Coming Close & Courting Controversy

In my preview of Celtic’s game four of the Champions League I highlighted the fact that Aberdeen did not test Celtic’s makeshift central defenders as much as one anticipated to be the case by Bayern Munich. The goals that consigned Celtic to a Europa League dogfight with Anderlecht resulted from a Boyata error and Bitton’s inability to get off the ground and challenge for a cross.

If Sviatchenko and Simunovic had been available Celtic would not have conceded as easily as they did. However there is no point blaming injuries as Bayern were missing two of their most important players.

Celtic proved last night that they have the ability to compete at this level. James Forrest and Callum McGregor were both fabulous and it was no surprise when they combined for the latter to find the net. If Armstrong had not missed a ‘pincher’ early in the match Celtic would have earned a deserved and creditable draw. In the grand scheme of things they were never going to wipe the floor with Bayern. Celtic’s fate was sealed on German soil.

To my mind the majority of the Celtic team came of age last night. It was an exciting performance that promised so much but was alas undone by schoolboy defending. Bayern muted the threat of Dembele and Sinclair so successfully that they hardly had a touch. With PSG putting Anderlecht to the sword Celtic are in the box seat for Europa League action in 2018. They have punched above their weight for a pot 4 team.

As one returns to the more prosaic matter of The Scottish Premiership, my tip for runners-up this year, Hibs, won their third game on the bounce with an impressive three goal rout of Kilmarnock. Rangers Lite dropped to fourth, albeit with a game in hand.

If one were to believe Jim Delahunt, McInnes will be unveiled as the new Lite manager today. It was a nice try to ingratiate himself with Level 5 but Lite are poorer than a church mouse with consumption and could not possibly pay the 7 figure release fee. Has Jim been drinking again? One can but hope that he was not behind the wheel on this occasion.

In other news I can exclusively reveal that Lord Bannatyne is currently writing up his findings and decision apropos the Takeover Panel’s petition to legally enforce their concert party regulations. His Lordship’s clerk of court had the good grace to respond to my e-mail yesterday. She was at pains to point out that Lord Bannatyne will come to his conclusions from submissions and evidence presented in court and will not be influenced by my assertion that King’s affidavit was a farrago of lies and that his counsel engaged in sophistry.

It was not my intention to influence Lord Bannatyne. My objective was to inform him and his clerk that the 40,000 strong readership of this award-winning  site are paying attention, and if there is any undue leverage by Freemasonry, the TPE should be minded to appeal.

Lite who are limping from loan to loan don’t have their troubles to seek. As one awaits the financial results with bated breath, will this be the last audit by Campbell Dallas? The impending ‘Cold Shoulder’ will not be taking prisoners.

This site broke through the 16,000,000 hits milestone yesterday. My thanks to all of you who make it possible.



28 thoughts on “Coming Close & Courting Controversy”

  1. Excellent article as Usual JJ superb performance from Celtic. Congrats on your hits tally keep up the good work small donation made.

    JJ: Thanks buddy.

  2. On my way to the game last night the driver of the Parks of Hamilton assured me that the new sevco manager would have money to spend as the directors had put together 15 million to pay off the dregs and bring in players. Can’t see it to be honest but is it possible ?

    1. Anything’s possible (other than resurrection) – I could win the Euro millions and buy TRFC. The probability though is a completely different figure ( so many zeros after the decimal point of % I can’t be bothered to write them).

      £15MM “package” to be spent over and above the ongoing loans and losses. That’s probably what it needs as an absolute minimum (DCK himself said “North of £50MM” – probably the one true thing he’s managed to utter in his time as chairman of RIFC). The probability of the two events is pretty close, in my opinion, but that’s the dream that keeps millions playing a lottery – you almost certainly won’t win but you just might.

    2. It is possible. But there is also the remote, academic and batshit crazy notion/possibility that Pollok Juniors can win the Champions league.

      The blue knight would have turned up by now or before summer 2012.

  3. For me the most exciting development was the players ability to receive the ball under pressure, not panic and play their game. I think Brendan has a philosophy that is targeted at the teams just below Europe’s elite, we neither have access to the funds nor play in a league with regular quality competition to break into Europe’s elite. Which is a shame as we have the infrastructure – the support and the desire.

    However – my pragmatic side says that we are a Europa League club (just now) and that performances like last night will benefit us in the post Christmas period. The philosophy of good, high energy football was evident at Cappielow, and seeing Brendan with the Under 14’s on the morning of a CL game, shows that he’s building that philosophy from the ground up.

    I’m proud to be a tim, we have a great future, and every year continue to get better.

    Hail hail

  4. I think it’s time for the Celtic Board to consider financing the team to be a last 16 or last 8 regular squad.

    I’d like to see the financial payments to last 16 and last 8 teams and whether the risk/ reward ratio is worth it.

    Does anyone have a link to uefa CL payments?

