Uefa’s Nations League, a competition too far


There is every chance you do not know if tonight’s Czech Republic – Scotland game is competitive or a friendly (it’s Nations League, so somewhere in-between), but, like me, you will be concerned that during European qualification, several Celtic players will take the field against the remaining Czechs who have not tested positive for Covid.

This disease has an incubation period of up to 14 days.  The Czechs have lost their first team due to infection and we now roll the dice hoping there has been no cross-contamination around Czech football circles in recent days.

Nothing about this is right.  The Nations League should have been one of the many things we have sacrificed due to the pandemic.  It required international travel and sporting bubbles to be mix.  What happened to the Czechs following their win over Slovakia on Friday will have consequences for both nations and for clubs across the continent.  I know the SFA are far from competent at most things, but the issue here lies at Uefa.

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  1. For years we have watched our Youth teams parade around Celtic Park with various trophies.


    We assume all is well , we have a conveyor belt of talent waiting to burst into the first team.



    We all pat ourselves on the back, this is what our £2 Paradise Windfall pays for.



    Unfortunately this is not the case.



    Lesser teams who , by necessity , promote their best young players to the first team, weaken their under age team.


    This creates spaces for best young players in the age group below to move up, be tested at higher level.



    Celtic have the money to sign players directly into first team squad which means the players in the age groups below never have a chance. They stay in their own age group, play against teams which have younger kids and as a consequence we win the trophies.


    Then they move to a career in part time or non league football.



    Great young players will always make it. However I fear our system means that many of our next level players who could and should make it , if they had the exposure………don’t.



    When James McCarthy was at Hamilton he played 95 times aged 16-19.


    On this blog posters bemoaned the fact that we had not picked him up at an early age.



    In a Sliding Doors world , I suspect that, had we picked up James as a kid , he would have reached his 19th birthday with Zero appearances for our first team.


    He would then be released to play for Stenhousemuiror similar.


    ( He would look back on his career as a part time player in lower division Scottish Football and tell people in his workplace how he won a drawer full of U13, U15, U19 medals earned at Celtic)



    The Onlooker.



    ( I started this morning in optimistic mood)

  2. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Big Wavy …



    “Huns have 7 U21 in the SWcotland squad. We have One…should we be worried?”



    Instinctively? No.



    Purely on the assumption that the u21 players have not yet reached the level of attainment of their senior capped counterparts …



    … who, as a unit, are rank rotten.



    We’ve clearly been targeting non-Scottish youngsters …



    Ajer, Okoflex, Afelobi, Connell, O’Connor, Frimpong.



    Agree with some of Madmitch’s tenet.



    The methodology and levels of professionalism in the youth ranks “feel” a little bit sub-optimal.



    Age old question for Scottish football though (going back at least 40 years)



    How do you turn a promising 19 year old prospect into an effective 21 year old pro?



    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith

  3. Big Wavy



    Some great points, hopefully you get a good response with the questions you posed.


    The CQN much heralded great squad and youth set up was a point i singlehandedly contested last summer with several posters.


    I was a single voice, treated as highly controversial.


    My fears stemmed from the signing of Liam Burt.


    Here was a player i knew a lot about, my Dad had seen him in every training session and game for 18 months.


    When I told him he had signed he was stunned.


    As an ex season ticket holder and share holder but also someone who thought the lad was a gem of a boy, he thought Liam had got 6 numbers in the lottery. Just who is making these obvious mistakes?


    I contested with every poster who mentioned Okoflex, every time i seen him he looked miles away.


    Luca Connell imo is last year’s Okoflex.



    Hope you get a good response but my experience is that theirs very few posters on here who want to debate the hard questions, just want to clap and cheer. That’s ok there’s room for everyone but debate is healthy. Some take constructive views like you’re robbing their granny.



    You are obviously one of the exceptions (my favourite poster) as their are too few posters who will debate the actual nuts and bolts of everything Celtic, good or bad.


    The blog would be a better place if more would leave theyre tinted specs at the login.



    I don’t see one player in the development squad, Dembele excepted that is anywhere near a regular starter, i do have hopes for young Harper but haven’t seen enough, just glimpses.



    The youth set up is a concern, has been to me for a few years.HH

  4. internationals over, now time to pick apart our youth system.



    were is the joy in supporting celtic.



    our sky is not falling in.

  5. Sick and tired of some posters full of doom and gloom.What about next year,ooooohhhh,how will we survive.


    A new stand,oooohhhh,how will we pay for it.A Hotel,oooooohhhhh what use is that.


    Everything,oooohhh what if,what if.


    What if Fergus had thought like this.How did we survive when Henrik went,Lubo,Mc Stay,Dalgleish,etc went.


    For a club to be riding so high,just seems far too many can’t enjoy the ride,a few bumps,but a fantastic ride just the same.Let the Management and people who run the club do the finances,of which ,most of the fans have no clue at all,but continue to post them on here,as if they do.The internet has really thrown up some dour faced,miserable,moaning bassas.Thank fek I don’t drink in Pubs with the likes.

  6. onenightinlisbon on

    I think the danger of not looking at how we are progressing with our youth, stadium etc is that we get lulled into a false sense of security. Every successful organisation plans ahead and adapts to meet the future head on. Our custodians , whilst supposedly hardened business men, do not seem to be very adept at doing that?

  7. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Madmitch – with you on the Stadium growth strategy.



    I mentioned a few years ago on here, I’d love to see the capacity taken up to the symbolic 67525 figure.



    Permanent homage to the Lisbon lions.



    Capacity exceeds Murrayfield making CP the largest sports arena in Scotland.



    Love walking out to my seat in the South Stand and seeing the enormity of the North Stand across the pitch. (Will never forget my first viewing of the finished article the day Rod cut the ribbon).



