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Celtic beat the Sevcoholics at the AGM as the board defuses a ticking time bomb amid heckles and lingering unease – Keith Jackson is a musician

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Celtic’s annual established assembly is frequently a gloriously curious affair. Over the years this summit with the shareholders has emerge as the ideal pre-Christmas pantomime.

For greater than a decade now the Parkhead hierarchy has been trotted out in the back of the top desk to reflect on any other 12 months the place the money has been flowing into the bank account as shortly as the silverware has been clogging up the trophy cabinet. And yet, still, no matter this unparalleled success story, they spend the next hour or so having verbal custard pies thrown at them via the boo-hiss brigade.

For a long while they would queue up to ask about the monetary affairs of their closest rivals, even if they may want to no longer pretty carry themselves to mention them via name. And if it wasn’t for questions from the Sevcoholics, the board would have to answer for the state of the matchday pies. The subjects might also have changed over time. By recollection there used to be only one mention of the ‘tribute act from across the city’ the previous day and one reference to the ‘five way agreement’ which was once made by means of a man so irritated he has apparently lost the ability to blink.

But the simmering sense of in residence hostility is in no way too a long way from the floor regardless. Yesterday was Peter Lawwell’s first as chairman, after 18 years served in the front line in a previous incarnation as the club’s chief executive.

Yes, he couldn’t withstand cracking one or two jokes at the price of Rangers having learned how to study the room over these past two decades. But, for the most part, Lawwell and his professionals found themselves trying to defuse the ticking time bomb brought about through an increasingly more rancorous split between the boardroom and the Green Brigade.

At the start of yesterday’s Q&A, one lady described the ultras as a “divisive, disrespectful, and disruptive influence,” adding that she hoped the club would enforce their current ban on a permanent basis – a suggestion that was met with a chorus of furious jeers but also a healthy smattering of applause inside a packed Kerrydale Suite.

Lawwell reacted with the aid of insisting the hecklers had crossed a line before handing this hot potato over to his successor, Michael Nicholson, who pulled no punches with his assessment of why members of the family have hit rock bottom. Nicholson said: “The beginning factor is that we all desire Celtic Park full of Celtic fans aiding the team, supporting Brendan and the players. And that’s the high objective.

“But it has to be performed in a protected way. Every matchday we convey 60,000 humans into Celtic Park – that’s greater than the populace of Perth – and we need to do it safely, to get our supporters into the floor to support the group and go domestic safely.

“Our stadium guidelines and regulations are designed to ensure that. They are no longer designed to sanitise what happens in the stadium, they are designed to make sure we can all come here safely.

“We’ve had some worries round safety in that unique part of the stadium and with that specific crew for some time and this season those issues have escalated. This 12 months we’ve experienced challenges at Feyenoord when we had possibly the most big and risky pyrotechnic show we’ve experienced in some time.

“We had challenges at Motherwell where supporters overwhelmed the security measures in place, overwhelmed the stewarding operation as nicely as the police operation. We’ve had challenges right here in opposition to Lazio the place the crew of supporters broke into the stadium to convey a banner in.

“We had challenges at Kilmarnock the place this was once an unauthorised display. There was an unauthorised display at Madrid and then finally at Hibernian the place we had security incidents outside the stadium.

“Throughout this technique we’ve sought to interact with the group to attempt to establish a safe environment within which to work. We have a unique hazard evaluation for the rail seated part – it has its own code of conduct – however we got here to the function where, as a board, we were concerned that code of conduct wasn’t being observed.

“The decision wasn’t taken gently but it used to be one that was taken with the security of the stadium as a whole in mind. The process is ongoing. Ultimately we favor to make sure that Celtic Park is full however it needs to be done safely and with appreciate to all other supporters in the stadium.”

Some clapped in agreement. Others did not. And yet, time and again, the situation was once raised even though the club would have desired to focus on the report £120m turnover, profit of £40m and around £70m sitting in the bank. Oh yes, and 11 league titles out of the remaining 12.

It appears reducing Rangers to almost an irrelevance in phrases of the domestic scene has no longer been pretty enough. In some eyes, Lawwell and his board will continuously raise the can for failing to make positive they were dead. And, amidst this uneasiness, Lawwell was requested by another shareholder how the club may want to justify bumper pay rises for their govt crew and charges of around £40,000 a year for non-execs attending six board conferences a year.

