Maribor, St Johnstone and resolving Murrayfield


Did you watch the European Super Cup from Cardiff last night?  Europa League champions Sevilla lost out to Real Madrid but the team from Andalucía got there after beating Maribor 4-3 on aggregate.  The Slovenian’s narrow defeat deserves some context: Sevilla also eliminated Real Betis, Porto, Valencia and Benfica.

Make no mistake, we’re up against a decent European team.  More on them later in the week.

Tonight it’s St Johnstone, who, like Celtic, have sharpened their wits with European football in recent weeks, and well as enjoying an opening day win in Dingwall at the weekend.  They have lost their talisman, Stevie May, which is a pity, as I would like to see the Celtic defence stretched as much as possible this week, but they will be as ready as any domestic opponent we could face at the moment.

Ronny Deila has two short games to sort out game plan, shape, partnerships and team spirit, before travelling to Slovenia.  It doesn’t need to be right for tonight, but signs of considerable progress on the Murrayfield debacle is needed.

The Kano Foundation are one of the greatest initiatives from any group of football fans I’ve heard about.  They bring the Celtic experience to childrens’ charities and groups, truly phenomenal work.  The Foundation was founded in the wake of the Bring Martin Home campaign, which brought our very own Kano home from life in a hospital bed.

You’ll see the volunteers outside Celtic Park before kick-off on Saturday with buckets, so make sure you bring something for them.

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  1. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    £12m for Shane Long. Jesus Wept.



    This sport of ours is going the exact same way as the NFL in the 80s and 90s.



    Dear custodians – anything you can do to keep our beloved club away from the lunacy of the European transfer system and instead develop an affordable sustainable strategy for acquiring new talent will be welcomed by me.



    Hail Hail

  2. !!Bada Bing!!


    12:23 on


    13 August, 2014


    SS5 7.30



    I saw that – So a Scottish game is now on SS5 – The home of European football

  3. Just hope the penny drops,and we can see some joined up thinking tonight,no shape of a team last week,we badly need a couple of games before Maribor.

  4. Henry Clarson



    Also remember Tony Mowbray debut at Pittodrie was 3-1 going on 10


    We said at game ” we are going to destroy teams this season ”



    : > (



    Celtic – 1 tonight for me





    Henry Clarson


    12:25 on


    13 August, 2014


    I will be very surprised if Celtic manage to win either leg against Maribor.


    Having said that, I also remember being seriously unimpressed with Celtic’s performances at the start of our management by Wim Jansen and Gordon Strachan while, by contrast, John Barnes, Lou Macari and Liam Brady initially looked as if they were going to do well.


    Tonight we’ll at least get some indication of whether or not the players are in tune with the manager’s approach. We’ll have some big problems if they’re not..

  5. RANGERS fans have wised up and would not welcome the return of former Ibrox chief Charles Green, says MICHAEL.













    SNSCharles Green


    IT is one of the famous Gazza tales. When Paul Gascoigne was at Rangers, he planked three trout in Gordon Durie’s fancy new car.



    The fish were so well hidden Durie had no idea where the smell was coming from and the reek got so bad he eventually had to scrap his motor.



    It’s starting to feel like someone has buried Charles Green under the floorboards at Ibrox. No matter what Rangers do, they can’t seen to get rid of the rotten stench.



    The Yorkshireman resurfaced again last week waving his big hands at anyone who would take notice.



    Apparently he wants back in and has persuaded moneybags American George Soros to rifle down the back of his sofa for some loose change.



    He says the Yank has £10million and would only be too happy to chuck it in Rangers’ direction.



    Thanks, but no thanks Chuck.



    Green is less welcome at Ibrox than those trout rotting in Durie’s car and no wonder fans reacted so fiercely.



    But you can’t help but admire Chuck’s brass neck. You couldn’t take a nuclear warhead to his jowls never mind a blowtorch.



    Green says he can’t stand back and see the shambles that Rangers have become. They are a ‘disaster’, he says.



