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Celtic Football Club (pronounced /ˈsɛltɪk/) (LSE: CCP) is a Scottish football club based in the Parkhead area of Glasgow, which currently plays in the Scottish Premier League. The club was established in 1887, and played its first game in 1888. Celtic have won the Scottish League Championship on 42 occasions, most recently in the 2007–08 season, the Scottish Cup 35 times and the Scottish League Cup 14 times. Celtic's home stadium is Celtic Park, the biggest football stadium in Scotland, with a capacity of 60,832. Together with their Glasgow rivals, Rangers, they form the Old Firm, one of the most famous and fierce rivalries in sport. The club's traditional playing colours are green and white hooped shirts with white shorts and white socks.
In 1967, Celtic became the first British team, and only Scottish team, to win the European Cup: the players, subsequently known as the Lisbon Lions, were all born within a 30-mile radius of Parkhead. Celtic won every competition they entered that season: the Scottish League Championship, the Scottish Cup, the Scottish League Cup, the European Cup and the Glasgow Cup. Celtic also reached the 1970 European Cup Final, but were beaten by Feyenoord.
In 2003, Celtic reached the UEFA Cup Final, where they lost 3-2 to FC Porto. An estimated 80,000 Celtic supporters travelled to Seville for the occasion. Celtic fans received awards from UEFA and FIFA for their behaviour at the match. In April 2003 the club was estimated to have a fan base of nine million people, including one million in North America.
Celtic were formally founded in St. Mary's Church Hall on East Rose Street (now Forbes Street), Calton, Glasgow, by Brother Walfrid, an Irish Marist brother, on 6 November 1887. Brother Walfrid's move to establish the club as a means of fund raising for his charity, The Poor Children's Dinner Table, was largely inspired by the example of Hibernian who were formed out of the immigrant Irish population thirteen years earlier in Edinburgh, with 7 of Celtic's first eleven players signing from Hibernian. Walfrid's own suggestion of the name Celtic was intended to reflect the club's Irish and Scottish origins, and was adopted at the same meeting.
The club's official nickname is The Bhoys, the spelling of which denotes an Irish pronunciation, in reflection of the club's heritage. The club's first tangible bit of evidence for their nickname is a postcard from the earliest years of the 20th century, which refers to the Celtic team of the time as "the bould bhoys" (sic), while the team were already known as the "Bold Boys" soon after the club was founded. The term "Boys" was used for most football teams of Glasgow at the time, most probably in reference to the local, sectarian, youth gangs prevalent in Glasgow at the time, the (Catholic, Irish) Timalloys and the (Protestant, Loyalist) Billyboys.
On 28 May 1888, Celtic played their first official match against Rangers and won 5–2. During their formative years, Celtic played in a white shirt with a green collar and a red Celtic cross on the breast, then switched to green and white vertical stripes around 1890. They made the switch to their green and white hoops in 1903.
1967 was Celtic's most successful ever year. The club won every competition they entered: the Scottish League, the Scottish Cup, the Scottish League Cup, the Glasgow Cup, and the European Cup. Managed by Jock Stein, and captained by Billy McNeill, the club defeated Inter Milan 2–1 in Lisbon, Portugal on 25 May 1967. Celtic thus became the first British team, and the first from outside Spain, Portugal and Italy to win the competition. They remain the only Scottish team to have reached the final. The winning players subsequently became known as the 'Lisbon Lions'. The East Stand at Celtic Park is dedicated to the Lisbon Lions, and the West Stand to Jock Stein. Celtic reached the European Cup Final again in 1970, but were beaten 2–1 by Feyenoord at the San Siro in Milan.
Stein managed Celtic to nine straight Scottish League wins from 1966 to 1974, establishing a world record which was not equalled until 1997.
Celtic qualified for the 2003 UEFA Cup Final by beating clubs including Blackburn Rovers, Celta Vigo, Stuttgart and Liverpool. Around 80,000 Celtic fans travelled to watch the Final, which was played in Seville. Celtic lost the match 3–2 to FC Porto after extra time. The Celtic fans were presented with Fair Play Awards from both FIFA and UEFA "for their extraordinarily loyal and sporting behaviour".
