Modest European targets should never be accommodated


The joy and ecstasy of others as they celebrate a Champions League win reminds us of what football is all about.  Crafting a team, these days from across the globe, capable of holding their nerve against Messi, riding their luck occasionally, and seeing it through in the end.  No Liverpool fans cared about the quality of the occasion in Madrid on Saturday, finals are about winning, as a few Celtic fans remarked the previous week.

The celebrations of a club 200 miles to the south did make me feel disenfranchised, though.  We were once what they are now, and we can never be the same again, due to the way TV contracts are written.

These days our European targets are more modest, but we should still plan for more than we have had in the last couple of decades.  If nothing else, it is better to fail planning to succeed, than to modestly accept a 7-0 reversal as an indication of the way it has to be.

The now famous Andy Robertson tweet from 18 August 2012 was clear, “#needajob.” The less-aspirational Newco were also in dire straights that day, but celebrated a 5-1 win over East Stirlingshire.  Andy was earning less that every one of the East Stirlingshire players that day, but he won a Champions League before either club won a major trophy.  We might never win the Champions League again, but we need to do everything in our power to get close, without taking console in domestic wins.

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  1. glendalystonsils on

    It’s not going to happen . Our current policy of trying to remain just one step ahead of Sevco will not equip us to make any kind of mark in Europe.

  2. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    TEUCHTER ÁR LÁ on 3RD JUNE 2019 12:35 PM


    Mornin’ BGFC





    Aftrenoon, friend :-))

  3. Poor game but winning is the aim , and the red scousers won’t be complaining.



    I didn’t know Robertson was with East Stirlingshire. I thought Jackie Mac signed him from Queens Park for Dundee Utd ?

  4. No point in even trying to compete with the money now required to win a CL unless we are serious and spend upwards of 20m on a player or invest jeverything in the academy at the expense of the first team. Never going to happen.

  5. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    GlenDalysTonsils 12:36


    Spot on. Requires a complete change in mindset which I don’t see happening with the current personnel.

  6. Having read the article ( again) AR may well have not played with East Stirlingshire. He was an amateur after all.



    Many fine players exist in the lower leagues. It’s finding the ones with the work ethic & talent that’s the hardest part. HH

  7. P67



    Doesn’t often happen but happy to agree with you on our Euro aspirations.


    We really need to Euro football as our core consideration.



    Do well in CL — the SPL will follow.


    Do badly in the CL — then the SPL will be a chore and the confidence will fall. .



    Interesting comments suggesting you are finally finding a voice of your own and not just parroting the line given to you by PL — “the Bonus Thief”.



    One area where I disagree is your comment about TV money.


    This is just the Scottish cringe / excuse culture writ large.


    We spend all our time looking to explain our failure.


    Instead of trying to do things better.

  8. Paul67



    Too right.



    We didn’t just sign Odsonne Edouard as a mere Sevco skelper.



    Get the chequebook out Peter and shop where no other closet rival can.



    Here ten in a row Neil Francis Tennon CSC

  9. worrying times at our football club at the moment . Knives in the clubs back from all corners , I can only hope the whole despicable episode can be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties , sooner rather than later .

  10. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Will take a minor miracle for us to make the group stage now. Odds stacked against us and similar clubs by design – by the cartel running European football.



    Van Der Sar’s article in The Times over the weekend goes to the heart of the matter.



    Didn’t watch ECL final. Couldn’t care less which of artificially bloated EPL clubs won.

  11. Matt Stewart on

    What’s the point then? If it requires a change in structure, attitude, personnel and/or a cultural change in European/world football, that no one seems to believe is remotely possible, then what is to be done? WELL? WHAT IS TO BE DONE.



    I have a real idea, in fact three real ideas, mind you by the time I write them down there will probably be 67 ideas including an alteration to the space time continuum, the activation of warp factor 9 and re-educating the terminator in the finer points of midfield generalship.



    However for the moment I have three very simple tactics within an overall strategy which would ….well trust me…it won’t cost a penny, will not involve sinking to the soul-destroying depths of commercial depravity and will resurrect for an unsuspecting but desperate world the game as a genuine thing of beauty, led by a team and club with goodness in its soul, entertainment in its heart and magic in its boots…..’OH!’ and a new bigger trophy room!….and a further ‘OH’…every Celtic fan, football fan, sporting aficionado or even just a those daft romantic idealists will have the chance to be involved.



    More will be said on this topic when the new season approaches, and the opportunity for you to have your name revered, honoured and set in neon lights CAN and WILL be yours.



