More free money? #CelticFC


It’s almost time for the Scottish Premier Football League to kickoff for season 2017/18. 

This Saturday last seasons league winner flag will be unfurled and currently managerless Hearts will visit Celtic Park for their regular hiding.     

Or will they?

Is there any foregone conclusion to be made when 22 grown men don shorts and chase a ball around a football field in what passes as sport in this little corner of the globe?

Let’s keep it in perspective.   Anything can happen in an individual game,  the plucky challengers might get lucky.     But winning the league is a marathon not a sprint and class and more importantly budget counts. 

Take a look at the numbers above which give a clear indication that the bookmakers are backing Celtic to win the league at a canter with odds ranging from 1/8 against to 1/20 against.  Which to us non gamblers means a return between 5-12.5% dependent upon which institution you let borrow your money. 

Compare and contrast with the nearest challengers and predicted runners-up Rangers,  aka Sevco,  with returns of 700-1200%. 

Basically the bookies are saying that it’s a foregone conclusion. 

But here’s a few interesting observations. 

Rangers were not Celtics closest challengers last season they finished third and an extremely poor 39 points equivalent to 13 wins behind Celtic.   The nearest rivals were in fact Aberdeen who finished a pish-poor 30 points behind Celtic. 

So why do the bookies seem determined that Rangers are Celtucs closest challengers?

Is it because Sevco strengthened their team?

What with a cowboy manager and a bunch of unknown journeymen and the addition of headline signing Bruno Alves who at 37 is well past his best.    

Is that it?    Is that the best they can come up with?

Reminder – the bookies aren’t often wrong and perhaps this “strengthening” will allow Sevco to claim second place but they will only ever be runners-up. 

Would you like more evidence in support of that conclusion?

This time last year,  I had a looks at oddschecker.com where the bookmakers had Celtic at 1/3 on to win the league and The Rangers at 7/2. 

https://dancingbhoy.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/money-in-the-bank/

So, despite our closest rivals strengthening and Celtic not adding any headline players, which I think they should in preparation for the Champions League campaign. The bookmakers have cut the odds on Celtic to win the league by a two thirds and increased the odds of Sevco by an equivalent amount. 

It’s a foregone conclusion.  A certainty if you believe the bookies. 

But would you bet on it?

At best odds of 1/8 against returns 12.5%.   A £1000 stake returns a meagre £125,   

Personally I wouldn’t be bothered with earning £125 over a year.    But a  A £10,000 stake returns a healthier £1250.   

It’s a risk like any bet.     But still better than money in the bank which is earns nothing and in real world terms is deteriorating. 

Not as good as last years return of 33%,  which for my “investment” of £10,000 returned enough for me and my grown up kids to look forward to our free holiday in a few weeks time. 

Cheers Bet365. 

Old Gold Dream? … #SimpleMinds


New Gold Dream
She is the one in front of me, 
the siren and the ecstasy
New Gold Dream
81 82 83 84

Simple Minds played the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall last night,  a relatively small venue for them as they are normally sssiciated with stadiums or arena venues. 

The gig was a stripped down acoustic set,  no synths,  three guitars, percussion,  Jim on lead vocal and the gorgeous foxy Sarah Brown on backing and occasional lead vocals. 

The band have just released an album Simple Minds Avoustic and the tour is obviously to generate sales. 

But what came first?   The music or the marketing?

The music obviously.  But it’s a business,  no one gets to keep producing new music unless it sells.   

Jim mentioned last night that the band had recently had a few tough years.   

I expect that their new material doesn’t sell as it’s just not as popular as it was except with those rare die-hard fans. 

Their tour a few years ago at Glasgow Barrowlands was pushing their 5 from 5 allbum with 5 tracks taken from each of their first 5 albums. 

Their last tour which took in the Glasgow Hydro was mainly a greatest hits tour with a few recent tracks thrown in for toilet breaks. 

