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Celtic Diary Saturday October 1: Play The Game !

It’s match day !


Whoop Whoop GIFs | Tenor



After what seems like months and months of international football , this time the Nations League, a sort of selection process for the qualifiers for the next European Championships, which will roll along after next months World Cup in Qatar, the real stuff is back.


And let’s face it, the only thing any of us are looking forward to in the world cup is the game between Iran and the USA, where two nations of religious extremists will battle it out, each with their own god on their side, which might just add an extra edge to the conflict on and off the field.


Celtic face Motherwell this afternoon in a bid to get the Angeball wheels turning again in time for the Liepzig game in midweek.



As we pointed out in the last diary, there’s quite a few games to cram in before the middle of next month, and all the players in the squad will have a part to play.



David Turnbull and Daezen Maeda are back in training, but the other casualties of representing their country, Sead ( I keep forgetting how to spell his last name so we’ll stick with his first name) and Giorgios Giakoumakis ,   look like they won;t be available,


Carl Starfelt and Cameron Carter Vickers don;t look like they’ll be ready either, so it looks like Jenz and Welsh at the back.


Stephen Welsh has become the latest object of condemnation from Social Media CSC, even though he is still learning his trade. For inspiration , he should look to Jack Hendry, who has shaken off his tribulations at Celtic and gone on to be an established defender for club and country, and for a reason to give the lad a break, supporters should do the same.


He’s only 22, and that’s very young for a position that is at least fifty per cent experience rather than just technical ability, and maybe supporters should bear that in mind before piling any  more unnecessary pressure on the lad. He will be well aware of what he does wrong, and is probably more likely to listen to his more experienced colleagues, his coaches and his manager before any of us, and that’s largely because at some point we have to accept that the professionals know more about it than we do.


More about the player, that is, and it’s worth remembering that at 22 we are all a little more prone to criticism, whether it;s valid or not, than we are at thirty.



Josip Juranovic and Greg Taylor should fill the full back roles, with Taylor growing ever more in confidence in an international shirt, maybe the players are feeling less pressure during the break, as Scotland fans are probably more forgiving than Celtic supporters, probably because they’re used to not expecting much.


In the middle we should see the O’Riley/Hatate /MacGregor axis in place, and a refreshed Jota supporting Kyogo , along with Maeda as opposed to Abada, who whilst electrifying at times, doesn;t seem to have yet mastered the idea of pacing himself.



One would hope Celtic hit the ground running, finding that pace quickly, a pace that hasn’t been employed by their international sides, although Steve Clarke does seem to be more Angified with every outing.



In the lunchtime game, “rangers ” have a chance to go to the top of the table for a couple of hours when they visit Tynecastle to face Hearts, who have blown hot and cold this season.


They are still capable of further hampering the ibrox club/company, though, and nerves will be evident throughout the blue shirted challengers, who have been at pains this week to emphasise there are only two points in it…



Whilst Celtic have recently presented a good set of financial figures, having nearly as much cash in the banl as all the other Premiership clubs combined,








….our cousins from the other side of the tracks have been blindsided again,,, this time for price fixing , a legal term applied when a combination of suppliers rig the market to fleece the consumer of as much cash as possible.


Like the energy companies, but on a smaller scale and without taxpayer bailouts.



To combat this, the Ibrox board have released a fourth strip…..






And of course, you can still get the home top…..








That’s £105….for the top. I may be slightly out of touch here, but that seems a little steep.



And as the lucrative Christmas period approaches, we hear they are about to step up their marketing with a new merchandise range…



There’s the new look for the businessman….




Union Jack Suit -



…and for the lady in his life….



Union jack outfit hi-res stock photography and images - Alamy





..and for the kids, this billy bear rocking horse….



King Billy Bear | Newtonwood Miniatures




And to capture that staunch feeling that comes with being a part of the Ibrox family, there’s this you can have installed in your own garden…..



