Celtic Diary Friday March 6

You have to be careful what you say.

For instance, during one of those deep and meaningful discussions with the wife, I told her that if anything ever happened to me, then she could take another man. Of course, i meant something a little more serious than being stuck in traffic on the way home from work, but I can understand the confusion.

Take Dermot Desmond, for instance.

He’s been out of the limelight for a while , and then suddenly he’s in all the papers. Thats because he’s been on Celtic TV, which in fairness, is the best place to say what you want to say about the club. That way, there can be no misinterpretation by the press-every fan can see it for themselves. and judge it for themselves.

Celtics biggest shareholder told Celtic TV:

“If you look at the financial metrics between Celtic and other clubs in the UK, our performance, the balance-sheet performance and the performance on the field, I think, exceeds any other club, recognising that we are shackled by lack of revenues we have from TV and other comparable income that Premier League and Championship clubs get.

Performance on the field ? Its erratic at best, but presumably he reads the match reports in the Celtic View, which has us as a sort of cross between the Brazil of1982 and the Barcelona of the last couple of years. 

“We have got financial stability, good organisational structures as far as scouting, development squad and coaching go. We have a vision of how we want to keep on improving the playing squad.

“If you look at the squads over the past few years, they are getting better and better each year.”

Quite simply, no they aren’t. We keep selling our top players. Theres a chance that this team, kept together could actually do something in Europe next year, but it won’t be kept together.

The Irishman also hailed Neil Lennon as a “first-class manager” and Peter Lawwell as a “wonderful chief executive, as good as you will find in any football club in the world”.

He also thinks the food is great, the parking excellent and the new strips a wowser.

When asked for his highlights during his time with the Hoops, he said: “I have too many to mention. I liked the evening we beat Barcelona and I liked when we did the same with Manchester United.

Which were the only games he went to.

“I like any moment at Celtic Park when we have had victories, especially over teams that wear blue.”

What the fuck has he got against St. Johnstone ? Or is it the customary nod to the fans about beating  Rangers, who he may not be aware, actually went out of business a couple of years ago ?  If he is hinting that he wants them back, then he truly has put an enormous gulf between himself and the Celtic support.

“Seville (the 2003 UEFA Cup final) was a great highlight but there’s many of them there.

“But I think the highlight of the 20 years I have been involved with Celtic is that it’s an independent club with wonderful supporters and we have a great future.

As long as they don’t sing roll of Honour. Or ask me for money. Or ask me to do anything.

“I see the club getting stronger on the playing field. I see the club being visionary in developing internationally. And I see the Celtic fans and the club having a partnership that will be a model for all other football clubs.”

I can’t see that, but I can smell something.

Desmond was trying to be optimistic about the future, but his message kind of got mixed up somewhere. But at least he got a message out, which is a start.

Celtic will also play Bayer Leverkusen in a pre season friendly, in Helsinki, Finland, on Saturday August 2. Celtic Park is unavailable that day, and so presumably is every other ground in Western Europe. The new league season starts just a week later, the club will also be involved in Champions League qualifiers, which could be anywhere between Dublin and Beijjing , so perhaps this extra jaunt could be deemed a little unneccessary.

Or completely bloody stupid. which is more likely to be closer to the truth. Still, it’ll give us something to moan about in August.

Anthony Stokes will be charged with assault after an incident in Dublin with a man who makes a living impersonating Elvis Presley. Stokes, who makes a living impersonating a top class footballer, somehow got involved with the man in a nightclub last June, and the wheels of justice have fully turned and he will be called to account for his alleged actions.

The striker is reported to be all shook up by the news, and paused briefly while crying in the chapel in the ghetto, to warn those with suspicious minds that he would conduct his defence “my way “, and would be at the heartbreak hotel should anyone wish to help him.

Oh hang on , that last one was the Beatles.

Well, everyone else is doing it. I didn’t want to feel left out.

The Irish Examiner gives more detail of the charge;

” The striker was brought before Dublin District Court yesterday afternoon to face a charge under section 3 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Persons Act.

Mr Stokes, aged 25, who is from Dublin, is accused of assault causing harm to Elvis impersonator Anthony Bradley, at Buck Whaley’s on Leeson St, on June 8 last year.

The striker, who had been in the squad for Wednesday night’s international friendly against Serbia, met investigating gardaí by appointment in Dublin yesterday.

He was arrested at 1.47pm and then taken to the Bridewell Garda station in the city centre where the charge was put to him.

From there he was brought to appear before Judge Michael Walsh at Dublin District Court.

