Taking the foot off the pedal talk


The count of how many times I’ve heard “I hope we don’t take the foot off the pedal like we did last year” has reached double figures. This is never a good sign. Football games, against any level of opponent, need to planned for and respected.

During last season’s League Cup semi-final, Celtic went two goals up early on, then made 100% sure the result would never be in danger by denying Newco even an attempt at goal (the match stats recorded one attempt, which was actually a wayward cross from a free kick). Compare and contrast with Borussia Dortmund’s two goal advantages last night. While I’d love to score a barrel-load, winning the game is all that really matters.

We have seen enough Celtic teams dominate possession in Europe against less-resourced teams only to lose to the sucker punch. This has been a harsh lesson, which I hope has been learned.

I doubt many of us know what to expect from Newco. They won the Championship but this season didn’t have to contend with vastly superior Hearts team. They are also in the semi-final because they thumped Premiership Dundee 4-0 at Ibrox, which is a huge result for any lower league team (we’ve failed to score twice against Dundee recently).

All my “Rangers” supporting pals tell me they are hopeless at defending, so there’s a decent possibility they will defend deeply and play on the break – just as several others have done effectively against us this season. We’re going to have a lot of possession in the final third, but Scott Brown and Nir Bitton will need to offer a lot of defensive cover.

Most of all, we’ll need discipline. There’s a red card winging its way to the first Celtic player to stare at an opponent in a rash manner. The First Minister will probably get involved too, so be prepared.

Did you read Walter “dare I say it, 10 in a row” Smith? What a man to have in your corner days before a big game. He’ll have them thinking it’s 1957 all over again!


Charlie Gallagher! What a Player! is the new book by Celtic historian David Potter, published by CQN Books at the end of the month. Order your signed copy HERE or click on the image below.


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  1. Paddy Roberts runs at the defence….



    Lee Wallace goes for a hot dog…




  2. ——–



    Mr.Pastry Bakes Exceedingly Fine ‘Counterfeit’ Killie Pies…



    [ Allegedly….! Ed ]








  3. prestonpans bhoys on

    The only fears I have about Sunday is getting back to the bus safely, that mobs football skills doesn’t worry me at all.

  4. 67Heaven .. CHALLENGING THE LIE ..I am wee Oscar...... Ipox belongs to the creditors on




    Time to ditch those celebrating ads, as well as the zombies….





    I look forward to your new article on Monday,which will tell me the score.



    I hope we hammer them back into their box.

  6. I will not be THERE on Sunday.



    In fact I will not even be in the country.



    However, I WILL watch the game here in Italia.



    I have also advised my daughter to head home when she finishes work at 9pm, instead of going for a nightcap.




  7. Declan the Great on

    We have a good team but can’t underexagerate the glasgow rangers. They play fast and quick, sometimes real top shelf stuff, and it might be too much for us. Can’t count our chickens before they’re born

  8. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    I think the game will be closer than the first time we played them. I think the score could be less close.

  9. CultsBhoy can not relate to Celtic Board ambitions on or off the park on

    I’m an ardent believer that Ronny is NOT the man to lead us next season. Clearly I am not alone. However, I’m thinking if we win 5-0 on Sunday, I’d at least reconsider my position. 7-0 and I’d start a Deila CSC.


    For any others who believe in change..is there a scoreline that would make you reassess your opinion? If so what is it?





    It reminds me of when I first met WEST WALES CELT.



    A coupla years back now,in Cardiff.



    Smashing day,Celtic game on in Dempseys when it was still a Celtic pub. Joe Ledley’s Dad was in our company,with friends,all new Tims.



    WWC had no Welsh accent. Nor any Welsh ancestry. He had moved due to work,and will never move away from a place he calls home.



    Nor does he have an Irish or Scottish accent,nor ancestry.



    His love of Celtic derives from our protest against Thatcher. He loved it!



    He did some digging on our background then went to a few friendlies and testimonials.



    He was hooked!



    It’s easy to be a Celtic supporter when you are brought up as one. And I respect every single one,cos I know a few who have turned away.



