Why this is the finest Celtic team in 47 years


You and I have seen some special Celtic teams. For me, the double winning team in 1977, the Centenary team and, of course, the Martin O’Neill team, were without doubt above anything we’ve had since the 60s.

I am in no way disparaging Gordon Strachan’s remarkable achievement of twice reaching the knock out stages of the Champions League. This was down to Gordon’s superior ability as a manager; the wee man didn’t have a squad to compare to the others on the list.

By contrast, this team, in its embryonic state, finished fourth in the Champions League group, but that was then. Now, they are within touching distance of winning an undefeated treble. This is the finest Celtic team I’ve seen.


The ’77 team wasn’t so much a team as a support act for Kenny Dalglish. A season later, without King Kenny, they finished fifth, without even a Uefa Cup spot as compensation.

It was sheer force of Billy McNeill’s personality which drove the Centenary team on, but they returned for preseason without their elixir.

It was like going to school watching Martin O’Neill’s team. We learned so much about the game that we’d never seen at Celtic. This was a guy who knew how to get results. But without another King, we discovered that team too was built on a single foundation.

There are no Kings in this Celtic team. They are a team in the true sense of the word. Last night, without Dembele, Armstrong, Tierney, Lustig, Simunovic and Sinclair they rolled around the Firhill surface like a machine from the 22nd century.

It was breathtaking. This is the greatest Celtic team since the one which walked off the Hampden pitch in front of 136,000 fans in 1970.

I saw a preview of the BBC documentary film, Glasgow 1967: The Lisbon Lions, which airs across the UK on Wednesday 24th May. It was heartfelt, entertaining and inspiring. I intended to review it today, but I was so annoyed at the coverage some in the media gave it, I thought I better step back to do the job justice.

They had some of the Lions, of course, and some wives too, but they sat a microphone in front of a few of our more experienced CQN’ers Some of the best things you have read on this site come to life on the screen. We’ll talk about it again next week.

Stunned and humbled at the support for the marathon, which takes place on Sunday morning, to benefit the Celtic Foundation. I just don’t know what to say. There are spectacular donations (here) there – a simple thank you does not seem appropriate, but I know every donation, large or small, means someone has taken the trouble to spend hard earned money.

It is appreciated, thank you.

If you’d like to get an historic week off to a unique start I hear there’s a projector screening of the original live broadcast and whole 90 minutes from Lisbon in a Govan warehouse tonight (Friday, 19th), it’ll run from around 6.30 till 9. If interested drop an email to cqnopen@gmail.com



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  1. Gerryfaethebrig on

    WITS / G64



    All footballers are weans, and strikers are even more petulant :-)



    Celtic is far bigger than any of them , but Brendan (in my rubbish opinion) appreciates what Leigh does for the team, I think after Paddy R he has the most assists, I love Leigh the player and his daft stupid attitude, I actually admire his team is the Hibees, no need to be brought up a Celt to end up one :-) am glad we have him and want him to stay for years, but would prefer Brendan too stay longer……. By the way WITS…. I forecasted Hooper & Stokes could break Celtic goal scoring records, am no tipster (just check Fleagles competition :-)

  2. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Tontine , a former supervisor I had around 20 years ago, was a big Falkirk fan .



    He told me there was a BNP element in their support which appalled him and his pals.



    They were trying to get BNP guys banned but their board never supported the move.



    I dont know when ex STUC chairman , Campbell Christie , went on the Falkirk board did anything to get rid of the BNP crew on the Falkirk support .



    Good night all and sleep well.

  3. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Dallas 12.02am



    Young nephew is in the Kerrydake suite tonight, probably drinking with Lennybhoy around now, he met Lisa at Kilmarnock away, she gets the Celtic, Kris Commons for me has been a brilliant Celtic player and no one can take that away, things move on but for me the Commons family are my kind of Celtic fans, and your post sums them up…… I think Lisa said, you might not be a Celtic fan when you arrive here but you defintely leave one ….



