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. Reading back, well scanning, the roofs falling in, St Johnstone owed money, we are threatening to take no tickets for our game at Ibrox, we owe a duty of care and all that, good for us.



    Sometimes the powers that be at CP do play well.



    Time will tell what happens, but whatever does they are no challenge.



    I also read John Park has left the building, I hope he has success where ever he ends up next.

  2. minx1888 praying to Wee Oscar on

    Evening All



    Just wanted to pass on my thanks to every one of you that took the time out to pass on their condolences on the sad passing of my Uncle!



    They meant so much to all of us thank you!



    DD sorry for you and your families loss will keep you all in our prayers.

  3. Margaret McGill on



    To me it just looks like bullying. Celtic should stand up to bullies. I suspect it goes along the lines of something like….



    ok so you want the money our beloved vanguard owe ye ..well piss off


    ok so you want Sevco to spend money on improving the saftey of ibrox ..well piss off



    and if you dont piss off we will print more spin shit like this.

  4. Almore, Would love to meet up in Bad Ass, but there is a group of us that meet in Dunboyne and my 2 lhads that train with Dunboyne Tues and Thurs, so miss many of the Celtic Champions league games will join us, although some of the younger Uni bhoys go to the Bad Ass.



    I was in the National Concert Hall on Tues ” Songs of Ewan McColl. it was a wonderful entertaining night with Peggy Seeger and his sons and family with guests Declan O’Rourke ( what a singer). Never realised how many songs he composed including ‘ Dirty Old Town’ one Wee jimmy loved to sing, ‘First time I saw your Face’. ‘Shoals of Herring’ and so many others including a song about the Tunnel Tigers. One of his CDs includes the ‘Foggy Due’ Great night.



    Love to meet up with you and Clogher.
























  5. Mags


    They should, but they won’t


    I still reckon they will go after the record for printing Pedro’s addy, they will not do or say anything in public, it’s not their style, but at the end of the day the OF & the money it brings is all that really matters to them.


    How sad is that, but I believe it 100%



  6. Gerryfaethebrig on




    Don’t panic it’s not 10pm on Saturday night…..that’s still to come :-)



    DD, HT & Minx



    The good times will always get you through the sad times, time is a healer, I thought my world would end when my mum passed, funnily enough my world was just beginning, my mum passed a couple of months before the wee blade was born……HT already you were remembering the good times as soon as Charlie’s suffering was over……. Again my own experience sometimes it’s a lot better for them not to be in pain



    God bless and take care ……..

  7. By all accounts from friends, family and the local worthies in attendance it was a fine tribute to the great Bobby Murdoch in Rutherglen today. Well done to all concerned. Hh

  8. Another huge crowd expected at CP tomorrow and a ful hoose for BMG in midweek. There’s definitely a buzz about the place.

  9. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Roy C



    Friday night / Saturday morning………



    Back where you belong, bringing back long lost memories …….



    At least that Lymmbhoy gives up us the present …..



    Hope all is good to you both



    Hail Hail fae down the road

  10. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Roy C



    All good here, and as P67 article today young and old are looking forward to the morra, we live in good times and the Brendan factor is massive…….



    I hope he stays for years

  11. Thanks to everyone for their prayers and condolences towards my father in law and good mate Swiggy. He was a big Tim fae Islay who loved a dram. He was a junior fitba player for 5 Glasgow area teams. Hard as nails Glaswegian who could provide assistance to his bullied peer Tims. The only fight he lost in his life was this week to stomach cancer.


    Iain MacSwiggan RIP

  12. ROY CROPPIE on 14TH OCTOBER 2016 11:49 PM


    Didn’t realise you were related to JG, your Cousin, Godfather…:)


    Known Joe for years.


    Keep the Faith!


    Hail Hail!

  13. MINX1888 PRAYING TO WEE OSCAR on 14TH OCTOBER 2016 11:04 PM


    Sorry to hear of your Uncle’s passing, he’s with the Angels now.


    May God Bless his Soul.


    Keep the Faith!


    Hail Hail!

  14. Gerryfaethebrig on




    Maybe the worst



    Word of the morning






    Sarcastic bam (me not you)



    Am on my best behaviour, I was a SKA bhoy the mods were all prods :-)

  15. Lennybhoy this is the trouble Joe gets you in…



    Bless me Father for I have sinned…



    The green phone in the hall rang and I got to it first. I knew who it was and what it was about:


    Me: ‘Did you get them?


    Joe: ‘Of course I did’


    Me: ‘Are we in the Celtic end?’


    Joe: ‘No they are Main stand tickets…’



    I’d never been in the Main Stand at Hampden; I hoped I’d be near the cup to see the trophy presentation which undoubtedly we’d win. That conversation with my cousin Joe lasted a while and I did thank him on several occasions. However when he’s talking you pin your ears back and listen. The demand for the 1988 Cup Final was huge so sourcing your own tickets and alleviating the pressure on the ‘bus’ to get them was a good thing and Joe had come good – as I knew he would.



    He was connected and seemed to know everyone; this was unavoidable as he spun his social web around the country. He joined things and knew loads of people: AOH, KOSC , Golf Clubs, Social Clubs, Pollok Juniors, Airdrie FC (Skeleton in cupboard and he’s never answered fully on this despite heavy questioning), The Catholic Church, Coatbridge, Chapelhall, Celtic and the Nursing Union. I was knackered just listening to him. I don’t know where he sourced these tickets but to me they were the equivalent of a trip to Willy Wonka’s factory and I was hoping for the good ending…poor Augustus.


    May 14th 1988.



