Celtic Diary Tuesday May 16: Brown, Business Plans and Birkikara Banned

Before all the usual excitement of the daily diary, the laughter, the tears and the exclusive revelations , lets pause for a moment to mark a truly outstanding achievement.

Scott Brown has completed ten years at Celtic.

I know, its flown past.

From the narky wee lad who joined in 2007, we have watched him mature, sometimes slowly, granted, and take his place among great Celtic captains of yesteryear.

These days, its rare for a player to stay so long at one club, especially with the financial rewards available down south.

Its been  while since anyone got a testimonial, and Brown deserves his.

Brown goes back to 2008 to pinpoint the beginning of the change in his attitude…

“I got suspended for four games at the end of my first season. 

“The rules had changed and six yellow cards got you a suspension so every season I’d be suspended four times. I missed the run-in to us winning the league at Tannadice. I came back with two games to go and we had won four or five in a row so I was on the bench for the last two games. 

“I came on but thought I better change my ways instead of missing the games and I wanted to be part of the team that won the league.

“Don’t get me wrong, it was phenomenal still to be part of the squad and winning games. 

“But from there Gordon sat down with me and we spoke about it and I went on to have one of my best seasons the next year.

“I felt as if I owed him. Everyone knew I was a wee bit immature when I signed and it was more on the field than anything.

“Instead of following the man back I would end up trying to win the ball and mistiming the tackle, picking up silly bookings and that sort of thing. 

Image result for dog chasing ball on beach

“It was just about changing small parts of my game to improve everything and he was the one who did it. That’s why I owe him.” 

“When I first signed I was a cocky little p****. I’ve enjoyed every single minute of it and there have been ups and downs. But there have been a lot more ups than there have been downs. I could have gone to England but the main thing was Gordon Strachan

Oddly enough, Strachan may have coached the cockiness out of Brown, but it never quite left the former Celtic manager. Especially if you disagree with him on anything.

“The wee man was brilliant when I went and spoke to him. He understood what was going to happen and from that moment he was phenomenal – everything about him, the way he trained and the way he spoke, the way Peter Lawwell spoke as well and how highly they spoke about me.

“I didn’t speak that highly of myself so it was quite good of them. I was a wee so and so but I wasn’t a defensive midfielder, that’s for sure.

“I would bomb on, run about and chase every single ball and tackle anything that moved. I didn’t have too much quality on the ball or the vision to see a pass. 

“It was about getting my game away from the running and chasing a ball so I got two dogs to do that for me instead. Gordon taught me how to play in a position.

“He played a 4-4-2 at the time and made me more of a defensive midfielder rather than an attacker and I used my legs at the back. He got me to understand my game.”

Over the years he has worked on his game and is now one of the better players at Champions League level.

As this statistic, from UEFA’s site, indicate..

PASSING ACCURACY

393/411
95% 
At that level, that is outstanding. And his experience will be vital in next seasons campaign.
Someone else looking ahead to next season in Europe is Moussa Dembele, and he caused despair in the Scottish media when they realised he was talking about doing it with Celtic..

“We will be better prepared.

“We have played a whole season together and have done great.

“Next season will be better although I can’t say it will be easier.

“One thing for sure, we have improved this season and are now a better team. 

More important, we are a cleverer team.

“To come up against great players was a great learning season for us.

“It was great experience and it was good to compare ourselves to the top clubs.

“We have seen what we have to do to get there and we will work hard to do better next season.

“The manager knows what he has to do to make the team better.”

 “I think everyone has seen what I’m capable of this season and hopefully next season I will be even better.” 

Doesn’t sound like a man who’s Tottenham bound…

Stuart Armstrong hasn’t finished laughing yet, so we cannot truthfully give his view on a potential move to West Bromwich Albion.

Anyone who doubts the enthusiasm the mainstream media has for a fire sale at Celtic should consider this, from the Sun..

PODCAST | Do you think will allow Jozo Simunovic to join this summer?

The wording implies that Simunovic wants to go, and the move only needs the nod from the manager to make it happen.
They still haven’t admitted to themselves that the players rodgers wants to keep all want to stay at Celtic. that, as they say, is the bottom line.
Its also worth noting that those linked with a move to Celtic all conform to a pattern.
They are all young, all highly rated and all have their path to the top level-UCL-blocked by expensive first class talent.
In short, they want to progress to the next level, and despite what you may hear fro the likes of Talkshite Radio and even our own mainstream media, champions League football is as good as it gets in club football.
A few of our players, for instance, will hopefully achieve something for the second time in their careers, something unique..
 And you don’t get to play international football unless you get noticed. Unless you’re Scottish, then a couple of games of kick and rush down Hackney Marshes gets you in.
Its that time of year when UEFA licences are handed out, or , indeed, refused if you don’t fulfill the criteria. Unless you’ve got a pal on the inside prepared to lie for you, or prepared to ignore the rules, then if you don;t qualify for a licence, you won;t get one.
 Some reports indicate that clubs don’t actually get refused a licence, they are merely given a list of things to do to bring themselves up to scratch.
There may well be a few alarm bells ringing down Kinning Park way this morning..
From Malta Today..