Dressed in a grey, hooded jacket, blue jeans, and runners, he sat silently as Garda Noel Gibbons told the court that the footballer “made no reply to caution” after he was charged.

He also agreed with defence solicitor Michael Staines that Mr Stokes had been met by appointment and said “so far, yes”, when asked if the footballer had co-operated with the investigation.

Detective Garda Des Rogers, who is also involved in the prosecution, told Judge Walsh that the DPP has directed “summary disposal”. This means it has been recommended that the case should stay in the jurisdiction of the district court and not be sent forward to the circuit court, which has tougher sentencing powers.

Det Garda Rogers also told the court that “there is a large amount of disclosure which has been served” and that a lengthy remand was needed.

Mr Staines, who agreed, asked for the case to be put back until May 29 and Judge Walsh granted an adjournment until that date.

Judge Walsh was given a note detailing Mr Stokes’ address and he also noted from Det Garda Rogers that bail conditions were not required.

However the judge told Mr Stokes, who lives in  Glasgow, Scotland, that he must appear in court on every occasion until this matter has been disposed of and he added that the 25-year-old must “provide details of your mobile phone number to prosecution authorities”.

The DPP has directed that the case is suitable to be dealt with at district court level, which on conviction can impose a sentence of up to 12 months and or a fine for assault causing harm.

However, no evidence in relation to the alleged incident has been given and the Celtic star, who did not address the court during the brief hearing, has not yet indicated how he will plead. ”

I’d be a little worried if I was him. This doesn’t sound good. If after all this time they think they have enough to prosecute, then they probably have.

Warden threw a party at the county jail, doo dooo

Speaking of jail, I note this morning that Carson Yeung, owner of Birmingham city, has got six years for money laundering . Thankfully, nothing like that could ever happen in Scottish football, as everything is completely transparent and above board here.

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Here is a previously unseen picture -and completely unrelated to any rumours of money laundering or skullduggery-of David Murray selling Rangers to Craig Whyte for a pound.

Lets hope he kept the receipt, as the goods were clearly not fit for the use they were intended for.

Back to football, and after Celtic were linked with Manchester Utds reserve keeper, its only fair that we should be linked with Manchester Citys back up as well.

Celtic could look to sign Manchester City goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon if Fraser Forster leaves the club this summer, it has emerged. 

The 27-year-old has been at the Etihad Stadium since 2012, but has failed to break past Joe Hart into the starting lineup on a regular basis 

Which means he probably hasn’t got any arms, so we should really look somewhere else. Anywhere else, in fact.

A wee appeal now, from regular reader and contributor Babs who asks,

 I wonder could you share a link for me. It’s for wee Jay Beatty who has been Celtic’s mascot a number of times. I am walking the Flora Women’s Mini Marathon 10k in June here in Dublin for his charity Downs & Proud. Trying to drum up support.. 🙂
 Babs is also going to climb Ben Lomond-I’m assured its a mountain, and not a person, otherwise she’d be looking at a charge under the delighfully named Non Fatal Offences against the  Persons Act- and when she and her colleagues get to the top, they are going to do a huddle. Well, they’ll have to. It’ll be freezing up there.
Date: June 29th
Time: departing Glasgow at 10am
Venue: Ben Lomond
She adds;
” I’m hoping to have at least 3 people with First Aid experience with us for the challenge and I have enlisted an experienced hill walker to accompany us also. People can do this for whatever charity is close to their hearts and hopefully we’ll have a great day and lots of monies will be raised.  “
 Anybody who does anything for charity that requires First Aid people with them, deserves all the support we can give.
 We’ll keep in touch as the event draws nearer, and anyone who wants to get involved leave a comment below, and we’ll forward email addresses.
Don’t leave your email address in the comments, we can see it anyway. Which is really clever.
So, as the week draws to a close, and Second Rangers look to have avoided administration for a while, Ally McCoist has finally spoken to his peepil-and played down the financial crisis;

“I don’t have to pay attention to that. What I pay attention to at the moment is the football team,” he said. “Matches, games, results… that’s my job as a manager”

And he’s doing so well. 

“Everything else will look after itself. I’m not saying it’s secondary but everything else will look after itself.

Thats the spirit! Keep your head firmly up your arse while it all crumbles around you.

“Our boys have been doing particularly well in terms of results and what an opportunity we have for a great game on Sunday to get to a semi-final.”

He stopped short of thanking his pals at the SFA for the kind and completely unpredictable draw.

“I think Dave King said ‘Ally McCoist was doing the right thing by actually talking about the football’.

Because he knows eff all about anything else. Actually his football knowledge is fairly limited as well.

