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State of the Club Report, year-end 2012

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My friends in Celtic, pause for a few moments and peruse your domain.  On the field of play your favourites matured into accomplished football players.  2011 ended with an acclaimed Joe Ledley header confirming what we already knew, Celtic were the best team in the land.

Despite ‘losing’ the previous three league titles Celtic held firm in the January transfer window; a difficult decision.  We needed to win the league – at any credible cost – but without jeopardising the financial stability of the club.  More than sporting form was under debate on these pages at the turn of the year, continents were shifting.

Since 2004 readers of Celtic Quick News have read the gospel of financial responsibility.  Bills need to be paid, debt cannot be allowed to rise year after year without enormous consequences.  Back then we asserted that Rangers would crash and burn.  By 2008 we predicted they were on course to go out of business.  This message was not always welcome among our own.  It was mocked by some, who demanded ever-higher spending to match the Murray Millions, but on 1 January 2012 there was scarcely a Celtic fan alive who didn’t think Rangers were going out of business.  It was only a question of when.

When the crash was confirmed, on St Valentine’s Day, Scottish football embarked on a remarkable period of soul-searching.  Rangers last owner, Craig Whyte, had a plan, which we explained in some detail in 2011.  Whyte subsequently revealed he met with SPL directors, Neil Doncaster and Ralph Topping in October 2011, told them the likelihood that Rangers would go into liquidation, and asked them to back a plan to catapult a Newco-Rangers into the SPL.

The plan was nonsense.  Whyte should have been sent away with told to pay his bills but Doncaster was oceans out of his depth.  A fait-accompli would be presented to the SPL clubs, vote to change the rules and elect a Newco into the top flight, or deal with “Armageddon”.

Football eventually did the right thing, as many, perhaps most, Rangers fans wanted all along, but hundreds of scribes attached themselves to Whyte’s Cunning Plan, which was presented as a bastion of responsibility, not the work of deception it was.  The fight-back started on these pages.  Soon it encompassed fans of every club in Scotland and the SPL clubs have no choice but to stick with the established rules.

Rangers creditors voted against a CVA and liquidators were appointed.  Pop, and they were gone!  Football fans of every colour, who has endured defeat to Rangers but still asserted that expenditure must be limited to income, enjoyed three seconds of glory as they turned to the bling-addicts beside them and said, “Told you”.

A man from Yorkshire with a group of partially-known investors nipped in ahead of various groups of Rangers fans to secure the assets of the club.  Evidence suggests he believed the club would achieve a CVA (the assertion that “the history, the tradition, everything that’s great about this club is swept aside” if they were to be liquidated confirms this), but he bid more than any group of Rangers fans for the liquidated assets so ended up with an opportunity to issue himself with 5 million shares worth 70p each a few months later.  Beautiful.

We’re on our own.

Celtic began as the solitary voice at SPL meetings speaking against Whyte’s plan.  They were not responsible for the demise of Rangers, but let the record show, when the moment of reckoning arrived, the Celtic board liquidated the Old Firm.

On the field of play we were a well-oiled machine.  Our first league title in four seasons arrived with consummate ease.  Kilmarnock showed what a well-drilled team could do in the League Cup final, with a little help from a last minute blind-spot when Anthony Stokes had his legs whipped from him in the box, but let’s be generous, you know it, I know it, we would have missed the penalty anyway.

Last minute Hampden penalty decisions would crop up again in the Scottish Cup, when the whole Deliberate Handball rule was cast asunder, but refereeing is always been an emerging art in these parts.

The new season, our first ever as the only superpower in the Scottish game, held one major challenge – qualify for the Champions League.  Four wins in four qualifying games was better than expected, so the team who were slapped by Sion, attacked by Atletico and usurped by Udinese a year earlier, were in the Champions League.

Be generous to those who dismissed our chances.  One poor guy writing the ITVFootball tweets wrote “Bye bye Celtic” on the day we were drawn against Spartak Moscow, Benfica and Barcelona.  Based on the evidence available, it was a fair call.

It is nothing short of fantastic, in the literal sense, that we qualified out of that group.  Even now, halfway through the season, Barcelona have lost only one competitive game, when Victor Wanyama, Tony Watt and their pals ripped up the form book.  It took Barca until the 93rd minute to secure a win over Celtic in the Camp Nou, or they would have three competitive draws on their record for this season, one to Real Madrid in the league, and a meaningless draw against Benfica being the only two.

