Background on Shkendija and Kalju, Turnbull, another that got away


If Celtic overcome FK Sarajevo in the Champions League first qualification round they will face either Macedonians, FK Shkendija or Nomme Kalju, from Estonia.  Shkendija are first round seeds.

Last season Shkendija eliminated Welsh side The New Saints in a remarkable tie, winning the first leg 5-0 and losing the return 4-0.  They then eliminated Moldovans, Sheriff Tiraspol 1-0 on aggregate before Salzburg knocked them out 4-0 on aggregate (no shame there).  Our old pals Rosenborg then knocked them out at the Europa League play-off round, 5-1 on aggregate.

In 2018 Shkendija won cofomrtably against Moldovan opponents in the Europa first qualifying round, then beat HJK Helsinki in the second round and Luthianians Trakai in the third.  This setup a trip to the San Siro for the team from Tetovo (population 52,000), where they lost 6-0.

Nomme Kalju exited last season’s Europa League at the first round to Stjarnan, our pals from Iceland.

It is almost certain Shkendija will progress to the second round.  They are one of the better teams who float around the qualifiers without ever reaching a group stage, but Celtic should have enough in the tank to progress through both opening rounds.  Happy to take this draw.

It is clear Celtic wanted David Turnbull, but not at any price.  Wage structures have been broken for ‘the right player’ but everyone needs to have signed up to the view that the player in question is worthy of breaking the structure.  The player and his agent are entitled to shop around for the highest wage.

Still, it is another one that got away.  Stiffer challenges than Sarajevo, Shkendija and Kalju will arrive in August.

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    It would appear that Enrique’s daughter had a bad horseriding accident and the prognosis isn’t good.



    Terrible news if true.

  2. Paul67 et al



    I see that the EU’s second highest court, the General Court, has upheld the decision of the property regulator that, Adidas 3 Stripes (in any form) is “not distinctive enough” for the the company to trademark. Now they tell me! What was ah thinking back in the day, adding a white stripe to the two on the boots I had bought at Bishops or Goldbergs or somewhere like that, or, blacking out one of the four stripes on the ones fae Woolies? I ask you!

  3. Just saw a bhoy wearing the hoops in Cumbernauld Village. Had to check I was in the right place

  4. To this day I can’t understand how any self respecting Celtic supporter didn’t call for Rodgers head after his comments on the eve of the AEK game at Celtic Park.


    NFL’s boot on Der Huns squirming throat tastes sweeter anyway.

  5. Our whole recruitment ‘strategy’ has been a complete farce.



    We were told that recruitment had been in the planning process for months. That wee bit of paper blew that theory out of the water.



    Lawwell has boated that: “We try to do our business professionally, privately and in confidence. What we won’t do is get dragged into responding to media or social media speculation or giving a blow by blow account of what’s happened.”



    How did that one work out for you, Peter?



    Now Kennedy telling us that there will be signings in a couple of weeks. We haven’t signed anybody because: “The early return has limited his club’s ability to do business.”



    What a load of crap!



    Other teams seem to managing just fine signing players.



    They just don’t get it.



    Rank amateurs.



    The last successful transfer window was BR’s first.



    Cue, but we’ve won treble trebles.

  6. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    @ TIMALOY29 on 19TH JUNE 2019 3:35 PM



    “The only thing he could have done at Celtic to catapult himself into the top clubs was to take Celtic on a run similar to Ajax.



    He clearly didn’t have that in him.”



    Hmm. Let’s look at this Ajax team that reached this year’s semi-final. Some great youth players but they were buttressed by (sorry for mixing denominations, but it’s the information that was available):



    – Tagliafico £4m;


    – Sinkgraven €7m (on bench);


    – Magallán €9m (on bench);


    – Blind €16m;


    – Ziyech €11m;


    – David Neres €12m;


    – Tadic €11.4m.



    Now, did Brendan have anywhere near those resources available to him? During his time at the club he signed 4 players for over £2m (Eboue, Sinclair, Eddy and Ntcham). Of those, only one was over £5m. Our income double in the period Brendan was at the club. We ended up having huge reserves in the bank but it hardly changed our signing policy. We signed Mulumbu, Izzi and Morgan last year. Signings which if Sevco made we wouldn’t have batted an eye. Even before that Jack Hendry and Compper for a million each. We have been stockpiling mediocrity and eventually it started to show in our performances.



    “What would you say was a realistic goal for Celtic? You say the club couldn’t match him ambition. What ambition is that?”



    A realistic goal would have been to invest more in the team. Incremental progress. Did anyone think it was realistic to be a pot 3 team in the CL during the Ronny era? And yet we are on the cusp of that this season if we qualify for the CL. Why are Ajax spending the above figures? What is their ambition? Maybe it is to be the best football team they can be? A noble pursuit.

  7. “As Celtic fans, we can be proud of ourselves and what we have achieved in our life, because what we have achieved has been achieved on our own merits. We haven’t had to join any secret organisation in life to get where we are today, and that’s important to you.”



    Fergus McCann

  8. Lots of phone calls are being made………………..’ John Kennedy



    ” At you big man? ”



    Efe Ambrose



    “Hey,- Lenny how you doing man?”

  9. weebobbycollins on

    Being Fergus McCann is not always easy but it’s always worthwhile…


    A Celtic Supporter…

  10. vale bhoy on 19th June 2019 5:32 pm


    Cue, but we’ve won trebles.




    You’ve just reminded me of a documentary whereby Billy Connolly was being interviewed in the jungle reminiscing about all things Celtic whilst going on to subtly warn against the assimilated Celtic supporter in the future that would be hard to distinguish from der Hun filth.


