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State of the Club Report: year end 2015

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2015 saw Celtic win our fourth consecutive league title, a feat achieved only twice before in our history: 1908 and 1969. The 1908 win came during Willie Maley’s team’s imperious 10 titles in 13 seasons. The 1969 win, by one of our greatest teams, preceded our second run to the 1970 European Cup final, where we lost to Feyenoord in Milan.

It was only on reflection that we realised 1970 was a turning point for Celtic. Jock Stein’s teams eliminated the champions of Italy, Portugal and England that season, a far more testing journey than the team of 1966-67 endured. Until that point, only Celtic and Real Madrid outside those three countries had won the European Cup, but Martin O’Neill would be manager the next time Celtic eliminated a team from what we now know as Europe’s major five leagues.

We knew nothing of that in 1970. Indeed, Celtic won a further four consecutive league titles, but others were laying better foundations. Our model was copied, improved upon, and eventually rendered irrelevant. Celtic travelled to Milan for that European Cup final in 1970 with the whole of Europe expecting to them win. We were the top team in Europe, clearly heading in the right direction. Or so it was thought.

The reality was that we were facing the wrong direction, we just didn’t know it.

There are parallels between 1970 and now. Four in a row is appreciated by those of us who craved a quarter of this achievement in the 1990s, but our domestic dominance is such, that we all look to Europe for that extra fix. Now, it’s not a European Cup final defeat we’re lamenting, we’ve been exposed by lesser-resourced teams as we bombed in the Europa League.

Apart from the fourth title, and five-in-a-row looking a comfortable certainty, the other portents have us heading south. Two seasons of Champions League football have been followed by two of Europa League, with performances dropping each consecutive season. What we don’t know is whether what’s happening on the surface is indicative of the foundations we’ve been laying for 18 months.

Herein lies the issue: the fruits of Ronny Deila’s labours are not evident, not on the surface, anyway. There are some positive portents: he’s improved Nir Bitton, blooded Kieran Tierney and given Leigh Griffiths the stage his talent needed, but this season spaces in our defence have been as wide as the Clyde, and just as worryingly, the transfer success hit rate has been abysmally poor.

Fixing the former problem should be achievable, Ronny has taken teams to the Milan, Amsterdam and Istanbul and defended professionally (if not successfully), but fixing the ineffective transfer strategy will be more difficult. It’s not clear why we’re misfiring, or whether we can amend our ways. Throwing more money at the problem may improve things, but the problem is not fundamentally finance, Malmo and Maribor both operate on a fraction of our expenditure.

There are mitigating circumstances for our recruitment woes. Unlike Malmo and Maribor who take time to develop teams, we’ve been buying first team players for years, and the market has moved away from us at a remarkable rate over the last five years.

A decade ago only a few teams in England could outbid us, and they didn’t compete directly for talent with us anyway. We’ve now living in an era when Stoke City sign top internationals from Bayern Munich, and England is not the only league which is drifting away.

Mitigating circumstances are all fine and well, but that’s the challenge for Celtic. Work smarter, find the untapped scouts, be better than those with more money than they know what to do with.

2016 will bring another title and possibly one or two cups, but as 1 January approaches I’m hopeful the lessons learned in the transfer market since 2014 are put into practice.

Have a fantastic New Year.

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764 Comments

  1. Just to let all kindly prayed for my brother micks friend and carer Vincent.

     

     

    Sadly he lost his battle with cancer just after Christmas.

     

     

    A loving caring human being.

     

     

    RIP VINCENT.

  2. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Morning Bhoys a good day for football well the Bhoys have been well rested and should be up for the game against Thistle.H.H.

  3. GG,

     

     

    That 5-1 game was one of the few I attended when I was in the Celtic End. I was taken by my Uncle John, as my Dad hated us playing the deid team. That and the 3-1 game in the League Cup a wee while later are among the best atmospheres I have ever experienced at Celtic Park. Mind you, when we had players like we had then, we were often simply different class.

  4. Aui’heid……………..

     

     

    Keep on, keepin’ on……………your eye is on the ball, sir and supporters of Celtic everywhere owe your efforts a great deal.

     

     

     

     

    HH.

  5. GG

     

     

    Cracking memories

     

     

    Tin hat on here, if there was a case for playing Rangers again there’s no better advert than those old clips,

     

     

    The passion, excitement and no shortage of good play /goals is what I remember most

     

     

    The anticipation days /weeks before the game making sure my favourite gear was washed and ironed ready for the big day.