I honestly thing we have overachieved in Europe this season.  Neil Lennon and his players got everything right.  The corner and free kicks from Charlie were immense.  No one in Europe does better (some supporting evidence here).  Forget the more fancied thoroughbreds, Charlie Mulgrew is our Moneyball player, a team full of them and we’ll win the Big Cup.

Victor’s leap and Tony’s finish will be replayed in our minds for years.  Despite leaving ample hints, the DVD didn’t materialise at Christmas.  Georgios has scored in all of our five European away games, a record.

Expectations will rise as a result of these achievements but we got so many things absolutely right in this Champions League campaign the odds against doing so again next season are high.  Celtic will need to start preparing for next season’s Champions League now if they are to have any chance of remaining in the tournament next Hogmanay.  If we were operating at 90% capacity we would have finished bottom with one or two points.  As for Juventus, bring them on.

These end-of-year reports are often a lot less encouraging.  2010 was far from easy reading, the distance we have travelled since 2010’s is incredible.  Celtic end 2012 as one of the most admired clubs in the European game.  We develop great players, compete against the best better than anyone else, and have a sense of purpose which will never be extinguished.

Take care and may 2013 bring you all that you hope for.

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  1. Nuclear Bovril and a Half Munched Pie on

    A great summation Paul

     

     

    This has been a particularly FANTASTIC year to be a Celtic supporter.

     

     

    All the best to you and yours and all CQNers far n wide.

  2. BobbyRussell @ 12:06

     

     

    “It`ll be all over the web at this rate.”

     

     

    —-

     

     

    :)) If spiders are responsible for the interweb, who is responsible for the abundance of spin in the rags…..

     

     

    I’ll tell you who – the tangle web spinners:

     

     

    “”Theridiidae is a large family of spiders, also known as the tangle-web spiders, cobweb spiders and comb-footed spiders. The diverse family includes over 2200 species in over 100 genera)[3] of three-dimensional space-web-builders found throughout the world. Theridiid spiders are entelegyne (have a genital plate in the female) araneomorph ecribellate (use sticky capture silk instead of woolly silk) spiders that often build tangle space webs and have a comb of serrated bristles (setae) on the tarsus of the fourth leg.

     

     

    The family includes some model organisms for research, for example, the genus Latrodectus, the medically important widow spiders. In addition to studies characterizing their venom and its clinical manifestation, widow spiders are broadly used in research on spider silk, and on sexual biology including sexual cannibalism.”

     

     

    There you have it, Jabba and co can be collectively referred to as “Theridiidae”, not to be pronounced as “the Riddy Diddy”, or [singular] The Riddy ‘Eid…or mibbes they can.

     

     

    Excellent summary Paul67 – thanks for another great year of the finest website on the planet – no mean feat.

     

     

    Best wishes to everyone for 2013 !

  3. Paul67.best wishes for the new year ahead to you and yours and all the Celtic family wherever they may be.

     

     

    The msm coverage of the Dundee trip and some of our fans misbehaviour is completely over the top..so in comparison heres an interesting stat..more ” fans” were arrested [6]at Take Thats opening concert at hampden last year than were lifted at Dens park.

  4. Paul67 …… Another fine article to end the year.

     

     

    Thanks for a great site and all the work you put into it .

     

     

    A happy New Year to all on cqn and Celtic fans everywere .

     

     

    Roll onto to a victorius 2013 and hopefully a treble , with a victory

     

    against Juve thrown in .

     

     

    Hail Hail…………

  5. Hi Paul67,

     

     

    The best to you & yours.

     

     

    Many thanks for providing this Forum for us.

     

     

    Hail! Hail!

  6. Jungle Jim

     

     

    13:19 on 31 December, 2012

     

     

    ‘When I lived in England, a small irritation was that people could not wait for the New Year to arrive before wishing one a Happy New Year. I see the trait has moved North of the border.’

     

     

     

     

    Is it too early for a poppy debate?

  7. Hope to hear more from Juve ex-players over the next few weeks belittling Celtic. No need for our ex-players to defend us either after all we’ve already beaten an italian team in a european final (=8

     

     

    Nothing motivates a Scot more than someone from a bigger country saying we’re crap, and nothing de-motivates a footballer more than some ex-player who hasn’t kicked a ball in 30 years saying their next game will be easy.

     

     

    More comments from Platini like “Juventus are already in the next round” between now and the 1st leg will be very welcome.

     

     

    I know this is a long shot but we should be looking to compile a database of ex-Juve players and interview them all giving each of them a chance to echo Platini’s words.

