Celtic’s £10m game


Win tonight and Celtic are guaranteed European group stage football of some description this season, which will be worth in the region of £10m, with the possibility of this rising significantly, should they subsequently beat Slavia Prague.

Around 50% of our income is determined this month; we are either a £100m club, or a £50m club.  How best to mitigate the downside of these variables is open to debate, but it is clear our competitive environment involves significant risk.  Group stage participation of any sort, with the added benefits of more testing games and Uefa coefficient points is crucial to the club.

Cluj manager, Dan Petrescu, will be inspired by the goal his team scored against Celtic six days ago, when they counter-attacked from a Celtic corner.  Playing on the break is a default position for many away from home in Europe, but Neil Lennon can be sure this what to expect tonight.

Celtic will have a more recognisable shape if Mikey Johnston and Hatem Abd Elhamed are fit.  Elhamed will liberate Kris Ajer for central defensive duties, while we might see (fully fit) Jozo Simunovic replace (still getting fit) Christopher Jullien.

Johnston is an absolute handful at the moment and could be crucial to the outcome.  Defenders often double up on him, creating space and opportunity elsewhere.  Boli Bolingoli also carries a particular burden, being the only left back at the club right now and on a yellow card.  We can scarcely afford to lose him ahead of next week’s playoff round.

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  1. I feel if Mikey Johnston and James Forrest play as well as they have done so far this season, our chances of victory are substantially raised.


    Cheerio for now.


    Arbroath Emerald Flying machine at 4.00 pm



  2. I wouldn’t have Bitton anywhere near tback 4 tonight.


    Murderwell second goal is evidence of that




    “There is a huge amount of speculation in this statement. What gives you the impression that we are contemplating such signings? ”



    Can’t say that we are. My general point is that the higher the fee the less likely they are to sign. Players at the £15 million mark or higher are out of our reach because a player worth that amount of cash has likely proven themselves at a much higher level than the SPFL.



    Think of Robert Gumny’s perspective. He plays in Poland but has yet to establish himself in the national team or even have a proper stab at Europe. He will know the best place to prove himself will be in a top league. Even a move to a smaller team in Serie A will be more attractive than the SPFL.



    What does he get out of beating the likes of Hamilton, St Mirren or even Hibs?



    “We are a club that took circa 18 years to break our record transfer fee (Sutton to French Eddy – and I doubt we paid anywhere near £9m up front for Eddy). ”



    Our standing in world football has changed. We used to be in the Deloitte money league but we have slipped so far behind these days. A player like Sutton is completely out our reach.



    “I see nothing to suggest that we are actively looking to to double our record transfer fee but the stumbling block is that players don’t want to sign.”



    I never claimed that we actively were trying to sign players in that bracket. I was responding to posters who were talking about spending money in that region. £20 million for two defenders is a huge outlay.



    “In a similar vein, I don’t think there is any credence in the argument that players are waiting for our European fate to be decided (CL/EL) before making a move.”



    Neither do I. Celtic will play at most 6 games a season in the CL. A player who signs for Celtic has to be content with playing 47 games in the Scottish competitions.



    “Frankly, we don’t need to sign £20m players to improve. We could make more modest signings to improve the quality of the team: it is not Jack Hendry for £1m or a £10m centre half; there are quality players in the brackets between.”



    Totally agree.



    As I said, players in the 6 million to 8 million bracket are the Celtic equivalent of marquee signings. I hope to see at least one before the window closes.

  4. TRADITIONALIST88 on 13TH AUGUST 2019 2:00 PM



    Did we manage to insert a sell on % in the end for KT, anyone?








    And further bonuses every time Arsenal qualify for the CL in the next 5 years

  5. i'vehadtochangemymind on

    On the upside, we got home last night, this morning, the post brings us a speeding fine from france; wife gets into the bath at 12 and says get me a pint glass of ice and rosé from the box we brought home. Happy days




  6. Paul67 et al



    Well we are in a lot better shape this season than we were heading to Greece after a 1-1 at home. AEK played a good game at Parkhead that night, well organised and determined. But we got the result in Cluj, and if they turn up wearing Hearts strips, they will be heading for the Europa League. They are no Juventus (nota bene Neil) but they still pose a threat on the break, CalMac and De Brooonie may have to sit a wee bit deeper at times. That said I’m confident we will score, wouldn’t be surprised to see us get two or three. Worked our socks off in first game, and hustled to the last minute, repeat that and we are in the CL play off. Who wouldn’t want to be a Celtic player tonight?

  7. EMBRAMIKE on 13TH AUGUST 2019 1:20 PM


    TIMALOY29 on 13TH AUGUST 2019 1:06 PM



    Very true guys.




  8. article managing expectations – we have sold KT to cover the Champion League money and settle for Europa League. Zero ambition at all from the board. Lost Dembele, Roberts, Armstrong, Tierney, Lustig, Boyata and not replaced with anyone of similar quality.


    Rather than push the boat out, we tickle its stern.

  9. Melbourne Mick on

    Hello again all you young rebels.



    The fridge is stocked, the corned beef crusty bread sannies are ready


    just the ham flavoured beans to heat to put on them when i rise at 03.30.


    Aye.. being a Celtic supporter is tough right enough 8-))


    H.H Mick

  10. So what happens if we get beat tonight?



    Do we go into a playoff for the Europa League?