    But people who just get us regardless?







  11. prestonpans bhoys on

    Those of you who have never encountered Declan’s narratives are in for a treat :0)


    DECLAN THE GREAT is a welcome return. So too would be Beano.



    Also ROGUE LEADER if he cared to put his head above the parapet. He should be writing for VIZ.



    (Btw,I can bestow no greater honour…)

  13. Pointless wishing we hammer this mob on Sunday, just get to the final and be done with the new club till next season, and that will look after its self It’s getting over the top and the SMSM have been running on amateur night all week, they’r a bad lot, BUT! As we all know mistakes can happen in semi finals, So the object of Sunday’s game is, players must stay on there feet, and keep the back door shut, should be a dawdle, but it’s Scotland?

  14. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Paul – if they are “hopeless at defending”, why would they defend?


    Their strength is going forward. I think they will be reasonably attack-minded.


    Celtic should play it like the recent Hearts game. Less than 50% possession, but more chances and goals.

  15. TBJ has no trust in the PLC on

    Not going … not watching or listening ..not checking social media .



    As far as a prediction goes … if they play their best and we play our best we should win by a couple at least .



    This however is cup tie football with a mib …. I know the game is corrupt so anything can and might happen.



    If the mib influences the match and they win through – the only headline and only thing that matters here wI’ll be the result .

  16. I know I’m gonna get pelters for saying this



    Look, I don’t read the rags and have absolutely no time for Keith Jackson but I’m not sure I buy into the criticism of his recent article.






    “Celtic and Rangers heroes among football stars facing financial ruin as HMRC send cash demands over tax avoidance schemes”



    “SCOTS football stars are facing a fresh threat of financial ruin from the taxman.



    Cash demands totalling millions have been issued over tax avoidance schemes in a new blow following the Employee Benefit Trusts row surrounding Rangers.



    The targets of the crippling new demands include some of the biggest names in Scottish football.



    Recent legislation put in place by Chancellor George Osborne allowed the authorities to re-examine the legality of more than 1000 tax avoidance schemes used by the rich and famous.



    Many of the schemes had been officially approved by HM Revenue and Customs but a retrospective change in the law means those who used them are now personally liable.



    And this has led to hundreds of accelerated payment notices being served on former and current professional footballers.



    The bombshell demands have been dropped on at least three Scotland captains as well as a host of their international teammates.



    Former big earners from across the Old Firm divide have been targeted, as well as at least one player who is likely to feature in Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final between the Glasgow rivals.



    Firms who sued a tax avoidance scheme could be made to pay 400million to the taxman Hector And a string of current SPFL stars from clubs across the country have been left urgently seeking legal and financial advice after being placed on taxman Hector’s hitlist.



    The controversial APNs demand full repayment of all disputed amounts. And only once that money has been deposited can the sums involved be subject to appeal.



    It is understood that hundreds of professional players on both sides of the Border are discussing joining forces to mount a joint legal challenge against the APN demands.



    One current Scotland player said: “There is a feeling that we are being hung out to dry.



    “Some of the boys are being hit with demands for sums of seven, eight or nine times what they invested into these schemes.



    “Letters are coming through effectively saying, ‘You paid £1million into such and such a scheme a couple of years ago. We want £9million into our account right now. Pay up or we’re sending round the debt collectors to start seizing your assets. We’ll argue about the details later.’



    “It’s terrifying and a lot of football players from the past and present are in a real state. No one wants to be declared bankrupt but some of the guys might have no other choice.”



    Sir Alex Ferguson: Arguably the greatest football manager of all time Sir Alex Ferguson could be hit with a huge bill. A number of the schemes at the centre of the probe relate to investments made in the film industry.



    Down south, legendary Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, ex-Old Trafford defender Rio Ferdinand and former England manager Sven Goran Eriksson are among those facing potential bills for tens of millions of pounds.



    On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled that HMRC are entitled to go after investors in one such film scheme, in a case worth a total of £1billion.