     

     

    Happy New Year!!

     

     

    DressingroomwallpapershouldbeeasytofindCSC

  8. Aye, we’re not where we are by accident; we haven’t just stumbled into the last 16 of The CL.

     

    HH!….and A Happy New Year to all!

  9. Paul – all the best to you and your family for 2013 and of course to all CQNers. Paul, would be interested in your thoughts on how the Club put some of the media in place with regard to the negative stories. I did think that ESPN sank to new depths with their coverage last week at Dens. Craigan must get up the nose of almost every fan never mind just us. Do you think Celtic are doing things in the background to combat situation?

  10. Gene's a Bhoys name on

    jungle Jim

     

    I live in engerland so can i be the first to wish you a Happy and Blessed Easter 2013

     

     

    well there are hot cross buns at our local sainsburys

  11. Nuclear Bovril and a Half Munched Pie on

    Unbroken.

     

     

    Bampot.

     

     

    History.

     

     

    Champions.

     

     

    Last 16.

     

     

    Deid!

     

     

    Wow! Wow! Wow!

     

     

    Just some of my favourite words from 2012

  12. Well Done, Paul67,

     

     

    A great review of a GREAT year in Celtic’s history.

     

    Who could have believed the things that have changed in twelve short months ?

     

    Your blog has given us the opportunity to enjoy these events in the company of Tims all around the world.

     

    Sometimes we allow our Celtic nature to get slightly overheated & we have to deal with the occasional family squabble.

     

    Every family has these blips.

     

    Watching the generosity of spirit which is displayed so regularly is genuinely uplifting.

     

    Thanks to YOU for giving us this site & to CQNers everywhere for the spirit in which most of our exchanges are conducted.

     

     

    Happy 2013 to EVERYBODY.

  13. Nuclear Bovril and a Half Munched Pie on

    Treble

     

     

    Last 8

     

     

    Wemberlee

     

     

    Deid(er)!

     

     

    Some words I hope to be using in 2013

  14. ESPN is a subsidiary of Disney believe it or not.

     

     

    It might help explain some of the re-writing of history and fantasy stories regarding a game of football. It also means Burley is the Scots fuzball version of Goofy.

  15. More often than not a lurker these days but FWIW:

     

     

    Before the advent of internet media platforms the football/sports departments of Scottish newspapers and radio stations had a relatively comfortable and easy outlook. With so many journalists or editors having at the very least a leaning towards Rangers, the policy of pandering to the Rangers’ support while playing to the “they’re all against us” mentality of the Celtic support paid dividends in the volume of readers and listeners feeding on predetermined output. Lazy businesses selling tired but proven products to complacent, often compliant customers.

     

     

    Time and technology have moved on. Celtic fans are no longer a disenfranchised minority in Scotland but are an integral part of a recognised and celebrated worldwide community of supporters. The Celtic Family consistently prove that Celtic are more than just a football club. Celtic’s international reputation and standing is a phenomenon, especially for a club that is currently based in such a marginal league.

     

     

    With Rangers in liquidation, Celtic are the dominant and most successful Scottish football club. With good management on and off the park, that position should be secure for the foreseeable future.

     

     

    Newspapers and radio stations may continue to deliver their predetermined output to an ever dwindling and increasingly isolated audience. New club The Rangers, if they remain on their current path, will be an increasingly bitter irrelevance. Great clubs are built on sporting integrity, sporting excellence and inclusivity.

     

     

    Football supporters want impartial and informed output from their established local, national and international media outlets. Internet media platforms can now deliver this in addition to appropriate, more partisan fare. There is no need to sustain an established media that continues to deliver tired, outdated and biased products.

     

     

    Football supporters can facilitate change. This is not about wanting output that is biased towards Celtic or any other club. It is about wanting balanced, informed and entertaining quality output of a professional standard.

     

     

    Resolve to exercise your rights as a customer. Scotland’s established football and sports media can change or die.

     

     

    Thanks Paul for all your efforts and for affording us this privilege.

     

     

    Best wishes for the New Year.

     

     

    Chris

  16. pual67 this has been the best year in donkeys to be a tim …also my first year on cqn ,thank you very much paul for letting CQN be a wonderful part of my daily routine.Also may i thank all the cqners too its been great fun and as always proud to be a cqner,and all that goes with it……..have a happy and hoopy new year as i raise a glass to those that are no logers with us…KTF

  17. corkcelt

     

    Let me say first of all that this is not an important issue (other than it reflects the can`t wait element of society) so if you feel like saying HNY before New Year, Happy Christmas before Christmas and Happy Birthday before a birthday then that is your choice. I do it on or after.