  11. Mike in Toronto on




    I know you are proud of your Polish roots. Was just having a bit of fun.



    Personally, I love dumplings of all shapes and nationalities (probably too much)… what happened to CQN fatbhoys?!




  12. FRANKTERRY on 13TH AUGUST 2019 11:25 AM


    ‘Are brexiteers welcome on here – didn’t realise I am a racist.’



    Can you explain why you want to make myself and the vast majority of people in the uk financially worse off?





    Guys apologies for getting into a previous debate, but it cannot go unanswered.



    If Brexit is bad for Scotland , then Scottish ” independence ” is a basket case with economic catrosphopy.


    Not to mention, if Brexiteers are deemed racist, they what of the anglophopbic Scots nats.


    Racists are racists no matter the nationality, let’s call it out.



    Anyway guys rant over.




  13. We sold KT because he had a clause in his contract that if someone offered 25 million he was free to talk to them and leave if he so wished.


    Kieran in the end decided to go. he wasn’t pushed, Celtic said they tried to hold on to him but respected his decision to leave.


    So sorry for those who want to beat the anti Board drum but those are the facts.


    Now the Board still don’t get a free pass regardless of KT going or not going there was plenty of money in the kitty but as usual we have not enough early enough to strengthen our team.


    However let’s stick to the facts if we are discussing the subject.

  14. Yep Bhoylo, win tonight guarantees Europa at least, defeat pits us into a play off. Think our possible play off opponents have already been drawn but I can’t be assed looking them up coz I’m not contemplating defeat.

  15. traditionalist88 on

    CORKCELT on 13TH AUGUST 2019 2:36 PM



    We sold KT because he had a clause in his contract that if someone offered 25 million he was free to talk to them and leave if he so wished.





    Not to be pedantic, but I don’t think KT had a minimum fee release clause in his contract as such.



    Arsenal were told what it’d take for us to sell him this summer and eventually they hit the figure. But with no release clause if they had failed now and wanted to come back in for him in January we would have been well within our rights to ask for £30m-£35m, or whatever we liked really, say for example if we qualified for the CL and he was tearing it up, then we could have justified that. Of course, if he was still our player and had no release clause we could ask £100m if we wanted, but obviously we had to be realistic and would risk having an unsettled player on board.




  16. Corkcelt 2.44pm



    No work done, am probably wrong but think it was mentioned on the blog at previous draw … like yourself am concentrating on Cluj, a victory (or through to Slavia) is another big step for Neil & the bhoys, quietly confident which will soon turn to nervous anxiety the nearer kickoff :-)

  17. traditionalist88 on

    Of course, whether or not KT himself had a release clause is pretty immaterial now hes gone, but in terms of the other players at Celtic, I don’t think its standard for us to have these clauses in the contracts leaving no room for negotiation if a club is wiling to match it straight off the bat – we’d basically be setting the price for a player leaving as soon as they signed.



    Who was to guess we’d have got £20m for Dembele, signed for 500k development fee? If you were inserting a min fee release clause in his contract when he signed we’d probably all have thought £10-15m would be great, so dangerous game to play!



    These clauses are actually very common in Spain, almost standard to include them in a players contract as far as I’m aware, but the huge caveat is that they are set in most cases unrealistically high.




  18. Traditionalist, I know if I said my source nobody would believe me, anyhow I can’t or won’t say it, but KT did have a 25 million release clause in last 6 yr contract.


    Most agents now look for these almost as a matter of routine, I suppose it’s good for business as they score again if their client proves to be successful.

  19. This may be our most important game of the season. It will dictate our policy going forward.


    Another nail biting evening.




  20. I’m a Bolie true believer.



    Think he has shown some great attributes and will get better.

  21. traditionalist88 on

    CORKCELT on 13TH AUGUST 2019 2:59 PM



    Thanks for the insight, will take your word on that! And.. hope its not become standard and if so we take a similiar course to Spanish clubs!




  22. One of the biggest nights in our season and still we have the unfortunates who want to sow seeds of disharmony rather than align behind our common cause….



    So many on here seem so keen to see us lose in order they can say ‘I told you so’ blame the board or PL or whoever else might make us feel better….



    Some serious and enlightening psychological studies could be made of some of the posters here and their problems.



    Celtic have won 8 leagues and 3 trebles in a row…..they are an incredibly well run club in a riged global sporting marketplace.



    Celtic has a fantastic fanbase which when it aligns with the team as it did on Saturday can be hugely powerful.



    With those players who had limited game time last season and a few new guys yet to show their full potential, added to our core special players such as Calu, James, Eddie and Broony and who knows maybe Dan Petrescu might be right …. We could have a special season…



    Lets focus on what we have tonight.

  23. we already have our marquee signing for this window julien and his lack of match/physical fitness is the excuse being given for his poor performances so far .

  24. RON67 on 13TH AUGUST 2019 3:19 PM


    we already have our marquee signing for this window julien and his lack of match/physical fitness is the excuse being given for his poor performances so far .






    He hasn’t been poor. He was poor for the 2nd Motherwell goal but otherwise has been solid.

  25. traditionalist88 on

    FRANNYB67 on 13TH AUGUST 2019 3:24 PM



    So we’d win 0-0? Thats the way it works isn’t it?!




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