    Their charity work is pretty amazing, especially with things so close to their own hearts

  4. ALMORE on 19TH MAY 2017 11:54 PM


    Mary Black was celebrated on the Late Late Show tonight. Worth a look on RTÉ player if you missed it.




    Hope Big Jimmy is looking in. Think he was marrying Mary last night.


    Tontine Tim at 11:46. Very impressive if that was all from memory.


    GFTB at 11:47. Spot on- as per usual.


    G’night Timland

  5. ‘The socialism I believe in is everyone working for each other, everyone having a share of the rewards. It’s the way I see football, the way I see life.’ Bill Shankly Hh

  6. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    timhorton, what’s your rationale behind that? I’m of the opinion that L.G. will be very much part of our team next season. The guy is a goal machine and that will not be completely lost on Brendan.



    Our manager will make him a better player and cool his impetuousness. He’s still a kid in my eyes and maybe not the sharpest knife in the cutlery cabinet. BR will man manage him and we will benefit.



    I hope he’s with us for the foreseeable. As long as he’s hungry and angry about being subbed he will be banging in the goals for us.





  7. Margaret McGill on

    I will let all the superlatives run their course and put WGS in perspective when BR takes Celtic to the CL quarter finals

  8. TheLurkinTim on




    quarters this year, really….yer a hard task master……quarters r for next year ;-))







  9. Park Road 67 on



    Hope Cumbernauld stay up mhate ! Girvan home v Renfrew today so hopefully 3pts , then home v Maryhill on Monday & last game away v Yoker , Mon the Seasiders !!!

  10. Alasdair MacLean on




    Exactly as you say. If Brendan is half the man manager he has demonstrated in the past 8 months, he’ll have oor Leigh at the first opportunity desperate to get onto the pitch to prove how much he wants to make up for his wee strop.


    An Brendan will reward him for it.

  11. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    Maggie doll 12.46.



    Good post my wee strumpet. We’ve got a great team and we’re playing some eye catching football but I’m not getting carried away in the best since 67 cloud.
















    That’s my current listing of good managers managers since 67.



    BR can move one place up by achieving the treble on sunday but until he takes us beyond the group stage in the CL he will not surpass M O’N in my view.



    I also believe MON’s team were better, but this team is getting very very close.



    Paddy Roberts could be the difference + or minus depending on what happens.



    I want B.R. to surpass everything that’s gone before and at the minute I expect him to move to second in my list.




    Its great to be a Celt.

  12. I’m proud of my team and what they are building right now.



    For the record, having won their final game last season (and how!), they have actually already gone 38 league games without defeat, with a record that reads as follows:



    P38 W34 D4 L0 GF111 GA25 GD+86 Pts106



    Where is next season’s Champions League final being played?




  13. Alasdair MacLean on

    Don’t forget, half the Scotland team is in that squad.



    But what I want to know is, how do you, in the modern age in the UK…ok, Scotland….get a child to develope into a Patrick Roberts?

  14. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    Winning Captains, I’m not watching porn just now but your post gave me a diamond cutting boner…………..:_)



    I’ll be talking to Catman and his bro next week so I expect it will be confirmed one way or the other and we can maybe celebrate our new No.7.



    Mon Paddy, make the right choice son and become a Celtic legend.





    HH with fingers and toes crossed.

  15. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    Al Mac, sort yer stuff oot and get to Lisbon next week. I could do wi a serious drammer……..:_)



    Yer crew will all be there. Apart fae that wee fat fanny crazed manic, who I still hope surprises us and turns up.



    Wee fat fanny crazed manic. You know who I’m talkin aboot……..:_)

  16. Alasdair MacLean on

    As a man who can’t play a note but loves listening to every note, imagining I am playing them…….that’s me watching football.



    A wee dink here, a wee feint there, a pass to another note…..receive it back….to give it a thunderous volley into the exquisite top corner….can’t hear the applause cos I’m lost in the moment…



    Wake up….kicking into the air off the couch….



    Looking about a wee bit embarassed.



    When driving an automatic car….keep your left leg tied behind you….



