Celtic Matters

GreenGreenWorld is back after holiday ready for the new season

GreenGreenWorld(GGW) is back after its summer holidays and will be even more dedicated to bringing Celtic fans the football news and analysis from around the world likely to be of most interest to them in the new season to come.

Tomorrow. Celtic and the CL Draw

Tomorrow an article will be posted on GGW explaining the likely opposition Celtic will face in the two Qualifying Rounds of the Champions League as they seek to regain their rightful place in Europe’s elite by reaching the Group Stages.

Then will come articles bringing Celtic fans up to date with the fortunes of their favourite foreign clubs particularly Villarreal and St Pauli. After the disappointing events of season 2011-2012, both these favourite clubs will be facing critical campaigns in their respective Second Divisions. GGW will seek to explain why this unfortunate state of affairs came about and how well preparations are going to allow both clubs to reclaim their rightful place in their domestic top flights.

GGW will continue to provide regular reports from the Spanish Scene, with a focus on how a Guardiola-less Barcelona respond to losing their place at the top of the Spanish tree to Mourinho’s more cynical Real Madrid.

There will also be regular Letters from South America bringing Celtic fans up to date on the Copa Libertadores, recently won by Corinthians, and the Brazilian and Argentinian club scenes.

GGW can be followed on Twitter  at  @GGWCeltic  Please sign up to follow GGW to get all updates, news and analysis

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Celtic Submari keep on giving

Three Kings from Villarreal CF give presents

For the 7th year in a row the Christmas and New Year holiday period saw the Celtic Submari hold its annual Children’s Party where the visiting Three Kings gave presents to hundreds of excited children. The numbers involved were such that the location had to be changed from the Celtic Submari club in main street Vila-real to the more spacious premises available in the Francesc Tarrega School. Named after the talented musician who is the most famous ever citizen of little Vila-real, the school is well known in the West of Scotland for its regular exchange visits with the local John Ogilvie High. Spanish children are usually much more polite and closer to the Victorian ideal of being seen but not heard than similar groups of Scottish children. However as on the six previous occasions, this time the noise generated by the excited children, a mix of children of Celtic Submari members and children associated with the charities supported by the Celtic Submari, was of the higher decibel levels normally generated by wilder Scottish weans.

As always, Villarreal CF fully supported the work of the Celtic Submari and sent three first team players, Spanish internationalist Bruno, Paraguayan internationalist Hernan Perez and Javier Camunas. All three players enthusiastically joined in the activities and were a great hit when it came to dishing out presents top every child present.

As in previous years, the principal beneficiary of the Celtic Submari generosity was ASPANION (the association of parents of children with cancer) who received yet another cheque for 3,000 euros.

The background to the Celtic Submari commitment to ASPANION and other children’s charities is contained in the book “Celtic Submari – a New Model of football relationships” recently published by Ringwood Publishing in Glasgow. Copies of this book, which is being very well received by Celtic supporters throughout the world can be obtained from this website by clicking on the photo on the right hand side, or by going to www.ringwoodpublishing.com .

The book is also available from the Kindle Book Store as an e-book as is the companion volume “Yellow Submarine – the miracle of Villarreal CF”

Next week GGW will offer a major update to the Yellow Submarine story in a post entitled “The Yellow Submarine sinks to the bottom depths of La Liga” which will explain why things have gone disastrously wrong this season.  Watch this space.

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“Celtic Submari” The perfect Christmas Present for all Celtic Supporters

Ideal Xmas present for all Celtic supporters

Buying a Christmas Present for a Celtic supporter? Look no further! “Celtic Submari” is a positive and uplifting book that will delight any Celtic supporter. It tells how an invasion of Vila-real, a small town in Spain, by 10,000 Celtic supporters in 2004 led to a friendship that is unique in world football, and to the development of a New Model of football relationships based on affection and respect rather than hatred or bitterness. Celtic supporters everywhere can take great pride in how their example of camaraderie and good behaviour inspired the formation of the Villarreal Celtic Submari who have put their motto “Rivals for 90 minutes, Friends for Ever” into practice in Spain, Scotland and throughout Europe. The Celtic Submari have proved that football can harness the power of goodness, decency, integrity and friendship to help others and make a positive difference.

The book offers a unique and fascinating explanation for the undeniable reality that Celtic supporters have a much better record of behaviour abroad than Rangers supporters.

It examines how some of the lessons from the Celtic Submari model can be applied in Scotland to help move away from the sectarian bitterness that too often mars Scottish football towards a more healthy model based on Celtic Submari principles.

