A Barking Sevco Fan Site Has Made A Ludicrous Claim About Celtic’s Invincibles

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A quite unhinged article on a Sevco fan site has attempted to cast a shadow over Celtic’s immortal unbeaten domestic campaign.

It is entitled “Lies, Damned Lies And Invincibles”.

At the end of it, the writer tackles the reaction he expects from us, “I’m sure Celtic fans will no doubt write this off as the ramblings of a bitter (Sevco) fan …” and he was right, of course, because that’s what the entirety of his article is, but if we left it at that it would be doing him a kindness his envy and spite doesn’t deserve.

So instead I thought I’d dismantle his idiot argument in its entirety.

He quotes Mark Twain’s oft repeated line about “lies, damned lies and statistics” and then guess what he does?

He uses statistics to cover his own damned lies.

Let’s start from the beginning.

He claims that Rangers’ treble winning season of 1992-93 was a better achievement, because the club went 44 games unbeaten “in all competitions”, including in Europe.

Fine, all well and good.

But here’s the kicker; as his article points out that 44 game run was sandwiched in between a defeat at Dens Park and a defeat against Celtic in the league. Which means – that’s right class, you can all put your hands down – that it wasn’t better at all.

In the league campaign, they actually lost four times. And drew seven.

Which doesn’t come close to being anywhere near as good a season as the one we’ve just had.

His European claim – and it’s a fact, but still pretty specious – is that they were unbeaten there too. Indeed, this is the ridiculous campaign I often hear about as “proof” that they were “90 minutes away from a European Cup Final.”

It’s nonsense, and had they actually reached that final they would, easily, have been the most undeserving team ever to do so.

I remember that campaign; they beat Lyngby and then were drawn against VFB Stuttgart, for a place in the first ever group stages.

The Germans would have roundly thrashed them; no-one really doubts that.

But they were exited from the tournament after they’d knocked out Leeds but UEFA ordered a “third game” to be played, after they’d fielded an ineligible player.

So Rangers got Leeds instead, who were perhaps the poorest team to win the English top flight in the last 30 years, save perhaps for Blackburn’s side and they at least had Sutton and Shearer up front.

All credit to them, they beat Leeds both home and away, but that campaign was filled with moments of sheer luck like that.

They won two out of six games in the group – which was comprised of Marseille, CSKA Moscow and Brugge; good luck getting a Europa League group half as generous now – with one of the wins, against the Belgians, coming courtesy of an astoundingly fortunate goal at home, via Scott Nisbet where he hit a shot, that was speculative at best, it actually dipped, bounced on the turf and sailed over the keepers head.

Of those teams – and I include Leeds – only Marseille were able to compete with Rangers on anything like an even-handed financial basis.

Their treble was secured in Scotland against teams who didn’t have a tenth of their resources.

The finance issue is important to recall here.

The argument this muppet is making is that we’re expected to win trebles with the money we have available to us.

Because the advantage in resources is crucial.

He’s right.

His own team outspent everyone that season, including most of their European opponents, and won a domestic treble like we just did.

Their debt, at the time, was £20 million.

He claims, in the piece, that he would have been confident of his own team winning a treble unbeaten with a £30 million wage bill.

Well, there were a lot of years in which they had exactly that and they didn’t accomplish it.

With £20 million in debts from a £10 million turnover in that year, they must have been spending the equivalent of it then … and as we can see, they lost 4 times and drew another 5.

On top of that, as I’ve said, the financial differential between themselves and the teams they played in Europe was, in fact, in the case of all the clubs but the French, titled in their own favour. That was the summer they splashed out £2.4 million to sign an English international … from Marseille.

So they weren’t exactly outgunned at the time.

But of the games we did lose this season, one was to Lincoln Red Imps in Brendan’s first game in charge.

One was to Hapoel in Israel, after we’d won the first leg 5-2.

Two were to Barcelona, the heaviest being in Spain, where PSG were to fall in a heavy defeat the same season.

The last was probably the most damaging, the defeat at home against Monchengladbach.

Red Imps and Hapoel were our first and ninth games respectively; the pressure on the team was enormous in the latter of those games and the team was still adjusting to Brendan’s tactics and ultimately neither of those matches mattered as we secured safe passage in the ties.

The Barcelona defeats could have happened to anyone, and they did it to bigger teams than us as the season went on.

Gladbach was a bad one, that one hurt.

What doesn’t hurt a bit are the barbs from jealous jokers who on the one hand claim that our financial advantage shouldn’t count whilst hoping that their own would be ignored.

He claims credit for his teams European exploits, ignoring that the financial differential he talks about was even more pronounced, to our disadvantage, in our Champion s League group than ours disadvantaged the teams around us in the SPL.

And he claims that with our wages advantage over other clubs that a domestic unbeaten campaign was no big deal … although Rangers never managed to go unbeaten even in the league even once, in all the years when they had the benefit of a financial gap that was just as big, subsidised as it was by a friendly bank and then later by a tax fraud.

(We, in contrast, managed to go within one game of it in the Tommy Burns campaign of 1995-96.)

But the entire premise of his article is that our Invincible “unbeaten season” wasn’t invincible at all, and it’s here that he has used the stats to hide the unpalatable fact that he’s having such trouble, such desperate trouble, wrapping his brain around.

Nobody has ever claimed that it was.

He can ramble on all he likes about a “44 game unbeaten run in all competitions” but that’s not what we got the gong for.

I think we’ve been very clear that the achievement here was to go unbeaten in all of our domestic games so it is, if you’ll excuse me for being so harsh, utter pish and reeking of rampant jealousy, to try to suggest that somehow the accomplishment is invalidated by European defeats which the last I heard didn’t count towards that.

Does he want to include friendly matches in his count?

Bounce games between the Celtic squads?

How about Subbuteo matches or games on FIFA?

Are we including them in the qualification too?

Are there Football Manager players who’s performances we’re going to count?

Hey, I know the manager of the team he currently follows enjoys creating his own “mini-competitions” – we went unbeaten in that too, and even won the title – and perhaps that’s where he thinks a “44 game unbeaten run” matters more than the simple fact of going unbeaten in all your domestic matches, but you know, that’s not how it works in the real world.

The real world.

Do you think he knows what that is?

So many of them don’t live there at all.

And in that world, this one, we’re in the history books for this campaign.

In those his own lauded treble winning team didn’t quite get there. Four defeats and seven draws. They never reached their European Final either; teams don’t get there on the back of four draws and two wins in a six game group. You have to do a little bit better than that.

Articles like that might keep The Peepul happy, but then so do the lies of Dave King and the delusions of “going for 55.”

You know what they keep us in?

Good times.

Good humour.


Because the pain seeps out of those articles.

The envy cannot be disguised in them.

And it’s that, and so many happy memories, that keeps us all warm at night when the lights are out.

Glasgow’s Green And White!

In Brendan We Trust!

Viva The Invincibles of 2017!

Or to put it another way, “GIRFUY!”

In the interests of Full Disclosure I got some of my own stats, and facts, wrong in this one. The article is now amended to reflect Reality. After about five attempts. One of which made it worse! As I said, it now reflects reality.   Not the fake Sevco kind.

Because that’s what do around here. We deal in reality.

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