    He might be right but it’s like throwing a party then complaining when the carpet gets covered in fag burns, someone blocks the cludgie and the neighbours call the cops about the noise. Or the smell.



    Should Rangers fans welcome Charles Green back to Ibrox?











    This is the guy who was responsible for the current shambles. Well, at least the more recent shambles.



    We could go all the way back to Sir David Murray.



    It’s now clear Murray took a punt on pursuing an aggressive tax strategy but was out of the picture at Ibrox when HMRC really turned nasty.



    Murray left the house to squatters and then the smell of gas set off alarms.



    Turns out it was just someone who had broken wind.



    That opened the door to the asset strippers but what is done is done. Green picked the bones out of the trash and rather than put them back together, he made soup for himself and his chums. He’s the reason why Rangers need to go back out with the begging bowl for the umpteenth time.



    This is the chancer whose big flappy hands were gathering up as much dosh as he could for him and his pals when they should have been drilling down foundations that would have made the club secure for ever more.



    He is the last thing Rangers need right now.



    Yet again he was singing from the rooftops about how much he cares about the club.



    Thankfully these days Rangers fans are too battle-scarred to buy any of that guff.



    This is not 2011 or 2012. The punters have got BS detectors these days and any time Green surfaces the readings go off the charts.



    Nothing he does is for the benefit to anyone or anything else but himself. He obviously doesn’t think the cash cow has been milked dry just yet. His initial proposal was to buy shares but plan B involved a low interest loan.



    And the security for the loan? Murray Park. Oh aye, nice try.



    He’s been dying to get his giant hands on Rangers’ structural assets from day one. There be gold in them hills but Rangers cannot let him near it.



    Yes, they need investment, in the short and long term. That’s stating the obvious but they don’t need what Green offers. Minimum return for Rangers and maximum profit for Charles Green.



    The Ibrox club need to get out of this vicious cycle and for someone to free Gers from their financial captors.



    But it is certainly not Green – because whenever he is around something always smells fishy.

  6. £600 million so far spent in the EPL.



    That’s just on the transfer fees. Add wages to that and being conservative you can call that £800 million.



    It’s ludicrous. And it is why we struggle.



    The Champions league is a bore fest unless we are in it, for all its big names and wealth.



    FFP isn’t making any discernable difference.

  7. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on



    I initially thought similar, I don’t want us to be whipping BHOYS, problem being I’d rather be whipping BHOYS in the top tournament than in the second top tournament, if we’re going to get humped then best with a baptism of fire and a decent pay.


    Even better would be that the manager gets the team to perform and not get humped but his talk about expansive football doesn’t bode well against the big boys, whatever tournament we play in we need to work on out defensive game first and on the expansive game in the domestic games until we start to click.

  8. Great letter by Celtic fan below in response to an article:



    August 13 – Today UEFA will hear Legia Warsaw’s appeal against the 3-0 sanction that turned their 6-1 Champions League qualifying round win over Celtic into a 4-4 draw, and the Scots going through on away goals. The sanction sparked mass comment with multiple emotions were unleashed. Legia fans bomarded Celtic, UEFA and anyone who would listen with requests and then demands that Celtic should withdraw.



    Our columnist David Owen argued that Celtic withdrawing fropm the next qualifying round and allowing Legia to go through would not only be the sportsmanlike thing to do, but it could also prove to be commercially the right thing to. The value in taking the moral high ground could prove, in this rare instance, to generate a real financial benefit to the business.



    Not everyone agrees with him.



    Of many comments received, the letter below from Celtic fan Derek Ritchie below, states the case for the rules trumping any perceived morality.





    Mr Owen,



    I read your article today regarding Celtics Champions League reprieve, and whilst I was initially of the same opinion as you when the news broke, I have since changed my opinion.



    Firstly the abuse directed at Celtic from Legia themselves, from the Legia fans, and from Poles in general is totally unmerited. Celtic played no part in this, other than the on field debacle that played out over two legs. It was the UEFA delegate who reported the incident, and it was UEFA who made the decision. Celtic had no input and stayed quiet during the whole matter.