Birkirkara FC denied UEFA license, Valletta FC to play Europa League

Birkirkara FC’s UEFA licence application was rejected after it was unable to satisfy all the requirements of the licencing process 

This story prompted a surge of instructions fron Stewart Regan to his staff at the SFA, and to his colleagues in the media.

Image result for head in sand image

Unlike our own FA, or our media, the Maltese paper goes on to explain exactly what its all about..

The Malta Football Association has rejected the appeal filed by Birkirkara FC, ratifying the decision of the MFA Members Club Licensing Board which had denied the club a UEFA license for 2017/18.

Birkirkara’s UEFA licence application was rejected after it was unable to satisfy all the requirements of the licencing process, bring to an end the team’s record of 20 consecutive years’ participation in European football.

Valletta FC will now be replacing Birkirkara in the Europea League next season.

The UEFA licence is a necessary requirement in order to participate in European competitions, and Birkirkara FC were the only club not to be given the license this year.

The MFA gives the UEFA licence to clubs who first of all apply for it. Moreover, clubs must not have any overdue payments towards other clubs, players and inland revenue. 

Evidence from an ongoing court case suggests that these rules were flouted in Scotland a few years ago, and once that court case is concluded, and we’ve all stopped laughing, there will be moves to look into why the SFA didn’t follow the rules and allowed a non eligible club to receive a licence.

There was an astonishing revelation this week at that trial when it was suggested that Craig whyte didn;t even give David Murray the quid he bought the club for.

Doesn’t that make the transaction void ?

 

Even if it just costs a shiny pound, that doesnlt mean you shouldn’t pay for it in full.

Image result for shoplifter caught

With money still in short supply across the river, the Ibrox support rallied round and made a few suggestions as to how they can begin to compete with Celtic on a level playing field again.

Well, when I say again, I mean for the first time, as even when they didnlt offer tax free remuneration, there was always someone around to scratch their backs or fiddle with their knobs.

Some of the suggestions are certainly worth considering..

