Thoroughly delighted for Lille on winning Ligue 1 against one of the world’s most prominent petro-dollar clubs. Lille have a structural commercial income less than Celtic’s, but have traded like a barrow boy for a barren decade since 2011, when they won their first trophies in over half a century.
In 2018, they escaped relegation by a single point; it wasn’t that they did not have talent, but the resources they had were not spread evenly enough to fill a squad. In 2019, the For Sale signs went up; Lille sold their four most valuable assets for a combined total in excess of €150m. They rebuilt and a year later finished second behind PSG.
Again, their best assets were sold, two players bringing in €100m; again, they improved. The margin of victory in this season’s title was the same as the margin they remained in Ligue 1 three years ago, but what a victory.
Celtic’s draw in Lille and win at Celtic Park in this season’s Europa League give an unsatisfactory insight into what might have been for us. Talent like David Turnbull and Ismaila Soro were vegetating in the stands until being released in the 3-2 win over Lille in Glasgow. Others could raise their game, for occasions.
Farewell, Kilmarnock, 9 years after their abstention when the SPL voted to invite Sevco Scotland into the Premier League. 10 clubs voted against the proposal, only Killie, and Rangers – who voted to admit Sevco, broke ranks. Welcome back to the top flight, ‘Club 12’.
The BBC show a Mark Walter documentary on racism tonight. Walters joined Rangers in the 80s and shamefully had a banana thrown at him at Celtic Park. ‘The most famous banana in history’ has that status because of its rarity. It happened, the support self-policed and the incident is still remembered because it was the last incident of note. Without self-policing, nothing ever changes.