    Regular last 16 prizemonies is where we need to be, it’s the logical next step. There’s nowhere else to go for the club but last 16. Our ambitions should lie there. The Board need to show such ambition.

    We should be drawing with anyone who turns up at Celtic park or winning.

    1. Sorry but I disagree with this and tend to agree with Rod Lee… Celtic are at Europa League level.

      Getting through the groups in 3rd spot is where we are at (due to always being a pot 3 or 4 team) and facing 2 teams of the elite of Europe in the group stages…. however once into the EL knockout stage then Celtic must fancy going far if performances like last night can be maintained

      1. If the pot system is eternally unfair to CFC then this issue needs pushed back to uefa.

        If it is discriminatory and non Sporting it is potentially unlawful.

        Systems do not need to be accepted because that’s always how it has been done. Reviews and change is how things improve.

    2. Who were the last 16 clubs last season?
      What were their first 11 and squad values?
      What key players made a difference?
      How many goals got them into last 16?
      How can celtic replicate this?
      Celtic must purchase players who regularly get into last 16. Guys who are used to it.

    3. The future is bright.
      As much as I love your optimism that idea would never get off the ground. Have a look at who regularly reaches the last 8, their transfer and wage budget and importantly their annual income from TV and other sponsors. That’s what we are up against and it would simply be unsustainable I’m afraid. As things stand the best that we can hope for (barring the miracle of a very lucky draw like man utd received again this season) is 3rd place and a tilt at the Europa League post Christmas my friend.

  5. Forrest looked great as a wingback. He may just have found an answer to where he fits in both the Celtic and Scotland team going forward.

      1. 5 year Liquidation anniversary yesterday and no one in SMSM mentioned it.

        Guess yesterday was all about Celtic.

        Why isn’t BDO winding RFC up now the tax case is finished?

  6. Sutton really piling the pressure on the Sevco Board.

    Stating they do have the money and McInnes WILL be their next manager.

    Excellent mind games.

  7. Liquidate: “to reduce to order, to set out clearly” (of accounts), “to melt, make liquid or clear, clarify”, “to clear away (a debt)”, “wipe out, kill”…

    Or, in the vernacular:
    “Gie me ah big stick and I’ll kill it.”

    What’s the deadlne for the end o’ process?

  8. While people go about pointing the finger at Boyota (and to a lesser degree our goalkeeper), I must make a case for his defence. I remind people that he has been partnered with a midfielder who is currently playing as a centre-back. This means that he has to think for two people. i.e., himself and Bitton. Also, and more importantly, why has nobody returned to mentioning the fact that B.R. never signed a central defender before start of season? He knew well then that this area was risky but failed to sort the problem. If there is any finger-pointing to do, then I would certainly be looking in B.R’s direction.

    1. Boyata lost the flight of the ball. Doesn’t matter who is beside him, whether his poor wee brain is overtired for thinking for two or whether Rogers signed someone else (assuming you don’t think Bitton would be staying in the team instead of Boyata). It was a mistake and they happen. He doesn’t make too many these days and it was unfortunate for him that his mistake led directly to a goal when those of others didn’t. It isn’t someone else’s fault though.

  9. Without a fresh injection of millions there is not enough money to last till Xmas. McInness is not an idiot. Why join the fourth best team in Scotland that cannot beat the fourth best team in Luxembourg and that has no credit facility with a bank.

  10. 2016/17 Champions League last 16:
    Man City
    Athletico Madrid*
    Real Madrid*
    Bayern Munich*

    Last 8 with Asterisk.

    Can Celtic be as good as Arsenal, Napoli, Porto, Benfica, Sevilla and Leverkusen? What are their budgets? What would it take? We’ve got the management team.

    1. Semi Finalists:
      Real Madrid v Athletico Madrid
      Juventus v Monaco

      Real Madrid v Juventus

      Real Madrid

      Payments distribution:

      Surely when calculating Celtic’s television market, all Ireland should be added to Scotland for this figure? Due to cultural and historical ties and the fact no Irish teams get into the group stages and Irish tv figures not attributed to any club!

      Noted the winners are stated as expected to win €57m [A club could therefore receive, at best, €57.2m, not including their play-off allocations or market pool share].

      Given clubs spend several hundreds of millions for players and then similarly for their salaries plus operating costs, it doesn’t appear logical to spend to chase prize money. UEFA CL prizemoney is peanuts in comparison.

      So where do these clubs get their funding? Bank of Scotland type arrangements? Host City Government funding? Domestic tv payments? Crazy Billionaires? Arabs?

      1. It’s astonishing to think that Old Rangers that died in 2012 with bank debt and tax evasion of circa £168m could even pay back its debts if it won the Champions League four times in a row.
        The winners payouts back then could not cover it. Plus it was spent on costs, wages, etc… SDM knew the arithmetic didn’t add up years before 2012.
        It was truly incompetent levels of debt.

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