How to Construct Open Wells? - The Constructor



The idea is the supporter flings all of his money down the well, and someone from the club/company comes along once a month and uses the bucket to collect it, which is more or less what they’ve been doing for the last decade or so.




all of it , of course, points to a few problems where the pennies are concerned, and fuel was added to this fire when their commercial director had a moan about the latest TV deal that the other clubs have struck with Sky.. which as usual isn’t going to bring our game level with other similar sized nations, (Glasgow world )



Rangers commerical directorJames Bisgrove reckons the SPFL have missed a trick in not taking broadcast rights out to tender before agreeing to a £150million extension with Sky Sports.

The Scottish Professional Football League announced a four-year extension to their agreement with Sky Sports earlier this week, which comes into force from the start of the 2024/25 season, will see an increase in the number of games shown live with up to 60 Scottish Premiership matches.

The value of the TV deal could reach around £30million per season by the 2028/29 season, excluding the addition of a further two bundles of ten games.


Rangers have voiced their concerns regarding the way the deal has been handled with managing director Stewart Robertson expressing his frustration at the lack of “market-test” as they refused to sign off on the proposal before the initial deadline.

An 11-1 vote was required to finally pass the motion but Bisgrove claims that while the club recognise the strength of the partnership with Sky Sports, there were other options for league officials to consider with the aim of securing more value from the new TV deal.

He outlined up to five potential broadcasters who may have chalenged Sky Sports for the broadcasting rights.

Bisgrove told the Rangers Review: “Stewart (Robertson) and I were in the SPFL Premiership clubs meeting and asked how can we, as a group of clubs, as a league, be sure that this is the best value in the market when we haven’t engaged with other players in that market?

“The information and intelligence that we got suggests that very recently other big rights that were in the market had created competitive tension.  


You’ve got BT Sport and their joint venture with Discovery, you’ve got Viapay and NENT, you’ve got DAZN. And there are others further afield, the likes of Amazon.

“We’ve said all along we think Sky are a gear partner, they’re a brilliant partner for Scottish football but to give everyone assurance that the value is as high as it possibly can be, you’ve got to take this to the market.

“There’s a reason why TEAM Marketing that run the UEFA Champions League, Europa League tenders, go to the market every time. They run a competitive process, it’s the reason why the Premier League do that.”

Various aspects of the new agreement will begin with immediate effect, such as the addition of live coverage of Scottish Women’s domestic football.




Despite a lack of any evidence which suggests any of the other broadcasters are remotely interested in Scottish football, what Bisgrove and his chairman Robertson neglected to mention is that, rightly or wrongly, the other clubs are happy with the deal.



It’s not by any means a great deal, or perhaps even a good deal, but what’s worth remembering is that unless one broadcaster is prepared to take on all Scottish clubs in all competitions  then any change would simply mean an extra subscription, and clubs may well feel it’s not worth the risk of asking fans to move.



I’m no fan of Sky, the idea of paying a company to facilitate English clubs who snap up Celtic players …and other clubs…is self defeating, but at the moment they are the best option, and whilst there is considerable room for improvement, that takes time, and maybe the next contract should be under discussion now, to give everyone time to sort out the details, and to perhaps approach other broadcasters.



But regardless of that, clubs need to get more active in their own communities, as the days of kids automatically following their dads to games are long gone, and if there is a market to be developed, it’s right there on their own doorsteps.




Then again, that lead maybe does need to come from the top, and when a relatively small increase in turnover for the League is touted as a triumph we do seem to be fighting a losing battle.



The SPFL has today announced record financial results for Season 2021/22, with its highest ever turnover of £39,523,000 (up 7% from £36,784,000 in 2020/21).
 Not as impressive when you consider that there were lockdowns in 2020/21……
 I seem to have wandered off the point a little, which is that the real football is back, and whilst we’ll be watching the game, others will be watching us, and yet again there is talk that the manager might leave….with liverpool being mentioned as a possible destination.
 The manager has not come out and said he’s staying, which given Brendan and his Here foe the ten bullshit , is a relief.
 He did say, however, that he has a …..
“I’ll always go where the challenge is greatest and I still have some stuff I want to conquer. 
There is a run to the finish line and I want to make sure when I get there that I have done everything I wanted to do. There are still some horizons I need to conquer!”   
 “I have never sort of thought that way. What I am doing is most important to me. I want to have as much success as I can, whether that takes me somewhere else or I stay where I am.