    The bus from Airdrie to Hampden was packed, raucous and colourful – everyone seemed to have the Centenary hoops on, some should have known better but as an inclusive club the fat bhoys were having their hoops day. I just couldn’t wait to get there and get in. It did feel strange to think that Thatcher was travelling to Hampden too; who came up with that idea? I did wonder what she’d make of it and she occupied a little of the bus chatter. ‘Cow’ seemed to be the preferred terminology for her as the North Lanarkshire ex miners and steel workers vented their fury. I suspected she wouldn’t be politely clapped into her seat.



    As we made our way to the stadium everything was falling into place. This was a green and white festival under a perfect blue sky. Hampden in the sun. Looking back down Aitkenhead Road was amazing, swathes of hooped shirts were making their way towards Celtic destiny. Many commented on the perfect weather saying, ‘God looks after his own.’ I’d also heard this said at the weekly Orange walks in Airdrie but I never believed them. It felt strange passing the Celtic end; the scarves and tricolour sellers were doing a roaring trade. There was also T Shirt sellers and this would come in handy very shortly. This was shaping up to be a colourful, sun kissed Celtic Celebration.



    We kept walking looking for our turnstile, this was a whole new area for me as I was now west of the main doors. It didn’t feel right. Joe was convinced we were just to the left of the centre stand and that would be full of Celtic fans. I just wanted to get in. Our turnstile was way along but I trusted Joe. As we approached the big cop was smiling broadly at us…this filled me with dread.



    ‘Wrang end boys’ said the polis



    A long conversation ensued but the polis was holding all the aces. This did not feel good. Joe used his negotiating skills and came up with a brammer: ‘Whit if we are not Celtic fans?’ Now I didn’t suspect the polis on turnstile duty was the next Sherlock Holmes but even he could have worked out what team we support. The Hoops gave it away. I expected a swift two-word rebuke ending in ‘off’ but he appeared to like Joe’s line of thought. It was now 2.30pm and we were getting a few comments from the United followers. I thought we’d be the ‘skins’ as he said we couldn’t wear the hoops. The plan was to get a hold of some T shirts and put the hoops and our scarves in the nearby police caravan. Back around to the Celtic end-this is a flawed plan-but Joe was assuring me it would be ok. Two white T shirts were hastily purchased from a Glaswegian entrepreneur and we were back in the game. The only problem was the front was emblazoned with a shamrock and a good luck message for Ireland for the up and coming Euro finals. The big polis laughed and shook his head.






    Panic. Sickness in the throat. Dread. Doom and lots of other terrible feelings. A Centenary double up for grabs and my hero big cousin was plummeting rapidly down the popularity charts.





    The Dundee Utd fans and a lot of other guys without colours were all but in. We were sitting on a nearby wall. The polis beckoned us over.


    ‘Turn them inside out and no jumping up and down if you score.’


    Yeeha. I could not believe it. We were in and took our seats amongst the United support and the ‘other guys.’ The crowd around us were okay and the banter was in the main friendly. I took in the scene. The Celtic end was spectacular with thousands of green, white and orange/yellow flags on display. The pitch on and off the field was perfect and the sky was a glorious blue. Maggie got pelters and there were red cards and banners to protest about her presence but when the game started she was forgotten-unless there was a lull in proceedings. The Dundonians didn’t like her either so that was a plus for us staying healthy.









    McCarthy, Aitken, Whyte (sub: Stark 70min);


    Morris, McStay, Burns, Rogan;


    Miller, McAvennie, Walker (sub: McGhee 70min).


    Goals: McAvennie (76min) 1-1; McAvennie (90min)



    The first half was entertaining enough but no goals. Alan McKnight was in for the injured Packie Bonner but I felt my confidence drain as the half went on. We always beat them in finals I thought but their luck must change some time. Please not today. Kevin Gallacher’s pace was always a problem and he nipped in to score at the start of the second half after a defensive blunder. There were lots of delighted Arabs all around me but a few glum faces too. Tims were everywhere I suspected. Celtic now went on all out attack and I hoped for a similar finish to the 1985 final but we couldn’t get a goal. Joe convinced me that after the epic semi-final win over Hearts we were not blowing this. I shouldn’t have doubted. The introduction of Stark and McGhee in the 70th minute re-energised us and the bold Bhoy McAvennie got the equaliser several minutes later. Chaos ensued around me as numerous neutral coloured Tims jumped for joy. Some Arabs complained, some knew what was about to happen. The polis shrugged their shoulders as they realised they couldn’t win this fight. We roared Celtic on.



    Billy Connolly was probably thinking about ordering a taxi to Hampden at this point. He famously extolled the fighting spirit of the Centenary side in a video marking our 100 years. It was all coming together and it seemed the giants from our past had gathered and were looking down on the Hampden pitch. Of course it was a last minute goal; of course it was our star striker. This was Celtic, wonderful, glorious, cavalier CELTIC.



    We jumped and hugged as all around Arabs headed out. The Celtic end looked amazing but I was going to get a very good view of the trophy presentation. We decided that it was now safe to wear our T shirts the correct way. The explosion of joy at the final whistle was incredible. The Centenary team had upheld and built upon our memorable history. The players cavorted around the pitch, Tommy Burns pointed to the Celtic end-his people. Big Roy lifted that gloriously gleaming old trophy.



    I had a night out with Father Joe in the Whifflet; I had no voice for three days.



    Thank you Centenary Celts and Joe.

  16. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Roy C



    Was the bus from St Margaret’s or the Wayside ?



    Not many buses from anywhere else up there :-)



    Fellow Celtic fans good night and God bless, we live I good times



    Brendan ? Can be what Brendan wants to be …….



    Griff & Moussa up front, the other 9 can wonder



    I mean 8