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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. bournesouprecipe

     

    14:31 on

     

    31 December, 2012

     

    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.

     

     

     

    Yer a day too late Pal :)

     

     

    gsu

  2. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    jobo baldie

     

     

    13:14 on 31 December, 2012

     

     

    It certainly is the last ever derby against the zombies, and I, for one, will never step inside any stadium which is infested by the sevcobhun hoardes in the future….their deed club was a disgrace and, having been exposed for what they were, should never have been replaced in the SFL by a club with a similar shameful culture ……. I am REALLY enjoying this season, have watched several SPL games, and, hopefully, zombies2 will be liquidated before long ……if BDO don’t seize the assets for the creditors then we know ‘dark influences’ have been at ‘play’ ……..

  3. saltires en sevilla on

    Paul67

     

     

    Great stuff and truly great work by you during the most memorable of years.

     

     

    Thanks for everything and wishing you and yours all you hope for in 2013

     

     

    To all CQN fholks – all the best for the New Year

     

     

    Hail Hail

  4. The Battered Bunnet .

     

     

    Sub zero and lots of snow . Told it has been sunny mid teens at home .

     

     

    I have kinda liked it .

     

     

    Been good on the vinyl front . Met a guy in a record shop who happened to know a guy who was looking to get rid of several boxes worth of 45s . Picked up 7 choons and an LP I’ve been trying to get for @ 20 years.

     

     

    Off oot to buy the necessary bubble wrap and supa dupa cardboard now .

     

     

    Have a good one

  5. Glendalystonsils likes a mr whippy with his lime green jelly on

    Nose hairs? If a pair of long nosed pliers was good enough for our forefathers……………….

  6. Paul67 & all,

     

     

    Best wishes for 2013.

     

     

    The story of 2012 was the demise of the Ibrox club. The Ogilvie,Doncaster and Regan attempts to parachute them into the SPL displayed all the traits of a corrupt and out of date organisation. As long as people of this calibre run Scottish football there will never be a national team in the World Cup or European Championsip Finals.

     

     

    The sub plot of 2012 is that despite winning the league we missed out on a treble. While Dallas/Fleming love child Euan Norris concoted a penalty for Hearts in the Scottish Cup Semi, we can have no real complaints about Killie winning the League Cup ( they were the better team on the day).

     

     

    For 2013 the fate of newco is of no interest to me. It must be all about Celtic. A treble must be delivered….no excuses this time. It’s of concern the domestic form; especially having witnessed the first 15 minutes at Easter Road. It was totally unacceptable the lack of fight and being 2nd to every ball.

     

     

    The CL last 16 will take care of itself and the Juve media and press , may provide the ammunition for the Team Talk.

     

     

    2013 must be the year where Celtic take a treble and by year end be well on our way to 3 in a row. There can be no further shoddy performances against clubs with a fraction of our resources.

     

     

    I trust the manager will motivate the players choose the right formation, so we can start 2013 with a bang.

     

     

    PS. I have funny feeling 2013 will see the end of Campbell Ogilvie ; a organisation such as the SFA can never be taken seriously when the man who administered oldcos sectarian signing policies, participated in tax avoidance for his personal gain and overseen another world cup failure is in charge. It’s time for Rod Petrie or Raith Rover Chairman to provide the necessary leadership and take the organisation into the 21st century.

  7. 67heaven

     

     

    Last night I was on one of those rambles through YouTube; clicking from one old firm (remember that) clip to another. I found myself smiling widely at Henke’s world class goal in the 6-2 game and so on and so on.

     

    But not for anything do I want to sit in Celtic Park or Hampden and watch that horde screaming their hateful bile at me and mine. Not for anything do I want to endure their triumphalist paens that are reminiscent of Nazi rallies and scenes from Lord of the Rings. Not even for Henke’s greatest goals.

     

    Free at last!

  8. Wishing all the Bhoys and Ghirls on the blog a very Happy and Healthy New Year

     

     

    PS anyone else getting a wee bit concerned with Dundee Utd’s form seeing as who they play in the next round of the cup

  9. Scottish Football Man Of The Year for 2012

     

     

    Turnbull Hutton

     

     

    Spoke up for the little guys against the bullies and spoke for the supporters of all clubs in the country (except one).

  10. Steinreignedsupreme on

    bournesouprecipe 14:44 on 31 December, 2012

     

     

    Here’s Johnny

     

     

    Looks like Shelley Duvall eats at the same curry house as ole Craig Whyte.

  11. neilymochansmagicsponge on

    Paul and all Celtic fraternity….good over evil any day…! Happy New year to all!….We have lots to look forward to in 2013…..Auguri!!

  12. Buon’ Anno to you and yours Paul.

     

     

    An incredible year – but like Zhou Enlai’s verdict on the impact of the French Revolution – it’s too early to say what the ultimate legacy will be.

     

     

    Nice to see the official site’s review of the year categorising April’s humping of the Huns as “the last ever Glasgow derby”!

