soccernet blog
Celtic FC
July 28, 2012
Posted by Andy Muirhead on 07/28/2012

This summer saw football fans across Scotland rise up and force not only their clubs, but also the governing bodies into an action that they did not want to take - send the Rangers newco into the Third Division.

The SPL and the SFA wanted to keep a tight grip of their unsigned £80 million TV deal, why it was left unsigned is a mystery, but when Neil Doncaster was in control of things one could start to look in that direction.

With Rangers now plying their trade in the fourth tier of Scottish football, Celtic in my opinion will have a free run to the title this coming season.

May 5, 2012
Posted by Andy Muirhead on 05/05/2012

All talk in the media over the past few weeks have been aimed at those clubs who are in millions of pounds worth of debt in Scottish Football, with the notion that if Rangers are not welcomed back into the SPL that these clubs will go out of business. That these clubs need a Rangers Football Club. Dundee United are reportedly in £4 million of debt, Hearts have £24 million of debt and Kilmarnock are in £11 million worth of debt.

This financial strangulation, especially on clubs like Kilmarnock, are now hitting sporting integrity. It seems that when rules are broken by other clubs then they should be punished, but when it is the 140-year-old institution Rangers Football Club then some club chairmen and mainstream media journos state that they should be treated differently to stave off other clubs heading the same way.

April 15, 2012
Posted by Andy Muirhead on 04/15/2012

Last weekend Celtic secured their first championship title in four years at Rugby Park with a 6-0 demolition of the side that beat them in the League Cup Final just a few weeks earlier. Sunday saw Celtic face Hearts for a place in the Scottish Cup Final, with Hibernian waiting in the wings.

However, Hearts secured a 2-1 victory to set up an all-Edinburgh final, which is now being dubbed the Salt 'n' Sauce final.

But, rather than seeing the failings of his own side, manager Neil Lennon rounded on the referee at the final whistle. The Northern Irishman stormed onto the pitch at full time and confronted Euan Norris, after he awarded a penalty to Hearts in the dying minutes of the game and then rejected a similar penalty decision for Celtic soon after at the other end.

Later Lennon described the decision to award a penalty against Celtic and not one for them, as 'personal'.

March 23, 2012
Posted by Andy Muirhead on 03/23/2012

Headlines of 'Celtic manager Neil Lennon will not gloat if they win the title at rivals Rangers on Sunday' were splashed across the newspapers yesterday. The pundits claim that he will be on his 'best behaviour' and that he will act professionally on the day if his side win the SPL title at the home of their greatest rivals. That he won't rub salt into the wounds of a dying animal. Why not?

Why should Neil Lennon not gloat, why should he not celebrate wildly, why should he not go towards his own supporters and pump his fist in the air with glee, why should he not take to the field at full time and hug everyone of his players?

Celebrating and winding up your rivals when you win is part and parcel of sport.

February 28, 2012
Posted by Andy Muirhead on 02/28/2012

In Tuesday morning's Daily Record, Jim Traynor and Keith Jackson claim that Celtic's failure to hand over a £300,000 advance on ticket sales for the Old Firm derby could force the Ibrox club into more job cuts. Are the duo really trying to pin the blame on Celtic for issues that are down to Rangers' own financial mismanagement?

February 14, 2012
Posted by Andy Muirhead on 02/14/2012

It is a question that has been asked over and over again in recent weeks and months, even more so given the announcement that Rangers have gone into administration.

Do Celtic really need Rangers? Yes. But more importantly Scottish football needs them.

February 5, 2012
Posted by Andy Muirhead on 02/05/2012

The transfer window closed at 11pm on the 31st January and in all honesty not many Celtic fans were complaining about the club's failure to do any business in the final day, as Celtic's wheeling and dealing had been done over the previous few weeks.

Okay there was a late bid to bring Leon Best from Newcastle on loan, but ultimately Celtic have ended the transfer window stronger than when the window opened.

Celtic are in fine form of late, while rivals Rangers are looking a shadow of their former selves with Steven Naismith out for the rest of the season and top scorer Nikica Jelavic sold to Everton, really only one club can go from strength to strength, only one club is still in the hunt for the treble – Celtic.

Even the Celtic fans are in the mood to party, unlike their rivals who seem to be lethargic throughout.

February 3, 2012
Posted by Andy Muirhead on 02/03/2012

In this afternoon's press conference, Celtic manager Neil Lennon has hit out at The Scottish Sun, following what Lennon deemed as trying to 'stir up some sort of controversy that isn't really there'.

The Scottish Sun reported on its front page that Celtic first team coach Alan Thompson and Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor went for drinks at a pub in the West end of Glasgow on Wednesday night.