He answered: “It’s not by means of risk or by way of good fortune that we’re seen as one one of the first-rate run football clubs in Europe, if now not the world. It’s now not through hazard that we’ve won 5 trebles out of seven. It’s not by danger that our turnover is a report £120m.

A general view of the top table during the 2023 Celtic Annual General Meeting 

“It’s now not via threat that our profit was once £40m. It’s now not by risk we have massive price in the squad, that we’ve acquired an enterprise that is environment friendly and, in my view, world class in many, many aspects. Nobody knows the stresses and lines of being a Celtic govt greater than me. I was in the job for 18 years and I can assure you it’s now not an handy gig.”

Nicholson, though, is unassumingly settling into the role. At one factor he almost brought the house down when one fan lower back to the historical play book via turning furnace on in shape officials and VAR, branding John Beaton “the worst referee we’ve had considering the fact that Hugh Dallas”.

The man went on to ask what have to show up if a Celtic participant is picked up and thrown to the ground interior the opposition’s penalty box. Nicholson spoke back dryly: “Penalty to Rangers!’

Well, they do say some things never change. Let’s hope Celtic’s AGM never does.

‘Celtic always special to me’ – Kristoffer Ajer recalls his club days as “amazing.” Robert Rodgers

A warm embrace was once shared between Kristoffer Ajer and Steve Clarke at the stop of Scotland’s 3-3 draw with Norway the other night.

Norway’s Kristoffer Ajer chats with former Celtic team-mates Ryan Christie and Greg Taylor at the end of the 3-3 draw with Scotland that introduced a return to Hampden for the centre-back and stirred many memories of his days with the Scottish club. (Photo by way of Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

And the former Celtic centre-back chose to ship out digital hugs to another former manager he had worked beneath as a return to Hampden as the Euro 2024 closer had him reflecting on his time in Glasgow. Clarke helped form Ajer’s early days in Scotland courtesy of a six-month mortgage duration in early 2017 with the Kilmarnock side at that stage helmed by the country wide coach, the Norwegian having joined Celtic from place of origin membership Start six-month earlier. The pass to supply the then 18-year-old with exposure to Scottish soccer initiated by Brendan Rodgers midway through the club’s invincibles treble-winning season.

And Ajer once once more patrolling the turf of Scotland countrywide stadium – the place he racked up a host of victories in claiming Scottish Cup and League Cup honours as he proved a mainstay of Rodgers’ 2nd treble, before banking two greater after his departure in February 2019 – led to to ruminate on the significance of Rodgers in setting him on the direction to the English Premier League, a £13.5m banked by using Celtic making him the London club’s record signing in the summer time of 2021.

“I cherished my time in Scotland so it was gorgeous to be back again,” stated the 25-year-old. “And it’s fantastic to see my old manager again at Celtic as properly and to see them doing so properly again. I am clearly pleased for them because Celtic will constantly be exclusive to me. Brendan was once wonderful for me, the way he helped me, the way he spoke to me. The one-to-one conversations he had with all of the players used to be amazing. When I signed for Celtic at 16-years-old I was a central midfielder. I think the intention was once constantly to turn out to be a centre again eventually, however the manager spotted that very early. I went out on loan to Kilmarnock and that used to be important for me to get some sport time, however he always saved in tough. He’s a top, pinnacle manager. I am glad to see him lower back and doing well.” Ajer continues he used to be sure the entirety would click on into region for Rodgers at Celtic second-time around. “One hundred percent [I predicted him to be successful when he came again in the summer],” he said. “I have no doubt he will be successful due to the fact he’s a exceptional manager.”

Facing a Scotland that pitted him against former Celtic team-mates Ryan Christie, Greg Taylor and Stuart Armstrong was once also a reminder of the robust bonds that he cast at the club. “Ryan and Greg have been groomsmen at my wedding,” he said. “It used to be exclusive to see them and I want them all the excellent for the summer. I “I have high-quality memories. I was once standing there listening to the countrywide anthem and virtually playing the moment. It made Sunday special. I take note we beat Motherwell here [in the 2018 Scottish Cup final], that used to be amazing. It was once my first big cup final. The 1-0 win over Rangers[in the 2019 League Cup final] used to be also special.”