“But football is a funny world. This time last year I was favourite to be sacked before Christmas so things change pretty quickly.

“I have a big responsibility to bring as much success to Celtic as I can. If I do that, I will be in a good space professionally and personally.”  




Which was largely interpreted as the manager saying his time was limited and he had so many things he wanted to do.



I read it as a man simply outlining he has plenty of work to do, and was happy enough where he was. A man who knows that whilst he is flavour of the month just now, he might not be next month.



It tells me he wants the stability and security of knowing his support, and his employers, trust him.




And whilst he is here, he will repay that trust and loyalty, and if he does go where the challenge is greatest, one might surmise he is already here… no doubt he is aware we want our European Cup back.



Homer Simpson Nod GIF - HomerSimpson Nod Nodding - Discover & Share GIFs |  Homer simpson, The simpsons, Nod gif








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John E Mitchell
6 months ago

‘Wishing Well’? What a spiffing idea.

As we all know, the hun were always partial to lobbing their cash down the toilet, until they realised that it was tainting the juicy goodness of their preferred cocktail. The ‘Well of Staunchness’ is a Win-Win for them. Respect.

Honest Hoops
6 months ago

IMO, the sole reason the £1brox club are bricking it is that they are firmly on the radar of receiving a hefty fine for continously breaking the FFP rule…which we all know that the fine is always in the millions…take them down is what I say

6 months ago
Reply to  Honest Hoops

In the Celtic Financial report the CEO stated that Celtic had worked closely with UEFA on the Financial Sustainability Regulations.

On solvency the rules on overdue payables to HMRC have been significantly tightened and it’s not stretching it to say the evidence presented to Celtic and UEFA from shareholders and provided to UEFA Whistle Blower web site during 2020 must have helped justify the tightening of the rules.

On sustainability UEFA have introduced a new regulation that limits spend on a clubs playing squad to a % of football income which is defined.

A 90% limit reduces to 70% over 3 seasons which means 3 year contracts need to take the limitations into account now.

This change is most welcome as it addresses the moral hazard sometimes discussed on ETims as it stops reckless spending that makes survival as a club totally dependent on results that introduces another level of suspicion at refereeing decisions.

Whilst change was conducted under the radar by Celtic it is understandable given SFAs unwillingness to pursue under their own judicial protocols.

Given SFA reform was an objective of the original Resolution 12 then that objective has been acheived in terms of club Licencing.

6 months ago
Reply to  Auldheid

Sorry Auldheid, Club Licensing is but a part of the overall SFA responsibilities.
To say in terms of Resolution 12 and SFA reform that ‘that objective’ has been achieved is doing a great deal of heavy lifting.
For the good of the Scottish Game a ‘root and branch’ overhaul of the SFA and the Refereeing Associations is required.
The ‘Game’ will never move on until this is done.

5 months ago

Who says the job is done?

There is a proposal from Sentinel Celts blog to the Fans Forum on improving refereeing tomorrow night.

The response from fans and Celtic will be interesting as it provides an opportunity to get the subject on the agenda with SFA.

What are you doing to tackle corruption at the SFA? Did providing evidence of it via Res12 to UEFA not help Celtic argue the case for the new rules?

Rangers on a UEFA watch list , UEFA tightening rules on overdue tax that puts SFA under scrutiny as well as Rangers?

Whilst not a Res12 item I was pleased to see the % rule on player squad spend. It will require our main rivals to risk breaching, but more important it will remove the moral hazard Rangers unsustainable spend placed on Scottish football where their very survival wrecked the integrity of our game starting with ebts and ending with fraud in 2011 that led to the LNS Con and secret 5 Way Agreement in 2012.

The new rules will not change the past but they will protect the integrity of our game going forward.

If you had taken any part in the heavy lifting of exposing SFA corruption against opposition from some amongst the Celtic support you might see the claim of influencing FSR differently.

