Horse-trading on Euro league, Premiership leaders consolidate


I’ve never known so many people to be keen to get to a game involving Motherwell as there are for tomorrow’s encounter at Celtic Park. Most of us haven’t been to a game since the marginally entertaining 3-3 Champions League draw last month.

Motherwell head a pack of six clubs all within three points of each other, with bottom of the table Partick Thistle just one point further behind at the bottom of the table. They are still in touch with fifth-placed Newco Rangers, who the Lanarkshire club could overhaul if results go their way this weekend, but the table is starting to look like a top five and bottom seven fight.

Each of the top four clubs, Celtic, Aberdeen, Hearts and St Johnstone, are at home against opposition no higher than 6th place Motherwell, so there’s every chance the leading group will extend their advantage.

You and I have been speaking about a European League since 2004. During that time the remoteness of the possibility has come and gone but it’s back on the agenda, with Copenhagen director, Anders Horsholt talking about the proposed league between Danish, Dutch, Scottish, Belgian, Swedish and Norwegian clubs.

This proposal would be enormously beneficial for all involved, the only thing that’s needed is sufficient will on the part of clubs to make it happen, but even within this group of potential beneficiaries there are sub-interests which could pull focus in different directions.

Celtic’s interests would be best served with access to a European-wide league, replacing domestic weekend leagues. They would be able to compete and grow into one of the world’s biggest clubs in this scenario. The same would be true of the bigger Dutch clubs, less so for the Danish, and even the Belgians.

What we now have for the first time is a consensus that some change needs to happen among the disenfranchised. I’d bite your hand off for a scenario along the lines of what Horsholt discussed, but you have to consider this possibility in context of what’s happening at the moment with the financially elite European clubs.

They too want change. A meritocratic-ally-earned Europe-wide structure replacing domestic leagues falls short of their mooted closed-franchise system, but not by much. And it’s a lot more deliverable.

This is all horse-trading for now, but there’s a lot of money sitting on the table, so change is inevitable.

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  1. Alasdair MacLean on

    That tosser garner at it again …. shove in the back and he’s wriggling on the deck holding his head like he’s been bladed…

  2. 50 shades of green on



    50 Shades




    I was going to say the great John Fallon as well but I did a couple of lines of Colmans mustard powder earlier and got nasally distracted..



    Lol….. You can have a hawf pint then.



    OK one more before I hit my scratcher for the night.



    Which Banner Bhoy am I ?



    I scored 88 league goals for Celtic and had an overall total of 134 first team goals .

  3. Delaney’s Dunky: Condolences on the sad passing of your father in law.



    Ar dheis lámh Dhé go raibh a anam uasal.

  4. 50 shades of green on

    Clue 2 for the Banner Bhoy.



    Who am I



    I won a league cup medal in 62/ 63 .

  5. 50 shades of green on








    Yip well done, thats a pint and a hawf I owe yea mate.

  6. 50 shades of green on



    Ach. Not Wispy then. Away for another line o’mustard.



    Won it with Hearts mate:-)

  7. 50 shades of green on

    Aff ta ma kip, working in the morning then off to see the next part of the revolution.



    Griff or Moussa.



    Gamboa or Big Mik if hes fit.



    Simo or Toure or Erik .



    Jamesie or Paddy.



    Tom or Stuart.



    Craig or Dorus,



    AWE ffs geese ma book back.




    In Brendan we Trust.

  8. Cathach: Hope you are well. I thought so too. Brought a tear to my eye thinking of my own Dad.



    I hope to go into Bad Ass on Weds. if you are about. It would be great to catch up.

  9. Found this…from a thousand years ago…





    Do you remember those days when as a wee boy, the groundsman used to leave the big corner gates on Janefield street open?



    I can. A few of us used to sneak onto the train at Blairhill, jump off one door and back on another avoiding the ticket man until we got to Carntyne or Belgrove.



    We were maybe 6 years old at the time.



    And then we’d make our way in to the empty stadium and……just sit there.



    Not one of us had been to a game at this time; but our uncles and aunts, mums and dads and a whole variety of important people like jannies, priests, teachers, polis, undertakers, meter-men, Provi man, ice cream men and rent-men talked incessantly about this magic called Celtic.



    There was Tully, Fernie, Fallon, McStay, McPhail, Evans, Peacock, Thompson, McGrory, Delaney, and a myriad other giants clad in green and white hooped armour!



