Unequivocally difficult and the SFA


Champions League sections are never easy so we are as well having one which is unequivocally difficult on paper.  Despite finishing second from pot 4 in their group last season (a remarkable achievement), Celtic spent the vast majority of their time in the tournament under pressure.  They had possession less than their opponents in all six group games, so although we were successful in the group stage, there should be no doubt as the the size of the challenge.

Conversely, we looked Juventus in the eye, which, in retrospect, could be regarded as over ambitious.

When Martin O’Neill’s Celtic drew Barcelona and Milan in the group section of the Champions League the manager was clearly exasperated at the apparently preposterous task.  It was Martin’s last throw in the competition and he was anxious to break into the knockout stage for the first time.

The mood music seems different this time.  Neil Lennon has been to the knockout stage already so the pressure to breakthrough is not there.  Celtic can take one game at a time without the burden of having to prove themselves in this competition.  They are now a part of this league, they might not win it, but they can compete with anyone.

We will be second favourites for each game, which is surely the way we would all prefer it to be.  Despite what happened last year, even Barca will expect to comfortably overcome Celtic.  Surely we can’t be as organised again?

Don’t bet against it.

STV painted an interest picture of the SFA this morning.  The Association declined advice from Uefa to come into line with most of Europe (including England, crucially for many Scottish clubs) and extend the transfer window until the first business day of the week.

Doing so, however, would make a mockery of their suspension of Rangers International’s transfer embargo, which expires on 31 August.  To accept Uefa’s advice would draw attention to their oversight in not noticing that August ends on a weekend.

We all know this to be the case, but the Association would rather ignore their mistake than help out member clubs and draw attention to it.

Even Jim Farry checked the calendar.
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  1. Truth_Beauty_and_Freedom on

    Hi Fellow Celtic Fans!



    Some amazing posts on this morning’s thread. A Stor ma Chroi and thecockanee take a bow!



    I wonder if Neil Lennon will get any ‘help’ regarding new signings to help us through our amazing Champions League Group? Any News on Finboggasson or the Poke-em-In Kid?



    Yours in Celtic,




  2. The Spirit Of Arthur Lee on

    Monday morning feels so bad


    Everybody seems to nag me


    Comin’ Tuesday I’ll feel better


    Even my old man looks good


    Wednesday just won’t go


    Thursday goes too slow


    I’ve got Friday on mind

  3. Do the five day drag once more,


    Know of nothing else that bugs me


    More than working for the rich man,


    Hey I’ll change that scene one day,


    Today I might be mad,


    Tomorrow I’ll be glad,


    I’ve got Friday on my mind,

  4. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Cherrs for 4 green fields Stivs. My young sisters party piece at family gatherings..

  5. saint stivs



    “thanks for posting that, I listened often to the Four Green Fields clip with Tommy Mackem reciting that very poem, and I didnt have a clue where it came from.”



    A favourite of mine too , as my blog name suggests.



  6. Doctor Whatfor on

    Paul 67



    We will be second favourites for each game.



    Suits me. A few quid to be made then. ;-)

  7. posted on previous article.





    12:23 on


    30 August, 2013





    The Corinthian Club was stacked full of Celtic Players early Thursday morning, are they Sevconians as well, Met wee Bobby Petta on the night, He just loves Celtic.

  8. Can the SFA, even now, not allow dispensation for SPFL clubs? To be honest Sevco have already made a mockery of the ban and being able to pay money for signings would only damage them so why not.



    Can the SFA extend the window this late?



    I fear if they don’t then the damage to us will be extreme, and for the rest of the SPL with clubs relying on taking young players from larger English clubs on loan, it could be painful as well.

  9. JimmyQuinnsBits on

    Jeez… a giant falls, light as the feather on the quill



    RIP Seamus






    Between my finger and my thumb


    The squat pin rest; snug as a gun.



    Under my window, a clean rasping sound


    When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:


    My father, digging. I look down



    Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds


    Bends low, comes up twenty years away


    Stooping in rhythm through potato drills


    Where he was digging.



