Celtic transfer latest, Lennon’s joy at Christie miss, cash woes for Rangers

The Kieran Tierney situation continues to rumble on. Will he or won’t he has been asked so often that some fans thought we were trying to sign someone called Willie Orwontie to replace him. Probably on loan.

Carlo Ancelotti ruled Napoli out of the running after his side had dismantled Liverpool 3-0 at Murrayfield. A cricket score by Italian standards at the home of Scottish rugby.

Liverpool’s Andy Robertson afterwards refused to tell his pal KT what to do. Robertson is a Celtic man and says that he’s sure Tierney will make the ‘right decision’.

Perhaps Tierney will be swayed by who wants him most. Arsenal, having acted like relative skinflints, seem to have forgotten their financial woes by getting drunk and spending like a sailor on leave.

When it comes to Celtic though, they’re not going to be taken to the cleaners. They’ve peeled another note from their newly discovered bankroll and are dangling it in front of Celtic. This could all be yours one day if Kieran Tierney scores the winner in a European Cup Final three years in a row and in a World Cup final for Scotland

Celtic, while rightly holding firm on their valuation, haven’t made too many public noises about fighting to keep Tierney. This is a bit disconcerting.

There is a point where the numbers become too much to turn down but, at the same time, a token effort to retain the services of someone who could give us another 12 or 14 good years, akin to a Scott Brown, would be welcome.

A Celtic team can’t have too many players who would run through brick walls for it.

I said last year that I thought KT had played his last game for Celtic. So, being the superstitious type, I’ll do the same again and hope to be wrong once more.

It’s to everyone’s benefit that this is sorted out as the league season starts at the weekend.

Whether we’re waiting for players leaving the club or ensuring Champions League qualification, the transfer trail seems to have gone cold for now. If it is conditional on CL qualification, then expect the usual late scramble, loan deals and missing out on first targets as they secure other options.

One player that Lennon was happy to miss out is Ryan Christie. Lennon revealed he was desperate to sign the dynamic midfielder for Hibs as part of the John McGinn deal. Now there was a transfer saga!

No need to rake over those particular old coals but, suffice to say, the emergence of Christie last year was a major plus point and he’s now one of the first names on the team sheet. Another who would run through brick walls for the green and white.

Celtic were yesterday drawn against Dunfermline in the last 16 of the League Cup.

Formerly bossed by Jock Stein, with a brief stint at Hibs in between, Celtic’s new manager would, of course, kick off what was to be a spectacular transformation in the club’s fortunes by beating his old club 3-2 in April 1965.

Billy McNeill, who had been thinking of leaving after a rudderless Celtic went eight years without a trophy, rose majestically to score the winner.

Some say it was the most important goal in our history because that’s the one that started everything on a silverware-laden road that led to Lisbon and the original nine-in-a-row.

Celtic fans Lisbon
Billy McNeill’s header sparked glory years

In 1988, Dunfermline were relegated but, as they visited Parkhead on the last day of the what was a glorious Centenary season with big Billy at the helm, their fans still took time to wish Celtic a happy 100th birthday with a banner.

Relations between the two clubs got a bit frosty following the last game of the 2003 season. While Kilmarnock were fighting tooth and nail for every ball at Rugby Park, timewasting and the lot, Rangers seemed to be strolling through the Dunfermline defence with ice cream cones on their way to another goal.

Chris Sutton, who has since apologised several times, infamously said the Pars (derived from the original ‘paralytics’) were ‘lying down’. Some Dunfermline players were so outraged at the suggestion they threw down their beach towels in disgust.

Seriously, though, those days are gone, as is their former chairman Gavin Masterton. He coincidentally was also a former managing director at Bank of Scotland.

Coincidentally, Rangers once seemed to have money on tap from Bank of Scotland. In a further coincidence, Fergus McCann once fumed at how difficult it was for Celtic to get cash from them.

Masterton was declared bankrupt in 2014, a mere two years after Rangers were liquidated.

Did anyone mention ‘Rangers’ and ‘financial predicament’? The Ibrox mob are in court more often than Andy Murray these days and last week suffered a blow as a judge ruled they’re into Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct for a wad of cash over a breach of contract.

How big this wad will be is still to be determined, but Ewing Grahame’s column in the Herald suggests this could hurt. Badly.

He wrote: “The verdict, which Rangers will appeal, has the potential to cost them around £10m in legal fees and compensation. Failure to overturn that decision (and Judge Persey’s ruling was comprehensive) would see them lose more than a quarter of their turnover.

Any fan of the Rangers will worry at the further observation that “the need for additional revenue is greater now than at any time since 2011”.

Celtic fans have been clearing some freezer space with one reportedly saying: “We’re gonna need a bigger scoop.”


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