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Vulnerable underbelly of Fenerbahce

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Let’s be clear about this, Fenerbahce looked at a Europa League group with Celtic and Molde and figured they and Ajax would progress.  They are paying some of the highest wages outside of the uber-resourced clubs in order to attract Robin van Persie, Nani and Raul Meireles, among others, to Turkey.  They clearly met stiffer competition than expected two weeks ago, when Molde stunned Europe with a 1-3 win in Istanbul, so Ronny Deila is right to suggest they are under greater pressure tonight.

This is our key advantage.  Fenerbahce arrive in Glasgow needing to bring the game to Celtic.  Had they won their opening fixture, they could have afforded a more conservative attitude.

As for Celtic, we’re at our best when counter-attacking.  Home and away to Malmo we dominated possession and territory but were picked off.  In Amsterdam we frustrated Ajax and broke forward with pace – which is something we have plenty of.

This is going to be a long, tense, night, but we can get at Fenerbahce.  Their early season league results have been positive, but there are signs of fragility, their only win by more than one goal was against the 17th placed team, and that was 7 weeks ago.  Maybe Molde uncovered a vulnerable underbelly.

Dermot, where to start?  You want things to happen before an important match day to unite fans, so I suppose he united us, but really?  Ill-advised, get on-message.

Eye on the prize for tonight.

Fan safety issue:

Uefa Security, Turkish Police, Police Scotland, Celtic and Fenerbahce met last night.  The issue of Flags and Banners was discussed at the request of the Turkish contingent.  They have highlighted their concerns for any banners being displayed which could provoke a reaction.

Political and religious tensions are running high in Turkey and it was expressed that the wrong displays could lead to serious disorder.  There will be banner checks on both sets of fans entering the stadium.

From what I can tell Fenerbahce fans enjoyed the ‘That’s not a knife’ parody, and our reputation with them is high, but Celtic fans will be in Istanbul in a few weeks and vulnerable if resentment exists.

Thank you to everyone who has taken a moment to donate to the Foundation this week via the Celtic fans who are competing in the Great Scottish Run on Sunday.  A wonderful aspect of humanity flows through the Celtic support.  If you get a chance to participate in the appeal, go for it:

Click here for my linked donation page.

Here for Steve Gunn’s.

Here for Thomas Eman’s.

Here for Robert Doherty’s.

Here for Stephen Hewitt’s.

Here for Kenny O’Neill’s.

It’s not too late to sign up for the GSR/Foundation, Sunday’s going to be a great day in Glasgow, if you fancy it……

If you entered the Magners’ Fanzone competition yesterday, check your email, winners have been notified.

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  1. The Battered Bunnet on

    The Prophesies of Nostradesmond

     

     

    Dermot’s investment was (and remains) predicated on the capital return that would be generated were Celtic to get into the EPL.

     

     

    It’s instructive listening to Roger Mitchell on the development and ultimate demise of the Atlantic League, coincident with Dermot increasing his stake in the club following Fergus skying the park.

     

     

    Celtic were antipathetic to the idea, providing no support, while at the same time courting the EPL. Celtic used the Atlantic League idea to ‘concentrate minds’ in the EPL. The Dalglish/Barnes folly, followed by the MON appointment and corollary investment represented the big play to make the case for EPL membership. Celtic were to be recognised as one of the big boys, and to be fair, it worked to an extent. Our reputation soared during the early 2000s. But the call from the EPL never materialised.

     

     

    Getting into the EPL could (in Dermot’s view) only happen with Rangers, who simultaneously were going for broke (literally). The proposition at the time was that Old Firm would expand the EPL’s economics and kudos, and each club worked the ticket.

     

     

    In the end, the project failed to deliver the prize, and the reaction at Celtic was to stabilize the club financially, ensuring that there would be no need to go back to shareholders to fund working capital. That’s been the position for 10 years now.

     

     

    It’s admirable in the sense that Celtic is able to manage its finances within a (nearly) sustainable framework, but equally, it overlooks the fact that in relative terms – relative to the neighbouring leagues in major consumer markets – Celtic is regressing. We are smaller now than we were 10 years ago by Revenue and Budget.

     

     

    What we have achieved is to pull the club off the nipple of external working capital support (whether bank or shareholder) while maintaining a holding pattern business model.

