Qualifiers, cash, mitigating fitness


Lots to consider after last night’s Champions League qualifiers.  Top surprise of the night was Marseille being eliminated by Panathinaikos on penalties.  The Greek side equalised in the 10th minute of added time at the Velodrome in what must have been a horrible way to lose for the home fans.

Should Panathinaikos reach the group stage at the expense of Braga, Celtic will earn an extra £900k in 10-year coefficient bonus.  Unfortunately, Copenhagen (higher 10-year coefficient than Celtic) twice came from behind in extra time away to Sparta Prague to win through on penalties, with Larsson Jnr scoring a first minute opener for them.  The Danes face Polish champions Rakow Czestochhowa in the playoffs.  Rakow started the new season in mixed form, so I expect the Larssons to be celebrating.

AIK Athens continued a good night for Greek football winning away at Dinamo Zagreb.  The second leg is scheduled for Saturday and a Dinamo elimination would also net Celtic around £900k.  Dinamo were keen to retain Croatia international keeper Dominik Livakovic for the qualifiers, so that position could change early next week.  Could be an interesting one.

This money all adds up for Celtic and shows the perils of Champions League qualification, where teams are caught early in their season’s preparation.  100 minutes into the game, it was no surprise that Marseille legs and minds were not up to the task.

Newco’s draw in Geneva earned them €5m plus takings from an additional home qualifier against PSV Eindhoven next week – huge money for a side that badly needs cash.  Their season ahead of our visit to Ibrox on 3 September will be markedly different to ours until that point.

We will have played four competitive games, none against a team that has/will physically exert us.  Newco will have played eight games, four of which are ideal preparation for facing Celtic.  They are in Eindhoven four days before that Celtic game, with the possibility of elation or depression, as well as exertion.

There are clear negatives for Newco but after eight games they will be close to fully fit, whereas we are likely to still be finding our legs.  That problem is hopefully something the backroom team can work on to mitigate.  Not sure if this is a good or bad fixture mix.

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  1. Have any games against Rangers and the Tribute Act ever been influenced either way because one of the teams was playing mid week against tough opponents? There may well be loads of responses to prove Paul67’s point but I’m not sure, particularly this early in the season it makes any difference, other than losing key players to injury, we seem to have lost a couple ourselves even though we have played/will have played less games.

  2. P67



    Good fixture mix for me, but I think the winners will be those with the best physchogical performance on the day – I doubt the physical aspect will play a big part on Sept 3.

  3. That awkward moment when you press Post Comment, just after P67 announces the new article…c’est la vie.






    DENIABHOY on 16TH AUGUST 2023 10:00 AM


    Think someone said yesterday that last night’s result was worth around 7 million to them…





    Happy to be corrected on this, but my understanding is that the €5M payment is given only to the play-off losers, to compensate for losing access to the CL group stage money.



    If all clubs who reach the play-off round were given this sum, then the winners would enter the group stage with an extra payment denied to those who go directly to the groups.



    Did the Ibrox club get €5M more than us for reaching the group stage last year?



    No, I’m sure they didn’t…and won’t this year if they fluke their way past PSV.

  4. McCarthy will be getting a shout soon…..Holm will establish himself in the team,in Hatates absence IMO

  5. Afternoon Celts, re Paul67s article.


    Sevco v PSV


    Ross County v Sevco


    PSV v Sevco


    Sevco v Celts


    I’d think PSV are going to beat Sevco home and away, mentally and physically, they will be worse off than Celtic going into the Glasgow Derby. Hopefully by then we will have a few players signed to add quality and strength.


    Mon the PSV.


    Ps happy birthday to the original Holy Goalie



  6. 18 YARD MAN on 16TH AUGUST 2023 12:21 PM



    Happy to be corrected on this, but my understanding is that the €5M payment is given only to the play-off losers, to compensate for losing access to the CL group stage money.





    You are indeed correct. They are guaranteed the £4.3M payment if they lose to PSV. Win and the payment reverses to PSV.

  7. Getting the excuses in early Paul! What will hold us back is the length of time we have taken to strengthen the squad. Even if we do add players by the window deadline we won’t be prepared for Ibrox. We just have to hope they continue to labour.


    We were spoilt the last two years by early signings and whilst I appreciate a new manager needs to time to assess his players, we didn’t.


    A new opportunity may be given to players that do well initially but ultimately fall short. I had hoped we would try and build on what Ange had done, but it appears that after losing Jota, Starfelt and Mooy (not the fault of the club) we are not going to try and sign ready made players – which is disappointing. Whilst all 5 new signings so far, could turn out to be good in time (statistically unlikely) they all lack game experience. We have lost huge experience in the three players we’ve lost.


    Our “best XI” or 12 is still decent but to try and have a go at Europe (not just the CL) we needed to add quality. I don’t see it happening. A new central midfielder of quality was needed but instead we have gone with two very young players and forcibly signed Iwata (who will not last long).


    Ange didn’t get every signing right but we always looked prepared except for his first few weeks.


    It may be coincidence that PL returning (even in a different role) has resulted in procrastinated signings and a bloated look to the squad or it may be that BR is willing to take most things to come back. Time will tell and I hope I am proven massively wrong over the next 2 weeks with the type of signing we need.


    They can’t always be 20/21/22 and prospects.


    The CL genuinely concerns me due to our squad and injuries to key players. So many back up players are simply not good enough. Additionally players like Hart are falling short of what we need, others previously reliable are off form and there is a feel of uncertainty about the squad. I felt it at CP on the first day of the season.


    If the board and BR act now the whole club gets a lift and some confidence back amidst everybody.