While the book will primarily appeal to Celtic supporters, this element will also make the book of interest to everyone of any football affiliation or none, who has despaired of the current Scottish model marred by sectarian hatred.

Fuller details of the book can be obtained by clicking on the cover  on the right hand side below.

Individual copies of “Celtic Submari”, all signed by the author Sandy Jamieson, can be purchased from this website through the cover link on the right hand side below or directly by going to the publishers website www.ringwoodpublishing.com

Bulk orders, at generous discounts, can be negotiated by email at mail@ringwoodpublishing.com .

“Celtic Submari” will be available as an ebook from the Kindle Store from 13th December

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Celtic Players triumph in China. Part Two – Mowbray a better judge than Lennon?

Zeng Zhi - Mowbray rated him, Lennon didn't

Maybe it is something in the Glasgow air, but after Du Wei’s total failure to adapt to Scottish football, the second Chinese internationalist signed by Celtic did not fare much better and only stayed a year. Zeng Zhi was another signing which at the time was hailed as a very good piece of work by Celtic. An established internationalist in China he had been signed for £2 million pounds in August 2007 by Charlton Athletic after a successful loan spell. He started very well and was soon being rated as a very talented player, gaining recognition by professionals and fans alike. Tony Mowbray tried to sign him for West Brom in a multi-million pound swoop in August 2008 but the deal collapsed at the last moment. However Mowbray, by then Celtic manager, finally got his man in September 2009, on a free transfer, his contract at Charlton having expired. “He will significantly add to the squad with his quality” Mowbray promised. Mowbray backed this faith by allowing Zeng Zhi to make his debut in the October Old Firm game. Zeng Zhi went on to play for Celtic another 15 times, scoring once, a spectacular effort against Hearts. He got a mixed response from Celtic fans but the general consensus was that while he had class, he lacked application. It became obvious that Mowbray’s replacement Neil Lennon did not share the same high opinion of him, indeed did not rate him at all, and there was no surprise when he was released in June 2010.

Like Du Wei before him he returned to China to lick his wounds and restore his reputation. To general surprise he signed for a Second Division club, Guangzhou Evergrande, despite many offers from top flight clubs in several countries. Guangzhou had been forcibly relegated at the end of the 2009 season for their involvement in the 2006 match fixing scandal that nearly destroyed completely the creditability of Chinese football.

Dario Conca 10 million euros worth of proof that Guangzhou are serious

However the club under the control of wealthy new owners Evergrande, determined to rebuild and return quickly. They invested money in experienced international players and were already well on course for promotion when they made Zeng Zhi a financial offer that compensated for the lack of first division football. With Zeng Zhi making a very positive contribution, Guangzhou easily won the Chinese Second Division in 2010 to regain their place in the elite. Zeng Zhi was made captain as Guangzhou reinforced heavily for their return to the top flight. Two top class Brazilian forwards were signed Muriqui and Cleo, bought from Partizan Belgrade for 5million euros, to add to Chinese internationalists Gao Lin and Sun Xiang. But the most sensational transfer of all was the 10 million euros they paid for Dario Conca a massively talented Argentinian playmaker who in 2010 was the outstanding player as Fluminense won the Brazilian League. For the first time, a world class player at the peak of his form was attracted to play in the Chinese League. Under Zeng Zhi’s captaincy the team played well and quickly established themselves as by far the best team in China.

One of 50,000 Guangzhou supporters celebrating the title

Crowds grew to record levels of 50,000 and Guangzhou rewarded them by clinching the Chinese League last weekend with 4 games to go. It was the first time a promoted team had won the Chinese League. In some ways, Guangzhou are the Manchester City of China and will push other Chinese clubs down the same road in order to compete with them.

Zeng Zhi’s major contribution to this title success was recognised when he was restored to the Chinese national team where he was reunited with Celtic’s other Chinese player, Du Wei. Zeng Zhi and Du Wei had encountered each other before in the Chinese national team, with Du Wei taking over the captaincy from Zeng Zhi. New Chinese national team manager Jose Antonio Camacho made it clear both ex-Celts were going to be key members of his World Cup squad but he decided that of the two he preferred Zeng Zhi as his captain leading from midfield, while leaving Du Wei in charge of defensive organisation.