But they were still better than U2 or New Ordervwjo were both touring within weeks of each other. 

https://dancingbhoy.wordpress.com/tag/simple-minds/

Last night,  they rocked the place. 

In all my times at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall,  which is quite a sedate venue for a rock band as it’s all seated.   This was the only time that everyone was on their feet from the start. 

The hits came one after an other at a blistering pace.   But what made this for me was Jim chatting and joking with the audience.    

As a guy he’s mellowed and I’m sure he appreciates what he has now more than ever.     His dad was in the audience and Jim played tribute to him and a few other family members of the band for giving them the money to get started 40 years ago. 

There were a few surprises along the way, a tribute to Bowie playing his song Andy Warhol from Hunky Dory was for me a bizarre choice when there are so many more well known Bowie songs to choose from which would be more accessible to the audience. 

The final encore was a nice touch were Steve Harley of Cockney Rebel joined the band for a rousing rendition of Come Up and See Me ( Make Me Smile)

You certainly did that. 

My brother and I went home .. or back to the pub as high as a kite and wishing we could do it all again today. 

The Minds are part of the soundtrack of our youth,   A time when we had our full life’s ahead of us and everything was possible. 

Now call me an Old Gold Dreamer,  but I like to think it still is. 

What a weekend I have ahead?

The Minds last night,  my bestie for a curry tonight, a Bowie tribute band at Oran Mor tomorrow night and going to see the Celtic finish the league unbeaten and pick up the title again. 

Life is good. 

Because we make it that way. 

We Hate Catholics?


Did you see the fitba last week?

What a doing that was .. 5-1 to the famous Glasgow Celtic over that team in blue that play out of Ibrox.   

A complete humiliation and even better that it was at their own stadium in front of 48000 home fans. Many of whom had left with 25 minutes to go. 

Nothing like supporting your team! 🙂

Actually nothing like supporting your team, These people aren’t football fans. They are an outdated sectarian underclass who gather to sing their songs of hatred and bigotry with impunity. 

Their latest charming ditty “We hate Catholics” passes without comment in the compliant Scottish media indicating where their loyalties lie. 

Imagine swapping Catholics for Jews or Moslems and there would be an outcry in the presss. 

They are indeed a stupid, contemptible group of Neanderthals. 

But worse ….  as the Rangers quarters of the stadium emptied while the game was still in play and the Celtic fans were in full voice joyfully singing about winning 10 leagues in a row,   This poor kid above was standing dejected with his fingers in his ears. 

I’m sure he’s a lovely boy,  he reminds me of my own son when I started taking him to see the Celtic  20 years ago.  

He is the future of the Rangers support and more than likely follows the team that his dad and grandfather supported. 

I wonder if he had his fingers in his ears while his own support were singing “We hate Catholics” or did he gleefully join in?

That kid is their future and he has a choice between right and wrong,  football songs or religious bigotry.  

If he was my son,  I wouldn’t expose him to such bile.   It’s a game if football for heavens sake and the team in green has never cared about anyone’s religious allegiances so singing about Catholics is not about Celtic,  but rather about the Rangers supports twisted hateful mind-set. 

But I fear that the kid probably doesn’t even understand the significance of their hatred and joins in because that’s what he’s learned at home where there has been generations of religious intolerance. 

Poor kid,  born into hatred,  I can only hope he sees how unacceptable it is. 

For the record,  I’m a well lapsed Catholic.  Many of my friends are Rangers fans  but I’ve lost a few over the years when they’ve made derogatory remarks about Catholics, Taigs or Fenians. 

It’s the equivalent of calling a black guy a Nigger,   Completely unacceptable. 

The Ignorance Of Being #English?


First off,  this isn’t an anti-English rant.  

I’m Scottish but a proud citizen of the UK and I have many English friends. 

People are people and in my experience there are good and bad everywhere and it’s not wise to generalise. 