    Just describing watching footballl when Patrick Roberts is playing.



    Little shit.



    I was there when he scored that goal in Dingwall.

  17. Alasdair MacLean on



    Confirmed about 11 this morn that no work this weekend….so a 12 yo Dalmore is now ..looks at stag’s heid emblem an bell shaped bottle…about 2/3 done……


    Job oot mid June…..contract up end June…..fraid not available until July!



    Thinking of all you boys. Date set to watch Bbc1 at 21:00 on wed night. Aim to educate by promoting this with family and friends.



    Up the MacKenzies of Seaforth.

  18. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    Al Mac, enjoy your Dalmore, is it sherry cask 15 Y.O.? hubba ding bud. Nice!!!



    Sent a wee message to the “Wee fat fanny crazed manic”



    Hope I’ll see him next week if he can drag his wee fat arse away from his humpin grounds.



    Its like trying to coax a whale with a small piece of cheese.





    HH bruv

  19. Alasdair MacLean on

    Work is supposed to slacken off when you get to your mid fifties ACGR, but the 3.5 months since Christmas have been up there with the worst…all with the forlorn hope it will stand me in good stead for the future. Ha ha. Been here before.


    Anyway…..last contact with oor pal was around Christmas….and after that he was going on a long trip.



    Glad to hear he is being comforted though…!! That’s an excuse I can understand for being in communicado …

  20. Alasdair MacLean on

    Basic 12yo…although the cardboard box it came in goes on about matured in fancy woods…..wait a minute…

  21. Rascar Capac on

    Did anybody watch Leigh’s Youtube video for Hibs, before he joined us?



    Outrageous, especially the “non goal”.



    We signed a wee Hibee radge who was stoatin about trying to find himself.



    Well, he didne half find himself, and became everything we wanted from Paddy McCourt.



    Leigh is my favourite player.

  22. Alasdair MacLean on

    Anyway, ACGR,



    Ask your mate Jim if he saw any headlines yesterday about 10 man Aberdeen beating The Rangers at Ibrox. (I know he is particular to protocol in respect to this standard of reporting.)

  23. Good Morning CQN


    5 days to go



    The weather in Lisbon today will be Sunny. A dry and very warm day is forecast with a high temperature of86 degrees





    Aw ffs,I wilted in the heat just reading that…

  25. As i was typing that, our flight flew right over our hoose………good job we’re flying tomorrow ;-)

  26. A Stor Mha Chroi on




    Which book coined the phrase ‘diamond cutter’?

  27. A Stor Mha Chroi on

    The Guardian – September 2015 – Graham Spiers





    It was once said that there were three main pillars of Scottish public life: the Church of Scotland, the unique Scottish legal system and Rangers Football Club. All three have had their trials down the years. The Church staggers on, its numbers down. Scottish law has also suffered its controversies and travails. But neither has agonised or been abused or so spectacularly imploded like Rangers FC.



    Once the great bastion of Scottish and British football, Rangers are broken, have suffered liquidation and are now limping back from the grave, a phoenix club trying to reclaim its former heights. I’ve been everywhere with Rangers in my time – Barcelona, Milan, Paris, to the great eastern European outposts and beyond – entering some grand arenas to follow the club’s progress. Last weekend the journey took me to Recreation Park in Alloa – capacity 3,100 – for a further forlorn stop in this infamous tragedy.




    On a bitingly cold afternoon the Rangers fans, once a vast, victorious tribe, trudged in, faithful and frozen, keeping up their vigil. Not a song was heard and hardly a roar went up among them. Their team won 1-0 thanks to a Nicky Law goal, whereupon the blue-and-white army sloped away, another game gone. It’s a grim kind of faith.



    “I keep coming because it’s Rangers, it’s in my blood, it’s a great club,” one older supporter told me. “But if some of us could ever get our hands on these men that have done this club over…” Taking the pulse of this Rangers travelling support was proving a tricky assignment. Another fan told me angrily: “You guys in the media have had a field day with us. But it’s been a crime that’s been committed against this club.”



