The Search For A Spine

Celtic AGM-1441180I am writing this with a partial smile on my face, because I know that by the time you read it the whole of it might well be moot.

I am writing this to vent, because I’m angry at the apparent lack of ambition and will of the Celtic boardroom.

I am writing it because I’m sick of spin and sick of people lowering our expectations. It’s not on. I’m writing this because what I’m seeing at Celtic right now is little different to what we’ve seen for years.

Standards are slipping across the boards. There has been a marked deterioration in quality, and not just out there on the pitch. For the last two years Celtic fans have had fun – a lot of fun – mocking the plight of Rangers, and that is a saga which seems to have no end in sight. Yet, I almost wish it was over with, because the longer the freak show at Ibrox goes on, the further, I think, some of us are from confronting the failings at our own football club.

And those failings are very, very real. Yes, standards have slipped.

In the last few months, Celtic has sold last season’s top two players. They were ushered out the door in what, to me, seemed like unseemly haste. Neither went to a club playing in Europe, so there were no issues about them being cup-tied if they’d hung around until the European qualifiers were over. Privately, Hooper had said he wanted to go. Wanyama may have said the same. Yet no-one will convince me that they had to be sold when they were. Added to this, we’ve just lost Kelvin Wilson, and that has weakened us even further.

The entire spine of our team – three guaranteed first choice players, the men the manager had identified as our “first picks” in each position – have now gone. That is the spine of our team, and we are now frantically searching for replacements.

I suggest we start looking for a spine elsewhere. In the boardroom, and possibly our manager’s office. And before the howls of outrage start, I am not calling our manager a coward. But I do not believe that he is happy with this situation any more than I am, but I wonder how much he’s willing to fight for the things he really wants.

On one of my many Celtic DVD’s there is a story about Martin O’Neill telling the board he wanted Chris Sutton, and Dermott Desmond questioning the decision. O’Neill would not even entertain him on the matter. He wanted the player, he put down his foot, and he got what he wanted. The rest, as they say, is history. Sutton, as we all know, went on to become a Celtic great.

Because the manager didn’t take no for an answer. Because he had the will to get what he wanted, and what our team needed.

When Chris Sutton was signed it shattered our transfer record. That was in 2000. 13 years on, it remains our club’s transfer record, at a time when prices have spiralled to absurd levels, and where there is more money in the game than there has ever been before. Football has changed, and not necessarily for the better. Celtic refuse to follow the path of madness, and I am content for this to be the case. Yet, when Chris Sutton, Neil Lennon and Alan Thompson were brought to Celtic Park it was not as part of some “project Celtic” plan to sell them on at inflated prices later. It was to move our club forward, to scale new footballing heights.

And we did. Few would argue that the team that reached Seville was the best football team Celtic Park has seen in decades. The class and the quality were there, and the excitement around the club matched it. There were underlying structural problems, yes, with a squad that was bloated and, finally, ageing, and a scouting system that didn’t work right … but by God, there was a feeling that the club was going somewhere, that we wanted to scale those heights. In the years that followed, we lost the top earners, but we were not afraid to go after quality elsewhere, like Nakamura and Zurawski. It didn’t always work, but when it did it was beautiful.

At every stage, I felt like the club knew where it was going and what it took to get there. When did it end? It ended, for me, as I’m sure with many others, with the 2009 signing of Willo Flood, and an incomprehensible decision, taken in our boardroom, not to sign a quality striker in the January transfer window of that year. Steven Fletcher was the one the fans thought they’d get, the one many of us wanted … but the board balked at a moderately small sum of money, the team had to struggle through the remainder of the season with forwards who had lost confidence and we paid the price for it.

That decision cost us. Rangers were on their knees, financially hamstrung. The consequences of a Celtic title win that year – it would have been four in a row – are almost too large to quantify. The liquidation might have happened much sooner.

Instead, they won the title, and bolstered by the financial benefits it brought them, they embarked on one last splurge. They won the next two titles as well.

A lot of Celtic fans scoff at that now. We know the damage was done then, in those three last years of apparent plenty, when they spent when they should have saved, when they chased glory instead of fortifying their club against disaster. Yet I don’t scoff. Those three titles are real. And they kept them. Which is part of the problem here.

