Europa door ajar for Celtic


When we drew Maribor I wrote about their performance in last season’s Europa League, when they were eliminated by eventual winners, Sevilla.  Our man, Blaz, in Slovenia, also warned me that this was a settled team who had improved since ending Rangers’ interest in European football three years ago.

I watched Red Bull Salzburg destroy Ajax in Amsterdam last season with some sublime football, and my pal in Austria tells me not to put too much store in their 3-0 humbling by Malmo, who, apparently, rode their luck to an incredible degree.  Having said that, on the balance of probabilities, they are by far the top seed we would have chosen.

As Croatia Zagreb, Dinamo Zagreb bossed Celtic out of the Champions League play-off round in 1998, our first attempt at the tournament.  Zagreb’s stock has fallen since, so while you could make a good case to suggest we are far from ready to tackle any European team right now, this is a good draw.  They are also not Legia Warsaw, which would have been an unwelcome confrontation at this time.

So far, so good.  Then we draw a complete unknown from pot 4, who happened to eliminate Lyon in the last round.

Between now and the middle of next month Celtic have to be ready for these challenges.  We have an opportunity to progress in the Europa League, earn some badly needed coefficient points, and revenue in the second half of the season.

Bring it on.

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  1. Moonbeams WD. Wee Oscar’s our Bhoy and Kano’s our mhan.



    15:30 on 29 August, 2014



    Do you think If there’s a yes vote the UK will leave the EU?

  2. Go tell the Spartim on




    Give us a clue, is it the heady heights of those north of england football leviathons?



    Jossy’s giants probably match his ambition

  3. Tim Malone Will Tell on

    One thing I just don’t get in the independence discussion is how using the “£” is viewed as somehow winning a watch.



    By using the “£”, an independent Scotland is effectively saying goodbye to any control at all over monetary policy – interest rates, currency intervention and money printing will all be under the control of the Bank of England.



    It’s interesting that governing with one hand tied behind your back is viewed as somehow positive by “Yes” and “No” alike. Ask yourself why a country like Iceland can rapidly recover from recession without undue austerity while a country like Greece or even Italy can’t…

  4. Geordie Munro



    How many fell to Stokes was really what I wanted to know.



    Young Callum was shooting on site and had 3/4 attempts in the first half I think.

  5. Burnley78



    15:51 on 29 August, 2014



    Really looking forward to the Europa Games….



    Refreshing to visit different places and experience different competition.



    Also if last Europa expereience was anything to go by then a much higher percentage of real Celtic Supporters and much lower percentage of the whining moaning glory hunter types both at home and away games…



    Supporters as opposed to spoilt consumers with a misplaced sense of entitlement.



    Hopefully these games can provide good stimulus and real comeptitive experience for a team to build on.





    I totally agree! My mates have just mocked me for looking at it positively. Unbelievable.


    I think the competition is a very good platform to steady and then develop the team.

  6. themightyquinn on

    Plus, if you don’t like nationalism then why stick with the UK who harbor some of the worst nationalist tendencies with the rise of UKIP, the in-out Europe vote and Right Wing Tory Government after Right Wing Tory Government.



    In any debate you should check who your allies are to see if you’re on the right side.



    The No camp consists of the likes of UKIP, the National Front, the Orange Order, the BNP, Britain First and the Conservative Party.



    If those are your friends (and they must be if you share their world view) then I don’t want to talk to you any more.

  7. themightyquinn


    15:52 on


    29 August, 2014




    If I was to pigeon hole myself, it would be as a Socialist Republican with no Religious affiliation who prefers less borders rather than more.


    Nationalism is not for me.

  8. Gene's a Bhoy's name on

    Can’t see a top 4 epl side coming in for vvd -anyway cup tied for this season. But if an offer of £10m+ comes in then take it. A season is a long time in football , remember izzy being touted a couple of seasons ago before he got injured-couldn’t give him away now

  9. Philbhoy,






    We need a good striker who takes up better positions;)

  10. 6 European games before Christmas is brilliant as far as I’m concerned.



    No easy touches here, as I warned about Maribor.



    I hope we can up our game with the new additions coming in and can get a reasonably settled team for the big games.






    YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!

  11. Griffiths going to Hibs on loan sweeping Edinburgh.


    Celtic taking a huge hit on his wages.




  12. squire danaher



    Astra come from Ploesti, just north of Bucharest.




    Astra Giurgiu was known as Astra Ploiești until September 2012 when it was moved from Ploiești to Giurgiu.



    it’s 20 Km from Ruse which is in Bulgarski and it’s SOUTH of Buch near enough on the BG border. -)))

  13. If Kris is upset at not starting last Tuesday and wants out I could understand if Club got a couple of million, that they would leave him go. However Virgil will be worth more at Christmas than they would get now. Please, Please Peter keep Virgil for the Europa games.


    P.S. I love Kris, would hate to see him go. Would love if he signed an extension.

  14. go tell the spartim



    A battle for the CL regulars Newcastle and Sunderland for VVD

  15. Kojo


    Not sure from where I descend, traced it to the borders and that was it!


    Never been a big fan of authority! Rebel without a cause springs to mind!


    I like Lawell though and I do believe they try to serve our/ the clubs best interest!


    The way I see it, this is just a wee down moment and we will bounce back big time!


    Here’s hopin and still smilin!