“So is the chief executive and the board. So if all parties are quite happy with me talking about the football, which indeed I am, I think I will continue to talk about the football.”

So he’s going to talk about the football. You know, how he will set his team out for the game, what tactics he will employ. Where he feels Albion will be dangerous, how he will deal with it, and so on…Well, maybe not. He probably doesn’t even know who they’re playing.

“The last two years have been what they’ve been. I don’t get frustrated, I just have a job to do and we have a massive, massive game on Sunday which we are looking forward to. It will give us an opportunity to continue the season.

A bit like that secured loan will give you the opportunity to continue the season. Well, some of it anyway.

“But if you are looking for potential stumbling blocks they are certainly there and we will be guarded against that. There will be no level of complacency from us at all.

Or skill, or tactical awareness. Sky are showing the game live, which is great for albion-they missed out on playing the new club in the league, so the money will come in handy. good luck in getting it off the Ibrox board though.

“This game is too important for the team, the club, the fans, and we will not allow that.”

Or skill, or tactical awareness….


Still on the toxic club from the other side of the river-This caught my attention on twitter

The minutes of the Rangers plc board meeting of 16/9/99 refer 3 times to remuneration package for Craig Moore via dos ebt. REMUNERATION !!!

Which is fairly damning, and with the UTTT case being heard in Edinburgh, one wonders if they have that information. Or more importantly, if they will use it.

Then there was the admission from the defence QC , contrasted with the official line at the Nimmo smith enquiry, also from twitter;

“No Sporting advantage” – Sandy Bryson @ScottishFA

“Rangers could not afford to put a team on the park without the EBT scheme” Thornhill QC

Theres a story there for someone, surely our press isn’t going to keep ignoring it ? In fact, we  hear that action is already being taken in the offices of power..


That was Paddy Crerand and Charlie Gallagher enjoying a kick about in the Gorbals with some kids in yesterdays diary. Today,  a legend shows us a photo of him during his playing days. Who is he -and how many more of those caps did he get ?



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6 years ago

James Edward McGrory aka ‘The Human Torpedo’. A measly SEVEN caps – scandalous.

6 years ago
Reply to  timbuffy

That will be 7 more caps than they intended to give him!
And they gave us James McGrory………….

holy sea
6 years ago

Great diary,

Dermot Desmond talks as if we are a European superpower.
Paying lip service to the fans.I liked your line, “as long as they
don’t sing Roll of Honour ”
But pay money in KDS bar for over-priced drinks,and you’ll
get a bloke singing ” Let the People Sing “.Better still,no snatch
squads,to arrest you if you join in.
If this was Dermot’s vision,then I take my Bunnet of to you sir,
for this privilege.
What we really want,is for Desmond to put his money where
his mouth is.So,splash the 6M on a target man, we need for
Champions League.
Then,we might start to believe,that you mean business !!

the lurgan tiger
6 years ago

Ahn no surprised McGrory didnt get many caps.

Its not as if he could score goals or feck all……..

6 years ago

holy sea March 7, 2014 at 10:51 am ·

What we really want,is for Desmond to put his money where his mouth is.So,splash the £6M on a target man, we need for Champions League.

Looks like some Celtic fans suffer from ‘The’ Rangers fans’ disease…SugarDaddyitis…

6 years ago
Reply to  Carntyne

Good point but the fans spend a percentage of their income on Celtic FC, whether it be season books, replica tops or DVDs. I would like to see Mr Desmond put a similar percentage of his annual income into Celtic. Just like everyone else does.

Babs HH
6 years ago

Thankyouuuuuuuuuu Ralph… 🙂

6 years ago

I must draw your attention to a matter of inaccuracy in your diary.
“My Way” was by Frank Sinatra.

6 years ago
Reply to  Ralph Malph

So did Nick Faldo

Charlie Saiz
6 years ago
Reply to  caltonlad

That’s pure quality trivia right there so it is…..

holy sea
6 years ago


I don’t like being compared to Zombies.
I did not mean Desmond splashing.his cash.I you are not
aware,he calls the shots,and instructs Lawwell on spending.
Our club can AFFORD a quality striker.I am an accountant
and now is the time to push the boat out further.Qualifying
for Group Stages should be a must every season.Even,in the
Groups,last season,having this type of player could have
made the difference.

So,carntyne,ypur PISH POOR joke,looks STUPID !!

