Winning to zero, far flung corners, Blue Pitching


It’s been dreich in Glasgow all week, so I was hoping the miserableness continued for our guests from sunny climes tonight.  A cold blast of wind and rain would surely suit our northern European locals, but it’s as though the city knows there’s a big European game on.  The weather is perfect for football.

Like most I’ve been in two minds about who we should start with up front but the truth is how we defend is more important.  A narrow win to zero is a good first leg result in Europe, I’d take that right now.  And I’d have Leigh up front!

Qarabag are a team who travelled across Europe last season with some purpose, but they haven’t experienced Celtic Park yet.  I’m hoping for a night like we had against Shakhter Karagandy, where we pull together to get the job done.

I watched a documentary on homelessness in the London borough of Tower Hamlets recently.  It seemed to be a shakedown area for those who have spun off the planet.  Poverty, social-exclusion, anonymity and hopelessness on an industrial scale in one of the world’s great cities.

The Celtic Foundation have been working in the far flung corners of world for years, as well as in Scotland and Ireland, but working with London’s needy, in Tower Hamlets, as they now are, has a different feel to it.  There’s a tendency to think of London as one huge cash machine, which it is in many respects, but it’s also where a lot of our poor end up.  The social isolation is absolute.

Celtic Foundation’s objectives, to improve Health, promote Equality, encourage Learning and tackle Poverty (HELP) know no boundaries.  We can’t be the biggest club in the world right now, but we can aspire to be the most ethical.  We (that’s you and me) can set the highest standards.

Nothing would demonstrate this more than having 100 people doing the Great Scottish Run for the Foundation in October.  Get yourself and/or a friend registered.  You don’t need to be fast, you just need to get around Glasgow in your own time, and target raising £125 for the Foundation.

Thanks to everyone who donated to our Mary’s Meals school kitchen appeal, in connection with yesterday’s Magners ticket competition.  It amazes me that every time we run a ‘Who do Celtic play on Saturday?’ competition, people get the answer wrong.  The winner will be drawn this lunchtime, so watch your email.

Thanks also to Magners.  The people there get the point of what the club’s all about.  They could have put their mineral water brand on the jerseys in Iceland, where local laws don’t allow alcohol sponsorship, but they offered the space to the Foundation instead.

These guys at Newco love a drama.  They’ve blocked the rights of four shareholders, including memorable name Blue Pitch Holdings, who declined to answer questions on about the nature of their interests in the club.

The Companies Act provides for this as you have a right to know if your shareholders are, for example, amassing shares for a prospective takeover bid.  It’s unlikely Blue Pitch and the others are planning a coup of this nature.  A response along the lines of ‘Hoping for future dividends and capital growth’ would be sufficient.  It strikes me as a pointless exercise, playing to the gallery, although it’s consistent with their other shareholder charm offensives.

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  1. bournesouprecipe on

    The closer we get to the stadium the better Qarabag are getting.



    SMSM csc

  2. glendalystonsils on

    Craig Gordon pens a bumper new deal…….or as Dire Straits might put it……



    …get your money for nuthin’



    and goal kicks for free……….

  3. Dj67The OldFirmWasEhBusinessPartnershipThereforeJustLikeRangersTheOldFirmIsDeadGetOverItZombies on



    18:19 on


    29 July, 2015


    “Celtic v Qarabag


    LIVE Audio to ALL subscribers with a full match replay from 9pm UK Time.”



    From Celtic TV site.



    Lets hope there is an incentive to watch it by then.






    Think I will give the Live Audio a miss & just watch it from 9PM for increased excitement.



    Hail Hail!

  4. I think I’ll change my name to SCUNNERED


    Celtic have not explained their decision to overseas subscribers.


    No Celtic official has taken ownership of that decision.


    Some coward at Celtic Park is hiding behind a screen of anonymity.


    Step up coward.


    Answer to those who have subscribed to your marketing motto


    Never miss a game.


    Many fans will cancel their subscriptions due to this petty cowardly move.


    There are alternatives, legal and otherwise, but your action has totally destroyed all the goodwill built up over a number of difficult years.


    When it comes to customer relations and retention you are a bunch of




    Did I mention cowards?


    I’m off to find a dark room till 9pm Celtic Park time.



  5. skyisalandfill on

    Those that disrespect our opponents as nobodies fae nowhere ignore this teams recent pedigree.


    Any kind of win will be a good result tonight.


    I expect us to win but it will be no walk in the park.




  6. The Pantaloon Duck on

    @celticfc: Celtic team to play @FKQarabagh Gordon; Lustig, Boyata, van Dijk, Izaguirre; Brown, Bitton; Mackay-Steven, Johansen, Armstrong; Ciftci (MH)

  7. The Pantaloon Duck on

    @celticfc: Subs: Bailly, Ambrose, Griffiths, Commons, Rogic, Janko, Forrest #UCL #COYBIG (MH)

  8. CELTIC have made just one change to the side which beat FC Stjarnan 4-1 last week for tonight’s visit of FK Qarabag in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers.


    Emilio Izaguirre will start ahead of Charlie Mulgrew in the left-back position for tonight’s third round first leg match after the Scotland internationalist picked up an injury during Saturday’s 2-0 friendly win over Stade Rennes.


    Nadir Ciftci retains his place up front and will lead the Bhoys’ attack as the Celts go in search of a positive result ahead of next week’s second leg in Azerbaijan.


    Kris Commons has returned from a toe injury and is named on the bench.