     

     

    ernie lynch

     

    Never the wrong time for a poppy debate. I detest the way it is conducted these days 0:-)Might not be too long before Christmas, Hogmanay and my birthday are all hijacked by the right wing anyway!

     

     

    JJ

     

     

    JJ

  18. pggtips@ 13 34.

     

     

    Platini ?

     

     

    Not the brightest button in the box Is it now OK for UEFA employees to comment on the result of a Champions League tie before the tie has been played ?.

     

     

    Compare with Pavel Nedved ———-[ Juve legend / current member of the Board of Directors at Juve ]

     

     

    ” Celtic ? I see the media think we got an easy draw . I think that is nonsense . They beat a good Russian team home and away , they beat Barca in Glasgow and only lost to a very late goal in Barcelona . Celtic are a good team . Their stadium is an inferno. A good Juve team shipped 4 goals in Glasgow . We should not underestimate them , we will not underestimate them.”

  19. Paul67

     

     

    Its been a historic year for scottish football. Possibly bigger than 1967.

     

     

    Full of hope into 2013…… Onwards and upwards for the famous glasgow celtic .

     

     

    All the best to you and yours paul… Especially martin ;)

  20. South Of Tunis @14:00 I’m all for freedom of speech but do I wish someone would shut that Pave Nedved up until mid-March. He’s taking it too far.

     

    Happy Hogmanay.

  21. Paul67

     

     

    Nicely Done.

     

     

    I have never seen anything close to the Celtic v Barcelona 125th birthday game the display, and the second goal in particular, was a Celtic pinnacle.

     

     

    Still can’t believe it all happened and things ‘panned’ out for them, precisely as predicted on CQN.

     

     

    I feel 2013 will bring more happiness in Timdom and hope Scotland’s ‘No to Sevco’ vote continues despite the equally dead media, but would love Celtic and one or two other big

     

    Scottish clubs to leave it all behind in a new regional league, one day.

  22. Paul67

     

     

    I won’t wish you a Happy New year Yet as I’ll follow Jungle Jim’s guidance.

     

     

    On a day when propaganda against our club was copied and pasted from the Record and when one of our own contributors professes his willingness to fund this enemy rather than our club, your article is a timely defence of the financial responsibility we have been trying to show in this mad world.

     

     

    However, I must take issue with one major point you have glided over.

     

     

    You have made great play that our club was the only one to speak against the Craig Whyte plan which was promoted by Neil Doncaster. The opposition to the plan was spoken behind closed doors and the extent of it was never made known to the support.

     

     

    The real downfall of integrity in our game was the 5 way agreement which offered to give Sevco a place in the SPL, with continuity of Rangers’ history, at the expense of a few titles stripped from the official record.

     

     

    Sevco agreed to half of this deal, accepting continuity of history, but reneged on the title stripping part when the colluders could not deliver on the SPL continuity part.

     

     

    Celtic remained silent throughout this stitch-up and, if they were not in favour of it, they did nothing to indicate that it had anything to do with them, far less that they were in disagreement with it.

     

     

    In a year when so much has gone right for us, we are still a disunited support. We have witnessed the administrators of our national game collude against us and all other clubs bar Sevco. We have seen those administrators supported by the Media in this country with barely a noise from Kerrydale Street.

     

     

    You will not be offered a voice for long in our National Press, TV or radio stations unless you agree to the narrative that The Rangers in Div. 3 are the same as they always were and that Business Law has a novel concept now which recognises a duality between company and club whereby one can continue separate of the other. How will any club secure loans and finance knowing that this escape route is open to all? Or was this a one-off loophole that will soon be closed to all non-Sevcovian clubs?

     

     

    As I say, I cannot accept the logic of why our club remained silent in the face of this stitch up. I have searched for a motive to excuse them but I have never convinced myself. I thought they may know that Sevco are going to go bankrupt again and do not wish to bring undue hassle on themselves but the glowing references on their Share Issue on Business pages and the thought that Charlie Green, running the club in the same frugal manner he ran Sheffield United, can easily bring them back to the SPL in 2 or 3 years with an embittered and vengeful fan base intent on causing havoc, makes me pause for thought in my celebration of Celtic successes this year.

     

     

    Can you offer any hope that our club knows things about how this is likely to play out, that I do not? I had foreseen a future whereby the continuity of Rangers was a fiction believed only by fans of that club and that all other football fans and the official record would show they were dead.

