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Everything posted by JOHNNY

  1. Celtic finally sealed the SPL yesterday with a 1-0 away victory over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park. In the most one-sided championship in years, Celtic are currently 16 points clear of Rangers with 6 games still to go. The trophy will not be presented until May 2nd when Celtic host Dunfermline in a live match on BBC. League sponsors Bank of Scotland, demanded maximum exposure for the presentation. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/s...rem/3630511.stm You can also read what our old friend Chick thinks of Celtic's future: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/t...tic/3636825.stm
  2. The league split was confirmed last night after Motherwell gained the neccessary points to take the last place by defeating Dunfermline at home. The clubs who will compete against each other one final time this season are: Celtic Rangers Hearts Dunfermline Motherwell Dundee United. The only thing at stake is the one final Uefa Cup place. One place goes to the Scottish Cup finalist (Inverness or Dunfermline) who will play Celtic who qualify for the Champions League. The final place will go to third placed team, or fourth if Dunfermline defeat Inverness on Tuesday night in the cup semi final replay. The bottom 6 clubs also play each other once, but the odds are stacked highly against Partick Thistle catching the clubs above.
  3. Celtic will win the SPL if they defeat Kilmarnock away at Rugby Park on Sunday. The championship has not been in question for months, but they can finally confirm it after Rangers dropped another 2 points away to Livingston on Wednesday. Kilmarnock have announced that they will not be making any unsold home tickets available to Celtic fans desperate to see the match. Despite the attraction of around
  4. Which Cypriot team did the great Ketsbaia return to?
  5. Weekend's results: Sunday April 11 2004 Dundee Utd 2 - 2 Dundee Saturday April 10 2004 Hibernian 3 - 0 Kilmarnock Partick Thistle 1 - 0 Hearts Updated League Table: Pos Team PL W D L F A Pts 1 Celtic 31 28 3 0 97 18 87 2 Rangers 31 22 4 5 63 25 70 3 Hearts 32 15 8 10 46 31 54 4 Dunfermline 30 12 9 9 33 40 45 5 Dundee United 32 11 8 13 38 50 41 6 Motherwell 31 10 9 12 36 37 39 7 Hibernian 31 9 9 13 33 49 36 8 Livingston 31 8 10 13 36 46 34 9 Dundee 32 8 9 15 39 53 33 10 Kilmarnock 32 9 5 18 39 66 32 11 Aberdeen 31 8 7 16 36 49 31 12 Partick Thistle 32 4 6 22 31 59 18 With the semi finals of the Scottish Cup taking place over the weeked, there were only 3 SPL matches. Partick had a surprise victory at home, but it may prove too little too late for the Glasgow side, who are 13 points behind Aberdeen with 6 games to play. Hibs maintain their slim hopes of a top 6 spot with a comfortable victory at home to Kilmarnock. In an exciting Tayside derby on Sunday, United came from two goals behind to earn a point courtesy of a Billy Dodds second half double. In matches played at Hampden in front of poor crowds, Celtic advanced to the final of the cup with a 3-1 victory over Livingston (26,000) on Sunday. Dunfermline could only draw against first division Inverness on Saturday (13,000). Veteran striker Craig Brewster salvaged a replay for the Pars with a trademark header towards the end of a scrappy match.
  6. BBC report on health and safety concerns at the Olympic constuction sites. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3609671.stm
  7. Celtic will have money available to find a striker. Whether they have enough to buy someone of the same class as Larsson is another story. I must question though, if Celtic really need anyone of that class to remain in front of the remainder of the SPL. While they may be winning games by a few clear goals at the moment, the team minus Larsson will still surely have enough firepower in Hartson, Sutton, Thompson and Petrov (not to mention their youngsters coming through) to win games. In Europe, Larsson does not dominate in the same manner as in domestic games, so may not be missed to the extent expected in that arena either. Only time will tell. Who knows what signings Martin O'neill will pull out the bag in the summer. With Rangers current debt, I'd be very surprised to see any big names at Ibrox next season. The name being mentioned at the moment is Alex Rae of Wolves. He will be 35 in the summer!!