On 11th October the Chinese bid for World Cup qualification hit an early rock, when the team were shocked at home in Shenzen by a 1-0 defeat by Iraq. This shock defeat left China in third place at the halfway stage of the Group, with 3 points from 3 games, 3 points behind Iraq and 6 behind unbeaten surprise leaders Jordan. China may well need to win all three of their remaining games to guarantee finishing in the top two qualification spots. Otherwise the world’s biggest country, with its increasingly football mad population, could face elimination from the 2014 World Cup more than two years before it is due to start. It will take all Camacho’s considerable powers of motivation and organisation to ensure China advance from their first stage Group. But Camacho remains clear that Du Wei and Zeng Zhi are international class players who will be key components in his efforts to achieve this qualification.

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Celtic players triumph in China. Part One – Du Wei No longer “Worse than Scheidt”

Du Wei No longer worse than Scheidt

Foreign centre halfs do not have a high affection rating among Celtic supporters. Daniel Majstorovic has few if any admirers and Glen Loovens little more. Bobo Balde’s time ended in tears. And Rafael Scheidt has a secure place in Celtic legend as the club’s worst signing ever.  But there is one ex-Celtic centre back whose recent international form might make some Celtic supporters wonder what might have been if the club tried a little harder to help him adapt.

Very few Celtic supporters ever saw Du Wei in first team action and those that did will not have happy memories of his one appearance. If he has any place in Celtic anecdotes, it will be as the one foreign centre back “Worse than Scheidt”, not the happiest accolade.

Yet there is good reason to believe that Du Wei is a much better defender than that title would indicate, and that maybe if Celtic had tried harder and been more supportive they might have ended up with centre half better than many of those who have failed to convince since he left five years ago.

Du Wei never survived his disastrous first team debut against Clyde

Du Wei had built a good reputation in China in the early part of the 21st Century, starring for China in the 2002 World Cup and appeared to be a class defender of top international status. Several European clubs were interested in signing him but in what was at the time seen as a coup for Celtic, he opted to come to Glasgow, in July 2005, on an initial short-term loan basis with the assumption that a big money transfer would soon follow. For a variety of reasons he never settled in this strange new environment. His one official game for the Celtic first team was the disastrous 2-1 defeat in the Scottish Cup to Clyde in January 2006. He had  a fairly disastrous first half, where his slip cost the first goal and then he later gave away a penalty. At half-time Manager Strachan pulled him off, and he never played for Celtic again, soon returning emotionally bruised and demoralised back to China. (continue reading…)

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St Pauli back in business

One of Celtic Supporters' favourite clubs

The special nature of St Pauli football club and their particular attraction for Celtic supporters was fully explored in the GGW post of  4th April 2010 “St Pauli Celtic guests of honour and principle”. If you didn’t read it at the time read it now, to make most sense of this article. That season 2010-11 ended with St Pauli celebrating their centenary and promotion to the Bundesliga with a match against Celtic (see GGW post 4th May 2010). The season 2010-11 saw a fascinating struggle within St Pauli between purists and pragmatists as the club struggled to adapt to the demands of top class football while remaining true to its basic principles of equality and respect. Could a socialist club survive in a highly competitive capitalist context like the modern day Bundesliga without compromising some of its principles? Long time charismatic President Corny Littman was one of the casualties of this spiritual conflict as the pragmatists gained a temporary ascendancy but the compromise eventually arrived at proved inadequate to the task of ensuring consolidation in the third richest league in Europe. The club rightly refused to mortgage its future by paying transfer fees it could not afford and wages it could not sustain, so basically the season was approached with the basis of the side that had earned them promotion, supplemented by a couple of stars, Asamoah and Zambrano  bought cheaply from Schalke04 where they had never completely impressed despite their international status

Proud to be "hooligans", ashamed to actually do it

Yet for the first half of the season it looked as if this team would be able to scrape their way to safety and survival.  At the midwinter halfway break St Pauli  were 15th, 5 points off the automatic relegation places. The club resisted the temptation to attempt to buy safety in the Winter Transfer Window. On February 16th St Pauli made all their faithful supporters, in Germany and around the world, blissfully happy by going to the Volkspark Stadium in Hamburg and beating the despised HamburgSV, 1-0,  in front of their own ultra right wing supporters. That win left St Pauli in midtable and seemingly safe. But alas it seemed that beating their deadly rivals exhausted their competitive spirit because incredibly that was to prove St  Pauli’s last win of the season. They lost 11 of their remaining 12 games to end up bottom of the league. Their relegation was confirmed on the second last day with a 8-1 home defeat to the plutocrats Bayern Munich. That Bayern game had almost been played behind closed doors after one St Pauli fan let down the spirit and tradition of the club by hitting  a linesman with  a full plastic cup of beer towards the end of a game against Schalke. The German FA ordered that St Pauli’s last two home games should be played behind closed doors. While all at St Pauli fully accepted they deserved punishment for an offence contrary to all their traditions, they appealed against the sentence and were allowed to play what turned out to be their last two Bundesliga games before their own subdued support. Many of those present at the Bayern humiliation probably wished the club had accepted the original sentence.

