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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. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    Interesting..!!!

     

     

    “Oh what a tangled web they weaved to protect the cheats by deceitful ways.

     

     

     

    That stench you’ve been smelling throughout Scottish football – for all these years – has finally been isolated and narrowed down to just two areas of Glasgow; Ibrox and Hampden. Both these areas completely ran out of air-fresheners some time ago but, they’ve been frantically telling anyone who would listen that the rancid odours assaulting ones nasal passages were actually just the whiff of the finest succulent lamb being prepared in the respective kitchens of both establishments.

     

     

     

    Having failed spectacularly to convince anyone over the source of said stench, they then did what any self respecting liars would do by trying to redefine what actually constituted a ‘stench’ in the first place. However, should that cunning ruse fail to convince, they have decided to just reconstruct the various levels of stench so that the manure foundation doesn’t taint or constrict the new weed which they want to grow and prosper at the expense of all the other flowers in the garden.

     

     

     

    It makes no difference whether it is a statement from the SFA, SPL or SFL because every utterance that slithers its way out of their shared offices at Hampden is either an outright lie, an embellishment, a direct threat, an intended bribe or a deliberate exaggeration of the facts.

     

     

     

    There is nothing that Neil Doncaster, Stewart Regan, David Longmuir, Campbell Ogilvie and Jim Ballantyne (amongst others ) would not attempt to pervert in order to give Sevco Scotland Ltd as soft a landing and at as high an altitude as possible.

     

     

     

    The sheer scale and depth of the collusion and complete disregard for their own rules is best exemplified by SFA president, Campbell Ogilvie, and SFL President, Jim Ballantyne, both being shareholders in the tax cheats and dual contract specialists formerly known as Rangers FC.

     

     

     

    Most shockingly of all, though, Oglivie was actually a significant beneficiary of the Rangers EBT scheme yet is still allowed to influence this charade as President of the National association. With the full backing of his shameless Chief Executive, Stewart Regan. I might add.

     

     

     

    Allowing the con and scam artists at the SFA, SPL and SFL to continue to oversee this is akin to asking Al Capone to police himself, prosecute himself and then decide on what punishment he should receive before finally announcing that, seeing as he has since changed his name to Sevco Capone, he now has no case to answer! And should, in actual fact, now be parachuted into a position as a Supreme Court Judge – where he would then rule that he also be allowed to keep all the ill-gotten gains of Al Capone (deceased and now sleeping with the fishes) because ‘it is in the best interests of criminals everywhere’.

     

     

     

    The SFA had already corrupted their own rules, regulations and articles of association by granting Rangers a licence to play in last seasons competitions – both domestically and in Europe – when the small matter of the outstanding ‘wee tax bill’ was deliberately ignored, then fudged, and then shamelessly excused with a nod and wink and a handshake when this blatant breach was inconveniently pointed out to them.

     

     

     

    It should also not be forgotten that it was this issue which led directly to Stewart Regan blocking people from his Twitter account. Lie, deny, deflect and then block.

     

     

     

    Lets now look at how that first licence lie then snowballed into a ever increasing series of Rangers cluster bombs:

     

     

     

    Denying other member clubs European places and monies.

     

    Trading whilst insolvent.

     

    Competing whilst wilfully withholding all tax and national insurance contributions.

     

    Not paying football debts as they fell due.

     

    Failure to produce up-to-date accounts.

     

    A club – and administrators – happily sticking two fingers up at authorities and creditors alike.

     

     

     

    The cowards in those shared Hampden offices had all the facts and evidence to kill Rangers off, once and for all, at the end of last season. That they all chose not to do so merely underlines their shared complicity in the ongoing Rangers Protection Racket and the corruption at the very top levels of our game.

     

     

     

    Still no action taken over the use of dual contracts and the improper registrations of players. Still no action or punishment for taking the National association to court. Still no action against various representatives of Rangers/Sevco issuing threats and attempting to incite mob violence against employees and directors of other member clubs.

     

     

     

    No, instead of finally getting around to taking any action against Rangers/Sevco the Scottish footballing authorities instead decided to drop any pretence of impartiality and actually joined Rangers/Sevco in issuing direct threats to the member clubs of all divisions.

     

     

     

    That simply cannot be allowed to go unchallenged and unpunished.

     

     

     

    I hope that supporters of all clubs will continue their great work by banding together to take those at the SFA and SPL, who were directly involved in this scam, to a court of law – where hopefully they will all be held fully accountable for their actions.

     

     

     

    You see, the thing about lies is that once you start telling them you are then left with no choice but to continue to perpetuate the initial lie – unless you admit the lie, of course. But the SFA don’t do admitting liability. That’s because they are the liability. And the only way a liar can later deny a lie is by telling an even bigger lie in an attempt to reinforce and cover for the first one. The SFA are past – and present – masters of this dark art.”

  2. Salamat tahun baru from Idonesia. Surely super ally is mentioned in the honours(dis) list.

     

     

    In just over a year he has taken his team (you name them) from 15 point lead to a 119 point deficit. IT has got to be a WORLD RECORD and worthy of being awarded.