    Secondly, I disagree that Celtic will receive any favourable comments if they did withdraw. In fact, I suspect quite the opposite. I believe the media will criticise Celtic for giving up the chance of £10 million with finances so scarce in Scottish football. Then the fact that other Scottish teams are relying solely on Celtic for co-efficient points, and the small amount of money that drips down the leagues. Legia may well say thanks, and UEFA may well hand out a fair play award, but those will be forgotten about.



    And thirdly, as a Celtic fan I can point to numerous occasions where Celtic have been treated harshly in Europe and there has been no public or media outcry for the offending club to forfeit the match. Why therefore should Celtic do the right thing, when no one else has been prepared to, or even asked to?



    1. 1966, Liverpool v Celtic, ECWC. With Liverpool leading 2-1 on aggregate Bobby Lennox scored a late equaliser, but it was given a very questionable offside. I wasn’t born, but I haven’t heard anything about the result being questioned.



    2. Celtic v Atletico Madrid, EC. Madrid’s dirty tactics and physical assaults on Celtic meant Celtic were unable to play their natural footballing game. Madrid had three red cards and seven yellows. Celtic lost the second leg and went out. The Atletico players have since apologised for their behaviour. Where were the cries to allow the team that were wronged to remain in the cup?



    3.1984, Celtic v Rapid Vienna, ECWC. A Rapid player claimed to have been hit with a missile, when there was evidence to the contrary. The Rapid coach threw a bottle onto the pitch when Celtic were awarded a penalty. UEFA fined both clubs, but Rapid complained twice and UEFA ordered a replay on neutral ground, which Celtic lost.



    4. 2001, Juventus v Celtic, CL. Celtic’s first ever Champions League match was poised at 2-2 in the dying minutes. Juventus striker Nicola Amoruso dived and was awarded a penalty, which he then put away. Celtic lost 3-2, and despite the striker admitting he dived, no action was taken. However Martin O’Neill received a touchline ban for his reaction.



    5. 2004, Celtic v Porto, EC Final. Porto’s theatrics and behaviour in this match was widely condemned. Derlei in particular spent more time rolling around than on his feet. When Porto scored their winner, they celebrated off the field for three minutes without being asked to return to the field by the referee.



    6. 2006, Manchester Utd v Celtic, CL. Celtic were leading 1-0 approaching half time at Old Trafford when Ryan Giggs dived to win a penalty as Artur Boruc dropped at his feet as the ball ran out of play. TV replays showed there was no contact, and to be fair, everyone except the referee could see it. Again, UEFA didn’t take any action, nor were they even requested to. Celtic went on to lose the match 3-2. What could they have achieved had they made it to half time in the lead?



    7. 2009, Arsenal v Celtic, CL. With the match at 0-0 (although Arsenal lead 2-0 from the first leg), Eduardo dived as he passed Artur Boruc as the ball ran out of play. Eduardo himself put away the spot kick and killed off any hopes of a comeback. Prior to the penalty Celtic were competing against Arsenal, and a goal would have changed the dynamic of the match entirely. This time UEFA banned Eduardo for three matches, but Arsenal complained and the ban was rescinded.



    One final point. Legia cheated. It was unintentional, but it was against the rules, so it was cheating.



    If Celtic were to withdraw and allow Legia back in, would that not set a precedent that would suggest a team can field an ineligible player to win a match, then claim it was a mistake and that they should be let back in on the moral grounds that they thumped the unwitting opponents? Legia should have been allowed representation at the initial hearing and saved a lot of bother for everyone involved, including both teams’ prospective opponents in their next rounds.



    In my opinion, the people Legia have one set of people to be angry with…their own administrative staff.






    Derek Ritchie



  9. Garngad to Croy on




    From memory BTM was rather critical of his Celtic team that day. That was the beginning of the end for BTM !

  10. RobertTressell


    12:35 on


    13 August, 2014



    I’m finding myself less and less interested in the EPL with each passing year. Its just rich men playing Fantasy Football, and despite the Sky/BBC/Talksport hype the games are becoming more boring year on year.


