State of the Club Report, December 2020


My friends in Celtic, this is not a happy read.  Not since Tony Mowbray was in charge 11 years ago have we been under pressure like this at the end of the year; second favourites for the title by a significant margin.

A 12 game period saw us eliminated from the Europa League at the group stage with only one win and one draw to our credit, our first defeat in the League Cup in almost five years and a number of grim performances in the league that sees us 16 points adrift with three games in hand.

Unaccustomed as we are to defeat, the shock drew protests against the manager and board and worse for players leaving Celtic Park after the Ross County defeat.  Neil Lennon looked beleaguered as the board came under pressure to sack him but that campaign was itself undermined by an unexpected win against Lille, helped in no small way by the arrival of David Turnbull and Ismaila Soro in the starting line-up.

Crisis on the park added to pressures off it as the club had to cope without fans at Celtic Park since March.  Whatever sporting advantage was lost due to this is nothing to the commercial consequences, that will see the club plunge into debt.  Chasing their own Holy Grail, Celtic declined to sell their most saleable assets and pressed ahead with purchases in the summer.  It was a gambler’s play we have not often seen from Celtic.

Champions League income was a potential salvation that Ferencvaros extinguished in a pitiful manner.  Early season league form gave an indication of what was to come, then the music stopped with the visit of Newco.  Celtic did not record an attempt on target and were relieved of the points by a superior opponent.

2020 was the year Celtic won 9-in-a-row for the second time.  They started the year smarting from a home defeat to Newco but form after the break was imperious, while Newco did not have the legs for the race, or as their manager put it, did not have the “bottle”.  The Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen was held over until November, the final, 11 days ago against Hearts, will live long in the memory.

It was a classic Celtic performance this season.  Two goals ahead at halftime, Hearts bossed the second period and took the game to extra time.  Again we took the lead, again Hearts levelled, but as Tommy Burns once said, “there is something about this club”.  The Scottish Cup was won for the fourth consecutive time, a new record, also securing the fourth consecutive treble and Celtic’s seventh overall.  We celebrated history in our homes.

That defeat to Ross County means another club will lift a trophy in 2021, the first apart from Celtic since 2016.  More importantly, the record we have tracked for nine years is in trouble.  Celtic’s form has improved significantly since that win over Lille, we are now back to playing the way we were early this year, but the gap at the top of the table is significant and we are up against an opponent that has lost only one game in all competitions this season.

You and I have seen Celtic come back from more difficult positions than this against original Rangers in 2007-8 and form at the corresponding stage of season 1978-9 gave no indication of how that title would be decided.  But having read the story of each of our 51 league title wins, I don’t think any would match a league win in 2021 – and I include 1998 and 1966.

We are only here because we know there is something special about this club, so ‘hope in our hearts’ is not easy to extinguish, but we will find out more about our chances on Saturday.

I hope you each have a safe New Year and a healthy 2021.  Take care, Paul67.

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  1. lets all do the huddle on

    if bitton plays on saturday and does a nudge in the box like he did yesterday, the hun ref wont be able to point to the penalty spot quick enough



    too many of our players cant help doing stupid shoves and barges in dangerous positions



    they need to use their brains

  2. Thanks CQN……………



    A New Year of success would be nice and one free of the beery bilious bullies……………



    HH. CSC.

  3. Let’s All Do The Huddle



    Yes and stupid free kicks in and around our penalty box, take note Bitton and Christie!

  4. Ta Paul; it’s not so much unhappy reading as simply sobering (some night to pick for that!)


    We’re in a period of unfamiliar attrition and whether we can prevail will be a real test of character.


    IMO, we’re already unbeatable champs with 9IAR x 2, plus a quadrofenian treble.


    While all good things must come etc…we’re no’ quite there yet.


    P67; HNY and thanks for facilitating all these musings.



    Getting near the witching hour downunder, bhoys and ghirls.


    May there be peace in your homes, your towns and in your hearts. HH

  5. Lets All Do The Huddle –



    Aye, and the sound of his whistle will be drowned by the sonic boom as his arm moves ever so quickly to point to the spot and flash a red card at one of our guys!




  6. IMO, we’re already unbeatable champs with 9IAR x 2, plus a quadrofenian treble.






    And may I add, the small matter of The European Cup.



    And our Club still exists…



    So no matter what happens from here on in, a sense of perspective is required, football will continue beyond the 2nd January.



    I think we stand a good chance. Our defending from set pieces still causes concern and may lead to our downfall this season though. Sevco will undoubtedly play for set piece deliveries into our box on Saturday.



    If we win on Saturday we have an opportunity to build momentum and give things a real go as we head off to Dubai.



    Should we lose, then the rebuild starts on Monday 4th January. Sell the players that will not extend contracts and get a new management team and director of football in for season 21/22.

