Celtic’s Successes Have Hidden A Deep Malaise. It Is Time That This Fact Was Confronted.

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Regardless of the chorus of derision aimed at Rodgers over the course of this day – much of it deserved, some of it bordering on lunatic and hysterical, and some I suspect motivated in no small part because this is, after all, El Rat – there have been a few people who have echoed what this site has been writing for a very, very long time.

Celtic’s problems start at the top and are now so embedded in every facet of the club’s operation that we should be looking at a major rebuild of the playing squad and the management team in the summer only as the first steps in a much bigger restructuring.

Over the last ten years, we’ve put trophies galore in the cabinet. But underneath all the success there have been systemic issues that we’re not even close to fixing. In order to fix them, you have to recognise them. Then, when you do, you have to tackle them. The willingness to do that has to be present. It is hard to argue that this is the case.

We are surrounded by a culture of denial. We are not the first football club to paralysed like this. In fact, this inertia is rife not only in the sport but in the culture as a whole. Look at the major issues of the day, like global warming. It’s a clear and present danger to our future as a species. It will impact our children and grandchildren. We all know what the solutions are. Yet our political class hesitates and obfuscates and fiddles whilst Rome burns.

In some ways, the global warming debate is a perfect analogy for what is wrong at Celtic. We’ve ignored the obvious issues at our club for years because the weather was warm and the sun was on our backs, not at all unpleasant.

We ignored the occasional superstorm. We even endured the heatwaves with equanimity. It’s only now when the forests are burning and the rains, when they come, are filling the rivers and spilling their banks that we recognise the trouble we’re in.

But for a long time now people have been pointing out that the superstorms just weren’t normal. The Lennon hiring was terrifying to those of us who recognised the amateurish decision-making process at the heart of it. The Shower Scene From Hampden and Lawwell’s egotistical and idiotic statement in the aftermath of it was worse.

Rodgers left the first time in no small part because his player recommendations were ignored and scorned and because the board insisted on shoving on him footballers he didn’t want and had no use for.

Those who want to blame him for this mess are welcome to do it, but stop kidding yourselves that sacking him will fix this.

These are the same issues he had to deal with the last time he was here.

You cannot recognise that and conclude that life inside this club is harmonious. Once you accept that Rodgers would never have voluntarily walked back into that situation, what other conclusion can you draw but that they lied to him, or changed the plan once he accepted the gig? And once you conclude that, can you still blame him for this unravelling?

The club is a collection of disparate pieces, none working with the others to form a collective, functioning construct. Indeed, as this summer revealed – and as Rodgers first term revealed for those who can look beyond the “rat” narrative to root causes – some of those sections are actually working counter to one another.

Instead of meeting the needs of the manager the recruitment department threw a random bunch of players at him … whose interests was that serving? That was more than just an expensive mistake, it has proved to be disastrous and the costs will not only be incurred in the players we’ve squandered the money on but in allowing the biggest Champions League jackpot in history to slip through our fingers and into the coffers at Ibrox.

Our issues do not stop at the managers door. His coaching staff are mostly handovers from previous regimes, built in with the bricks, immovable objects in spite of world football being filled by better quality coaches. To understand how bad our coaching setup is, look at two things; the number of dead ball situations we score from and the number we concede from.

That tells you that the coaching department reeks. And that’s not an issue which has only just arisen, that’s a carryover from when Lennon was appointed to the job for the second time and he imported those issues from the two clubs he’d been at prior to ours, Bolton and Hibs.

If you Google for it you can actually find him giving a raging interview whilst at the English club about how they can’t stop conceding from corners and expressing his bafflement that they hadn’t had that problem before he arrived at the club.

But Lennon’s problems didn’t depart with him. Instead, they remained to haunt us under Ange and now under Rodgers.

What’s the common denominator? The coaching teams never corrected those basic mistakes, and they don’t work on finding solutions to them, and why should they? Kennedy and Strachan are basically un-sackable so there’s no incentive for them to do things differently or better. Rodgers is pissing in the wind surrounded by these guys.

