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. ASonOfDan



    12:37 on


    30 August, 2013



    You can register an unattached player whenever you want. So these guys have employment contracts with the zombies but can’t register as players until Monday. I think technically they could sign for another club before then if they wanted, it would be a contractual legal issue I’m sure but not a football issue.





    12:41 on


    30 August, 2013



    I don’t think you understand the business side of the football world at times. It may be an “excuse” and it may be convenient if you’re paranoid or cynical about the board but it doesn’t change the fact that not being able to be active (apart from selling player) on deadline day is a huge disadvantage as players, clubs and agents all use the closing of the window as a bargaining chip. Some are likely to refuse to move until close to closing so they can drive the power of their hand up.



    We maybe should be questioning the lack (or perceived lack) of lobbying from Celtic to the SFA to extend the window but not ignore the fact that the situation it creates doesn’t and won’t cause problems.

  2. Jusy seen the Qatar Airlines / Barca advert,quality ,with the Jackie Wilson classic Higher and Higher.Sure somebody will do the linky thing.

  3. canamalar prays Oscar can do it again on

    So does the SFA closing the transfer window on the 31st mean none of the trialists at the begging bowl can be signed ?

  4. A Stor Mo Chroi on




    First of what thinking Celtic Supporter ever trusted what was written in the Celtic View.


    I personally gave up buying it when I was sixteen and no longer covered my walls with the pictures. I thought the player profile in the Shoot was more interesting. If I remember rightly so did that radical publication NTV.



    Secondly, I remember an e-mail I sent you around the time of Dallasgate when there was a lot of dancing in the streets and likewise on the blogs. I remember saying we’ve won nothing yet. It was around the time when Celtic Supporters were being accused of making death threats to SFA officials.



    I remember then the reaction from official Celtic. I remember the reaction to the 5 way agreement, I remember well the reaction to Campbell Ogilvie being re-elected unopposed when at the very, very, very, very, best he was at best very, very, very, very forgetful and incompetent; and at worst…. I remember quite a lot but I’d rather not list them all here.



    I can remember all their words verbatim, it’s not very hard to do ‘cos there were none.



    I remember saying I’d keep my champagne on ice until Ogilvie is gone.



    I know the SFA is a nest of vipers, they’re also very good at breeding. I wonder if they would procreate so freely is Robert Kelly or Fergus McCann were still in charge.



    I do bite my tongue a lot mate but our board has an obligation not just to this generation and our demographic but to all the generations and all demographics to come.



    What they do in this decade could very well reverberate for decades to come. They’re only incumbents, not despots, after all, but they often appear to behave like a rump parliament.



    Remind me… why was our club formed? Well the famine is over but our ethos lives on.



    Are we too wee or not worthy of the truth?



    “We’re not asking for special treatment, but neither will we be treated as less than anyone else. Those days are gone.”



    After their dismissal, SFA president George Peat said he only learned of the sackings in the media, adding: “I wasn’t in the office.”



    President George Peat pleaded this week that innuendo and inference must cease.



    “My role at Rangers, until the mid-90s, included finalising the paperwork for player registrations.



    “As confirmed by Sir David Murray today, it was never my role to negotiate contracts during my time at Rangers.



    “It is also worth noting that, since the mid-90s, I was not responsible for the drafting or administering of player contracts.” (oor Cammie)






    If anybody says anything, with honesty, has conviction in what he says, communicates it without prejudice or deceit, then what has he got to fear if his words are thrown back at him, even in a court of law?

  5. oldtim67



    12:49 on 30 August, 2013



    I’ve not been in a while, there was a spell when my group of friends would go there if we went out ‘clubbing’ in town, but I know a lot of footballers go there.



    I’ve seen loads of Celtic players there (Kayal a couple of times springs to mind and Bobby Petta was there every time I went) so unless things have changed I think it’s just a glitzy place that footballers go in general.



    I know The Drake bar is a Celtic hang-out these days, the owner comes in to Little-Persia, the shop I work for, quite often and has bought a couple of old cheaper/worn rugs from us to decorate the upstairs.

  6. Steinreignedsupreme on

    LiviBhoy – God bless wee Oscar 12:56 on 30 August, 2013



    One of the reason none of the English clubs have been chapping Myth’s door and offering him work.



  7. Canamalar – no, the extended window would have enable sevco to sign anyone for 2 days, as their ban finishes the 31st Aug, had the SFA extended the window and the zombies signed a contracted player from another club, they would’ve been ridiculed even more.



    The reason they’ve not extended the window is due to the zombie ban ending on 31st Aug. Even though they’ve made a total mockery of the ban.



    So for once I don’t believe the SFA have acted to help the zombies, but more to try and save their own embarrassment at the lack of foresight with the ban on the zombies. But again posters are correct that they are thinking only of one club and trying, but failing, to keep face.







  8. Weeminger. Very few CL clubs are shackled with a policy that is only focused on the balance sheet to ensure our CEO KPI are met



    Lets talk facts. Vics transfer money was never intended to go to the club. Only to the plc


    No point talking about it We have been duped

  9. Steinreignedsupreme on

    The Shakhter Karagndy Loyal must be gutted they have no trips to England or Wales for the ole Europa League matches.

  10. I can’t believe what I’m reading. They are closing the window midnight Saturday to prevent Sevco from buying players on Monday. Sevco couldn’t afford to buy an ice cream on Monday.

  11. My thoughts on yesterday’s draw are that we are a 3 way fight for the 2nd, 3rd & 4th places. Similar to last year. We should expect nothing from Barca and anything we get is a bonus. Milan are a shadow of the team we played previously although they have good young fast talented forwards. Ajax are losing their best player this weekend. We should be confident of 6 points at CP and have a chance of getting something at the San Siro & the ArenA. We could also get a couple of points and go out, its that close.


