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Welcome Mikael Lustig

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A big Celtic welcome to Mikael Lustig, 24-year-old Swedish defender, who will join in January on a contract that runs until summer 2015, after leaving Rosenborg on a free contract.  At 6’3” he can play in central defence but more commonly plays as an attacking right back.

With the ever-promising Adam Matthews, Mark Wilson and Cha Du-Ri already competing for the right back slot you would intuitively think Mikael is more likely to be used in what has become known as Celtic’s troublesome central defensive positions, despite Neil Lennon’s “he can play both positions, but he´s predominantly a right-back” comment.  Cover at right back is susceptible to change, however.  Mark Wilson will be injured well into 2012 and Celtic are unlikely to stand in the way of Cha, who is surplus to requirements most weeks, which leaves only teenage Matthews to see us through the business end of the season.

On paper he ticks all the boxes, right price, right experience and has been tested in European and international football.  With Jos Hooiveld likely to be off the books in January, for what could yet be a promising career in the English Premier League, to the amazement of several SPL players I’ve spoken to, Mikael should strengthen the squad.

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  1. Craig Gordon becomes available on a pre-contract in little over a month’s time. I think, given our most recent acquisitions, that he’d suit us more (than Forster).

  2. Cha out of contract in summer as well, might seem him off as well if Lustig can operate right back if Matthews get injured.

     

     

    Adam Matthews looks as Kojo would say a Brammer for me when played in his normal position of right back.

     

     

    Craig Gordon might be a shout as well on a pre contract.

  3. A Europe-wide arrest warrant has been issued for the owner of Portsmouth Football Club Vladimir Antonov.

     

     

    Lithuanian prosecutors want to question him as part of an investigation into alleged asset stripping at Snoras Bank.

     

     

    They are also seeking his business partner Raimondas Baranauskas. Both are former managers and shareholders of the bank and deny any wrongdoing.

     

     

    Portsmouth FC said its business operations were unaffected and its day-to-day operations “carry on as normal”.

     

     

    ‘Recognised as suspects’

     

    Snoras Bank went into temporary administration last week and, on Tuesday, Latvian authorities suspended the operations of another of Antonov’s banks, Krajbanka, for similar reasons.

     

     

    A court in Lithuania granted the request by the Prosecutor General’s Office on Tuesday and a pre-trial investigation into alleged fraud and money laundering has begun.

     

     

    Portsmouth said on Friday it was unaffected by the situation at Snoras Bank.

     

     

    In a statement, the prosecutors said: “Both former managers of the bank Snoras have been recognised as suspects with regard to misappropriation of property on a large scale and forgery of documents.

     

     

    “R. Baranauskas is also suspected of fraudulent accounting and abuse of authority.

     

     

    “Prosecutor General Mr D Valys signed European arrest warrants issued against these persons.”

     

     

    Mr Baranauskas also held the posts of the chairman of the bank board and president.

     

     

    ‘Solely financed’

     

    Mr Antonov owns 68% of Bankas Snoras and an administrator has been appointed to assess its financial position.

     

     

    The Russian businessman is the backer of Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI) which owns Portsmouth FC.

     

     

    Last week CSI released a statement saying: “In the light of the recent events at Snoras Bank, Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI) would like to reassure its companies, staff, and the fans of its teams and events, that it remains very much business as usual.

     

     

    “We are operationally unaffected by Snoras Bank entering temporary administration.

     

     

    “CSI has been solely financed through the private wealth of its owners.

     

     

    “Snoras Bank has never provided funding for the purchase of a CSI organisation, nor has it lent any money to these businesses after they have been acquired.”

     

     

    In February 2010, Portsmouth became the first Premier League club to be placed into administration and CSI completed its takeover of the Championship side in June 2011.

  4. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo says:

     

    23 November, 2011 at 15:57

     

     

    Do you think same thing will happen to certain guy closer to home?

  5. Afternoon Paul,

     

     

    Are you saying that some SPL players were saying thet Jos was guff? and if so which team (if you can say) do these players play for?

     

     

    In my opinion he wasnt here (and injured) long enough to make an accurate assessment.

     

     

    Anyway, welcome big man. 6’4 and all, i like it.

  6. Lustig looks like a coup, and I feared we’d lose out to Premiership or La Liga interest.

     

     

    6’3″, international-class, history of success, scores a few goals from RB.

     

     

    Wee Matthews looks like a player, but I think we need more than one reliable player for the position, and we can’t count on Wilson to be fit or Cha to be consistent.

     

     

    Pity he won’t be registered in time to beat R*ngers.

  7. Welcome Mikael,

     

     

    Good to see us tying this one up so quickly liven that other clubs were reportedly interested.

     

     

    Centre half and cver at right back? Adam Matthews looks like a good number one right back to me.

  8. Serge (10) Tommy Burns on

    Welcome to Celtic Mikael.

     

     

    Nice boost for the Club….therefore the bet is done. Forrest 1st goal…..6-0. 100/1

     

     

    It’s time someone got a right doing, Hope it’s this Evening.