Rodgers hasn’t just been denied his players, he’s working without his most trusting lieutenant and the quality staff he needs. We’re one of the only allegedly major clubs who won’t build a proper coaching department; three first team coaches to cover a thirty-man squad is lamentable. There are so many specialist areas where we don’t have anyone at all.

Celtic has been running a second-rate operation for years now, and it’s no coincidence that things improved briefly when there was no-one called Lawwell in the building second guessing the experienced football manager in the dugout who knew what he needed and wanted and made sure that he got it.

Before blaming Rodgers you have at least the fleeing responsibility to look at the people above him and the way this club is run, and has been run for years whenever these people have wrenched the controls away from the experts.

And ask yourself this; if you were a professional, credentialed and respected in your field, would you want to work with these sub-par individuals looking over your shoulder and checking your homework, with no experience whatsoever or expertise in your area? How great would that working environment be? How comfortable would you feel going to work every day?

Until we focus on the problems at Celtic, the real ones, and the real people responsible for them, we’re not getting out of this mess. These people keep on telling us to look at the success on their watch, but that success was won by the very sort of people they continually contradict and ignore. Their arrogance is why we’re here.

People need to stop feeding it, recognise their role in this and hold them to account.

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  • Roonsa says:

    Anyone care to tell us how holding them to account will manifest?

  • Bob (original) says:


    That article raises soooo many additional questions and observations.

    But, another potential, major contributing root cause of our club’s ‘confusion’

    could be summed up as:

    it’s a plc being run like a family owned business!

    Chalk and cheese.


  • Hugo Duffy says:

    a very good and realistic article, the board are obviously to blame, but as I’ve said in a number of occasions, the fans have accepted grudgingly the boards nonsensical decision, what’s the point of paying to watch the game and complaining, as the board laugh all the way to the bank no pain no gain, boycot the games home and away then maybe then they will listen

  • Jim says:

    It appears the masses think you’re wrong James, and the only way forward is to sack him now, hell mend them!.



  • drew campbell says:

    couldnt agree more. there are far deeper issues here. Rodgers isnt one of them, just not sure why he isnt jumping up and down though in anger at the lack of support in the transfer market. was he lied too? he may be the one that gets the blame for this and he must see that but this issue is far bigger. we could so easily have pulled over the horizon from broxy ltd but we didnt, why? cant tell me its about tv revenue, blue pound the “old firm” it would all still be there and we’d be out of sight, then we engineer the fall and let them back out the box. celtic in the premiership would sort it, all the revenue desmond wants, quality competition and they dont want broxy inc, no brainer

    • Jim Duffy says:

      Drew are you stating that Rodgers with all his experience and this team that last season most of them won a treble is not to blame for the mess we are in ,Yes 100percent that fuckin board did not back him ,but he took the job on knowing it was the same board that made him bolt the last time,so who’s fault is this ,our squad of players are much better than killies our reserves are probably as good but Rodgers has lost the dressing room and the plot ,how else can a dimwit coach like McInnes beat him 3 times.

  • Celticfcman says:

    A well run football club. Titles galore, no worries of bankruptcy, lots of great players, great euro opportunities each season, tough league, awesome rivalry, best supporters in the world, almost never lose matches, high quality coaching. This is the worst we’ve been in many years, yet we have only lost 2 of 26 matches, beaten sevco both times, doubled our UCL points from last year, have our destiny in our hands for the league and S Cup, and have had scores of huge injury issues. Shoot, if we had held on at home v Killie and Motherwell in extra time, we would all be fine and calm. We were within a minute of an undefeated UCL home campaign as well. 5 more minutes of solid defending and all 3 results would’ve flipped and we’re all on easy street and happy. Luck plays a part and we’ve been extremely unlucky and still look very solid for a double. It will be good in the end.

    • Jim Duffy says:

      I wish I had your optimism celticman,you must be the only one thinking this way ,have you been watching a different Celtic from the rest of us , beaten twice by Killie ,then a draw,1 -0 against a pish poor Ross county,2 penalties to beat 8th place Hibs ,draw with Aberdeen,you are deluded my friend,but I hope you come on here and prove me wrong.

