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118 Trophies & Counting

27 May 2024 19:16

Congratulations to Celtic FC on claiming their 118th domestic trophy at the week-end. Quite a feat during their unbroken history. We're the only club in Europe to achieve these figures.

We were playing the 150th Scottish Cup Final at Hampden Park, Glasgow against RFC 2012 PLC. If truth be told it was a poor spectacle with the opposition typically hoofing it up the park and hoping for the best whilst Celtic played possession football without posing too much of a threat.  

Then on the 60th minute Brendan Rodgers introduced Adam Idah in place of Kyogo. 30 minutes later the boyhood Celtic fan from Ireland unleashed the winner against the Evil Empire. The rest is history.  Joe Hart can enjoy his retirement from football after going out on a high. Glasgow remains green and white. Lets hope our domination of Scottish football continues.

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The majority of Celtic fans worldwide would concur Ange Postecoglous swashbuckling, flamboyant, all-out attack style of football hadn't been witnessed at Celtic Park since the Tommy Burns days when he unleashed Paolo Di Canio, Pierre van Hooijdonk and Jorge Cadete on opposition defences.

The average Celtic fan didn't know much about big Ange prior to his appointment as Celtic manager but quickly appreciated the man from down under was in the throes of setting Scottish football on fire.Opponent reputations were merely myths waiting to be torn asunder. Even when Ange found his team trailing with 2 minutes left on the clock we didn't contemplate defeat but simply pondered how many we'd score before injury time was up. The phrase ' We Never Stop ' brought a smile to our faces. It was an incredible feeling supporting Celtic at that time. Our players could detect the fear in our opponents eyes before  ball was kicked. We, the Celtic family, indulged in a football dream completely ignorant of the fact it was all going to prove short-lived. 

12 months ago to the day, Celtic fans were celebrating another treble following their 3-1 defeat of Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the national cup final. The very next day big Ange signed a four year contract as the new Tottenham Hotspur manager. Secret contract negotiations had been ongoing for weeks. Celtics Board of Directors suspecting moves were afoot allegedly offered Postecoglou repeated improved contract terms and conditions during what transpired to be his last season at Celtic Park - all of which dismissed on the grounds he never signed four year contracts - precisely what he agreed to with Spurs. We were shell shocked. 

Dermot Desmond immediately instigated the return of Brendan Rodgers to paradise. It felt like we'd gone from heaven to hell within a matter of hours. Rodgers previous bland form of football resulted in empty seats throughout the stadium on match days. It was dire to watch. The manner in which he left the club in the lurch to join Leicester City in the EPL at the business end of the season whilst Celtic were chasing the treble was succinctly summed up by the Green Brigade at Tynecastle on 27th February 2019. They displayed the infamous banner aimed at Rodgers which read " You traded immortality for mediocrity never a Celt always a fraud ". We were facing the stark reality of enduring another bout of Rodgers tedious interpretation of entertainment. Doom and gloom descended the Celtic family across the globe as Rodgers dreaded appointment was confirmed.

Season 2023-2024 commenced with being knocked out of the Scottish League Cup away to Kilmarnock. The season would  be compounded with notable, lengthy injury spells to our most important players. In fairness to Rodgers we retained the league title whilst providing some unexpected comparisons to Postecoglu from the season before.

Ange Postecoglous League Performance Season 2022-2023

Played 38 Games, Won 32, Drawn 3, Lost 3, GF 114, GA 34, GD 80, Pts 99 


Brendan Rodgers League Performance Season 2023 - 2024

Played 38 Games, Won 29, Drawn 6, Lost 3, GF 95, GA 30, GD 65, Pts 93


Aside from 3 additional draws compared to wins over an entire season, Rodgers league statistics surprisingly compare favourably to his predecessor.  Admittedly there was a 20 goal difference deficit to Rodgers name but in fairness to him the club had just sold Jota our goal machine during the close season. That would have impacted any team. 

