Celtic Diary – 23rd August
Celtic’s walking wounded will grab the chance of a few days rest after their European exhertions as the side are not in action until Sunday when they face another long trip to the Highlands. Several players have niggling or recurrent injuries and a bit of a break should help to clear them up. Failing this, Lennon may use players such as Tony Watt, Paddy McCourt or one or two of the other youngsters and let them get kicked around by Butchers boys.
Post Helsingborg, the manager has been waxing lyrical about the performances of Fraser Forster in goal, and Kris Commons up front. Forster, says Lennon , was upset when he didn’t get a call for England when John Ruddy (who?) pulled out of Hodgsons squad, and that may have jeopardised the keepers permanent move to Celtic. but he is happy, insists Lennon, and his efforts would have been noticed. Commons , Lennon says, would not have scored that goal last year, and complimented the player on his incredible return to fitness.
To be fair, Forster will have to be twice as good as anyone else to start for England, but he has time yet. Commons has rediscovered his appetite for the game and will be a valuable asset this year. Its all looking good, and if only we had a strong Rangers we could probably win the Champions League.
Celtic have agreed a “groundshare” with Partick Thistle, the other big team in Glasgow, to use Firhill for the NextGen series and some U-20 league games. The first of which is on September 6 against Sporting Lisbon. The smaller ground will improve the atmosphere, and its good to see Celtic strike a partnership that will benefit both clubs. Perhaps we could call it the “New Firm”, after the other club in Glasgow proved it couldn’t succeed in the tough financial world of the twenty first century. Incidentally, a 4-1 win over Hamilton has the young side clear at the top of the league with three wins out of three. Bahrudin Atajic, the summer signing scored twice again, and as soon as he leaves school, a promotion to the first team squad is possible.
The Daily Mail reckons that Rangers could be fast tracked into a second tier of Scottish football, if reconstruction plans blocked last year go ahead in time for next year. A sixteen team first tier will be created, with a similar sized second level. trouble is, they will have to be quick, as although fans are turning up in numbers to see the establishment club, Mike ashley has continued what must be a worrying trend for them, when he decided against investing in the club. Rangers, and Green would have more success in luring fools, sorry investors, if they stopped showing them the books…
You have to wonder though, has Green sold the Marketing Rights in The Rangers and basically got the club to fund its own takeover while he laughs and laughs as he rolls around in debt free Season book cash? Isnt this the sort of thing that happens at places near Manchester rather than Govan? Green has paid off Dufff & Phelps hasnt he…hasnt he?
Interestingly, stories are beginning to emerge that Ticketus, the company stung by Craig Whyte, are the real owners of Rangers, and Charles Green is , in fact , just a front man. In reality, if Ticketus are owed £27m then its no surprise they are still involved to get their money back.
BDO, the liquidators of the “old” club, are waiting for a report on the conduct of Duff and Phelps, and when that appears, and if it matches their own findings, we should see the pantomime kick in for a highly entertaing sequel to keep us chuckling throughout the winter.
I hope it all turns out good for them, as Andy Walker said on Clydes phone in-Celtic won’t spend any money, crowds will drop, children will skip school, people will start living together and society will collapse.
Perhaps more incredible is the fact that idiots like him are given a public platform to spout their noinsense, because as much as we try to avoid it, it still rankles, and the sooner we prove them all wrong the better.
Scotlands other european representatives are in action tonight. motherwell face Levante, the Spanish side who play in a league that is even more financially knackered than the SPL, Barcelona and Real apart, Clubs there are mired in debt that makes Scotland look like monaco, while Hearts take on Liverpool.
Whilst it would be fair to say that neither club is a favourite of Celtic fans, they deserve a wee bit of support if only to help the co-efficient and reputation of the game. Liverpool are resting players for the visit to Edinburgh, and Hearts boss John McGlynn should pin that on the dressing room wall and get his players to read it before the game.
Time for these clubs to stand up for themselves.
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Finally, Prince Charles is said to be furious that naked pictures of Prince Harry have found their way into the public domain, but the boys father laughed it off and put it down to high jinks. Still, what do you expect. He comes from a broken home where his family lived off the taxpayer on a big estate.