    Kick-off is 7.45pm, and there will be pre-match build up and live match commentary on the official Celtic Twitter account @celticfc


    CELTIC (4-2-3-1) Gordon; Lustig, Boyata, van Dijk, Izaguirre; Brown, Bitton; Mackay-Steven, Johansen, Armstrong; Ciftci


    Subs: Bailly, Griffiths, Commons, Rogic, Janko, Forrest, Ambrose

  9. It’s Qarabag but why not put a ‘u’ in it and call it Quarabag….everyone seems to do it..

  10. GG – Here you go….



    Celtic TV is a service provided by Celtic FC to its fans and we are proud that the channel enables thousands of fans around the world to keep in close contact with the club that we all love.



    Naturally, the desire to see Celtic play is heightened on an occasion like this evening’s UEFA Champions League 3rd round qualifier against Qarabag FK of Azerbaijan. However, the club has taken a decision on this occasion not to provide live coverage in the best interests of Celtic FC.



    That difficult decision has been made only after assessing all of the information at our disposal. However, it has become apparent that there is a lot of misleading information and conjecture circulating online and the club is keen to inform fans accurately on why Celtic TV will broadcast a delayed transmission of this evening’s game from 9pm.



    Celtic FC does have the right to broadcast tonight’s game against Qarabag FK but on this occasion didn’t feel it was in the best interest of the club due to increased security threats posed from internet hackers.



    The club’s multimedia department have had sustained attacks on Celticfc.tv in the last seven days. In addition we have intelligence that the attacks would have been greater if the game was broadcast live. This would have resulted in the quality of the service being frequently compromised mid-broadcast by attacks on our site.



    This match is not being broadcast anywhere out with the stadium, Celtic TV subscribers will be the first people able to watch this game.



    We are committed to providing the best possible service to all subscribers to Celtic TV. In showing the game as live as a delayed broadcast, we are able to manage out the risks highlighted while still providing subscribers with the full game this evening. Our commitment to all Celtic fans is that we are deploying all necessary resources to protect the Celtic TV service from future attacks and disruption.

  11. Decisions, decisions…..



    Option 1: Just follow the CQN blog.



    Worried that I would end up as crazy as the rest of you, though……




    Option 2: Try and find a link.



    Given there is no broadcast, I doubt that would work.




    Option 3: Go to my CSC and watch the game ‘as live’.



    Not sure I could last that long without clicking on some part of the internet and finding out…



    Also, everyone is connected to the stupid internet now, so someone might give it away.




    Option 4: Stay home and watch ‘as live’.



    Are you kidding? I’d end up going to Option 1. Then option 2. Then option 3….




    This is all unhealthy……



    Enjoy the game, those of you who will be there in person……

  12. I suppose it’s more of a defensive minded first half. Suss them out then get griff on to do some damage. Hopefully!



  13. The Pantaloon Duck on

    As long as Griff is on the park by 9 o’clock he’ll have time for his hat trick

  14. What is the Stars on



    Yes we all hope ciftci scores


    But Griffiths is a goal scorer for sure


    Home leg

  15. Really struggling to see why Ronny has gone with Ciftci instead of Griffiths. It’s a massive gamble.

  16. I’m normally 98% supportive of Ronny’s decisions…



    But the logic of starting with Cifti is wrong in my opinion.



    I. Feel you can justify Cifti’s inclusion in the away ties, when you need an out ball, to start a counter attack….. But at home, we need the striker in form. We need goals…. And Griffiths is the man for the European home ties…. Bottom line.

  17. Dj67The OldFirmWasEhBusinessPartnershipThereforeJustLikeRangersTheOldFirmIsDeadGetOverItZombies on

    Captain Beefheart


    18:32 on


    29 July, 2015





    We have downsized. Look at our strikers. I agree with you.



    I know that but surely we haven’t fallen so far from grace that we now find our most competitive game in the Middle-East.



    Regarding our Strikers; I believe this will be the Year of the Griff, infact I believe he will be so good this season that he will get his own place on the Chinese Calendar.




  18. Gerryfaethebrig on




    18:07 on 29 July, 2015



    Stop reminding me of the 90s……there was a few bad yins



    Getting nervous but still quite confident



    Monthehoops !!!!!!!

  19. Only logic in keeping Griff in reserve, is that with their travels they might tire and a fresh speedy Griff against a tiring defence might pay extra dividends.

  20. Tricoloured Ribbon on

    Massive decision by Ronny to go with Ciftci and Lustig imo.


    Lustig didn’t look nowhere near fit last week.


    Hopefully both will have great games and prove me wrong.

  21. Ciftci will do ok tonight if he aims his shots towards the 8 X 24 feet wooden frame – just for a change.




  22. antipodean red on




    I’ve just had a response from CTV, the site has been under attack from hackers over the past 7 days, they are very concerned that these people will strike during the broadcast, therefore there will be nowhere showing the game before that 9PM watershed time.


    If that makes sense.



    Celtic do have the broadcast rights.




  23. mncelt



    18:43 on 29 July, 2015


    GG – Here you go….



    It’s a cop out MNCELT


    They stated they were in negotiations at the beginning of the week.


    They are punishing overseas subscribers because they are wary of Internet hackers?


    They must think we don’t know our bits from our bytes.


    Do they ever get Denial of Service attacks during a league game?


    Do they have measures in place to combat them?


    The statement is deflection from the real issue.

  24. Well it’s live commentary from BBC Radio Scotland MW for me here in Italia.



    Modern technology is marvellous.



    So 1975.



    Mon the Hoops!




  25. Madness to play Ciftci instead of Griffiths.



    I honestly don’t see anything in him at this early stage of his Celtic career that I like.