6 years ago
Reply to  holy sea

The problem is finding a £6m striker who is willing to come play in Scotland when Champions League football is not guaranteed, and when we can’t compete with the wages offered by the dregs of the EPL.

holy sea
6 years ago


But,do we give up,and not try for this type of player?
There must be a target man type,who would relish the
challenge,of playing for our great club.
Yes,40k a week,is.our max.But,there are good players in the
English Championship,who would come.You know what you
are buying.
I feel,if we don’t get a strong,target man,the likes of Griffiths
can play of off,then we are not going to get anywhere in

6 years ago

Tin hat ready… here goes…By and large I agree with Desmond.
While we lost top players our squad today is still better than Heid, Skippy etc of Strachans time or Brafheid, Kamara etc of Mowbray (shudder). Biton VVD Forster may well go in the next 18 monts or so but enjoy them while they are here, and know that the money raised will be re invested and cover the operating costs of keeping ourselves out of any financial bother. We are a selling club while in the SPFL, and we know the model. Sure it hurts when good players go, but and again, agreeing with Desmond here, the scouting network, while dropping the odd clanger – Bangura etc, has done its job of identifying players with potential to help the team then move on for profit. Any other model is fanciful in our situation – expected to comepte at CL while operating from very low domestic revunes. Personally I m happy the club pays its own way rather than be beholden to some sugar daddy, surely we ve all seen how that can end up?

In regard to the £6m striker- is it the size of the fee that deteremines the quality of the player? Hoooper was c£2m when we signed him, sold for £5m – so would he not be welcome back as he isnt a £6 m pound player? At Cardiff they signed some Corneilius guy for £8m, he hardly kicked a ball and was punted back, taking a bath on pretty much the full £8m fee.
What I m trying to say, awkwardly, is that yes the price tag can be an indication of the quality of the player but not always, Id be happier getting a £2m Hooper than a £5.75 Berkovic, and if the player doesnt work out we havent blown all our money on a dud. Like others have said persuading a top top player to come in for the “excitment” of 4 gamdes against St Mirren a season with the possibility of 6 CL games is very hard, and can really only be achieved with £ or if there is an underlying reason – injuries, the drink, lazinees etc why a very gifted player would be available to Celtic.
Ideally I would love to see teh very best players at Celtic, adn think the club would be an amazing platform for them, but I wouldnt trade knowing that Celtic will always be there for the bright burning few years we could have if we “chased the dream”

holy sea
6 years ago
Reply to  elcormaco

elcormaco,I agree with most of your points.But,surely,having a striker of known pedigree,would make CL qualifiers easier.
What if we don’t qualify next season ? How big a blow is that ? UEFA will soon give us 17M,which does not include gates.
So, the folly of not buying a proven striker could be disasterous.
As for 2M purchases ? IMO,Pukki,Balde and Boerrigter for 6M
are a waste of money.That money could have went on one
quality striker.
We are trading healthily,and can afford such a player.

6 years ago

20 years on a lot of Celtic fans have changed their tune about McCann and realise he was right all along.

I wonder if in 20 years time a lot of Celtic fans will realise Desmond really wasn’t that bad a majority shareholder….there’s nothing wrong with a bit of financial stability. It can seem boring but it’s much better than the alternative.

6 years ago
Reply to  martin

I haven’t changed my tune about McCann…..that alright with you or do I need to conform?

6 years ago

Always been a great admirer of Fergus and his achievements and that Dermot put his own money in along with his, almost, flawless business acumen.
Fergus had a plan and stuck to it, we knew the ins and outs and that we would be much better off for it. What worries me about Dermot is that we don’t know his ‘out’ plan. I know he’s a wee bit younger than he looks but nobody gos on forever. How long does he intend to own Celtic/does he intend to retire? Will he sell his shares to a Celtic man or a consortium of Celtic men? What happens if, God forbid it, he doesn’t make retirement? We’ve seen more than enough dynastys at Celtic to know their no good, will Celtic be the toy that gets thrown out the pram in a family squabble?
These things worry me simply as a combination of fear of the unknown and knowledge of the worst that could happen. It would really put my mind at ease if I knew of an endgame which was planned years ahead and leaves Celtic in a much better place just as Fergus did.
Dermot has done a stellar job in the last 20 years and I hope he continues to do so, I just wan’t some reassurence that Celtic will continue to improve not just in the short term but over the long term. I wan’t to know that Celtic will continue to be more than just a club not just for a few seasons but for a long time after i’m gone.

holy sea
6 years ago


Don’t worry about Dermot’s financial input.His son is a
fanatical Tim,and is on record,as saying,a large chunk of his
inheritance,would go straight into the club.
I agree,dermot’s fiscal control is admirable,but we don’t need
to be so prudent,if Champions League riches keep coming our
Remember,the season after next,BT have CL tv rights.It means
an EXTRA 8M,as long as we make the groups.Does it not make
economic sense to plan for this ?