     

     

    Instead I feel I am likely to be facing a future where the official record, all media outlets, and most fans, wearied by a losing battle, will accept that they still exist in continuity, and only a small rump of Celtic fans cling to a contrary belief in the face of the Official record and its powerful propagandists, and a silent Celtic club.

     

     

    You have written “They (Celtic) were not responsible for the demise of Rangers, but let the record show, when the moment of reckoning arrived, the Celtic board liquidated the Old Firm.”

     

     

    Yet when our Chairman was asked for guarantees that he would not seek future joint sponsorships he chose to miss the historic opportunity to quietly distance himself from any perceived close relationship.

     

     

    In the eyes of our fans and the wider Scottish football community, those two events, the 5 way agreement and our AGM, did nothing to support the quote I highlight above.

  23. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    A67

     

     

    I think we can already deduce that FFP has decided that the newco route with complete demotion is acceptable to them.

     

     

    The Lord Nimmo tribunial is an SPL tribunial and therefore has no jurisdiction over Sevco. They can only make recommendations that the SFA can either accept or not. If they do not accept the recommendations then it will be interesting to see how UEFA react to the SFA’s inertia.

     

     

    I predict further delays with the SPL inquiry due to the still debatable status over EBTs but recognise that it also presents an ideał opportunity to sweep it under the carpet before they are if ever labelled as an illegal tax dodge. It also deals with the problem of their recommendations being presented to an organisation whose president is an EBT beneficiary and whose chief executive also exhibited a peculiar lack of understanding with regards integrity towards the Scottish game due to financial constraints which is in direct opposition to one of the main FFP statutes.

     

     

    That the ECA has demoted Sevco to an ordinary member but still kept them under thier umbrella is an interesting point. Has Sevco paid off all their foreign debt ? A very important point that I personally have never seen clarification upon and no journalist …do you hear me Phil …. has never sought an answer too ?

     

     

    This I feel is the cruix of the matter. I.E financial contagion. The SFA can threaten any dissenting Scottish club with expulsion but not a foreign association or club. How UEFA or the ECA smooth this over is anyones guess. I am assuming that all foreign debts have indeed been settled.

     

     

    The eyes of the corrupt football world will be gazing upon the SPL inquiry. Especially the likes of Abramovich and the numerous oil sheiks to determine how serious UEFA will be implementing FFP.

     

     

    I see it as absolutely no coincedence that the other two members of the SPL panel due to sit together with Lord Nimmo QC at the beginning of February namely Charles Flint QC and Nicholas Stewart QC are active members of the UEFA financial comittee and the UEFA license committee respectively which should bring a little comfort to the conspiracy theorists amongst us with regards to UEFA not being próby as to what excatly was going on.

     

     

    Any fudges or dirty deals will not escape the public glare.

     

     

    Glad we are conversing again big man ;-)

     

     

    Hope you and yours have a prosperous new year.

     

     

    It cannot be better than 2012 can it ?

     

     

    13 unlucky for some ;-)

     

     

    HH

  24. Mrs B decided she’d get me a new super razor Mach27 thingy, but I’ve waited

     

    since Christmas Day to shave, so that I could test it properly.

     

     

    All well and good, face like nectarine, slapped on some of the ole Old Spice

     

     

    I was clinically blind for 10 minutes, curled in a ball on the bathroom floor and my face still hurts.

     

     

    Ow Ow just Ow CSC

  25. south of tunis,

     

     

    Excellent point on Platini’s faux pas.

     

     

    I have always believed that, no matter what league it is, that ambitious refs are keen to do their masters bidding.

     

     

    The way to (Mc.) curry favour, is to facilitate a result that will, a, please the boss, or, b, a result that will please the tournament organisers.

     

     

     

    Another wee bug bear, is that, when the SPL clubs eventually did the right thing over denying Them entry to tne SPL,they should have gone further and suspended relegation from this year’s competition.

     

     

    Dundee have been unfairly handicapped by not having time to prepare and budget for the SPL.

     

     

    This was due to the SFA,SPL,SFL, being prepared to ignore their own rules.

     

     

    Anyway, A Happy and Healthy New Year to all here, including those misguided of us. : > )

  26. South of Tunis

     

    Ntassoolla

     

    Pggtips2

     

     

    Nedved has particular reasons for his fears about playing us. He was subbed that night in Glasgow having had torn a brand new er*e. Of course we no longer have the services of Lubo nor Henrik but his pain is clearly still extant.

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