  8. Celtic's English stars, Chris Sutton and Alan Thompson have signed new contracts, which will keep them at Parkhead until 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/t...tic/3607915.stm
  9. Hearts have appointed a new chairman in George Foulkes, the ex Conservative Minister of State for Scotland. His first aim appears to be to find a suitable solution to redevelop Tynecastle, avoiding a permanent move to Murrayfield. The fans objection to becoming tenants of the Scottish rugby team came to a head last week when a fan assaulted chief executive Chris Robinson, the man behind the proposal. Robinson, who has been the target of abuse by a section of the crowd at all recent Hearts matches, was confronted by a group of fans outside Tynecastle and punched in the face by one of them. :box:
  10. Does anyone know of the indoor league that runs through the winter in Germany? I've seen a little of it on eurosport, and it seemed to be very popular. We used to have 5 and 6 a side tournaments in both England and Scotland, but these are now restricted to ex-players competitions.
  11. I had read that article too, and was disgusted that such nonsense can find it's way into print. On a positive note, I heard an interview with a British member of the IOC on the BBC last week. He said Barcelona was possibly further behind schedule than Athens is at present, and that he had no doubt everything would be completed .... ON TIME!!
  12. Fair point Vaggar. The quality of pitches is something that needs to be addressed, and is currently being looked at by Uefa, not only the SPL. Dunfermline are testing out the latest artificial surface available, receiving funding on the grounds that they keep it for a two year trial period. The irony in this, is that should Dunfermline qualify for the Uefa Cup, they may not be allowed to play their home ties on the artificial grass!! So far, Dunfermline's pitch has proven to be unpopular among the opposition players. It does however, encourage an attractive, passing style of football. This is in contrast to the game served up on a pitch resembling a desert yesterday between Motherwell and Rangers, where the long ball over the midfield was adopted for the whole game. It really was terrible stuff.
  13. Weekend's results: Sunday April 04 2004 Motherwell 0-1 Rangers Saturday April 03 2004 Aberdeen 3-0 Dundee Utd Celtic 2-2 Hearts Dundee 2-1 Partick Thistle Dunfermline 2-1 Kilmarnock Hibernian 3-1 Livingston Updated League Table: Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts 1 Celtic 31 28 3 0 97 18 79 87 2 Rangers 31 22 4 5 63 25 38 70 3 Hearts 30 15 8 7 45 33 12 53 4 Dunfermline 30 12 9 9 33 40 -7 45 5 Dundee United 31 11 7 13 36 48 -12 40 6 Motherwell 30 10 8 12 35 36 -1 38 7 Livingston 30 8 9 13 35 45 -10 33 8 Hibernian 30 8 9 13 31 49 -18 33 9 Dundee 31 8 8 15 37 51 -14 32 10 Aberdeen 31 8 7 16 36 49 -13 31 11 Kilmarnock 30 9 4 17 38 63 -25 31 12 Partick Thistle 31 3 6 22 30 59 -29 15 Goals in the dying minutes by Chris Sutton and Didier Agathe gave Celtic a 2-2 draw at home to Hearts on Saturday. Rangers 1-0 victory away to Motherwell on Sunday, courtesy of a Stephen Hughes strike, reduced the gap at the top to 17 points.
  14. I love the fact that the goalposts have not been removed despite all the work going on around the field. :lol: :lol:
  15. Now there's an idea that would shake up our league. We are lucky to have one team relegated due to the over the top conditions set by the SPL. In recent seasons teams have been denied promotion for having insufficient stadium requirements. A minimum 10,000 all seater stadium with undersoil heating is required to participate in the SPL - despite the fact that few clubs actually manage to achieve that level of support on a regular basis. Clubs therefore spend money building suitable stadiums rather than players, subsequently getting relegated, and find themselves in the lower league with an empty stadium and no quality players. A classic vicious circle!