6 months ago
Reply to  Auldheid

I’d imagine we’d struggle with the 70% squad cap, certainly without UCL and perhaps with it too.

This would be more so for the behemoths like Barca, PSG, Chelsea, Man City etc, so it remains to be seen how ruthless or toothless enforcement is.

Or will the big guns’ lawfare fire neutralise (neuter?) FSR just like they did with FFP?

5 months ago
Reply to  The Cha

Celtic have 2 current advantages over our main rivals.

One is built in thanks to Fergus – stadium capacity.

The other is merchandising that can be increased globally as long as recent attempts by the Rangers affiliated mob to damage the Celtic brand for their benefit do not succeed.

Not giving them ammunition should be part of a joined up approach between the club and the support, as getting it wrong might ultimately affect the quality of player we recruit and so results.

CL money if only one club get access every season could tip the balance one way consistently but that is up to Celtic to prevent it being that mob using the built in advantages we currently enjoy to build on the new % spend rule.
We live in interesting times.

Yerjoosta Numberson
6 months ago
Reply to  Auldheid

Says who?
Some wee gadgy on a fitba forum

6 months ago
Reply to  Auldheid

Case in point being Beatons disgraceful performance today.

It’s not just that the guy is a bigot . He is, for whatever reason, deliberately acting in an unprofessional manner, subverting the laws of the game and basically attempting to fix the outcome of the game. That is corruption pure and simple.

Customers pay their money to watch a competitive sporting event which is governed by a set of rules that are designed, as far as possible, to ensure a contest which is fair. Where each team is expected to compete under a fixed set of rules which ensures fair play with appropriate sanctions for breaches of the rules.

For a match official to deliberately ignore breaches of the rules or to sanction players without just cause or overstating the severity of a breach, e.g. issuing red cards for offences, that only merit yellow cards thereby handing the opposing side an unmerited numerical advantage, these acts of omission or commission are inherently corrupt.

This bias, whatever the underlying motivation on the part of the official, constitutes match fixing. It needs to be confronted. There are enough concerns already on this topic with regards to the Betting Industry. It’s common knowledge that some of the current crop of officials have more than a casual relationship with our Bookies.

The Scottish Game is rigged. Everyone knows it. Especially the game’s Administrators. It’s one of the key reasons broadcasters like Sky can lowball the contracts.
No one will pour serious money into our game until it’s cleaned up.

5 months ago

As I said a proposal for changing how Refereeing is managed has been put to the Fans Forum that takes place on Monday from contributors to Sentinel Celts following the views aired there and frustration at no change ever happening.

I’m abroad so cannot attend but a representative of Sentinel Celts will and report back next week.

Check in to see what the proposal was and the reaction from the Fans Forum on Sentinel Celts although I’ll post a link here if I remember.

5 months ago
Reply to  Auldheid

What I said re referees earlier is in moderation so wait for it for full context.

6 months ago

Diary on a roll now, good. Important we win today as Wednesday.

Marty McK
6 months ago

I’m not sure how religious American’s are these days. They seem more interested in getting their sons in to a bra and knickers than into a church.

6 months ago

Phew, that was nervy but all’s well and all that.

Didn’t think McGregor had much option other than to give Beaton a chance to produce the world’s fastest Red Card.

The ball was going slightly wide, and Jura was running into cover but doubt an appeal would be successful.

At 2 goals up or early in the game, you shouldn’t make those challenges but 1 goal up at the death then you do.

He’ll miss the St Johnstone game, which is a long way from the hardest, so hopefully we can see what Oli’s got about him.

I thought Jura was trying too hard to make amends for his and Hart’s howler by scoring a worldie and just needed to play his normal game.

He also dallied on the ball in the box after we were down to 10, which was the oppo of what we needed at that stage.

I thought we would’ve blown them away after the pish in Paisley but, slightly worrying that we seem to have lost a bit of our mojo before our Leipzig double header.

Obviously, there’s been the disruption of internationals and hopefully not simply due to the absence of key players like CCV.

