I couldn’t watch. Instead, I caught up on Ozark. Later, convinced things were not working out as expected, I called it a night and was brushing my teeth when the first text arrived, “Beautiful”. Did it mean what I hoped it did?
All the downstairs lights were out but within seconds there was a loud and determined hammering on the front door. I knew what news that house-shaking noise heralded, someone was here to share a moment. And what a moment. What was at stake last night was nothing short of bragging rights for the rest of your life. The. Rest. Of. Your. Life!
An avalanche of red, white and blue tat was a mouse click away from being launched last night. An ocean of novelty items, neckties, mugs, watches and so many clothing lines, forever claiming the year 2022, were about to flood online shopping baskets and would forever catch your eye on the streets of Glasgow and towns thousands of miles away.
Throw them all in the sea! Nobody wants them.
An entire industry was stopped in its tracks when Eintracht Frankfurt completed that most German of achievements and won the penalty shootout in Seville. Had Newco won, their players would be celebrated for the remainder of their lives – and at their passing. You would never escape references to this game, it would follow you without end.
In reaching the final, Newco’s achievement, just 10 years after the liquidation of Oldco, was impressive. Well done to a manager and squad that surely reached a peak even their dads would never have through possible. To lose 5-4 on penalties, is especially cruel. Fans who endured so much and have yet to see their team lift a trophy in person (do we count the Petrofac Cup win over Peterhead?), were denied a lifelong affirmative memory. They know that was their chance, it will never come again.
The cost of Aaron Ramsey’s penalty miss excluding commercial and broadcast revenues? €4m additional prize money for the winners and a minimum of €5.2m for participating in the Uefa Super Cup game. Automatic Champions League qualification would bring in revenue, some of which will displace income from group stage games in either the Europa or Conference Leagues, one of which Newco will qualify for. This will be in the region of €15m to €20m.
If Newco successfully earn one of the two Champions League non-champion group stage places, the damage is limited to €9.2m, if they fail to reach the CL group stage, the cost will be in the €25m – €30m region. Aaron should have practised more.
Ramsay’s penalty also saved Celtic from having to share (for the time being) Scotland’s CL TV pool money – so a budget spreadsheet at Celtic Park received an extra £3m last night. Which is nice.
The £100m losses gambled on getting a Champions League breakthrough almost paid off last night. But it didn’t, which is how gambling works!