Celtic began the 2010–11 pre-season by signing Cardiff City midfielder Joe Ledley and defenders Charlie Mulgrew and Cha Du-Ri on free transfers, while Daryl Murphy,Emilio Izaguirre and Efraín Juárez signed for undisclosed fees. Former club captain Stephen McManus left for Middlesbrough for a fee of £1.5 million, and goalkeeper Artur Boruc left for Fiorentina.
In July Celtic were drawn in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League against Portuguese side Braga. Celtic lost the first leg of the tie 3–0 away from home. Celtic won the return leg 2–1, but went out of the Champions League 4–2 on aggregate. Celtic were knocked out of European football altogether in August, after they lost their Europa League qualifying match against FC Utrecht 4–2 on aggregate.
Celtic won their first eight league games of the SPL season, before losing to Rangers, who also had a 100% record, 3–1. Celtic started November beating Aberdeen 9–0 in an SPL record victory. They then lost to Hearts and drew at home against Dundee United and Inverness Caledonian Thistle, with a victory over St Mirren the only consolation. The Inverness match was notable because it was officiated by Luxembourg referee Alain Hamer, who had stepped in because of the Scottish football referee strike. Celtic began 2011 by beating Rangers 2–0 at Ibrox, and beat their rivals again 3–0 on 20 February. Celtic finished the season in second place in the SPL table, a point behind Rangers.
In the League Cup, Celtic beat Inverness 6–0 and St Johnstone 3–2 before beating Aberdeen in the semi-final. In the final, they lost 2–1 to Rangers after extra time.
In the Scottish Cup, Celtic entered in the fourth round, beating Third Division team Berwick Rangers 2–0, and drawing 2–2 with Rangers in the fifth round. They beat Rangers 1–0 in the replay and booked their place in the final beating Aberdeen 4–0 at Hampden Park. In the final Celtic beat Motherwell 3-0, with goals scored by Ki Sung-Yeung, Charlie Mulgrew and an own goal from Stephen Craigan.
Celtic's first signings of the 2011–12 season were Adam Matthews and Kelvin Wilson on free transfers from Cardiff City and Nottingham Forest respectively, youth player Dylan McGeough also joined from Rangers on a free. Celtic signed Kenyan international Victor Wanyama from K. Beerschot AC for £900,000.Mohamed Bangura also joined the club in a £2.2millon deal from AIK Stockholm.Badr El Kaddouri and Fraser Forster joined on loan deals from Dynamo Kyiv and Newcastle United. Germany and Sweden internationals Andreas Hinkel and Freddie Ljungberg both left the club after their contracts expired. Three former youth academy players left on free transfers, with Graham Carey and Paul McGowan both joining St. Mirren after Celtic agreed to end their contracts and Ryan Conroy going to Dundee after his contract expired. Nine players left on loan deals, Niall McGinn joined English League One side Brentford. While four players went to the English Championship, Darren O'Dea went to Leeds,Jos Hooiveld went to Southampton,Daryl Murphy returned to Ipswich Town and Josh Thompson joined Peterborough. Two players stayed in Scotland, with Greig Spence joining First Division club Hamilton, while Richie Towell went to Hibs for a second loan spell. Two players went abroad, Efraín Juárez joined up with his former Mexico coach Javier Aguirre at La Liga side Real Zaragoza. While Morten Rasmussen went to Turkish Süper Lig side Sivasspor. Only one player left for a fee, that was Shaun Maloney who moved to English Premier League side Wigan for £1millon.
Celtic started their pre-season with a three match tour of Australia, losing against Central Coast Mariners then beating Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory. Celtic then finished second in the Dublin Super Cup after losing 2-1 to Inter Milan on 30 July then beating a League of Ireland select side, 5-0, the next day. The other team competing was Manchester City who won the competition. Celtic also played three other friendlies against Premier League teams Wolves and Swansea City. As well as Championship side Cardiff. Celtic played four friendlies in between there first and second SPL matches. With the Dublin Super Cup and both Premier League sides being played in the week between Celtic's matches against Hibs and Aberdeen.
Celtic's U19 squad played in the inaugural tournament of the NextGen series. Celtic were drawn in Group 1, alongside Barcelona, Marseille and Manchester City.