That was the transfer window where I lost faith. I’ve seen nothing since that has restored it. The strategy of advancing our club bit by bit has been replaced by one where we use our scouting networks to find good young players so we can sell them on. That is not team building. It’s the footballing equivalent of living hand to mouth, and anyone who thinks that it “advance us” down some path towards the Promised Land is kidding his or herself on.

Not all of us are experts in finance. But we know our football. And we can look, and we can see, and we can understand, perfectly well, that what is in front of us is not a club operating from strength but one operating from weakness.

It makes no footballing sense that we went into the first Champions League qualifier weaker than last season, that we went into second qualifier weaker than we went into the first and that, so far, we’re heading into the third weaker than we went into the second. I dare someone to argue that this makes strategic sense.

I defy anyone to tell me it is right.

That is not good management.

It stinks, and no amount of spin will change that simple fact.

Gary Hooper was sold before the second qualifier, rather than retained to play in it. It makes no sense at all. One of two things should have happened here; Hooper should have played in that game or he should have been sold immediately last season ended. There is barely a person in Scotland who did not know he was going to leave, and I am frankly astounded that he was retained until the very last minute, and even more shocked that a ready replacement was not lined up and signed and in the Celtic team prior to those games.

That is not good management.

It stinks, and no amount of spin will change that simple fact.

Victor Wanyama was sold for £12 million and has yet to be replaced in our squad. He was our finest midfielder last season, and looked, to all intents, like he would grow into a world class player. I have no idea how much effort we put in to keeping him at Celtic Park, but I know he has not been replaced at all, far less with a player of equal quality. His departure leaves a gaping hole in the middle of our team, one that we’re not even close to filling. Beram Kayal has been at the club for three years now. Touting a player already on the books as a ready replacement for one who has been sold for an eight figure sum is like a bad joke.

That is not good management.

It stinks, and no amount of spin will change that simple fact.

Kelvin Wilson has just been sold, after Neil Lennon told us all he was his first choice central defender. The talk about Finnbogasson has filled newspapers, and it’s been entertaining, but the truth is, the departure of Wilson left us needing to fill at least two places before the third round of qualifiers was played, and we can now only sign one. Whether we get the striker we wanted or not is largely irrelevant to this matter. We could – we should – have replaced at least one of these players before the window shut, giving us to time to get the second signing in as the “wild card.” We did not bother. The window has closed.

That is not good management.

It stinks, and no amount of spin will change that simple fact.

Celtic are great with deadlines. Ask any supporter who’s had his or her season ticket form sent through, or any fan who wants to save a fiver by purchasing a ticket for the coming European tie before he or she knows which team will be out on the park. Oh yes, the club knows all about deadlines, and it’s more than willing to make the fans abide by them, with suitable sanctions for those who don’t. Can’t afford your season ticket payments this year? Tough. Your seat’s sold. Oh you don’t have the money for this game before Friday? Tough. You’ll pay more then.

Signing deadlines don’t matter though. As long as we can squeeze something in at the last knockings fans should applaud like performing seals, and leave the “strategy” to the big boys, the experts, the know-alls.

The rest of us are routinely patronised or outright ignored.

In the meantime, the press and the police can demonise a huge section of our support with barely a murmur from the club, who’s mantra of “keeping politics out of football” reeks when one considers the official website rammed Ian Livingston’s elevation to the House of Lords as a minister in one of the most despicable, right-wing governments in the history of our country down our throats, as though the club founded for the poor of Glasgow should be somehow proud of its association with a man who’s political masters have presided over the opening of food banks all over again.

The more you look at it, the more it stinks, and I am through with fellow Celtic supporters telling some of us to sit down and shut up when we dare to suggest this is wrong. It is wrong, and we don’t need to be experts to know it.

The strategy has devalued us. We are not a superpower in waiting because we can find good players and punt them for profit. It makes us a selling club. It means we will never again have a settled Celtic team, one that we can watch develop, and grow, that will get better over years. We are no longer a club players sign for because we reflect their ambitions, but a club players use as a “stepping stone” to bigger money and better things. Better things like pulling on a Southampton shirt, or a Norwich strip. That is what the “strategy” has made us. It’s made us into a club that knows its place, and takes its place, at the back of the bus.

Off the field, the “strategy” makes even less sense. The last two years in Scottish football have been unbelievable. They have shown up the rulers of our game in the worst possible light. We now have the proof, piled up high all around us, that the people in charge of our national sport are perfectly content to allow corruption and cheating to flourish as the only growth industries in the game here. When there were moves afoot to parachute Rangers into SFL 1 the clubs themselves were ready to go along with it until the fans made their feelings known.

