Historic Vatican visit represents us all


I like David Turnbull, when given a chance, he does a job for Celtic and he has a role to play in this season’s title race.  But talk about AC Milan being interested in him is surely fanciful.  Scots have done well in Italy recently, David could thrive there, but the demands at Milan would not make that city an easy place to prosper.

The Vatican is the most inspiring place I have ever visited.  The scale and intricacy of its buildings and statues are unlike anywhere else in the world.  My ‘audience’ with Pope Francis was with several thousand others and from a distance of around 100m.  Still, it was a ‘thing’.

It was an historic occasion when the Celtic party who met the Pope in person yesterday morning.  The doors to the Vatican opened to them because they represent you and me and our club.  He spoke of our founding goal, to “alleviate poverty in the city of Glasgow”.  A timely reminder of the work the Foundation will carry out this winter.

Sorry to hear of the passing of Shane McGowan.  His cover of the Celtic Song was an instant classic.  It’s impossible not to smile when thinking about Shane.

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  1. CHAIRBHOY on 30TH NOVEMBER 2023 2:01 PM



    “Only if we don’t plan to succeed, those objectives are quite achievable, if it’s probable we won’t achieve our objectives, we should be seriously talking about sacking our executive and replacing those guys with ‘C’ suite folk who can succeed.”



    Even planning to succeed we can still fail as a lot is out with our control and even in qualifying we can be up against teams with similar or more resources and perhaps without some of the drawbacks we have.



    “It’s the planning re recruitment that could benefit us here. Say we have 10 mn to spend.


    Rather than looking for young striker, wouldn’t we be better served by an older, experienced DM who maybe anonymous in many games, as he quietly and effectively goed about his business, but helps us get results.”



    If we could get a Wanyama type for that money I think he’d be in the door already. Agree we need a mix of youth and experience though, and Cal Mac and Joe are not enough in this regard.



    “The manager has intimated he wants to reduce the size of the squad and only bring in players better than we’ve currently got.


    That sounds a very sensible approach to me…”



    It does to me too. I’d like to trim the squad and see more youth as backups too (in SPL at least) BUT we need to find willing buyers, then find quality players who are keen to come and can also do it on a wet n windy Wednesday night in Dingwall and then hope we don’t have the injuries in batches as we have this season!




  2. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Sun has gone away for a bit here so spent an hour or so looking at all things UEFA coefficients.



    (I know, I know – hardly Shane McG style rock and roll)



    BTW – if the subject interests you I’d recommend Bert Kassies and Wikipedia over UEFA.com any day of the week.

  3. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    I have a few observations but would genuinely welcome other CQNers piling in with their interpretation of the data.

  4. I disagree with you more than I agree with you Paul67 – but I fully agree with today’s post.



    There are a number of Celtic fans in 2023 that are uneasy/unsure/uncomfortable and one or two that are unhappy with the part of our club that has a Catholic identity. For the first 70 odd years of our existence it was almost exclusively Catholics that supported us – even though our policy was always “open to all”.



    The Catholic identity remains and as a former St Josephs college pupil from Dumfries, I am very proud to have seen the grave of Brother Walfrid within the school grounds. (Well, beside it).



    A great many of us support Celtic because we are Catholic (practising), were or our family is or was Catholic and that makes many uncomfortable. In the main the support does not chant pro-Catholic songs anymore (Roamin’ in the gloamin’ is hear occasionally), it’s a long time since Mass was said at “The Holy ground” and priests can’t get into CP for free.



    I practice my faith away from CP, and it is far greater a deal than any football club can offer (even ours) but I was delighted to see that Celtic had approached the Holy see to ask for this audience. We are who we are and that is our foundations. 2023 is a different world but despite the myth the core of those that attend CP are still from that background.



    Well done Celtic.

  5. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Already broadly known but, just for context, direct entry to expanded group in season 24/25 is automatic for whoever wins the SPFL.



    Top 11 ranked countries (based on all clubs results) get at least one automatic qualifier.



    Across the five year measurement period for season 24/25 (18/19 to 22/23) Scotland were 9th.

  6. what exactly is BR referring to when we bring in ‘quality’ players this jan transfer window instead of more development level projects , how do you define quality , is it just older and mature with no sell on value when their contract ends.




