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Celtic Diary Thursday October 18

As if we didn’t know it already, a survey has revealed that Celtic Park is the most expensive place in Scotland to watch football. The cheapest match day ticket, a pie, a cup of tea and a programme costs £30.30. Of course, you can save on the tea, to get the same effect, simply stub your cigarette out on your tongue.

Summarising, the survey, conducted by the Blatantly Obvious society, also claims that Celtic have the most expensive season books as well. The cheapest ticket has risen by a shiny pound, and the dearest ticket is down to £29 from £40.

The survey merely confirms what we all knew anyway, its a dear day out, and it makes it that wee bit easier to understand why some people will take their thirty quid to the pub and make a day of it there instead. Factor in the cost of beer, travel and time off work, and it becomes very expensive indeed, but be thankful you’re not an Arsenal fan. Because they are a dull club who have forgotten their identity, ~and their season books cost about the same as a small car.

Living in the south means that I don’t have the dubious pleasure of reading some of the rags that pass for newspapers in Scotland, but a recent email tells me that the Daily Record has desisted in its comments section at the end of sports articles. This has prompted the Scotsman to complain that the Records readers are adding their , well, less than thought provoking comments to their paper instead.

At the bottom of this page is a bit where you can leave a reply, and it saddens me that we have to keep an eye on it, as we , too, get our share of abuse. For instance, Ally from Auchenhowie said “Iwant tae know yer real name ralph”, a chap called Wiggy said he felt that “Scottish football could only move forward if the crimes of Rangers and its directors were treated as tax evasion primarily, and a sporting scandal secondly, and if those alleged to have done wrong were indeed guilty, then they should face the full front of the law.” Which was clearly something he wouldn’t have said, so we left it out.

A man known as the “Jingle J” says he has info on the true wealth of new Rangers investors, and we’d like to hear from him again, as he is apparently some sort of award winning journalist, and “Google Eyes” says “watch me get the fuckers this time”

Whatever does it all mean? As I said, we leave it out as it is obviously the ramblings of deluded minds.

More on the pathetic expulsion of the Celtic Ladies team from the Scottish Cup. It seems a request to re arrange the quarter final tie was agreed with the SWF, but blocked by opponents Glasgow City, who rejected the idea. When Rangers go bust again, don’t be surprised if Glasgow City suddenly have a debt free mens team.

The SFA have refused to give public assurance that Craig Levein will keep his job, and whilst Gordon Strachan is the fans choice for the job, Walter Smith and Alex MacLeish have been spotted hanging around Hampden, both of whom are currently out of work, and both of whom who have held the position before. These safe pair of hands,(safe unless they are near the till), will no doubt be the first to be considered. Fucking Hooray.

Craig Levein has upset too many people with his Zombie impression, which the SFA think is too soon after the banner controversy

Guess who’s back? Shadys Back!

The man who took Rangers into administration back in February, as he promised, is back to finish his work in Glasgow. He started with a full length interview on the BBC with Chris MacLaughlin. Of course, as it was the BBC, the interviewer wanted to elicit soundbites from Whyte, as opposed to any real information. For instance, the “did you lie to supporters line”? , to which Whyte said he didn’t, he just misled them. Serious discussion flew through the window as MacLaughlin asked his questions but didnt follow a natural line when Whyte threw him some bait, such as Murray knowing full well the club was doomed, and McCoist failing to take them through European qualifiers, which Whyte had budgeted for, and ultimately led to them not paying the VATman. Amongst about 300 others. Whyte sayd they simply had no money, and no-one would invest in them because of the Big Tax Case, which may explain why HMRC have put the decision off for so long. The uncertainty hasd bled the club dry, but MacLaughlin didnt pick up on that, probably because he wasn;t listening.

Although 29 minutes into the interview, he does mention the big tax case result, which means it may well be out there somewhere, but not public yet.

With Whyte stating that he introduced Green to the process, and saying that the Ticketus money was just another way to raise money, Green has hit back, saying he’d never met him, and anyway, his new share issue has already raised £17m worth of pledges. A figure the diary knows to be at least £10,000 out. In fact, it may be more than that.

Green says he is “astounded ” by the level of interst from supporters. “20,000 on the site, 9,000 pledges. ” he says. Oh dear, he is going to get a surprise fairly soon. Here we see just some of those people who have pledged their support enjoying a day out.

Glasgows Green and Whyte. Not a terracing song, but a new comedy double act, coming to a tv near you.

Most people recognised the stand in question yesterday as the old Grant Stand, named after James Grant. It was designed to keep people warm and dry whilst watching the game, but failed miserably as all the windows used to steam up. Going back in time again, way way back,  Charlie Tully was a bit of a rogue, and was noted for his cruel impression of Willie Maley. What did he do?