    Don your cap vale bhoy.

  11. The news that Celtic are looking to recruit a director of football must be the biggest kick in the gonads to the CQN Seals.



    Seems that even Peter Lawwell thinks that Peter Lawwell is failing. ??

  12. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    TIMALOY29 on 19TH JUNE 2019 3:03 PM



    “I don’t think Brendan Rodgers left because board incompetence.




    He left because of opportunity for career development and cash. Two things Celtic could not match.




    I honestly believe the same would happen if Neil Lennon was presented with the same opportunity.”



    We bit harsh, most certainly can not see NFL dumping us mid season whilst on the verge of a treble treble. Neil is probably the biggest Celtic fan on the planet, cant think of a bigger one.

  13. Delaneys Dunky on



    Cheers A. How’s things in the city of the Championship teams?

  14. A former finance chief of Sir David Murray has been drafted in by Goals Soccer Centres as the troubled football pitch operator confirmed it had appointed Deloitte to work with current advisers and lenders.




  15. Vale Bhoy



    You do realise that the bit between the longlist of targets on a piece of paper and the actual signing has at least:



    Due diligence on player


    Seeing if club is willing to sell


    Seeing if club is willing to sell at a price we can afford


    Seeing if club is willing to sell at a price we can afford early in the window without a replacement


    Seeing if player then fancies a stint in Scotland


    Agent telling player he has other options and should wait further into transfer window to see options


    Player seeing if a trip to Lennoxtown and a meet with Neil sways them early doors


    Player wanting to have a holiday


    Player’s reps and everyone else on holiday or still playing internationally


    Selling club readjust price of player in light of possible external events


    Club meet valuation if still affordable. If not then goalposts moved.


    Player’s agents get involved and drive cart and horse through club wage structure




    Back and forth




    Subject to medical





    I want players in. We need freshened up but the Football Manager generation think it’s a press of a button and a change of shirt and hey presto.



    Lots of potential above to go pear shaped which is why folk like Catman and Lennybhoy can only give a view of where we are in that mix without a guarantee…..



    It’s also why our nearest rivals are winning the pre-season cup with a bunch of loanees and end of contracts that are pretty easy to deal with…

  16. David17 hi mate


    The £9m we got,what do you think? Crossed my mind when juve got Sarri for 5M




  17. Celtic have switched the venue of their opening Champions League clash and will now travel to face FK Sarajevo in Bosnia for next month’s first-leg clash.



    The Hoops were initially drawn to stage the match at Celtic Park but with their opponents worried about the length of time it will take them to secure visas ahead of visiting Parkhead, the Scottish champions have now agreed to a switch.



    Sarajevo also say the first leg will be played at the Asim Ferhatovic Hase Stadium on Tuesday, July 9, although the Hoops, who face a trip to Estonia or North Macedonia if they progress, have yet to confirm the dates.

  18. Park Road 67 on



    How’s it gaun mhate ? Good to see you back ! DALMUIRFOXESCSC




    A realistic goal would have been to invest more in the team.



    Thats not a goal.




    Why are Ajax spending the above figures?




    Do you think its got anything to do with their profit from player sales over the last ten years? Or knowingthat they had three or four young players who’s combined value is over €200m



    Out of interest do you know what cash reserves they have maintained over the last five years?

  20. bigrailroadblues on

    Good evening all from the Govanhill obscured by clouds. How are you DD old chap?

  21. Worrying times at Celtic as Sevco go 5 signings clear at the top of the pre-season cup.

  22. Delaneys Dunky on



    Huge black cloud sitting above Dalmuir too.


    Running for cover!


    Hope you are good pal.

  23. Delaneys Dunky on

    Big Wavy


    Wouldn’t fancy any of Sevco’s big five signings anywhere near a Celtic shirt. Quality not mediocre quantity we need.

  24. Asupporterwhogotlucky on

    Anyone reading some of the threads lately could be excused for thinking the zombies had won the treble treble ffs. Too many panty wetters and project panty wetters lately.



    I’ll take PL any day over a south african criminal, thankyou very much.




  25. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    @ CELTIC40ME on 19TH JUNE 2019 6:24 PM



    Firstly, Tim made a comparison to Brendan’s exploits versus that of Ajax of this season. That’s why I highlighted the difference in the squads.



    He then asked what’s Celtic’s ambition should be. That’s why I used Ajax as an example. On the face of it, they are in the same boat as Celtic as they cannot realistically compete with the super-clubs of the world. Yet they are taking a different approach.



    In my original post I stated that we should invest more in the team in order to make incremental improvements. It’s about trying to improve each year. European football is the club’s main source of income, without it we are going backwards. Our goal should be reaching Europe each year.



    On Ajax: the combined value of their young players was hardly known until they produced the goods this season…and their ability to produce the goods this season was assisted by the experience players they bought. So their investment has paid handsome dividends. Tadic was the third highest goalscorer in the CL this year and had the (joint) second most assists.



    Our of interest, how much cash do you think we should keep in the bank?



    At first the argument was that had no money and to speculate to accumulate was bad (just look at the mob in Govan!).



    Then when we got money but didn’t spend it, the argument was that in the event a rainy day came we wouldn’t have to sell because we had cash and didn’t need to.



    The rainy day arrived and we sold. We now have nearly £50m in the bank gross (plus BR’s compensation package) and a vastly reduced wage bill (Neil’s backroom team will cost a pittance compared to BR’s) and yet the signs for this year’s window are hardly encouraging.



    Please explain what is the point of stockpiling money while the quality on the park diminishes? To me it seems a sure way to slash our revenue. And it’s a cycle which we continually repeat.