Halloween in July


At the end of last month, looking ahead to the Miydjitlland tie, I predicted, “a Halloween movie awaits”.  Home and away, Miydjitlland created few chances until late in normal time, when Celtic tired.  They were unable to sustain periods of pressure and will surely not lay a glove on PSV Eindhoven in the next round.  Still, we endure Halloween in July.

The young and inexperienced defenders performed well, this one was not on them.  As did Scott Bain, whose confidence to drop the shoulder before playing a 30-yard forward pass, created our best chance of the game.  He also made two fine saves, which makes me wonder what could have been had we never embarked on our Greek Odyssey.

Callum McGregor’s goal was sublime; he placed rather than blasted his shot, one of the few occasions we tested a keeper who never convinced.  Anthony Ralston reminded us why we had such high hopes for him a few years back, while Stephen Welsh and Dane Murray outperformed expectations.

James Forrest should have put the tie beyond the Danes shortly after coming on but poked his shot wide.  Within seconds, Miydjitlland were level.

Like Celtic, Miydjitlland were short of reinforcements, but started extra time with four substitutes on the field, including an 18-year-old debutant, Victor Lind.  The teenager repeatedly mishit the ball whenever he got near it, but he and the other subs managed to provide what proved to be crucial energy.  Celtic made only the one change, Forrest for Liel Abada, until after they went a goal down in the 94th minute.  When energy sapped from ever-busy Ryan Christie and David Turnbull, the writing was on the wall.

Even though Celtic closed the game unable to pass out of their half, Ange Postecoglou stuck to his game plan.  Teams on their way out of a cup invariably go Route One in the final minutes, not so this time.

I am sure none of us had Champions League expectations; we are not at PSV Eindhoven level, but Europa League group stage qualification is crucial for financial, competitive, coefficient and recruitment reasons.  That would have been achieved with a win last night.  Two qualification rounds now have to be negotiated, you have more fraught evenings ahead.

I remain hopeful the squad we have on 1 September will be significantly better that that available last night.  Whether that will be sufficient to take the Champions League bounty available to this season’s Premiership winners is another story.

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  1. GREENPINATA on 29TH JULY 2021 12:23 PM


    My Celtic MOTM was Tony Ralston.




    Greenpinata- Just shows how far we have fallen.



    A guy that nobody wanted.



    D :)

  2. vinniethedog on

    Once we sell Eddie……who is left to sell ?…..who is left to take up the CL short fall ??….Taylor ..Barkas ( because that was the only possible reason you would get him before Joe Hart last season!!) Mcgregor?….you see the options are very limited


    We must get rid of the players who are costing money and it seems no intention of staying or being played ….Ntcham, Bolingoli two classic examples……only about 16 months ago we went to Perth on a very wet night and produced a first 30 minutes that was as good as anything in the last 10 years ……scintillating………..these players that are still there don’t just become shite in that length of time…

  3. onenightinlisbon on

    Very clear on here now who the real huns are.



    Littered with board lackeys and guys who seem happy with where we are as a club.




    In the past, just as players were often local lads who once cheered on their teams from the terraces, so too owners were wealthy businessmen from the surrounding area. Owning a club was an ideal way for businessmen to cement their ties to a community, bask in the adulation of fans and promote products directly to supporters. Liverpool Football Club, for example, was for many years, owned by the Moores family. Their wealth emanated from the Littlewoods football pools company. Manchester United has been owned by a brewer, a clothing manufacturer and a butcher. How times have changed. Today, the Premier League is the playground for foreign owners to stake a claim in the richest league in the world. Businessmen may purchase an elite club for commercial reasons, but others are instead motivated by a desire to secure political advantage.



    Profits or wins?



    While many owners try to run football clubs in the same way as any other business, most struggle to generate profit. Queens Park Rangers chairman Tony Fernandes admitted as much in an interview with Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski, “I thought I could make it profitable definitely.” In a later interview he added, “I can control almost anything in AirAsia. You can do whatever you want in football, but it’s up to 11 guys on the pitch at the end of the day right?” Others have been guided by a ruthless determination to ensure profitability. Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, who invested more than £200 million in the club and recently stood down from the board, oversaw the club’s £30 million profit for the last financial year. Yet Ashley remains a hated figure by Newcastle supporters who want the club to compete in the upper echelons of the league, end a stringent wage cap and invest in new players. The Glazer family bought Manchester United in 2006 in a leveraged buyout that loaded debt on to the club. The hope was that the club would become self-sufficient, allowing the owners to be in control of a multi-billion pound asset. Others, despite a commitment to long term investment, have rewarded themselves. Majority shareholder Stan Kroenke enjoyed a £3million dividend in 2014, a move which did not go down well with Arsenal supporters following a 3% season ticket price rise.



    Some have have been guided by the heart rather than the head. When Simon Jordan took over the reins at Crystal Palace, his mobile phone business, the Pocket Phone Shop, which began with a £15,000 investment, was sold for £78 million. Jordan couldn’t resist the temptation to delve into the world of football despite warnings from friend and former Millwall owner Theo Paphitis. Jordan invested £10million into Crystal Palace. Yet 10 years later the south Londoners were placed into administration. In his autobiography, Jordan attributed the loss of half of his £75 million fortune to football. He told the Independent in 2012: “If you have ambition in football that’s the dangerous thing because the ambition will drive you on to make decisions that commercially you might not make in any other business.”