The St Pauli manager Stanislawski, who had served the club well for many years as a  player as well as  a manager announced he was leaving, exhausted. The regard in which he was held despite his team being relegated was confirmed when he was quickly appointed coach of super rich minnows Hoffenheim, the ultimate contrast to St Pauli with their status bought solely with the multimillion pound investment of sole owner Dieter Hopp.

The new St Pauli squad

Andre Schubert, a man in the Stanislawski mould, was appointed new coach and President Stefan Orth and his Board promised the fans that St Pauli would remain true to their traditions rather than attempt to buy their way back to the Bundesliga. The club sold only one player, talented midfielder Lehmann, for half a million euros and brought in 7 new players for a total outlay of only 350,000 euros, three coming on loan, two on a free transfer and two forwards Schindler and Saglik being bought for small fees.  Work is still planned to modernise, upgrade and extend the Milentor Stadium whose limited capacity was one factor in their non-survival.  By 2014 it should hold 30,000, allowing 6,000 a game more than the regular 24,000 who attended every Bundesliga game.

Max Kruse midfield star in scoring form

Season 2011-2012 has gone well so far as Schubert has blended his squad into an effective team. Saturday saw them achieve an impressive 4-1 victory away to Energie Cottbus with midfield star Max Kruse hitting his 6th goal of the season. So after 10 games St Pauli are in joint second place, one point behind leaders Furth and sharing second place with Eintracht Frankfurt and Fortuna Dusseldorf two of the traditional German big clubs. Proof that St Pauli are still St Pauli and different from other clubs has been provided by the fact that their attendances have remained at almost constant full capacity, the fans are still behind their unique club, in their own unique way. Two of St Pauli’s next three home games are against Fortiuna Dusseldorf and Furth, and victory in them should see St Pauli head for Christmas in the top two promotion places. GGW will provide regular reports on how St Pauli  succeed in this difficult post-relegation time.

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A Hood for Samaras, please

Harry Hood needed now

Last week provided strong evidence of two interconnected realities. Harry Hood is still a class act; and Celtic could do with him now in preference to the Languid Greek.

Last Saturday Harry Hood was the star turn at the Launch by Ringwood Publishing of its two books “Yellow Submarine – the Miracle of Villarreal” and “Celtic Submari – A new Model of Football relationships based on Respect and Affection not Hatred and Bitterness”. Last Sunday the poor display by a toothless flat Celtic team showed the crying need for a front player with the combination of skill and finishing calmness and precision that was the Harry Hood trademark.

The affection still felt by Celtic supporters for Harry Hood was demonstrated in full measure at the Ringwood Launch, held, thanks to the generous co-operation of Eddie Toner, in the Celtic Supporters Association Club in London Road. The predominantly Celtic audience were delighted as Harry Hood drifted through them with the casual ease with which he used to penetrate opposition defences. Harry talked to the other star guest, Ernesto Boixader the leading inspiration of the Villarreal Celtic Submari and an ex-professional player for Villarreal CF in the 1980s, as one professional footballer to another. Harry confirmed that Billy McNeill had got it dead right when he talked of Atletico Madrid in 1974 as being the dirtiest, most cynical team they had ever encountered. (See the GGW post of 16th September).  Harry explained that on a recent trip to Spain he had been surprised to learn from Spaniards that that the Spanish public had never seen film of that horrendous evening at Celtic Park and had somehow been given the impression that Celtic were the “villains” not Atletico, hence the hostility shown to Celtic in their trip to Madrid for the second leg.

Harry Hood Star attraction at the Book Launch

After the very successful launch, both Dave Webster, the Managing Director of Ringwood Publishing, and Sandy Jamieson the author of both the books, paid tribute to Harry Hood’s generosity in giving up some of his Saturday night to assist the launch. “We are very grateful to Harry, his presence was much appreciated by all the attendees” said Sandy Jamieson, whose pleasure in Harry’s attendance was enhanced by the fact that Harry Hood was one of his own idols as one of the all-time Clyde greats.

