State of the Club report, summer 2023

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My friends in Celtic, tomorrow we raise the league championship flag, both domestic cups are in the Celtic Park boardroom and within six weeks, we will compete in the Champions League group stage.

This summer, so far, has seen the departure of one automatic first choice player and one occasional starter.  Five players arrived, while we extended the contracts of Callum McGregor, Kyogo and Daizen Maeda.  The most disruptive event of the year was the departure of manager Ange Postecoglou; replaced by the prodigal Brendan Rodgers.

We need to talk about the dirty little subject.  I usually have a good handle on what net cash figure to expect from the Celtic accounts.  They trend and vary based on previous cup runs and European progress.  Right now, it is difficult to know for sure.  Last term, Champions League income returned for the first time in five years, we ‘sold’ a manager and post-yearend sold Jota for £25m, although payments may be staggered and there will be a distribution to Benfica.

What we know for sure is that if you see a red haired man standing at an ATM, say “Hi, Michael”, as there is a good chance it will be Michael Nicholson, unable to suppress the urge to put his Celtic card into a cash machine every time he passes one, just to stare at the balance!

At the end of June 2022 we had just shy of £32m in the bank, up on the £26m when the interims were concluded six months earlier.  Our interims at 31 December 2022 showed a staggering net cash position of £59m, £33m up on a year earlier.

More than half of the net proceeds from Jota’s sale have gone out the door already to pay for the acquisition of five new players, but our position (after post-yearend transfer business) will be more than £40m better than it was last year, which itself was a healthy position.

What to do with that money?  The nouveau riche notoriously waste money, but it’s Michael, not Viv Nicholson, in charge at Celtic, so don’t expect us to spend, spend, spend on short-term hits.  We have continued to invest in strategy: buy players who can either immediately earn a spot in the first team, or who have the potential to get there.  More of the first team will earn improved contracts, hopefully allowing the manager a settled core to build on.

But we are not here for the money, we are here for the football, and on that front, there is a lot of work to do.  The champions of Scotland are on the cusp of being Champions League regulars.  To make that a reality, Celtic need to improve the rate they earn Uefa coefficient points.  Another season with only two draws among the defeats is not going to cut it, nor can we expect Newco to reach the latter stages of the Europa League so regularly.

This is the last season with Champions League groups as they currently are.  From next season, teams who qualify for the competition proper will play eight games, not six.  That raises TV appearances and all match related income by 33% over current group stage income, with a subsequent play-off tie up for grabs before the knockout rounds start.  It is a game changer for the new season’s Scottish champions, even at Celtic’s current income level.

As ever, everything comes down to who will win the most important league title in Europe – I am not exaggerating.  Nowhere can the title be so transformational, nowhere is interest in the game greater.  The Scottish population watch league football more than any other country by some margin.  It is not the most skilful, it just matters more than anywhere else – neither you nor I need attendance stats to know this is true, it’s why we spend so much time hoping, dreaming and reading stuff like this.  Massive clubs in England lose the league and their fans shrug, no one shugs in this town.

Newco lost several first team players without compensation, they took what resources they have, and assembled a squad who are at their peak.  None of them is likely to appreciate in value.  Instead of copying the Celtic strategy, they are living for today.  Sign experienced, physically stronger journeymen, and see if they can out-muscle Celtic’s shorter, younger players, with more potential.

Credit where it’s due, this is a coherent strategy.  It may even help them earn coefficient points in the Europa League, if that’s where they end up.  Lose the league, and they are right royally screwed, but that’s a worry for next year.  For now, it’s all about that most important league title in Europe.

Before a ball is kicked, no one would swap the Celtic squad for the Newco squad.  On paper, we win again.  But anyone who tells you Celtic winning the league this season is a certainty is unfamiliar with the vagaries of the game.  Should Newco qualify for the Champions League, their ‘live for today’ strategy will surely see them invoke the memory of the aforementioned Liv.

I expect a real challenge.  We lost managerial continuity, we have a new tactical plan, and I remain fearful that we will be bullied (euphemism) in the middle of the park in games that matter.

Our board’s mantra for many years was “We make decisions on what is best for Celtic without reference to what happens elsewhere.”  This worked across an era when Rangers went into liquidation, for the want of banking Champions League income to cover the possibility of an adverse court verdict.  We did not follow the lemming over the cliff, but in those difficult years, the pages of CQN were full of advocates to be as ‘ambitious’ as David Murray.  We lost several league titles doing the right thing, it was a bitter time best not relived.

I trust the manager, the scouts and the treble-winning players, but our chances of us winning the league this season is no more than 67%.  Celtic is our gift;  enjoy tomorrow, enjoy the season and let’ s hope for an era defining title win.

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  1. The GB vs 55k fake Timmy sheep who get mugged by everybody in politics, media, religion, Celtic FC executive sleekitry, Old Firm tickets lol, and all supporters groups, blogs, sitcom podcast bull, etc, etc,….

     

     

    CSA = Invisible, Celtic Trust = Untrustworthy, Celtic Blogs bought and paid for and showered with decoy plants and drunken panty wetting fork tongued Mods…

     

     

    Resolution 12 guff for ten years ammending rules in a rule book that will NEVER be applied at Ibrox…more truth in the bible lol…especially the talking snake ah mean what?

