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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.

Have you ordered your CQN Annual yet? Get it here!

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  1. Big Bobo cemented Nedved early in that game,he hid out on the wing after that til he got subbed.

  2. Donegal Branch of CQN holding their Winter Gathering in Sean Og’s on Wednesday 2nd. January at 3.pm.

     

     

     

    All welcome, Noel90 is on the Bell.

  3. bournesouprecipie, Was it an Electric Thingy, last year Mrs. Corkcelt presented me with one of them, a super dooper one and after the first time I used it, I was as sore as a Hun’s ass. Thankfully I had more sense then to slap on Old Spice instead went for moisturiser. The good news is that my face got used to it fairly quickly and the problem didn’t reoccur. I thought about presenting her with an Electric Thingy this year to get revenge but common sense prevailed and I got her a watch.

  4. Tambourine Bhoy on

    Hello folks!

     

     

    It’s been a great year for Celtic (and the SPL) and may 2013 bring more positives to all that’s good about our game.

     

     

    Wishing you all a safe, but enjoyable night and a prosperous 2013. HH

     

     

    -Tambo

  5. Corkcelt

     

     

    What would your father have said if he thought you had been using moisturiser? How times change eh? :>)))

  6. The Battered Bunnet on

    SoT

     

     

    How’s yer snowball technique? I hear there’s been plenty opportunity to practice these last few days.

  7. The only way to deal with a bully is to confront them.The problem (still)in N.Ireland is that the loyalists are still being pandered to, much the same as in Scotland.These bullies will continue to bully because they are allowed to.I include the SNP in that mentality,along with the MSM and the “impartial” police.If you accept blows from such don’t be surprised the blows increase when no resistance is offered.I believe the Celtic Board played a blinder throughout the Sevco fiasco.I also believe they have turned the other cheek too often.As John Reid pointed out, we should not be treated differently. Unfortunatly all the evidence would seem to show an increase of hatred–and that is not a statement I would make lightly–against Celtic.Even ex-players you would expect to back the club do not do so.The ordinary suporter can do little other than use the internet or write to the papers(where allowed to-they closed that route as well)so the onus is on the Celtic Board to do so.Take any acrimony that comes with it, because they are getting it anyway.

  8. Afternoon all

     

     

    Paul, Interesting summation of what has been a strange old year. Winning the league last season, leading in this one by a decent margin and the performances in the CL have been terrific and yet it’s hard not to think it could have been better. Referees (yet again) played their part in this as have injuries but not the whole story. The team has not often played with the verve it did in the first two months of the year since. Perhaps the upcoming break will help- I would overall have taken what the Celtic team gave us in 2012 though. Thanks to Neil, Broonie, Sammi, Charlie, Victor, el Gran Murallo and all the rest. Just be even better this year Bhoys.

     

     

    As for the rest of the game much of what is wrong with this country’s game is self evident and riddled with uncertainty. I don’t have much time for Hearts but their possible demise is not something I wish to see. Other clubs may follow them into oblivion if the JTs fall.

     

     

    I read Keech Jackson’s article when it was posted on this blog earlier this morning and wondered if it was a spoof like the pastiche of Leggoland posted on Saturday.

     

     

    Like old Jingle Jangle I was not at Dens Park on Boxing Day but I have been to enough away matches to know fine well that amongst our support we have a Fintan Stack element in our support- the kind of ‘I’ve had my fun and that’s all that matters’ types who don’t care what their fellow fans and the club itself think or say. Such people exist everywhere i have ever lived or worked. But four arrested does not suggest mischief making on the scale suggested. Jackson and his ilk may dismiss as ‘whataboutery’ Celtic’s fans pointing out that the fans of the home side during the same game and by those of The Rangers during several recent games gas been less than perfect but it’s not. We at least can acknowledge that we have our faults.

     

     

    Which brings me to Keech’s favourite team. I have kind of lost track of what I am meant to call them but I think I like Zombies best. Comments by Jabba Traynor and Chuck Green prior to the non acceptance of the CVA say it all. They died. But still they walk amongst us. Even more obnoxious and impervious to rational criticism, censure and humour than before. Still pedalling their sectarian, racist excrescence with impunity but now with not even the pretence of disapproval from the Scottish media or football authorities. Their downfall in February this year was obviously sad for their fans but it should be acknowledged by them and their apologists that it was not just as a result of the actions of bug eyed loon/Machievelli Craig Whyte but because their club , for years, gained advantage over all their rivals by subscribing to a scheme that meant that Rangers did not pay tax they otherwise would have. Not a single damning word have I seen written or heard spoken in what is called the Mainstream Scottish Media about this. What makes them different from Jimmy Carr and Google? They cheated and that should never be allowed to be obscured.