I thought that would be the catalyst for real changes. I was wrong. Those of us who were waiting for the clubs – for our club in particular – to take it on and show leadership have not simply been let down, but we’ve been abandoned. The changes are no nearer now than they were then, and we can only stand, in shock, as Hearts hurtles towards the abyss, as Dunfermline narrowly avert it and as the chaos engulfs Ibrox once more.

But hey, the game must be in good nick, right? Neil Doncaster, one of the most discredited figures in all of Scottish football history, one of the men who tried to horn-shoe a dead football club into the SPL, has been elected head of the brand new all-game body.

And then there is Campbell Ogilvie. Re-elected at the SFA unopposed.

Unopposed. Read it and weep.

Our club went along with it like it was nothing. Our club was complicit in the return to office of a man so egregiously unfit for his post that there is barely a supporter of any club, anywhere in this country, who can believe this happened.

I am interested in one club only though. Mine. Ours. Celtic.

We let this happen. In our name. In yours. In mine. In the name of our club. With our blessing. With the rubber stamp on it. As if everything we know about this man, the club he helped run, and the things he helped cover up in their name, never happened at all.

Shame on the charlatans in our boardroom who allowed it. The stains of it will never wash off. You are pretenders. You are self-interested traitors, or you are cowards, all.

If we’re going in search of a spine we shouldn’t start there. They have none. They are gutless. They are spineless.

It was the same with the tainted titles, including those won by a club that ought not to have had a license in the first place. Did we pursue that? The Hell we did. We let that matter die in much the same way as we allowed Ogilvie to scuttle back into his seat.

There are a group of shareholders who aim to bring this matter, and others, up at the AGM and I wish them well, but our absentee landlord is not in the slightest bit interested in what we have to say about this matter, or about any other. His spokesman on the board, Peter Lawwell, on an annual salary that would make Charles Green red in the face, and don’t forget that the next time we’re laughing at the profligacy of the Rangers boardroom, doesn’t want to hear it either.

Our club has gone from the high water mark of the Sutton’s and Thompson’s and Larsson’s to the point where we can sell three key players without bothering to sign replacements and people applaud them for their prudence. When did we, the supporters, become so neutered, and spineless ourselves? Did we come all this way, to the point where we reject the slippery spin of the press only to embrace that which emanates from our own club instead? Have we really wised up, or are we more like Rangers fans than we know, closing our own ears to the things we don’t want to listen to? Where has the strategy got us, after all?

To being glad to be in the Group Stages, and seeing advancement past them as something to take inordinate pride in.

What the Hell happened to us? Aren’t we Celtic? Why are we hailing as a triumph what should, in fact, be the minimum level of our expectations?

I said last season, after we were beaten in the League Cup, that we have become a support more and more inclined towards “settling for” things. It was the same the season before too.

“Oh we didn’t win the League Cup. Hell, we’ll settle for a double. Oh, we’re out of the Scottish Cup, but hey, the league will do. Our football is crap though, but Hell, we’ll settle for winning at this point. Our best players have been sold, and they won’t be replaced by similar quality. But Hell, we’ll settle for them being replaced at all.”

When did this happen to us? When did we start to “settle for”?

If the game in this country really has stagnated, why aren’t we trying to change it? Certain people love to bang the drum about our ambition in looking beyond these shores, but I have long thought it was a cop-out, and an easy option, when the alternative is to make the game here better. That’s not sexy enough for them. They’d rather we went, cap in hand, with the begging bowl, to England, as if we’ve not been demeaned enough by a hundred previous efforts. These same people would be perfectly content for us to start in a lower division too if that’s what it took, forgoing any sense of ourselves we might have left at that point.

Odd too that, when one considers that some of them love to remind us that the league down there is an over-bloated one, not far from experiencing its own extinction level event. Quite how they can fill column inches one week with this and the very next insist we leap into the churning waters and trying and clamber aboard this sinking ship I don’t know, but it’s as consistent as it’s consistently boring. The truth is, there’s no exit door open, and we’re stuck here, but rather confront that, and demand that we at least try and make this game clean, people cling to the fantasy because not to would mean actually doing something about the state of the game in Scotland.