  8. 18 Yard Man – your point makes sense Paul repeats above that it earns them 5 million plus home gate (hence the 7 million I assume). I guess the correct way of saying it is that it is worth at least 5 million?


    Clearly they will get a lot more if they beat PSV and go into CL but the 5 million would not be theirs in that scenario.

  9. I suppose if you keep sending out the same message people (and not just the people) will start to believe…


    New Company – Same Club




  10. So, some legs in Dominic Livakovic then. Mmmmm



    + Lagerbeilke at CH


    + Merlin at LB


    + Podence at LW



    Could grow to like that…




  11. If newclub are half as bad as some on here think they are ( reading back on last night’s live updates) then what’s the worry for our trip to snake mountain.

  12. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    All good info Paul. Cheers.



    €1.8m possible windfall from 10-year coefficients placement pays one of our top earners for a year.



    So not to be sniffed it.



    As for the other stuff ?



    Largely subjective.



    Depends what half your glass is.



    More games with an edge already played?



    Yes absolutely.



    On flip side – managing the squad is tricky.



    In an ideal world Sevco would want to cancel fixtures immediately before both legs of PSV tie.



    But they can’t risk falling behind in the league.



    Same applies to resting key players. “Awkward fixtures” and all that.



    PS – I thought PSV would eliminate Sevco last year.



    They didn’t.



    Chickens, count, hatch, don’t.



    On flip side PSV are a better team this year with a MUCH better manager.



    IMHo, Sevco are the opposite on both counts.

  13. Them uns being possibly 6 points behind us by the beginning of September would be ‘gone by Halloween’ stuff for mole-y Beale. It becomes a must-win for them. Massive pressure.



    If, as expected, they are dealing with the real possibility of being punted out of the first competition already too.



    It will blood and snottery stuff and I think the absence of away fans is a factor now. Refs, Var rooms and stands will all be decked out to favour their heroes.



    Plenty to happen between now and then. I’d like us to hit a bit of coherence before then with team, selection and style of play in better shape.




  14. There definitely appears to be a shift in the speed at which we’re signing newbies.


    Brendan must feel sufficiently relaxed – or richly recompensed – not to be agitating much about progress there.



    Podence: We were linked to him during Lenny’s reign.



    With Hatate sidelined, doesn’t that make a proven midfielder more a priority than another winger.




    BTW: i thought that ref let the Lionesses run all their gamesmanship tricks and could have been more strict. Kudos to England; way more game smart than the plucky Matildas.




  15. Tangbhoy



    “We were spoilt the last two years by early signings and whilst I appreciate a new manager needs to time to assess his players, we didn’t.”





    1) We got Kwon, Yang, Tillio, Holm and Nawrocki in early enough. We also contracted Iwata after he was only on loan. We also got Callum, Daizen and Kyogo to sign contract extensions all of which cost us.



    2) On what “early” day of the Transfer window did Ange land CCV, Jota and Giakoumakkis?

  16. POR CIERTO on 16TH AUGUST 2023 1:04 PM



    Peter Lawwell the Ghost of Transfer Windows Past, Present & Future, por cierto



    No you as well PC :-))) we need a bogey man PC,and maybe PL is no allowed to leave some heids.




  17. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    Yes, it will be interesting.



    Contrast the Huns eliminating PSV and qualifying for the CL, then beating Celtic 4 days later to the huns being eliminated by PSV and beaten by Celtic 4 days later to fall 6 points behind in the league.



    No prizes for guessing what my heart says, but unless they have a miraculous improvement in form, my head also says the latter is the more probable.

  18. TOM MCLAUGHLIN on 16TH AUGUST 2023 12:58 PM


    £10 on England to win 3-1 @ 22/1.





    £230 return. Bingo!!!




    Well done TOM.


    Great minds must think alike because……


    I have England to beat the Aussies by the Correct Score of 3 – 1 at odds of 22/1 on FIVE Separate “Lucky 31″, which are ongoing into this weeks Fitba with Celtic, Hibs and Hearts involved.



    TWO of my ” Lucky 31″ bets have England to win 3- 1 v the Aussies at 22/1 in ” SIngles and DOUBLES” along with the game last night between Sturm Graz and PSV which also finished with PSV winning 3 – 1 at odds of 14/1.


    I am now waiting on a massive return IF Celtic, Hibs and Hearts get the selected results ?


    Hibs and Hearts in Europe games tomorrow….and Celtic against Kilmarnock on Sunday.


    I do NOT expect ALL THREE Teams to serve up the Correct Scores that selected…however, you never know ?



    Between the Two Bookies that have my ongoing Bets, between them…they are offering me MORE than £400 ” CASH OUT” right now, but I am NOT tempted, I am gonna let my Bets run.



  19. I had put on a couple of very small bets on the Aussies to beat Engurland by either 2 – 1 or 3 – 2….just in case ?


    However, II thought that Engurland would just be too strong for the Aussies.


    A Valiant attempt for the AUSSIE TILLIES.



  20. As I Posted earlier this morning…


    I had also placed a DOUBLE on ” TAVPEN” to score at anytime last night ( Odds were 3/1) AND ” RUSSO” of Engerlund v the Aussies Today, to score at anytime at odds of 3/30.


    A nice wee DOUBLE !



    I convinced myself that SEVCO would get a Penalty last night, as they do in MOST games.





  21. So is it more lucrative to play 2 qualifiers than to go straight in/



    presumably Sevco will earn thick end of 6m euros plus group stage swag if they qualify, big if obvs?



    Seems a bit strange

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