European qualification, chaotic ownership, Armstrong great deal


Ajax; ooft! If there’s an AQN out there, you can imagine what it’s looking like this morning. Europa League finalists in May, bumped out of the Champions League qualifiers in August and now a goal down to Rosenborg after the first leg at home.

What does this tell us?

The crux of this problem for better funded clubs like Ajax, or Celtic, isn’t that Rosenborg have a better development model, or that they are, in any objective sense, better at their jobs.

It’s that with any random distribution of talent, mid-season preparedness, and simple good fortune, a Rosenborg, Malmo, Molde or Maribor (unfortunately, the list goes on) will be able to bridge the gap between them, and a Europa League finalist from three months earlier.

Rosenborg have an excellent opportunity to progress to the group stage, but over any period you care to mention beyond this, they are highly unlikely to match Ajax’ record in Europe, because that random distribution of attributes will revert to the mean.

For Ajax, and Celtic, this is a problem. Not so for perennial achievers at this level, such as Arsenal. Arsenal are masters of Champions League qualifiers, persistently finding themselves there (until this season) and always progressing. So the problem is not totally down to randomness.

Arsenal, however, do not need to cope with the inevitable rebuilding after they assemble a successful team. Ajax lost their manager, captain and, clearly, a whole lot more, this summer. A new coach must now plan long-term but act short-term. And that’s never easy.

Celtic have one benefit over Ajax, Copenhagen and other dominant clubs from small northern-European leagues: we have no well-run opponents of comparable stature who could force us into ripping up our plans, due to a the loss of the domestic league.

Ajax had a memorable season in Europe, but lost the domestic crown to Feyenoord. Copenhagen have won two of the last four Danish titles. These losses make that long-term planning we discussed more difficult.

What Ajax need, more than managerial stability, is what Celtic have, chaotic ownership at their nearest economic equivalents.

Stuart Armstrong

I don’t know exactly what wages Stuart Armstrong will get under his new deal, announced this morning, but if he was sold, or left next summer under freedom of contract, he would be able to earn more than twice what we’re now paying him.

Extending his contract until 2019 gives the player the opportunity to solidify his performances from the second half of last season. If he’s worth the £50k per week he could pick up elsewhere, he’ll earn it two years from now, or sooner, if Celtic agree to sell him next summer.

This deal sorts the player’s immediate future out, without costing him significant time on a comparatively unrewarding contract. It also allows Celtic the opportunity to pay the going rate for his next deal, or prepare to sell him at the right time, for the right price. It’s a win for all sides.


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    HH,oul’ bean!





    Cheers,mate. You and your lovely missus fancy a dayoooooot on 11/11?

  3. Tim Malone Will Tell on

    Maybe its time to set up a separate “Champions League” competition for 16 teams from the big 4 or 5 countries and let them slug it out between them – they are probably going to make up the last 8 sides in the current setup in any case.



    The real scandal is that a team like Celtic – champions of our league – aren’t guaranteed any entry into even the Europa League, having to negotiate an ever increasing number of “qualifying games” against other lesser league champions.



    So why not guarantee League Champions of the lesser countries a Europa League spot – with perhaps the teams who are second in those leagues or won their national cups having play-off games to secure any spare Europa League spots?



    If there is still a desire to get involved with the big guns from Europe, then maybe that should happen towards the end rather than the beginning – maybe with the last 4 from the Elite Champions League and the last 4 in the Europa League going head to head in a latter stage knockout.



    I do think its time to look at this differently otherwise teams like ourselves and Ajax face ever more ridiculous hurdles in future.

  4. Good Comment MtM.



    Celtic mean business now.



    The Bhoy Ralston is Fantastic.



    Mikael Lustig gets the Hoops.



    Celtic is in Good Hands.



    Rascar Capac is back – Treemendous Poster – unique – chic – another brick in the wall. Great to see him posting again.



    Craig – you cannae chip CL teams no matter what Brendan says.

  5. Looks like our Pot 3 chances lie with Nice and Rijeka.The fact the Greeks never travel well could help us a lot,and losing the away goal certainly will.its how good Rijeka are.


    Although 2 up,Napoli are by no means certain.An early goal for Nice and its game on.


    Looking at the standings,a Pot 3 would be of enormous importance to us,unless that is,the Gods smiled their most benign smile on us,which they have sadly to date,not.



    Benfica,Spartak,Shaktar,from Pot 1 would be a big smile.





    Radical thinking,and well done.



    Instead of accommodating the big countries,let them have it all,the rest of us will go it alone.



    Given a level playing field,I genuinely think that would work. But the initial TG income disparity would kill it,I think.



    So,obviously time for the people who are paid to figure these things out to get working. Because I think there’s mileage in it,if done properly.

  7. Really pleased SA is staying. The more quality players in the squad the better. I will say it again and again. In Brendan I trust, before the experts on here

  8. Auldheid 12.50



    I happen to agree with each and every one of your assessments.



    Regarding SA’s contract though, all I’m saying is that this can hardly be the “very very good deal” that BR talked about the other day. By all accounts these contract negotiations have been running since last year. Agreement was never reached in my humble uninformed opinion. A short term fix was found that has kicked the problem down the road, but for how long? Do the next contract negotiations commence next week? Paul 67 likes to paint things rosy (much as I respect him) but this wasn’t the ideal outcome for the Club (or player one could argue), it was merely a problem solved for the time being.