     

    Good to read CQN and thanks for all your good work Paul and best wishes for 2013

  3. I think Hoiveld has been found out in EPL,not quoted anymore.Championship level at best.

  4. craggy island gaa on

    !!Bada Bing!!

     

     

    Happy New Year to you and yours.

     

     

    Sorry, was off enjoying Steak Pie and mash, followed by Jaconellis Ice Cream and meringue!

     

     

    officiallystuffedcsc

  5. 67Heaven … I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors

     

     

    Where’s that from 67, good stuff, this battle ain’t over no matter how well we as a Club are doing..

  6. *THE KING VIC 67* on

    9/2 for the saints to win…

     

     

    Got to be worth a punt against a shakey Arsenal?

     

     

    C’mon the holy goalie… You scored for the Bhoys, you can do the same tonight!

     

     

    CQN roast potato recipe being tried as we speak!!

     

     

    Hh

  7. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    Phil tweeted Vavel.com site, for another reason…… I went into the UK VERSION and saw this artice by Stuart Girvan

  8. TimsinOhio from earlier –

     

     

    No problems, good luck!

     

     

    EDB –

     

     

    Cheers my friend, all the best to you and your family.

     

     

    Ulcyr

  9. Happy New Year to all CQNrs! I wish Paul 67, all of you and the Mighty Celts a healthy and successful 2013.

     

     

    May your God bless you and yours.

     

     

    Gerry

  10. *THE KING VIC 67* on

    !!bada bing!!

     

     

    19:00 on

     

    1 January, 2013

     

    King Vic -Lambert just got subbed mate.

     

    ————-

     

     

    Thanks mate,

     

     

    Mrs KV67 just put it on!!

     

     

    (Guaranteed way to make money betting is not to follow me!)

  11. The Moon Bhoys on

    A happy and prosperous new year to all Celtic supporters and a continuation of hell on earth for all sevconians.

  12. No word on Chuck yet?

     

     

    No demand for an apology yet ?

     

     

    Come on Chuckie boy , make our day!

     

     

    Think he is bricking it!!!

  13. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on

    67heaven,

     

    Problem being everyone who sat on the boards was guilty by association and complicit if they did not resign in a storm of publicity

  14. Just read Chucks new year message……. No demand for an apology in there, he has definitely bricked it.

     

     

    This will not go down well with the Sevconian hordes, the cracks will begin to show in the love in between them, when will administration be in 2013?

  15. Tim Malone Will Tell on

    Belated Happy New Year to all.

     

     

    The article 67Heaven posted hits the nail on the head regarding the SFA. The immediate objective for any decent fan last year was to limit the cheating in Rangers/Sevco fiasco – and the fans in their many thousands ensured that the cosy stitch-up was at least partially avoided.

     

     

    The target for fans of all clubs this year should be the SFA – time for big changes. Sevco actually hide behind the SFA’s skirts so its time that the governing body was either reformed or replaced.

     

     

    The obvious place to start is by ensuring no re-election for Campbell Ogilivie under any circumstances – fans trusts must lobby their clubs to ensure that a credible alternative is put forward.

     

     

    See, any way you look at the EBT scandal, Ogilvie is a disgrace. Either Hector wins the appeal and the SFA President is guilty of tax evasion and owes HMRC £40K in income tax – or at best (for him) the SFA President is complicit in an elaborate tax avoidance scheme and owes the Rangers trust £100k (and does he have any intention of repaying?)

     

     

    When you look at the bald facts, the whole situation is scandalous and Ogilvies’ position ought to be untenable. How can RCO still be in a job? If this had happened in England, he would have cleared his desk well before the start of the summer.

     

     

    So lets make sure that there is a very publicly voiced and concerted campaign to remove Ogilive – that should be a very tangible and achievable near term objective if fans of all clubs can unite for change.

  16. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on

    Hopefully no one will taint this blog with the article

  17. if i recall one mr eric riley is a sfa man and mr lawell is a

     

    member of professional game board, why did they not resign over

     

    sevco fast tracking in to league football? well i am assuming

     

    ofcourse that they objected to bending/breaking of rules but then maybe they did not, any one know?

  18. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on

    No read it, don’t want to read it and would rather scroll by the link than the article

  19. Burghbhoy

     

     

    It took me long enough to master it, tis simple once you know how.

     

     

    When you are on the site just copy the link by right clicking it, it will be highlighted in blue, and then paste it where you want, try it :>)

  20. i am sorry if some might not like me saying this about our leaders but i think we need to know if they agreed to these

     

    actions and if not has it been recorded in minutes and if not why not.

  21. Happy New year to all CQN’rs. Just arrived in Glasgow later than expected due to an attack of Norovirus. Just been in a pub for the first time called the Belle on Gt Western Rd, I think it was mentioned on here a few days ago in a post by a fellow CQN’r. Attracted to it by a sign for Krusovice beer. Met an African Belgian at the bar, excellent company who supported both Anderlecht and the Bhoys. As he said ” Bobo’s gonna get you” in a French accent accent and insisted in buying drink despite my protestations and telling him that I had to get back to the hotel for mrs PMTYH and the Bhoy. Will definitely revisit the Belle, full of Teuchters mind you.

  22. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on

    TET,

     

    Hope yours is trouble free and full of joy

     

    Hail Hail

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