     

     

    The Green Brigade = the last bastion of Timmery as all else has been irreparably corrupted.

  2. What a day in Glasgow as per council planning ,cars coming along Clyde st with no access to North or East of city ,Put a fekn sign up and let drivers know.

     

    Going to Brigton? ( who would ?) just cut along by Shawfield fekn nightmare.

     

    One cheery moment , standing at rank saw Patrick Harvie on his bike coming down Stockwell st. he braked as lights turned red ,lady cyclist behind crashed into him ,obviously expected to jump the lights :O)

  3. NewCo – New Company

     

    New Company – Same Club

     

     

    Who needs the Media?

     

    When we still hear the not so distant sound of distant drums

     

    Drumming to the Big Pete Beat

  4. the bhoy will be slaughtered, and hated for his name,

     

     

    ———————

     

     

    Neil Lennon’s son Gallagher has signed a contract with St Mirren.

     

     

     

    Lennon, 17, had spent pre-season on trial with Stephen Robinson’s side.

     

     

    The teenager – who had represented Northern Ireland at youth level – featured for the Buddies B team against Albion Rovers this week and was involved in the matchday squad against Dumbarton in pre-season but didn’t feature.

     

     

    The Scottish Sun report that Lennon has signed a one-year deal with St Mirren and is training with the first-team in Paisley.Lennon played for Partick Thistle last season.

     

     

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    READ MORE: Kyogo Furuhashi vows to repay love by shooting Celtic to title glory

     

     

    Speaking previously on Go Radio, former Celtic boss Lennon said: “He started training with St Mirren today, he’s 17. St Mirren are going to have a good look at him over the next few weeks.

     

     

    “He played for the [Northern Ireland] Under-17s there in November and did really well, they bumped him up to the 19s and was supposed to play in the Euros in March. But he broke his collarbone the week before, so he missed out on that.

     

     

    “He’s sort of mixed his education with his football and he did well at school. But he wants to give the football a go.”

     

     

    And quizzed on whether carrying the Lennon name would make his career harder, he said: “I don’t know about that. If he’s good enough, he’ll come through.

     

     

    “I don’t think that’s got anything to do with it really. I just think it’s harder now, there’s so much competition, scrutiny and analysis across all the academies. You have to be very exceptional to make it through now at a big club.”

  5. arbroath 0 – dundee hibs 3

     

     

    cracker green away strip.

     

     

    its on alba for anyone wanting a fitba fix

  6. TIMHORTON on 4TH AUGUST 2023 5:48 PM.

     

     

    The wee hun on the radio putting up some money if Celts win the league, I suspect that’s bull.

     

    I’ve already put double that at PP for Celts to win the league, huns are all talk.

     

    I rate Celtics chances as better than 80%, we’ll all have a better idea soon enough. Buzzing for Celts tomorrow 🍀🍀🍀 HH

  7. Dundee Utd’s away top tonight, read a few weeks ago going back to their Dundee Hibernians roots :-)

     

     

    St Stivs cheers for the heads up about Gallagher will keep an eye out for him, think Robinson is a decent manager for him to work under

     

     

    Impressed by the football on show the other night, for a friendly/testimonial was a really decent game, some dodgy parts, some terrific football, loved the fact Kyogo’s decent chance made by Hatate to Maeda to Kyogo then the goalie made a comfortable save, Kyogo was annoyed at not scoring, always a great sign from a terrific striker

  8. Hrvatski jim

     

     

    Could you repost the song/singer you posted a few weeks ago,forgot to note her name.if poss of course

     

    HH

  9. Hrvatski Jim: I heard Rainbow on Irish radio for the first time a couple of years ago. It’s a beautiful song. It got me into her music big time and I hope she plays in Dublin some time soon.

  10. Almore

     

     

    If she tours here I would be first in the queue for tickets.

     

     

    When John Prine died his wife said that he was in love with Kacey – but so is everyone else!

     

     

    Here is John with Bonnie Rait singing Angel from Montgomery. Montgomery is the captain of Alabama which executes more convicts than any other US state. An Angel from Montgomery was a last minute reprieve telegram for a prisoner due execution.

     

     

    https://youtu.be/MaHNUYAKDn4

  11. Almore

     

     

    That’s one of my all time favourites.

     

     

    Grandson arrives quite early tomorrow morning so I am signing off.

     

     

    Must get a good sleep before Paradise tomorrow.

     

     

    Good night all.

  12. paulsthroughball88 on

    BACK TO BASICS -GLASS HALF FULL

     

     

    “Crawl Forward Alan needs to stop looking up at Rishi Sunak and explain the inexplicable.”

     

    ________________________

     

     

    Good luck with that. The whole of Scottish football is based on avoiding explaining the inexplicable.

  13. paulsthroughball88 on

    SIONNAIGH

     

     

    Some album that Costello track’s from, Armed Forces. Menacing mood throughout, especially Green Shirt and the superb Goon Squad.

     

     

    Then he follows it up with the pop/soul feel of the Get Happy album, just to show the range and consistent brilliance of his songwriting.

     

     

    Saw him with the Attractions at the Barrowland, don’t know how long it took to put the roof back on.

  14. PAULSTHROUGHBALL88

     

     

    Never had the pleasure of seeing Costello & The Attractions live.

     

    I’ll be listening to those tracks you recommend soon enough, thanks.

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