The Old Firm game the day after the launch provided strong evidence of how much Celtic could benefit from a forward with the talent and ability of Harry Hood. He was a hard player to categorise. He was not a classic centre forward, despite a goals to games ratio of almost 1 in 2. Nor was he just a midfield player although his passing skills were immense. He was that rare kind of player who exuded class all over the top end of the park, defying easy categorisation. In some ways his main point of comparison was to players like Platini, Cruyff and Zidane, not out and out forwards yet who still scored far more goals than most forwards and all other midfielders. Such comparisons are not ludicrous. Okay Harry Hood was not quite as good as Platini, Cruyff and Zidane, but at his best he was a similar combination of skill, elegance and danger. Like all great players Harry made the difficult art of scoring goals look simple.

A better number 9 than the languid Greek

Celtic supporters were in no doubt about his class, and his commitment to their cause. “Harry, Harry: Harry Harry: Harry Hood”   that Hare Krishna derivation and the other song, “Feared by the bad, loved by the good, Harry Hood, Harry Hood, Harry Hood” based on the Robin Hood classic, were two of the favourite Celtic Park anthems of the early 1970s, proof of the high degree of affection the Celtic support felt for one of the most skilful forwards ever the wear the green and white hoops.

In his spell with Celtic from 1969-1976 Harry won 5 League titles, 3 Scottish Cups and 2 League Cups scoring 123 goals in just over 300 games. He convinced most Celtic supporters, if not always the gruff management, that he was a truly skilful player of the highest class. He remains the last Celtic player to score a hat trick against Rangers.

Watching the woeful efforts of a lost and indolent Samaras last Sunday it was hard not to imagine how much more effective Celtic would have been if the Harry Hood of his prime had been on the park. Like many great Scottish players Harry Hood was born at the wrong time. In the modern game, with its obsession with one man forward lines, he would have been a sensation as a highly skilled yet always calm finisher, providing danger in the spaces just behind the lone front man.

So thank you Harry Hood. Thank you for all the happy memories of you as one of Clyde’s greatest ever players. Thank you for all the great performances for Celtic, making goalscoring look easy, over 100 times, oozing class all over the front areas. Harry Harry, Harry Hood, you really were that good. We all could do with you now.

Thank you for helping launch my books. You are a gentleman.

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The Scum fight back and describe Celtic as “No Saints”

Harmless old men. The 1974 scum age gracefully

Billy McNeill’s description of the 1974 Atletico Madrid side that kicked Celtic out of the European Cup semi-finals as “Scum” has provoked a mixed reaction in Madrid. The official response of the Spanish club has been injured innocence and comments like “We do not understand why they are harping on about a match played 37 years ago. We would rather concentrate on the present.”

Panadero Diaz and a defensive colleague from 1974

But one of the players from that towsy first leg match in Glasgow in the 10th April 1974 has come out with a more spirited direct response. Panadero Diaz, the giant Argentinean centre half was one of the three Atletico defenders sent off during the game, after a particularly atrocious tackle on Jimmy Johnstone, who as Panadero honestly admits “was leading me a merry dance and driving me mad”. Panadero describes his offence as kicking Jinky in the ribs and accepts he deserved to be sent off. But he defends the overall conduct of his team. “In that era teams played much harder and more physically than they do nowadays” He accepts Atletico were a hard team but emphasised that Celtic were no saints. And as one tough centre half to another he said “McNeil might not have forgotten what we did to them, but we have not forgotten what he did to us.”

Panadero made it clear he resented the title of ‘scum’ and claimed that Atletico Madrid of that era were one of the finest teams in the world, on a par with Barcelona and Real Madrid. And in one sense what he says is correct. In the European Cup Final against a Bayern Munich side, containing world class stars like Beckenbauer, Brietner, Hoeness, Maier and Muller, Atletico were one minute away from winning the European Cup. And in Bayern’s absence they represented Europe in the Intercontinental Trophy beating Copa Libertadores champions Independiente over two legs to be crowned as “World Club Champions”

So how justified is Billy McNeil’s use of the strong phrase “scum”.

Panadero Diaz now. Ready to admit his errors and call Lorenzo a monster

I am aware that few if any Celtic supporters under the age of 50 will have any direct memory of that torrid encounter from 37 years ago but there must be still many of the 70,000 plus spectators other than myself who have vivid memories of an unforgettable evening. 2 years previously Celtic had lost at the same semi-final stage to Inter Milan, on penalty kicks and most of the enormous crowd were confident that this time, against Atletico they would go a stage further and reach their third European Cup Final. As I took my place in the jungle, I knew Atletico would be no push-overs. I also knew that the Atletico Manager Juan Carlos Lorenzo, El Toto, was a ferociously competitive Argentinean, the manager from the 1966 World Cup team that had been called ‘animals’ by Alf Ramsey, and that he was famous for using psychological pressures on his players to ensure they stayed winners, at any cost.

