Today’s Champions League draw threw up a potential football time bomb with the prospect of Celtic having to play against Linfield in Belfast on the 12th July, Moussa Dembele’s birthday!
The time and date of the game will be arranged only if the team from the North beat San Marino minnows La Fiorita.
If the game does go ahead on the 11th or 12th of July, what kind of ‘welcome’ will the Scottish Treble winners receive from the home team.
Will it be the same kind of Windsor Park welcome Mark Warburton and his team received when they were ‘treated’ to a flute band giving it their sectarian best, ignoring the fact the visitors had several Catholics in their team?
And will they pose for photographs after the match, again like they did this time last year? And will they meet a side, as good as the one described by one of the Linfield officials as the ‘best Rangers side he’d ever seen’. I’m sure the official in question was called Stevie….
All joking aside. This is probably the worst draw Celtic could have wished for. We don’t want or need to be drawn into a Bigotfest to suit the loyalists who support Linfield.
The Police, maybe even UEFA, if they’ve any sense, will arrange the games so as to provoke as little reaction as possible.
It’ll be a powder keg regardless, so it’s really up to those responsible to diffuse it as soon as they can..
I always find the transfer window as a time when normal, rational fans lose some of their marbles!
It happens twice a year without fail. Supporters suddenly go from joiners, plumbers, shop assistants etc, etc to CEO’s, scouts, accountants, managers and agents.
It’s quite funny to watch.
ITK (in the know fans) tell us such and such will be signing, on x per week, for y years, which creates a frenzy of ‘he’s not good enough’, ‘what a signing’ and/or ‘believe it when I see it’ responses.
Either way, most of the time it’s all speculation, usually coming from the SMSM who need to sell papers regardless of the validity of the story. We’ve already heard from an ‘award winning’ churnalist telling us they’ll print whatever they like about us, because it sells.
They, like the ITK’s very rarely get it right.
And while it’s quite amusing listening to fans debate the lies, I find the best time to praise or complain about new signings, is when they appear at Celtic Park with a scarf or strip with their name on it.
At the end of the day, Celtic very rarely do their business in full view of the media, they’re to busy working on deals to make our team stronger and better. It’s their jobs.
Jobs for the Bhoys if you like….
These days, sponsorship is crucial to every football club. You’ll find lists of sponsors in every match day programme, sponsors of first team kits, jersey placement, lounges, stadiums, sections of grounds etc.
Virtually everything you can imagine has room for sponsorship.
Obviously the most common is the team sponsor. In Celtic’s case this is currently Magners, the Irish Cider maker. The money they put into the club will dwarf anything on offer to any other club in Scotland.
This year has been an absolute bumper for the company’s relationship with Celtic.
A treble winning, InVIncible season that no one could have forecast, along with the 50th Anniversary commemoration of the Lisbon Lions, has kept the club at the forefront of Scottish football.
And Magners, quite rightly, capitalised on the feel good vibes around the club, by introducing a limited edition case of Irish Cider commemorating Celtic’s greatest ever achievement in 1967. Such is the demand they’ve had to stock up more supplies to cope, with more available in the Celtic Superstore.
Contrast the return Magners get from their sponsorship of the best run club in the country, to the shambles across the city, where betting firm 32Red reluctantly renewed their sponsorship of Sevco’s kit, knowing fine well there’s a fan boycott of the replica tops.
I wouldn’t like to be the marketing director of 32Red when it’s pointed out to him Magners get a better deal from boxes of cider, than they do for shirt sales at Ibrox….
Football fans are fickle, to say the least, and some among our own support certainly fit that description.
With the Bhoys heading back to training on Monday, except those who had or have international commitments, the faithful are getting a bit irritable with the lack of movement into Celtic Park.
That situation took a turn for the worst with the news that Celtic and Paddy Roberts WON’T be an item next season. As yet no one has heard from Kieran Tierney, who’s sure to take the news worse than the average fan!
I think the influx of Galacticos over in Govan has made matters worse, or it could be there’s a section of the support who are glass half empty anyway.
However, Jonny Hayes has had a medical and is about to become a Celtic player. The versatile Dubliner is NOT a replacement for anyone, he’s here because Brendan and his staff think he can do a job for us.
There is no doubt others will follow him to Paradise, but only when the time is right.
It would be easy to follow the same pattern as close seasons before and bring in players who’ll bolster the squad but not the team. That just isn’t going to happen under Brendan.
So finding, and agreeing terms with players and clubs for the better quality than our Invincibles is going to take time. I’m sure there is plenty going on behind the scenes.
Personally, I take little notice of the speculation, maybe it’s an age thing, until the club have a presser and the player has a Celtic scarf in his mitts!
In Brendan we trust….
The news of Jonny Hayes* becoming Brendan Rodgers first addition of the summer with Ryan Christie reportedly going back on loan for the season, is further evidence of the boss shuffling his pack for the new campaign.
Hayes, who scored the Dons only goal against Celtic in the Scottish Cup Final a couple of weeks ago, is a versatile player who can play in midfield or at full back if needed. Although not the ‘marquee’ signing everyone hoped for, Hayes, a Dublin born Celtic fan, has worked with manager before as a Bhoy at Reading, so the gaffer knows what he’s getting.
On the same day, Scott Allan signed a season loan deal at Dundee in a bid to get some regular football under his belt, with a view to catching Brendan’s eye. When the former Hibs man was asked if he’d regretted signing for the Hoops, Allan said he’d no regrets, adding he’d won a a medal in his first season, and has learned so much under the gaffer.
With Efe Ambrose off to Hibs, Kris Commons at the end of his contract, Eoghan O’Connell away to Bury, I’m sure there will be further loan deals or outgoings in the next few weeks.
I can’t see Nadir Ciftci, Saidy Janko or Gary Mackay-Steven featuring much in the coming season, even with a view to getting them game time, the likelihood of any of the three holding down a place in the team is remote, although you never know, the same could have been said about Dedryck Boyata last season!
I think it’s fair to say we’ll be linked with plenty more players in the coming weeks, but the one that would make the support so happy is of course Partick Roberts. Fingers crossed….
*just a wee note, when Hayes scored against Celtic on our last visit to Pittodrie I remember saying he was one of the few players on the park who could have scored that type of goal. Let’s hope he scores a few like it for the Hoops.