Marco Tilio explores Celtic transfer exit as January loan decision weighs for frozen out star

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Celtic forgotten man Marco Tilio will reflect onconsideration on a January mortgage if he doesn’t get first-team action earlier than January.

The 22-year-old made his first appearance of the season for the Australian under-23s when he got here off the bench to assist them beat Qatar 2-1 in a friendly at the weekend. Tilio, who has seven full caps for the Socceroos, is hoping his involvement with the Olympicroos will see him kick on his return to Celtic in a bid to wreck into Brendan Rodgers’ first-team.

If it doesn’t then he would be open to a possible mortgage deal. The weekend used to be a second of uncommon motion for Tilio as he has still to make a first-team look for Celtic. The winger arrived at Celtic from Melbourne City in the summer season but an early harm left him sidelined and taking part in catch-up. Tilio was also signed by way of former manager Ange Postecoglou with Rodgers now having taken over at the helm.

‘I’m sorry to say it,’ Kenny Miller wishes Rangers had one thing this season that Celtic has

Celtic are sitting incredibly at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a wholesome eight-point lead over their biggest rivals, Rangers.

Granted, the Ibrox club nonetheless have a sport in hand but Celtic have the points in the bag which keeps the stress on Philipe Clement’s facet when domestic obligation resumes next week.

The Celtic help have been playing what they have been gazing from Brendan Rodgers‘ aspect so a long way this season.

The 6-0 win over Aberbeen epitomises the attacking fashion Rodgers is imposing at Celtic. But what that result additionally showed is the togetherness the Hoops side have as a team. Especially after that 6-0 mauling from Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.

And that is some thing that former Rangers striker, Kenny Miller, needs his historic team had.

Miller said [Daily Record], “I’ve watched the clips intently. The likes of Lawrence, Todd Cantwell and Abdallah Sima are all making runs off the striker.

“What I’m no longer seeing is the subsequent part. And this is what the supervisor will prefer next. Cohesion. That’s what pulls teams apart. And I hate to say it however it’s probable what separates Celtic and Rangers proper now.

“Across the city, they’ve had actual brotherly love in their play for a while beneath Ange Postecoglou and now Brendan Rodgers. The gamers recognize the actions of each other. That’s why Celtic have an power inside their attack – there are two or three things happening at once.

“Look at Kyogo Furuhashi’s goal against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League at Parkhead. It’s the ideal example, in terms of his link-up with Matt O’Riley. It was once almost telepathic.

“For me, that’s the subsequent step for Clement and his Rangers squad in phrases of their attacking play. It’s about relationships forming between players. When you get that, it becomes 2d nature.”

I additionally hate to say it, however I am in agreement with Kenny Miller. The crew spirit that Brendan Rodgers is building at Celtic is clear to see.

Kyogo Furuhashi’s function in the team has absolutely modified below the Celtic supervisor and that has led to him no longer enjoying in his favored role.

Other gamers ought to have spat the dummy and let it have an effect on them however not Kyogo. He knows that his role now advantages the team and permits the goalscoring burden to be shared with the aid of the midfield.

That’s why Celtic followers are seeing the likes of Matt O’Riley and David Turnbull finding the returned of the net extra often.

And long may additionally that continue. Because as long as this team stays together and plays for every other, the league title looks like it will return to Celtic Park this season.

Rangers are ‘ahead’ of Manchester City in the market for a Scottish starlet in January, joining Celtic in the race

Celtic continued their dominant run in the Scottish Premiership with a large 6-0 win over Aberdeen last weekend.

Rangers also banked a win over Livingston however the hole between the two Glasgow aspects at the pinnacle of the desk stays at eight points.

The Gers have some floor to make up if they want to put strain on Celtic and the January transfer window could play a massive part in each teams’ performances in the new year..

Rangers overtake Man City for midfielder

Rangers are reportedly now ‘ahead’ of Manchester City in the pursuit of Bayer Leverkusen’s Noah Mbamba in January. The Gers are prepared to back new manager Philippe Clement in the January switch as they focus on chasing down Celtic for this season’s title.