Too many people within our club lack the balls for it. Those vested interests will be in place as long as no-one wants to lead the charge against them. Are we a football team, a business or a social institution that wants to combat the corruption?

Do we really care about Scottish football, as some claim? Does caring about it extend to trying to save it, or just ourselves?

I am sick of being talked down to by hypocrites and cowards, whilst others are pissing on us from a great height. Power comes with responsibility. It’s what they never learned at Ibrox, and it’s a lesson many inside Celtic Park are far from being able to comprehend.

There are problems at Celtic, with our ambition and our outlook. The club has been wonderful at fighting for its own reputation, much of which is down to the wonder that is the Celtic support, but they are staggeringly inept at defending those same fans. We claim to have a strategy which makes us the envy of other clubs, but those other clubs come in and cherry pick our best players for a relative pittance, and we never replace them. We pretend to be the big fish in Scotland, running our club with integrity and good sense, but in the meantime we’ve allowed another club to cheat and to steal, and still retain their tainted titles.

This is not good management.

It stinks, and no amount of spin will change that simple fact.

At times we’re a club going nowhere, and whilst lack of forward momentum is a long way from making us a parallel with the goings on at the Laughing Academy, we’re an even longer way from being Ajax, far less Barcelona.

It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee. We have our own problems inside the walls.

The more I examine them, the more convinced I am that Rangers are not the only club requiring a major clear out at the top.

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James Forrest

James Forrest is a writer and blogger from Glasgow, and the author of two books, Fragments and Believers, which are available on Amazon.

10 thoughts on “The Search For A Spine

  • 13 August, 2013 at 3:24 pm


    Excellent article. I’m afraid that the majority of the support still obtain their views from what the MSM (both Scottish and English) ram down their throat, driving this complete apathy for change. With the likes of Keevins et al praising Lawell for keeping us on a sound financial footing, coupled with the South Side Circus, the Celtic support equate not going bust with success.

    Financially robust and European competitiveness are not mutually exclusive.

    We need to be more forceful about enforcing player contracts. We shouldn’t be signing players who have absolutely no intention of seeing them out, at least until the last year. It might generate an income, but it creates a constant state of flux within the squad that is unsettling at best, and destructive at worst.

    I don’t care what anyone says; we were lucky to get past Elfsborg over the two legs. If they had a anyway decent CF then we’d be out, plain and simple.

    We need to change the wage structure to reward loyal players and attract a higher calibre. Nobody want’s to burst the bank, but our remuneration package for players should be adjusted upwards to reflect our new financial position. As you hammered home in your article, without improving we are simply treading water. And for me, that’s not good enough.

    Anyway, here’s hoping we have another flukey couple of games against the Kazahks. Finnbogason as our wildcard would suit me. £5m is a steal for a player who is better than Hooper. But i fear we’ll get beaten to the punch with that one just like with Fletcher, Austin etc.


  • 13 August, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Superb article written with the passion of a true supporter.

  • 13 August, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Excellent article James. I can’t disagree with one single point you made! The board are selling us short big time & yet we’re meant to be happy with no quality replacements so long as the clubs bank balance is is looking impressive? Totally agree with the O’Neil / Sutton thing. Neil & more importantly the fans have to take a stand on this lack of ambition. The Finnbogasson saga has become a complete joke!! HH

  • 13 August, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Excellent article James.

    Agree with Stevie, the remuneration on offer at Celtic is well below what the Calibre of player we should be attracting would accept.

    By all means have a strategy for signing young players, developing them further before selling them for a nice profit. When these players leave for relegation scraps in the EPL, it shows the opinion they have for Celtic. For You. For me. For all of us.

  • 13 August, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Tom Rogic will be a better player than victor wanyama. big victor is a powerful player and scored some vital goals for us – on the ball, particularly his distribution – he has a long way to go. He has time on his side but passing the ball to a team mate is schoolboy stuff and victor is very careless and very naive when in possession. Tom Rogic will grow into a quality midfielder in the mould of Paul mcstay. Kayal looks to be showing signs of the player we brought in before injuries slowed his progress. Joe Ledley is quality through and through.
    I agree with a lot of what you say but I have faith in Neil Lennon and believe when wanyama left, Neil knew he had better quality in the squad. Yes we still need a proven goal scorer but the lad from hull/wolves looks an ideal replacement for Wilson. KTF

  • 13 August, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Miles over the top, James.
    I understand your frustration but it’s ridiculous and grossly unfair to pillory the board for not being able to match the wages that diddy clubs in England can offer to our better players. People like Wanyama and Hooper only come to Celtic in the first place because they want to make as much money as possible while they have the chance and, frankly, why shouldn’t they? They don’t give a damn about Celtic or Norwich or Southampton, other than in terms of how much money they can take out of them and they would probably be playing for Elfsborg or Hamilton Accies if that was the very best deal they could get.