  7. Had the Bitton tackle, elbow yesterday been against a Celtic player


    I would have been looking for a penalty



    Very H888py New Year to all our Aussie Bhoys & Ghirls 🍾🍀💚🏆



    And to All on CQN when it arrives at our midnight hour 🏆🍀🎉

  8. Huddle and McPhail bhoy


    `too many of our players cant help doing stupid shoves and barges in dangerous position



    they need to use their brains`



    Do you mean they must remember that we are treated differently from other teams?

  9. A small thing, I know but I don`t like it when people wish me a Happy New Year BEFORE the New Year has arrived .





    That does NOT mean I dislike the people who offer premature wishes,just the timing.

  10. lets all do the huddle on

    Do you mean they must remember that we are treated differently from other teams?








    but many of them are genuine idiotic fouls

  11. Paul67



    Celtic head for new year in Poundland, 16 points behind a club founded eight years ago, that didn’t even happen when it was Rainjurz.



    Who’d have thunk it CSC



    p.s. Goodly News, The UK sits third in the vaccination world wide league.

  12. For the first time this season, I am feeling ultra confident, not complacent, but confident. Yesterday I thought we really looked good all over the park and see no reason why we cannot beat a bang average hun.


    When we do, I am convinced they will panic and implode and we will ,WILL, get out treasured 10.


    Our discipline, Nir apart, was brilliant. Nir had a “moment” which hopefully he will learn from, I rate the guy and think he gets a lot of unfair criticism.


    Can’t see El Capitano starting on Saturday but it is what it is ,Soro is the answer.


    So, to everyone out there on planet Celtic I wish you all a healthy, happy New Year.


    Best wishes to all.




  13. Hot Smoked



    Yes of course we are but is this really anyone in the team who doesn’t realise this?

  14. Pingback: State of the Club Report, December 2020 | Celtic FC News Now

  15. 2 doors doon, other night had Mrs O’Neill singing Delenaye Donkey, I had forgotten how cruelly treated the poor donkey was treated.



    Just got me thinking it could apply to any celtic players in the opposition box ………….



    Now Celtic had a player that everyone admired


    Some say lazy and permanently tired


    Two legs with socks on balancing his head


    And fingers pointing to were the ball is to be fed


    Kennedy said, “We’ve underrated him , why not train him up?”


    Then they took a smart screen


    They rubbed it, scrubbed it, they oiled and embrocated it


    Got him in the box and the tory dropped the flag



    There was Tav pushin’ it, shovin’ it, shushin’ it


    Edmonson . Goldson and everyone in town


    Lined up, attackin’ it and shovin’ it and smackin’ it


    They might as well have tried to push the toilet block down



    The Griff was eyein’ them, openly defyin’ them


    Winkin’, blinkin’ and twistin’ out of place


    McGregor kicking in, all the peepul cursin’ him


    The day Lennons hero [ut them in their place.

  16. Sure when the media are over excited and celebrating a league titel win for the blue meanies then is that nor



    Premature Congratulations.

  17. Frimpong. No end product. Wasn’t the same said about Forrest. And agree with the other poster that Jinky was similarly castigated – and yet was voted the greatest ever Celt. Funny that.



    Didier Agathe also got criticised for his end product.



    Jinky was the odd man out. I don’t believe he had the pace of the other three, but he did like to beat defenders multiple times before crossing / passing.



    For those in my circle of friends who criticised the other three I posed the following… look how poor MOST corners and free kicks are (not just Celtic). That is where the ball is not moving and the taker is approaching at a leisurely pace.



    Now think about yourself running flat out me trying to cross the ball. Now try doing it at the speed they are running,



    Some of the best crossers are not those who beat the defender with pace but those who simply shift the ball and cross. Like Thommo and Guppy for example,

  18. lets all do the huddle on

    trying to finish the gambling year off with a winner



    got a bet on bilbao – sociedad, but need a few goals in it



    there has only been 1 shot on target in the first half – albeit it produced a goal



    whats spanish for catenaccio?

  19. !!BADA BING!! on 31ST DECEMBER 2020 12:57 PM


    SS- Big Billy bid for him




    The story Billy told at a Q&A was that Sunderland contacted Celtic abut McCoist’s availability during the close season. Billy was on holiday at the time and no-one thought to pursue the matter.



    Bitton has been at the club 7 years and you hope he will learn from a stupid push.


    I doubt it , he is just not a good player with no football brain.



    Hope he is nowhere near the defence on Saturday.


    We got rid of Simounivic and kept Bitton



    I wonder whose decision that was.

  21. Being picked to play 345 club games in a career would suggest the player is indeed a good player.



    Honours with Celtic[14]



    Scottish Premiership (7): 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20[28]


    Scottish Cup (4): 2016–17, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20[29]


    Scottish League Cup (5): 2014–15, 2016–17, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20[30]



    Players do stupid things all through their careers regardless of age and experience.



    Did broony not push someone over conceding a penalty this season ?

  22. Simunovic is a crock. He has failed several medicals and currently doesn’t have a club. Bitton has had good games not least for israel who snuffed out Scotland with Nir in control

  23. lets all do the huddle on

    Did broony not push someone over conceding a penalty this season ?




    easter road?

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