    That said, it’s a 27,000 seat beast !



    A sensitive redesign of the South Stand



    from 7k – 14k seats



    More aesthetically pleasing joins to JS and LL stands



    Without building out to the edge of London Road



    Works for me.



    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith

  8. SID,



    Your post exactly what I am talking about.Since when should we take your miserable assessments of the younger players,and reserves at the club as gospel.How many times have you watched Connel.You say about Harper,but have hardly seen him.If we took 20 from here and asked them their thoughts on players,they would all be different.Chelsea have around 90 young players out on loan.Most will never make it.Its what happens.Not a Scottish thing.


    Doom and gloom.Never ends.

  9. Really good points fellas and thanks for the kind words SID. Funnily enough, like clockwork, here comes the very thing you said would happen.



    Do we have a pathway for youngsters ? If you’re 20/21 and haven’t broken through yet, is it likely to happen for you? Do we plan for 1 big hitter every few years to pay its own way (e.g. like Kieran)?



    Is the Shamrock Rovers initiative a way to get kids playing? Is there still a SRFC initiative?



    Like a few here, beyond Karamoko, I’m not seeing much come through the ‘youth’ ranks in the near ready category.

  10. Tell ye what I’m worried aboooot……..



    Sleekit hunned-up, whistlers……………….who are still resolutely on the the journey.


    The orange does not fall far from the tree.



    Fix Fitba: Empty Hampden.




  11. Newsnow



    “Charlie Nicholas gives Shane Duffy Celtic transfer verdict”


    Would anybody actually click on that? Would anybody actually care what his verdict was?

  12. When we rebuilt the stadium we had to put thousands of tonnes of concrete into old mine shafts that were under the old terraces. I suspect we would have to do similar before constructing a larger facade.



    If we were ever to extend the stadium in a post Covid world we would displace 10,000 fans ( currently seated in the South stand)….for at least half a season.



    If there was ever a time to do it , it’s now when stadium is empty.



    However it is unlikely to happen as we have no way of knowing if we will even need 60,000 for the next few seasons.




    The Onlooker

  13. Taking a wee break from here.Doom and gloom,and riddled with SNP haters.The daily agenda.


    Not for me.I enjoy Celtic,warts and all.

  14. Turkeybhoy,



    Of course we think about the future If our current custodians clapped like seals in a global pandemic then I would be worried.



    Things are not normal, and there is every possibility they may not be nornal for years.


    Putting your head in the sand pretending it’s normal is deluded.



    At least you have the sun :)

  15. BW @ 10.56



    Agree CP is now 25 / 30 years behind the times.


    The FMcC expansion was good but it was done to a budget and it shows.



    Rebuild of the South Stand:



    £50mill = for the expansion I have in mind to 67K plus space for 8K in the Attic.


    £80mill = if we do it properly with an attic and facilities down to London Road.


    £100mill = if fitted out to EPL Gin Palace / Spurs standards.


    The big number would include a 500 bed hotel plus fit out the Attic.



    My thoughts are do it once / do it big.






    £10mill pa — from season tickets / extra tickets / car parking / matchday spend.


    £5mill pa — Stadium + museum tours / facilities hire.


    £5mill pa — merchandising spend.


    £5mill pa — Hotel revenue / 60% occupancy / £50 average RR.


    £2mill pa — ticket sales from the Attic / 60K plus tickets per season @ £30’ish.


    £?mill pa — other stuff.



    Looking at £10mill of a surplus at the very least / £20mill if we work our socks off.






    £20Mill = Club funds.


    £80mill = Bonds @ 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7% pa — based on CL / EuL results with 10% if we win anything.


    £10mill = Naming rights / sponsorship.


    £??mill = SG grants / GCC grants.

  16. MadMitch,



    Stadium naming rights. : The Parkhead Adidas stadium.



    Ticks my box. I could still call it Parkheid like I have always done.




  17. B2B @ 11.40



    67525 it is then — plus 8K seats in the attic for the tourist / glamour hunter / CL overspill.


    I would build down to London Road — this is Scotland and we have rain.


    Plus the Celtic Way would be inside rather than outside.

  18. Naming rights values to EPL teams…..what could we get and would we care if it was named ?



    Manchester United – £26.75m


    Manchester City – £21.90m


    Tottenham Hotspur – £17.50m


    Liverpool – £16.90m


    Chelsea – £16.75m


    Arsenal – £16.65m


    West Ham – £5.55m


    Newcastle United – £3.90m


    Everton – £3.30m


    Leicester City – £3.20m

  19. “Tottenham are generating £800,000 in food and drink revenues at each home game through a diverse range of hospitality suites, restaurants, bars and street-food outlets on ­stadium concourses.



    Based on 19 Premier League games and a minimum of three Champions League group matches, that is an additional income of £17.6million per season. Rivals Manchester City admit they do well to bring in £150,000 a game from hospitality at the Etihad”.



    …….Can we aim this high?

  20. Stx2 @ 12.00



    In Glesga parlance you would call it the Gods.


    A top tier that would be above the normal SPL arrangement in a new South Stand.


    Space that could be fitted out with seats for high value games.



    Big Box @ 40 rows x 200 plus seats = 110M long x 30M deep x 18M high.


    It would mean a fancier roof but pretty mainstream elsewhere.



    My thoughts on CP expansion = total rework of the South Stand.


    The seating arrangement would not be the same as the rest of the ground.


    It would be of a similar scale and height but would be arranged differently.



    However it would only have one main seating level plus cantilevered seating above with 2K free pie seats and hospitality boxes.



    On the basis of our second biggest cup I would also include a “Royal Box” for Susan Boyle amongst others.



    On top of this would be the Attic aka the Gods.


    Fag packet numbers — the first row would be 50M’ish from the touchline / 28-30M up.

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