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When a managerial hero has to leave the stage

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I loved the Leicester City story as much as any of you. Well, maybe not just as much. Leicester’s title win was astonishing, but it was no fairy story. They outperformed far wealthier clubs, sure, but this was achieved by spending the kind of money Celtic couldn’t dream of parting with.

Apart from their league win, Project Leicester was typical of the financial chicanery which has been prevalent in English football for so long, and which Financial Fair Play seeks to end.

Right now they are in freefall. If they go down, loaded with an underperforming squad on eye-wateringly high salaries, they will find it impossible to downsize sufficiently to give anyone sitting around the King Power Stadium boardroom table that they will be able to achieve stability in the Championship.

Once you drop out of the Enland and Wales Premier League, the biggest parachute in the world simply isn’t big enough. Two of the three Championship relegation places are currently occupied by recent Premier League clubs. Aston Villa, twice the size of Leicester but with a far smaller wage bill, are currently 17th. Leicester will look ominously at Blackpool, 14th in League Two, and appreciate how rapidly a Premier League relegation fight can turn into something altogether more serious.

Claudio Ranieri is a football hero, but even from the outside it has been plain to see that something has been seriously wrong under his control in recent months. His comments before the Sevilla game, “we know they are the better team”, spoke of a man who didn’t believe in himself or his players anymore.

It is never easy to spot when a managerial hero should move on from a club where he’s loved, exect in hindsight. Clough was the greatest English manager, but stayed on far too long at Nottingham Forest. Relegation was his reward.

Jock Stein’s sacking as Celtic manager in 1978 was shabbily handled, as was the way at the club back then. I was too young to know the best of Jock’s years at Celtic, but I remember the grief he got from the terraces during his last four seasons, when Rangers (remember them?) won three titles and two trebles.

No one will tell you they got on Jock’s case back then, but it happened. Football fans in the 1970s took no prisoners.

Looking back, Jock stayed too long at Celtic. He produced miracles for five years then managed decline for eight. He should have taken the Manchester United job when offered. Clough squeezed two League Cups out of his squad in 1989 and 1990 and should have headed for this hills right then.

As for Claudio, he should have bowed out a champion in May. He didn’t have managerial alchemy after all, it was inevitable that performances would return to his normal trend this season. Someone at Leicester had to take responsibility.  That’s football – and it’s not even a modern aspect of it.

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  1. IMO Kenny owed Celtic nothing when he left, it’s not as if he left very young without making a contribution.He had done it all in Scotland, he needed a new challenge, and he proved to a wider audience what a great player he was.

  2. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan on

    LISBON UPDATE

     

     

    Good Afternoon All.

     

     

    Just thought I would do a quick Lisbon update for everyone who has contacted me and for anyone who hasn’t.

     

     

    There are a considerable number of CQN’ers heading out to Lisbon for the 50th anniversary of Celtic winning the European Cup.

     

     

    The majority of us are flying out on the 23rd and 24th of May but others are arriving as early as the 21st and staying until the 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th.

     

     

    Most people are staying in Lisbon City Centre but some others have chosen to stay half an hour up the coast in Estoril with some staying in the Palaccio Hotel where the team stayed during that famous week 50 years ago.

     

     

    As well as our group there are various groups and projects heading out to Lisbon including Mouldy’s team of cyclists and all their support personnel, and those intrepid individuals who are driving to Lisbon in a 1967 Hillman Imp in an attempt to recreate the journey undertaken by the late John Quinn of the Evening Times.

     

     

    There will be at least two film documentary crews in Lisbon in relation to these events as well.

     

     

    The Portuguese Cup Final takes place in the Estadio Nacional on the 28th of May and some have been told that entry to the stadium will be restricted and possibly not granted at all.

     

     

    I have personally been in touch with the Stadium Manager and he is liaising with the Portuguese FA and other authorities concerning controlled access to the stadium on the 25th. On average, one Celtic fan visits the stadium per day every day, and very often groups of Celtic fans just wander into the stadium of their own accord.

     

     

    I am told that stadium access will be granted on the day and I am trying to organise that this takes place in a properly organised way with there being a tour, photo opportunities and the ability for a large crowd to celebrate at a specific prearranged time so that it can be caught on film etc.

     

     

    The stadium manager has thus far been very accommodating and encouraging and promises to wear his personalised and numbered (67) shirt on the day.

     

     

    On the 24th, I have tentatively organised a four-course meal with wines and beers in Lisbon City Centre. The venue is all but chosen, menus discussed and arrangements made.

     

     

    The venue is a former 17th century palace in the very centre of Lisbon and within walking distance to most hotels where I know fans are staying. It is also very close to the Rossio Metro station, and so for anyone staying slightly further afield.

     

     

    The event will consist of dinner, drinks, live music from a Celtic FC orientated band, maybe a short presentation or two, a charity raffle, some singing, possibly dancing and a lot of smiles and laughter.