    We just listened, learned, and stored it away for rainy housebound days when we relived the legendary exploits with an imaginary ball, on an imaginary pitch, in a real and all too inadequate bedroom. We would shoot into an imaginary goal, dive on the bed in a vain attempt to make a last ditch save, and then belt round all 6 ft square four walled arena, silently screaming at the top of our open mouth, until we had to stop for breath and to prevent a burst blood vessel.



    Get togethers and parties were not complete without a rendition of the Coronation cup song, or my Uncle Peter’s favourite – Land Of The Pope and McGrory.



    Day in, day out we had our own pre-internet blog where the conversations were posts, the descriptions were video links, the sun always shone when we won, the talk was short if we lost, but the crowds were huge, noisy and dedicated to the cause.



    True or not? It didn’t really matter!



    We had no telly, little radio, and no streaming. Only the waiting for the buses and trains to come back, the triumphant stride of singing witnesses to the latest heroic deeds, or the silent trudge of hunched pallbearers returning from the recent bereavement and interment of our hopes – for another week.



    And so with the magic of our minds’ eyes when we stole into the ground, we just sat there, looked around this citadel, and closed our minds to the grim reality of a grey world. Suddenly the sights, smells, sounds, cheers, groans, passes, shots, saves and goals were as real as the day they had happened and for me and James, and Joseph, and Tommy it was as magical as we had imagined it would be.



    Boy was that great!



    Anyway I’m now in the winter of my years and such romantic nonsense can be cast to the four merciless winds.



    We all know better now!



    Don’t we?



    A Whisper in Paradise




    Your whisper enticing, as clouds leave the skies


    Your warmth so inviting, is calling me home


    I turn to avoid you, but you won’t let me roam,


    Your heart pulls me closer to my Paradise



    El Paradiso, yes our Holy Ground,


    When life has deserted it’s there will be found


    My ashes upon the green grass in bliss


    A breeze soft caressing a heavenly kiss.



    The days when you held me in your welcome arms


    Those nights of great drama when we dared to dream


    Of hopes and of pride in Celtic our team


    No one can replace your spirit or charms!



    El Paradiso, yes our Holy Ground,


    When life has deserted it’s there will be found


    My ashes upon the green grass in bliss


    A breeze soft caressing a heavenly kiss.



    A choir starts softly and starts to resound


    Of Walfrid’s great passion to feed starving souls


    Those seeds he sowed then have flourished in shoals


    O’er St Patrick’s waters and St Andrews’s ground.



    El Paradiso, yes our Holy Ground,


    When life has deserted it’s there will be found


    My ashes upon the green grass in bliss


    A breeze soft caressing a heavenly kiss.



    Big Jock is awaiting with Jinky to greet


    With Bobby and Ronnie a welcoming smile


    Till then I’ll just wait at this stage for a while


    Where magic was conjured from conjuring feet!



    El Paradiso, yes our Holy Ground,


    When life has deserted it’s there will be found


    My ashes upon the green grass in bliss


    A breeze soft caressing a heavenly kiss.



    Sorry for that but the lack of mustard is a terrible thing.




    Hail Hail




  10. Margaret McGill on



    If youre around regarding the abortion dilemna in the USA discussed last night.


    I agree with you. However, the point I was making is that the medical insurance lobby have entirely cornered the prescription drug market in America. Hence, contraceptives are expensive unless you have employer medical insurance or in the most part prohibitively unavailable due to cost. However, abortions are subsidized. Its the source of one of the main schizo politico topics in America. i.e. young blacks breeding in the poverty trap. Its never mentioned by american whites but its on their minds constantly.

  11. Delaneys Dunky


    Condolences on passing of your Father in Law. I hope that you and your family stay strong.

  12. Matt Stewart, I’ve been off the blog for a few days, on holiday with the family and limited internet, so little on the blog, I just pick a great time to login.


    Thanks for that, fantastic post.



    Very evocative.



    Hope all are well.

  13. Margaret McGill on

    Talking to some siblings tonight. Is it possible the DR libelous acts are due to some behind the scenes OF scummery i.e.


    Celtic have not been paid yet by the huns for the 5-1 game (whatever that might be)




    something to do with safety certificate guarantees at Ibrox with history in mind?

  14. Mags


    I would be astounded of the forehead if our suits are not doing something behind the scenes re the record, to print PL’s addy was outragous.


    I would imagine they will withdraw advertising for a start, it shouldn’t take long to see if they do, then we will know.