SPFL vote, 2 Feb postponement prospects, Scot Gov,


The positivity that greeted news that two rounds of Premiership fixtures would be postponed until after the Scottish Government’s three week ban on crowds perished in the cold Paisley air on Wednesday night.  Then news filtered through that the Newco game was scheduled for 2 February, a day after Tom Rogic and Kyogo Furuhashi are expected to be in World Cup Qualification action, providing a miserable end to the evening.

Celtic are expected to sign more Japanese internationals next month, leaving open the possibility that they could see to get this game postponed.  SPFL rules permit clubs to apply for a postponement if they have three or more players away in international duty, a rule Newco took advantage of when they were still a lower league club.

None of this is to be relied upon.  The players would need to be fit enough for selection, then make the cut.  A great deal has to happen in a short space of time.

Notwithstanding that, the SPFL decision was great news.  Celtic are in no position to play huge games of football right now and I include the Hibs match in that, originally scheduled for 29 December.  We need to get through the St Johnstone game on Sunday and reach the winter break with as little damage as possible.

I would take playing Hibs and Newco at a packed Celtic Park over an empty stadium whatever players we have.  A raucous Celtic Park is our greatest strength, especially under floodlight.  There are fewer more intimidating environments in football.

The one threat to all of this is the Scottish Government.  Their mantra from a year ago, about following the science, has been abandoned on this occasion.  As Jason Leitch told Radio Scotland yesterday, “There isn’t a particular public health route that takes you to 500 people…… it’s just a judgement.”

Speaking to those who work in this very particular health route, they do not expect things to be materially different in three weeks.  If the Scottish Government was consistent, they may extend the ban on scientifically-proven-to-be-safer outdoor gatherings.  Who knows, maybe this plan is as consistent as their 2017 backing of the fossil fuel industry, or their 2016 campaigning for coal power plants.

I predict nothing will have changed in the health outlook but, given feedback this week, the Government will be less keen to poke a stick at football fans, so will act in their self-interest and do nothing.

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  1. Poke a stick at football fans?


    I thought it was only Celtic they targeted?


    Have the targets changed since yesterday?


    Big bad proddies under the bed CSC.

  2. @ NOTTHEBUS on 23RD DECEMBER 2021 3:12 PM – from previous article



    Amazing that we had the smartest guy in the room all along, after choosing someone else 6 months ago.



    He also has no independent experience, so anything he has learned is based on those who preceded him (and who are likely still advising him).



    It’s an uninspiring, insipid appointment. The Neil Lennon of directorial appointments.

  3. I heard Leitch on the wireless yesterday. He did mention something about a big stadium having 50,000 fans. I assume he meant Hampden. I’m sure he wasn’t subconsciously thinking about any other stadium he might be familiar with.

  4. ROLLING_STONE on 23RD DECEMBER 2021 3:46 PM




    To be fair, the genuinely smartest guy in the room doesn’t let anyone else in the room know who the smartest guy in the room is.

  5. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    O’Brien quick off the mark. I wonder if he patrols other football sites on behalf of The Party.

  6. FAO DAVID66…


    I STILL havent been out to get a new Phone, but hopefully I will get out Tomorrow ( Christmas Eve) to buy one IF I feel well enough. Ive not been feeling great all week and so NO Beer also etc.


    Its nothing serious, but I may not be able to Text or Phone you til after Christmas ?



    I may be having another Christmas By-Pass like last year… and like many other folk ?


    HH Mate.

  7. Here’s a report fae Celtic Wiki on a game on December 27, 1997, we were gutted after this tae:



    St Johnstone 1 Celtic 0



    THERE’S none so blind as those who cannot see. Wim Jansen’s blinkered attitude to his team selection contributed heavily to the downfall of Celtic. Now they have taken their eye off the ball at a vital time in the title contest.



    Such a tight race leaves no room for passengers, but the Celtic coach’s stubborn resistance in relying upon his countryman Regi Blinker left Rangers’ principal challengers short-handed and handicapped as they slid to defeat. Celtic Park will now host an Old Firm derby on Friday which sees the champions arrive with a handy four-point cushion.



