Recent Celtic games have heard the fans singing loudly - ‘Here we go 10 in a row!’ - after Celtic sealed their second consecutive SPL title under Neil Lennon. And the opportunity is certainly there to make…
Like many I have been greatly exorcised by the league reconstruction debate of late and the perceived lost opportunities to make the structure more exciting and move away from the current flawed split. As highlighted…
This week the podcast returns after an absence of 6 weeks, enforced only by laziness. Harry is joined by St anthony where they discuss the ongoing issue of 2013 - what excuse can we provide as to why the away from is useless. The duo also praise the board for the season book pricing strategy for next season and then find time to discuss Moyes to Man Utd and who may or MAY NOT succedd him at Everton.
Some semblence of order is restored at the end when the Human Torpedo provides another slice of Celtic history with a tale from the Celtic Wiki entitled Celtic's Prince Charlie
It’s 15 years now, on the 9th of May, since Celtic faced Saint Johnstone in the last game of season 1997/98. The maths was easy. A victory for Celtic would land them their first league title in 10 years and any other result, added to a Rangers victory at Tannadice, would give Rangers the title and give them their much coveted 10 in a row, thus beating Celtic’s 9 in a row record from the Jock Stein era.
I have supported Celtic for over 40 years and I have seen the good, the bad and the indifferent. However, never in my life have I been more nervous and felt more pressure than at that game at Parkhead against the Perth Saints. A last game of the season title decider is exciting enough but with 10 in a row hanging over us it was vital that Celtic win that day. It should be remembered that Fergus McCann was in the process of not only rebuilding the stadium but rebuilding the entire club. Defeat against Saint Johnstone would have set Fergus and Celtic back years.
Recent Celtic games have heard the fans singing loudly - ‘Here we go 10 in a row!’ - after Celtic sealed their second consecutive SPL title under Neil Lennon. And the opportunity is certainly there to make a piece of history. It’s likely to be another two years before Newco Rangers emerge into the SPL and even then it may be some time before they are in a position to actually challenge for the title. When all things are considered then it does have to be said that a Celtic 10 in a row is a distinct possibility.
9 in a row is something that has been achieved twice in this country already although in vastly contrasting circumstances. During Jock Stein’s legendary reign at Parkhead between 1965 and 1974 Celtic not only won 9 in a row but won the European Cup, reached another European Cup final, lost out narrowly in two European Cup semi finals and also in a further two European Cup quarter finals. That Celtic team played a brand of scintillating attacking football that had never been seen in Scotland before and has not been seen since.
Throughout the season, comment has been made on the missing thousands at Celtic Park with the media telling us it’s because thousands of us miss Rangers. I don’t know about you, but I don’t miss them. I don’t miss an entity that was allowed to proactively discriminate due to religion. I don’t miss an entity that (it is widely accepted) won titles and trophies “in the days before tv scrutiny” due to biased officials. I don’t miss an entity that proactively pursued a policy of tax evasion and avoidance to recruit players they couldn’t afford. I don’t miss an entity that actively pursued a policy of not paying tax to avoid the doors being closed mid season and the ignominy of being unable to fulfill their fixtures. And after last week at Firhill where diddies of both sides illustrated that they are more obsessed with noising up the other side than supporting their own team I just don’t miss anything about them.
No I don’t miss Rangers one bit – I do however miss a rival and in all of this Scottish football debate about the pro’s and cons of reconstruction the lack of scrutiny that has befallen Aberdeen and the stewardship of Stewart Milne is amazing. This club have the potential to be challenging us every season RFC are out of the picture, yet they languish mid table at best. As a one team town they have access to a base of fans unrivalled in Scotland and almost unrivalled in the UK. Their facilities and business strategy have been a complete failure. The people of Aberdeen should be running Milne out of town.
Like many I have been greatly exorcised by the league reconstruction debate of late and the perceived lost opportunities to make the structure more exciting and move away from the current flawed split. As highlighted in my piece of two weeks ago however, the belief that this will be a panacea bringing the hoards back is flawed. Scotland already has one of the best per capita attendance rates in the world (the best when excluding countries with a population below 1.5m). The problem with our game therefore is the basic economics. We attend in record numbers, we pay high prices, but the product is poor. Changing the leagues is unlikely to change much of this, we need to completely change the economics of EVERYTHING around our game – there is no quick fix.
The recent debate is not the first and will not be the last lost opportunity in Scottish football; it’s not even the first lost opportunity of the last 25 years. The “Souness revolution” instigated by the decision of Lawrence Malborough/David Holmes to capitalise on having the most modern stadium in Scotland unfortunately led to a “speculate to accumulate” disaster in our game. 20 years on the financial vandalism wrought by Murray and his HBOS disciples has been touched on in many places with the part played by Milne in Aberdeen’s demise to be covered another day. One final piece of folly rarely mentioned however was the £60m spent on the Hampden white elephant. A poor quality stadium with limited facilities for the bulk of spectators; it is the 3rd best ground in Glasgow and a soulless caricature of a once magical place. Not fit for 21st century leisure time, the money spent on its refurbishment perfectly sums up the “what could have been” nature of so much of our game.