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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. Irony alert !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

    from DEADclub media on last ever derby comment

     

     

    ***End of the day they can repeat the lie all they want, doesn’t make it true. ***

  2. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Whither the cash strapped scrofulous hillbilies, and their scrofulous cash strapped cuzz, the day?

  3. Andrew67

     

     

    I couldn’t give a hoot about the money.

     

     

    I do want the titles however.

     

     

    Ps hope you saw my post thanking you for your kindness and generosity.

  4. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    All the best to excellent CQNers everywhere for 2013.

     

     

    Try not to follow, follow the Sevconians over the fiscal cliff.

  5. Predictions for 2013

     

     

    SPL – Celtic

     

    SC – Hibs

     

    LC – Celtic

     

    EPL – Man U

     

    CL – Barca

     

     

    Celtic will reach QF of CL by beating Juve on away goals (0-0 at CP, 1-1 in Turin)

     

     

    Wanyama and Hooper will leave in the summer for £20m in total.

     

    There will be league reconstruction but will be the usual half baked, poorly thought out nonesense that’s given us the SPL for the last 12 years. But, regional European leagues will move a step closer.

  6. One of the many many highlights of the year was Sammie scoring the winner in Moscow.. Started to think we could become a team in Europe again…

  7. I think this season has been mediocre (Europe apart). Seen most of the games and the football has not been great

  8. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    malorbhoy

     

     

    15:33 on

     

    31 December, 2012

     

     

    I made a big mistake…..decided not to have 2nd off on leave, and will miss the game….. couldn’t believe it, and can’t rescind, since some conference calls have been set up, on the assumption I will be back at work ……absolutely gutted ……!!!!!

     

     

    JungleJim…….Roddybhoy ……i’m with you bhoys…..the next challenge for the internet bampots is to ensure there is no ‘nonsense’ from the SFA etc……

  9. StumptownBhoy-(ex-SanDiegoBhoy)For_wee_Oscar on

    A Happy New Year to the Celtic Family across the globe, and particular to the fine contributors of the blog. 2013 will no doubt deliver another engrossing 365 articles and points of discussion, with typical Celtic (the tribe, not the team) tenacity displayed by those clinging to their position…

     

     

    Thank you again Paul for this platform that provides an education, even so far from home.

     

     

    I’ll be in Glasgow second and third weeks of January and will be attending the Hearts game, I would enthusiastically get a round in for any CQNers that fancy a blether.

     

     

    I am attending a football tournament here in my hometown today, of which the big match of the day is Scotland versus England. Many Tims representing Scotland. Result to follow.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Paul, I’ll be in Glasgow

  10. Kdc. It’s a made up stat which I’ve been publishing after most games. It started off as a much lower made-up number but has been added to with real figures following each game.

     

     

    If I had time and if anyone could remember when we last conceded from a corner then I could get an accurate number,

     

     

    Until then 332 is as good a number as any.

     

     

    The whole zonal marking thing has been a favoured system of mine for as long as it has been invented and the only criticism that pundits repeat is that the opposition get a running jump and therefore an advantage. This is flawed because it suggests that the zonal markers aren’t allowed to run and jump.

     

     

    The fact is that the ratio of goals we score at corners to those we concede is hugely in our favour.

     

     

    Their other main grievance is always that they can’t apportion blame to an individual when a goal is conceded at a corner.

  11. Jungle Jim @15.43

     

     

    Thanx , the sad fact is that you wont be the only fan who will give up on scottish football there are loads more from not just celtic who will call it a day, it would break my heart but I wont pay good money to support an organization hell bent on aiding and abetting one team and one team only. If they get back unpunished then the real poison would start in their “triumphilism”

  12. BIG-CUP-WINNERS on

    Roddybhoy

     

    16:55 on

     

    31 December, 2012

     

    Jungle Jim @15.43

     

     

    Thanx , the sad fact is that you wont be the only fan who will give up on scottish football there are loads more from not just celtic who will call it a day, it would break my heart but I wont pay good money to support an organization hell bent on aiding and abetting one team and one team only. If they get back unpunished then the real poison would start in their “triumphilism”

     

     

    There would be no real change except Celtic would be weaker as our fans protest by giving up the ghost. No matter how much It scunners us we should remain and work towards an alternative.

     

     

    NO FALLING ON OUR OWN SWORDS.

  13. Hi Paul67

     

     

    As a momentous year draws to a close let me

     

    take this opportunity to wish you and your family a

     

    wonderful 2013.

     

     

    Some of the events of this year would not have seen light of day

     

    had it not been for your good self, Phil, RTC and a few notable others.

     

    To you all, I salute you.

     

     

    Also, CQN going since 2004! Your very own 9 in a row.

     

    I can’t begin to imagine the commitment and sacrifice this has taken

     

    but there are many on here that are grateful for it.

     

     

    All the best to every Celtic supporter out there, Let’s hope 2013 is

     

    kind to us all.

     

    Hail Hail.

  14. Paul67,

     

     

    Is there a way to search posts I’ve made to determine when I first posted the “fact” about the number of goals conceded by zonal marking and also subsequent posts that I’ve made on the subject to get a realistic number since that post?

     

     

    Think I will reset to zero for the start of the New Year and we can all count together from then on.

     

     

    Hail, hail and best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year.

  15. They will of course continue to claim they are the same Club and will make a point of boasting about their trophies etc. We can’t stop them from doing that. We on our part both at an Official Club Level and at a Supporter Level have to be equally robust in nailing the BIG Lie.