    Highly visible assets



    Owning a sports team has been a trophy asset for many years – akin to possessing a rare painting. But owning a sports team also helps other business interests. When Fred Wilpon, a real-estate developer took over the New York Mets baseball team, he told New Yorker magazine: “No one had heard of us before we bought the Mets, and afterwards the change was dramatic… I don’t think someone has not returned one of my phone calls in 30 years. It’s a small club… people want to be near it.” It is a similar story in the world of football. Mike Ashley’s attachment to Newcastle United played an important part in increasing profits for Sports Direct. Ashley benefited from free advertising at St James’ Park – the stadium he even renamed the Sports Direct Arena for a period.






    But there are more opaque motivations for owning a football club as the Premier League has become the battle ground between forces thousands of miles away from the physical location of stadiums. Top European clubs are no longer bought for straight forward commercial reasons and many owners have no desire to make football clubs profitable. Instead, football has been used as a vehicle for shrewd political manoeuvring. Deloitte found that seven of the 20 biggest clubs by revenue were sponsored by Middle Eastern airlines – including the likes of Barcelona, Manchester City and Arsenal. Many argue that investment by owners from Gulf states ultimately derives from government backed wealth funds. Seen in this context, football is a tool for wealthy nations to increase their global appeal, attract new investment and promote their global ambitions. The likes of Dubai, Bahrain and Qatar are all small oil rich nations who have utilised the power of the Premier League to stabilise their position in a volatile region. The life of a Russian oligarch can be vulnerable one. By tying himself to an English football club, a culturally significant and highly visible asset, Roman Abramovich, who has underwritten over £1billion of Chelsea’s debt, has secured further personal protection.



    There have been distinct phases in club ownership – one which started as a way of cementing ties in a local community to furthering commercial interests. But as the costs of running a club have spiralled, the desire of wealthy individuals to attach themselves to icononic clubs has more to do with geopolitical intrigue and self-preservation than anything to do with the beautiful game.

  5. vinniethedog on

    Oh I should have named the team


























    I wouldn’t surrender the title before a ball has been kicked!



    The Danes were beatable but are a better team than 10 of our domestic opponents.



    We didn’t have our recruitment quite ready but thankfully there is another month to do some deals.



    Let’s not get hasty. We can see where we stand on the 1st of September.

  7. NORRIEM on 29TH JULY 2021 2:02 PM


    Genuine question



    For me it’s not that somehow our individual players by some fluke are unfit and it’s somebodies fault …



    Our issue is predominantly our style of play pinging the ball and being on the front foot from the get go … we need a more measured approach, stronger players … other teams let us have the ball and when the game stretches we get gubbed in the last 20 minutes



    Structure and tactics are making us Appear unfit in my view … I’m sure Big Kris will appear to be fully fit holding the jackets at the back for Brentford






    Third Lanark were relegated in 1965. Money wasn’t being banked and accounts were no longer kept up to date. For the players, enough was enough, Mike Jackson and Evan Williams bought themselves out of their contracts while others negotiated transfers alone to ensure they received the signing-on fee instead of Hiddleston.



    Likewise, fans had seen enough, contacting the Board of Trade asking for them to investigate the goings on at Cathkin Park. The investigation began and soon it became clear that Hiddleston had acquired the club to satisfy his own needs, using club funds to pay for gravel to cover the driveway outside his house amongst many other things.



    A 3-3 draw against Queen of the South proved to be the final game at Cathkin Park as John Kinnaird scored two to secure a draw in front of a declining home crowd. Three days later, a lacklustre 5-1 defeat to Dumbarton at Boghead Park would bring the curtain down on the club. Upon returning to Glasgow, the players were asked to go to the manager’s office, where manager Bobby Shearer handed them envelopes filled with coins and told them it was over. Hiddleston made the manager do his dirty work.



    A contractor had taken Thirds to court over an unpaid bill for work done on one of the Cathkin Park stands. With the club’s accounts empty, they found themselves wound up. The gates to Cathkin Park were closed, players were left devastated and the fans had begun to drift away, yet they still retained hardcore support. The fans who urged the Board of Trade to investigate were shocked to find thousands of pounds had simply vanished and, in the summer of 1967, Third Lanark’s 95-year spell in the Scottish football leagues ended when they were officially declared bankrupt.

  9. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Timaloy- disagree mate,that was like getting beaten over 2 legs by Dunfermline.

  10. Let’s not get hasty. We can see where we stand on the 1st of September.






    It’s absolutely time to get hasty. We won’t make Europa cup group stages with the current squad.



    We’re away to Tynecastle and Ibrox before the 1st September.



    I’d rather react now than wait until we’re out of Europe and 6 points behind the Sevco on the 1st September.



    Get the signings in, Celtic. Our gaffer needs them now.