    In 2012, Dave Hartnett, then the head of HMRC, described film schemes as “scams for scumbags”. But one former Scotland international who invested in such a scheme told the Record: “These schemes were approved by the authorities at the time. They were perfectly legal.



    “But now the rules have been changed and the taxman has effectively gone to war with footballers and celebrities.



    “They see us as easy targets. These letters are dropping through everyone’s box and they are frightening the life out of some of the boys.



    “I spoke with one player the other day who got a demand for £80,000. He has until next week to come up with the cash. The guy is in a desperate state. He doesn’t have the money and knows the next step is likely to see him losing his house.



    “But that’s just a minor example of what’s going on. The guy I’m talking about played at a decent level without ever being a huge earner.



    “There are plenty of other more high- profile players facing demands for much more than £80,000. I know of one former player who has been hit for £750,000 and who is in complete panic.



    “There’s no room for negotiation or compromise. It’s all heavy-handed, aggressive tactics from HMRC.”



    HMRC believe many of the film investment schemes were designed specifically for tax evasion.



    But another source – one of the most influential men in Scottish football –told the Record: “Some of the guys involved put money into a scheme that helped fund the movie Avatar so we’re talking about bona fide investments.



    “They were told the tax incentives were perfectly legal. Some of them have letters from HMRC to prove it.



    “But now the Government have completely moved the goalposts. I’ve spoken with a number of players who are at their wits’ end with worry.”



    Tax expert Andrew Watters, of accountancy firm Thomas Egger, said: “These guys are probably going to have to cough up this money and, in some cases, that could mean selling houses and things like that.



    “The big change we have seen in the last couple of years is the introduction of these accelerated payment notices.



    “At the time a lot of footballers got involved in these film schemes, HMRC didn’t have the power to demand the tax they believe is owed up front.



    “That meant you could tie the case up in court potentially for several years before anything would have to be handed over.



    “Now taxpayers can be compelled to deposit the money before fighting their case, with the possibility that it will be returned years down the line if they are successful in court.



    “If you have a sportsman who was making a lot of money when times were good, but made a couple of bad investments, then they are going to have to find that money.



    “There is no doubt that this is placing a lot of people who got involved in these film schemes in a lot of bother.



    “You can make a representation to HMRC to have an APN withdrawn, but if your argument is just that you don’t think you owe the money then HMRC won’t pay much attention to that.”



    THE Record revealed last month that a host of former Rangers stars could be hit with huge tax bills over Employee Benefit Trusts.



    Ibrox icons including Barry Ferguson, Sir David Murray, Graeme Souness, Alex McLeish and Kris Boyd could be forced to pay back millions after George Osborne targeted tax dodgers in the Budget.



    The Chancellor is cracking down on beneficiaries of “disguised remuneration schemes” – of which the EBTs introduced by Murray were a prime example.



    More than 80 players, officials and staff at Rangers raked in more than


    £47million from the scheme between 2001 and 2010.



    Many of the foreign players have since returned to their home countries, which would create difficulties for HMRC in clawing back the cash.



    Schemes like EBTs were outlawed with the 2011 Finance Act but billions of pounds in unpaid tax remain outstanding.



    Murray Group, who owned Rangers, argued they were not liable for income tax and National Insurance because the players could have paid the loans back. But the tax authorities say the loans were never going to be repaid and the scheme was a brazen tax dodge.



    Osborne’s new legislation means that, even if ongoing court action by the taxman fails to prove the EBTs were paid as a top-up to wages, Rangers oldco and the players can expect massive tax demands to pop through their letterboxes when the crackdown comes into force in just three years.”






    It has been suggested that this is a deliberate attempt to lump Celtic Football Club in with the illegal tax evasion that went on in Govan.



    “Celtic heroes” are referred to in the headline but the article refers to the club at no point.



    The EBT’s are refered to only in reference to Barry Ferguson and Souness (Potentially having Hector chasing them on two fronts)



    While I don’t doubt that idiots on Rangers forums are equating the systematic illegal tax avoidance of Rangers (IL) with the personal finances of Neil Lennon and Peter Lawwell. Keith Jackson does not.