Postecoglous teams racked up 19 goals more than the Northern Irishman sides which notably conceded 4 goals less ( reducing the overall goal difference down to 15 ). In the three previous seasons that Rodgers managed Celtic between 2016-2019 ( Including results obtained by Neil Lennon from February to May 2019 ) Brendan averaged the following league numbers per season :-

Played 38, Won 28.3, Drawn 6.6, Lost 3.0, GF 85.3, GA 23.3, Points 91.6  

Manipulating statistics can prove many points but the Irishman did prove a lot of doubters wrong on his return. His key players were missing for considerable periods throughout the football calendar yet his proclamation to the Scottish media of 
" Come back and see me in May " proved telling

Postecoglou beat Sevco into second place in the league table by 7 points to claim the 2022-2023 league title. Rodgers, minus our goal machine Jotta, beat Scotlands Shame into second place by 8 points to win the 2023-2024 league title. Brendan extended the winning points margin and the gap keeps growing. I should never have doubted the man. 

Brendan also ensured Celtics £40 million pay out for automatic qualification into the new format 2024-2025 Champions League competition. The gulf in Celtics wealth over all other domestic clubs combined - leaves them trailing in our wake. I just hope the men in grey suits offer him the transfer fund he deserves but you never know this is Celtic afterall.
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Congratulations to Brendan Rodgers and the bhoys for claiming Celtics 54th league title following their thrashing of Kilmarnock FC 5-0 at Rugby Park last night.

There were a lot of doubters at the start of the season on his reappointment as Celtic manager and I admit to being one of them. Fair play to the man. He knew he had to win over the Celtic support and it would take a lot of convincing.

He inevitably received pelters from the anti Celtic Scottish media and fans alike whenever we dropped points in the league but to be fair it was a season full of notable long term injuries to our first team players. Brendan Rodgers always retorted ' Come back and see me in May '.

That month duly arrived along with the league title. The Rugby Park stand was packed with the away Celtic support who sang his name in unison. Rodgers knew he'd finally won them over - again. 

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Celtic Park has been ranked the best football stadium in Europe and the second best in the WORLD by a comprehensive study on stadia across the globe.

Parkhead is famed for its atmosphere especially on European nights and with a capacity of 62,000, it's the largest in Scottish football. A study by Ticketgum takes that into account, alongside a number of other factors including the average number of goals scored, the monthly attendance, Google reviews, global search volume and the amount of attention stadia get on social media.

They've culminated all that into a score out of 100 and the numbers all add up to good news for Celtic. With a final 'Stadium Index Score' of 80.74, it narrowly beats Wembley's 79.45 to be ranked the best in Europe. It's the second best anywhere in the world, behind Brazil's Mineirão - the home ground of Cruzeiro.The 10 best stadia in the world (per Ticketgum)

  1. Minerao (Brazil).- 83.40
  2. Celtic Park (Scotland) - 80.74
  3. Wembley (England) - 79.45
  4. MetLife Stadium (USA) - 79.03
  5. Estadio Olimpico Universitario (Mexico) - 78.05
  6. Estadio Azteca (Mexico) - 75.82
  7. Old Trafford (England) - 73.98
  8. Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium (Indonesia) - 72.52
  9. Santiago Bernabeu (Spain) - 71.91
  10. Gilette Stadium (USA) - 70.82
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16 Days In June 2023

19 Jun 2023 16:35

16 days ago ( Saturday 3rd June 2023 ) Celtic FC set a new world record on winning their eighth treble. The Scottish Cup Final finished in the evening with Celtic winning 3-1 against Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Ange Postecoglou, the man who constantly beat on his chest in front of the television cameras and Celtic faithful at the conclusion of every match, who repeatedly mimicked kissing the shirt badge and even quoted the great Celtic legend, Tommy Burns - spent the following day in contract negotiations on becoming the next Tottenham Hotspur manager. Incomprehensible.

 24 hours later Ange signed a four-year management contract with Spurs and the rest is history. Postecoglou dismissed the lightning speed of signing for the North London club as simply ' business '.

