The other team news is that Stubbs and Johnson are OK, and Mjallby is a “maybe” and is the only addition to Tuesday night’s squad.

Naturally the subject of Guus Hiddink came up, and Dalglish emphasised that people must understand the procedures a plc must follow. He said that a list [of candidates] had been put to the plc board, who in turn had “whittled them down”.


However, as regards information being released, certain rules and regulations must be observed (the process of “due diligence”).

Despite this explanation, KD was still subjected to several futile questions on the subject, to which he had to resort to simply saying “I’ve answered that already.”

David Tanner then asked Kenny if he had any concerns about his future, to which KD replied that he was “relaxed about it.” Tanner pushed the point a bit further by saying that it had been suggested that KD might not have a future at the club.

When asked where that came from, Tanner replied that he “understood” it came from the board.

Dalglish asked him to name names.

Tanner couldn’t.

At one point Martin Geissler asked a question, and then interrupted Dalglish’s answer. Cue a slap down, quite rightly, from KD.

The session for the daily papers started with that great friend of Celtic supporters, Bill Leckie, asking what incentive there was for the players tomorrow. “You keep asking the same questions, I keep having to give the same answers,” returned Kenny, before giving the “playing for their future” line again. Why, oh why, oh why don’t these hacks listen?

Talk of the steamie today was the “Hugh Keevins Affair” (or maybe it’ll be called Barrowfieldgate?).

Keevins arrived at the CSA to cover the pre-match press conference, but was refused entry by a CSA representative. It must be stressed that the CSA acted independently of Celtic Football Club here.

The first that most of us heard of this was at the end of the daily papers’ session, when one of the hacks asked if Kenny Dalglish was aware that the CSA had barred one of the Sunday newspaper journalists. There then followed a few minutes of real comedy, with KD taking on the role of Jack Dee as he deadpanned the questions.

In response to the initial point, Dalglish shrugged and simply said that it had nothing to do with him. “What am I, the license holder?” he added.

At this point Ian McGarry put in his tuppence worth.

IMcG: Would you consider changing the venue in future?
KD: Why?
IMcG: It would allow access to all of the press.
KD: Sometimes you think you’re God’s gift. It’s the club’s right to hold the press conference wherever it likes.

Bill Leckie tried to throw his rotund frame behind McGarry…

BL: It defeats the relationship if things like this happen.
KD: Well, you’ll have to ask the guy who barred him, but it’s not my house. And he [Keevins] wouldn’t be welcome in my house, either.

IMcG: But it’s the principle..
KD [interrupting]: Oh, all of a sudden you’re worried about principles!!

And there ended the debate, and that particular session of the pc.

Entertaining stuff.

The Sundays, through a question from Graham Clark, learned that Henke Larsson is back in light training and scored a goal in a bounce game today. Kenny is “hopeful” that he’ll be 100% for pre season, but only Larsson himself will know if he’s ready in time for Euro 2000.

Graham Speirs asked a good question, wondering whether KD had ever met Guus Hiddink in the past. Kenny was sure their paths had crossed once, but said “I know of him, but I don’t know him.” He admitted that TB had indeed travelled to meet with GH.

Naturally, the Sunday hacks raised the subject at the end of their part of the day. Graham Speirs appeared to be genuinely amused by the whole thing, and asked with a grin “It’s a bit out of order?” to which KD smiled and said the hacks should take it up with the CSA.

Someone else said that since the pc is organised by the club [Celtic], they should have the choice as to who attends. Dalglish simply shrugged and said “it’s not my license”. This hack then asked if Keevins would get a “one-to-one” interview with Kenny as a result of what had happened; he was told in no uncertain terms that there was “no chance” of that happening.

Some other bits and pieces came up, but like the man said…same questions, same answers. So I won’t repeat them.

The meeting ended with a still smiling Speirs stating, “Ach, he’ll be revelling in it.”

I’ll leave you with a wee exclusive, though, which he asked the papers not to print (because negotiations are still ongoing. Celtic will play one pre-season friendly in Ireland this summer.