Celtic were drawn against Swiss Cup winners FC Sion in the play-off round of the Europa League. Sion won 3-1 on aggregate, however were found guilty of fielding ineligible players by UEFA and were excluded from the competition. As a result of this Celtic took there place in the group stage along with Atlético Madrid, Udinese and Stade Rennais.
Celtic's first SPL match of the season was against Hibernian at Easter Road on 24 July. Celtic won 2-0 thanks to goals from Stokes and Ki.
Celtic drew Ross County in the third round of the League Cup.
Crest and colours
For Celtic's first season they wore a white top with black shorts and black and green hooped socks. This kit featured a green celtic cross inside a red circle. Next season they changed to a green and white vertically striped top and for the next fourteen years this remained unchanged. In 1903 Celtic adopted their now famous green and white hooped tops.
Celtic's stadium, Celtic Park, which is based in Parkhead, Glasgow, is the sixth largest stadium in the United Kingdom and the second largest in Scotland. However, only one, Old Trafford, is a regularly used football stadium. The capacity of Celtic Park has been 60,832 since the redevelopment to an all seater stadium in the mid 1990's.
In 2003 Celtic were estimated to have a fan base of nine million people, including one million in the USA and Canada. There are over 160 Celtic Supporters Clubs in over 20 countries around the world. In 2009 marketing agency, Sports Revolution estimated that there were 7 million Celtic fans in Japan, mainly due to the influence of Shunsuke Nakamura.
In the 2010-11 season, Celtic had the highest average home attendance of any Scottish club. They also had the 13th highest average attendance in Europe.
In 2003, an estimated 80,000 Celtic supporters, many without match tickets, travelled to Seville in Spain for the UEFA Cup Final, The club's fans subsequently received awards from UEFA and FIFA for their behaviour at the match.
Celtic's traditional rivals are Rangers; collectively, the two clubs are known as the Old Firm. The two have dominated Scottish football's history; between them, they have won the Scottish league championship 96 times since its inception in 1890 - all other clubs combined have won 19 championships. The two clubs are also by far the most supported in Scotland, with Celtic having the third highest home attendance in the UK. Celtic have a historic association with the people of Ireland and Scots of Irish descent, who are both mainly Catholic. Traditionally fans of rivals Rangers came from Scottish or Northern Ireland Protestant backgrounds and support British Unionism.
The clubs have attracted the support of opposing factions in the political difficulties of Northern Ireland, which intensified the rivalry in Scotland. Anti-sectarian charity Nil by Mouth notes that some supporters use songs, chants and banners on match days to express abuse or support towards the Protestant or Catholic faiths and proclaim support for Northern Irish based terrorist groups such as the IRA and UVF. A study in 2008 by the University of Strathclyde found that the Old Firm rivalry was "strongly linked to the conflict in Northern Ireland".
There have been nearly 400 Old Firm matches played as of 2011. The games have been described as having an "atmosphere of hatred, religious tension and intimidation which continues to lead to violence in communities across Scotland." The rivalry has fuelled many assaults and even deaths on Old Firm Derby days. Admissions to hospital emergency rooms have been reported to increase ninefold over normal levels and journalist Franklin Foer noted that in the period from 1996 to 2003, eight deaths in Glasgow were directly linked to Old Firm matches, and hundreds of assaults. Rangers fans' singing of the Famine song has also caused controversy.
Both sets of fans fought an on-pitch battle in the aftermath of Celtic's 1–0 victory in the 1980 Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park. There was serious fan disorder during an Old Firm match played in May 1999 at Celtic Park; missiles were thrown by Celtic fans, including one which struck referee Hugh Dallas, who needed medical treatment, and a small number of fans invaded the pitch.
In March 2008, UEFA investigated Celtic fans for alleged sectarian singing at a match against Barcelona. However the case was dropped before the end of the month due to a lack of evidence. In 2008, a Celtic fan was convicted of a religiously aggravated breach of the peace for wearing a t-shirt with the slogan "dirty horrible huns".
Both clubs have taken measures to reduce sectarianism. In 1996 Celtic launched their Bhoys Against Bigotry campaign, later followed by Youth Against Bigotry to "educate the young on having ... respect for all aspects of the community — all races, all colours, all creeds".
