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.