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State of the Club Report, December 2020

434

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. Tommy Docherty (RIP) on Lorenzo Amoruso: “Somebody compared him to Billy McNeil, but I don’t remember Billy being crap.”

  2. prestonpans bhoys on

    Another football legend dies

     

     

    Former Manchester United and Scotland manager Tommy Docherty has passed away at the age of 92, his family have announced in a statement.

  3. In my opinion, Saturday will be decided by which goalie plays the best, if Barkas shows up we will be good to go, on the other hand, if he freezes….

     

     

    I would have stuck with the young guy Hazard on the basis that his confidence after the Cup Final would have been sky high,

     

     

    Of course what we all really wanted was big Fraser, he had their number,

     

     

    somebody mentioned the other day big FF wanted to come but he wanted a permanent deal and we only wanted another loan deal, really hope thats not true.

  4. SAINT STIVS on 31ST DECEMBER 2020 4:53 PM

     

     

    What a picture!

     

     

    You are CQN’s top poster without a doubt!

  5. PHILBHOY on 31ST DECEMBER 2020 5:45 PM

     

    SAINT STIVS on 31ST DECEMBER 2020 4:53 PM

     

     

    What a picture!

     

     

    You are CQN’s top poster without a doubt!

     

     

    —————

     

     

    not at all Phil, it is all other peoples work, i just copy over stuff i find interesting,

     

    If you added all their medals together it might be the most honoured collection of celts ever captured in one picture. I might go and add it up another day when google is broken,

     

     

    it is special though for sure.

  6. THE BATTERED BUNNET on 31ST DECEMBER 2020 4:21 PM

     

     

    Well said that man, all the very best to you🍀 🍀 🍀 🍀

  7. LETS ALL DO THE HUDDLE on 31ST DECEMBER 2020 11:27 AM

     

     

    motherwell manager resigns i thought all managers waited for a pay-off? mustnt need the cash

     

     

    *will be commentating on our game on Saturday,

  8. ST STIVS

     

     

    I named every person in that pic to my wife and wee ghirl.

     

     

    By the time I got to the end I was greetin’!

     

     

    Lovely memories.

     

     

    Thank you for posting.

  9. another rumour I heard about big FF – this one does sound ludicrous….

     

     

    he had a big bill, the sort of big bill a really dumb punter would run up, and he wanted us to pay it,

     

     

    we said no and the rest is history,

     

     

    it came to me from a decent source, otherwise I wouldn’t be posting it,

     

     

    there you have it, who knows if there is any truth in it ,

     

     

    mibees aye mibbes naw

  10. PHILBHOY on 31ST DECEMBER 2020 5:56 PM

     

    ST STIVS

     

     

    I named every person in that pic to my wife and wee ghirl.

     

     

    By the time I got to the end I was greetin’!

     

     

    Lovely memories.

     

     

    Thank you for posting.

     

    ————–

     

     

    och who doesnt get emotional on this night of the year, I got all but one, cos i dont have my glasses on, who is left of Tommy Gemmell

  11. Ismaila Soro (22) with a great game for

     

    @CelticFC

     

    v. Dundee Utd:

     

     

    ☑️ 80 minutes

     

    ⚽️ 1 goal

     

    🅰️ 1 assist

     

    🔑 2 key passes

     

    🎯 68/71 passes completed (96%)

     

    🔀 2/2 dribbles won

     

    ⚔️ 5 duels won

     

    💪🏿 11 ball recoveries

     

    🙌 3-0 win

     

     

    Ruled the midfield and his sharpest outing yet for Celtic!

  12. SKY

     

     

    “in a surprising turn of events, Hatem Elhamed is now reportedly looking to continue his Celtic stay beyond January according to Sky Sports journalist”

     

     

    that would be good news, he did show much promise early on,

     

     

    we should have given Michael Lustig a new contract until we had his replacement tied down

  13. All the best to all and your families when it comes.

     

    May 2021 bring you health and happiness

  14. ROCK TREE BHOY on 31ST DECEMBER 2020 5:57 PM

     

     

    another rumour I heard about big FF – this one does sound ludicrous…. he had a big bill, the sort of big bill a really dumb punter would run up, and he wanted us to pay it.

     

     

    *heard the same about wee skip tae ma Lou only we had agreed tae pay it and put him on a set wage, he said naw, Shankly was informed, made a bid which we accepted, he went down there for an interview, meanwhile one of the tabloids had the headline “Liverpool Lou” ready tae run when Shanks stated he widnae be signing as he knew where he wanted tae go.