    The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft


    Against the inside knee was levered firmly.


    He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep


    To scatter new potatoes that we picked,


    Loving their cool hardness in our hands.



    By God, the old man could handle a spade.


    Just like his old man.



    My grandfather cut more turf in a day


    Than any other man on Toner’s bog.


    Once I carried him milk in a bottle


    Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up


    To drink it, then fell to right away


    Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods


    Over his shoulder, going down and down


    For the good turf. Digging.



    The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap


    Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge


    Through living roots awaken in my head.


    But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.



    Between my finger and my thumb


    The squat pen rests.


    I’ll dig with it.

  10. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    Mrs BT out tonight can you pass on my regrets to T..




    A pub is a pub as far as im concerned. Like you there is only a few obvious places I would avoid….

  11. Sorry Paul. Lost me there. Less than 48hrs till transfer window is closing and you are talking about SFA


    We have the cash. Lets splash it on one player


    A goalscorer. All focus from the fans is on this target.

  12. Tommytwiststomyturns.



    Pulled a pint, and a muscle when I fell down the stairs at the club,Nae luck otherwise.

  13. philbhoy @10.13am – previous post.


    Re Billy Mc Neill and employment.


    Billy was indeed an insurance broker. He was employed by Jack Noon of JB Noon &Co at Sandyford Place . Jack was a great Celtic supporter and a very decent man ( usually synonymous in my book).


    Just been out for a very late breakfast this morning to my local place just off Baker Street. English, Albanians, Bulgarians and the token Scot ( me ) all discussing the Champions League. In the Celtic of my mind and heart the club is now exactly where I think of them in football- in the company of giants. We have had to struggle so hard in our homeland and against massive financial constraints but I cannot think of another football club in the world who make such an impact. When the landscape changes there will be no holding us back.


    We are very lucky to be Celtic supporters. I remember standing with my late father and 2 brothers on the pitch at Lisbon watching Billy lift that cup and have the presence of mind to say ” watch and remember because this may never happen again”. I was wrong. Celtic will win the European Cup again. I don’t doubt that. There will be some disappointments along the way but we will do it again. It is written.

  14. I am still at a loss as to how Sevco can register players after that register is closed.



    Looking forward to a cracking game tomorrow. Time to let Balde loose on defences and show us what he can do.

  15. Fantastic news re: Biton signing. I really believe this young man has all the tools and will be a top player.

  16. SydneyTim


    12:34 on


    30 August, 2013



    I take your point, but do you not also agree that given that it’s coming down to the wire, and that clubs’ decision to sell to us may be dependent on their own ability to get a replacement that it’s absolutely ridiculous that the SFA are closing the window a full 48hrs before the rest of Europe?

  17. Billy McNeill.



    Had the very great pleasure of getting to know him during the summer of 1975, shortly after he hung up his boots after the Cup Final against a now deid club called Airdrieonians.



    At the time my parents had a café in Troon, and Cesar and his family had rented a house there for a few weeks.



    They became regular customers, and he was never anything else but a complete gentleman.



    A true Celtic legend, hero and giant!







  18. So hypothetically Finbogasson might not actually be available for sale until Sunday by which point it will be too late for us but eg Ajax could snap him up for £4M.

  19. Snake Plissken on

    Given we have only another two days to sign players I would expect a loan move for one player to go through – possibly a keeper.

  20. Re Big Billy-the class and humanity of UEFA’s Gianni Infantino is to be commended,a gentleman.Maybe Celtic could send a nice bouquet of flowers to his office as a sign of thanks and gratitude :)

  21. canamalar prays Oscar can do it again on



    I disagree I think there’s plenty our club can do but won’t.

  22. Weeminger. We have known for 365 days that we will need a goalscorer, so who care about 2 days Is this the latest PL excuse via Paul


    You can fool some people

  23. Phyllis Dietrichson on

    Can anyone furnish me with contact details for the UEFA guy who assisted Billy in making the draw yesterday? I’d really like to email him to express my gratitude for his respect and good humour when helping Billy.

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