Ajax, Fenerbahce, Molde for Celtic


It’s a return to to seed Ajax, which is a good football draw, although the Ajax fans and Amsterdam police make it an unwelcome tie for other reasons.

Fenerbahce lost their Champions League qualifier to Shakhtar Donetsk before beating Greek club Atromitos in the Europa League play-off round. There were no easy teams in pot three, Fenerbahce are about par for the group.

Molde beat Dinamo Zagreb and Standard Liege, so deserve some respect, they will fear no one in this competition.

Happy with the draw, it could have been a whole lot more difficult but as always, we have to arrive prepared as there are no hiding places in Europe.


There’s a chance to win a round of golf for four of you at the magnificent Aberdour course, scene of the annual CQN Open, for £1. Taggsybhoy has provided this opportunity, to raise funds to support the Celtic Foundation’s work. If you want to cheer yourself up after a hard week, read about the Foundation’s work here.

But after you’ve read that, get onto ebay here and enter the raffle. You’re even allowed to win it for a friend, so pile in.

A box full of backpacks, pencils and cups for Malawi just arrived at my office (thank you) ahead of tomorrow’s collection at the Celtic Way before the game. Remember to bring along your old backpacks, pencils and handtowels if you have any.

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  1. ‘Sad and bitter’ antipodean worker on night shift.



    In several years of jealous personal envy which you have spouted on here I have yet to see your positive solution for CFC.



    Only a bitter envy and one dimensional attack on an individual who takes a market rate salary for delivering a strategy which his shareholders endorse and which has kept the club from going to the wall or back to the support for more funds when the market dynamics were moving inexorably against such clubs.



    Why are you not CEO of Celtic if you can find a better solution ? Where was your CV ? The job was there if pretty well anyone with an idea how to sort the mess created by Alan McDonald and ignored by ian mcleod back then could have had a job which at base pay was only about £150k back then. .



    Why was your great plan and capability not utilised.



    Or are you just another jealous old Armchair QB who likes to take your frustration out on your football team if they misplace a pass ?



    The club has made mistakes. Focus in the bigger prize of wider fans reconstruction should have been a key strategic objective 12 years ago. As that has not been then they strategy delivered by PL has been the only viable option in my view.



    I would love to hear yours, maybe we will ? One day. Or maybe you are keeping it secret for your big interview.



    Meantime enjoy your night shift. I am off to check out where best to see the Hoops begin the recovery here in Shanghai.

  2. SydneyTim on 29th August 2015 12:16 am




    Auldheid. As you well know PL bonus was max last year If we had invested and had success on the park his bonus would be less as there would be some debt



    Why would he risk obtaining max salary from Celtic by approving to sign players who could improve team



    He is playing it safe. Cutting costs and achieving his max bonus while our team can’t complete with clubs in half our turnover on the park




    So the rewards system is to discourage the CEO taking risks by not rewarding him for doing so on the occasion when a gamble pays off?



    I wish the banks had thought of that, might have saved a lot of grief.



    CL qualification is a punt. A lottery. Its a cup tie where anything can happen and does.



    No amount of money makes qualification a sure bet.



    Taking a punt is OK when the effect of losing does not impact on the business’s ability to sustain the loss and carry on.



    We are not anywhere near there.

  3. As we head into Saturday 29th August 2015 new levels of continuous pish are being blurted out on a consistent basis by the yawnsome blog trolls.



    Shows you how far below us the Huns have sunk that they need to attend every page of a Celtic blog with monotonous negativity. And some hilarious schizophrenia – ‘STOP signing loan players!’/’STOP wasting millions on long-term duds!’



    And, duuuuh, label evey opposing view with the ‘happy clapper’ monicker (articulate with your tongue stuck between from lower teeth and bottom lip). Ultimately those roasters, while amusing in their demented ways, bore me into scrolling on. Nothing worse than yappy we weans when the big people are trying to talk…



    As for our latest signing – Tyler Blackett – it’s to be commended that we’re managing to acquire youngsters with such pedigree. Janko, now another Man United youth. Fine. Not a guarantee of success but certainly eliminating many variables regards character/handiling pressures of big club, etc. And I presume ability levels certified. TET criticised the rookie policy, but weren’t VVD and Denayer rookies when they arrived?