     

     

    Adrenalin pumping through my veins as I was leaving the house the last words my wee ma would say “be careful son ” and off I’d go

     

     

    The pleasure of winning was immense,

     

     

    Defeat was heartbreaking., anyway thanks for the links

     

     

    To my old departed friends and relatives who never got to witness Rangers demise. a wee toast to you all….. Cheers :)

  6. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    2016 Will in my opinion be a very important year for football supporters all over Scotland.The reason being there will be many court cases which will I hope tell of the scale of the cheating over at Ibrokes . If it becomes the usual cover up and the establishment close ranks and no action is taken against the people who took the club and its supporters and football supporters all over Scotland for a ride .After they have cheated the tax man out of millions and constantly lied about there fit and proper status caring not a jot about anyone else but themselves it will lead to thousands leaving Scottish football not being prepared to pay hard earned money into a rigged game.I believe the SFA and SPL who for me are all part of the Rangers establishment must also be cleared out before a level playing field can be established.I must be honest I do not hold out much hope for justice to prevail as if it did Sir David Murray and a few others would already be in jail. H.H.

  7. Happy New Year Celts

     

    Hope you are all well.

     

     

    Those sevconians have carried on the cheating, from where their jurassic ancestors left off.

     

    They might not be the same club…but they definitely want to cheat the same way.

     

    Its crazy what they are getting away with….totally barking mad.

     

    I just hope someone somewhere can stop them.

     

    If the cheating is not tackled……its all over.

     

    Cannot stomach it any longer.

     

     

    AULDHEID

     

     

    Take my hat off to you.

     

    They cannot fool you, no way.

     

    I can only hope your brilliant work does not go unrewarded.

     

    Hail Hail

  8. BMCUW –

     

     

    If you’re lurking, please cease and desist from worrying the CQN Coupneers that they’ve not made their LMS picks yet! I fear you might have mis-read the 2 posts I made last night on Page 18 ;-)

     

     

    Just waiting on 3 LMS picks – Angelgabriel, Zico Maltese Bhoy and twinbrookbhoy.

  9. Celticrollercoaster supporting Shay,our bhoy wonder along the way on

    Good morning fholks and a happy Celtic day to you all.

     

     

    Looking for a victory and a good performance today, Time to bounce back after a number of poor home performances recently, both domestically and in Europe. Thistle also going through a decent wee run at the moment. Makes a mockery of the odds for Celtic at 5/1 on. Obviously the bookies know better, so I am going for 3-1 to the Hoops and the same again for the second half :-)

     

     

    Good luck to the Res12 bhoys this year, but I feel for them when they are asking the various fans group to take action to support this. It shows to me ( and I hope I am wrong) the position of Celtic plc in this brush it “under the carpet” kabal exercise and let it fizzle out!

     

     

    HH

     

     

    CRC

  10. 67Heaven .. CHALLENGING THE LIE ..I am wee Oscar...... Ipox belongs to the creditors on

    Off for a wee swim, then onto the game…. HH TO ALL

  11. Cosy Corner Bhoy on

    Just about to set off to game. Dropping better half off in City centre. First live game since early October. CMON THE HOOPS!

  12. i'vehadtochangemyname on

    Wha was the shelf life of the spine of the team in the good teams and the great ones – was it 5 years ? what are we on now – 6 months to a year we might get a semblance of a strong spine before we sell the good players and start again. It’s got to be a major problem to manage given our current strategy.

  13. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    JOBO

     

     

    JOBO BALDIE on 1ST JANUARY 2016 11:07 PM

     

    Good evening friends

     

     

     

    *** LAST MAN STANDING WEEK 4 ***

     

     

     

    If anyone knows the whereabouts of those mentioned below please give themn a wee nudge and remind them they’ve still to pick their team for this weekend.

     

     

     

    Thank You ;-)

     

     

     

    Marspapa

     

     

    twinbrookbhoy

     

     

    Angelgabriel

     

     

    Zico Maltese Bhoy

     

    JOBO BALDIE on 1ST JANUARY 2016 11:10 PM

     

    Good evening again friends

     

     

     

    *** CQN COUPONEERS ***

     

     

     

    If anyone knows the whereabouts of those mentioned below, please give them a wee nudge and remind them they’ve still to make their selection for this weekend.

     

     

     

    Thank you ;-)

     

     

     

    Blantyretim

     

     

    Greenlion2

     

     

    Lennybhoy

     

     

    PFayr

     

     

    Pogmanthonyahun

     

     

    The Token Tim

     

    ~~~~~~~~~*++*~~~~~~~~~

     

     

    No problem,mate. Only trying to help. Though from the above,anyone would think you were sending out an APB for those mentioned.