    You might just as reasonably condemn the board of Raith Rovers for failing to build on their League Cup triumph and subsequent European adventure or have a go at Livingston for failing to hold on to the likes of David Fernandez when the big boys came after his signature.

    If Celtic had continued to spend the sort of money that built the Seville team, we’d be lucky to be watching a NewTimsSevco playing in the junior leagues at the moment instead of having a chance of another Champions League campaign.
    (News just in: the Seville squad – including Larsson, Lambert, Sutton, Hartson, Petrov, Lennon et al – FAILED to qualify for the Champions League in 2003. Perhaps if we’d signed Stephen Fletcher in 2002 we’d have beaten Basel? It also failed to progress from any Champions League groups when it did qualify. It failed to win the league twice under Martin O’Neill. )

    No matter how you try to spin it, the best team that we’ve had in decades was acquired at an unsustainable cost, did NOT pay its own way and wasn’t good enough to beat the best team from Portugal when it mattered. Nor was it capable of winning a single away game against any Champions League Group opponents. Its best achievement away from home at the top level was a single, backs-to-the-wall, dour, anti-football 1-1 draw against Barcelona, courtesy of a John Hartson goal which ought to have disallowed for offside.
    The best Celtic team for decades had the worst away record in Champions League football year after year after year. Even in the run to Seville, the most notable away performances were on British soil against English teams whose priorities were set on domestic success rather than the UEFA Cup. Then there was the dramatic but turgid victory over the European legends of Boavista, an indecisive, inexperienced and nervous team who managed to do a Devon Loch with the winning post in sight. And in any case, Boavista would have won both legs 3-0 if they’d signed Stephen Pearson. Or Craig Bellamy. Or Tommy Gravesen. Or Robbie Keane. Or Juninho. Yeah, that always works.

    Celtic is a very big football club in Scotland. That’s all. It isn’t the police force. It isn’t the Scottish judiciary. It isn’t HMRC. It isn’t the SFA. It isn’t a rogue bank. And it isn’t the Scottish Establishment.
    It is not within Celtic’s power to bring fraudsters and cheats to account, unravel secretive networks of fraternal institutions, go head to head against international money-launderers, defeat crime syndicates, take on the Scottish media and add Wayne Rooney and Gareth Bale to the squad that matched Barcelona last season. That’s reality and the Celtic board have been very wise to recognise the difference between what they would like to do and what they are capable of doing.

    The Club can’t even convince a few headbangers that lobbing fireworks about in a crowded stadium will inevitable lead to conflict with the authorities who have the power to withhold safety certificates for the stadium. What chance have they got of single-handedly dragging Scottish football out of its infinitely corrupt cesspit? Who the hell can Celtic appeal to for justice and fair play? Lord Nimmo Smith? UEFA? The British Government? The BBC?
    Don’t make me laugh.

    The reality is that we have at least one hand tied behind our back whatever we do.
    The likes of Joke Irvine and his harem of press harlots will distort every public pronouncement that issues from Celtic and even when they have nothing to go on, they’ll simply make something up.
    When Celtic play serial convicted match-fixers such as Juventus in Europe, UEFA will appoint a referee who ensures that the Italians are “already in the last 8”, (in accordance with President Platini’s confident prediction when the draw was made) and allow Juve’s defenders to use American Football blocking tactics in the penalty area without being penalised.
    Decades of scandalous Bank Of Scotland malpractice in every department also took its toll on Scottish football with ALL of the top Scottish clubs bar Celtic (and latterly Hearts) firmly gripped by the testicles in the controlling hand of the match-fixing Masterton-Murray axis of influence. Aberdeen, Kilmarnock, Livingston, Dunfermline (oh, the irony!), Hearts, Hibs, Partick Thistle and many others are STILL financially hamstrung by the consequences of the SPL’s requirement that tens of millions of pounds had to be spent on buying Murray’s steel to build stadiums with 10,000 seats, most of which are empty on match days.
    What, pray, could Celtic’s board do about that?
    The result was that most clubs ended up in a level of debt to the BoS which they could not repay and consequently their boards were beholden to Masterton and Murray. Rangers didn’t win the league in 2008 because Celtic didn’t sign Stephen Fletcher. They won it because opponents didn’t compete against Rangers with the same commitment that they showed against Celtic. They won their 3IAR because there was a general understanding in most of the SPL boardrooms that “for the good of Scottish football” and “to avoid Armageddon” it was necessary to help Strong Rangers survive a potentially disastrous hiccup by accessing the maximum amount of revenue from Europe until they could balance their books again. This understanding also dominated the referees’ agenda. And, it hardly needs to be said, the Gentlemen of the Press did everything they could to help the scam succeed. After all, what’s a few rigged titles here and there when the alternative is the annihilation of Scottish football which, as we all know, needs Rangers to be more or less permanently at the top of the pile?