    The story of the demise of Rangers is a painful one, and a warning to any football club which views itself as impregnable. I first watched Rangers as a little kid in the early 1970s and, privately or professionally, have scarcely been away from the club since. Back then, in childhood, Rangers seemed as strong and immovable as the famous red-brick edifice that is known the world over as Ibrox Stadium, the club’s home. Rangers was a sentinel, we assumed, that no one could ever bring down.



    Founded in 1872, Rangers became one of the prestige names in world football. As it grew in lustre vast crowds flocked to Ibrox, and continued to do so until very recent times, with the club enjoying upwards of 44,000 season ticket holders. The current Ibrox holds 51,000 but the old stadium, with its great stand and oval terracing prior to its reconstruction, could easily house 80,000 fans.



    When the club won the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972 it gave Rangers that sheen that all big clubs desire – a European trophy to cement its place among the elite. Rangers, like city rivals Celtic, built upon its huge support. On top of this Rangers boasted a world-record 54 domestic titles.



    So how did it ever come to this? Strained finances, dubious tax affairs, administration, liquidation, then reincarnation and re-entry at the bottom level of the Scottish game. The roll call of chancers and charlatans who have ruined Rangers is long. This is a painful story of betrayal.






    Sir David Murray, one of Scotland’s greatest self-made businessmen, bought Rangers in 1988 and immediately fuelled the club with money, not to say overreaching ambition. Under Murray a cadre of great footballers arrived – Alexei Mikhailichenko, Brian Laudrup, Paul Gascoigne and others – with the club dreaming of conquering Europe once more, this time in the Champions League. Those years in the 1990s and into the new millennium were intoxicating and high-rolling for Rangers, with only one or two minor voices expressing their disquiet at the road being taken by the club.



    Murray was wealthy, and he built his wealth not just on talent and hard work but also on debt. In his own business empire he never worried about bearing hundreds of millions in debt, because he believed this was the necessary fuel to drive him to greater rewards. Success and assets were levers against debts, and Murray, to a degree, applied the same philosophy to Rangers.



    For a while it was all marvellous. Under Murray’s stewardship the club racked up domestic trophies while, even better, Celtic were on the ropes. At one point in 2003, Rangers’s net debt reached £82m, but the figure appeared in small print in the club’s accounts and few lost any sleep over it. Rangers in this period made successive annual losses of £19m, £32m and £29m – staggering in the context of Scottish football – but onwards they barged under Murray, signing Tore André Flo for £12m, an astronomical figure in Scotland, in 2000.



    But then things changed. Murray decided that he needed to maximise Rangers’ resources in whatever way he could, and in 2000 he steered the club down a path that would eventually lead, between 2001 and 2010, to his top players being remunerated via Employee Benefit Trusts, whereby employees are supposedly “loaned” rather than “paid” money, thus avoiding tax. The very policy now sends a shudder down Rangers’ fans’ spines. The decision to use EBTs would prove – literally for Rangers – fatal.



    The club flushed tens of millions of pounds through its EBTs scheme in order to avoid tax and pay its players top dollar. It triggered a dire chain of events which led to HMRC pursuing Rangers for alleged unpaid taxes, the club’s ambition being squeezed, and Murray ultimately wanting out. In fact, Rangers have twice won their tax dispute with the authorities, with the club being found to have stayed within the law, though EBTs have subsequently been clamped down on, with the government abolishing them in 2011.



    When Murray felt induced to sell Rangers there was one main problem: few, if any, wanted to buy the club. The EBTs controversy did not help: potential buyers were certainly put off by the possibility of an unpaid tax bill running to tens of millions. Many companies across Britain had used EBTs for tax-avoidance purposes but, in Rangers’ case, it proved ruinous, with HMRC remorselessly pursuing the club. In the end, after Murray’s for sale sign had been up for three years above Ibrox, Craig Whyte stepped forth to buy the club off him for a princely £1. Disaster for Rangers loomed and Murray left the scene, soon to be disgraced by events.



