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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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1,546 Comments

  1. You’ll may get this as the ole text message – I did

     

     

    I told a Sevco fan to have a good New Year!

     

     

    he got angry and said 2013 wasn’t a New year but a continuation of 2012

     

     

    WhoEverCrackedIt CSC

  2. Big Cup Winners @ 17.00

     

     

    Sorry I have to disagree. I could maybe hang on in there if my club were fighting tooth and nail to bring truth and justice to scottish football and protect its own paying fans. I take not one bit of enjoyment saying this but to date they have stood by and basked in their own glory ( rightly so) of our european run which our fans, the green brigade in particular played a huge part in . We have been praised and admired throughout europe because of our fans particularly at the barca display game . The same fans that contributed to this wonderful spectacle appear to be shunned by the board who take the praise but refuse to stand up to the constant harrasment of the green brigade. I am not a board basher normally as on the whole they have been brilliant for celtic but there comes a time when you have to do the uncomfortable things and for me that time has come. Time to stand our ground with the SFA/SPL and defend our own fans.

  3. BIG-CUP-WINNERS on

    doctor whatfor

     

     

    17:28 on 31 December, 2012

     

    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

     

     

    Exactly nothing. It will allow truth to be aired.

  4. BIG-CUP-WINNERS on

    doctor whatfor

     

     

    17:28 on 31 December, 2012

     

    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

     

     

    Exactly nothing. But it will allow truth to be aired.

  5. My wish for 2013

     

     

    Everyone connected with Celtic ,even if it’s only a tenuous link, totally ignores Seveco and anything to do with any clubs they claim to have inherited the history of. By this I mean don’t discuss them on here,watch them on TV,read about them, sniff about their blogs,listen to their games on the radio,don’t listen to their new fans, don’t discuss them on phone ins,dont discuss their finances chapter and verse and be totally oblivious to their existence

     

    If you happen to be asked about them be it in the workplace in the media, in the pub or even if your family asks about them just politely reply that you never discussed third division football in the past and your not about to start discussing it

     

    If posting on blogs about Celtic…..post about Celtic be it positive,negative ,downright rude or even downright slanderous, just don’t discuss them because the more they see we are still looking over our shoulder at them the more they believe they have a future. Don’t just post about them because you have nothing else to say. Strangle them with silence.

     

    Every new born infant craves attention ,deprive the Baby of the attention it craves and it will wither away

  6. doctor whatfor @ 17.11

     

     

    I know what you are saying . Just feel when the “diddy teams” chairman showed what really mattered in our game the momentum was there to finally sort out the corruptness in scottish football and sweep it away . The “bigger” teams chairman have let everyone down so far

  7. Well, April wasn’t the last ever Glasgow derby we will be involved in, I hope. Morton fans may disagree but I still think Partick Thistle will be in the SPL next season.

     

     

    It was definitely the last o** f*** game though.

  8. BIG-CUP-WINNERS @17:29 on I’ll assume since you have posted the same thing twice in my wake you refer to me.

     

    Interesting that you use Thatcher’s words. A hero of yours? At least she was a woman and not a little girl who runs around telling the other little girls not to talk to someone and using electronic mail as the conduit for her gossip.

     

     

    You seem not to like what I post but like your little chums are unable to articulate your frustration.

  9. bournesouprecipie, was waiting for you to come back, when you posted earlier about the effect of applying Old Spice to a very raw face, it didn’t immediately trigger a memory but out of the blue about 30 minutes ago I remembered an incident from my teens. This by the way is an absolutely true story, one of my mates was getting decked out to go off to a dance or school hop as we called them then, he was lashing on the Old Spice, when he got a sudden rush of blood to the head and liberally sprinkled Old Spice on to toilet paper and wiped his Ar** with it. He really really did now unless you have 2 tins of talcum powder on the ready, don’t try it.

  10. Ntassoolla

     

     

     

    17:17 on 31 December, 2012

     

     

     

    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.

     

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

     

     

    Lawwell is more savvy than you are giving him credit for. I would find it hard to believe that he wasn’t aware of what was going out regarding the “last derby”. Any type of apology (climbdown) would be political suicide for Lawwell.

     

     

    On the contrary I reckon, having watched Mr Charles’ antics and the results they have achieved, we will start to hear a more vocal Lawwell.

  11. P67

     

     

    Not read back, but excellent end of year report…..

     

     

    Here’s to a fantastic 2013, to each and everyone of the CQN bhoys….

     

     

    My great moments in reverse order:

     

     

    5. The 4 horsemen of the apocalypse banner by the GB

     

    4. 14th February 2012 and the desperation of the Big Hoose man

     

    3. The Barca Tifo

     

    2. The day when Rangers died…RIP

     

    1. The beating of Barca

     

     

    So many missed out as well…….