    In the face of all this, it’s been a fantastic achievement by Celtic, not least the Celtic board, to have steered a safe course through this fog of criminality, corruption and cheating to emerge on the other side as the dominant football club in the country. Solvent. Clean. Playing football to the best of our ability despite being massively handicapped in financial terms compared to every team we meet on the main European stage.

    If there are business geniuses out there who can do a better job for less salary than the present incumbents, then by all means let’s have them. But they’ll have one hell of a hard task ahead of them and they’ll get sod all credit if they succeed. Perhaps we should appoint Stephen Fletcher?

  • 13 August, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    On the money Sir and then some ! This lack of ambition is not a new thing though from Mr Stein to
    The present day our boards lack of ambition to build on success is there for all to see. We the fans are reminded we live in austere times. But this make do and mend mentality makes a mockery of the Big Club Global Brand mince we get fed. Sadly unless there’s a major loss of form or league nothing will change. Said to so many the Hooper/Wanyama sales money is Lawells contigency fund if CL catastrophe hits( which is a real possibility !) So we get to group stages what then ? Players bought at overinflated prices or duff ones bought on the premise of “raw talent ” or “work in progress ” . We need something radical to happen to stir our board into action and pronto ! Meanwhile we can only keep the faith and dream of better days Hail Hail

  • 13 August, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    excellent article. you could have broke all these relevant points into a few seperate blogs, most of them hit nail on the head.

  • 13 August, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Brilliant stuff as usual James. People may or may not agree with you regarding the financial ambitions of the club. There are two viable schools of thought on this one.

    However, there is NO EXCUSE, absolutely no excuse for Celtic turning a blind eye to the crimes of Rangers. Why was Ogilvie elected unopposed? Why? Surely Celtic could have put someone up as an alternative. Anyone. That this man was allowed to run opposed with no opposition tells me secret deals were made between the main players at the top.

    As a Celtic fan I want no part of these secret deals. I want transparency. Justice. A fair and level playing field. What the SFA have done regarding the various Rangers ‘crimes’ is shocking. This man running unopposed and without comment from the Celtic board is truly a kick in the teeth for the Celtic fans who were basically conned out of major honours and CL opportunities.

    What is the game here? Why are the board running silent on these issues? I have thought that they are maybe keeping their powder dry until Rangers implode again, possibly asking UEFA for some kind of special dispensation to apply to join the English leagues, due to lack of competition and corruption from the SFA. But I now think that it’s basically just a board that as you say, lacks a spine.

    They should have been jumping up and down with all that’s happened recently regarding Rangers/EBT’s/SFA corruption. Not a peep.

    They are either playing a very clever long game or they truly are spineless cowards. Time will tell but my money is on them not wanting to rock the boat and being desperate to welcome back Rangers into the top flight, so that normal Old Firm service can resume.

  • 14 August, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Football is now business and unfortunately a team playing in Govan constitutes big business, which Celtic PLC would want to be part of.
    Every man and his dog in the media wants to see a continuation of the OLD FIRM no matter what the cost.
    Bigotry, sectarianism and hatred sells – a latter day Rollerball with football.
    What the fans of other clubs wanted when the tribute act tried in vain to be parachuted up the leagues, was for the footballing authorities to do their job, which they blissfully reneged on.
    I said 18 months ago that Doncaster and Regan were tasked with providing commercial ventures to Scottish Football and they tried every trick in the book to achieve it – shameful

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