  9. My dear,dear,dear,friend.. WGS

     

     

    Hiya,pally??

     

     

    Great tae Meet and Greet. ye

     

     

    Ah am no so gung ho, aboot.. Michael..

     

     

    as Ah am ..

     

     

    Aboot..

     

     

    Young Master Blackman..

     

     

    Sure, he his Bags of Baggage..and ..who knows whit wull happen???

     

     

    Howevahhhh.,.,

     

     

    In his Capacity of being a Promising Prospect..

     

     

    According, tae spies o’ collie..

     

     

    This Youngster is the Berry Berries!

     

     

    Fur.. He kin Mix it wi the Best.. and He Runs a Fast as a Roadrunner .

     

    Tanked up. on “Ethol”/

     

     

    Ah ,therefore hiv Very High Hopes fur. Master Blackman..

     

     

    That is.. If ..the Crick don’t Rise..and He walks the Staight and Narrow.

     

     

    Kojo

     

    yer pal…who likes ye aloater

  10. Tonight will prove once and for all the veracity of the oft-theorised link between Philvis getting first and Celtic winning.

  11. Welcome big guy! Hope this does not mean Matthews is to be sold. Been really expressed with the young lad.

     

     

    So is it Al Kad or Ledley at LB tonight? Tough one, don´t think Ledley played all that well against ICT on Saturday plus I always prefer to see him in our midfield.

     

     

    Enjoy the game bhoys! Cmom the celts!

     

     

    Not going to see it, massive game in here is barca tonight!

  12. welcome Mikael , another right back signed, strange one considering Adam has been one of our better players this season are we sigining internationals as back up now :) Unless it is advanced planning and Mark and Cha are being released in June , possibly even let Cha find a club in Dec.

     

     

    Looking at the out of contract for the summer who would you keep, only one for me is Forster, think he is developing into a good keeper and try and get some dosh for Brown in January the rest are not going to get you much.

     

    1 Forster

     

    5 Majstorovic’

     

    8 Brown

     

    11 Cha

     

    12 M.Wilson

     

    22 Loovens

     

    24 Zaluska

     

    ?? Blackman

     

    L odea

     

    L mcginn

  13. BelfastCityCelt on

    We are going to win the league,points deduction or no points deduction.Simple as that.

     

     

    Huns on the run 2011/12.

     

     

    Go get ’em Lenny.

  14. Paul67 et al

     

     

    Hope Michael can play centre-back. Adam Matthews is going to be a top International level right back, but he is still developing as a player, no way we want to lose him surely? Looking forward to tonight’s game even though I will not be there. Surprisingly we have not played the Pars much in recent years. Three points first, top performance a welcome bonus!

  15. If we had half a dozen guys with Mark Wilsons Celtic heart,we wouldnt be where we are today.Not the best he would admit but very good SPL player,and outstanding last season(inc hunskelper). I would be surprised if he is still playing in 18 months time,given his problems with both knees.Good luck to him and hope he can recover.

  16. What do you think of this,Lustig at RB,Blackman at LB,Matthews at RMid.,Izzy and Forrest sold for 15 million.No never,Lawwell would,nt think like this,would he?Slan

  17. Kojo,

     

     

    Here’s a few for you to stew over.

     

     

    Milan Badelj (Attacking Moravick type player)

     

    Mathis Jorgensen( Big Giant Danish centre half)

     

    Markus Rosenborg (Swedish centre forward)

     

    Merveen Celik (Sweden under 21)

  18. BelfastCityCelt on

    Team for the night:

     

     

     

    ———————-FF——————

     

     

    —-Matthews—-67——-Dan———Ledley——

     

     

    —-JamesF——-Ki——-Kayal——-Commons——

     

     

    ——————Hooper—Stokes————-

     

     

    Correct score: Celtic 5-nil £20 single at 5/1.

     

     

    Thoughts/opinions please.

  19. With Lenny saying he is prodominently a right back.

     

     

    Either Matthews is moving to right mid which would an excellent move or he might be punted to Everton of Fulham who are sniffing.

     

     

    Forrest to Spurs might be on the horizon

  20. Neil Lennon Is A Celtic Soul Brother on

    jungle1967 says:

     

    23 November, 2011 at 16:14

     

     

    Can’t think of any since Tommy Gemmell-not many full backs scored in two different European Cup Finals(not including penalty shoot-outs)

  21. Interesting article from todays edinburgh evening news

     

     

    DEBT spiralling out of control, stadium needing redeveloped, players being sold to cut costs and supporters relying on a Russian businessman to save their team. This is not just Hearts of 2011, for over 100 years ago the very same issues were the talk of the toon in Gorgie as the Edinburgh club fought to stay alive.

     

     

    Parallels between Hearts’ problems of the early 1900s and the modern day almost send a shiver down the spine. Current debts of £36 million are comparable to the £1450 owed in 1905. Pressure from the tax man and creditors threatened to kill Hearts off back then until a Russian entrepreneur and his associates intervened.

