State of the club report, year-end 2011


My friends in Celtic, a year ago I signed off on 2010 by saying, “I have never spoken to less confident Celtic fans ahead of a game against Rangers than I have this week”.  Celtic had won only five of their previous 10 league games, seven of which were at home, but with a squad ravaged by injury, they found a formation which over several games dominated Rangers.

After three defeats and an Ibrox draw against 10-man Celtic, Walter Smith eventually got it right and beat Celtic at Hampden.  The league challenge floundered in a scrappy defeat at Inverness, the home team fought for everything and found some vulnerabilities in Celtic but the season ended on a high with the first trophy of the Neil Lennon era as the Scottish Cup was won at rain-soaked Hampden against Motherwell.

Neil Lennon, Paddy McCourt and Niall McGinn all had to deal with more serious events than football in the first half of the year.  Bombs and bullets were sent to Celtic’s three Irish stars, prosecutions are pending.  These events put Scotland on the international news circuit in a very unwelcome light.  First Minister, Alex Salmond, promised to take action but instead of tackling a century-old anti-Catholic, anti-Irish tradition, his government passed a law which criminalised all sorts of non-sectarian, non-racist activity.

Despite this initiative taking on flagship status for the Scottish Government, Salmond has steadfastly refused to re-gather and publish information on sectarian attacks in recent years.  Policy has been made without reference to facts.

The new season brought great promise.  Neil Lennon had a year under his belt and was no longer up against Rangers’ most successful manager, instead he would face rookie Ally McCoist, but a humbling by Sion, ultimately neutralised by Uefa, and poor early season league form saw the manager consider his position.

A home defeat to St Johnstone and an utter collapse at Ibrox set the tone, but it was Kilmarnock’s three goal lead which caused Neil Lennon most concern.  The story of the second half comeback at Rugby Park is likely to take on legendary status in years to come, but as with much in life, it contained prosaic events.  Celtic came out of the dressing room like a condemned team and failed to register a genuine attempt on the Kilmarnock goal for 25 minutes.  Anthony Stokes struck a free kick which would have been stopped by most defensive walls but the Kilmarnock version was made of butter and Celtic had a platform to stage a comeback.  Killie’s reserve keeper, Jaakkola, failed to reach Anthony’s shot a few minutes later and Celtic were level six minutes after they realised they had a game of football to play.

In their next game Celtic failed to score at home to then-bottom Hibernian, allowing Rangers to open up a 15 point gap over their rivals, who by then were in third place, although with two games in hand over Rangers.  Celtic then went to Motherwell and promptly fell behind, our season hung by a thread, but it was that guy Stokes who again had the stomach for the fight.  Anthony equalised within minutes and Gary Hooper scored a late winner.

Celtic have not dropped a point since, while Ally McCoist and his boss, Craig Whyte, now look like the rookies they are.  They have lost three of their last six games, completing a collapse at Celtic Park on Wednesday night.

A year ago I reflected on the 46 players who played for Celtic during 2010 and suggested we would be better starting with a blank sheet of paper.  The league challenge ended in failure but 2011 didn’t.  This year ends with a coherent team strategy which could deliver the first sustainable and successful Celtic team in 40 years.  We have a young squad, on wages the club can afford, with a scouting and management team that have delivered a clutch of players destined to achieve an enormous amount in the game.

Despite the energy and excitement around Celtic Park, attendances are down.  Football is not as fashionable as it was three or four years ago.  For much of the season, we play in a cold, wet, environment against well-organised but defensive teams; it’s a hard sell.  We all know fans who have drifted from the stands, large areas of the stadium are now scarcely populated unless Rangers are visiting, which will impact income and subsequent expenditure.

Still, the shambles of 2010 has gone, Celtic look like a club with purpose and the tools to move forward with confidence. A two point lead at this stage of the season is largely symbolic but it’s a deserved honour that your team deserves.

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  1. Burnley 78,




    evenif it’s a concession he will buy it, as he is just over the threshold …..if he gets his mum to dress him he will pass !


    I bought parent and child for the St J game.



    Two of my favourite all time movies have been on in the last two consecutive nights – Bourne Supremacy on Friday , and Mad Max last night. I am now trying to find a channel with Star Wars on , as this is in my top 3.