      • Celticfcman says:

        I understand. We’ve squeeked by many times, like the examples you mentioned. My emotions tell me the same story that the supporters believe. Rodgers is logical, methodical, and I’m trying to believe the way he does by analysis. I believe in BR because during his time here before he built a monster club, and given more time, he can do it again. Remember how he revealed the dedication of long hours, working endlessly to get things right the first time? I have no doubt he is putting even more into the job now, and he will come up with the right answers in time to rescue us. He is not throwing his employer under the bus because he so badly wants to do well for Celtic. He loves this club and also craves a challenge. He let his logic get in the way last time and left for Leicester. He regrets it terribly and will give everything, and take any amount of shit, to put it all right. He knew better than anyone how bad of a situation we were in once Ange left. I truly believe he came back to save the club from total ruin by the board. It would be much worse right now if he had not answered the call. At least now, we still have a very good chance to grab a double. He’s not here, Lennon instead, and we would 20 points behind now. As long as BR still has the magic versus Sevco, we could pull this off.

  • Owen Mullions says:

    ‘We don’t know how well or not Ange style football would have worked in the third year. Because any manager who has one certain way of playing gets found out after a while.’ James Forrest yesterday.

    Does this not apply to Rodgers, who has been playing the same one dimensional style for years and shows no sign of ever changing or even of knowing how to?

    • James Forrest says:

      Of course it does … except Rodgers also recently spoke about the cure, and if you look at the teams who have successfully bucked the trend they all do what Rodgers said; you break the team up after three years. You introduce new blood. Because otherwise players lose that hunger, that will to win. That drive for success. Rodgers is well aware of the three year curse. Everyone in football is. The smart manaegr changes things up … and he would have last time if he’d been backed right.

  • Patrick Cannon says:

    Good read James, I see the get Brendan out stuff going mental led by the msm, what gets to me is celtic fans agreeing with them and some, can I ask you and them a question, if the same people keep running the club get rid of Brendan can you tell me who is available and will make a difference,

  • James ward says:

    Great article

  • James ward says:

    Terrific, spot on

  • Gerry says:

    Good article James, and probably spot on. Any organisation, that wants to improve and keep evolving, has to recognise that it has to have, and keep employing, the very best and most qualified staff that are available. A football club is no different! We deserve, and should have, the best professionals, in every facet and department of our club to ensure we continually meet and improve the standards we require ! At the moment, that is clearly not the case ! Will we get it…god only knows!
    Twelve games remain in this season…twelve games to retain a title and then maybe try to get the aforementioned quality in place !
    If we lose this title, we know that Sevco will invest heavily and our club will suffer the consequences of that.
    A board, asleep at the wheel yet again and steering us into an almighty car crash ! Unbelievable!

  • Jim Quinn says:


  • Effarr says:

    Tae hell wi` it. I`m going to go out on a limb and say that Celtic will still win this league. I have a feeling that going into no 2 spot will be like a noose taken from around the neck and take a bit of pressure off them. The closer OF Sevo got to them, the more they panicked. Let the new “leaders” feel the jaggy rope now and see how they cope. And a wee hint to anyone who has time. It only takes ten seconds to say a Hail Mary, can you imagine what 50,000 of them could do in ten seconds? We could maybe even win the CL.

    • Jim Duffy says:

      Effarr, you’re going into the realms of fantasy mate,hail Mary’s oh yes that will make us stop side to side and back passing lethargic pish football,aye ok mate.sevco pish as they are will got all the help they need from the MIB ,against Ross county they got nearly 15 mins extra time even though there was no injuries or var,then at st Johnstone 2 tavpens to make sure . we’ve fucked it mate , sevcos manager seems to have a better game plan than us , they’re still in Europe for fucks sake,wake up pal we’ve fuckin blown this ,but I will be so glad for you to correct me if I’m wrong,HH.