    I want to see us spend a few million on one experienced midfielder – if that’s what it takes either on transfer fee or signing/wages. Another Lubo would be perfect but frankly I’ll settle for a player with strength, guile and European know-how. Even if we’ve not heard of him…



    Our current players reacted badly to the ‘firghtened’ criticism, as they should but the fact is they brought it upon themselves and can’t have any complaints about their comfort-zones being ripped up by new arrivals. We led 2-0, then 3-1 and, frankly,they blew it by shipping 3 Sunday-league-defended corner-goals.



    So with a scrap bewtween us, Ajax and Molde for 2nd spot – presuming Fenerbache go for it with their big guns to appease a disgruntled fanbase – the next few days should prove captivating as the window closes.



    I hope we are posting here Wednesday, discussing a handful of new faces. Of course, they may lack the ‘former Wigan reserve’ credentials to enliven some…

  4. Oh, and a cricket score for us today via some disgruntled Hoops with something to prove…




  5. Auldheid,



    We were beaten by Malmo, I don’t know what the comparative salaries are…



    The coach said the players were scared.



    We were 2 nil up within 10 minutes, at home.



    Something went wrong.

  6. SydneyTim on 29th August 2015 12:52 am




    Sftb. It all an age thing we won’t buy a player who in 3 years will have a low sell on Value



    Auldheid. We sell vic and buy a player for say 5m and add on wages up to 10m And put him in first team to improve team



    A £5M player is not going to be as good as the £10M player we just sold. If he is then he should cost £10M and attract the wages Wanyama left for.



    Wanyama was not a £10M player when he arrived, he developed with our help into that.



    However if we found a player at £5M half as good as Vic and developed him into a £10M player Id go for that but it would still take time for such a player to reach Vic’s level and his wages would be a lot more from the off. The problem is that in the market up to £5M there are many ordinary players who will not develop any further past that level.

  7. I’m a Celtic supporter, and I SUPPORT my Team..


    I’ll be there at the St J game, cheering them on, shaking my head when a pass goes astray or when we miss a sitter or concede a stupid goal.. and hoping we get a win.


    I’ll stay to the end, and not leave 15 mins before the whistle, and I won’t return my season book if we get beat, or will I ever play into the anti Celtic media by putting my disappointment in print for them to spin and use against us.


    I am a Celtic supporter.

  8. clogher celt on 29th August 2015 1:05 am



    Exactly! After 30 minutes I thought we looked like a CL standard team although I thought Malmo looked scared or possibly over awed by the crowd.



    Why that all changed after 30 minutes is where the analysis should take place.

  9. Whether you think peter lawwell has invested enough money in the team or not



    It comes down to one thing



    Success or failure



    Failure at this level two years in a row at corporate level means removal



    Celtic on the other hand reward



    Need change at too now

  10. ST



    ” It’s all an age thing we won’t buy a player who in 3 years will have a low sell on Value”



    And is that not economic sense?


    We had so many players in their twilight who left within a year of WGS arriving- Sutton, Thompson, Hartson, Agathe and Lennon- all left on frees and not one of them achieved a thing after they left. If we had kept them on and they had been as bad as they were in England, we would not have been improved. The only sensible conclusion is that we were late to sell them. Sutton, Thompson and Agathe played in a lost league before they left.



    For what it’s worth, I think the club might sanction an experienced player or two but right now we have Commons, Gordon, Brown, Mulgrew, Izzaguire, Boerigter, Bailly and Lustig at 28 and older. We have Stokes at 27, Ambrose at 26, Scepovic-25, Griffiths- at 25.



    Even Forrest, Johansen, Van Dijk, Mackay Stevens and Boyata are 24.



    These are no longer rookies making their first faltering steps in the game. 12 players over 25. 17 at 24 and over.

  11. As does this now.



    His favourite song apparently






    We’d just lost TB and Henke came back to play.



    In between taken my then wee weans to the loo every 5 mins I did have to explain why I had tears in my eyes. Continually.



    Night timdom



    HH jamesgang

  12. Does anyone remember the number 10 for Maribor last season, Ibraomi, he looked a cracking player. If I remember correctly we were linked to him around that time, actually before we drew them in the playoff.



    And I think he was 24 or so.



    Those games were only times I saw him play but he’s the type of player we should go for.