    Jansen’s futile defence of Blinker, leaving the out-of-touch Dutchman on when introducing Harald Brattbakk in the 61st minute, proved costly. Instead, the Celtic coach withdrew Darren Jackson, to a hail of jeers from astonished supporters and some dark looks from Jackson himself, leaving new signing Brattbakk to forage alone up front or in tandem with Jackie McNamara, who was press-ganged into becoming an auxiliary attacker.



    Blinker dropped deeper, ostensibly to help his defence, but he was of little use when George O’Boyle forced home the crucial 72nd-minute goal which divided the teams.



    On this occasion, the gift of sight was truly valuable. Fortunately for St Johnstone fans, referee Sandy Roy is possessed of a keener eye than Jansen. He had no problem cutting through the camouflage and awarding O’Boyle’s goal when Celtic claimed furiously that the ball had not crossed the line. Television replays later proved the little Northern Ireland striker’s stab effort in connecting with Allan Preston’s corner was legal, being pushed back out of the Celtic goal by McNamara’s hand.



    Brattbakk thought he had matched O’Boyle in injury time during a frantic scramble when first Saints goalkeeper Alan Main blocked the Norwegian striker’s shot with his feet and then Philip Scott thumped Brattbakk’s follow-up off the line.



    However, even someone as prolific as Brattbakk needs help when easing into a side after just a few weeks at his new club, and the job would have been performed much easier with Jackson in tandem, rather than the Scotland international sitting cooling his heels in the dug-out.



    Jansen, though, is reluctant to change either his 4-4-2 system or Blinker. He said he did not consider withdrawing a midfielder and using a three-man attack in pursuit of victory. “We wanted to play the game as normal and we knew that Alan Stubbs was struggling, so I did not want to take off anyone else.”



    Jansen stoutly defended Blinker, who is fast becoming a sore point with Celtic followers. “You do not lose the game because of one player. Too many players were not really in the game today. We did not take our chances and St Johnstone’s aggressive approach did not allow us to play our passing game.”



    However, Jansen must fast be approaching the point of no return in maintaining such faith in the unrewarding Blinker. That point should be on Friday against Rangers, if he has any sense.


    Celtic’s deficiencies though are a poor distraction for the admirable way in which St Johnstone set about this game. Despite losing the preceding three games to Celtic this season, Paul Sturrock’s side showed plenty of ambition as they stretched the Celtic defence, particularly in the first half.



    Most impressive were full-back Callum Davidson who was denied a goal only by the acrobatic Celtic goalkeeper Jonathan Gould, and striker O’Boyle. The striker was marked by Enrico Annoni, the shaven-headed pair looking like a couple of bookends. The Celtic defender could rarely maintain such proximity to O’Boyle during the match.



    O’Boyle produced a dangerous right-foot shot which Gould saved as early as the fifth minute and then, nine minutes later, should have created the opener for St Johnstone after his pace left Annoni stumbling and floundering. However, Gould who had been drawn off his line, rescued Celtic by intercepting O’Boyle’s intended cut-back for Preston.



    Gould, not for the first time this season, produced a string of excellent saves. The best of these came in the 34th minute when he sprang to his left to superbly turn over Davidson’s vicious 30-yard drive which was bound for the top corner of the net. At the other end, Main performed similar heroics when arching backwards to stop a header from McNamara creeping in.



    The pattern of the game changed little in the second half and, in the 56th minute, Gould again proved an impenetrable barrier to deny O’Boyle, after the striker swivelled and shot on the turn.



    O’Boyle though was not to be denied in the 73rd minute. He explained later: “When Allan’s corner came over I just stretched out my foot and it was definitely over the line, although I saw a hand – I don’t know if it was McNamara’s or David Hannah’s – scoop it back off the line.”



    “I thought we were more up for the game than Celtic. We stopped them from playing. I don’t think Celtic will be happy if they play like that on Friday. They will need a big improvement to beat Rangers.”

  8. “RC on 23RD DECEMBER 2021 1:52 PM


    all this tippy tappy and one two’s around their box if you don’t have the quality of player to carry it out doesn’t work”



    It has worked very well against better teams than Livi and St.Mirren. Perhaps there were other reasons for our dropping of points?