  11. squire danaher on

    TIMALOY29 on 29TH JULY 2021 2:28PM



    Let’s not get hasty. We can see where we stand on the 1st of September.









    We mutually consented NL on 24th February



    We appointed his replacement on 10th June.



    Let’s just faff about for another 5 weeks doing hee-haw, shall we?

  12. ONENIGHTINLISBON on 29TH JULY 2021 2:24 PM


    Very clear on here now who the real huns are.




    Littered with board lackeys and guys who seem happy with where we are as a club.




    There’s no call for that.



    Fans have different views and are entitled to hold them. My views seem to be closer to your own and I hate it when posters have a go because I’m attacking the Board because of the state we’re in. Let other fans have their views no matter how much you disagree.

  13. SQUIRE DANAHER on 29TH JULY 2021 2:44 PM





    We mutually consented NL on 24th February



    We appointed his replacement on 10th June.



    Let’s just faff about for another 5 weeks doing hee-haw, shall we?






    Not good.



    But once again, we need to see where we stand in 5 weeks. As the deadline starts to focus minds across Europe you can expect to see more deals happening everywhere. Thats not Celtic specific.



    At Celtic I’d like that to be 5 more players. Hoping for more like 8.

  14. Go tell the Spartim on

    As i said yesterday, we could be out of three competitions by the middle of August, just how are the PLC demonstrating that they’re taking this seriously, it’s all smoke and mirrors and if you don’t buy that, have some of our snakeoil elixir

  15. Tobago Street on

    WOOHOO! James Forrest is never going to post on this site again!


    Things are looking up already!




  16. !!BADA BING!! on 29TH JULY 2021 2:35 PM


    Timaloy- disagree mate,that was like getting beaten over 2 legs by Dunfermline.






    Last season they skelped Slavia Prague in the qualifiers.



    Should we have beat them? Yes. But they are far from Dunfermline.

  17. What is the Stars on

    Tobago Street



    He will be back ….If for no other reason than to tell us again that he will never post on this site again.


    Does it regularly.

  18. Tobago Street on




    Shite! I was hoping I wouldn’t have to ‘read the Forrest or his sleaze’




  19. onenightinlisbon on




    Point taken but how low do we need to sink before folk start to realise where we are?

  20. Lambert14



    Burnley’78 is most definitely not a Hun, you on the other hand…..

  21. Rolling_Stone on




    Just a strawman argument.

  22. Still nothing from Paul on the individuals responsible for this absolute shambles.



    We have brought in a new manager and nothing else has changed. Still no head of recruitment. Or is that Lawwells new job

  23. ST TAMS on 29TH JULY 2021 3:32 PM



    Exactly. There was talk of a DoF, new head of recruitment, analysts, sports scientists, new coaching staff and a progressive infrastructure…



    So far, it’s the same old same old with Ange as a straight swap for Lennon. Even the coaching staff has stayed the same…

  24. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    ST TAMS on 29TH JULY 2021 3:32 PM


    …Still no head of recruitment. Or is that Lawwells new job





    Read that, and my first reaction was – ha, that’s a good, funny observation



    Then I though (one nano-second later) – holy sh!t, St Tams is right!



    All the signs are there – he’s still at Celtic – possibly drawing a decent salary – they needed to give him something to do. The signings are progressing as they usually do (i.e., they are not progressing).



    Awwww nooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!






  25. Paul67 et al



    If I remember correctly, and I am paraphrasing here Paul, you stated that bad as things are in the Dear Green Place, they are a whole lot worse in the state of Denmark. Or as Bill Shakespeare was wont to say, something along those lines. You followed this up yesterday by claiming, paraphrase alert, that there is not one player in Midgieland good enough to play for Celtic, including presumably the one that er actually did. Pity too about that guy in the middle, Evander was it, who had a habit of chipping the ball over our defence, into the path of one of his own players.


    Next up, a visit to the Gorgie Road, Saturday night, just got paid?


    Sorry pal yer not invited! Ban us fae Embra? The Burghers most certainly did.

  26. I suspect our winning for a while covered a multitude of sins and there is also a natural lazy gene kicks in over time.



    In terms of new DoF , Recruitment guy etc … Dom and Ange will need to put that plan together themselves , separate from Peter L , it will be a massive step change for the club , hopefully making us a forward thinking Euro club ….



    This will lead to a different requirement / profile of the Board members needed …. Seems to me that current Board make sure we don’t run out of cash and Peter handled the rest



    This will also lead to us catching up in terms of how we should playing football nowadays and not 25 to 30 years ago ….



    Unfortunately, it may get worse before it gets better , the Czechs will be like Slavia or was it Sparta last year and we were so open against them it was ridiculous…. Let’s see if Ange can learn from this week and get us a bit more solid and structured throughout the team



    Difficult times with only the promise of light at the end of the tunnel ….. need to buy one of those KEEP CALM mugs

  27. ernie lynch



    “Meanwhile TGD had a lovely day yesterday at the Galway races. Just in case anyone was wondering what he was up to.”





    How come it is a problem for us that we have an absentee major shareholder but Sevco can run away with the league while Dave King golfs a lot further away than Galway?

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