     

     

    Next we know he has signed for manure, the doc had tapped him, and scored on his debut, must admit at being delighted at their being relegated. Took a long time for me tae like the Doc after that.

  15. LEFTCLICKTIC

     

     

    Good to see you post!

     

     

    Best wishes to you and yours too!

     

     

    Don’t be a stranger.

     

     

    God bless.

  16. BANKIEBHOY1 on 31ST DECEMBER 2020 5:59 PM

     

     

    sincerely hope you are right Bud, with this game coming up on Saturday my thoughts turned to the man who would be my first pick, and then the reason I was told he wasn’t there,

     

     

    Mo Johnston wanted us to pick up his tax bill when he wanted out of France, we said No but rangers said Yes

     

     

    probably more truth in that..

     

     

    offskji for my tea before I get pelters for the FF post..

  17. earlier we were comparing comments to young Jeremy and to you Jinky and other unfair comparisons, while looking up Faithers career I came acroos the is bumper,

     

     

    Awards

     

    In 2002, Simpson was named in Celtic’s greatest ever team, ahead of John Thomson and Pat Bonner.[14]

     

     

    who came up with that shortlist ?

  18. glendalystonsils on

    PHILBHOY on 31ST DECEMBER 2020 6:04 PM

     

    Charlie Gallagher, St Stivs.

     

     

    Probably just accidental , but just like the modest , self-effacing Charlie to be turning away from the camera.

  19. ITSCALLEDTHEMALVINAS on 31ST DECEMBER 2020 4:56 PM

     

     

    Not a dreary New Years Eve here in free Largs but Sean South and comrades,we salute you. The shots that put an Empire on the run !

     

     

    *First rebel song I ever learned on the playground of St Pats. Actually first heard in on the oul Vale of Leven CSC bus and asked my da who it was, he thought it was Sean Fallon they were signing about.

     

     

    The parental side of his family were fae Fermanagh just along the road fae Brookborough which incidentally was a stronghold of the Maguire, my da’s granny’s name, family before the plantationers took it off them and gave it tae Brooke.

  20. Soro or Davis , MacGregor or Kamara , Christie or Aribo , Turnbull or Kent , Griffiths or Roofe , Edwarde or Morreless if you were choosing who would make your team ?

  21. RPMCELTICFAN on 31ST DECEMBER 2020 6:17 PM

     

     

    in all my years of watching, even at our worst times, there were very few hun players I could actually appreciate as both decent footballers and decent people. I know off the park many were pals with their opposite numbers and were not bad people per se, but others bought into the Kulture so much (having not been brought up in it) that I just couldnt stomach the thought of them in hoops.

     

     

    Jim Bett might be an exception, Laudrup maybe. Pre going to them I really liked Souness and his previous talking up of Murdoch at Middlesboro.

     

     

    Much more respect for ones who actually called them out , Jan Bartram in particular.

  22. My memory bankc might be playing tricks, but it is known that Fergie tunred down thems, did Jim McLean aslo do it ? I think aye, just cant find evidence.

  23. glendalystonsils on

    SCULLYBHOY on 31ST DECEMBER 2020 6:24 PM

     

     

    The old Bigot Broadcast Corporation ‘s airbrush strikes again!

  24. SAINT STIVS on 31ST DECEMBER 2020 6:24 PM

     

    RPMCELTICFAN on 31ST DECEMBER 2020 6:17 PM

     

     

    oh and the answer was none of them. oh not one and there never shall be one,

     

     

    as a weird aside , Andy Parody Halliday has went up in my estimations since he left them, suprisingly honest in assessments and football punditry, nae kiddin

  25. Turning down the offer to manage Rangers in 1983

     

    “As far as Jim McLean, football manager, was concerned I made the wrong decision to stay with Dundee United.

     

     

    “I should have gone to Rangers. No one will ever convince me otherwise. I have absolutely no doubts at all.

     

     

    “But Jim McLean, football manager, is not the sole factor in my life. It’s not even the most important factor.”

  26. Afternoon Paul

     

    The same to you & the boys – have a safe, peaceful & prosperous 2021.

     

     

    Thanks for providing this sometimes magical place for us eejits, halfwits & hasbeens to waffle on about the team we love.

     

     

    Green Shoots or Recovery CSC

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