    Allegations about Whyte’s business career would soon emerge. But not before he plunged Rangers into administration, exacerbating HMRC’s grievance with the club by ceasing to pay PAYE and VAT in 2011, thus building up an inarguable, unpaid tax bill to the taxman. It left Rangers facing an actual tax bill of £20m and a potential tax bill of £50m- plus. A creditors agreement duly failed and when Rangers FC plc was finally consigned to liquidation in June 2012 it was HMRC which dealt the fatal blow. The Scottish newspapers ran headlines such as: “RIP Rangers… 140 Years of History Comes to an End.”



    For many Rangers fans it was the most painful day of their lives. Weeks of struggle and uncertainty ensued, involving the club’s administrators and the football authorities, before a new Rangers FC was created out of the mess and ordered by the other Scottish clubs to start life again in the bottom tier of Scottish football. Spiritually it was the same Rangers, but the damage had been done.




    I chat with Davie Bell from Wigtown, now nearly 60 years old, and a classic Rangers fan, a diehard. Traditional Rangers fans embrace the Union Jack, not just for its colours but for its British/Union significance as well: it has become part of the culture of the club. Everything in Bell’s house is Union Jack themed: “My chairs, my mugs, my telly, my mirrors, my coffee tables, my duvets, the lot. I’m Rangers through and through.” Those who know Davie say he would bleed red, white and blue, which makes all the more remarkable and dispiriting what he has to tell me.



    “I’m totally fed up with it… totally,” he says of the decline of Rangers, the unsightly clambering through the lower leagues and the boardroom power struggles currently playing out at Ibrox. “I’ve sat in the same seat for decades at Ibrox – the Copland front – but sometimes now I get up and leave just before half-time, or maybe a little after it. The standard of football is awful. The club is a mess.”



    This really is footballing heartache. Bell leaves Wigtown in Scotland’s southwest with his fellow fans for the two-and-a-half hour bus ride up to Glasgow… which becomes four hours once a lunchtime stop for food and a pint or two is included. And yet, so scunnered is he, once he gets to Ibrox he scarcely takes in the game.



    “At the recent Dumbarton match I left my seat after about 55 minutes and went out and just sat in the supporters bus with the driver and listened to the radio. I couldn’t take it any longer. With the crowds now so low, you hear every comment, and there’s no enjoyment any more. I’ve seen teams like Annan Athletic and Stranraer play us – Rangers – off the park. It’s terrible.”

  28. A Stor Mha Chroi on

    Further up Scotland’s west coast, Gus Oakley is a retired policeman – a very youthful one at 51 – who is Rangers born and bred and runs a supporters bus from Ayr up to Ibrox. He was first taken to see Rangers at the age of eight and has never looked back. But over the past two years, since Rangers’ liquidation and subsequent re-admittance to the Scottish leagues at third division level, he has witnessed the pain of this fallen giant at supporter level.



    “Rangers fans feel very down and badly betrayed,” Oakley told me. “Many fans absolutely blame David Murray 100% – I don’t, by the way – and then Craig Whyte arrived, and look what he did to us. There were people who warned against Whyte getting his hands on Rangers, but they were ignored.



    “The fans are now very wary of any type of ‘saviour’. There was Whyte, and then came Charles Green [who bought the Rangers assets post-liquidation] and all his nonsense. That’s why I think the fans will be happier when an owner – or owners – come in who have the club at heart, or at least have that type of background.”





    Throughout the whole saga the attendances at Ibrox had remained buoyant at 40,000-plus – a real testament to Rangers fans’ enduring love for their club. But in recent times crowds have plummeted as supporters have waged war with the Rangers board, and a power struggle for control of the reborn club has waged among various factions.



    Oakley says that the recent poor attendances at Ibrox of 20,000 or below are the result of supporters being worn down – first by the demise of the club itself, and now with a board of directors who are detested, and who cannot get the club back on its feet.