According to TEAMtalk, Man City are now ‘unlikely’ to approach Mbamba this winter and ought to as a substitute favour a summer move, which opens the door for Rangers. A mortgage deal until the give up of the season has been said as the most likely, which would gain Gers and also give the 18-year-old everyday playing time.

Mbamba is a famous rising famous person right now and is said to be wanted with the aid of a number of top clubs. He is a midfielder via alternate but has additionally been operating at centre-back this season.

Celtic and Rangers fighting for equal target

Another document from TEAMtalk has linked each Celtic and Rangers to Motherwell starlet Lennon Miller. The 17-year-old has been identified as one of Scotland’s most promising younger players and notwithstanding these days penning a new deal, he is attracting a lot of interest.

As well as Motherwell’s league rivals, English golf equipment are additionally maintaining an eye on Miller. Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, Brighton, Newcastle, Brentford and West Ham are all reportedly keeping tabs on the rising star. This type of pastime affords a large predicament involving his future and the place he sees the satisfactory opportunities to grow.

Jota regrets leaving Celtic; January departure is likely

FORMER Celtic star Jota is reportedly experiencing remorseful about over his go to Al-Ittihad in the Saudi Pro League, following limited taking part in time and struggles to fit into the team.

According to a report from Saudi outlet So3ody Sports, Jota is eager to make a return to European football and might get his risk in the upcoming January transfer window.

Marcelo Gallardo, set to exchange Nuno Espirito Santo as manager of Al-Ittihad, is reportedly open to allowing Jota to depart on loan.

 

The report suggests that Jota regrets his decision to depart Celtic, the place he had widespread success, for the profitable provide in the Saudi Pro League. The lack of normal sport time and the distinctive footballing surroundings in Saudi Arabia show up to have contributed to his dissatisfaction.

Al-Ittihad are reportedly thinking about a mortgage pass for Jota, with a choice for him to remain in the Middle East, ideally at some other Saudi club. This strategy targets to help him progress and adapt to the footballing style of the region, which ought to doubtlessly see a return on their large investment in the player.

Glen Kamara discusses about ex-Celtic star who assisted in Rangers’ transfer exit

Glen Kamara has revealed that a former Celtic player helped him in his cross away from Rangers in the summer.

The Finland midfielder joined Leeds United for a rate of around £5m.

He departed Ibrox after 4 and a 1/2 years at the club the place he received the Premiership and Scottish Cup.<img class=”size-full wp-image-77 aligncenter” src=”https://topsport4u.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Untitled-design-2023-11-15T191141.099.png.article-642.jpg” alt=”” width=”642″ height=”428″ />

Michael Beale iced over the midfielder out of the first-team photo at the club, and so it became exceptionally clear he would move on to pastures new as he entered the ultimate yr of his contract.

And it has now come to mild that his fellow countryman Teemu Pukki, who performed for Celtic between 2013 and 2015, helped with the move.

Speaking on the Official Leeds United Podcast, Kamara admitted that the striker gave him plenty of helpful recommendation as he viewed the place his subsequent cross must be.

Pukki pointed him closer to Elland Road having worked with boss Daniel Farke until now at Norwich City.

Kamara said: “The first couple of weeks (at Leeds) it used to be quite hard. I was once simply getting my fitness returned and I hadn’t performed a lot. I used to be type of training on my own away from Rangers, so it used to be quite tough. But it’s excellent now and I’m feeling settled.

“Yeah, he (Pukki) messaged me as well, all and sundry does their due diligence at all of the clubs. He messaged me and had a word with me. He solely had precise matters to say about the manager. I used to be like okay, I’m excited and after I spoke to the manager, it simply validated what he (Pukki) said.”

He was once then asked if there was more still to come from him in a Leeds shirt. He replied: “Yeah, with greater game time and that. Like I stated I had pretty a f***** up pre-season in itself and I experience like I am getting again to myself and taking part in more games than I have over the ultimate year.”
<h3>Celtic and Rangers are on high alert when a Super League rebel warns them, while Atletico Madrid light the fuse for a controversial rebirth with an EPL jab</h3>
<img class=”size-full wp-image-50 aligncenter” src=”https://topsport4u.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/0_Atletico.webp” alt=”” width=”810″ height=”539″ />

The controversial plans have been muted in latest times but a large verdict is coming earlier than the end of 2023.