  13. Auld heid. CL is not a lottery it is the baseline that our club must be judged on



    If my CEO failed like PL has over last two years he would be gone. It’s how business works



    You get paid the big bucks but take the fall fir failure

  14. antipodean red on




    “Delivering a strategy which his shareholders endorse”, seriously, we, us are not HIS shareholders, we are Celtic shareholders. Celtic shareholders who are generally treated with contempt, whose votes at AGM time matter not a jot due to the huge share holdings of individuals. When was the last time that Celtic shareholders received any correspondence from the club outwith AGM voting, I’ll tell you when, never! Whenever any individual small shareholder or group such as the Celtic Trust raises a point or puts a resolution on the agenda, the PLC’s first thought is to block or mock said resolution. Resolution 12 being such an example. It appears to me that the PLC board are not in any way interested in the ordinary small shareholder or what they think. The AGM’s are completely stage managed where a couple of folk are allowed to parrot on before being dismissed in a mock show of democracy.


    The bottom line is that we have a seriously flawed strategy in our transfer policy that has seen valuable monies squandered over the past several years on a very high number of sub-standard football players. In any other business, this profligacy would see changes to a broken strategy implemented very quickly, unfortunately at Celtic, we seem determined to pursue the same damaged platform that has served us poorly over these years. People are now starting to wisen up to those facts.

  15. What is shouting out at me is, when we were at the same stage last year, we needed a left back, and a striker. We can’t put the shite back in the donkey, but it took RD about 18 mins to put a sub on when we were 2 down? We still had 2 subs to use.At that point of the game wee were lucky to get in their half.

  16. Margaret McGill on

    Celtic are on the road to nowhere


    Has been that way for 10 years


    As our corporate custodians feather their nest and now there is no more road




    What the hell do they care now


    Foritza grand old team to bleed dry


    foritza a grand old team decay


    And if you know yer history


    It’s enough to make your heart go


    Oooh oooh oooh oooh


    Bring back the hibs the hearts the Rangers


    It’s the only paradigm we know

  17. Bada. We have known that for three years now



    But is it incompetence ? Or people who can’t be bothered

  18. Auldheid,



    Anyway a bitter pill to swallow. Thanks for all your hard work.




  19. Can I just say. It is not East Kilbride and my name is no jobo. But what a glorious sunny morning here Last weekend of winter

  20. Have to say we are all hurting just now and are looking for the reasons. RD is right we are a UCL club but with a Europa League team . Well it’s his job to fix that with the help of the board.



    It’s not easy though even buying experienced players (which is my option) for big bucks mightn’t give the success we desire however I believe it would. Signing projects is a gamble that we cannot afford.



    Here’s hoping that if we are after Michu , Aidan or Russell , it’s Russell

  21. SydneyTim on 29th August 2015 1:32 am




    Auld heid. CL is not a lottery it is the baseline that our club must be judged on







    If my CEO failed like PL has over last two years he would be gone. It’s how business works





    You get paid the big bucks but take the fall fir failure




    You get paid big bucks for taking the right risks.



    CL QUALIFICATION is a lottery depending on a host of factors that over ONE game mean success or failure.



    That is the friggin problem. Its too risky. Now a group arrangement for qualification reduces the risk.



    Malmo in qualifying



    Played 6


    Won 3


    Drew 1


    Lost 2


    Points 10





    W 4


    D 1




    Points 13



    There’s the problem.

  22. Off tae Bed.



    When I collected my Son tonight, he disagreed with me about 1 player from my list of players who should leave, it isn’t hard to work out that player.



    I may be right, I may be wrong. Too many times, just too many Times, we have lost Crucial games. That SJ better buck up as well, that ridiculous pass in the 2nd half said to me, Sell ASAP.



    I Believe in Ronny to get it right, he must deal with SJ howevaah. He ain’t as good as he thinks he is, needs taken down a few pegs so he can start focusing again.



    Iron Fist, Velvet Glove Ronny Johnny and JC please.

  23. A wee word for all who talk about those players we sold like Hooper, Wanyama, Foster and now probably VVD.


    Did we have any choice?


    Did they want to stay or did they want to leave for the Sky Shilling?


    Does anyone think we should have let them run down their contracts and left for free?


    Just asking like.