     

     

    Places at the dinner will be strictly limited to 250.

     

     

    There are also one or two other events in the offing but which are not yet confirmed including a concert like event which will hopefully take place on the evening of the 25th.

     

     

    For those staying till the 28th or beyond, arrangements have been made with a suitable licensed venue from which to watch the Scottish Cup Final.

     

     

    On the 26th of May, ACGR is arranging a golf tournament for golfers and caddies (or drunks who can’t play golf as they are otherwise known) and he will be in touch regarding that when he has finished putting up shelves and hoovering the grass in Spain for the size 22!

     

     

    For anyone who is interested, I can arrange a walking food and drink tour of Lisbon where a very nice lady who is an expert local guide will take you round some of the lesser known areas of Lisbon to sample some local food and drinks.

     

     

    There is also a similar tour which involves hopping on and hopping off the famous 28 tram as it circles its way around Lisbon.

     

     

    For those who are so minded, there is also the possibility of a small organised party heading out on the ferry across the River Tagus (15 minute journey) to a recommended restaurant at the other side of the river where you can sample excellent food and wine before taking the ferry home again.

     

     

    For anyone who has not yet decided to come or who is half thinking about it, there are flights from Scotland direct to Lisbon on the 23rd and 25th of May, and various other options are available from other UK airports or travelling via London, Dublin or Amsterdam.

     

     

    Hotels are in high demand for the period concerned but I know of a few places where rooms can still be booked at a reasonable price though some agencies are now quoting outrageous prices ( as in thousands of pounds per night) for certain hotels in the city.

     

     

    Since being lumbered with this task by Malorbhoy and Old Tim, I have taken the bull by the horns and decided that if you are going to do something you are as well doing it right and as such I have tried to think of as many details as possible and make as many arrangements as I possibly can to make sure anyone going has a great time.

     

     

    However, for the avoidance of doubt, once we get to Lisbon I will be in the bar sitting on my arse watching the world go by as that is what I am best at.

     

     

    Anyone who wants to know any more, who wishes any of the details regarding the above or who needs any help with accommodation can contact me at jjoe88@hotmail.co.uk.

     

     

    Please allow a little time for me to answer but I will get back to you.

     

     

    Cheers (literally)

     

     

    BRTH

  3. Comedy gold from the Dr…

     

     

    Meanwhile Rangers have now been without a boss for two weeks and Tom McDade, Southampton, reckons the Gers should take advantage of the news: “Claudio Ranieri is on the loose, Rangers should capture him as our new manager.”

     

     

    “If that happens I will shoot round to the bookies and see if I can get 200/1 for us to win the Premiership next season.”

  4. Brendan is a World Class Manager.

     

     

    Whenever Brendan speaks, Everyone is wanting to hear what he is saying.

     

     

    My Dad was so excited about John Kennedy, he had been watching Celtic TV Religiously….

     

     

    John turned out to be the most Amazing player, a CH as well, well he played as a winger against Thistle I think One Time. ;))

     

     

    My Dad was a CH and it was obvious to me, that he loved playing that position, hence his High Hopes for John.

     

     

    I’m delighted with Brendan and the James 1:19

  5. BB.

     

    The reason K.D. Left was money reasons

     

    His father in law was involved in whiskey

     

    Bond in Airdrie bankruptcy was coming

     

    That is that reason for him leaving Celtic

     

    Park

  6. Cosy Corner Bhoy on

    Poor old Ivan must have felt out of place at his presentation being he was the only one there with a ‘Christian’ name as his forename in stead of two surnames!!

  7. ERNIE LYNCH on 24TH FEBRUARY 2017 4:33 PM

     

    TALLYBHOY on 24TH FEBRUARY 2017 4:19 PM

     

     

     

    Is this him?

     

     

     

    http://www.linfieldfc.com/latestnews.aspx?id=15403

     

     

     

    Hard to believe someday with a coupon like that might have an agenda against Celtic.

     

     

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

     

     

    Yes that’s him. Face like a well-skelped erse. Makes Davie Dodds look like George Clooney.

     

     

    Seriously ‘tho, Celtic should be asking questions about this guy.

     

     

    Impartial my feckin arse!

     

     

    HH!!

  8. SOUTH OF TUNIS on 24TH FEBRUARY 2017 1:40 PM

     

    JAMESGANG @1.14 .

     

     

     

    Kante . .

     

     

    I agree with you . Conte tried and failed to get him to Juve from Caen . Media have Chelsea favorites to sign Atalanta’s Frank Kessie . A wowee good box to box midfielder … Juve are interested in him too but they will not match the money /wages that Chelsea will offer

     

     

    ——-

     

     

    Your first sentence means a lot. Cos you know your stuff hombre!