  13. from the official website review of the year

     

     

    but Celtic followed that up with consecutive 3-0 victories – against Motherwell at Fir Park and in the last ever derby against Rangers at Paradise

     

     

    The first time i’ve seen anything official from us that they are dead. About time.

  14. Ntassoolla

     

     

    Jutta Hipp with Zoot Sims

     

     

    A Blue Note gem from 1956 ..

     

     

    An LP I bought second hand in the late 60s . An LP I left on the tube at Royal Oak in the early 90s.

  15. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    roddybhoy

     

     

    14:43 on

     

    31 December, 2012

     

     

    My exact sentiments …… They have gone ‘beyond the pale’ ……. We should not be allowing these peepul anywhere near Scottish Football …….when criminals are found guilty, we do not encourage them back into their criminal ways……

  16. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    doctor whatfor

     

     

    15:11 on 31 December, 2012

     

     

    Absolutely, and the SFA etc would be wise to appreciate how you, me and thousands of Scottish Football fans feel ……. I have spent a fortune on my Club over the last 20 years, only to discover i was cheated out of that money……HH

  17. Matthew Lindsay, Evening Times tweet…

     

     

    Just spoke to a former associate of Charles Green. Requested anonymity. Told me: “Don’t let that man anywhere near Rangers or football.”

     

     

    He should have spoken to the guy sooner!

     

     

    Paul, an excellent survey which I hope we will all digest. The future is bright. The future is green and white.

     

     

    Happy New Year, when it comes, all.

     

     

    Hail Hail!

  18. 67 Heaven

     

     

    Spent a fortune over the last 20 years, yer still in your infancy ya skin flint (LOL) see you Wednesday

  19. Kayal33

     

     

     

    15:20 on 31 December, 2012

     

     

     

    from the official website review of the year

     

     

    but Celtic followed that up with consecutive 3-0 victories – against Motherwell at Fir Park and in the last ever derby against Rangers at Paradise

     

     

    The first time i’ve seen anything official from us that they are dead. About time

     

    ===========

     

     

    I see one of the more prominent Hun’s that goes on Twitter Andrew Dickson (Rangers TV presenter) is wanting an apology in the same manner in which Montrose did.

  20. reilly1926

     

    15:34 on

     

    31 December, 2012

     

     

    Kayal33

     

    15:20 on 31 December, 2012

     

     

    I’m sure that exact phrase was used on the club website in the immediate aftermath of that game.

     

     

    Or am I getting old?

     

     

    Hail Hail!

  21. South of Tunis

     

     

    I have the remastered CD of that album. Not the same thing but pretty good all the same.

     

     

     

    I love those old Blue Note records.

     

     

     

    H x 2

  22. malorbhoy

     

     

    15:13 on

     

    31 December, 2012

     

    Wishing all the Bhoys and Ghirls on the blog a very Happy and Healthy New Year

     

     

    PS anyone else getting a wee bit concerned with Dundee Utd’s form seeing as who they play in the next round of the cup

     

     

    —-

     

     

    I’ll answer you …. No :-)

  23. I always liked Nedved as a player.

     

     

    He got injured against Greece early on in the semi of Euro 2004 and the heart went out of what was an excellent Czech team to that point.

     

     

    Very good ice hockey player, also, but not surprisingly, he wasn’t allowed to pursue it during his footballing days.

     

     

    Happy New year to Paul67 et al.

  24. Hi there Celts,I hope you all have a good night tonight and i hope the new year brings you warmth and love to you and all your kin.A special wish for all those alone,best wishes for 2013..

     

     

    keep working Celtic,keep learning,keep the taith,

     

     

    An T

  25. BIG-CUP-WINNERS on

    Kayal33

     

    15:20 on

     

    31 December, 2012

     

    from the official website review of the year

     

     

    but Celtic followed that up with consecutive 3-0 victories – against Motherwell at Fir Park and in the last ever derby against Rangers at Paradise

     

     

    The first time i’ve seen anything official from us that they are dead. About time.

     

     

    Perhaps the Zombies will pursue Celtic for stating the truth. The tactic “worked” for them against Montrose and Falkirk.

     

     

    Hopefully they will, it’d bring the issue for our club to a head.

  26. Roddybhoy

     

    Don`t play down your own post. It was excellent and sincerity shone out from every sentence.

     

    I expect some posters will be surprised and even disapproving of the fact that so many posts are less than cheerful but , for me, they are perfectly understandable.

     

    Rangers have gone but the Tribute Band bears (!) an uncanny resemmblence. The MSM`s support for said tribute band is also a replica of how they supported Rangers and the Authorities are behaving towards the Newco just as they did as regards the Oldco.

     

    I sincerely hope Celtic are doing what is necessary behind the scenes (but I don`t feel that they are) to ensure that Scottish football is cleansed of all that corrupts it. I will continue to support Celtic but I can guarantee that if that mob ,aided and abetted by all the usual suspects, return to the SPL effectively unpunished, I will be finished with football in Scotland. I hope this does not come over as me being all precious. I am simply trying to show how this fan feels. I am unlikely to be a lone voice on this matter.

     

     

    JJ

     

     

    JJ

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