Celtic will learn their Champions League Second Round opponents shortly after noon today. The sides we can meet include Sligo Rovers and Cliftonville from over the water, Welsh side The New Saints, and a host of clubs which can only be described as a bad hand in scrabble.
There has been talk of the draw being regionalised, but as of this morning there was no mention of it on Bert Kassies UEFA site, which is the bible for this sort of thing.
For many of us, Sligo Rovers would be the number one choice, as it is the home town of legend Sean Fallon, and , of course, club founder Andrew Kerrins, who later became Brother Walfrid.
Those of us who live near Wales would prefer The New Saints, which gives us a chance to confuse Victor Wanyama while he decides which club to go to, and absolutely no-one wants a trip to Eastern Europe, for financial and logistical reasons.
According to STV, the possible opponents are;
Hafnafjordur, of Iceland; Daugava Daugavpils of Latvia and Nomme Kalju of Estonia, as well as the three mentioned above.
Mind you, “according to STV” is probably not a guarantee of accuracy. The draw, however , is live on their website.
A nice , easy warm up which allows the players to slide into the new season would do for me. If only Sevco were in it.
The first game will be on July 16 or 17, which is just a few weeks away, but Lennon has shown he can focus the players when he has to, and the extra break they had as the season drew to a close may yet prove important.
Midfielder and former Scotland player Kris Commons is looking forward to the challenge of the new term.
” We will all be sitting down within the next week or so and discussing how we can at least emulate the last campaign or do better. You can be sure he (Lennon ) will want us to win the treble and , at least, get into the last sixteen of the Champions League. He demands that we improve every year and will not let us stand still. ”
Hibernian and St. Johnstone will also find out their Europa League opponents today-who could be the likes of Rosenberg Standard Liege and Rubin Kazan- and a supreme effort will be needed by them so that the country can accumulate co-effecient points to avoid these early starts in the future.
Its all part of the re-building process of Scottish football after it was nearly destroyed by greed, fraud and corruption.
Sunday September 8 sees a charity match in aid of the foundation set up by former player Stilian Petrov, who is battling luekaemia.
Petrov, who has now retired, wants to address the issues involved when people are diagnosed with the disease, and is “absolutely delighted that this game is going to take place at Celtic Park. ”
” It will be a wonderful start for my foundation, and I’m really happy to be coming back to a place where I spent seven brilliant years. It will be great to see everyone there. ”
Cardiff are the latest team to show an interest in Victor Wanyama, who in turn is showing no interest in Southampton. Nottingham Forrest are looking at Gary Hooper, who is desperately looking at anything else, and Fraser Forster hasn’t attracted any bids yet.
In fact, no-one has gone, including those such as Rogne, McCourt, Lassad or even Miku. We hear that Miku hasn’t spoken to anyone at Celtic Park for weeks anyway, and is probably unaware the season is finished.
A major MSM scandal has broken , and there may even be an enquiry into more shady goings on with Charlotte fakeover tweeting proof that Old Rangers paid Mark Hateley £25,000 a year while he was working as a columnist for a national newspaper.
How unbelievably stupid was the guy who made the decision to pay someone to do something that they would have done anyway, free of charge, without prompting?
No wonder they went bust. We await revelations that they paid bears to shit in the woods , and funded an investigation to determine the religious persuasion of Benedict the sixteenth.
Hugh Keevins provided the entertainment with his article at the weekend. He compliments Celtic on their signing policy, and then criticises Dundee Utd for ” selling at a profit and buying with prudence “- which is exactly what Celtic do.
He does defend Celtics right to spend the money earned to restore Scotlands tattered reputation in Europe, but then continues the party line of running the SPL down , with this memorable line;
” The games a financial basket case. The outcome of the first SPFL championship is an open and shut case. And anyone who thinks differently is a fruit and nut case ”
Hugh Keevins, with his case for the closing down football in Scotland. The only case of any interest to most of us will be the one he puts his crayons and pad into when his bosses realise that he isn’t actually any good at what he does.
Even Donald Findlay would struggle to come up with a case for the defence here.
But thats enough cases for today. Repetition is a sign of poor composition, but with the MSM line being to repeat certain phrases until the masses believe they are true, who can blame Hugh ? After all, he has a mortgage to pay. And a bowl of soup to drink.
Interestingly, Keevins old chum Craig Burley says he regretted leaving Celtic when he did, for the bright lights of Derby, and warns Victor Wanyama against doing the same.
Crucially, though, he misses the essential difference between the two circumstances. There are people at Celtic who want Victor to stay. If my memory isn’t playing tricks on me, Burley was virtually sacked, amidst rumours of him being the leak in the dressing room.
