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Celtic Diary Tuesday June 25

Celtic will face Cliftonville in the second qualifying round of the Champions League. Although Celtic came out of the hat first, both clubs have agreed to switch so that the first leg will now be in Belfast, so that visiting supporters can sample some of the local culture, known as the ” Marching Season . ” Well, the PSNI need the overtime.

Until there is confirmation from UEFA, supporters are advised not to make any travel arrangements.

Cliftonville play at the Solitude stadium, which holds around 6000, but with only 2,530 seats, so it looks like we’ll all have to budge up a bit.


There are one or two safety concerns about the seating arrangements, from the last time Celtic were there, some years ago

solitude 2

Cliftonville  chairman Gerard Lawlor has described the draw as a dream tie, and doesn’t want to move it to the AViva-which is in a different country, or Windsor Park, which would probably result in post traumatic stress syndrome for Celtic boss Neil Lennon.

Lawlor said;

“Unfortunately, a lot of fans will miss out, but my concern is for Cliftonville fans and how we can cater for them. ”

Which didn’t make any sense at all.

Manager Tommy Breslin admitted that not only were his supporters Celtic fans, but quite a few of the players were as well.

Dairmud Carroll, once on Celtics books as a youngster is now with Cliftonville. He seemed to be looking forward to the game;

” Its a dream draw for Cliftonville, Celtic was the team everyone  wanted. I’d say everyone in the squad supports them and we were trying to arrange a trip to go over and watch them in the Champions League this season. We’ll be going to Parkhead with two hats on. We want to do well, but we want to see Celtic in the group stages again. ”

Unfortunately, he is not the goalkeeper.


Adam Matthews and Anthony Stokes were wheeled out for the obligatory comments-we are doing it alphabetically by first names this year, which will allow Xavi time to bed in before he faces the press, and the feeling is that Amido Balde could be skipped this time. In case he says he will beat them on his own, or something.

Matthews was fairly diplomatic;

” We’ve got to respect them and treat it like a Champions League game. We want to be in the group stage every season. Thats our main goal so we’ll play every game like we’re up against Barcelona again or Juventus in the last sixteen.

We want to get to the group stage again as we know we need to be playing at that level. We showed last season we can compete with the best teams.  I know Cliftonville won their league comfortably. They’re going to be a decent outfit and probably a good footballing team. We’re focused on ourselves, we only had a short break so everyone has come back in good shape. ”

Anthony Stokes claimed;

“Its a great draw for both clubs. Cliftonville had an exceptional season and we will have to be at our best, but we are going to have a good pre season and will be ready. Both atmospheres will be electric. I’m sure they will have a good crowd over here for the game as I know there is a decent relationship between the two clubs. I know a lot of their fans will be Celtic fans as well, or would look for us to do well, though maybe not in these two games.  But its all about on the night, and we will fancy our chances at home. We will give it our all and hopefully get a good result to take over there. ”



Victor Wanyama is not going to accept the deal on offer from Southampton.

His agent, Ivan Modia, says;

“We are not in talks with Southampton and have not been since their final offer of terms, which was more than two weeks ago. The news of the fee being agreed may just be coming out now but we see little sense in a fee being agreed if there is no reasonable prospect of the players terms being met. To suggest we are talking with Southampton is totally false. Their offer was way below Victors expectations. There is no chance of him signing the deal, and in fact, Celtic and Southampton were informed of this some time ago.  ”

Fair enough, but then he begins to show his true colours…

” The player will not be forced into a corner to accept the Southampton deal, just because it is good for Celtic. Remember, he has been with the club for two years now, without a pay rise, and has given them wonderful service ever since he has arrived. Added to this is the fact that by Celtic refusing him permission to join QPR last summer Victor lost more than £1m in potential earnings, yet he just kept his mouth shut and continued to be a model professional. Many other players may not have adopted this attitude , in the circumstances. We know there is interest from elsewhere, and Victor is obviously open to those prospects, he is currently back in Kenya and hopes that Celtic will adopt a more resonable approach and take into account the service he has given the club so far and the rest of these issues. Nobody at Celtic can question his attitude and he is hopeful he can leave on good terms with the club. He loves the club and its fans, he’s played his heart out for the jersey, but he didn’t quite expect that it may end like this. ”

Where do you start with that ?

Of course, had Victor gone to QPR, he would now be in the second tier of English football, and not an experienced performer at the highest level in club football. Which would make him a little harder to sell. Two years without a pay rise? Sure, but largely because he refused one. Or his agent did. Which is more likely. Wanyama, when he returns from holiday, needs to tell this guy to wind his neck in. He’s a fantastic player, and will undoubtedly move on to fame and fortune, but he needs to remember why he is in demand, and how he got to that level.

His relationship with the Celtic support will be damaged by what he does and says, not by the rantings of a desperate agent, who sounds like Lawwell or Lennon has already cut him down to size a wee bit.