But there’s always a few who let the side down and spoil it for everyone else who then gets tarred with the same brush. 

Take these idiotic Leceister City fans in Madrid last night,  singing about Gibraltar being theirs and not part of Spain. 

Legally they are correct, morally Gibraltar is part of mainland Spain.  

But why mention this when you are over to support your team play a game of football?     

No wonder people prejudge and don’t like the English as a nation. 

As I said, I have no problem with English people.   These football hooligans are arse holes who should be locked up and banned.   

They do not represent England as a nation where most people are welcoming and civilised in my experience. 
My only gripe about the ignorance of English is that as an English speaker we have a presumption that everyone else can speak our language. 

Right now,  tucked away in a remote island of Spain surrounded by Spanish, German, French and many other nationalities,   I’m amazed by how many of these people can converse almost fluently in English but I have no ability to speak in their language except for the basic pleasantries of Hello, Goodbye, Please, Thank You etc

It’s a failing   Not just personally but on our education system. 

It’s not as if the Givernment haven’t tried.  French or a similar language is mandatory in primary schools and in the first two years of secondary until pupils choose their subjects.  

The schools even try to arrange it so that you have no option but to take one language or other in your subject choices. 

As a kid,  I did French and like most others I hated it and didn’t see the need for it.     .When choosing my subjects it was French or German and having already did French for a few years and no German whatsoever it was a moot choice. 

Add in to the bargain that aged 14 i had a crush on JoanB and took the class so that I could be near her,  not that anything ever happened apart from scoring an average C in the final exam.    

My heart just wasn’t in it. 

That’s the thing,  as a nation we can try and force other languages down our kids throats but children are resistant unless they see a tangible benefit. 

For most Scottish kids, French is a complete waste of time.   Hardly anyone goes there on holiday as there are so many alternatives that offer better value. 

However a fortnight in a Spanish resort every year where you don’t have to speak Spanish except the pleasantries is not conducive to learning the language. 

What’s the solution?  

With limited resources it’s about making the best of what we have. 

I’d cut mandatory language education for the kids who aren’t interested.  But offer better education with trips abroad where only the chosen language is spoken to the kids who are interested can immerse themselves in their language of choice. 
What about the football hooligans?

The ignorance of only speaking English and the attitude of the football hooligan are related in my opinion. 

Being an English speaker does not make you a football hooligan. 

But if you’re a British football hooligan it’s a safe bet that you don’t speak any other languages or have experienced other cultures. 
It doesn’t really matter what team they support Leicester, Chelsea, England, Rangers or even my team Celtic. 

Arseholes will continue being arseholes until they realise there is a consequence for their actions. 

Last night the Spanish police went in heavy and made a few arrests.  Not really enough to deter the problem.  

For me,  if you cross the line and are arrested,   it’s an immediate 30 days in prison, maybe let you out after a fortnight if you behave yourself and promise to be a good boy. 

A bit Draconian,  but that’s the only language these people understand. 

Try explaining that to the wife or your boss on your one phone call.  

Celtic v Rangers 12 March 2017 – Safe Bet?


At noon today Celtic play newco Rangers at Celtic Park.  

This will be the fourth time the clubs have met this season and the third in the league 

Previous results are 5-1, 0-1, 1-2 with Celtic winning on each occasion. 

Looking at the results above it would appear that after the early “doing” the games were evenly matched with Celtic having narrow victories by single goals. 

That wasn’t the case.  In fact,  although the later results were closer,  Celtic were in control on each occasion and didn’t look like losing. 

The odds offered on today’s game  by the various bookmakers reflect that gulf in class between both teams with best odds of 4/11 Celtic win and 10/1 Rangers win. 

These pay winnings £36 and £1000 respectively on a £100 stake. 

A win ratio of 1000/36 = 28,  i.e. The bookmakers believe that it’s 28 times more likely that Celtic will win than Rangers. 

On today’s offerings and current form, Celtic look like a dead cert winner. 