    Sounds like an hour well spent to me



    I spent a bit of time on BK’s site the other day trying to work out when we might lose our guaranteed place and revert to two teams qualifying but the ‘Flu got the better of me and I gave up so I’d be interested to know what you found out

  8. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Direct entry to Champions League group in season 25/26 is trickier.



    Measurement period is season’s 19/20 to 22/23.



    Scotland had a decent year in 18/19 (6.75 points) which is no longer measured.



    Instead replaced by the current seasons performance.



    This season – right now – Scotland has amassed 3.600 points and (overall across five years) have 33.250 (10th position)



    Austria are on 31.600



    Switzerland are on 31.575

  9. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Hold the thought – you need to be 11th or better to get direct entry for your country’s champions ….



    …. Otherwise it’s the qualifiers.

  10. Only me, I am not in any way religious, just think of all the wars there have been in the name of religion.


    My view, is, be helpful and kind to all you meet, and avoid doing anyone, any harm. Simple and no, I am not an idealist !!


    My good lady, devout Catholic and from Roscommon, took me to visit the Vatican whilst in Rome. I kid you not, I was unbelievably moved by the peace, beauty and fantastic architecture and the general ambience of the entire experience, fantastic. I literally speechless for ages after the visit, all people should visit. One of the best experience of my life, if not the best.



  11. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Scotland has a small lead over Austria and Switzerland … but this season is still active and each country still has 3 of 5 teams participating.



    Outlook as follows



    Scotland :


    CL : Celtic going out


    EL : Sevco chance of progressing


    ECL: Aberdeen likely going out





    CL : RB Salzburg : Parachuting into EL if they avoid a three goal defeat at home to Benfica on match day 6


    EL : Sturm Graz & Lask both have outside chances of progressing and decent chances of Parachuting into ECL





    CL : Young Boys are confirmed Parachuting into EL


    EL : Servette 3rd in group, still have chances at progression and parachute


    ECL: Lugano 3rd in group and still have chance to progress

  12. It’s about 40 years since I was in St Peter’s but I remember fine visiting the site of St Peter’s grave (directly under the High Altar). That isn’t really why I remember it but among those buried nearest to him are Bonnie Prince Charlie’s father and brother. There were a couple of Americans in our group and they reckoned we Scots must be some people.

  13. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on




    CL = Champions League



    EL = Europa League



    ECL = Europa Conference League

  14. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Ifs, buts, and maybes but, in short, IMHO



    Based on likely continuation of Austrian and Swiss teams this season ? …..



    To have any chance of the Scottish champions gaining direct entry into Champions League group in season 25/26 ….



    Both Celtic and Aberdeen need to go down swinging ….


    (Two wins from three matches vital)



    And Sevco need to make the Europa League Quarter finals.

  15. QUADBHOY @ 2:34 PM,



    Even planning to succeed we can still fail as a lot is out with our control and even in qualifying we can be up against teams with similar or more resources and perhaps without some of the drawbacks we have.



    Yes, no matter how well you plan to succeed you can fail – agreed.



    Yet if you don’t plan to succeed because you might fail, and contingency plan around that, the chances are you will fail.



    Now, you don’t have to be a great tactian to understand that, all you need to do is look at what this Celtic Board has achieved in Europe in the last decade.



    The teams we face will have some drawbacks we don’t.



    – Wanyama is the exact type of deal that I’m referring too, key in our monumental win against Barca (so not impossible), yet how much real value.



    He came in raw, worked with Lenny, one of the DM greats and was much improved – then as he became a great asset to the team he was sold.



    How much value was that to the team?



    Lenny wasn’t too impressed by the Board selling his best players.



    We need a solid, experienced DM who is not here today gone tomorrow.



    “It does to me too. I’d like to trim the squad and see more youth as backups too (in SPL at least) BUT we need to find willing buyers, then find quality players who are keen to come and can also do it on a wet n windy Wednesday night in Dingwall and then hope we don’t have the injuries in batches as we have this season!



    Yes exactly, get a ‘B’ team that are capable of playing in the SPL



    Many are quick enough to tell us that the SPL are crap, great, it should be meat and drink to any Celtic youngster worth his salt.



    Keep the top players for the key games.



    Let them earn their corn.

  16. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Final two points from for now if I may.