     

     

    HH jamesgang

  9. Good evening friends.

     

     

    Huge fixtures at the foot of the SPL over the nxt 24 hours. Hamilton, 2 points off the bottom have to travel to Celtic Park tomorrow afternoon but will already be bottom if Inverness triumph over Scotland’s newest club tonight. The first Friday night beers of 2017 await.

  10. Jobo Baldie,

     

     

    If ICT don’t Rattle 5 by the Newco Tonight, I doubt I will be winning the GFS trophy.

     

     

    A Superb Tournie.

     

     

    Maximum respect.

     

     

    Could The Newco Lose 5 goals to Inverness?

  11. WINNING CAPTAINS on 24TH FEBRUARY 2017 4:34 PM

     

    Given that this is topical on the blog today, here’s how it was covered in Celtic The Awakening…

     

     

     

    “THEY WANT ME TO SELL POOLS TICKETS,” JOCK STEIN…

     

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

     

     

    With respect,I think this entire topic should be dropped,before stalkers to this site start picking up speculative opinions and build on them.

     

     

    Jock Stein has my ( our ) eternal gratitude, but equally Celtic are not as black as painted in all the matters associated with Dalglish,Connelly,and Hay, and their subsequent moves,rather they have over the years continued to take flack for apparently treating Jock badly,and mis-managing the moves of these players.

     

     

    Clearly the crash,when Jock was driving Tony Queens car,and his subsequent recovery time was damaging, but to say Jock was totally the without blame is wrong, as some errors of judgement did occur.

     

     

    A close friend of mine was Jocks best man and an associate of Tony Queen.

     

     

    That’s my only comment, I wont discuss, but do not want Jock Stein nor Celtic to be villified.

  12. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    Tontine Tim,

     

     

    There are a few versions on why Hay left.

     

     

    One was that he had a dispute over wages paid when he was injured.

     

     

    A close mentor of his in his St.Mirin’s Boy ‘s Club days told my father at the time that there were a few attempts to come together with the club and eventually Hay agreed to stay.

     

     

    However, Jock told him to go home and discuss it with his wife.

     

    The next morning, he told Jock he was leaving.

     

     

    A decision that effectively ended his playing career.

  13. FGF and BB.

     

    Condolences to you both.

     

    Hopefully lots of happy memories will help you and your loved ones through this sad and difficult time.

     

    Hail Hail.

  14. Hopefully another 3 points tomorrow.

     

    A very heavy pitch and a stuffy Accies makes me think a low scoring victory for us. 2.0 to the Hoops.

     

    Inverness v Sevco.

     

    A game where I would be delighted if both lost.

     

    Hail Hail.

  15. Four Green Fields & Bundoran Bhoy: condolences to you both on the sad loss of your mother.

     

     

    Madra Rua: I don’t know of any pub in Malaga city to watch the match but if you take the train from the city centre towards Fuengirola the John Lemon in Benalmadena and Timmy’s in Torreblanca will both show the match. Both pubs are within walking distance from their respective stations.

  16. Will be interesting (for those like me who will be watching tonight) to see if Inverness continue their agricultural approach to football AND whether that approach is treated as leniently as the last time I watched them adopt it.

     

     

    veryclumsywordedpostsCSC

  17. Guys on behalf of FourGreenFields, myself and all.the family thank you all so much for all the messages etc on the sudden and devastating loss of our mum.

     

    We truly appreciate all the thoughts and prayers, means a lot to us all

     

    Thank you all and HH

  18. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Bundoran Bhoy and Four Green Fields , may your mum’s soul rest in peace.

  19. bournesouprecipe on 24th February 2017 6:13 pm

     

     

    Celtic African Huddle,

     

     

    …………………………………………………………..

     

     

    I don’t know how you do it.

     

     

    You do it All the Time.

     

     

    You are Mr Celtic.

     

     

    That is the Future of Celtic.

     

     

    Where is Papua New Guinea?

     

     

    :D

  20. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    Another item free to a good home

     

     

    After successfully passing on a box and games chair earlier, I have a 3-shelf glass TV stand in excellent condition free to a good home; £120 from Johne Lewis about 18 months ago and will fit up to a 46″ tae with room for DVD player, satellite box, router etc.

     

     

    Let me know if anyone is interested in it: vfr@girfuy.co.uk

     

     

     

    KTF

  21. Paul67

     

     

    Your article lacks in sentiment but is absolutely accurate in my opinion. Players who have tweeted how “…something died today in Football…” and other associated tripe would’ve been the first to intrigue behind the managers back when they were playing.

     

     

    Such intrigue has gone on in Football and in life since time immemorium. The management in Football is cheapest to sack so they go first.

     

     

    Laws should be put in place for players to be sacked and banned from playing if found to be trying to get the manager fired by underperformance.

     

     

    The scientific data is now available to sufficiently analyse and diagnose, therefore, let’s get it done.

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