    PS, just to clarify, I didn’t see in the bells watching, Mad Max – I was on taxi duty !

  2. the_huddle says:


    1 January, 2012 at 23:12



    My issue too. I was 13 at the time tho.



    I actually remember much more of the night Jock Stein died and the night Scottish Football died (v Wales 10th September 85 & v Bulgaria 86 respectively) than my first Celtic game because of it. That date though, is quite significant in my memories (James McFadden booting hell out of Balde at Fir Park in 2002 without punishment – a result ultimately losing us the league, as I said at the time (on here as ANOther???)) because it’s my birthday (and also one of Frank McGarvey’s nephews’).



    Have attended many a match with regret as I look back now, thinking that the memories are now somehow ‘stolen’ from a newspaper or TV replays. Says much for the Scottish psyche re alcohol :-(

  3. dirtymac says:


    1 January, 2012 at 22:51



    we’ll be a far better team once we have moved on those listed below and used the wages saved to bring in maybe another 2 quality players, as well as, foster and a back up keeper.



    free transfer in summer:









    m. wilson


    cha du rua




    hooivel (gone)







    for sale:







    commons (but i like him)







    once clear out is complete:



    gk – foster, (new back up)


    rb – mathews, lustig


    lb – izzy, charlie, black


    cb – wilson, rogne, charlie, lustig, victor, (new quality centreback)


    rm – forrest, brown, mathews, mcgeogh, lustig


    lm – forrest, charlie, ledley, samaras


    cm – kayal, ledley, brown, ki, victor, ledley, mcgeogh


    cf – hooper, stokes, samara, bangura, (new quality striker)



    so long as the 2 quality players are better than those moved out then we’ll be on to a winner



    p.s. we need to continue to bring in 1 maybe 2 quality young players every year to compensate for sell on.

  4. Celebrated the New year with Mrs Joad and some fantastic friends of a Celtic persuasion.



    Discussed all sorts, then they concluded that Motherwell would take something from Snake Mountain tomorrow. I said gentlemen, be sensible, don’t you know McCally’s record against the Gaffer, Coisty, McDowelly and Durranty?



    I tried to retell the stats to the best of my knowledge but they looked at me like I was lying and conspiring. I am beginning to doubt if they are true Celtic men.



    Please, if anyone has Stuart McCall’s record against all the SPL teams v his record against his former employees, can you post, I will be grateful.



    Thanks in advance




  5. p.s. we need to continue to bring in 1 maybe 2 quality young players every year to compensate for sell on.



    acadamy bhoys included in 1 or 2 quality players

  6. Evening all and a top of the league to you all.


    Going to Glasgow tomorrow with the misses looking for somewhere to watch gemme, would normally go to Failte but not sure it’s her scene although there’s nowt wrong with it. Was thinking Waxy’s but no sure if it will be full o undesirables any suggestions welcome. Ta


    Happy New Year

  7. martin42 says:


    1 January, 2012 at 22:08



    To all my friends,



    I wish you, one and all the best of everything in this year of Our Lord, 2112.












    That was some sleep you had last night, my friend. :>)



    RipVanWinkle CSC.

  8. martin42 says:


    1 January, 2012 at 22:10


    Kilbowie Kelt,



    Great game and remember it like yesterday.






    * me too Martin but hate to be pedantic but wasn’t the gemme in November 1966 and sir awex scored for the pars, in fact we were 2 goals down 3 times. Also 6 weeks prior to this we had a remarkable 5-3 victory at Easter Road with Joe scoring 4 and Stevie the other.

  9. Horse Renoir,



    I would head for the Admiral on Waterloo St, great boozer of a Celtic persuasion.


    I don’t think your other half would feel uncomfortable at all.



    Happy New Year !




  10. stephbhoy says:


    1 January, 2012 at 23:27



    Aye. Discussed this with AJCFC at work a good while back that we need a successful academy/purchase turnover of 2-3 players per year to cover for such as the predators from ‘bigger’ clubs rape us and those who retire. The latter being applicable for only another year?



