A cursory look at our fellow pot 4 Champions League teams shows the extent of the challenge. Six of the eight teams lost: Steaua Bucharest (3-0), Austrian Vienna (0-1), Celtic (2-0), Real Sociedad (0-2), Plzen (0-3), Anderlecht (2-0).
Copenhagen got one of the better results of the night, a 1-1 draw at home to Italian champions, Juventus, while Napoli, who split Juve and Milan in the Italian league last season, but are still a pot 4 team, recorded the only bottom tier win, a 2-1 victory over last season’s finalists, Borussia Dortmund.
Napoli are in a different category than the rest but Celtic are in with a decent chance of out-performing others from pot 4.
Sociedad’s home reversal to Shakhter Donetsk, who are going through a rebuilding process was a shock, but Valencia’s 0-3 Europa League defeat to Swansea indicates a worrying scenario for Spanish football below the uber-indebted Barca and Real Madrid. As a general rule, anything which undermines one of the economically powerful football nations should be welcomed by those disenfranchised by the size of their TV market (that’s us).
Shakhtar Karagandy put in a credible performance before going down 2-1 in Greece, a far better showing than Elfsborg’s 4-0 collapse in Salzburg. Best of luck to the Kazaks.
I’ve been going to the football long enough to remember black players being booed whenever they touched the ball. The phenomenon seemed to arrive here in the late 70s and faded around a decade later, although such is human nature I don’t think complacency is appropriate. Homophobia is a different matter.
‘Out’ gay footballers are so rare I don’t know what the reaction would be at a match but the crowd-bullying phenomenon which can exist in the game makes any minority vulnerable. The first step is to explain to the hard-of-thinking what they are doing, and the error of their ways.
Can rainbow coloured laces change the world? Stonewall have distributed rainbow coloured laces to every player in the UK, asking them to wear them this weekend. We’ll not see the WAGs acronym become WAGSABAH overnight but it feels like an appropriate, colourful, first step.
Keep reaching for that rainbow, Celtic.
1254125 at The Great Scottish Run.
On Sunday 6 October there is a 10k and Half Marathon. If that is beyond you. There are family events taking place the day before. This is your club, remind the world of what really counts and get involved in 1254125.
Once you’ve done that, you can register for the 1254125 campaign here.
Then you can create a donations page here. Click Start Fundraising, search for Celtic Charity, setup your My Donate account).
Email me and let me know if you are having trouble signing up or need any more help, firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read the new issue of CQN Magazine click here (don’t try to read the graphic below).
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