6 years ago
Reply to  holy sea

I would like us prepare for the CL not so much by spending big but holding on to the talent we have. I would love our best players to stay around for two contracts (4-7 years) before being sold. It must be so frustrating for a manager knowing that your best players will be sold before you can form them into a team designed to make an impact in Europe. I know we have to sell players but if we do it too soon we risk forfeiting success, pissing of the manager amd some of the fans as well as becoming an attractive prospect for mercenery players/agents who are not good for Celtic and see us just as a stepping-stone.

6 years ago
Reply to  Doc

I think this is the key to longterm success. This is the final piece in the puzzle as far as I’m concerned. It’s the Benfica way and it works consistently at a very high level.

6 years ago

This article which I didnt complete reading is pretty poor . Celtic sell thier best players because players wznt to go and good moneynis offered good cash, its called buisnesss. Like every other football club in the world.
Celtic have spent more this year than last, our squad stronger , though some players have bot been a success.
Anyone who wants to gift the club money im sure they will accept, as long as they can prove its origins.
McCann , booed, Strachen unliked Lawell hated Desmond despised ????? Grow up and watch , support the team !

6 years ago

Making your mind up without reading the full article, that’s a bit liking banning songs without knowing what they are about / or not registering players because their name begins with Jorge Cadete / all very blinkered.
Everyone on this site is entitled to their opinion, but blasting Ralphy bhoys article without reading it is not the Celtic way.
If we all skipped the article and comments we would miss out on Pensionerbhoys daily gems.

6 years ago

Are individuals not allowed to have an opinion that differs from you like?
I feel Fergus McCann could have done a lot more for Celtic than he did, in terms of investing in the team.
I thank Fergus for what he did for Celtic, but I don’t like the way he treated the three Amigos,they were great players & deserved more money I M O!
Fergus wouldn’t pay top dollar for players yet walked away with £46m???
I think that’s poor!
People might not agree with that, but I don’t give a fu%k!
Celtic is about the fans & players….nothing else!
Fergus McCann put £9m in & walked away with £46m….hero? Not for me!
Naming a stand after him, I hear some say? FFS get real!

6 years ago
Reply to  Monti

The three amigos were c**ts!
It’s awrite having a different opinion as long as you have some kind of evidence to back it up. For example I disagree with your statement that Celtic is about the fans and players.
Firstly, that discounts Maley & Stein.
Secondly, I’ve met some inspirational Tims in my time but a lot of them are ordinary dudes and there’s a section I widnae gie the steam aff my shite.
Thirdly, the players ditto above.

6 years ago
Reply to  MarkyBhoy

Nah, it’s just alright to have a different opinion.

6 years ago

We claim to be a big club off the field. By selling our assets instead of investing in them, I.e. the players, we will regress. For the business to grow and flourish, investment is necessary. Otherwise the product on sale becomes unsellable, except to a small, loyal customer base, which will continue to diminish. I did finish reading your reply. Thats five minutes I won’t get back.

6 years ago
Reply to  ralph malph

Morning Ralph,
I totally agree with your points regarding investment in order for the club to grow.
Desmond talks about how we are the best performing club on & off the park in Britain?
What a load of shite!
As I have said before, we have the nucleus of a really good side, but we require 3 or 4 champions league players who have played regularly in the champions league & who will walk into the side.
Izaguirre, Zaluska, Pukki & Balde should be moved on in the summer & I also believe players like Brown, Griffiths, Stokes are decent, can they take Celtic further in Europe?
I also think James Forrest needs to sit down & watch & ‘ how to cross the ball’ DVD by Davie provan, Forrest is another who needs to pull his socks up, I think he’s guaranteed a game at Celtic, for me that’s a problem.
Boerrigter is another, when you buy a guy from Ajax you expect him to come & make an impact, what has he shown?
Some Celtic fans think we have a good side & all is well….they are wrong!

holy sea
6 years ago

Morning Monti,

Couldn’t agree more,re quality of our team ?

Our present day 3 amigos,with less skill,Pukki,Balde and Boerrigter are COSTLY errors.

Is this the reason,Peter Houston,is now scouting for forwards?
I worry about the qualifiers.A big Sutty type centre-forward
is a MUST.Is Efe quality for CL ? I feel we need a dominant
centre-half to play beside VVD.

In the middle,a creative No 10, with a touch of class is
required.If we get these 3 players,then we will go a long way
to qualifying for groups.
Lawwell says,we are a Champions League club.If so,a certain level of quality is required to be in our team,for this boast to hold true.


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