Elsewhere, and although the diary prefers to concentrate on matters Celtic, it would be folly to ignore the serious challenge from Scotlands newest club, who are using our distraction of first class European football to rebuild, ready for the day when they enter the top level.

Lean , mean coaching machine Ally McCoist was pictured looking ready -aye ready-for the step up to Division two.

sally 6

Along with his assistant Kenny MacDowell, they set the physical standard for the players to aim at in pre season training


He has ruthlessly demanded that he wants all his players in perfect shape for the kick off, and has outlined exactly what he expects.

sally 5

Incidentally, twitter was alive again with rumours that Deloitte had refused to sign off their audited accounts. Which are due any time now. Perhaps Charles Green has nicked the books, and has hidden them under his bed.

Again , there is an opportunity for one of our intrepid investigative journalists to throw open the door of ibrox, and show us what has been going on. But yet again, they have all phoned in sick.

Bertie Auld was the man who said that Saturday was a day off to play football.  Anyone remember this one, and who it was ?

“Yes, my time at Celtic is over. It is not a time to be sad. I would be sad if i had never played for Celtic.”



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10 years ago


10 years ago

Rudi Vata?

10 years ago


Frank McGaaaaarvey
10 years ago

There they are with their 5 stars on the go again the silly billy zombies! Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, etc…..

Big Vic is in no hurry to go anywhere he doesn’t want to. The agents can get to feck and just let their client do what he does best – play and then the real big guns will enter the fray.

The quote, was it Olivier Kapo?

10 years ago

Ah the old five stars are back. One for every £19 million they owe the tax man!

10 years ago

that quote would be from the magician Lubo. Remember the Scottish press taking great glee in exclaiming “Lubo who?”!!!!!

10 years ago

Aviva in a different country???? Tut, tut, tut, tut…… Even in jest, it rankles!!!!

10 years ago
Reply to  liatroimbhoy

probably put an “r” in by mistake and meant to say different county. Because everyone knows, though some might not be able to admit it, Ireland is ONE countRy!
Brencelt (from eastern Ireland, a geographical compass point just like western, nothern or southern Ireland). I need a beer after all that.

10 years ago
Reply to  Ralph Malph

I’ve been reading your great daily diary long enough to know that they were not your words. The people I was referring to are of a blue hue. Keep up the great work Ralph

10 years ago


The Landlord of our boozer in London met Lennon in a pub in Soho the Monday after the season finished. Was down for some do for Fergie. Chatting away to Lenny he asks “Who’s off then?”

NL:Wayama cos his agent’s a fucking wank!

10 years ago

On the subject of a of playing in a different country bear(excuse the pun!) in mind, the Old Huns played Shelboune at Prenton Park, Merseyside in 98 due to safely fears over sectarian violence!

10 years ago
Reply to  Maniche

A different country???
Lots of us think Belfast and Dublin are both in Ireland.

Vin The Dublin Tim
10 years ago

I’m with the Leitrim bhoy, Landsdowne (not Aviva by the way)
and Solitude = the island of Ireland
Manys a word said in jest and all that !

10 years ago



Glad you finally got up 🙂

Cliftonville great, Sligo Rovers would have been incredible. And fans would not have had to “walk” there.

Transfer of Victor. Obviously a young man in the grips of a flyboy. I want the best for him as he is a quality player who SHOULD have a great career. However, it is my HUMBLE but CORRECT opinion that going to the clubs mentioned so far would be like a trip to the desert looking for grass. He would be lost in the dunes. Besides, it has ever been my contention that Celtic need to start demanding the proper price from the jokers in the Couldn’t Get a Donkey Without Sky Survival League. They still do though and Big Vic should not become one of their breed. Apologies to the donkeys for the comparison to some “footballers”.

Speaking of survival, it looks like a close run thing at Ibrox between the management and the club which one bursts first. My money’s on Ally. He is full of so much wind he must be metres ahead of anybody – waist-wise, at least. Mind you, perhaps some caution is needed due to his enormous rear relief valve. Although used mainly to produce pure sh**, I believe it can also release a dangerous quantity of hot air on a regular basis.

I got Bertie right and I know I am absolutely correct on this because I read an article about the wee man not more than two weeks ago in which the very same was quoted. All bow down to Lubo as many have already said. Desi, I am very surprised! I think Lubo is “vata” you meant to say:)

PS Ralph. I waited patiently in the early morning to do you justice but as pm approached I was called to other things. That is why this not my usual early bird comment.


10 years ago

“Yes, my time at Celtic is over. It is not a time to be sad. I would be sad if i had never played for Celtic.”

Must have been Stephanne Bonnes…………..oh wait……

brian glover
10 years ago

Hey Ally ….did you see yon tv programme about the guy in Las Vegas with 10 stone testes?
Did a see it …a was his body double!

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