    I actually now prefer watching the Championship down South, lower quality but far more competitive, exciting games.

  11. Tonight is important Paul67.


    A win tonight and Saturday will give a huge lift to the players (& fans) ahead of Maribor.



    I hope the team that starts tonight, starts on Saturday & again in a weeks time.



    no chopping or changing at all, no experiments.



    and play Griffiths at his best position – centre forward – it’s not rocket science.

  12. RobertTressell



    12:35 on 13 August, 2014



    £600 million so far spent in the EPL.



    Exactly the point I was trying to make a few minutes ago. There is no way we can mix it money-wise with EPL or even Championship clubs. That’s why we have the current signing strategy in place. We can do no other.

  13. Neil



    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want us to get humped anywhere and certainly not in Europe (I don’t want us to be embarrassed and ridiculed – and make no mistake, the Scottish media in particular would go to town) but I feel competing on the EL stage would give us a better chance to regroup and regain our composure, away from the seering heat of the main spotlight.

  14. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon ....The angels are with Wee Oscar in Heaven.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    neil canamalar lennon hunskelper extrordinaire



    12:21 on 13 August, 2014




    Brilliant …. Hahahahahahahahahahaahahaha

  15. Should Rangers fans welcome Charles Green back to Ibrox?







    Only brain dead vote YES

  16. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon ....The angels are with Wee Oscar in Heaven.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    12:46 on 13 August, 2014



    Wear sunglasses…!!

  17. traditionalist88 on




    Will be down to 0 EPL matches for me now:)



    Much prefer Bundesliga or La Liga and have watched a few Argentinian matches, all good quality and real fans rather than the EPL day trippers:)




  18. canalmar


    for me, in sporting terms the EL is a very big prize and well worth winning or at least doing well in. 80,000 fans in Seville might suggest that a lot of us feel the same.



    In financial terms however the CL is the only show in town


    we hear so much about how we can buy this guy or afford to keep some other guy, that we cant afford to ignore the cash bounty. It probably equals the amount of cash we bring in through SB sales.



    The huns will be back next season or the following season, for me its vital that we get our needy hands on very CL penny that we can so that the financial advantage we have over them is maximised.



    Failure to take that cash in a hunless season would be a setback and wasted opportunity, particularly when we take into account the second bite of the cherry. We would look very foolish in European eyes if Legia get thrown out at our expense and then we crash out again vs a team of minnows.



    i do fear that we may be whipping boys in the Group stages, but if it means another season of experience and 20 million quid, I would take that whipping.

  19. Ernie lynch


    Your link at 11.07 didny work on ma phone,need to wait till a get home,am sure it’ll be worth the wait;)



    Turkeyboy 11.13


    trumpet eh


    now that’s comedy gold

  20. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon ....The angels are with Wee Oscar in Heaven.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    12:48 on 13 August, 2014



    Are you calling Celtic fans ‘brain dead’ …..? …. :)

  21. Hun Skelper 12:30



    A guy on Sevcomedya started a similar thread on on Sunday



    Look how that turned out…




  22. larsson80-a wee correction on point 3,the bottle thrown v Rapid Vienna was thrown from the Jungle about 10 yards to my right.A Rapid player just beat Paul McStay to pick the bottle up from the turf,then the Hustle started.HH

  23. 67heaven



    I try to but sometimes think I’ve got a problem with my ears. :)



    Must go now.

  24. Sannabhoy,



    Kano collection



    Is there a link where I can volunteer as a bucketeer?


    Did we not have too register details before?




  25. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon ....The angels are with Wee Oscar in Heaven.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    12:51 on 13 August, 2014



    Mine help me to take off

  26. SannaBhoy



    Going out midweek is virtually impossible for me. I will be stuck in listening to the radio.


    My motor is in for it’s MOT today as well. Could be a costly day.




