Assuming Celtic hold onto their three goal lead over Cliftonville they will almost certainly face Elfsborg in the third qualifying round of the Champions League. The script is written for Elfsborg striker and current Celtic employee, Mo Bangura, to score his first goal at Celtic Park, while it is another tie for Henrik Larsson to politically wish both of his former clubs the best of luck.
Elfsborg are five points off the pace after 16 games in the Swedish league. Happy with the draw.
It’s the Columba Club, Blantyre, tonight for Paul McConville, Phil Mac Giolla Bhain and myself for what is sure to be another thoroughly enjoyable Question and Answer. Proceedings get underway at 19:30, tickets available at the door.
See you there.
At the turn of the century then St Johnstone chairman, Geoff Brown, told the world his club would rather suffer relegation than indulge in the financial craziness which was then going on in Scottish football. Relegation soon followed, creating its own financial problems for St Johnstone, while others, most notably for Saints, Dundee, paid over 100% of turnover in player wages.
What do you do when your direct competitors are acting like lunatics, when remaining competitive requires you to behave likewise? I remember feeling frustrated for Brown and St Johnstone fans. They did the right thing but suffered as a consequence.
Yesterday’s win, away to Ronsenborg, who are 16 games into their league programme and top of the table, was among the most impressive by a Scottish club in Europe in the last 25 years. This is a well-run club. In the last six years they have lost Owen Coyle, Derek McInnes and Steve Lomas, all cherry-picked by better-funded, but not better-organised English clubs, but their progress continues. Coyle was taken before he reached the Premier League, McInnes won promotion and Lomas reached Europe. Tommy Wright has now made an impact in Europe within six weeks of being appointed.
Still a lot of work to do next week, Rosenborg will arrive in Perth capable of winning the game, but the scene is set for a special night’s football.
The Celtic Charity Five-a-side tournament takes place on Saturday, 12 October (an international weekend) at Lennoxtown (where the scouts are based, this could be your big chance!!). If you can get a seven player squad together and think you can raise £40-per-head for charity, get your application in now. Ages 18 and over, winners get to take a halftime bow at a subsequent home game. To sign up email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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