     

     

    Sorry for rabbiting on so much ( I think my posts are better when I have had a drink or three) but whilst I think 2013 has much to offer Celtic I think that 2012 that the biggest mistake in Scottish Football’s history was made and it was the decision to allow the Z

  9. Afternoon all

     

     

    Paul, Interesting summation of what has been a strange old year. Winning the league last season, leading in this one by a decent margin and the performances in the CL have been terrific and yet it’s hard not to think it could have been better. Referees (yet again) played their part in this as have injuries but not the whole story. The team has not often played with the verve it did in the first two months of the year since. Perhaps the upcoming break will help- I would overall have taken what the Celtic team gave us in 2012 though. Thanks to Neil, Broonie, Sammi, Charlie, Victor, el Gran Murallo and all the rest. Just be even better this year Bhoys.

     

     

    As for the rest of the game much of what is wrong with this country’s game is self evident and riddled with uncertainty. I don’t have much time for Hearts but their possible demise is not something I wish to see. Other clubs may follow them into oblivion if the JTs fall.

     

     

    I read Keech Jackson’s article when it was posted on this blog earlier this morning and wondered if it was a spoof like the pastiche of Leggoland posted on Saturday.

     

     

    Like old Jingle Jangle I was not at Dens Park on Boxing Day but I have been to enough away matches to know fine well that amongst our support we have a Fintan Stack element in our support- the kind of ‘I’ve had my fun and that’s all that matters’ types who don’t care what their fellow fans and the club itself think or say. Such people exist everywhere i have ever lived or worked. But four arrested does not suggest mischief making on the scale suggested. Jackson and his ilk may dismiss as ‘whataboutery’ Celtic’s fans pointing out that the fans of the home side during the same game and by those of The Rangers during several recent games gas been less than perfect but it’s not. We at least can acknowledge that we have our faults.

     

     

    Which brings me to Keech’s favourite team. I have kind of lost track of what I am meant to call them but I think I like Zombies best. Comments by Jabba Traynor and Chuck Green prior to the non acceptance of the CVA say it all. They died. But still they walk amongst us. Even more obnoxious and impervious to rational criticism, censure and humour than before. Still pedalling their sectarian, racist excrescence with impunity but now with not even the pretence of disapproval from the Scottish media or football authorities. Their downfall in February this year was obviously sad for their fans but it should be acknowledged by them and their apologists that it was not just as a result of the actions of bug eyed loon/Machievelli Craig Whyte but because their club , for years, gained advantage over all their rivals by subscribing to a scheme that meant that Rangers did not pay tax they otherwise would have. Not a single damning word have I seen written or heard spoken in what is called the Mainstream Scottish Media about this. What makes them different from Jimmy Carr and Google? They cheated and that should never be allowed to be obscured.

     

     

    Sorry for rabbiting on so much ( I think my posts are better when I have had a drink or three) but whilst I think 2013 has much to offer Celtic I think that 2012 that the biggest mistake in Scottish Football’s history was made and it was the decision to allow the Zombies into Division 3

     

     

    H x 2

  10. Doctor Whatfor @14:14 thanks for the reminder. “… his (Nedved’s) pain is clearly still extant.”

     

     

    That made me laugh.

     

     

    Long may he suffer.

  11. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    SFTB

     

     

    If UEFA does not sweep it under the carpet then they may be willingly accepting a decade long series of litigations from parties that felt they were diddled. Clearly not from Celtic plc. but from ticket buyers and competing clubs who acted in good faith. The only course of action to avoid that scenario would be to lay the blame fully at the door of the SFA for obvious corruption and to expel it from European competition. Only then would I expect our board to pursue the courts if no allowance is made for Celtic FC to continue competing in Europe. It will not happen we will do a Rapid Vienna vodka bottle and swallow it all up and be lectured yet again on being careful what we wish for.

     

     

    HH

  12. .

     

     

    vmhan

     

     

    13:07 on 31 December, 2012

     

    Happy New Year to our Melbourne tims,

     

     

    O01 Bhoy all the best.

     

     

    V

     

     

    All the Best for Twenty13 Buddi..

     

     

    A Mans a Man for A’That..

     

     

    001Bhoy

  13. corkcelt

     

     

    Well – here’s another thing I’ve found out.

     

     

    Don’t, whatever you do, use a nose-hair trimmer when it’s running low on battery. If it encounters a number of resistant hairs they just get entangled and it ends up hanging there like some demented weasel.

  14. .

     

     

    Paul67..

     

     

    All the Very Best for the Coming Year..

     

     

    I think You should give Great thought to a “Alternative CQN Annual” or a “Not the Quick News”..

     

     

    Ole SydneyTim.. Kev Jungle.. NegativeAnon.. Would be a Blast IMHO..

     

     

    Don’t release it on a Black Friday tho..;-((((

     

     

    Summa of AnalAnnualsCSC

  15. Awe Naw

     

     

    Thank you for your informative response.

