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. stephenpollock on

    Bada bing – I was thinking the same thing watching the draw what a class man Gianni was.



    As to the draw I am happy. Those teams will cut each other up. 2 Wins and a Draw will be enough for Europe after Xmas.



    As to SFA I don’t think it is they who will be blamed,if we don’t sign players – we have had a long time to ponder deadline.

  2. Canalamar



    I reckon Ive been clear and consistent throughout on communication and I’m in the best position to judge.



    What Ive said here Ive said to Celtic.



    All I’m asking is for folk to consider why they take the stance that they do?



    I take mine because I like to understand why things are as they are. That requires putting aside judgements that may reflect the reality of the situation or may not, depending on whether what I believe to be true is true or not true.



    I like to keep an open mind. It lets the air and light in.

  3. If the transfer window in Scotland stayed open like most of Europe then Sevco would be free to buy players on the Monday.


    As Paul has alluded to this was a mistake in the Sevco punishment.



    RIP Seamus

  4. Does the SFA nonsense mean that today is the last day of the Scottish window, while everyone else will carry on until Monday?



    Why no outcry?



    I guess the answer is that we are the only Scottish club who could be affected, so who cares?

  5. benjybhoy mul


    12:31 on


    30 August, 2013


    Celtic v Barca – The Nou Firm.




    that is class ,absolutely Braw!

  6. Steinreignedsupreme on

    Paul 67 –



    “Even Jim Farry checked the calendar.”



    Apparently he liked to know well in advance what day July 12 was on each year.

  7. SydneyTim


    12:41 on


    30 August, 2013



    The SFA have given them that excuse. Are you happy about that? Are you happy that regardless of any other reasons we could be denied the opportunity to sign a player that is open to our European rivals.



    Being unhappy with the board and unhappy with the SFA are not mutually exclusive arguments and there’s nothing wrong with Paul67 pointing out the ineptitude and intransigence of the SFA.



    By the way if we were to sign Finbogasson today for a good price will you be extending any praise at all to the board?

  8. Morrissey the 23rd on

    Well done Celtic on signing Nir and freezing the CL ticket price.



    My first Subbuteo team was painted Morton.



    Who are we likely to get in the next round of the CL?




    Margaret McGill





    antipodean red @ 05:53


    Welcome!Onwards and upwards but careful with any sidey ways movement.




    thecockanee @ 07:11





    bazzabhoy @ 08:46


    The Telegraph reporters who’s name is on the article last night said it wasn’t him who wrote it. I don’t care who wrote it. I read it on The telgraph website. DISGUSTED!




    JP @ 12:02





    blantyretim is praying for the Knox family @ 12:11


    The other Tim who did the skydive with me (in above video) is from Larkhall. He is a VERY nice guy.



    Maggie McGill CSC

  9. glendalystonsils on

    Jim Farry was indeed a very meticulous man. Always checked the calendar and never went for a “walk” without first putting stainguard on his sash.

  10. LiviBhoy - God bless wee Oscar on




    Is there not a CL deadline? Surely that would allow us special status?




  11. phyllis-possibly on UEFA site? Would be nice if the Club could repay our gratitude,indeed if the Club would like me to thank Gianni in person in Monaco/Switzerland etc,,they can get my email from P67…….:)



  12. Malone Bhoy in support of Wee Oscar.



    Are you talking about the Corinthian,if you are,you must frequent it a bit.



    Don’t you know that it is a Sevco place?.

  13. Steinreignedsupreme on

    Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon 12:47 on 30 August, 2013



    Does the SFA nonsense mean that today is the last day of the Scottish window, while everyone else will carry on until Monday?



    Why no outcry?



    I guess the answer is that we are the only Scottish club who could be affected, so who cares?






    The St Johnstone manager spoke out about it yesterday – he reckons they will miss out on a loan deal.

  14. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Nir Biton is 1.967174817349571726847824356781263m tall [approx]



    He first learned the great history of the famous Glasgow Celtic when his next door neighbour’s infant daughter became acutely unwell.



    Antony Stokes, who happened to be passing through Ashdod with a view to seeing the Canaanite ruins, immediately diagnosed life threatening acute epiglottitis and with the use of his trusty Swiss Army knife and the barrel of a bookie’s pen the bold Anto skillfully performed a life-saving tracheotomy.



    While they waited for the ambulance Anto calmed everyone’s nerves by recounting how he set up the winning goal against Shakhter.

  15. From Garngad to Croy I am Neil Lennon. on

    Paul 67



    I seem to remember the scenario was mentioned when the transfer ban was put into place. I was (back then) 100% sure that the SFA officers new exactly why the date of 1st September was chosen . I am sure Ally can be trusted to spend the cash wisely !

  16. I would like to express my gratitude – as others have done – for the professional manner in which Giani Infantino conducted the draw and assisted Billy yesterday afternoon.



    He seems a thoroughly decent man.



    Born in Switzerland of Italian extraction, he is a qualified lawyer.



    Every Celtic fan should contact him and express their gratitude.




  17. tommytwiststommyturns supporting Wee Oscar on

    Someone posted yesterday that UEFA should have found the problem with the tight balls (ooh er) during the practice run.



    Regarding the transfer window deadline…UEFA should strictly apply the same deadline in all participating countries, but there’s about ten different dates & times. It’s utter nonsense!