      • Effarr says:

        J Duffy

        I`ll correct you now: I was only fucking joking. Brighten up, we`re only talking about 11 men kicking a pig`s bladder around a field.

  • Jim Duffy says:

    You’re right James the last ten years may have sufficed in the pish poor spfl but we have been dire ,in Europe ,a laughing stock a guaranteed 3 points for the opposition,we have not progressed as team I. Europe since Martin o Neil days ,I know Strachan and Lennon got a couple of lucky results but as you stated it’s 20 years since we’ve won a euro knockout tie,as Jim white would say ” how pish are we ” and getting worse.

  • Jim Duffy says:

    Here’s to big Pete liewell and his son,hail hail to golf heed multi billionaire and his cronies ,a big thank you from your best busines rivals sevco,who are now top of the league and still in Europe which means a lot to other footballing countries outside wee parochial Scotland,so well done Celtic manager ,coaches , backroom staff,and a special well done to liewell and son and Nicholson,and most of all big desmond who conned our defunct behind the times coach to come back under the same shit show he bolted from last time .I bet the sevco must be thanking their lucky stars to have the Celtic board on their side ,but hey fuck the Celtic fans ,as long as we get old firm money

  • Michael McCartney says:

    Just keep giving BR a free pass James, 2 defeats and a draw v Killie, draws with St Johnstone ,Motherwell,Hibs and Aberdeen, defeat to Hearts at Celtic Park and numerous narrow escapes throughout the season. this isn’t good enough for the richest club by far in Scottish football. Aye the Board are ultimately to blame but your not telling me that BR is such a shrinking violet that he has absolutely no dialogue with Desmond,Lawell, Lawell Jnr and Nicolson.
    The style of football is slow and predictable, January brought in Kuhn, and Turnbull the only player that can score from distance left. that sums up our transfer dealings.
    So many people at Celtic Park are to blame for the situation we’re in, but for a guy who’s criticism of NFL has been consistent and strident, your criticism of your golden boy BR is always qualified with excuses.

    • James Forrest says:

      You are talking shite. Utter shite. Sorry, but you are.

      Every criticism you have made of Rodgers in that reply I have made already in the articles.

      So you are seeing only what you want to see.

  • Gerald Toal says:

    I totally agree with what you say about the structure of our club.
    I have been on a few Celtic sites defending the manager and got nothing but vile abuse,vitriol and even hatred for my defence of him.
    We do need major change from the top all the way down but I would keep the manager and let him pick his own staff and playets.
    I’m thinking most of the hatred for the so called ‘rat’ comes from a certain demographic who are only used to winning and not seen Celtic in the lean years.
    If they would actually sit back and think then they would see that the common denominator in this is ‘Lawwell’ and nobody else.
    I’m of the opinion that Ange saw the writing on the wall when jnr was appointed and daddy came back.
    When he saw that he took the first chance he could to get out of ‘Dodge’
    You can’t do a job if you’re not given the correct tools to do it with and that’s a fact.
    I also think you’re correct in your assumption that the ‘goalposts’ were moved after Rodgers signed up.
    There are clowns in our support that think he signed off on the 10 summer signings.
    I’ve tried to explain to them that these deals were probably agreed on before he entered the building and had no chance of stopping them.
    I tried to say that if Celtic decided not to fulfill those agreements then that would hurt our reputation for doing business with any number of clubs.
    Sad to say it’s all fallen on deaf ears and I’m still getting abuse for voicing my opinion.
    I have no left certain supporters sites due to their lack of understanding of the true situation that exists at our club.
    I also stated that our board has a fiduciary duty to look after shareholders and their investment in our club.
    The board by ther actions or inaction has put at the risk the possibility of a £40million cash injection for us.
    To me that sounds like a dereliction of duty and the directors should be held accountable for this but there’s very little chance of an EGM being called.
    The idiots on the sites/forums are unable to see that as they’re consumed with hatred for our manager.
    It makes me sad that we have fans(I won’t call them supporters) that feel that way about our manager.
    I enjoy reading your posts so keep up the good work.

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