     

     

    I live in hope of justice, but as I said before .

     

    I remain wary.

     

     

    HNY when it comes.

     

    A67

  16. Steinreignedsupreme on

    Top five highlights of 2012 –

     

     

    1 – Celtic 2 Barcelona 1 – everything about the occasion was pure magic including the best atmosphere I have experienced since the Park was redeveloped.

     

     

    2 – Celtic 3 Rangers 0 – Another landmark occasion with the last ever derby against our former rivals. We wiped the floor with them, and truth be told Celtic eased up once the third goal was scored. A final chance to humiliate them, but Rangers endured far darker days throughout 2012.

     

     

    3 – Kilmarnock 0-6 Charlie Mulgrew’s finest hour in a Celtic shirt and a sublime performance from the team to win the title in style.

     

     

    4 – St Valentine’s Day will never be the same again. Administration for Rangers and the countdown to inevitable liquidation began.

     

     

    5 – Integrity triumphs as virtually every club in Scotland refused to roll over and accept the corrupt efforts to parachute a new team into the Premier League and then the First Division.

     

     

    Happy New Year to all.

  17. Lurker and only occasional poster here. Great article as usual Paul but with all due respect while much has been achieved by our great club the big issue with our fans and those of the other scottish clubs has nt been addressed at all. 3 Englishmen are guilty of bringing our game into disrepute repeatedly and not 1 thing continues to be done about it. I was all for celtic staying quiet in the hope that things may happen by other club chairman getting together to get the ball rolling , either they are not interested and if thats the case they are complicit in it all or they are afraid , in which case in my humble opinion is when Celtic should take the lead. A big topic of debate on here recently was about falling attendances and season tickets. My own personal circumstances dictated that I could nt justify paying for a season ticket this year so had to give it up. I think I will be able to afford one next year BUT Im not sure that I want to give my money to Scottish Football while the game is still run by in my opinion at best incompetent at worst corrupt SFA/SPL officials with their attitude towards my club and Scottish Football. Charles Green brings the game into disrepute on a weekly basis , the situation with Dundee Utd was for me a time for all club chairmen to say enough is enough and sort that guy and his club out, not 1 person has backed Dundee Utd , shameful absoloutely shameful. The TSFM is trying to get all clubs supporters together to tackle some of these issues , I hope it is successful because if things are allowed to go on I fear for scottish football. When Rangers went bust I like most fans lapped up every minute of it but the bigger picture is that as a small nation we need as many big teams with big support to make it all interesting. Now if Rangers had held their hands up , apologised dropped the “we arrra people” baggage along with their sectarian stuff ( dont laugh!) I would have welcomed them back after making their way through the lower divisions. We know that aint gonna happen but the fact that we (clubs) are all silent to whats going on can you imagine what it is gonna be like a few years from now ( if they are still alive) when they emerge in the top league !!! Their anger at their percieved injustice will be absoloutely horrible , the chip on their shoulder will be huge and they will be ten times worse than they are now . Not sure I and decent supporters of a lot of clubs want to be part of that. So while from a Celtic point of view we are in a great place at the moment there is a bigger picture here. With all due respect Paul you have nt really being engaging too much in the SFA /SFL situation lately and you must realise that it is paramount in all our concerns , Im hoping that you know some things that I dont know that may be happening behind the scenes . God I hope you do. Anyway apologies for rambling . Hope everyone has a Very Happy New Year when it comes

     

     

    Roddybhoy

  18. Pavel and Lubo

     

     

     

    Remember watching an Italian TV station’s tribute to a retiring Pavel Nedved It featured an interview in which he declared that Lubo was his childhood hero and inspiration ..

  19. South of Tunis

     

     

    Ah that would certainly explain his performance that evening. He must have been somewhat in awe of his childhood hero who proceeded to run rings round him. Nutmegged him twice as I remember. Mind you if Lubo was his hero then Nedved is a good judge.

  20. Roddybhoy @14:43 good post .

     

    ” … the situation with Dundee Utd was for me a time for all club chairmen to say enough is enough and sort that guy and his club out, not 1 person has backed Dundee Utd , shameful absoloutely shameful.” – Great point.

  21. paul 67,

     

     

    while indeed for the club on the field of play has been pretty good alas its what has been going on off it that is more important, first of all we all know they were cheating including them and the fact that our so called authorities

     

    bent/broke rules to install them back in to the game as a new entity with same cheating rigts as usual if not more blatant

     

    says it all, while we as a club participate in a body that

     

    openly cheats we are none the less complicit like or not [which i certainly do not] we can make excuses it was not us but by going along and accepting this bodies jurisdiction, we are just in my opinion others may differ, legitimising the whole farce

     

    and having people on these bodies are implicated in all of this.

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