37 years on Panadero Diaz  describes Lorenzo as  “a monster” and remembers Lorenzo telling him well before the game to let his beard grow long  and to show his teeth, the better to frighten the Celtic players

Even so, along with the rest of the capacity Celtic Park crowd I was amazed at the degree of ferocity unleashed by Atletico throughout the 90 minutes. I have never before or since seen such sustained brutality practised by a whole team for a whole game. The Turkish referee booked 7 of the Atletico players and sent 3 of them off, including Panadero Diaz. All for tackles that would have been criminal assault in any other context. The Celtic players were not physically intimidated and while they responded physically they did not lose the place. But incredibly it was their rhythm and concentration rather than Atletico’s that suffered most from the constant stoppages, and even the ever increasing numerical superriority could not be turned to their advantage. The game ended goal-less, the restrained Celtic crowd booed the Atletico team off the pitch, and mayhem broke out in the tunnel as a score or two was settled, reputedly with the help of the Glasgow police.

Juan Carlos Lorenzo The manager that created scum out of good Atletico players

Thanks to the wonders of You Tube the worst highlights can be seen by googling Celtic v Atletico Madrid 1974 so if you weren’t there, take a look and marvel. Three of the tackles on Jimmy Johnstone will horrify any sensitive soul, and remind everyone that the wee man was not only highly skilled but extremely brave, to carry on taking such abuse without ceasing to run at them. While universal outrage at the degree of cynical violence practiced by Atletico swept the whole continent, UEFA took no other action bar banning the three players sent off from the second leg and fining Atletico a derisory amount. Some people urged Celtic to pull out of the second leg but I think the decision to play was the right one, even if the outcome was a tame defeat.

Atletico will not approach Thursday’s game with anything like the same ferocity. Current Manager Manzano is a gentleman, the squad contain no notable hatchet men like Diaz, Heredia and Eusebio, and the atmosphere is likely to be relatively friendly. The Atletico team that won the Europa League in 2010 has been dismantled with Simao, Forlan and Aguero all gone. While replacements like Falcao from Porto and Miranda and Diego the Brazilians are top class, the team have not yet blended together and Celtic should not be too overawed. Nor should they be bothered by being there only as a result of a successful off-field  appeal. Last season  Celtic’s favourite Spanish club, Villarreal reached the semi-finals after not originally qualifying for the tournament at all. So Celtic just need to concentrate on the football, forget the recent past, forget the distant past, and focus on getting a good result

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Yellow Submarine splits in two, Celtic Submari emerges in own right

Apologies to all regular Greengreenworld readers for the lack of normal service over the past few months. Chief Editor Sandy Jamieson has had to concentrate exclusively on implementing the decision of Ringwood Publishing to split the book Yellow Submarine. At the end of April Ringwood Publishing took the massive decision that the story of the Celtic Submari was too major and too important to subsume within the Yellow Submarine story of the miracle of Villarreal CF. They decided it was a separate enough and important enough story to be a book in its own right. Since then he has been working very hard to separate out what was one of the three strands of the original book and ensure that he produced two books, each of which stands separately, although they are companion volumes.

As a result there are now two books to show for the last 3 years of his life.

Yellow Submarine The Miracle of Villarreal CF

One  is the “Yellow Submarine – the Miracle of Villarreal CF” At £11.99 it will remain excellent value, offering two stories for the price of one. Part One provides an explanation for the miracle of Villarreal CF including identifying the 10 Key Ingredients that best explain how a wee club from a small town of under 50,000 population has become one of the top teams not just in Spain but in Europe.

Part Two is the account of a three year voyage on the Yellow Submarine as they set sail in search of further glory in the Champions League, the Europa League and La Liga. It explores how the key ingredients identified in Part One are applied in practice and whether the lessons from Villarreal are replicable for small and medium sized clubs throughout Europe.

The other book is “Celtic Submaria new model of football relationships, based on affection and respect, not hatred, bitterness or sectarianism.” In publishing this Ringwood Publishing has recognised that the story of how an invasion of Vila-real by 10,000 Celtic supporters in 2004 led to the amazing and unique friendship between supporters of Villarreal and Celtic deserves to be told in its own right, separate from the story of the Miracle of Villarreal CF.