  24. antipodean red on




    In many respects you are correct, you can win none from six and still qualify, for us though, we can make it easier on ourselves. Our planning and transfer strategy over the past few years does not stand up to serious scrutiny. People talk about Wanyama and Forster but for the two of these there are between 20-30 sub-standard players, that ratio is not good enough and is not sustainable.

  25. ‘GG on 29th August 2015 1:52 am




    AULDHEID on 29TH AUGUST 2015 1:09 AM





    Coincidental with the loss of Lustig?




    I think that played its part for although he was playing when they scored fist and arguably had lost Berget. his loss meant Effe coming on and I think he was weak in the tackle that then allowed the cross that VVD then put out for a corner but apart from that it was the assurance that Lustig provides that was lost when he went off that I think played a part when we were 3-1 up.



    Lustig provided the cross that Griffiths scored his second from and it was another foray of his forward at speed that caused his injury. I remember commenting to a guy next to me that Lustig had not bombed forward all night because he was taking a pass and moving the ball inside with his first touch rather than taking it forward with that touch.



    He came off in the 80th minute and I think that was a factor in losing the second goal. Worse it meant indecision for the second leg where we ended up with two changes in defence when RD might have stuck with the same back 4.



    It all backs my point about the risk of a cup tie and the need for analysis of the actual events. Shit happens in cup tie football that you do not recover from, especially with refs who should have gone to specsavers!

  26. GG. Good point. Should we let players leave for free



    Take vic for example Neil got about 4m out the 12.5m



    If he had stayed another two years to run down his contract a treble might have been the outcome Plus how much income did we lose by not having him in midfield Far more than the 12.5 we received


    People say how hard it is to attract top players. But when we get one we sell them



    False economy


    Vvd is a prime example here. He is our only Center half. Sell him and what will that do to the chances of income generation



    Hooper another example. He was our only goalscorer. 5million was a drop in the ocean to what we lost due a lack of a striker


    Europe is full of players tied to contracts who want to leave but can’t


    We grab the quick pound but suffer in Massive loses after

  27. antipodean red on 29th August 2015 2:52 am



    Agreed and that is an area that needs examining. I posted earlier that perhaps that is why we are looking at home grown players from other clubs more.



    They have proved themselves at CL level which suggest development potential and are more likely to hang around after one or two seasons reducing churn rate.

  28. SydneyTim on 29th August 2015 3:02 am



    None of them wanted to stay. Hence looking for guys that might stay longer.



    Id love to have held on to them but if they don’t want to stay selling makes sense.

  29. Auldheid. Europe is full of players tied to contracts there are very few vudukas or Pierre about. Most just keep playing on till their contracts finish



    We are different as the AGM balance sheet comes before the team in the park



    Selling if vic and hooper lost our club maybe 30m in income



    Classic was Peter lawwell saying on TV and papers that our club has never been healthier with the vic money sitting in bank


    The following day Aberdeen ran though our central midfield ( with no vic )with ease to knock us out of cup at home


    Sums it all up sadly

  30. Is it any coincidence that we have a higher number of local, Scotland, players in our first team squad than we have had for some time. I count 12 in the first team squad, including Commons, plus another 3 out on loan.


    Six players in the recently announced Scotland squad.


    When was the last time that happened? Rhetorical question. No need for the anoraks to hit the old school jotters. (Why doesn’t predictive text not recognize JOTTERS?)


    It’s obvious that we are trying to aggressively recruit the best available in Scotland.


    Why the change of focus?


    Do we think we can hold on to them longer?


    Do they represent a cheaper option in signing and in remuneration?


    Are we having issues selling the SPFL to overseas players?


    Is it a double whammy for our competition?


    Or have we simply reduced travel expenses?


    There are more questions than answers. As Johnny Nash told us.



  31. Good morning CQNers,



    Before Malmo I’d have been pretty confident of progressing from the Europa grouping we’ve descended into, now, well hopeful as always.



    Here’s a wee tune from the 70’s with the very watchful Legs & Co just to lighten the mood…




  32. Antipodean Red



    We are his shareholders in that we create or drive the strategy which he has to deliver…. Surely ?



    If not then surely the company will fail ?



    If the CEO is not delivering shareholder value in the way he is tasked to then he should go. PL is one if the longest serving CEO in football so he is clearly doing this in tough adverse circumstances.



    If the shareholders believe there is a better and different way then they as a unit would surely seek this course of action ?



    I am not sure there is. Sadly.