  14. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Meeting Oldtim at 1pm in BV before heading up to Cqn corner

     

    See you bhoys there.

  15. Time to end our poor run at CP today. Thistle fans fancy their chances, hopefully setting them up for a fall. Griffiths plays, we win comfortably, if he doesn’t then it’ll be a struggle.

  16. A very happy new year to all you tims and gorgeous timetts out there in Timland. Just rising from a somewhat bevy fuelled day or so. “You think your lucky, I get my f-kin bus pass tomorrow, will I survive to use it?. Anyway, the big rough sweeping brush is needed in our house. If that is a waste of our time and the establishment take control, at least we left a clean one. God bless you all. Hh

  17. BIG-CUP-WINNERS on

    Gary67

     

     

    Probably take the wee man some time to get back into things. If there is any element of doubt about his fitness, rather than rush him back he should be left out. Tried to rush Mulgrew back; didn’t work out at all.

     

     

    In any case Deila will most probably start Ciftci and bench Griffiths when he’s fit again.

  18. TBJ says Wee Oscar Knox is in heaven with the angels on

    BT

     

     

    Arrived back in Cambuslang at noon. 24 degrees hotter than when I left warsaw at 8:30 am. But I honestly preferred the cold clear day as well as the city of warsaw.

     

     

    However I am very very happy to be able to see the celtic and should be at the corner around 2 so hopefully see you and old Tim there

  19. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Thoughts today with the families of the 66 who perished, 45 years ago today. May their souls rest in peace.

     

     

    Horrible injury suffered by Dundee’s James Mccabe. A suspected dislocation of his knee. I don’t normally give any praise to United’s Ryan Mcgowan, but he was first in to assist and offer consolation to James.

     

     

    One nil United, Spittal free kick

  20. *** LAST MAN STANDING – THE CHOICES FOR THIS WEEKEND ***

     

     

    Good afternoon all.

     

     

    The 53 remaining Standers have gone with the following choices for this week. All ganes are 3.00pm Saturday kick offs except where shown otherwise.

     

     

    19 – Celtic

     

    12 – Arsenal

     

    11 – Leicester

     

    4 – Motherwell

     

    2 – Hearts and Manchester Utd

     

    1 – Inverness

     

    1 – Man City (Saturday, 5.30pm)

     

    1 – Aberdeen (Sunday, 12.30pm)

     

     

    Good luck

     

     

    Jobo

  21. And here’s this weeks CQN Couponeers line –

     

     

    Awalkacrosstherooftops: Walsall

     

    Blantyretim: Birmingham

     

    Greenlion2: Preston

     

    Jobo Baldie: Morton

     

    Lennybhoy: Gillingham

     

    PFayr: Bristol Rovers

     

    Pogmathonyahun: Leicester

     

    The Token Tim: Cambridge

     

     

    All 8 are at home – first time this season we’ve done that. 476/1 on McBookie. Bet responsibly if at all ;-)

  22. Happy new years folks to our host and all you good folks.

     

     

    Just catching, reading the last few pages there. I would also like to add my admiration to AULDHEID and other folks for their determination and long campaign to strive to uncover the truth regarding the corruption and cheating at RFC and the subsequent alleged cover up of the facts by the governing body.

     

     

    Don’t know if they will be successful, as they are up against the establishment, but many thanks for their perseverance to try to bring out the truth.

     

     

    HH Dan

  23. Off to the game and looking forward to it. I expect a win but I will try hard not to throw my toys out of my pram if we get less than my expectations met.

     

     

    Thistle are one of the three form teams in the SPFL- They have 4 wins in the last 6. Celtic and Well have 3. After today, we will be the form team again- just as we were before the Well result.

     

     

    P.S. crc and Jobo- I will bring cash today to pay what I owe you

  24. RT @ThistleTweet SOLD OUT – We are now sold out of Thistle end tickets for the Celtic fixture on Saturday.

  25. Gordon; Lustig, Ambrose, Simunovic, Tierney; Johansen, Bitton; Commons, Rogic, McGregor; Ciftci (MD)

  26. Would love to see Aiden McGeady back but what is the point. I hate these loan deals if he is off at the end of the season and it means once again stripping the club of it’S best players with the Champs League qualifiers next summer. The club is well served with our current squad for domestic competitions. Permanent deal or forget it.