    Direct entry in 26/27 is even harder.






    Scotland had a great year in season 19/20 (9.750 points).



    This will not form part of the calculation for 26/27.



    To stand still Scotland needs 9.750 points in Europe next season ….



    … So all five teams need to stand up and be counted.

  17. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on




    Qualification into an expanded Champions League group for NON CHAMPIONS does not get any easier.






    Group stages comprise 32 teams


    Of which 26 gain direct entry


    6 others qualify


    – 4 via Champions route


    – Just 2 Non Champions




    From Next season



    Group is 36 teams


    Of which 29 gain direct entry


    7 others qualify


    – 5 via Champions route


    – 2 Non Champions



    The three new automatic places go to



    – 3rd place in fifth best league (usually France or Portugal. Currently 3rd has to qualify)



    – Harrumph. 2 new places to the two best performing countries for the single season just finished.



    So we are likely to see a five teams from two of Germany, England, Spain or Italy in the CL Group.



    (And if another club wins the Europa League and doesn’t finish in top five? Possibly a sixth)




    Thanks. Not great news then. I take the Huns winning their group and the Swiss and Austrian teams not winning theirs would help as well. Or maybe they finish third and win every game in an ultimately futile ECL run



    From what I can make out if we do drop down to 12th the spl winners would need to win a single play off tie to qualify but the runners up would need to go through three. Even dropping to 11th and keeping the automatic place means an extra tie for the spl runners up compared to this season

  19. bournesouprecipe on

    Parkheadcumsalford @ 3.20



    Fascinating stuff, I think Bonnie Prince Charlie’s remains were buried there too, next to his father and brother.



    Fitting post on St Andrews day for Scottish Celtic connection.



    The Bold Chevalier CSC

  20. BTB…


    Thanks for that comprehensive summary of European qualification in the next few years.


    I reckon we’ve got some chance in 25-26, but it’s likely to be EL thereafter. However, countries on the CL/EL margin often bounce back after a few years due to coefficient points being more accessible in the EL and having only 4 qualifiers to divide into the total points gathered.

  21. CHAIRBHOY on 30TH NOVEMBER 2023 3:26 PM



    “Yes exactly, get a ‘B’ team that are capable of playing in the SPL”



    I don’t think that’s a

  22. viable plan



    I might have misunderstood but it sounds very similar to what David Murray was suggesting during his moonbeams period




    I’m sure you’re right but I wasn’t sure; that’s why I didn’t include him.



    By the bye, there’s a Mausoleum to the Stewarts in the Basilica itself. King Charles’ granny paid for it’s cleaning!!

  24. Shane Macgowan was only 5 years younger than Alistair Darling who also died today. Makes you think

  25. Tangboy @ 2.40pm



    “In the main the support does not chant pro-Catholic songs – Roamin in the gloamin is heard occasionally”


    The original version of course was written by Harry Lauder over a century ago, more music hall than folk, and sung by Bing Crosby amongst others. Nothing religious about it either. No doubt you are referring to the sectarian ditty sung by some in the Celtic support, more recently led by the Green Brigade, an affront to Celtic and to the memory of Brother Walfrid. More one for Kaffliks than Catholics.

  26. CELTIC40ME @ 4:12 PM,



    An exercise to look at our current squad and half it, would not be difficult.



    Once you’ve done that, you look at the development players and players that didn’t cut it in the UCL this season.



    Not necessarily players that don’t have a current or future role, examples…



    Ralston, Taylor, good squad players



    Holm, Yang, not good enough at the moment but hopefully have a good future at Celtic



    We could have an eleven of very competent players that are outside our first eleven.



    We would be happy for them to compete in early Cup ties or on a “wet n windy Wednesday night in Dingwall”.



    Yet only getting a Glasgow Derby, Cup final game or UCL start if injuries dictated it.



    Hail Hail

  27. Apart from that obnoxious tag on to Roamin in the gloamin, I don’t think I’ve heard anything remotely Catholic sung at Celtic Park in recent years.



    I DO well remember Miss Brogan pointing to Celtic Park ( St Michael’s had just moved from Salamanca Street to Springfield Road), whose new pylons could be seen above the surrounding tenements, and telling us to sing Hail Glorious St Patrick as we would in Church and not as they do over there.

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