    WE WILL cross that bridge when we come to it, but till then and appropriately enough I encountered some bridges and stuff yesterday…..so while I’m off finalising my master plan, see if youse can suss where was I yesterday….I call it “Bonnie on Clyde.”



    I’ll be back….. http://alturl.com/qwzxk



    Hail Hail




  12. James Forrest meticulously deconstructed that ludicrous Jingle Jackson article.



    It’s because we are going for the 10 you know.



    HH. ?

  13. 16 Roads.


    What ludicrous article?








    Thanks to those who responded to my Lennie`s stats enquiry.

  14. If we don’t make the CL group stages next season the PL better have a very good excuse handy.



    CL Qualifiers — where we are — Minnows / 4 to get through


    If we were in a league with these teams we would expect to be in the top 4 every season.


    Cup format brings its own challenges but we should expect to go through.


    Hopefully we will be fully prepared this season and no more willy waving.



    Putting up excuses today on why we will not get through is just the “Hame’ll dae us” brigade breaking wind.

  15. The Ajax team which did so well this season after bombing in Europe last year will be predated upon by the big spending clubs. They will lose 4 or 5 young players for big money. Ajax, in turn, will raid poorer clubs in Denmark, South Africa and S, America to replenish with prospects in the “hit and miss” strategy that we are also engaged with, when we have to replace Ntcham and/or Rogic etc;



    They will have more money from their transferred players than we get from ours, so they have a better chance of unearthing gems but both of us will be Prospecting and Projecting and Moneyballing, in a way.



    Ajax, who must qualify to take the Pot 2 slot that has been allocated to them, will enter at qualifying round 3 of 4 (Belgium, Austria and Turkey get an automatic group spot but The Netherlands do not) while Celtic have to win in all 4 qualifying rounds before we get a chance to take the Pot 3 slot we have earned through previous and recent Euro performances.



    26 of the 32 group slots are already awarded . The rest of us are fighting for 6 slots only.



    UEFA want to leave very little to chance as they are held to ransom by the big leagues.

  16. Call_of_Juarez on

    I reckon that when our customary meticulous champions league planning kicks in we’ll be certainties for the group stages :-))))

  17. “HOT SMOKED on 3RD JUNE 2019 11:09 AM



    While I`m in the mood. We often here of how dreadful Scottish Football is ( ever since Sevco were born , it would seem)”



    ==’Often hear’ its been constant grate of fury through gnashing teeth since the sfa’s works team ended on 14th june 2012.lol?its all been a touch schizophrenic with our media since.lol continuity and reference back to a time when they could cheat with the spirit of the game knowing they were running it so it would be ok.===




    ” and that it is too easy for Celtic.”



    == fans of the dead hating through the media,basically deadklub good Celtic bad,the swiveleyed only sees itself as competition so anything its not in is crap and disnae count lol


    Wee bit o existential angst also j as to who or what they are.her majesty being so cruel===



    Hope your enjoyin your flying Scot cycling j








  18. We had about 60 players last season. 41 in 1st team pool, about 20 in reserve pool. Of these about 10 were on loan



    Our Transfer strategy going forward should be no more than 30. Ideally 3 keepers and two for each position with extra cover for different tactical line ups. 20 in reserve squad.



    We should attempt to spend our £30 m (?) on quality, 4 players RB, CB, Mid, Striker. Not on 15, £2m players.

  19. Paul67


    It has taken you many years, however I believe you are now railing against the charlatan Lawwell and his handling of the club.


    Your blog today states how the club should be run with Europe in mind, which is the opposite of how the charlatan runs it.

  20. Picking up on rumours elsewhere …



    RB — Are we really going to offer ML another contract?


    LB — Surely we are not going to offer EI another contract?



    If either of these have legs then we are not helping ourselves for next season.



    Another figure has been put out there — £59mill.


    Seemingly this is the cost of our football operations — squad / coaching staff / support.


    Not sure if the figure is 2017/18 or later.



    However if that is the cost for 2018/19 then I will be surprised to say the least due to the CL debacle.


    Hopefully the full year accounts in Aug / Sept will provide more detail.



    Anyway we seem to have strange ideas in play.


    CL qualification is now a waste of time and we need to cutback.

  21. The finalised financial figures for 2018/19, will paint a false picture.


    Particularly with regards to football operating costs (wages etc)



    Whatever the stated figure is.. it will be reflective of a Celtic paying wages to : Rodgers, C.Davies, K.Toure, L.Congerton, Driscoll, and a number of other personnel from the Rodgers regime.