But Lennon labelled the article a 'nothing story' and that the paper's attempts to stir up controversy was 'disgusting'.

November 23, 2011
Posted by Andy Muirhead on 11/23/2011

The captain's position at any football club is an honour for any footballer to hold, it is a position that commands respect and is one of the most important roles within a club - unless you are Paul Le Guen.

In recent years, Celtic have seen two captains of inferior quality in the guise of Stephen McManus and presently Scott Brown. Neither should have been handed the captain's armband at the Parkhead club for various reasons, but with Scott Brown in the process of re-negotiating a new deal, stalling only due to his agent's demands, maybe its time the club took a step back and decided to cash in on the 26 year old.

November 2, 2011
Posted by Andy Muirhead on 11/02/2011

Sunday is a major test of Neil Lennon's credentials as Celtic manager. Forget the game against Rennes at Celtic Park on Thursday night, what matters most is the Scottish Premier League. With Rangers playing host to Dundee United on Saturday, Celtic's game against Motherwell at Fir Park could be the moment Lennon is either pushed out of the door or walks out of it.

October 10, 2011
Posted by Andy Muirhead on 10/10/2011

With international week in full swing, Celtic manager Neil Lennon should be using the time to dissect where the team is failing from front to back and finalise what his starting eleven, week in week out is. Otherwise he can kiss goodbye to the SPL title and his job as manager of Celtic.

August 22, 2011
Posted by Andy Muirhead on 08/22/2011

After Sunday's poor showing at Celtic Park which resulted in St.Johnstone not only scoring their first goal of the season but also picking up all three points, fans have once again rounded on the board to put their hands in their pockets dig deep and spend to give Neil Lennon their backing.

With the board's financial astuteness, Celtic's debt was reduced once more to under £1 million, despite little or no European football revenue from the past three seasons.

But after spending a mere £1 million this season, fans are becoming frustrated that the 'auld biscuit tin mentality' has reared its ugly head once more at Celtic Park.

August 18, 2011
Posted by Andy Muirhead on 08/18/2011

Irish Politics has been ingrained in the Scottish game for half a century if not longer, but with Ireland trying to put the past where it belongs, the glorification of the troubles continues in the West of Scotland. Celtic fans sing ditties celebrating not only the Irish War of Independence, but also the troubles in Northern Ireland. They sing about the hunger strikers, particularly Bobby Sands as well as Aiden McAnespie - an Irish Catholic - killed by a British soldier in 1988. Likewise across the city Rangers fans sing The Billy Boys, Build My Gallows High, the racist Famine Song and a few other ditties with add-ons such as F**k the Pope and the IRA. While both sides have fans who march alongside republican and orange marches up and down Scotland's streets.

But in 21st Century Scotland, what have such things go to do with our society let alone Scottish Football?

July 18, 2011
Posted by Andy Muirhead on 07/18/2011

It seems that one member of the Laptop Loyal or should I state one former member of the Laptop Loyal has taken exception to my previous article in regard to what I perceive as elements within the Scottish mainstream media stirring up the hatred towards Celtic manager Neil Lennon.

Mr Leggat, formerly of the Sunday People and the Daily Express, slated my article claiming it was 'the latest outrageous claptrap'.

He also stated that: 'According to him, all the bombs, bullets and threats that have been directed at Neil Lennon are the fault of….THE MEDIA!'

July 16, 2011
Posted by Andy Muirhead on 07/16/2011

Over the past eleven years Neil Lennon's life has revolved in and around Celtic Football Club. And in all those years the Northern Irishman has received a level of hatred and abuse that no man in British Football has endured. From Parcel Bombs to bullets to being assaulted on the streets of Glasgow and the sideline at Tynecastle, Lennon has had to endure so much in those 11 years that it would make lesser men run for the hills. A campaign of attrition so hate-filled that it would have had a lesser man throw in the towel long ago.

So why has it gotten so bad? In my opinion, elements within the Scottish mainstream media.

July 4, 2011
Posted by Andy Muirhead on 07/04/2011

Celtic are reportedly hoping to bring in Manchester City striker Craig Bellamy for a second stint at Parkhead. Bellamy played on loan at Celtic Park in 2005, winning a Scottish Cup winners medal and scoring nine goals in 15 games.

However six years on, Bellamy is not the player that he once was and Celtic should give him a wide berth, and rather focus their attentions on England international Jay Bothroyd, who despite his wage demands, would have a greater impact for Celtic than a 31-year-old striker that is injury prone.