    Btw used to post as killer heels way back in the good old days!


    Cheers mate

  16. kojo


    I agree about Hooper and CL however for a player who is ready at that level we need lots and lots of money which we either haven’t got or not willing to spend depending on who you listen to.


    Hooper scored for us and is better than what we have at the moment. Sometimes izzy puts decent balls in to the box which Hooper would relish as he is more of a penalty box striker.

  17. Griffiths going to Hibs must be a mistake.



    No way Peter would jeapordise Sevco getting into the Premiership by loaning a striker to one of their main rivals!

  18. Davidopoulos,



    Agreed. Tuesday was tough going on us but only a few seasons ago we would have bitten someones hand off to be in this position after blowing 2 European qualifiers.

  19. Livibhoy



    Why Griffiths? I’d much rather have him upfront than Stokes.



    I wonder what is going on there?



    Is Leigh misbehaving or just not getting on with the new fitness and training regime?



    Has he fallen out with JC?



    We could start up a soap with this one.

  20. LiviBhoy



    16:00 on 29 August, 2014



    ‘Griffiths going to Hibs on loan sweeping Edinburgh.’






    He’s going to be a road sweeper?

  21. weeminger


    14:48 on


    29 August, 2014




    14:30 on


    29 August, 2014



    Well Tony the June 2013 annual report noted the cash in the cash in the bank of £3.6M. However that did not include £20M of transfer fees received. We spent around £8.5M. Bank balance circa £15M.



    We then qualified for the CL. While not as successful as the previous season – it still would have provided around £20M income. In a normal CL season it generally results in about £10M profit – £25M in the bank. That’s supported by comparing the interim reports from Dec 2012 and Dec 2013.



    Now given that generally I’m a supporter of the board and I’m producing these figures using he published info from the club and some basic arithmetic, there’s no reason why you can’t reach the same conclusion yourself. It’s all out there.






    weeminger, you’re analysis is usually spot on.



    However, I’d like your opinion on the following.



    On more than one occasion in the interview PL said there was no stockpile in the bank. He also said all the money is reinvested in the CLUB (not the team). This makes me think that transfers fees are not received in a lump sum. They are staged payments.



    Would that explain the apparent anomaly?

  22. Would keep Griffiths over Stokes but the manager obviously has no intention of giving him a chance in his best position.

  23. Go tell the Spartim on




    I knew who you meant, but thanks anyway. As my wonderful motherinlaw, well she still is till the divorce papers arrive, always says “Manners cost nothing”.



    Personally, it would be suicide for Deila, if VVD was sold, as for The Teflon “Tim”, he’s said his bit before the deadine, so dont expect to hear anything worthwhile from him ever, i mean, till the next balls up, when he waxes lyrical about how we invested in the Celtic Way

  24. Magnificentseven on

    !!Bada Bing!!





    16:05 on



    29 August, 2014





    LG to Hibs would annoy the huns no end…:)))




    Not as much as the “New Company” going into administration and the points deduction that follows :-)

  25. If Griffiths is going to Hibs on loan then I hope we have another striker in mind as well as Scepovic. If the rumours about Balde are true then we would have Stokes, Scepovic, Pukki.




  26. I agree Philbhoy – Griffiths over Stokes every time. But he must be in the bad books. Or it’s a very clever plan to make it more difficult for Sevco to reach the top league.

  27. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    The rumour about Griffiths going to Hibs has been circulating for quite some time.I think there could be some surprises in who Celtic lose before the window closes. H.H.

  28. My view is that Leigh Griffiths was a mistake as a signing. He doesn’t represent the club well off the pitch, he returned to pre-season with an impressive beer belly, and I just don’t think he has the skill set to play in a progressive football team.



    However, he will bang goals in for Hibs at that level.



    That’s just my view.

  29. the battered bunnet



    Really good post. Although it’s becoming more difficult to come on here at times what with some of the quarter wits that populate CQN these days.

  30. themightyquinn on

    Bawsman, you’re kidding yourself on if you think staying in the UK means less borders. You’re not thinking outside the box.



    There is currently no “border” in the EU for EU citizens. If the UK leave the EU after the in out vote there will be a new border between the UK and each of the EU member states. There are currently 28. That’s 28 new borders for you to cross.



    Think about the big picture.



    As an exercise, think about the whole process again. But think about it from this point of view.



    If Scotland was already independent would you give it up to join a union with Britain?



    Try it out. And don’t let the cognitive dissonance get in your way.

  31. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Davidopoulos. Griffiths doesnt represent the club well off the pitch and Anthony Stokes does ? H.H.

  32. the glorious balance sheet on

    Why is Peter Lawwell moaning about inflated English transfer fees and claiming that this inflated market impedes Celtic and it’s strategy?



    We don’t buy players from England in the transfer market – the last one we did was Hooper four years ago – so the price of a Ross McCormack etc is irrelevant to us. We Are not in that market to buy and never have been to any great extent in our history.



    Our core strategy however is to sell players to England and that’s four big hitters sold there for a total of £30m in the last 2 years plus Ki the year before for another £6m. Would we have got that kind of money had the transfer market in England not been so inflated? No chance!



    So the inflated transfer market in England is actually key to the success of celtics strategy rather than an impediment as claimed by Peter Lawwell and his succulent lamb dining companions, Spiers and McDonald of the Herald.

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