  17. SydneyTim says sack Lawell now on

    Taking the foot off the pedal Paul67. Lol that is what your mate PL done 6 years ago. Nothing to do with Huns dying We had massive income from CL on a plate as our rivals eh legia. Malmo , Maribor have the fraction of our income. But we are run purely to ensure that the AGM balance sheet and your mates bonus stays intact


    This years CL shambles will be offset with the young left back sale


    Oh please can our club change and go for the CL income


    PL is rumoured to be off


    I will fly to Glasgow and drive him personally over the border


    PL a man who has ruined our club

  18. yesterday I was heading for the fixtures page to remind myself who we were playing at the weekend and chuckled to myself as I remembered before getting there.




  19. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    There is a pub called The Emerald Bar just at the beginning of San Pedro ( coming from Marbella) next to a hotel called Cortijo Blanco. In spite of the name, it is not a Celtic pub as such but does show UK games.


    Another possibility is The Hogan Stand on the carretera at the bottom of San Pedro.




  20. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Request on Cqn FB



    San Pedro looking for Celtic bar for weekend


    Nothing up to date on Celtic bars

  21. The Battered Bunnet (when you’re next on) –



    I see there’s been some movement from HMRC on the subject we spoke about last week – i.e. the issuing of APNs. As I mentioned, they have 90 days to pay in full or agree a settlement (payment plan) – otherwise the bill will be handed to HMRCs Debt Management & Banking dept. who will pursue aggressively. I’m sure the player’s lawyers and accountants are telling them to ignore the demand for payment until the final outcome is known. However, my understanding is that HMRC will start to apply penalties and interest to the amounts outstanding in the meantime. So that risk is on the individual players concerned – up to them. As I said, the Finance Act 2014 gave HMRC the power to issue these in advance of any settlement in courts. No doubt the players will try to go to their employer (Rangers Football Club) with their side letters in order that these bills can be settled on their behalf. Unfortunately for them the club (as we all know) is no longer there as it was liquidated. At any rate, these are personal tax liabilities and whatever the employer was meant to have done (e.g. treated as PAYE) is a separate issue. The responsibility is with the individual to declare all their taxable income to HMRC. Probably should have mentioned it on their Self-Assessment return. But too late! And now HMRC want what their money.

  22. ——–






    Will We Be Seein’ Ye At Big Rollin’ Thunder’s Pow-Wow The Night….



    Doon The Brazen Heid @ 9pm….?



    Kill ULTRA’s Gettin’ In The ROONDs..



    Mr. Pastry Will Provide The ‘Nibbles’..




    Canamalar Will Be Lookin’ For A Camel..



    Mags McGill Will Be Doin’ Her Acclaimed Pole-Dancin’ Act….



    Croydon Ernie (May) Appear….



    Suitably Disguised In A SBD & Stockings…..



    Or Wi’ A Whip & A ‘Tache’…



    [Decisions….! Decisions…! Ed ]




    Choo-Choo BMCUWP Willnae Make It…



    He’s Fallin’ Oot Wi’ The ‘Fat Controller’..



    An’ Been Lobbed-Off The Train At Preston…..



    See Ya Then…♥♥



    Great Walkin’ Eagle





  23. TBJ has no trust in the PLC on




    Last night My other half said to me ” when I asked you what day the football was this weekend you said there wasn’t any ”



    I replied ” for me there isn’t any “

  24. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on



    I just noticed I had forgotten to address my post to you! Glad you saw it. If you want any further information , perhaps you could get my email from ACGR / BMCUW/ Paul67/ anyone and I will give you any more information you may need. My niece lives in San Pedro.




  25. Phyllis Dietrichson on

    I’m optimistic about Sunday as I think we will force them not to play their natural game. All of their attacking threat comes from their two full backs, who will be ordered to look after Roberts and (I hope) GMS. They will be forced to defend deep, which they have not done this season, and then when we score they will be forced to release the two full backs in search of an equaliser. I can see us getting to 3-0 before they go back to keep the score respectable.



    So 3-0 is my prediction.

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