    The poet`s name was Martin Niemöller.

  9. can somebody remind us who the set piece and defensive coaches are for the first team as they need to re read the manual.

  10. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    I’m sure the wonderful Neil Doncaster will sort it all out, Paul. Lovely eulogy yesterday, by the way. Just a pity for him that he has the same name as the guy who used to run that organisation. Remember what a disaster he was!














    Anyone wondering what the C in CQN stands for certainly wouldn’t guess ‘consistent’!


    Of course that was back in the days when we were (supposedly) a stand-alone club and didn’t need no Rangers.


    Now that it’s back to being all about the old firm (was it ever not, genuinely?) Doncaster is suddenly the good guy!

  11. HOT SMOKED on 23RD DECEMBER 2021 4:03 PM


    “RC on 23RD DECEMBER 2021 1:52 PM



    all this tippy tappy and one two’s around their box if you don’t have the quality of player to carry it out doesn’t work”



    It has worked very well against better teams than Livi and St.Mirren. Perhaps there were other reasons for our dropping of points?



    certainly doesn’t work against teams with 2 banks of 5

  12. Pingback: SPFL vote, 2 Feb postponement prospects, Scot Gov, | Celtic FC News Now

  13. “RC on 23RD DECEMBER 2021 4:14 PM


    certainly doesn’t work against teams with 2 banks of 5”



    Any idea why all the teams we have beaten didn`t adopt that formation?

  14. 67 European Cup Winners on

    Is funny how a result can dictate the atmosphere on this blog


    From Sunday night extatic to Wednesday night depression



    I for one – and I appreciate I could be on my own – would rather have been depressed on Sunday night and extatic Wednesday night



    As for our Manager I believe he deserves a bit of respect (humble pie from me as I wanted Howe) BUT his selection process for less important games is at best naive at worst stupid


    The league is the only show in town



    There’s more



    Corners, free kicks, even throw ins we are pathetic our set play work is possibly the worst in the SPL


    Do we have a coach for set plays – Kennedy ? Strachan ?


    Our management structure is weak no Dof no idea who identifies and/or buys our players


    Although we have had the best spell at the end of last summer with Heart CCV Jota Koyogo Juranavic



    And to complete the chaos


    We can’t get rid of the old CEO, We can’t keep a new one , and we look round the table for a volunteer



    And our editor – who gets my attention every single day – thinks The Huns are in disarray



    But before you start thinking we are doomed – 6 points is not insurmountable



    Keep the faith – focus on the league play the reserves in the Scottish cup and we still can win the league




  15. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    GlenDalysTonsils 3:28 (previous article)


    Exactly – you have just proved the point. Try to do both things and you end up succeeding in neither!


    If we just focused on the first we would do much better on both fronts.

  16. “67 EUROPEAN CUP WINNERS on 23RD DECEMBER 2021 4:31 PM


    BUT his selection process for less important games is at best naive at worst stupid”



    I am honestly not having a go at you here; just at your point.



    When you say that Ange`s selection process is either naive or stupid, do you mean compared to what you would have done?

  17. 67 European Cup Winners on

    HOT SMOKED @ 4.46




    With what I think would have been a better option



    And BTW I said it before we played Hibs on Sunday



    If you have a reduced squad limited resources you prioritise when to use them


    The League Cup Final was (IMHO) not as important as St Mirren


    My view was proved to be correct (sadly)


    The League is the only show in town



    If we do not win the league this year The Huns will go straight into the CL Group stages and pocket £30/40/50m whatever the number is



    And what do you think the Huns will do with said money – if you are not sure let me suggest they will spend it on players to batter us with



    So yes in my humble opinion Ange got it wrong playing Turnbull Kyogo and Rogic v Hibs



    BTW no offence taken I love the debate – and for clarity because I think it, it does not mean I am correct


    You do not have to hold a UEFA Licence to have an opinion




  18. INIQUITOUSIV on 23RD DECEMBER 2021 4:08 PM



    Watch Hickey’s stunning strike for Bologna with his weaker foot at 1:17 in.



