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.
In my time of watching Scottish Football, dating back to 1971, the SFA have never been far away from farce or corruption, and not necessarily in that order.
I’d read of stories about George Graham, the former SFA President who tried to force Celtic into removing the Irish Tricolour from the ground in 1951 and about the ridiculous team selection for Scotland internationals, where prominent Hoops players were regularly overlooked in favour of players from Ibrox.
The governing body also sat on their hands and did nothing to support the club in our various struggles with FIFA and UEFA, namely after the Racing club debacle, and the Atletico Madrid and Rapid Vienna farces.
On all three occasions, the SFA could have backed Celtic, but chose to do nothing.
We’ve also had the dubious refereeing appointments over the decades. Unexplained, blatantly bias decisions, season after season. An official lying to our manager, only to be rehired a few years later. Record fine for Fergus McCann for allegedly ‘tapping up’ Tommy Burns.
The Jorge Cadete scandal, where SFA President Jim Farry deliberately withheld the Portuguese strikers registration, so he would miss the Scottish Cup semi-final, against Rangers (IL).
And we’ve had a player found guilty by the ‘law of probabilities’, a first for any sporting body.
Meanwhile they turn their heads to deliberate systematic tax evasion, improper player registration, law and rule breaking, admitted to in a court of law. Participate in a secret five-way-agreement to meet the demands of the same rule breaking club.
Allow career criminals to take office in member clubs, or should I say a member club. Ignore a conflicted President and let him to stay in office while his former club, where he was in charge of all administrative duties, was liquidated.
Add to that successive Presidents have openly expressed their dislike, or even hatred of Celtic. I’m sure Gordon Smith even blamed the schools for the games’ ills. Particularly Catholic schools.
This weekends comments from the current President Alan MacRae about ‘bringing Celtic back down to earth‘ must surely provoke some response from the club.
Or will we, as a club, and the rest of Scottish Football stand idly back while these dinosaurs ruin OUR game?
Judging by the initial reaction, it looks to me like the SFA aren’t answerable to anyone. And serve merely to accommodate any entity that plays out of Ibrox, where most of the committee would prefer to be….
Speaking in an article in today’s Herald, SFA chief Alan MacRae expresses his dismay at Celtic’s wonderful, unbeaten, treble winning season, hoping it’s never to be repeated.
Trying to hide his bitterness behind the ‘need more competition’ guise, MacRae’s comments wouldn’t look out of place in a Sevco fanzine.
“It’s difficult for the other clubs to compete with Celtic because at the moment they are flying high”, said MacRae.
That, in itself, is a fairly obvious observation from one of the high heid yins at Hampden but as he peered ahead to next season, McRae suggested he would like to see Celtic brought back down to earth.
That will be easier said than done, of course. Like a Colossus of London Road, Celtic are standing head and shoulders above them all and, under Rodgers’ managerial nous, the club’s tyrannical rule over the Scottish scene would make some of the world’s most strident dictatorships look like a series of fairly timorous regimes.
It’s a major ask, of course, and McRae certainly wouldn’t be losing sleep if he saw Celtic knocked out of next season’s Bet Fred Cup in the last eight. His observations on Celtic’s dominance may have been delivered with a wry grin but the message was clear.
“They had fantastic achievement to come through both cups and the league being undefeated, especially on the 50th anniversary of the Lisbon Lions and it’s quite amazing that it happened,” said McRae. “They have done it once, hopefully it won’t happen again next season because we’ve got to have challengers. They know you need to have people challenging, otherwise it will get very boring and dreary.”
This from the man who’s supposed to be impartial in his position of President.
MacRae follows in the footsteps of previous bitter SFA chiefs, Farry, Ogilvie, Smith and Graham before them, none of whom hid their animosity towards Celtic.
Instead of thanking Celtic for lighting up the Scottish game with a fantastic brand of football, providing the nucleus of yesterday’s Scotland team, including the goalscorer, and representing Scotland on the European stage, all to the benefit of the dinosaurs on Hampden’s sixth floor, he chooses to let his club allegiances poison his mind.
And while MacRae and his cronies might find Celtic’s domestic dominance hard to swallow, the focus is now turning full circle back on the governing body itself.
While they try to deflect attention of their own corruptness onto Craig Whyte and demean the achievements of the champions, their own positions are under scrutiny after they turned a blind eye to the cheating of former establishment club Rangers(IL).
The term ‘fit and proper’ has been bandied about a lot this week, in respect of Craig Whyte and Dave King, when in fact it should have been ‘fit for purpose’, the very question asked about the SFA.