Although we struggled with balls in the box, to be fair, we’ve done that all season and it’s just been masked by how good we’ve been upfront.

6 months ago

2 posts awaiting for approval. 🙁

5 months ago

We made hard work of that yesterday with many unforced errors and helped Beaton to almost get the result he craved. He denied what looked a good shout for a penalty (among his other devious tricks) ‘though the coverage I got was pretty grim for accurate assessment. He saw the challenge in the box coming and immediately looked away and upfield, just as Madden did when Leigh Griffiths was scissor-tackled. I agree that until this lot is stopped then fitba’s rigged and our Board need to act to protect integrity and player safety. Talking of integrity. Why does anyone think Sky was the only choice. It’s because, just like the referees and SFA, they’re all huns. The new huns will have been onside with that deal, just a token, pretendy vote against. The whole FN shower of them are obvious with their cheating and Celtic PLC needs to take action. Do you think any Sky presenter will call out the cheating? Naw, nor do I. Anyway, away from that scum. Thank you Reo Hatate for another great contribution to the Celtic cause. What a goal, wee mhan! Keep it up!
However, without naming names, as there were too many to mention, we can’t afford those mistakes vs Leipzig or anyone else at that level. But we got 3 pts in the end yesterday and, with a fair wind and no schoolboy stuff we can get the results we need in Europe. COYBIG.

5 months ago

Got the points which is no 1 target.
their goal was a riot.pretty sure Big Joe would have shouted..he kinda looks the type!
We def miss the composure of CCV at back aswell..there were other shaky moments.
Wish the likes of Calmac and
big Matt would just put their boot through the ball instead of trying to guide it into the net. thought Hatate until his misjudged pass at the end was MOTM.
sorry to sound grumpy about it but was just one of those games..and dont sart me about Tom Boyds waffling on Celtic TV!!

Hail hail

5 months ago

Sorry Auldheid, Club Licensing is but a part of the overall SFA responsibilities.
To say in terms of Resolution 12 and SFA reform that ‘that objective’ has been achieved is doing a great deal of heavy lifting.
For the good of the Scottish Game a ‘root and branch’ overhaul of the SFA and the Refereeing Associations is required.
The ‘Game’ will never move on until this is done.
The SFA are never going to reform themselves which is why Res12 of 2013 asked UEFA to investigate the UEFA licence granted in 2011.

As a result of evidence including that of fraud provided by shareholders under the Res12 umbrella, the rules of 2011 have been significantly changed to prevent a repeat on overdue payables but there is more to it than that.

The SFA clearly were not applying UEFA’s rules as UEFA intended (and blindsided UEFA on the 5 Way Agreement) and the FSR monitoring rules have been changed in respect of putting the SFA under the type of scrutiny they did not have to worry about in the past.

That is a deterrent to passing anything coming from Ibrox, like their accounts being passed on a nod and a wink basis at Hampden. Its not just The Rangers FC Ltd that are on the UEFA watch list,

Perhaps if you read what UEFA say about FSR you might appreciate the road to SFA reform is being paved by FSR and the evidence provided under the Res12 umbrella has been persuasive to both Celtic and UEFA that something needed done.

On root and branch reform I agree, but as stated the SFA and member clubs have no stomach for reforming themselves and the pressure to do so has to be external across the full supporter spectrum.

As mentioned, changing Referee management is another area of reform and an attempt to get that underway has been out forward for discussion at the Celtic Fans Forum. However, it is not an issue specific to Celtic and needs backing from supporters of other clubs to make it a general football issue outside of the Celtic/Rangers bubble.

On full root and branch reform that too has to come from more than Celtic supporters and The Scottish Football Supporters Association (SFSA), of whom I’m a member, are working on a paper to bring that about, pointing to The Tracy Crouch Review of The English FA that Westminster has accepted as a template that the Scottish Government could follow, given that the Crouch review of itself kills the excuse the Scottish Government uses not to get involved in football matters.

If you are not a member of The SFSA you might want to consider joining up to play your part on achieving the total reform our game badly needs.

5 months ago
Reply to  Auldheid

above for


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