    How did we miss this guy?





    the same reason we re-hired Neil Lennon,



    the same reason we waited 4 months for Eddie Howe to say no thanks



    the same reason we let Craig Gordon go,



    the same reason we sign guys like McCarthy, Barkas, Ajeti etc



    the same reason that we played last night without a proper striker,



    there’s lots lots more but I’m sure you see the pattern,



    its like some sort of boil that needs to be lanced.

  19. We’ll want to get past the Norwegians and get a good run in the conference which means a lot more midweek games. The huns won’t get past Dortmund so they’ll have a clear run after February.



    We need significant investment in the squad this January. If nothing else it’ll give us a greater chance in the CL qualifiers should things work out that way.

  20. ERNIE LYNCH on 23RD DECEMBER 2021 12:38 PM



    That game last night was more important than the league cup final.



    I don’t think the manager or the players saw it that way.





    Of course they wouldn’t see it that way,



    a cup final – its a one off – you get once chance and thats it,



    no recovery from defeat,



    I know the league is thee priority but we’re just about at the halfway stage,



    we’re certainly capable of overtaking the sevconians,



    but yeah, we need a good transfer window to help us.

  21. HOT SMOKED on 23RD DECEMBER 2021 4:23 PM


    “RC on 23RD DECEMBER 2021 4:14 PM



    certainly doesn’t work against teams with 2 banks of 5”




    Any idea why all the teams we have beaten didn`t adopt that formation?



    probably will now

  22. Guys I know we are all pinning our Hope’s on full crowds from 3rd week in January but I think a lot of us are going to be dissapointed. I would say if we are lucky it will be March or April.



    Although we are learning more data about this strain of covid daily and I hope I am wrong and in a few weeks there are full crowds.



    A right cheery bugger me am I not. :)



    D :)




    Sunday was magical, a real beautiful Sunday. It was a real shot in the arm to all Celtic supporters whose lives have been turned upside down by recent events.



    Live for the day.


    Never have I witnessed such an atmosphere and post match celebrations such as Sunday.


    Euphoria is not an understatement.



    There was no guarantee that the St Mirren game would have gone ahead. Indeed there is no guarantee the league will play out.


    Football without fans is nothing. Mr Stein was absolutely correct.



    Our fans enjoyed a magnificent day without the need to wreck a city. They deserved the moment of pure entertainment.



    The league Cup is nothing, but occasionally everything.


    Sunday was for Ange, our previously under achieving players but mostly for our faithful fans.



    I absolutely understand where you are coming from, the importance of the league and the ” bigger” picture however these are not ordinary times and that was not an ordinary league cup final.



    In hindsight, I would not change a thing.



    Cheers and HH.

  24. Also why were our supporters silent last night.



    I know all the pish about protesting about the Government restrictions yawn, yawn, yawn.



    I feel if you go to a game in large numbers like our wonderfull support do then they can fire up the team, sway referees and linesmen, not all the time but sometimes.



    Standing still like a game of statues is just ludicrous.



    D :)

  25. DAVID66 on 23RD DECEMBER 2021 5:38 PM



    Guys I know we are all pinning our Hope’s on full crowds from 3rd week in January but I think a lot of us are going to be dissapointed. I would say if we are lucky it will be March or April.






    To counter this I think as soon as we are underway again after the winter break, they will be letting full crowds back in – based on this Omicron virus significantly less likely to develop severe symptoms, less hospitalisations, pressure off NHS – not too mention the commercial side effects of long term lockdowns




    Pigs In Blankets aren’t just for Christmas







  27. prestonpans bhoys on

    Was there a silent protest last night?



    I thought it was just Celtic tv being pish again😱😵😂





    A fine reply.




    Cheerio for now.

  29. 67 European Cup Winners on



    i love you emotion on the subject and who am I, with my boring focus on the league, to argue with such a joyous day, celebrated by many (including me BTW)



    I do not want to dilute from that great occasion



    But the thought of the Hun with a get out of jail free card and £30/40/50m from automatic CL group stage, simply because we did not focus on the league, makes me cringe


    And the pain will last long as they spend their way to appease the scum that that trash every town they visit



    Winning the league is my only focus the consequences of not winning it, depress me



    Respect to your post







    Do Celtic TV have directorial control of what’s seen and heard at away games?

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