I was totally dumbstruck yesterday when I started following a conversation on Twitter between Paul Brennan of CQN and Graham ‘Britney’ Spiers.
The conversation began with Paul posting a ‘Persistence Beats Resistance’ image, in regards to the Resolution 12 campaign, when Spiers, a well known bluenose and journalist, called Paul out, suggesting the right of every football fan to demand justice for Rangers (IL) cheating ‘tedious’.
Instead of doing a proper journalists job and DEMAND answers from the SFA and indeed the club, now that three former directors are involved with Sevco at board level, he went along the lines of ‘let’s move on’, which later on in the thread turned to ‘whataboutery’, when he claimed Celtic CEO Peter Lawwell was as much to blame to Rangers(IL) demise as the real culprits Murray (s), Johnson, King and Bain!
Talk about unbelievable!
Here we have, and I’ll use the term former now, respected journalist, advocating that the Celtic CEO, because he’s on one of the SFA boards, is somehow responsible for the establishment club cheating using side letters, and evading tax with DOS and EBT’s!
He went on to suggest they’d suffered enough embarrassment, or words to that effect, and we should stop pursuing justice.
Spiers, is already on record in 2013 as saying any stripping of titles would be a mess that Scottish football could well do without. This goes along with the ‘move on’ narrative of his Radio Scotland colleague Tom English, who himself, was exposed during the Charlotte Fakes recordings, of working in cahoots with Craig Whyte to discredit former director Paul Murray.
It’s fair to say both Spiers and English have NO interest in the integrity of our game.
Both are also golf correspondents, their obvious forte, where they might be used to a bit of cheating here and there, thinking we’re all the same. That aloof clubhouse mentality to responsibility, and playing by the rules, doesn’t have a place in football according to this pair.
In a nutshell, they have NO IDEA how we feel towards the SFA, the cheating Rangers (IL) and the complicit media who want us all to toe the line with their OLD FIRM, same club, ‘let’s move on’, bullshit.
Well, Britney, and Tom, it ain’t going to happen.
You keep taking your forty pieces of silver, being the son of a preacher man, you’ll know what that entails…
What used to be one of the biggest clubs Scottish Football, and the governing body have been dragged through the courts this last month.
Charges were brought against former Rangers (IL) owner Craig Whyte, accusing him of fraudulently gaining ownership of the now deceased club. Thanks to the ‘Billy Liars’, witnesses for the prosecution, Whyte was cleared by a 15 man jury at Glasgow’s High Court yesterday.
However, the evidence given, when they could remember, by Messrs Murray, McGill, McCoist et al, has given rise to more questions than answers, particularly in reference to ‘who knew what and when’ about the WTC (wee tax case).
Dates given about when the tax bill contradict previous versions, made available to the SFA, who should have done a lot more due diligence than just accept the word of a Rangers (IL) employee.
The case also threw up many other contradictions, and put the integrity of every witness on the line, including a reference to incoming Sevco board member Alistair Johnson, who was chairman at the time of the bill. His actions were described by one witness as ‘probably illegal’ when he raised CEO Martin Bain’s salary and notice without the knowledge of his fellow board members.
Now, WE all know this was disclosed in a court of law, and so do the SMSM.
As much as we will keep the pressure on those who are corrupting our game, surely the SMSM have a right to do the same? They have a duty to protect the game that gives them such a comfortable living. They can no longer turn a blind eye, like they have done for so long.
They must, on behalf of EVERY football supporter, including the Gullibears, demand answers. Now is the time to clean our game up once and for all.
Or will they follow orders and be as complicit as ever?
I know what my money’s on….
The sale of Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk to one of the EPL ‘big boys’ will trigger a sell on clause for Celtic.
It’s estimated the fee for the Dutchman could reach £60/70M, with the Hoops share of the sale in the region of £6-9M, depending on who you believe.
That money, according to reports down south is being used to fund Brendan’s attempts to lure Manchester City’s Patrick Roberts back to Celtic Park, on a more permanent basis.
Roberts, a huge success during his loan spell at Paradise, knows all about the club and has already a great attachment to the support, being a fan himself.
But what EPL club will fund Brendan’s spending?
Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City are all vying for the classy defender’s signature, with rumours of £150,000 a week wages, in a truly over inflated market.
No matter who eventually captures the player, Celtic will run out winners. A player we signed in 2013, paying around £2.5M for his services from FC Groningen of Holland, we sold on to the Saints for a fee in the region of £12M only two years later.
With Virgil’s impending move, Celtic will have ‘made’ in the region of £15-16M, absolutely fantastic business for the club,
A real model for success.