Celtic supporters everywhere can take pride in the story of how their example of camaraderie and good behaviour inspired the formation of the Villarreal Celtic Submari which has proved to be an extraordinary example of the way in which decent people can help others through football and friendship.

Celtic Submari will also explore why the subsequent visit of Glasgow Rangers to Vila-real did not result in a similar outburst of mutual friendship but continued the pattern of significantly different behaviour abroad of the two Old Firm sets of supporters. The book will offer an explanation of the cultural and other differences that lie behind these different behaviours.

It will show why both Celtic and Rangers supporters need to learn some of the lessons from the model practised by the Villarreal Submari if Scottish football is ever to eradicate the sectarian sickness that currently erodes its soul.

This book will retail at £9.99. For every book sold £2 will be donated to the Villarreal Celtic Submari charity.

I can at last provide a definite date for the launch of both books. It will take place on Saturday 17th September 2011  from 7pm to 10pm in the Celtic Supporters Association Social Club at 1524 London Road, by Celtic Park.  Please put the date and time and venue in your diary now. Please also feel free to invite anyone you think might be interested in these books. The programme for the launch has not been completely determined yet but it will be around the content of the books and several current and former Celtic legends hopefully will be in attendance. Celtic do not have a game that day but they play Rangers at Ibrox the next day so the themes of “Celtic Submari” should be quite topical.

The very good news is that Ernesto and Maria Dolores Boixader have agreed to attend the launch. Saul Ramos is coming too and others of the Celtic Submari may come over as well.

Further details of both books, including how to pre-order them, and of the launch can be found on the Publisher’s web site at www.ringwoodpublishing.com

Now that the writing and editing of the two books is finished, normal service will resume tomorrow with an update on Tommy Gemmell clone Joan Capdevila

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Normal service is resumed as the Yellow Submarine heads to dry dock


Yellow Submarine almost home and dry

GGW apologises to all its readers for the break in service the last few months while the Chief Editor, Sandy Jamieson has been obsessively finalising his work on his book “Yellow Submarine   the miracle of Villarreal CF and a voyage in search of integrity, community and friendship in football”.  The decision of Ringwood Publishing to defer publication of the book in order to ensure it covers the whole of season 2010-11 has been strongly vindicated by the astonishing success of Villarreal in the knock out rounds of the Europa League. In successive rounds, they have eliminated the second placed teams in Serie A and the Bundesliga, and the league leaders in Holland. Hopefully over the next 10 days they will eliminate Porto the champions of Portugal before meeting and beating the second best team in Portugal, Benfica, in the final in Dublin on the 18th May. The 18th May just happens to be the day of Saint Pasqual, Vila-real’s patron saint. So maybe it is written in the holy stars.

But even if they are eliminated by Porto, this season’s achievements still add a Europa League semi-final to the list of Champions League semi-final and quarter final and UEFA Cup semi-final and quarter final places already achieved by this amazing little club in the last 7 years.

In addition season 2010-11 should also see Villarreal qualify once more for the Champions League for season 2011-12.

So the last two chapters of the book are not yet written and hopefully will not be  finallycompleted  until the 19th May with both the Europa League and the Champions League qualification in the bag. In that case the cover will be altered to show both Fernando Roig and Santi Cazorla holding up Villarreal’s first ever trophy.

“Yellow Submarine” is essential reading for all football fans who believe that integrity, community and friendship can and should matter even at the highest levels in modern football.

It is exceptional value, offering Three Books for the Price of One

Book One       The Miracle of Villarreal CF

The explanation of how a wee club from a small town of 50,000 inhabitants became a major force not just in Spain but in Europe, including becoming Semi-Finalists in the Champions League, the UEFA Cup and the Europa League, and Runners Up in La Liga. The amazing success of Villarreal offers supporters of clubs both large and small throughout Europe a model of how they too might live the dream, without having to rely on Russian or American billionaires or Arab dynasties.

Book Two  Rival for 90 minutes, Friends for Always

The heart-warming story that explains how an invasion of Vila-real by 10,000 Celtic supporters in 2004 created a set of circumstances that has led to a lasting friendship between supporters of Villarreal and Celtic that is unique in world football and which still offers a model of camaraderie and togetherness that shows how football can be a force for good.