    Z – Limassol as well….see you in Feb! :-)




  18. Morrissey the 23rd on

    Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon @ 12:47



    The SFA serve one club to the detriment of every other club.



    From the DR yesterday:



    Early Scottish transfer deadline could scupper St Johnstone’s bid for loan signing



    SAINTS boss Tommy Wright says that the Scottish Professional Football League’s ‘bizarre’ decision to close the window early could cost his side a new player.



    ST JOHNSTONE manager Tommy Wright has revealed the decision to close the Scottish transfer window on Saturday night could deny him his latest signing target.



    Wright is looking to bring in a loan player from the Barclays Premier League, which has a transfer deadline of 11pm on Monday night.



    But the Scottish Professional Football League window closes on August 31, rather than the first normal working day after the end of the month, leaving Wright with some serious persuading to do in the coming days.



    Wright said: “I’d like to get one in on loan but there could be a wee difficulty.



    “He needs to play for his club on Monday and if they still need him, that would rule us out because our window bizarrely shuts at 11 o’clock on Saturday and the English Premier League one stays open.



    “I’m hoping to persuade the club that we can get him before our window shuts.



    “It’s an under-21 game but he is just coming back so they feel he needs to play in it. If he does, then we can’t get him.”

  19. canamalar prays Oscar can do it again on



    Your doing it again, my point was about the double standards about how the board exploit staff, not about communication.


    You insisted the board would never put pressure on Lenny after everything he went through then moved onto your communication argument and used the CST resolution saying it was a good idea while using it to boost your argument about communication.


    My whole and only point was the board would put that pressure on Lenny regardless of what he went through and that if your going to mention the CST resolution to support one of your points then is o ly fair that you use the other resolution to accept your first point was not accurate but simply your opinion, something you have been chastising other people for.


    The CST are asking the board to pay minimum wage to Celtic staff, if that needs to be asked then why do you believe the board would never exploit Lenny ?

  20. garcia lorca



    12:37 on 30 August, 2013






    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.





    Nice post, Garcia.



    Rest in Peace, Seamus.

  21. Saturday 31st at 11pm is closure of the transfer window for SPFL Premiership clubs, midnight for the lower divisions.



    SFA have stated that Saturday is a normal working day for them, therefore they don’t need to move it to Monday, even though that is exactly what they did when the 31st was last on a Saturday.



    It makes no difference to us, we’ll have our business done, but is embarrassing for the SFA. However when compared to the lack of corporate governance, sectarian emails, the cheating and corruption under their watch and probably perpetuated within their own offices, it pales into insignificance. If they can brush all of this under the carpet, they’ll have no problem with the transfer window.




  22. Weeminger. If we sign Alfie or any other goalscorer in the last day, I will indeed thank the board and PL


    But it won’t happen as what happens on the park does not effect the balance sheet and PL bonus at this moment in time


    Money is banked and CL cash coming so no need to reduce the balance sheet


    Sad but true

  23. LiviBhoy - God bless wee Oscar on

    Walter Myth European Record



    First spell



    Played: 31


    Won: 3


    Lost: 13


    Drawn: 15



    Second spell



    Played: 15


    Won: 2


    Lost: 6


    Drawn: 7






    Played: 46


    Won: 5


    Lost: 19


    Drawn: 23



    Neil Lennon



    Played: 30


    Won: 16


    Lost: 9


    Drawn: 5



    Neil Lennon has managed Celtic in 16 less European matches and won treble the amount of games as Myth.



    Amazing stats!



    Do NOT expect to read this anywhere in the Scottish media.




  24. SydneyTim



    That made me laugh.



    It never crossed my mind that comment on an SFA error was an excuse for Celtic not signing a player.



    Laughable. So I did.






    How about Paul was making the point that the SFA were unable to comply because it would have allowed Rangers to sign players that the SFA embargo was designed to stop and the SFA were embarrased already?



    Ok on reading that an embarrased SFA is maybe stretching it but an incompetent one is’nt.



    Nope. Its got nothing to do with Celtic spin, well I cannot see what difference it makes to our signing attempts. Just SFA incomptence.

  25. Ps pukki is not a goalscorer. But a project and gamble to see if a non goalscorer becomes a goalscorer

  26. Fed up hearing nonsense from Doncaster that the SFA is always there to assist the Clubs,they are the Clubs.Absolute bollix.

  27. Paul, maybe the SFA – i.e heid puppetmaster Ogilvie – DID check the calendar.



    Maybe they DID realise their window was closing early.




    Maybe they DID know it would be a mere 3 days after CL qualifiers were done, 2 days after the draw was made for the groups.




    Maybe they DID realsie the one club who could be affected by it would be the one club that could make the CL.




  28. Auldheid. Indeed a comment about the corrupt SFA is always crucial



    But not with less than 48hrs of transfer window open



    No excuses for that. It comes direct from PL to distract us at this crucial time for our club

  29. SydneyTim


    12:55 on


    30 August, 2013



    And do you also accept that it’s ridiculous that we are shackled by our own association in a way that other top European clubs are not?

  30. Has anyone ever seen Goldstar & SydneyTim in the same room? Hmmmmm…. Not one to cause controversy but I heard a rumour they’re the same person….







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