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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  1. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on




    Im hearing it will cost Manc City 35 Million for Johnny Evans from West Brom, and he is mince imo.


    Chelsea, Manc City, Man Utd, PSG, i hate them:)


    Celtic are the real thing, a proper football team.


    We deserve all the praise that is going, considering the obstacles we have to overcome in terms of the CL.







    The Orcs are doomed and what’s more most of them know it.



    I don’t have one mate left who supported the dead team who talks about the football now:))



    All too busy doing other things, weans, D.I.Y etc:))



    I don’t torture them……




  3. BB,



    Sounds like a Big Rumour.:)



    CELTIC is Happiness if that is the Deal?



    £30Mill +



    PHARRELL alright.

  4. mike in toronto on

    BMCUWP …. if I were to be forced to spend years dealing with the SFA, SPFL, I would need a very, very large retainer first!

  5. Amongst the negativity re the unearned zillions being splashed around in the EPL, I see some positives:


    a) If Man City had had to watch their money, it is unlikely we would ever have seen Paddy in a Celtic team;


    b) Players who put personal improvement and game time above immediate financial gratification are more likely to come to us ( I was going to add `or another team like us ` but there isn`t one) than go to an EPL club and play their football with the reserve team.


    c) Those players at b) are much more likely to have the right kind of attitude and improve accordingly.




  6. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    Armstrong’s new contract is good news for Celtic.


    He is more vital to us now than perhaps in a year or two’s time.



    Apart from the ability he has shown, his age profile in the team is important.



    Him, Leigh, Bitton and Forrest, in their mid twenties, bridge the gap between Brown, Lustig and Gordon and the likes of Jozo, KT, N’tChamp etc.



    Olivier won’t play every game, he has still to gain match stamina, as he has not played much top team football and as we know, form fluctuates with young players.



    Armstrong is a vital part in transitioning our young lads’ development.



    Also, as a professional, when he reaches the age of 27, he will be looking for his last big contract and as a working man, he is entitled to seek the best deal on offer.



    I’m away back to my corner now.

  7. JJ- some good points, young boys who will never play a top flight game will be millionaires before they are 21.Paddy came with a great attitude, and ability to match.Hoping there is possibly a fee agreed with this loan.I think the problem could be the add ons owed to Fulham…

  8. For ANY huns Looking in







    Dumbarton had to endure that Sh!t that day



    Lets take a pee :@: outside bit of McDonalds rather than go into the Toilet that McDonalds provide For ALL.



    Rancid is too good a word.

  9. SOT


    If England declare around tea (500+) and put them in they could be out twice before stumps tomorrow.



    Cook scores 200 after an awful bit of fielding – really poor from WI



    Michael Holding must be embarressed

  10. Meanwhile, over on Hunmedia………..







    jaws said:


    8 Minutes Ago


    Default Re: The ‘wunderkind’ is returning to the Brendanbeu.


    Quote Originally Posted by GimmeShelter View Post


    When do teams ever get a player on a 2.5 year loan?



    Financial Doping? Sporting Integrity?



    Didn’t think so.


    This is my question. Getting a player they can’t afford to buy on loan for longer than most players stay at any club nowadays in the country obsessed with “Sporting Integrity”. Surely there should be rules to prohibit that type of transaction?



    They definitely have more money to buy players than we do, so if they spend 20 or 30 milliion from CL money on new players, we can have no real complaint, but being allowed to field a player they can’t afford for the best part of three seasons……well it just seems like, dare I say it, cheating?!?






    God love them. We aren’t even out of August yet and they’re phoning the Samaritans.


    Comedy gold




  11. MIKE IN TORONTO on 18TH AUGUST 2017 2:42 PM


    JIMMCI … that only applies in certain parts of Scotland, evidently …




    Hrvatski … Matthew 22:35, Luke 10; 25-37 .. I’m no Biblical Scholar, but even I know we lawyers dont come out of that Book looking good! And, I think we made the 9th level for Dante, so I know where I am likely going … (although I have it on good authority that St. Peter (named after Lawwell, apparently) is a tim, so I may have a chance!





    Matthew was an tax collector and is the patron saint of accountants/bookkeepers etc. Looks like the war between lawyers/accountants has been going for a long time.



    Maybe if he had been a lawyer, the questions and the parables in response would have different and we would have been on Dante’s list! Phwe!!!



    Need to go for now.

  12. Hoopy Birthday to LENNYBHOY !!


    BADA BING enjoy Newcastle , go easy on the Newky Browns ! Rocket fuel indeed !!

  13. FAN-A-TIC on 18TH AUGUST 2017 2:52 PM



    Agree with your point about runners.



    With any combination of three from Sinky, Griffallo, Moussa, Paddy, Jamsie, Tam, or Stuart, I don’t think that will be an issue.

  14. CQN Saturday Naps Competition : WEEK 02 results (Aug 12th)






    hashadenough (Azari) @12/1


    Nye Bevans RS (Thundering Blue) @11/2


    Weet Weet Weet (Mystic Theatre*) @1/3



    *Weet Weet Weet – I have assumed that you meant to select ‘Mystic THEATRE’ and not ‘Mystic RAGE’ – as per your CQN post?






    16 roads (Francis of Assisi)


    21-5-79 (Sir Robert Cheval)


    BMCUWP (No Selection)


    Bull67 (Nobly Born)


    Cosy Corner Bhoy (No Selection)


    Dim Sam (Bear Valley)


    Eurochamps67 (Glenamoy Lad)


    Fastbhoy (Boston Spray)


    fleagle1888 (Poetic Charm)


    Gerryfaethebrig (Mirza)


    Graffitionthewall (Mustarrid)


    green T (French Flyer)


    Gweedore Celt (Wigan Warrior)


    leftclicktic (No Selection)


    Onemalloy (Breakable)


    RayMac (Mukhayyam)


    Rockon (Roll on Rory)


    Som mes que un club (Ventura Secret)


    twists n turns (Nicholas T)


    voguepunter (Autocratic)


    Zihuatanejo (Mount Logan)



    Cheers, fleagle1888

  15. CQN Saturday Naps Competition : WEEK 02 standings (Aug 12th)



    Hats off to hashadenough who was spot on with this bold statement last weekend – Azari @12/1, cannae get beat! I hope he trebled it with Sea of Grace & Celtic 5-0 vs Astana








    +11.00 > hashadenough (1)


    +4.50 > Nye Bevans RS (1)


    +0.25 > Dim Sam (1)


    -0.67 > Weet Weet Weet (1)



    -2 > 16 roads (0)


    -2 > 21-5-79 (0)


    -2 > BMCUWP (0)


    -2 > Bull67 (0)


    -2 > Cosy Corner Bhoy (0)


    -2 > Eurochamps67 (0)


    -2 > Fastbhoy (0)


    -2 > fleagle1888 (0)


    -2 > Gerryfaethebrig (0)


    -2 > Graffitionthewall (0)


    -2 > green T (0)


    -2 > Gweedore Celt (0)


    -2 > leftclicktic (0)


    -2 > Onemalloy (0)


    -2 > RayMac (0)


    -2 > Rockon (0)


    -2 > Som mes que un club (0)


    -2 > twists n turns (0)


    -2 > voguepunter (0)


    -2 > Zihuatanejo (0)



    Cheers, fleagle1888


    FRONTIERSMAN 225 Newbury



    Sorry I missed last week. iPhone packed in. Worst thing I ever bought. How they can call it a mobile phone when it needs plugged in 24/7 beats the bejaysus outa me!

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