  27. Off the main thrust of the post but…






    Things just aren’t working. We can’t produce youngsters the way things are, there’s just too much of a step up in class. You might get the odd gem or even not so much gem who just happens to make the step up quickly from U17s to the first team (these players could go on to be stars or it could be just that they develop early then fail to progress further).



    The past few years we’ve failed to take advantage of our only competitor’s demise. We could have blooded a team of youngsters and still won the league, but haven’t.



    Our only options for getting players the chance to develop playing real games is to ship them out on loan, this can work (Callum McGregor) but more often than not it doesn’t. It also means players are going to generally small clubs who may not have the best coaching or training, or not at the same level they would receive at Lennoxtown. So they may (or may not) be getting first team football but might not be getting the best coaching to go with it.



    We no longer have a reserve league, which causes major problems, but helps the smaller teams keep to wage budgets. But why not push to get a B-team into the league system, a team that cannot (under stipulations) play in the same league as the parent team? It works in Spain and Portugal and many other countries, so why not Scotland?


    It would allow fans to go and support the youngsters in competitive football, help first team players gain fitness and integrate into the team and the culture, would probably increase gates in the lower leagues, would allow for more of a package to potentially be built for the current or future Celtic TV, it allows the youngsters to experience real football but at the same time train and develop alongside the first team, it means we can keep providing a football education to young players, a diet regime and everything else that a top club should be providing alongside the game time needed to develop.



    9 out of 10 times a loan player sacrifices the technical and sports science type development for the experience – we could achieve both with Celtic B.

  28. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon ....The angels are with Wee Oscar in Heaven.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    Oh, just received 2 letters from Celtic …….. Better go and see if they still want to sign me ……..I heard a rumour..!!

  29. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on



    I think we both said the same thing :)


    What I was trying to say is I hope the manager plays defensively in European games until we get some practice at the expansive game domestically because I think we have a way to got on that front.


    We can’t say we won’t be whipping BHOYS in the EL so we might as well aim for the top and see how it goes, irrespective of how we spend the money, the more we have the more we can moan about :)

  30. Help please!



    Any pubs in Linlithgow showing the game tonight?



    The Old Post Office, who usually do, is closed for refurbishment!




  31. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy on

    The club has told us for seasons that we cannot compete with English teams in the transfer market and they were correct. It has now reached the point, in my opinion, were we should no longer try to compete with them now that we have seen the outrageous transfer fees that exchanged hands for Ross McCormack and Shane Long. Decent players but nowhere near that value. We are buying a lot of European players and some from further afield as projects, with some success and others with a lot of failure.



    I really think we need to start having faith in our own Academy players but continue to look for gold nuggets like Fraser Forster and Gary Hooper. Thommo tipped us off about Fraser and Gary Hooper was banging them in in the Championship. Fraser wouldn’t have been on big money initially and Gary was hardly a gamble. We could also buy Scottish talent. I think Johhny Russell, Eddie May and Ryan Gauld might have been a better bet than Pukki, Balde and Boerigghter. It is time to stop gambling on foreign projects when we can take a more calculated risk on Scottish players that our staff and supporters have had a chance to observe. It also has the advantage of keeping the money in Scotland and helping the other teams.



    Talent we should be looking at are Stanton of Hibs, Wilson of Hearts, Mackay-Stevens and Armstrong of Dundee United. We could also get McGinn back from Aberdeen and play him as a striker. I can’t remember the other young Dons player’s name (Palfrey). I think that some of these guys would enhance our team.





    Correct about where it came from.



    However,the reason was that the Rapid keeper booted TB in the bollocks and a penalty was awarded.



    The Rapid players protested ‘vigorously’ to the linesman,the officials lost control of the situation completely.



    The keeper wasn’t even booked,IIRC!



    That was the night my Dad beat his jinx-for about 3 years he didnae see us win. To be fair,shifts limited his attendance back then.



    I shouldnae have let him near the journey to Manchester,but his tip while we stopped for a break in Annan paid for the trip!



    One of our better post-Jock Euro nights ruined by a buncha cheating b…..ds.




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