     

     

    However, it is a diminishing pattern, with the trend towards a smaller enterprise and a less competitive football team (by European standards). The demise of Rangers has reduced Celtic’s domestic income by around £5M per year (given what we know) while we have found it increasingly difficult to generate significant revenue from European competition.

     

     

    Our revenue to end June 2015 (£51M) is the lowest since 2001 (£42M), a remarkable FACT, during a period when inflation in the football market has been running at a compound annual growth rate of 9%. Celtic’s turnover, were we participating in the wider growth of the Game in Europe, would be >£100M today. But we’re not participating. We’re watching on.

     

     

    Hanging on actually, in large part due to better management of ‘football assets’, where investment in players seeks to add financial value as well as football impact, while costs have been managed down. We’re not so much growing our own as harvesting our crop, Lennoxtown being an effective nursery for £10M EPL players, the sale of which keeps the financial model balanced.

     

     

    Dermot’s comments yesterday speak to his long term EPL project, of which the current Celtic business model is – in his eyes – an interim one, ensuring the club maintains itself while other influences outside of our control are brought to bear. But it cannot be sustained over the medium term; We cannot operate in isolation from the rest of the world indefinitely.

     

     

    Previously Dermot has hung his hat on the EPL failing to maintain growth, then on the ‘Sky Bubble’ bursting. Now it’s the emergence of new technology. In 15 years only one thing has remained constant: Celtic play in Scottish football.

     

     

    Dermot wants Celtic in the EPL. That’s his end game. Everything he does for Celtic (whatever that is) and says about Celtic should be seen in that light.

     

     

    Why are Celtic not in the vanguard of change in European football? Because Dermot wants a different kind of change. He does not subscribe to the collectivisation of the peripheral European nations. In his view, it is a lesser business opportunity than Celtic in the EPL. Were a Regional Euro league to occur, it would kill the possibility of Celtic ever getting into the EPL.

     

     

    Dermot would rather manage another 10 years of pressing our nose against the window, than abandon his EPL project. By the time Dermot’s latest 10 year prophesy has lapsed, it’ll have been a quarter of a century of hanging about, waiting, getting progressively smaller and less important, with the odd ‘success’ along the way.

     

     

    And that’s pretty much what we’re going to be doing, hanging about, trying to find new ways to slow down our diminishment year by year, while the world moves on without us.

     

     

    Outstanding Strategising.

  2. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    It`s sad to see that there are some really unpleasant people who are Celtic supporters.

     

    Another illusion trashed.

     

    Ah well.

  3. Macjay

     

     

    Fantastic revisionism.

     

     

    Absolutely fantastic.

     

     

    Please detail the numbers affected by lack of coal. The numbers who fell ill or died due to lack of coal? The tonnage stockpiled prior to strike that out lasted the strike? The coal fires that kept on burning? The power stations that kept on powering?

     

     

    Stop making shit up!

     

     

    MWD said AYE

  4. Interesting read BB, DD is such a regressive thinker for a multi millionaire……….We badly need some progressive and imaginative thinking.

  5. If DD thinks the EPL will welcome the Hun bigots never mind Celtic.

     

    He has obviously lost his marbles.

     

    Would you invite them anywhere?

     

    How do you think Manchester would feel about that.

     

    It really is blind stupidity.

     

    I’m amazed DD has earned a £100….never mind a billion.

     

    Whizzing around Cloud Cuckoo Land on his wee golf cart.

     

     

     

    HH

  6. The Battered Bunnet @ 12.22

     

     

    Your post is too long to say it has summed the ‘strategy’ in a nutshell but it has put it more clearly and absolutely than I or anyone else here ever has. It may not describe a haopy state of affairs but I would wish to buy you a pint if I were not mean

     

     

    Jimbo67

  7. The Spirit of Arthur Lee on

    TBB

     

     

    Doff your Bunnet

     

     

    Love

     

     

    Back out the back for some Radio X and Pimm’s

     

     

    What a week to be off

  8. The Green Man on 1st October 2015 12:38 pm

     

     

    It won’t happen but if it did Manchester would be excused as a combination of alcohol and a trigger event. Given that it would be a move motivated by money I doubt the EPL would be put off by a few unsavory chants (as they’d see it).

  9. Weeminger,

     

     

    I never scroll past any of your posts. Most are in line with my thinking.