    Is three players per year from the academy too much to ask? Add another three from purchases, giving us six new players each year, allowing a generous 50% fail rate.



    I think and feel that we have operated at this rate for some time now. Strange that only now, only since the front-loading orcdom has started to fall (and I cannot stress this enough: only started, they have not as yet fallen) on it’s knees are we seeing the results of such prudence of long term thought.



    Continue this way though and do we await similar in Europe before we attain an ascendency such a club as ours deserves (which is where, I do not now profess to know)? Must we await the death knell of those we would compete with before we actually compete with them?



    One would hope not. I would take the ManUniteds, the Reals and the Milans before fairplay gives us a full and honest fairplay. I am quite perverse in that respect – a GIRFUY type of guy.



    Fairplay, all-round nonetheless, would be pretty damn good on a global, or at least continental scale. :-)

  11. I see the SFA have incorporated UEFA FFP regulations into their own and made them public at






    Section 5






    is a key section as it describes the hurdles in Articles 47, 48, 50, 51 and 52 that need to be overcome by Rangers to get a licence, assuming that a set of audited accounts are provided by 8th April.



    UEFA Club Licensing – 04 UEFA Club Licensing Process


    2012 (2)



    4.2.8 Key Dates in the Process


    The process starts with the meeting of Review Body and ends on submission of the list of licensing decisions to UEFA.



    June/July 2011 – Meeting of Review Body.


    August – December 2011 – Approval of the Board and documents dispatched to licence applicants.



    December 2011 – 31 March 2012- Return of Licence applicant documents and their following assessment by the LM as well as the designated experts.



    31 March 2012- Return of all documentation from the licence applicant unless an earlier date is specified.



    8 April 2012- Final submission date for licence applicants for all documents relating to the UEFA criteria unless exceptional dispensation has been agreed by the Licensing Committee.



    15 April 2012– Scottish FA to communicate to UEFA the possibility of an SFL club qualifying for any of the UEFA Club Competitions.



    20 – 30 April 2012- Licensing Committee meets to consider all licence applications. NB The written representation to the SFA as detailed in the Financial Section 8.1.6 must be submitted a minimum of 7 days prior to the date set for the meeting of the Licensing Committee and this is highlighted in the “Club Report” to licence applicants following the audit.



    5 – 25 May 2012- Appellate Tribunal meets to consider any licence applicant appeals.


    31 May 2012– Scottish FA to provide UEFA with its list of licensing decisions


    Fill yer boots.

  12. Tommy Joad



    Here’s some stats:



    Motherwell in 19 SPL games this season have won 10, drawn 4 and lost 5. Scored 24, conceded 21. That’s a team who grind out results and keep it tight.



    Last 5 games against the Huns? Lost all 5, scoring 2 and conceding 22.



    In comparison, against us they lost 4 and won 1, scoring 3, and conceding 11 (half the hun rate).

  13. M42



    there was a man on facebook giving away secrets all day today




    did the steak pie live up to the family recipe?



    We need to know…

  14. How easy is this making money.


    Darts semi final, Lewis v Wade, finishing double red or green, each leg red 1/3, green 9/4, only 5 legs so far green, money for free, how feckin sad am I ?


    Still winning though :>)

  15. Paddy Gallagher on

    A man is stood at the bar having a pint when he hears from the next room ” 432 ” , ” 398 “, ” 237 ” ,” 443 “, ” 332 game ”


    He asks the barman whats going on ?


    ” Oh they are playing Darts 1001 ”


    ” Wow ” says the man ” With them scores they must be good !”


    ” Not really ” says the barman ” They are using Hedgehogs “

  16. BT


    Nae bother!


    Pint waitin’ for ye in the TOCSC.


    If big Tony disnae nail it:)



    Paddy Gallagher


    Great stuff…My ma had 4 brothers – all whistle playin’ brickies…I relate tae the craic.


    Happy new year



  17. Paddy Gallagher on

    Teuchter ár lá says:



    2 January, 2012 at 00:10



    Happy new year to you and yours mate.


    Asked the bar man in that pub to call me a taxi about 4 in the morning.


    Sean (whistle player) in the video told him not to bother and he would get us sorted.


    Local Ambulance with his mate driving picked us up and run us all home.


