In the first few years after WW1, there were some problems behind the scenes for Celtic. In June 1920, Jimmy McMenemy left the club on the grounds of ‘irreconcilible differences’. One year later, he led Partick Thistle to their one and only Scottish Cup success. In August 1920, Joe Dodds was transferred to Cowdenbeath although within one season he returned. In 1922, the Board made the fateful decision of withdrawing the Reserve Team, apparently on the grounds of cost. The predictable outcome was that the assembley-line of young talent coming into the team dried up, a very peculiar decision at a time when Rangers were going from strength to strength.
The European tours had not been neglected. A Celtic party had made a quick visit to France at the end of May 1920, where they played the ‘Lions of Flanders’ at Lille plus other matches in Paris, including one against Newcastle United. In the summer of 1922, Celtic set out for the Continent again, a tour ridden with rough play.
In their opening match, they were beaten 3-2 by SK Slavia, a team coached by the club’s former player Johnny Madden. It was, to put it mildly, a fairly torrid encounter and Celtic had Willie McStay and John Gilchrist sent off.
This was followed by a 1-2 defeat against Sparta Prague, the match played on this day in 1922, in very hot weather. Celtic then moved on to Grunewald, where they drew with a Prussian Select side. The attendances for the three matches were 52,000, 51,000 and 26,000 respectively, with admission prices ranging from one shilling (5p) to one pound.
NB Celtic had gone on that tour as League champions, picking up the 1921-22 championship with a record of P42, W27, D13, L2, F83, A20, Pts 67