    I’d take 3rd place and a EL run now.

  12. canamalar prays Oscar can do it again



    No, they can be signed because they are free agents. Players who dont have a contract can sign with a club anytime of year i think.




  13. Doctor Whatfor on

    corkcelt 13.09



    And when did not being able to afford to buy ever stop them? ;-)

  14. Dexter



    CELTIC are delighted to announce that Nir Biton has signed for the club on a four-year deal.



    The talented Israeli internationalist has joined from FC Ashdod, which is also Efe Ambrose´s former club. The 21-year-old also joins up with fellow countryman, Beram Kayal at the home of the Scottish champions.



    And he will be looking to play his part in Celtic´s UEFA Champions League group-stage campaign against Barcelona, AC Milan and Ajax.



    Nir Biton will be officially unveiled at a press conference at Lennoxtown later today.

  15. Had the pleasure of meeting big Billy frequently when working in his house in Shawlands after his return to Celtic and he and all his family were all down to earth and easy to communicate with , he told me jokingly that Our Lady’s in Motherwell went down hill when it elected to accept female pupils which went down like a lead balloon with his good lady Liz ….. as the job was coming to an end he enlisted the services of an industrial cleaning firm called Safe Hands Ltd who were owned by none other than Packie Bonnar who duly arrived in his top of the range merc , Packie was another with no airs or graces and we all had a good craic …… anyway , once he left I made a comment about the English driven fallacy of the daft Irishmen and how the big chap had done well for himself both on and off the park to which Billy replied ” in my experience , every Irish man is as far removed from from that portrayal as is humanly possible then paused in reflection and added that contrary to what he’d just said he did have on rather naive Irish chap on our books ……. guess who ?

  16. canamalar prays Oscar can do it again on

    as I thought….,


    Thanks, so the sooner the window closes the sooner they can be registered, no change there then still only one rule at the SFA

  17. corkcelt



    They are closing the window on 31st due to the inadequate transfer ban they handed out to the zombies.



    SFA is a shambles, but in this instance I don’t believe what they’re doing is to the benefit of sevco, but is to the detriment of Scottish football generally due to them basing their decision on the mistake they made with sevco’s transfer ban (which I reiterate has been made a total mockery by the zombies & a compliant smsm)




  18. Kayal33



    Cheers- saw that one- should’ve made it clearer- was referring to Pukki or another striker.



    Seems fee agreed for Teemu but personal terms still not agreed.

  19. the long wait is over 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? ….



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



    An’ dae ye think that’s awe a coincidence, like..?

  20. Sydney Tim



    Wanyama was a project.



    Forster was a project and a third choice Newcastle keeper unworthy of us



    Ki was a project and a jersey seller??



    Kelvin Wilson was an unwanted Championship player reduced to training with the stiffs



    Matthews and Ledley were cheap Bosmans from a Championship club.



    These were your opinions at the time they were bought. You have decried all our successful signings as projects and jersey sellers and Lawwell signings.




    So, I am heartened to see Pukki dismissed by yourself. I know little about his abilities but I feel more confident about him after reading your dismissal/endorsement than I did before.



    As ever, I will judge his abilities on the field of play and not on the transfer fee that left for him. I have found that cheap buys like Larsson, Lubo and Wanyama have given me greater returns than Rafael, Berkovic and Gravesen.



    P.S. I know you will have dismissed Miku, Murphy, Gershon etc; too but that will be precisely my point. You take a prejudiced position (in its literal sense) and you do not discriminate between good projects/Bosmans/cheap signings and bad projects/Bosmans/paid for signings.

  21. ArranmoreBhoyLXV11 on




    the herald front page a disgrace today & insult again to CFC..



    TOP, a story about poor John Greig, below that a negative pic of NFL, as usual making him looked ” shocked” – their words- at the euro draw..



    Nothing about excitement of draw..



    What a biased bitter rag



    UCL, having a laugh.. GIRUT

  22. Gary Hooper and Big Vic, sitting watching SSN, reading off those opponents names, making associations…



    Barca, Nou Camp, Milan, San siro, Ajax, Amsterdam Arena…



    And a little voice at the back of their heads, repeating, ‘Never again, never again, never….’

  23. SyndeyTim – your basic refusal to even acknowledge the incompetence of the SFA here leads me to suspect that you’re Campbell Ogilvie.

  24. canamalar



    No, they can register free agents anytime after their transfer ban finishes, irrespective when the transfer window closes.



    Had the window extended to Monday, they could have registered free agents as wellas signings from other clubs. SFA have simply tried to avoid this happening, I believe. Again to the detriment of every other club in Scotland.




  25. Canalamar



    I did not insist I asked if it made sense for the Board to put intolerable pressure on Lenny and, as important, for Lenny to accept it?



    To believe that I’d have to ignore evidence to the contrary ie Lenny’s statements, his willingness to stay on, his relationships in public etc.



    I do think they may have underestimated the degree of pressure and hope they all get around the table and look at avoiding the same build up next year by for example selling our best players in January and replacing them then. That would be a different judgement call each Jan. Better still move the season in Scotland.



    You appear to equate the Board’s position on a living wage whatever that position, is with a willingness to disregard staff if it suits the case. That may be so, it may not. I have no idea.

  26. setting free the bears



    13:15 on 30 August, 2013






    Lenny waited until he read Sydney Tim’s final ‘endorsement’ of Pukki on here before making his move.




  27. SydneyTim



    What makes you think Pukki isn’t a goalscorer?



    He was in the same squad last 2 years as Raul and Jan Klass Huntelaar and he was 3rd choice behind those two great players. His appearances were limited to mostly substitute appearances, but when he came on to play, he had a better goals per minute rate than either of those two.




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