Book Three The Inside Account of a three year voyage on the Yellow Submarine as they set sail in search of further glory in the Champions League, Europa League and La Liga, encountering teams like Manchester United and Arsenal, Celtic, Barcelona and Real Madrid, and Porto on the way

Target Audiences

Explanations of the Miracle    “Yellow Submarine” will be of considerable interest to all lovers of football who have struggled to understand how a small club from a town of under 50,000 inhabitants has established itself as one of the most successful clubs in Europe. In the past 8 seasons Villarreal have been semi finalists and quarter finalists in the Champions League; semi-finalists and quarter-finalists in the UEFA Cup; and semi finalists in the Europa League, while establishing themselves as one of the Big Six clubs in Spain.

It is also a story of amazing community involvement in a football club, with the number of season tickets holders representing over 40% of the population, a figure unprecedented in world football. Villarreal have by far the highest percentage of female season ticket holders, some 30%, of any major club. The Villarreal youth section has 7,000 members. In the Villarreal crowds, adult males are a minority.


Friends for Ever. A book to make Celtic fans proud

“Yellow Submarine”

will also appeal to all those interested in the power of decency, integrity and friendship to make a positive difference in a complex world through football.

Celtic supporters everywhere can rightly take pride in the story told in Book 2 as to how their example of camaraderie and good behaviour in 2004 inspired the formation of the Villarreal Celtic Submari which has proved to be an extraordinary example of the way in which decent people can help others through football and friendship.

The remarkable friendship between Celtic Supporters and Villarreal supporters has continued to grow, and inspire, many years on.

Book 2 also explores why the subsequent visit of Glasgow Rangers to Villarreal did not result in a similar outburst of mutual friendship. Book 2 provides a unique and never previously published explanation of the cultural and other differences between Celtic and Rangers supporters that explains their radically different behaviours abroad. It offers an enhanced understanding of some of the elements of the sectarian sourness that so scars Scottish football and suggests radical solutions drawing on the Villarreal model.

GGW is confident all Celtic supporters will find the Yellow Submarine a heart warming read that will reinforce their pride in Celtic while offering lessons about how their club can become as successful in Europe as their friends from Villarreal


Pre-Ordering a copy of the Yellow Submarine

“Yellow Submarine” will have a cover price of £14.99, a remarkable price for a collection of three books in one.

However Ringwood Publishing is making a prepublication offer to reserve signed copies of the book to be delivered in advance of official publication for the exceptional price of £12.

A link will soon be provided to allow copies of Yellow Submarine to be ordered directly from the GGW site but for now

PrePublication copies of “Yellow Submarine can be ordered in two ways

1) from the Ringwood website, www.ringwoodpublishing.com by credit card

2) by letter and cheque  to Ringwood Publishing, PO Box 16298, Glasgow G13 9DD

Normal service will resume next with a Letter from South America bringing up to date news of the progress of the Copa Libertadores

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  • GreenGreenWorld

    GreenGreenWorld is a football blog produced by SISIF, (the Sherbrooke Institute for the Study of International Football). The SISIF Director, Sandy Jamieson, has been an active student of world football for over 40 years and has an extensive network of information, knowledge and contacts in Europe, South America and the rest of the football world. Although SISIF is based in Glasgow, Sandy currently spends most time at his home in Spain where he is finishing a book about Villarreal, “The Yellow Submarine”. He is a writer/consultant and his previously published novels “Own Goal” and “The Great Escape?” are available from Ringwood Publishing or Amazon. Mainstream published his previous book on Scottish football.
  • Celtic Submari

    The positive story of how an invasion of a small Spanish town, Vila-real by 10,000 Celtic supporters lead to the development of a New Model of football relationships based on respect and affection, not hatred and bitterness.

    A model which offers important lessons for modern day Scotland.

    Click here for fuller details and ordering information.

  • Yellow Submarine

    Yellow Submarine: the Miracle of Villarreal CF

    The amazing story of how a wee club from a small town of 50,000 population established themselves as the 4th best team in Spain and the 12th best in Europe.

    It demonstrates proof that integrity and community can still produce success, irrespective of size, and offers a morally superior alternative to reliance on American and Russian Billionaires or Arab dynasties.

    Click here for fuller details and ordering information.

  • Own Goal

    Hate Margaret Thatcher?

    Loath your old Headmaster?

    Read about the Celtic Supporter who took a fatal revenge on both.

    Like novels about Scottish Politics, Football and Society? Then OWN GOAL is the book for you. Click here for fuller details and ordering information.

  • The Great Escape?


    Like reading novels about football?

    Then try "The Great Escape?"

    Click here for fuller details and ordering information.

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