     

     

    Let’s hope Neil and Chucky makes it a wonderful 2013 for the bhoys…..I have a feeling that might just happen

     

     

    Happy New Year from West Donegal

     

     

    hhplc

  12. bournesouprecipe 17:06

     

     

    You know that auld baw looks like the corpse of an exhumed zombie haggis

  13. I always ask the Servco punters the same question “if you are the same club why are you playing in the 3rd division and not eligible (Not banned) to play in Europe for 3 years?”. I love to hear the Lillian gish they spout.

     

     

    As for an apology from us. What for, telling the truth?

  14. Paul, great leader to end a great year!

     

     

    The football

     

     

    The 3-0 hunskelping stands out and I marvelled at the GB’s tifo, complete with gravestones and horseriders. I thought at the time “how they gonna better that?”

     

     

    Shows you how little I know:-)

     

     

    We put them in their place that day.

     

     

    Sammi’s goal at the death versus Spartak. Still remember the unbridled joy at that going in!

     

     

    The 125 years tifo against Barca – stunning. Tony’s goal to send us radio-rental.

     

     

    Just qualifying for the last 16 in CL. The sense of achievement.

     

     

    To CQN where we shared our love for all of the above.

     

     

    And that’s thanks to you my friend in Celtic. Can’t thank you enough, Paul.

     

     

    Here’s to continued sucess for Celtic in the NewYear and happy and prosperous times for those who sail in her!!!

     

     

    God bless the Celtic Family

     

     

    AoW

  15. Happy New Year to all CQN readers. Hope 2013 is a Happy , Healthy , and prosperous one to you all and your families.

     

    God Bless you all and our beloved Hoops.

     

    Hail hail!!!!

  16. reilly1926 @17:45 I hadn’t considered that Lawwell would exercise such tight editorial control. But I’m inclined to agree with as what you say makes sense.

     

    Am I correct in saying you think Lawwell is now more afraid of us than he is of anything else now?

     

    I hope he is.

     

     

    Just to be clear. I would be incandescent if Lawwell apologised.

  17. Moonbeams WD. Kano 1000 \o/ Supporting Neil Lennon 100%. Champions. C’mon Wee Oscar.

     

     

    17:33 on 31 December, 2012

     

     

    This is on our official site

     

     

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

  18. Hailhailpc – haha you must have posted when I was typing mine!

     

     

    I agree though, too many good things I didn’t mention.

     

     

    HNY to your ghood self.

  19. leftclicktic

     

     

    16:46 on 31 December, 2012

     

     

    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. ***

     

    _________________________________

     

     

    Makes you wonder why Montrose had to apologise to placate THEM.

     

     

    THEMS don’t seem to be very consistent.

     

     

    Surely they will have to make Celtic apologise.

     

     

    :¬)))

  20. Well done Paul, on a fantastic year for CQN.

     

    Compulsive reading and looking forward to next year.

     

     

    Wishing everyone on CQN a happy and prosperous New Year!

  21. corkcelt

     

     

    Too funny to begin to imagine – your friend clearly had a subconscious predilection to the ole Old Spice.

     

     

    Hamiltontim

     

     

    There were two Tims hit on the coupon with a ball in 2012, one received attention from MSM yourself on the other cheek, were awarded a proper CQN accolade, for taking it in the manner Anthony Mowbray Esq espoused on an irritatingly repetitive almost weekly basis.

  22. Mickybhoy1888 @ 17.35

     

     

    Great post. I waffled on to no effect about them several hours ago – needed to get off my chest.

     

     

    Unless we play whatever club is playing out of Ibrox I will try not to mention them in the New Year.

     

     

    H x 2

  23. MWD

     

    Can you rephrase the comment about having fun with the truncheon I have a vivid imagination

  24. mickbhoy1888

     

     

    Agree with everything you say but I might hawd the bus on letting babies baby wither away ! Hail Hail

     

     

    Every new born infant craves attention ,deprive the Baby of the attention it craves and it will wither away

  25. Margaret McGill on

    Hi Paul67

     

    Great Summary.

     

    I like the way you write, especially the gradual increasing positivity on doubtful things.

     

     

     

    “the Celtic board liquidated the Old Firm”…….hmmmmmm no

     

    “we would have missed the penalty anyway”……..hmmmmmm maybe still not an excuse for rule bending.

     

    “refereeing is always been an emerging art in these parts”…… less of a maybe but still traditional anti Celtic rule bending.

     

    “and have a sense of purpose which will never be extinguished”….. Definitely!

     

     

    and Thanks for CQN!!