     

     

    For the’re a Sh**e new team to play for

     

    and the’re a Sh**e new team to know,

     

    They tried to buy their History

     

    its enough to make you break your heart

     

    out laughing,

     

    Cos they don’t know whether to come or stay or go

     

    but what the Hell do we care

     

    For we only know they are a tribute show

     

    and Rangers are rotting in their grave.

  16. Dont Apologise, Dont Apologise,

     

    I just dont think you understand

     

    If you apologise,

     

    If you apologise,

     

    You’re going to have a riot on your hands.

  17. Ntassoolla

     

     

     

    17:03 on 31 December, 2012

     

     

     

    I think Peter Lawwell is man enough to deliver the apology demanded by the bigots.

     

    =============

     

     

    You’ve lost me there.

  18. Happy new year to all the Celtic family.

     

    To all cqners have a good one and thankyou for keeping me streets ahead of thems with your knowledge.

     

    Paul 67, your site is special i appreciate the time you must put

     

    in.happy new to you and your family.hail hail

  19. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo

     

    14:10

     

    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 ?

     

     

     

    They haven’t even paid off their debts to Scottish teams. Only a month or so ago when Hearts were getting heat from HMRC, Green offered them £500,000 for Lee Wallace rather than the £800,000 they are still due.

     

     

    I’m guessing the five-way agreement went something like:

     

    “Now you will pay all your debts, will you?”

     

    “Yeah of course we will”

     

    “Good – that’s okay then – here’s your licence”

  20. Ghuys……. You won’t believe it but check out Channel AKA on sky 370.

     

    They’re only having a tribute to Chuck……… 20 hottest bangers of 2012!!!

  21. Roddybhoy

     

     

    There is no doubt that you are right. If they escape punishment, and the more time passes the greater the likelihood that they will escape, then they will be even more encouraged in their hateful behaviour. I’ve been around a fair time now and can go back to days when playing for Celtic virtually guaranteed that you would not be selected to play for Scotland. Maybe it’s those years and all of the experiences endured therein that makes me think that no matter what I’ll always go and watch Celtic. That’s just me, though. I understand how you feel and actually, intellectually and morally, agree with you. It’s just this damned heart of mine that gets in the way.

     

    Eff them.

  22. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Successful defendin’ of 300+ corners usin’ the ole zonal markin’?

     

     

    Surely a ‘world record’.

  23. Ntassoolla

     

     

    17:03on 31December,2012

     

     

    Ithink Peter Lawwell is man enough to deliver the apology demanded by the bigots. ==== ==== ==== =

     

     

    Aye apologies to us as they didn’t actually kill them completely.

     

    Ya nugget!

     

     

    HH

     

    /Bishop B

  24. BIG-CUP-WINNERS on

    corkcelt

     

    17:01 on

     

    31 December, 2012

     

    They will of course continue to claim they are the same Club and will make a point of boasting about their trophies etc. We can’t stop them from doing that. We on our part both at an Official Club Level and at a Supporter Level have to be equally robust in nailing the BIG Lie.

     

     

    Corkcelt I know there won’t be too many of them in your locale.

     

     

    In my own experience the Zombies haven’t reached the stage were they totally deny the truth. It’s still rakes at them, their shame and cheating, they know it and we know it. They tend not to boast about Deid-clubs errr “achievements”

     

     

    They have always cheated in employment, sport etc it’s what they do. In those instances they were able to deny their cheating but this time it was out in the public domain.

     

     

    Having said that they are working towards re-writing fact.

     

     

    They will decry, lambast and attempt to bully anyone who heralds the truth. They fear it as it reveals their shame.

     

     

    That’s why we must remind them of the truth at every opportunity.

  25. Best of health, happiness and prosperity for the New Year to Paul67 and family and to all CQNers and Tims worldwide. I hope this is a magical one for each and everyone of you,Jungle Jim I’ll talk to you tomorrow if I’m on :)

     

     

    I would also like to wish all the best to my wee brother and his family residing presently in Carfin.

     

     

    And finally a Happy New Year to someone who gave me lotsa laughs this year and started the ball rolling……. Craig Whyte (An Idiot Abroad)

     

     

    All the best! Bhoys and Ghirls

     

     

    gsu

  26. reilly1926 @17:07 it was sarcasm based on the fact that usually an apology takes the courage and humility to admit you were wrong.

     

     

    The issue is Celtic describing 29 April 2012 as the last Glasgow derby and sevco demanding an apology.

     

     

    Lawwell is likely to “apologise” out of conformity and lack of moral fibre. And mibbe blame a minion.

  27. HT

     

     

    I did ,and you are more than welcome.

     

     

    Likewise I am grateful for you helping me obtain a ticket for Dens.

     

     

    Have a great new year.

     

     

    A67

  28. Len Brennan @17:14 which apology do you think more likely?

     

    I hadn’t thought of an apology from him to us. I concur. I like the fighting spirit in your post. It echoes the Celtic fans of the now sorely missed Jungle.

     

     

    I’ll interpret “nugget” as a friendly jibe.

     

     

    I’ll repeat a post of mine from earlier.

     

    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.

  29. Roddybhoy.

     

     

    Enjoyed reading your post.

     

     

    Like yourself i feel when the newco incarnation comes back there will be even more trouble than when they last existed.

     

    If and hopefully when the titles get stripped is when all that has happened this year will hit thems.

     

    The denial will be over and the troubles will start.

  30. Regarding the apologising issue. What are they going to do if we don’t. Boycott fixtures with us that they do not have? Really. What can they do

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