However,  games aren’t played on paper and there is always a risk,  particularly as today’s referee is Bobby Madden who is a Rangers supporter and former season book holder at Ibrox. 

Not that I’d accuse anyone of being unprofessional in their decision making process.  

But if my house was on fire and I could save either my child or yours,  you’re going to receive some really sad news.  

I’ll be gutted for you,  but that’s the reality of the situation in the heat of the moment and faced with a 50/50 decision any indivudual is more likely to be predisposed to an outcome which favours their fundamental loyalties. 

I personally think that any referee with any leanings to any team should be prevented from refereeing games involving that team. 

I’m not a betting man,  I rarely bet and I don’t throw money away.   Random betting is for mugs,  or a bit of fun,  depending on how serious you take it. 

But money in the bank earns nothing and I have a significant bet placed already on Celtic winning the league. 

https://dancingbhoy.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/money-in-the-bank/

That’s a professional bet made as I considered it zero risk.    I’ll make the same bet next season as it will pay for a great holiday for the family. 

Theres a huge difference between betting on the league over the season and an individual game.  Over the season,  individual losses become insignificant and class counts. 

In contrast,  today’s bet,  a grand to make it interesting is just a bit of fun and pays winnings of £360. 

Now here’s a thought . Would it be worth also putting a ton, £100,  on Rangers paying a £1000 to mitigate the loss of the primary bet?

Sensibly yes.  These games rarely end in draws. 

But I can only see a Celtic win and I’d never ever ever bet against my team. 

Enjoy the game. 

Prediction – Celtic to win 4-1,  or 2-1 if we lose a man through some dodgy decision. 

Mon the Hoops!

The Games a Bogey! #CelticFC

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A few months ago,  before this years Scottish Premier Football League started,  I blogged that Celtic were a sure thing to win the league and were worth investing in as at a win-ratio of 33% after tax were much better than money in the bank at 2%.before tax.

https://dancingbhoy.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/money-in-the-bank/

At that time,  the odds were 1 to 3 on .. ie put on £1000 and it gets you £333.

Our apparent nearest rival newco Rangers,  were best priced at 7/2.

A relative ten-fold difference and an indication of who the bookies thought would win the league even before a ball was kicked. Continue reading “The Games a Bogey! #CelticFC”

Underdogs and Politics! 

What a game that was last night!

Celtic hosting and at times outplaying Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League.  

The 3-3 draw with last years EPL runners-up was as exciting as it was unexpected.  

I think it’s fair to say that most fans were expecting a defeat and will be happy with the result. 

It’s the group of death, were Barcelona and Man City are expected to take first and second and Celtic are expected to fight for third place with Borrusia Monchengladbagh. 

Comparing Celtic’s and Borrusias results against Barcelona, 7-1 and 2-1 defeats respectively,  probability is that Celtic will finish bottom of the group and exit all European competitions before Christmas. 

But at Celtic Park anything can happen. 

Yesterday Celtic were fined 10,000 Euros by UEFA for the display of “illicit” banners.   The display largely from the Green Brigade fans group. 

Ten grand out whilst earning a 500 grand payment for the draw against Man City.  

Some might say what was the point of the fine?

But like playing the game itself there are rules and they need to be enforced. 

I think the club was lucky that the fine was so low,  but the point being we wouldn’t have been fined at all if the Green Brigade had kept their political agenda to themselves. 

Yes the Green Brigade did campaign for various Palestinian charities,  admirably raising 170k and the visibility of the plight of the Palestine people. 

I agree with their stance,  I contributed to their fund.

But will they pay the fine which they brought to the club. 

No .. didn’t think so. 

Seems to me that the Green Brigade are using the club as a vehicle to serve their attention seeking political agenda whilst taking  absolutely no responsibility for their actions. 

If they weren’t,  they would have organised their campaign, raised their funds but left the politics and flags outside the stadium.