    The rich make the rules and the rules make them richer.


    We’ll need a complete change of attitude before money stops being God and fairness is applied.Better chance of the huns saying a novena.Sadly.

  10. weebobbycollins on

    Who would win in a fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor?


    What? It’s happening?


    Oh well!


    I hope they knock each other out…pair a pansies! :-)

  11. weebobbycollins on

    Who would win in a fight between Neil Lennon and Pedro Caixinha?


    Neil would knock him off his feet. The same feet he refuses to kiss….


    Bonkers Pedro-the loony…





    As an aside to Conor McGregor and the GB banner,did you know his fight v Mayweather is in…




  13. traditionalist88 on

    Mistertaximan on 18th August 2017 1:23 pm



    I don’t know why but some appear to have taken offence at the reality of the situation being pointed out ie. we’re in the same boat next year with the player, new deal or sell.



    I’m happy Celtic have safeguarded their interests and have the player for this season. All well and good planning long term but we have very important games in the short-medium term Armstrong will be very useful for.



    And if he goes next summer we’ll get a tidy sum.







    Is that not what you do with problems??



    He’s put pen to paper he’s our player and BR wanted him to stay…



    We move o to the next bit of business:))





    Ah,it’s hard to have a pop at Pedro Casino,but.



    He’s nothing but a puppet who is fed lies by his master,and told to repeat them.



    It’s like Pinocchio in reverse,but with a slimeball as Gepetto.

  16. weebobbycollins on

    BMCUW… I didn’t see the banner… However, only one of them would be allowed into Paradise…


    Which one? You choose…or ask Petec, he’ll know :-)

  17. McGregor Mayweather is a farce.A complete marketing sham with the only intention to enrich a few people.What next,Madrid v Federer at snooker?


    You can tell it’s empty pish,Sky (the old firm channel) are all over it.

  18. Tim Malone Will Tell on




    Thanks for the replies. I do think that something along the lines I descried might be a bit more viable than an “Atlantic League” and wouldn’t debase the national league and cup system.



    You are right though that money is always the issue – and UEFA might need to subsidise the Europa League a bit more than they do to make it viable. Still, shouldn’t be too difficult with all those fines we pay and all the money that’s getting pockled in Switzerland :-)

  19. Two Stu Armstrong performances from last season stick out as memories that make me smile. An imperious second half display in the 4-3 at Motherwell and that beautiful equaliser in the Scottish Cup Final. To be honest, I’ll be gutted when he leaves…



    Still though…big Ollie looks good after the successful voodoo ceremony I carried out when describing his debut as Donati-esque. You are all welcome :)

  20. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Instead of worrying what pot we will be in for the CL draw lets ensure we get there.There is no doubt we are in a very good position but we do still have the second leg to play and football as we know can be a funny old game. H.H.

  21. weebobbycollins on

    BMCUW…Pedro is probably a very decent guy but it shows you what happens when scumbags write your script for you. Remember after the first game against them, how he greeted Brendan?


    And after the next game? Things changed dramatically…who informs him…who tells the players not to bless themselves? Jimmy Ding Dong?

  22. What is Callum McGregor thinking?? He’s got a big season ahead of him and shouldn’t be getting distracted by fighting Mayweather.



    Someone needs to have a word, battering the huns twice in a week has gone to his head…

  23. glendalystonsils on

    Stuart Armstrong seems pretty level headed ,and not the type to be deceived by flattery.


    Having said that, the OTT praise he got after his Scotland debut can’t have helped.

  24. PETEC



    Yes he did. His ability to make himself available, receive the ball, turn and move us forward is a great asset to this team.



    P.S. I’m the chairman of the Callum McGregor fan club.

  25. mike in toronto on




    I note that you dont like people questioning Brendan… now being Catholic, I believed that the only person capable of being infallible was the Pope, so I went back to my old Vatican I texts, and had a quick scan through Pastor Aeternus, where the First Vatican counsel brought forth the notion of Papal Infallliblity ….



    Much to my surprise (I dont know how I missed this in grad school… as it would have changed my thesis work entirely), I found the following quote :



    We teach and define that it is a dogma Divinely revealed that the Roman pontiff (and/or the Celtic manager, if they are not the same person) when he speaks ex cathedra, that is when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians (and/or as manager of Celtic FC), by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church (and in the case of the Celtic FC Manager, on matters of team selection and/or formations), by the Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter (including the Sharp Suited one) so, is possessed of that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed in defining doctrine regarding faith or morals (and in the case of the Celtic manager, team selection and formations), and that therefore such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves and not from the consent of the Church irreformable.



    So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema.



    Shocked as I was, I now see that you are correct in that the Celtic manager is, indeed, infallible.



    Henceforth, I shall now refer to the zombies as the Anathema.



    PS… yes, some of this may have been awenawed…



    and no offence intended to anyone, and hopefully, none taken … just a bit of fun with Turkeybhoy.





    PETEC might be betting on who walks out the front door wi head held high!



    I think Mayweather will hammer him,it’s not McGregor’s chosen discipline.



    PETEC is a pussycat and a guid pal. And he gets to Paradise a lot more often than me. You’d love him.



    Join the party on 11/11,you’ll be amazed that your search for a knob CQNer has no more success than ST STIVS,HUNFINDER GENERAL’s quest for a handsome hun.


    Oooops,reads badly towards the end.






    Please replace “your” with “any.”




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