scottish Exceptionalism card. Boris, is no doubt, a foll and a chrlatan; he proves it with every public utterance. Nicola Sturgeon is not of his ilk but you could barely slip a fag paper between his policies and hers in terms of what is allowed by law. Their differences are rhetorical and communicative, not ones of policy application.



    The Covid bug whilst not differentiating betwen a rugger and a “soccer” ball, as Nicola jibed in the nearest thing she has ever uttered to resemble a joke, it also does not differentiate betwen Tartan Lungs and Morris Dancing Lungs and it has effected us remarkably similarly despite our best rhetoric.

  8. David 66


    When you meet people in a pub for example there should be covid rules in place – table layouts, time limit, screens between tables, table service, track and trace records sanitizer stations etc.


    This would not be the case at home.

  9. Gene – there is no way pubs are doing all that. Example no screens between tables.



    For exampie I have a quite a big livingroom and could quite easily social distance with say 3 or 4 people I spend 9 hours a day with at work, with all the above you mentioned apart from screens.



    No table service I would insist that the lager they drink comes out of a bag and empty can goes back in said bag.



    Anyway I think it is a stupid guidance note.



    I realise there is spikes and something needs to be done, but to say to go to a pub/restaurant and put my life in someone else’s hands.. No thanks.






    D :)

  10. Gene



    I though it was at 7th tier and below for the past 2 to 3 weeks. Their Senior game is still awaiting permission – lokks earmarked for 1st October but I have not seen any reports of trial matches in their top 7 leagues- were there ones you were aware of?



    As England re-started a few weeks behind us, their allowance of fans back into the senior leagues on 1st October is yet another example of lock-step policy between Scptland and England.

  11. Tim Malone – Not suggesting for a minute the guy is not a good player, what I’m saying is that if AV are willing to shell out roughly $30m for a guy that has never played at the top level, then our main man is worth much more.

  12. What happened to the Morelos money?



    A Madrid, AC Milan, Aston Villa, Al Duhail


    Barcelona Borussia, Bologna, Bordeaux, Besiktas, Brighton


    Crystal Palace


    Dynamo Kiev


    Everton, Eintracht


    Fiorentina, Fenerbahce




    Hebei Fortune








    Liverpool, Leicester


    Leverkusen, Lille, Leeds




    Newcastle ,Napoli








    Renhe, Rennes


    Stutgart, Sevilla, St Etienne




    Unknown Chinese Club




    West Ham West Brom









    The Daily Dafty CSC

  13. Went in to my local Wetherspoons at lunchtime. Lots of groups of lads in jovial mood. Nobody checked me ie. Despite notice that it was table service only I was able to order and be served at the bar. Their only nod to track and trace was a notice requesting that I fill in a form which was not evident or register my visit on an app. No one bothered that I did not.

  14. This was posted on Twitter by someone calling themselves Radiofanjohn. @radiofanjohn


    George Galloway replied to it, saying a sad affair.


    What’s sad, for me, is that someone posts that and it’s believed without any enquiries.



    As a Celtic man I always say I’m ashamed of my fellow fans who vote SNP just to “f*** the huns” I have now been ‘hounded off’ a Celtic fans forum for daring to have an anti-SNP view. That forum is CQN. It is now controlled by foul-mouthed abusers appeased by those who run it.

  15. Tim Malone Will Tell on




    Thanks for the reply. In reality, having watched both players, I am not sure that Eddie would be valued any higher – Watkins is effectively his yardstick at the moment when you look at all factors combined (age, ability, experience, league)



    If Celtic choose to sell Eddie in this transfer window (and I hope they don’t), I would obviously want him to sell for as much as possible – but I would be pleasantly surprised if his current value topped £30 million.



    Let’s just hope that Celtic want more than anyone is willing to pay, for the time being at least :)

  16. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Am with you on this one Pablo.



    92% reduction from full capacity in stadium = 5,000 fans.



    Imagine your seat is the middle seat in a square of nine seats (3 x 3).



    All 8 other seats are empty.



    Now imagine each square cascading so no two squares line up and everyone is 2m apart.



    Now imagine a strictly controlled zone around the stadium to prevent more than 5,000 getting access.



    Now consider the queues at turnstiles at regular matches.



    See that guy 10 people in front of you in the queue? Yes, that guy who is more than 2 metres away.



    He’s still 2+ metres away. It’s just there are no human beings between him and you.



    Same when leaving the stadium.



    And going to the toilets.



    Think back to being crammed into a train and “alighting” like a herd at Dalmarnock or Bridgeton.



    Now imagine the same train with 92% fewer fans.



    Or London Road with 92% fewer cars.



    Imagine, and take it from there.






    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith

  17. David 66


    Nor would I but the the points I made we’re just to draw a distinction between home and pubs

  18. “There are the Nats above Celtic lovers”



    oh aye so they are …wit a word smith ye are



    smiley you can go doon your “wee” red road and feck your good self (if your stumell can reach) thing




  19. in ither news……..



    What was the name of thon Dundee Utd player involved in tne alleged ” Covid / Taxi ” fracas?



    Is it the same wan who’s just been sidelined for a month, with a convenient ankle injury?



    Who are DUFC playing next?

  20. Gene…………..



    Certainly seems like a well-packaged story………….very convenient.

  21. although you may be correct in that Westminster crumbles to only that ..blood on the lawn at Cummings Street …or a conference hotel alteration….