  16. Liverpool were unfortunately involved in two such incidents - the FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough, Sheffield in 1989, and the European Cup final between Liverpool and Juventus at the Heysel Stadium, Brussels in 1985 . The Hillsborough disaster was caused when police made the decision to open gates to one end of the stadium due to congestion outside. Unfortunately, many fans without tickets were also able to enter resulting in far too many fans in the enclosed area. 96 fans were crushed to death as they were either trampled on or crushed against the fence. More info available at this site: http://www.ayup.co.uk/ref/ref0-9.html Found these details on the cause of the Heysel disaster below on another site: On May 29, 1985, Liverpool F.C. played Juventus in the European Cup Final, held at the Heysel Stadium. In a widely criticized move, the Belgian authorities had allocated a section of the ground to neutral fans. This was an idea opposed by Liverpool and Juventus, as it would easily provide an arena for fans who obtained tickets from Belgian ticket touts outside the ground to clash. A flimsy wire fence had been erected to segregate the fans. After a rain of missiles from the Italian fans inside the neutral area fell upon the Liverpool fans, the Liverpool fans charged at and breached the fence. In an attempt to retreat from the advancing English fans, the Juventus fans ran to the far end of the Western End, where a concrete wall blocked their retreat. The huge load and pressure that resulted from the sheer numbers of people gathered proved too much for the wall, and eventually it gave way – falling directly upon the trapped Italian fans. 39 people (1 Belgian and 38 Italian) lost their lives. Juventus later won the match 1-0. As a direct result of this event The FA banned it's own clubs of participating in UEFA competitions for six years, some agree it was a move to avoid a heavier penalty from UEFA.
  17. The most memorable game I attended was the match at Neopoli between Ionikos and Olympiakos. The fighting at the end of this match has made it onto many videos and tv shows on sporting violence. This account by Craig Brewster is an accurate account of that day: 'The problem with Greece is the fans think they can do whatever they want by abusing you. I had a bad experience out there when there was a riot after a game with Olympiakos and it was quite scary. It made CNN news with battles on the park and players involved. At the final whistle some of their fans jumped over and had a go with one of our coaches and it all happened from that. Some players got involved, more fans came over and I was out of there. I didn't realise the extent of the incident until I saw it on TV and it was frightening. It was disgraceful.' What really was disgraceful was the performance of the referee, who single-handedly created the vitriolic atmosphere with an absolutely shocking display of biased refereeing. I personally didn't end up on the field (my boss wouldn't have been too happy seeing me on TV), but even I, a visitor, was totally incensed at the decisions I had witnessed, and completely understood why everyone around me felt the need to go over the fence. In no way do I condone violence in the stadiums, but I also hate to see our 'beautiful game' destroyed in such a blatant way. :tdown:
  18. Don't you just love the naivety of some Americans (I presume that's who did the interview). They really don't know (or care) too much about the rest of the world. Cans of tennis balls!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:
  19. Does anyone have an opinion on the league split that will take place in the Scottish Premier League in a couple of weeks. This involves the top and bottom 6 clubs in the league being separated into 2 sections on completion of 3 rounds of matches (33 games). Each team will then play the other sides in their section once, therefore playing a total of 38 matches in a season. The purpose of the split is to reduce the mumber of games in a season and reduce the number of meaningless matches played towards the end of a season. In a 12 team league, the normal number of games was 44 (4 round of matches) which saw complaints from teams, who could end up playing in excess of 60 matches a season in all competoitions. This system however, throws up a few questionable points: Teams in the bottom half of the league are denied one game against both of the financially lucrative Old Firm sides. Matches between teams can become inequal, for example 1 home match, 2 away games between sides. This must create advantages and disadvantages along the way. The ridiculous scenario of the 7th positioned club actually finishing with a greater number of points than the 6th placed team or above. The split takes away the possibility of European qualification for all teams in the bottom half at the time of the split. This is even the case, if there are only goal difference or a couple of points between the 4th placed and 7th placed teams for example. I have heard that something similar has been tested in Switzerland, but am not aware of its success or otherwise.
  20. Only 3 games to go before the ridiculous league split takes place. This weekend could see the title concluded if Celtic defeat Hearts at Parkhead tomorrow and Rangers lose to Motherwell at Fir Park on Sunday. Weekend's fixtures: Saturday Apr 03 2004 Aberdeen v Dundee Utd Celtic v Hearts Dundee v Partick Thistle Dunfermline v Kilmarnock Hibernian v Livingston Sunday Apr 04 2004 Motherwell v Rangers
  21. United dismiss possible move to new stadium. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/s...rem/3584207.stm
  22. The SPL have given ground sharing the go-ahead. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/s...rem/3582079.stm
  23. It was good to see a bit of humour before the Old Firm match on Sunday. The game was held up for 5 minutes after the Celtic fans threw dozens of beach balls onto the field in celebration of their Uefa Cup match in Barcelona. :lol: :lol: :lol:
  24. BBC report on possible move: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/t...tic/3578347.stm
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