  • Open a huge ‘Showcase Store’ on a brown-field site with immediate proximity to Ibrox. The “store” won’t actually sell anything at all but Rangers invite all brands, companies and corporations to showcase their produce within the ‘store’ an charge the companies a fee for this opportunity, the idea is that rather than sell the goods, the customer can come to the store to see all the latest and most popular products in the UK, by scanning the barcode or whatever the customer can search for the cheapest online price on their mobile. As this store would not hold products more than a little above eye level, the store wouldn’t need to be that tall (i.e. like a warehouse) unless you had multiple floors or you introduce a second floor store/business of some description. The draw for companies would be that Rangers could guarantee that 50,000 people would be near the store every 2nd week. Alternatively Rangers could do this venture in a better location and also feature Rangers products within it.
  • Clean up a brown-field site within close proximity to Ibrox and open a Shipping-Container hotel, the idea is taken from the Chinese whom convert shipping containers in homes/work-digs. This is something being took up by the YMCA in London as a solution to affordable housing with a view to helping people out of crime and poverty. The standard of finish that can be achieved is very high and very practical. The cost of containers brought over from China is £20,000 per container however I fail to understand why this is so expensive, we could readily do this ourselves with local resources at reduced cost. The concept is that Rangers turn a nearby site into a Container-Hotel where Rangers fans can crash for say £75 for a week (taken as the price quoted by the YMCA). The site would be fenced off with a security-guard at the gate. As many people would perhaps only want to spend a night the rates could be very reasonable and in turn the scheme could prove very popular, the business could be supplemented by the sheer volume of people that might consider taking up full time residency with a view to Independence from their current situation while being able to afford it.
  • There are literally tens of Dozens of clubs worldwide that share their name or badge in some sense with Rangers, we also have several clubs with somewhat of an affinity with ourselves. Purely to increase brand exposure we should tie up a deal where each of these clubs sell our merchandise in exchange for the same at Rangers stores. The merchandise could be tailored to suit the regions and clubs that we will be in partnership with and while unlikely to see a serious profit, the exposure of the club would increase in pockets around the globe overnight.
  • Buy 1 talented Indian International and one talented Chinese international, at the very least make sure they will become internationals talent wise. On doing this with first team positions in mind for them we open a Rangers Store in their home town and in the capital of both countries, we tie up a tv deal to have our games shown in the places and we advertise that one of their boys is playing for the most successful domestic club in the world. We could have 2 from each country and while one plays for us here, the other plays friendly tour games with a “b” team against local sides with mobile club shops alongside to increase the visability and knowledge of our club.
  • Have a permanent Rangers legends team playing around the home towns of the players we feature, i.e. when we feature Laudrup we have our legends play in his hometown in Denmark for example. This would be a permanent things and in turn would require high profile players to feed the legends team. Mobile club shop would be needed obviously and once again this perhaps wouldn’t increase money, but it should at least work out somewhat self-sustaining while increasing our profile.
  • Have limited edition tie-ups with products sold in food and drink, the world cup does it, the olympics does it, why not us with brands like Barrs? Make limited edition bottles of Irn Bru in connection with Rangers and sell them ONLY in Rangers heartlands, the price could include 10-p per bottle to the club, if done over a number of brands this could in theory make the club alot of money while actually increasing sales of the brands themselves.
  • One for the future -Our youth players as part of their footballing apprenticeship with our club must learn, French, Russian, Spanish, German, Italian or Portuguese to increase their sale-ability on their rise through the club, their is not point in a producing academy if our players just won’t move abroad for any length of time due to the language barrier. We are terrible at this in this country and this is needed if we are to punt to any of these leagues OR if we wish to get top dollar for OUR stars.
  • Rangers could start a business approval scheme in a similar fashion to the Royal Family where by the club approves the use of a company or it’s products based on the quality of it’s service/product and on condition it features our name/logo around the business and/or they pay a levy for this fee,….could be worth alot of exposure and a healthy return if properly backed.
  • Rangers offer to sponsor the teams in which the returns are financially viable, i.e. we could sponsor a well supported lower league English team while putting stores at their club and around their city, thus their support will support us as their “Scottish/big-team” as they probably don’t like the idea of supporting bigger English sides as they are competition. If the side was struggling financially our sponsorship could win us new friends in England which is never a bad thing and the deal would at least mean Rangers have made a start on featuring in the English leagues?!
  • Rangers invite Indian & Chinese film makers to Ibrox, all expenses paid, give them the VIP treatment then we offer free use of our properties to shoot films at during the Summer on condition they make reference to our Club by it’s real name etc. If we had a Chinese or Indian Player he could feature in these films and the exposure of such a thing for us would be huge, we’re talking billions of people. We feature as a set, the good-guys, the club making it’s way to the top, the club overcoming adveristy, Slumdog Ranger?. Offer to host a Bollywood Premier in Ibrox. Get the biggest stars to be our best friends, the returns are self evident. Bollywood gets extra resources and friends in the West, we get extra exposure, fans, publicity, friends from their countries. If it became a popular thing we could perhaps sell the use of the facilities to the highest bidder. It might all sound far fetched but Bollywood has used corridors at Glasgow airport and places in Glasgow have been Philadelphia for Bradd Pitt and Halle Berry to stoat about.
  • Create stores selling things online where the profits go straight to Rangers, it doesn’t matter what it is – Tesco and Asda sell tyres for fuck sake.
  • Create a deal where companies like British Airways, i.e. travel companies have our club badge/name & colours on 1 or 2 of their vehicles – would prove undoubtedly get us exposure, perhaps we could open up their services in our stores or feature their brand in a big way around the ground.
  • Create a friendly where Canada, Australia or the US play Rangers to promote that these countries are descendants of ours and we wish to continue/strengthen the ties.

There’s a few idea’s off the top of my head. 

He was doing so well until he out that apostrophe in “ideas “.

And then the floodgates opened as the hordes jumped on the bandwagon… one fellow targeted ladies, presumably thinking there’s an untapped market of sophisticated females just looking for the kind of entertainment on offer at Ibrox..

I’ve a feeling a cheeky red wine may not be the favourite tipple of all Ibrox damsels

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Another wanted to improve merchandising and retail…

The thought that has gone into this is bewildering. I can only imagine the business manager at his bank poring over the plan to “charge a good few quid ” for a paintball exercise.

Presumably you have to bring your own guns, goggles and pellets. Perhaps the action could take place on the car park during the game, and then they can charge punters another good few quid to get their motors cleaned.

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It seems the capacity for talking bollocks is not confined to the support.. first, they quit the development league, and now they are playing in their own wee league..Pedro Caixinha explains how that particular brand of fantasy football works….

We looked at the last seven games of this season, starting with the last game against Aberdeen,’

‘We established with the boys that these seven games were going to be our domestic league, our internal league. We want to end up first in that.

‘In this moment, we are one point below Celtic — and six points ahead of Aberdeen in that table. We have two more matches and we keep going.

And here’s me that thought they couldn’t keep the laughter flowing forever…

Yesterdays picture..

nnvnvm

BJF May 15, 2017 at 8:49 am · Edit · Reply

Riot as public resist being forced to buy Sevco season tickets. 

Today… again from the brush of Walter Malino  , who must have had terrible trouble sleeping

sggs