Like a lot of fellow Celtic supporters, I feel equally ashamed, frustrated and deeply disappointed with myself for believing Ange would stay the course of time and rewardingly join the list of Celtic greats. The Cypriot / Aussie fooled most of us and I felt like I'd been mugged on a Saturday night in Glasgow.. I believed he savoured every second of being our manager. After all, this is Glasgow Celtic FC a truly unique football club which presently ranks in the top 50 wealthiest football clubs on the planet. I wrongly convinced myself Postecoglou was relishing the forthcoming Pre-Season Asian Tour followed by the much anticipated Champions League adventure.  I dismissed all the tabloid and internet rumours of Ange moving on as desperate wishful thinking on behalf of Scotlands Shame . 

Ange's antics portrayed him as a true future Celtic man destined for greatness. Nobody in their right mind would sacrifice his position for a club which has only won the English League title twice in its entire history. He certainly wouldn't sacrifice greatness for an increased pay offer. How much money would he require to maintain his life of luxury having sold his  luxurious £Million home back in Australia in the same week he signed for Spurs. How on earth could he have been so fortunate to achieve all this within a 48 hour period unless that is............

That was before the Celtic board were forced into publicly admitting to offer Postecoglou long-term deals to replace his diminishing 12-month rolling contract. In fact, the board tried on numerous occasions over the 2022-2023 season to tie him down long-term, each time improving on the previous terms and conditions. The board were genuinely prepared to offer the man the best deal ever put on the proverbial table to a Celtic manager.

Ange Postecoglou dismissed all offers out of hand declaring he wasn't interested in signing up to perceived long-term two or three-year contracts. He was happy to go with the existing 12-month contract regularly offered to previous Celtic managers. 

No fan can accuse the board of failing in their duties. They tried everything in a timeous and professional fashion yet to no avail. The hierarchy was then forced into silence. They would be forgiven for suspecting Postecoglou viewed his Celtic position as nothing more than a two-season stepping stone towards management in the English Premier League. It would prove another painful lesson to the board on running a business, especially after the Brendan Rodgers fiasco some four years earlier. The fans were oblivious to the drama behind the scenes whilst publicly idolising the man from down under.

A fortnight later ( Monday 19th June 2023 ) the board at Celtic FC reappointed Brendan Rodgers as the Celtic manager on a 3-year deal. The phrase " fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me " immediately sprung to mind. This is the same man, who, at the business end of the 2019-2020 season, when Celtic were striving to win another domestic treble, suddenly deserted our club overnight by signing as manager of Leicester City in the English Premier League. A few weeks later the Green Brigade produced a banner at Tynecastle aimed at Rodgers which read " You traded mediocrity for immortality. Never a Celt always a fraud ". To his credit, Rodgers guided Leicester City to an English FA Cup triumph at the end of season 2020-2021 then sacked two seasons later on Leicester Citys relegation to the English second-tier Championship.

History will determine whether returning to Celtic was the correct decision by the Board or indeed Rodgers. The Irishman was appointed our leader so we must back the team unreservedly from the terraces and stands as we invariably do. 

Whoever the Celtic manager is moving forward, I'll always maintain he or she accepted their privileged position out of financial greed or fame but never authentically grasp what our club is about. They will only hold that lofty position of power for a short period of time whilst devoid of any loyalty. They will inevitably be sacked or more than likely move back to the English Premier League in the years that follow. To quote the new Spurs manager, for however long he lasts in that position, it's merely ' business '.

The only loyal person worthy of kissing the badge is the world-wide family of Celtic fans - the backbone of our club. We work week in and week out to pay homage to our heroes, to fund the cost of our season ticket, follow the team all over the world or support them from afar whilst buying their merchandise. We pay an ever-growing number of television channels just to watch the bhoys ply their trade on a football pitch when we can't attend in person. We find ourselves reading countless blogs on the internet as a daily ritual absorbing as much information about our beloved club as we can whilst acknowledging most stories are simply reworded garbage. Our insatiable hunger for all things Celtic is never-ending. Marriages and families break up over the money spent following this club of ours. We sacrifice so the club can prosper. 

The days of true Celtic diehard managers such as Willie Maley, Jimmy McGrory, Jock Stein, Billy McNeill, Tommy Burns, Martin O'Neill and Neil Francis Lennon ( who arguably sacrificed the most on a personal basis for being the manager of Celtic ) are long gone.


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