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Run Sammy Run
10 years ago

The name of an Italian footballer comes to mind…’Fuckedivano’

Run Sammy Run
10 years ago

In the wake of the recent Scotland world cup qualifying disasters, I thought I would pen a few words that no doubt will be controversial.

Maybe this is not the place to post this, but this is where I come every day to read, learn and laugh. I kind of think of the Etims as the ‘thinking tims web site’

My first memories of supporting our National team go back to the World Cup of 1974 and ever since I’ve been hooked. I still get excited when a qualifying campaign begins for the Euros or World Cup. Every country starts with a clean slate and I look down our list of opponents and over optimistically think that on our day, we could beat every one of them home and away. I think it’s a mixture of that Ally McLeod sense of over optimism combined with that deep rooted sense of nationalism that we are a country that has often punched above it’s weight, not just in football but in all aspects of world affairs and sports.

Being Scottish to me signified that no matter how much bigger or better our opponents were, we believed wholeheartedly that we could take them down, that on the day we could come together and beat anyone. Jock Stein and the Lions embodied that spirit and Scotland teams of the past, though no where as successful as the Lions, at least went out and gave it a real good go in the belief that we could win.

So here I am devastated again. Watching Scotland now I wonder where we went wrong, what happened to that belief.

In short Levein has to go. Ralph spoke the other day of when Levein sent Scotland out to play with no strikers and I agree that he should have been fired right there and then.

So who should replace him? For me there are only 2 candidates, Wee Gordon Strachan and Walter Smith…that’s right, I said it, I would be more than happy to see Walter Smith come back.

So I’m going to clear this off my chest. I actually think Walter Smith is a great manager of a football team, I think he’s a man who knows how to get the best out of both good and bad players. He was successful when the Huns were full of double-contract top players like Laudrop, Gascoigne and Albertz etc and you have to acknowledge how well he got them to perform in his latter years when the players he had at his disposal were no better than average, if they even were average! Christ, he even got them to a European final.

I reckon I’m going to be flamed for saying that but one thing sticks in my mind. Tommy Burns was my favorite Celtic player ever. He counted Walter Smith as a friend and Mrs Burns thought highly enough of him to ask him to carry her husbands coffin. If Tommy and his wife think that then I too like to think that I’m big enough to acknowledge that even though someone is Rangers to the core, I can still think they that are good at what they do.

10 years ago
Reply to  Run Sammy Run


Couple or so points. Your first game in 74 may be an indication of how you missed the bias and favour shown to Rangers players when it came to international duty though you should have witness the regular calls-offs by Rangers players for Wednesday friendlies only to see the same players play vigorously for their club the following weekend. Simply count the caps for Rangers players from the 40s onwards and compare them to those won by Celtic players in the same period, especially during the Lisbon Lions’ years and please do not try to tell me they were deserved – Danny McGrain constantly playing out of position on the left accommodate the present day sh*t stirrer Jardine on the right. Sorry but I could never overlook this one-sidedness nor forget the few horrific occasions I stood at Scotland games and listened to the bile that was directed, not at the opposition, but rather any player on the field who happened to ply his weekly trade in green and white hoops. They can wallow in their misery and embarrassment. There is no sense of giving all or playing their hearts out to my mind and I find it verging on the insulting to compare them to the Lions in any way whatsoever. I doubt you would have intended your comments to be so. Ally McLeod stirred the Tartan hordes for one purpose and one purpose only and that was to milk the world cup qualification to the fullest for financial rewards for himself and yes, the players too – something no manager till then had the brains to even think of. The one credit I will give him is that he succeeded in this quest. As for the football, it was the most humiliating experience any Scotsman could witness with the drug failure of Johnstone and the pathetic football. I know you will probably be tempted to bring up billy Bremner’s and Dave Narey’s world cup goals. Both were in the freak category, seen once and only once in any lifetime. The rest is safest in the history archives. My second challenge to you is what makes you think Walter Smith is the best for the job? To begin with, I would not give the light of day to a man who walks away. National coach is an honour supposedly to be treasured by mangers. Even the great Jock himself recognised this. Smith treated it so disparagingly that he walked away from it in favour of a return to club football at Rangers. As for his abilities, his times at that club were the most fortuitous any manager could have wished for. On both occasions he had only one potential serious rival club and that was in a free-fall situation during most of both his terms. If you want to make a true judgement, look at his record in a truly competitive environment, the EPL. As manager of Everton he almost brought the club to its knees with his extravagant spending (reflected over and over when he was at Ibrox and probably with monies he knew were not actually available) and inept coaching. I doubt you could find a single Everton fan who would say that he did anything but badly for the club. Interestingly, during his time there, no other English club was ever rumoured to be seeking his services, an unusual position for a quality manager in that league. Nor was he on any English club’s shopping list when he left Everton. I take both situations to be a truer reflection of the man’s INability. Finally, with regard to Mr. and Mrs. T. Burns, I will only comment that having some personal experience of the man and his wife, they believe they would always look to say and do what was right and charitable. I doubt their words or their actions reflected any particularly special friendship or respect for Mr. Smith. I may be wrong in all of this but it will take a very strong argument to force me into a U-turn.