Atletico Madrid are stoking the flames for a dramatic Super League revival bid as Judgement Day rolls into view.

Both Celtic and Rangers have been cited when it comes to dramatic plans that would alter the football landscape. Earlier this year,Record Sport revealed the Premiership pair were on the the hitlist of a breakaway assignment powered through Real Madrid, Juventus and Barcelona. Both have been last loyal to UEFA but Bernd Reichart – the chief of the ESL’s company A22 – has made pitches to golf equipment across Europe.

He claims to have had talks with Scottish clubs, however, UEFA reprisals had him stopping brief of naming who. On December 21st, The European Court of Justice will have its final say on the validity of a European Super League, as the rebels claim UEFA and FIFA were breaking competition law by using threatening club sanctions.

12 European clubs put their ESL plans into motion returned in 2021 however were met via livid backlash, and the Premier League clubs pulling out put paid to any advances. But Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has now claimed it is a plan that ought to have been recommended to Spain.

He insists that with the breakaway league no longer being created, England’s top desk has been in a position to steal a march on signing the world’s pinnacle talent. He concedes it needs English assist to be viable.

Cerezo told Onda Cero: “I assume the Super League is excellent for Spanish football. With there being no Super League, the English have won.

“The Financial Fair Play used to be not fixed, and it benefits them. The proof being that they have taken all the high-quality players. Atletico left because we didn’t choose UEFA to sanction us. and without the English teams, there used to be no way to continue.”
<h3>Celtic were given a second chance to sign a £4 million striker who scored 19 goals last season</h3>
<img class=”size-full wp-image-54 aligncenter” src=”https://topsport4u.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/GettyImages-1767654876-768×512-1.webp” alt=”” width=”768″ height=”512″ />

<strong>Celtic ought to have a 2nd hazard to convey in Sydney van Hooijdonk in the January transfer window as Bologna are ready to think about presents for the Serie A misfit. </strong>

With the Dutchman already going through an uphill struggle setting up himself as Bologna’s range one centre-forward, he certainly may want to have performed without Joshua Zirkzee rediscovering the golden contact which had Manuel Neuer singing his praises at Bayern Munich a couple of years ago.

Zirkzee has been in phenomenal shape of late. Almost Berbatov-esque with his poise and finesse in the closing third. As such, a January departure appears to be the only option left handy to Sydney van Hooijdonk if the Celtic linked striker is to avoid spending the entirety of the season stuck on the sidelines.

<img class=”size-full wp-image-33 aligncenter” src=”https://topsport4u.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/GettyImages-1258430770-768×512-1.jpg” alt=”” width=”768″ height=”512″ />
<strong>Celtic like Sydney van Hooijdonk</strong>

Van Hooijdonk, son of former Hoops ace Pierre as you would possibly have guessed, has no longer commenced a single Serie A game in 2023/24. In fact, he’s only played 41 minutes in Italy’s top flight.

And with Bologna eyeing Porto’s former West Ham United prospect Toni Martinez, Gazzetta dello Sport are indicating that Van Hoojdonk should be allowed to depart in pursuit of extra regular action. Opportunity knocks for Celtic, then. Though whether or not Brendan Rodgers’ Premiership leaders revisit their £4 million-rated summer season goal remains to be considered (Il Resto del Carlino).

With Kyogo Furuhashi firmly established as Celtic’s number one through the middle and with Oh Hyeon-Gyu providing respectable depth in reserve, it is actually difficult to envisage a state of affairs in which Van Hooijdonk follows in his father’s footsteps and right away nails down a spot in Rodgers’ first XI.

<strong>19 dreams in one season at Heerenveen</strong>

Then again, a transient spell at Heerenveen in 2022/23 is proof of what Van Hooijdonk can do when given regular minutes and ordinary service. An old-school, broad-shouldered throwback of a number nine, the Dutchman scored 19 instances in a mid-table Eredivisie outfit, and would sincerely delight in the pigging out at a table waited on via the likes of Matt O’Riley, Daizen Maeda and Luis Palma.

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