April 15, 2011
Posted by Andy Muirhead on 04/15/2011

After the demolition of Hibernian in the first half last week, Celtic struggled in the second half and in the latter games against St.Mirren and St.Johnstone to score goals. The media looked upon the games as Celtic stuttering along, fearful of dropping valuable points at the top of the table. We even had the usual headline eminating from Ibrox this time from Steven Naismith with the title 'Catch Us If you Can' - and that was after they went top on just one point, after Celtic's game against Inverness was postponed. Celtic did catch them up and we did go back to the top, sitting two points clear. As I have stated before, the title is now Celtic's to lose. And Rangers must win all their games hoping that Celtic drop points. Making the derby game on the 24th April very important.

April 2, 2011
Posted by Andy Muirhead on 04/02/2011

While many Celtic fans were furious at this weekend's postponement, and with the threat that our rivals Rangers could leapfrog us in the league if they beat Dundee United, it looked as though it was going to be a pretty bad day. And with Rangers fans sure of all three points, they openly mocked the Celtic support as they expected to be a point clear at 5pm. But Dundee United had other ideas.

Posted by Andy Muirhead on 04/02/2011

Today's Celtic away game to Inverness Caledonian Thistle has been called off due to the pitch being waterlogged. A pitch inspection was arranged for 10am, with referee Craig Thomson taking the decision which has enraged EVERY Celtic fan, even more so now that there was no rain from 10am onwards and the sky is now blue.

March 7, 2011
Posted by Andy Muirhead on 03/07/2011

The news since Wednesday has been awash with player clashes, Neil Lennon instigating abuse of Rangers players and the management, not to mention the ludicrous claims of racist abuse at El Hadji Diouf. And the whole panto is playing into the hands of Rangers Football Club, hence the reason why they have failed to rubbish the claims of their fans stating that their players were racially abused by Celtic manager Neil Lennon.

Chief Executive Martin Bain did state that some of the club's players were verbally abused at Ibrox in the previous match - not at Celtic Park - however there was no mention of racist abuse, no matter how much the bitter & twisted Rangers fans try to spin comments.

But isn't it a bit hypocritical from the Rangers fans to preach on racism. When their own fellow fans preach sectarian views.

March 6, 2011
Posted by Andy Muirhead on 03/06/2011

Ever since Neil Lennon made the switch from Leicester City to Celtic in 2000, he has been subjected to vile sectarian abuse, death threats, physically assaulted, knocked unconscious and been sent hoax bombs and bullets through the mail. The Celtic manager even battled depression, while he was Captain at Celtic.

But this season he has been subjected to several SFA officials blatantly lying to his face, being hauled over the coals by the SFA for his comments towards a fourth official and then being handed a six match ban - which every pundit and commentator labelled excessive. It was also apparent that the SFA President George Peat had a part to play in the proceedings after he publicly lambasted Celtic for having the cheek to appeal the original two match ban. The same SFA President seen celebrating a Rangers goal in the 2-2 draw with Celtic at Ibrox in the Scottish Cup.

March 4, 2011
Posted by Andy Muirhead on 03/04/2011

After Rangers' 3-0 defeat to Celtic in the league just a week earlier, Walter Smith read his footballers the riot act and in return what he got was a group of thugs on Wednesday night manhandling referee Callum Murray, his players trying to seriously injure Celtic players and then have his Chief Executive Martin Bain claim that the abuse aimed at his beloved Rangers players by the Celtic fans was responsible for their thuggery. It was nearly as bad as the idiotic comments made by Les Grey on banning the Old Firm games.

February 19, 2011
Posted by Andy Muirhead on 02/19/2011

Celtic not so long ago were slammed by many in Scottish Football, including elements within Rangers Football Club, before the Glasgow derby for putting pressure on the officials. Now it seems that Rangers are resorting to their own dirty tricks by brown-nosing the officials in their bid to get more of the same in favourable decisions handed to them.


Sir Walter - oops not after Thursday night it's back to Walter again or GTF Walter - accused Celtic of deliberately stoking claims that there was a culture of bias against the Parkhead side.

His comments come after a week-long EXCLUSIVE with former Celtic and failed Middlesborough manager Gordon Strachan who rubbished such claims.

And all this coming just days before an all-important Glasgow Derby between Celtic and Rangers - conveniently.

February 14, 2011
Posted by Andy Muirhead on 02/14/2011

Celtic announced their Interim results for the six months up to the 31st December 2010, and it painted a bleak picture financially for the Parkhead side. Debt owed to the bank increased by around £6 million to £9.1 million, while turnover was down by over 20% to £28.39 million.

Club Chairman John Reid blamed the club's early exit from Europe, the effects of the adverse weather conditions and the continued financial crisis in the country for the figures. However Celtic have also spent around £9 million this season on players and development in a bid to wrestle the SPL trophy from the clutches of arch rivals Rangers.