    The once-bulging Ibrox has been a ghost stadium at some recent games. Season ticket sales – the cornerstone of any big club’s income stream – are down significantly as Rangers fans either revolt or feel sickened by events. The Rangers chairman, David Somers, is a loathed figure, while Mike Ashley, a 9% stakeholder in Rangers (who also owns Newcastle United), is derided.



    Ashley, the South Africa-based Dave King, plus others are all currently fighting for control of the club. Essentially Rangers, a listed company, is owned by the market, but with some large majority stakeholders now jostling for power. King, a Rangers supporter and the fans’ favourite to wrest control, is supremely wealthy but has a 2013 high court conviction in South Africa for 41 contraventions of the Income Tax Act. In the context of Rangers, you almost couldn’t make that bit up. Having originally been chased for 3.2bn South African rand (equivalent today of £184m), King and the court finally agreed on a 700m rand (£40m) payback settlement.



    The upshot of all this Ibrox warring has been a dysfunctional and paralysed football club with boycotting fans and no money in the coffers. Ally McCoist, a club legend, and manager until four weeks ago, has walked away in disgust. In recent days he has been spotted out and about in Glasgow suddenly looking 10 years younger.





    Rangers fans are fed up with it all. “On my own supporters bus,” says Gus Oakley, “maybe five or six years ago, we’d be turning people away in a 55-seater bus each week. I’d say: ‘Sorry, there’s no spare seats.’ Rangers have always had a great support. But now we’re down to about 20 fans and we’re sharing transport with another supporters club from nearby. Fans are no longer going, and it’s the same all over Scotland with the Rangers buses. We’re all sharing now to keep it going. You don’t want to see supporters clubs dying.



    “One of the last guys I expected to do this – a guy who loves Rangers – has just told me that the game against Hearts this week will be the last one he goes to. He says he’s not going back. More and more fans are saying they’re not going back.”



    Some have wondered, given the club’s benighted past and current boardroom wars, if a generation of Rangers fans might be lost to the whole debacle. When asked, Oakley thought carefully about this. “I don’t think we are talking of a whole generation of Rangers fans lost to the club, but I think there will be a number, yes, who won’t be back,” he said. “Significantly, there was a younger group of fans aged about 15 or 16 – quite a group of them – who had started coming on our bus two or three years ago. But they’ve all died away – none of them are going at the moment. So in terms of the ‘lost generation’ thing, well, there’s guys who were just getting into going who have now stopped. Their fathers are still going, but not the young lads themselves.”



    Rangers is currently embroiled in a power struggle involving various factions who want to control the club, and the fans are finally showing their teeth in it all as well. Various campaigns, such as Rangers First and Buy Rangers, are aimed at fans buying up shares so that they might eventually own the club themselves. So far, though, these two groups own just 2% between them.



    The whole saga has deposited a poisonous atmosphere in Scottish football. For one thing, Rangers fans severely object to any notion of a “new club” emerging after the 2012 liquidation – they argue it was the company, not the club itself, that was liquidated. The subject has proved just as painful for the Scottish FA, which has done its damndest to tiptoe around the subject. Despite all newspapers having emphatically reported the death of Rangers in 2012, reporters and commentators now get it in the neck if they so much as broach this subject at all.



    On top of this, fans of other clubs, such as Celtic for obvious reasons, crow aloud about the fate of Rangers and delight in distinguishing the current from the former. The Ibrox club for decades practiced a sectarian signing policy, which just about everyone concedes today was embarrassing, and some in Scotland who have detested Rangers have long memories in this particular context.



    There is no other way of putting it: many view the recent fate of Rangers as the ultimate comeuppance for the great, ugly beast. A ribald, black humour has emerged about Rangers, but it has also led to deep social divisions, online enmity, and an unpleasant atmosphere in Scottish football.



    “There’s been an awful lot of people who have enjoyed what happened to Rangers, I’ve no doubts about that,” says Gus Oakley. “Let’s say fans of Celtic, Dundee United and Aberdeen in particular. But that would happen in any walk of life. If anyone has been at the top and they are suddenly struggling, you’ll always get people laughing at it. I just turn a blind eye. There but for the grace of God go them. What happened to Rangers could happen to anyone.”