PS May I just add that the diary was A1 as usual, Ralph, and whilst I would normally have a few remarks to make on several of your points, I feel I may have used up all of my brownie points for today. On this occasion, I will leave sensible comments to other more gifted posters and wallow a little longer in my wrath.

west wales celt
10 years ago

Run Sammy Run:

You’re a current bun…

10 years ago

walter made scotland haed to beat, but also an absolute bore to watch (did the same with oldco) – if anyone is going to get teh job, it has to be strachan – at least he knows that you’ve got to attack at some point during a game – you can’t always play not to get beaten and hope to win on penalties.
but for an outsider, how about stephen pressley – he’s got falkirk playing well with a bunch of boys

10 years ago
Reply to  andy docherty

Levein was not doing so badly with D Utd when he got the job. National team is a very different ball game and internationals a very different standard. Hell! Why am I interested?


10 years ago

Could not ;let this go. Perhaps the farce that is the Scottish women’s game mirrors in reverse the national men’s team situation. On the one hand players are overlooked because they play for Celtic (why else would the manger need to be brow-beaten for the best forward in Scotland this season to be selected). On the other, so many Celtic women are selected that they are unable to fulfil a club commitment against its foremost rival. The outcome? The opponents object to an accommodation. The result, expulsion from the tournament even though the football body running it is the very cause of the problem! How perverse and preposterous can it get? “It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world” with Scotland, no doubt in the only circumstances, right at its head.


Run Sammy Run
10 years ago

Thanks for your reply PB, good points and well put.

I have heard on may occasions about the SFA’s bias towards selecting Rangers players during the 60’s and earlier. I have to say that I don’t recall that period myself and from when I started supporting Scotland I can’t say that I noticed that. Looking at the various squads that went to the major tournaments that I remember, I noticed the following.

1974: Rangers – Jardine
Celtic – McGrain, Johnstone, Dalglish and Hay

1978: Rangers – Jardine, D Johnstone and Forsyth
Celtic – None

1982: Rangers – None
Celtic – McGrain and Provan

1986: Rangers – Cooper
Celtic – Aitken, McStay

1990: Rangers – Gough, Johnston, McCoist
Celtic – McStay

I think that looks like a balanced list. Over 5 major tournaments we took 8 Rangers players and 9 Celtic players.

I don’t disagree that institutionalized religious bigotry ran rampant in Scottish football, it was a shameful time in our history. To a degree it still exists but I want to think that most of us have moved on from that time. I could digress into other areas here but I’ll try to stay on the topic of the Scotland manager.

The point I was trying to make was that I wouldn’t discount Walter Smith just because of his association with Rangers, which I think many do. You point out his failure at Everton but you wouldn’t call Brian Clough a bad manager yet he only lased 44 days at Leeds United. It happens sometimes.

I do completely agree with you that he walked out on Scotland before and do see your point that as a result he shouldn’t be welcome back but in my mind we have 2 options, WGS and Walter. Personally my first choice would be Strachan but in the event that he didn’t want the job I would go with Smith. He almost took Rangers to the Champions League final in the early 90’s and got a truly bad team to the UEFA cup final a few years back.

I just want to see Scotland winning again. I think for the first time in a long time we have a half decent squad of players and I want to see the right man harness that and drive them on. I don’t care which team the players come from, I’m tired of all that way of thinking, I just want to see the best players we have available pull on a Scotland jersey and get out there and give us all some hope under the guidance of a man who can motivate them and make them believe in themselves.

10 years ago

I have to agree, and maybe its looking at the players available that makes me so pissed off. Scotland does have some more than decent players right now, but the man in charge has no experience whatsoever of managing at that level. The SFA is a conservative organisation, and since the demise of their club, have done little to suggest that they have any intention of moving forward. If Smith does get the call, he will make us hard to beat. Thats at least a sort of consolidation. If Strachan gets the job, he will have a long term plan. He will even get us to a stage where we will gloriously fail to qualify, but at least it will get us optimistic again. The main thing , to ny mind, is that a whole generation are growing up without seeing Scotland in the finals, and for a country, due to its high educational standards two hundred years ago, has way more achievements in Science, culture and finace than it should have, cannot put together eleven guys who live, work and play in their own land who can kick a lightweight rond object anywhere near a guy with the same colour shirt on.

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