    Great times :-))

  18. Paddy Gallagher on

    THE EXILED TIM says:



    2 January, 2012 at 00:13



    My very best wishes to you and your family big pal, if you want anything picked up and posted, please let me know.


    Anything legal but excluding Mothers Pride He He…

  19. theweegreenman on




    Does that mean TFOD will be out of Europe this year then as


    they owe HMRC?

  20. Paddy Gallagher on

    Teuchter ár lá says:



    2 January, 2012 at 00:20



    Good man, I am feeling very nostalgic tonight and would gladly swap 10 years of my life for one more night in Bundoran with my father.


    Big Celtic man, in fact a very big man. Every time he got up to sing in a pub the whole place would fall into silent respect. A very talented man who loved entertaining people and sharing his time. He was very special and would always be welcomed in Bundoran like a favourite son.

  21. Auld Neil Lennon heid says:


    1 January, 2012 at 23:46



    The SFa have been making strides, it has to be said, towards that for a number of years. Their licensing scheme, unfortunately, has been based on the Uefa guidelines which all SPL clubs currently pass, but unfortunately a number of SFL clubs don’t. The effect of the SFA (dilution to SPL/SFL) is that no SPL club is penalised for financial mismanagement until it is too late to intervene whereas a club like Brechin City is forced to spend a quarter of it’s turnover two widen it’s pitch to Uefa standards.



    Do not place any faith in the Uefa FFp guidelines: they are not there to ensure fair play. Or at least, they are, in a singular aspect (clue as is in: Rangers, financial doping corrupt: ok, Brechin City, honest and toiling: not)

  22. dirtymac says


    1 January, 2012 at 23:38



    i’d say 6 new young players is too much and sends the wrong message to the youth. homework should reduce risk of bringing in players that wont make the grade. we should identify only those that can make it and then support them to produce, thing about youth is that with time, so long as they have the right qualities they will come good. looking at our first team right now proves that its what you buy not how many you buy. sometimes that means you spent 1 million on 18/19/20/21 year olds.



    several quality established players in the team, at all times, will help and as the team progress celtic move forward in a footballing sense. if successful this cycle leads to players being sold for profit and so long as the right young players are bought at beginning then the cycle commences again.



    use profit from player sale to increase revenue via the building of bars/restuarants/cafes/ museum and hotel, better internet/ t.v system



    improve matchday by installing heating system for fans/ maybe cheaper prices = return to 56,000 SB



    increased revenue leads to more money being in place for first team = more established players mixed with quality young players and standard of team and potential success increase as does potential sales



    players trade should be one way of increasing income it should not be the only way given our fan base and the size of glasgow.



    we may never be able to compete financially with the big clubs from england, germeny, spain and italy, however, we should be able to, with the right investment, increase income to the stage that we can compete financially with the midtable teams in these leagues.



    if the talk of ki going for 8.5 million is real i’d punt him as the first stage in this process, we either move forward off the park or we’ll forever play second fiddle to piss poor teams, maybe not a popular thought but the long game is just as important as right now.

  23. Paddy Gallagher on

    ßjmac ♥ Kano 1000 °¿° says:



    2 January, 2012 at 00:21



    Harry who always takes great pleasure in being on the green side of the sod is a very special guy. If you were to meet him I promise you would never forget him. I am very proud he calls me friend ;-))

  24. theweegreenman says:


    2 January, 2012 at 00:22



    Anything under ‘appeal’ is not owed as far at FFp is concerned.



    It’s a bucket of sh!t, to be honest. Uefa know very well that a number of clubs have been, erm, piddling against their rules re social taxation and responsibility for any number of years (you could probably, without too much digging, write off several CL winners on the basis of genuine fair play).



    Uefa, had they any balls, would debar Madrid ad infinitum. And several clubs reaching a Cl-semi-final (including at least three whom we played dating to 2001) That they are ruled by the dollar, means they will not.



    Uefa = Big Badda Boom Cosm.


    Orcs/Cosy SFA = micro Cosm.



    Uefa cannot debar orcdom until SFA do.



    That will happen. almost, but not, pmsl_cos_crying_CSC :-(

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