     

     

    Vladimir Romanov might be considered rich and astute, however back in the day Elias Fürst was Hearts’ saviour along with the main shareholder of the Evening News, George Wilson, and a local councillor named James Leishman. With the team decimated and funds wiped out after a fire destroyed Tynecastle, those three founded a new company to rebuild the team, pay off debts and prevent liquidation. Hearts trade as that very company to this day.

     

     

    The club’s popularity was growing steadily in the early 20th century. They won the Scottish Cup in 1901, beating Celtic, and reached the 1903 final. The 1903 semi-final took place at Tynecastle (neutral venues were not used then) in front of a crowd just under 30,000. But the ground capacity was only 26,000, resulting in huge overspills and significant damage to the stadium.

     

     

    Hearts incurred scathing criticism with the first Ibrox disaster in 1902 still fresh in everyone’s minds. Directors planned to spend cash raised from reaching the 1903 final to improve the stadium, but matters were taken out of their hands in April 1903 when a fire destroyed the South Stand.

     

     

    Around £700 of damage was caused and insurance only covered a third of that amount, therefore Hearts had to pay £1143 to replace the stand with a new pavilion and press box. That wiped out all profits from the 1903 final. The club was consequently short on capital when they should have been flush after reaching a cup final. All of a sudden, investment in the ground and the team was essential and bills began to mount up.

     

     

    The first “Heart of Midlothian Football Club (Ltd)” was formed in August 1903 with capital of £3000. Hearts was a members club at that time which people paid to join every year, and the £3000 was donated by existing members. Shares were not issued to the general public and the £3000 capital was eaten up quickly with stadium repairs and a couple of new players arriving.

     

     

    During the 1903/04 season the Hearts team was plundered by English Southern League clubs. They didn’t have to pay transfer fees because they were outwith the agreement between the Scottish League and the English Football League, which stated poaching players was forbidden. Captain Albert Buick and David Axford joined Portsmouth, whilst Mark Bell defected to Fulham, all for nothing.

     

     

    By the end of season 1904/05 Hearts found themselves in serious financial trouble, running at a loss on a weekly basis. The bank demanded security and outstanding creditors were pressing the club hard. Unpaid rates, taxes and creditors totalled £1450 – a laughable amount today but the wage bill at the time amounted to just £60 per week and a good home attendance at Tynecastle would draw £150. The debt was too big for a relatively small company.

     

     

    The club had been forced to sell players to stay afloat, with Chelsea paying a total of £300 for George Key, Robert Mackie and Martin Moran. That quickened the need for new investment.

     

     

    The solution was proposed by a group of influential men who were to become the driving forces of the new Hearts. Fürst, Wilson and Leishman – later Sir James Leishman – formed a new company to take over the assets of the old one and pay its debts. In April 1905, the company was incorporated with a subtle change. It was called “The Heart of Midlothian Football Club, Ltd”. Adding “the” allowed the formation of a new company to rescue the old one, and it began with £5000 of capital.

     

     

    Fürst was a Russian born in to a German family living in Lithuania. He came from an area of the Russian empire called the Courland, roughly where Lithuania and Latvia now stand. It is believed he was born in St Petersburg although his family moved around between eastern Europe and Britain.

     

     

    Fürst worked as a watchmaker and jeweller in Edinburgh and was a very active shareholder in Hearts. A clever businessman who ran his own company, he, along with Wilson and Leishman, was instrumental in keeping Hearts alive. In fact, he was to enjoy a very impressive administrative career in Scottish football. He was elected to the Hearts board in 1907 and remained a director until 1935. He was involved in issues surrounding the Great War and the War Memorial, and eventually became president of the Scottish Football League. Wilson was voted on to the board of directors in 1905 and was later chairman of Hearts.

     

     

    Their collective guidance quickly paved the way for new successes and Hearts won the Scottish Cup again in 1906, beating Third Lanark 1-0 in the final at Ibrox. The new company formed in 1905 had astute people behind it but they weren’t slow to point fingers at their predecessors. Board minutes from that period confirm some internal acrimony, with Fürst and his colleagues blaming the original board for leading the club into trouble and having them threatened with liquidation.

     

     

    Hearts were intent on challenging the Old Firm again having flirted dangerously with extinction. Russian oligarchs didn’t exist then as they do now, but Hearts will forever be in debt to Elias Fürst and those who performed the 1905 rescue act.

  22. My dear,dear,dear,friend.. FanandPatriot

     

     

    Pal

     

     

    Ah widnae think twice. at the prospect of selling Master Forrest

     

     

    fur .. a Nice Round Sum..

     

     

    Like..

     

     

     

    Ten Million.. Ah wid hiv not the slightest Probllem Doing that..

     

     

    Business is Business.. and Ten Million is a Lotta Happiness fur oor

     

    Bottum Line..

     

     

    Master Forrest, was My man of the Match. agin the Caley Caber Tossers..

     

     

    But.. Ah still wid let him go . fur the Right Price.

     

     

    Celtic, Needs the Dough.

     

     

    Kojo

     

    yer pal…who likes ye aloater.