     

     

    I love the way you try to see reason and argue away without making it personal or insulting.

     

     

     

    But…ye fair blow yer Street cred when ye go chasing ‘podiums’ :))

     

     

    HH

     

     

    ps I hope I’m not on yer banned list.

  10. DD and PL would make good Bond villians.

     

    Goldfinger& Dr No

     

    These people think that they are Celtic.

     

    Its like me claiming that I’m Joan of Arc, or the 13th reincarnation of the Dalai Lama.

     

     

     

    HH

  11. The Battered Bunnet on 1st October 2015 12:22 pm

     

     

    My fear is by the time that any invite to England or UK wide league comes about the ‘big teams’ will have move to a pan-European league and once again we’ll be on the outside looking in just at a slightly more lucrative level.

  12. WEEMINGER

     

     

    Its a bit like the argument of Unionist Historians, who ask their students not to be too cynical in regard to the venality of the Scottish Nobility during the act of union in 1707.

     

    They weren’t corrupt and greedy…no

     

    That just the way politics worked then.

     

    So…move along, theres nothing to see:)

     

     

     

    HH

  13. The Battered Bunnet

     

    Well said.

     

    A realistic and truly depressing post unfortunately for all Celtic fans.

  14. coolmore mafia on

    The Atlantic League was never taken seriously by CFC. I remember PL saying one of the reasons not to do it is the lack of rivalries. Try playing these sides a couple of times.

     

     

    It looks like we’ve wasted a generation in trying to get into the EPL. They even knocked us back for the 4th tier.

     

     

    What a waste of time.

  15. Pogmathonyahun aka Laird of the Smiles on

    Just opened my E-mails to find out that I had won the visit to the Fanzone at the Wellpark brewery, thank you Paul.

     

    TBB, sums it up perfectly. He needs to move into the real world and realise that everybody knows what he says is BS. I was swearing at the car radio this morning listening to him! What true Celtic fan would say rangers and Celtic. The guy is a buffoon albeit a very rich one.

  16. .

     

     

    Read every Post on the Last 2 Articles..

     

     

    Only One mentioned the Game Tonight..;)

     

     

    Maybe just watch it in the Pub..Too many Angry Folk about..Ha

     

     

    Summa

  17. Dermot Desmond is an insurance policy for Glasgow Celtic. No more. A corporate success with a big stakeholding and a respected-enough name in the marketplace to keep the wolves at bay and Celtic’s standing assured.

     

     

    You may not like his corporate blandishments, but open your eyes to the real game instigated by the SMSM Huns.

     

     

    DD’s non-speak has produced exactly the reaction to get the vermin chuckling; and you’ll note that agitators appear on here, page after page of the same stirring hate-rhetoric, just twisting the spoon in the cauldron to keep good Celtic men distacted by gibberish.

     

     

    Wise-up to the ‘long-time big celtic fans’ on here who are prominent after every negative event yet strangely absent in times of joy – or Huns misery, note last week post-St.Johnstone – and whose every grumbling comment contains the dour restraint of a loyal zombie doing his bit to disrupt; no praise without caveat, only begrudged plaudits.

     

     

    DD’s rhetoric – rearranged corporate-guff to offend none and keep everything on an even keel – is a non-story, a moot point of zero significance, yet this blog becomes awash with hysterical, apocalyptic over-reaction.

     

     

    Yer being played by wankers, tarantulas with an agenda. Wake up.

     

     

     

    Tonight we roll into £60 million bucks of investment looking to prov ea point. The Hoops will need everyone behind them, not fantasising about witch-hunts and co-operative ownership utopias.

     

     

    COYBIG.

     

     

    To the Penny Dreadful lurkers and agitators – you’re as worthless as your club and corrupted by your hate; drown in yer second-class football misery.

  18. Watch out tonight…you will see DD whizzing up London Rd on his wee golf cart, wearing a Superman outfit.

     

     

     

    HH

  19. The Battered Bunnet on

    Summa

     

     

    Trusting all’s well.

     

     

    How long are you in town for? We met (briefly) in BBs a couple of years ago.

     

     

    Maybe try to catch up in the next couple of weeks.

  20. 12.22

     

    TBB

     

     

    That is exactly how it is and is going to be.

     

     

    So what is your solution?

     

     

    TT

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