    We have sold M.Dembele for record amount : £20million… in doing so, we freed up his wage, and I believe he was one of our highest earners. Stuart Armstrong £8 million in the pot, plus we’ve been cut of his wages.


    Erik Svievchenko, Mousonda, Paddy Roberts, Oli Burke, Timo Weah, Filip Benckovic, Scott Allan, Emilio Izzy, is merely a modest list of players that we have cut from the Football operation over the last 12 months.



    Logically, it must follow that Football Operations costs must be significantly reduced as we sit here currently. Any other slant on things, will be further attempts to dupe the fans.



    Lets not accept being short-changed again by the Celtic board.

  22. RM @ 2.24



    Not sure what games are being played — if we are now booking loan fees as wages / expense then we have been done up like a kipper.



    PL = failed bean counter and how he keeps failing.



    We are now dealing with the pay day loan end of the football market.


    Making a point of going after high cost loans and then complaining about how much money we are spending — you couldn’t make some of this stuff up.



    We have lost the plot regarding squad development and enhancement, succession planning and recruitment.



    We need to plan for a new captain — seemingly NL will build his team for next season around a 34 year old.


    We need to bring in quality players with potential in a number of areas — we seem to be offering contract extensions to our 30 plus brigade.



    Not looking good.


    Games getting played and scores being settled.



    If the cost of our football wage bill was £59mill for season 2018/19 then we have been taken for a ride and those at the top need to take responsibility for spending and wasting our money.

  23. glendalystonsils on

    We should be making every effort to ensure that last season’s debacle against AEK isn’t repeated by putting a team on the park ready, willing and able to get past that level of opposition.



    There’s no point in complaining about EUFA ‘s plans to make the CL more exclusive if we can’t demonstrate that we are a worthy addition to the group stages.

  24. Lambert14



    The stats say it all. So go weep in your bluenose burger



    Celtic european and domestic record in the 15 Lawwell years is massively superior to the record in the 15 pre Lawwell years. It’s simply not even comparable.

  25. allPaul67 et al



    Always surprises me, though it shouldn’t , that most of those critical of Boyota through his early years at Celtic are upset that either, we didn’t keep him, or that we didn’t sell him. Cognitive dissonance is what Paul always used to call it. Either way we lost a fine player. We have another player on our books, tall, good in the air, good also on the ground, who’s quick, and who can also take the ball out of defence, but for now is the target for the Glasgow Boo Bhoys Brigade, as was Dedryk before him, his name is Jack Hendry. I happen to believe that, with the right coaching and the right tactics, both Jack and a fully fit Anthony Ralston give us more thaen adequate cover at right back. Use our resources elsewhere. Next question.

  26. B78 @ 2.55



    Causal vs Co-incident would be a good place to start.


    For the record co-incident is the answer.


    He has lived off the efforts of others.



    PL is hopeless at his job as CEO of the club.


    He emptied the LL Upper and it took the efforts of BR and the team to re-fill it.



    He interferes in matters where he has no expertise and gets paid far too much for his efforts. He is a rich man’s bag carrier out of his depth trying to grow the club and our performance off the park.

  27. glendalystonsils on




    There may well be a player in Jack Hendry but I’m not so sure we will see it. In the game time he’s had he looks as if the step up and the expectations are a bit too much for him . To my mind , very similar to Teemu Pukki , who didn’t look comfortable or confident at Celtic but has since become an excellent player.


    I would love to be wrong about Hendry , but I have my doubts.

  28. I didn’t watch the CL final either, two clubs competing for best in Europe that hadn’t won their domestic league for a combined 90 years. It summed up all that is wrong with the champions league.



    Ajax and Celtic go through 3 and 4 qualifying rounds while Atalanta waltz in to the groups. It stinks.



    I could easily turn my back on the CL and see us thrive domestically but then I remember the best chance for us to thrive domestically is to be competing in the CL group stage.



    So this summer I will once again be chewing my nails to see if we can make the groups of the master card cup.

  29. Celtic Mac


    I agee with you re Hendry.I feel there is a fine player in there. In Ralston I am less confident but certaily would not dismiss him.



  30. Just to strike a bit of balance to proceedings.



    Jack Hendry is absolute gash. Something he has proved continuously.



    He’ll make it as an SPFL-level player kicking lumps out of our forwards in years to come.




    Van Der Sar’s article in The Times over the weekend goes to the heart of the matter.



    Any chance of that article bein posted?


    Cheers ?




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