Some groups of Celtic fans express their support for Irish republicanism and the IRA by singing or chanting about them at matches. In 2008 and 2010, there were protests by small groups of fans over the team wearing the poppy symbol for Remembrance Day, as it is a divisive symbol in Ireland. Celtic have expressed disapproval of these protests, saying they are damaging to the image of the club and its fans, and that they will ban those involved.
In 1965, Celtic began publishing The Celtic View, the oldest club magazine in football.
In 2004, Celtic launched their own digital TV channel called Celtic TV, which was available in the UK through Setanta Sports on satellite and cable platforms. Due to the collapse of Setanta in the UK in June 2009, Celtic TV is no longer broadcasting, although the club are hoping to find a new broadcast partner.
Since 2002, Celtic's Internet TV channel Channel67 (previously known as Celtic Replay) has broadcast Celtic's own content worldwide and offers live match coverage to subscribers outside the UK. It also now provides three online channels.
Celtic and charity
Celtic was initially founded to raise money for the poor in the East End of Glasgow and the club still retain strong charitable traditions today.
On 9 August 2011 Celtic held a testimonial match in honour of former player John Kennedy, due to the humanitarian crisis in East Africa. The entire proceeds were donated to Oxfam. An estimated £300,000 was raised.
In 1995 the Celtic charity fund was formed with the aim of "revitalising Celtic's charitable traditions" and has so far raised over £3million.
Ownership and finances
On 15 August 2011, Celtic's financial results for year ending 30 June 2011 were published, showing that the club's debt had been reduced from over £5.5 million to £500,000 and that a pre-tax profit of £100,000 had been achieved. Compared with a loss of over £2 million the previous year. Turnover also decreased by 15% from £63 million to £52 million.
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
For Celtic's reserve and youth squads, see Celtic F.C. Reserve and Youth squads
* 1975 trophy shared with Rangers after a 2–2 draw
Notable former players
See List of Celtic F.C. players for players with over 100 appearances, List of Celtic F.C. international footballers and Category:Celtic FC players
The following team was voted the greatest ever Celtic team by supporters in 2002:
So far 18 Celtic players and managers have entered the Scottish Football Hall of Fame:
The Scotland national football team roll of honour recognises players who have gained 50 or more international caps for Scotland. Inductees to have played for Celtic are:
In the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame 5 Celtic players have been selected, they are:
As of January 2011, Celtic are sponsored by:
1955–56, Real Madrid · 1956–57, Real Madrid · 1957–58, Real Madrid · 1958–59, Real Madrid · 1959–60, Real Madrid · 1960–61, Benfica · 1961–62, Benfica · 1962–63, Milan · 1963–64, Internazionale · 1964–65, Internazionale · 1965–66, Real Madrid · 1966–67, Celtic · 1967–68, Manchester United · 1968–69, Milan · 1969–70, Feyenoord · 1970–71, Ajax · 1971–72, Ajax · 1972–73, Ajax · 1973–74, Bayern Munich · 1974–75, Bayern Munich · 1975–76, Bayern Munich · 1976–77, Liverpool · 1977–78, Liverpool · 1978–79, Nottingham Forest · 1979–80, Nottingham Forest · 1980–81, Liverpool · 1981–82, Aston Villa · 1982–83, Hamburg · 1983–84, Liverpool · 1984–85, Juventus · 1985–86, Steaua Bucureşti · 1986–87, Porto · 1987–88, PSV Eindhoven · 1988–89, Milan · 1989–90, Milan · 1990–91, Red Star Belgrade · 1991–92, Barcelona
1992–93, Marseille · 1993–94, Milan · 1994–95, Ajax · 1995–96, Juventus · 1996–97, Borussia Dortmund · 1997–98, Real Madrid · 1998–99, Manchester United · 1999–2000, Real Madrid · 2000–01, Bayern Munich · 2001–02, Real Madrid · 2002–03, Milan · 2003–04, Porto · 2004–05, Liverpool · 2005–06, Barcelona · 2006–07, Milan · 2007–08, Manchester United · 2008–09, Barcelona · 2009–10, Internazionale · 2010–11, Barcelona