  29. Never been one for comparing Celtic teams or managers past and present.



    Just enjoy the good times while they last.



    This is another good time in our history.



    Up there with the best I’ve watched.



    I hope on Sunday, with all the plans in place Brendan has the Bhoys up for one more performance extraordinaire. With the pomp planned pre match having the team walk up the Celtic way at 11 I just want them to stay focused and hope they are not distracted in any way.



    I don’t imagine Brendan will allow for distraction as his and their names are woven into the fabric of our clubs history.



    As a fan I’m looking forward to our day of celebration and memorial to the Lisbon Lions.







  30. A Stor Mha Chroi on

    Record FC Rangers: The “zombie, Sevco, glib & shameless” jibes have been fun but now it’s our turn to laugh at YOU



    OUR Ibrox blogger claims it’s Celtic and the “Norwegian Kenny Shiels” who are in a state, not his club.



    JONATHAN​ MCFARLANE​ The Record September 2015



    OH how they had fun…



    The jelly and ice cream, the apocalypse banners and the days joyously spent whiled away going through the fine detail of contract law and legal precedent. It was the best of times.



    I speak not of genuine Celtic fans but of the often borderline crazed Sevco obsessed.



    This new breed spew forth the demented ramblings of fan bloggers as ‘fact’, crusade against ‘institutionalised bias’ and presumably spend their days throwing darts at pictures of the ‘glib and shameless liar’ (zzzzzz) Dave King.



    You can find one by simply typing in any of the following key-words into a Twitter search: SMSM (Scottish mainstream media), lamb (of the succulent variety) and radar (‘off the’ rather than ‘on the’).



    While happy to satirise Rangers fans as zombies they seem less keen to examine their own club’s position and the irony of using such wording in their position. As they monotonously repeat the same dull, unimaginative jibes and slavishly follow their discredited sources, many have shown a zombie like inability to process what is currently happening at Parkhead.



    Any overdue analysis should begin at the manager’s office where a talented self-publicist and purveyor of coaching buzzwords resides in place of a coach. It’s been clear to those of us without rotting matter for brains that Mark Warburton isn’t the only one extracting the urine at an Old Firm club.



    In Ronny Delia you have a manager clearly out of his depth. His record, in context of relative-sized competition is abysmal and it can be measured easily: find me a Rangers fan who doesn’t desperately want him to stay!



    To be fair to the Norwegian Kenny Shiels, he has managed to take Celtic back to their rightful position as the second club in Scotland, just a season earlier than many of us expected!



    The fans have only themselves to blame if Aberdeen do what would have been considered previously unthinkable and take the title. So many have spent so long obsessing about all things Rangers, they have missed the opportunity to analyse a deep malaise that has been setting in over YEARS.



    Peter Lawwell is now every bit as powerful as Sir David Murray was in the 1990s. Entrenched at the SFA and with huge influence within the SPFL he dominates the Scottish scene in a way that is perfectly illustrated by his latest transfer.



    Does anyone believe for a minute that Celtic have paid £5.5million for the lad Simunovic?



    Maybe after ALL the clauses are met and IF they sell him for £20m but in the here and now?



    It’s the same with Van Djik, Celtic can say what they want for a fee, safe in the knowledge it’s officially undisclosed. Of course, with van Djik there was a sell-on fee agreed with previous clubs. Of the £13m, how much goes to Celtic right away?



    It certainly suits Lawwell to really juice these figures as Celtic fans will see the £13m as a good price and are placated by the idea of a multi-million pound replacement. It’s not like anyone has seen the lad play to judge his value! It’s PR and spin right from the Murray playbook.



    Meanwhile, Parkhead is half empty every other Saturday, the club has posted a multi-million pound loss with barely any analysis and Aberdeen are stronger than they have been for 20 years.



    Don’t expect analysis about any of this from a group of fundamentalists who refuse to see the woods for the trees. Their attitude is best summed up by a saying straight from their own infamous phrase-book; ‘sweep, sweep’.