This, of course may be untrue, as Burley has never shown any bitterness or bias against Celtic when commenting on the clubs games for ESPN. Except when he speaks.
Charlotte also released the transcripts of the Tax Case where David Murray defended his use of EBTs when signing players;
” As a club, we’ve been very successful, because we’ve been able to attract players of a certain standard that, perhaps, we may not have been able to do otherwise. ”
Phew, at least it didn’t give you a competitive advantage though, or you might have got titles stripped.
That statement from Murray is as good as a confession to cheating. No, it is a confession that they cheated.
Civil actions ? Loss of earnings for certain clubs ? I’ll bet the reporters in the MSM are already beating a path to Murrays door to demand an explanation of these comments…
Oh, wait no.
As Keevins says, without Rangers the league is doomed.
In any other country in the world, they’d all be in bloody jail by now.
Jimmy McGrory, the legendary striker, commented on how inappropriate his name would sound if it was followed by “of Arsenal ”
Willie Maley and the board at the time tried all sorts of underhand ways to sell the forward, but the great man resisted-even staying after the club cut his wages as a punishment.
“We work hard all week, and then we get the day off on Saturday to play football. ”
Another legend, but which one?
Nice’n early for the diary. No extensive comment today as this is a fine piece of writing for the start of the week. You have covered all that is, was and has to come with humour and good grace in the face of staunch opposition from Mr. Keevins, Burley, Hately(not a reference to his size) and the Monday morning blues. CASE CLOSED, Dr. Fin(d)lay!!!
Wish I had stuck to McGrory on Saturday. I was absolutely convinced but obviously not absolutely enough.
For today’s I am going for Wee Bertie only because it sounds just like him.
Yer up early pensionerbhoy and bang on the money.
Bertie Auld is the answer.
Monday is bin day or I would have been just getting out now 🙂
I like the CL draw though it would have been a landmark occasion had we got Sligo Rovers. Was there last month on an emotional roller-coaster.
Re Burley – his departure was the proof positive that Barnes didn’t have a clue. He was leaking information, but that information was that no one in the dressing room understood what the formation was supposed to be and had zero faith in the manager. If you were in his shoes would you have just put up and shut in the face of what that manager was doing? You can’t say he was wrong or that others in the dressing room disagreed with him.
He missed out on the O’Neill years which he always said was a source of regret for him, but who knows how that would have panned out. Who would have been dropped for him? Petrov? Lambert?
Bottom line regarding his comments to Victor; he’s right on the money, unless one of the top 4 or 5 comes in for him why would he be in a panic to leave; he’s winning trophies, playing Champions League football (if he does it right in the qualifiers) and be getting paid a handsome salary.
That quote sounds like Bertis alright, my favourite was from Peter Wilson in the 1930s, he got into a wage dispute with Maley and left with following observation “The boss expects me to play like a genius on Saturday and think like a half wit on pay day”.
Sadly it took until 1994 for us to sweep that attitude out of Celtic Park.
When in 1994?
As for Victor, there are some funny stories going around the daftest of which is Celtic even contemplating £10m. Time for the diddy outfits down south to realise Parkhead is not a weekend car boot sale. Our products are straight out of the kiln not something we found lying around in granny’s pantry.
March 4th 1994 – old board swept out, Fergus McCann comes in. No more silliness like making Tommy Burns top wage £300 (that was his weekly salary when he left in 1989), instead we had guys like Lambert, Stubbs etc brought in on wages appropriate to their ability.
Just as important, and certainly not something that is widely recognised or appreciated, Jock Brown’s work in sorting out our contracts. Prior to his arrival we had Di Canio, Pierre and Cadette all giving off about their deals (which they freely signed). Think back to all the contract crap we had to put up with in the 80s and 90s, endless drama about money for houses and taxes and so on. Now ask yourself when the last such event was. You might not like him or what he says about the club now but whilst he was with us he did some good work.
Bit like Burley really!!
Good points Andy and taking them in isolation you’re dead right. Doesn’t explain his ongoing attitude (vendetta? Not giving him the credit he’s so inconsequential) towards Celtic all the years later. One of my favourite players at the time, but now feel he needn’t bother showing his face around paradise again.
Loving the quote qizzes by the way, even if i’m not guessing them i’m learning them!
Cliftonville – nice game as a friendly, easy on the wallets’ for travelling and sport wise should present no problems – off the park though, let’s hope we put the tie well to bed before we go over there to take the sting out of it.
This is the worst draw we could have had not in a sporting context,but if you think the police over here are bad ,then you better watch for the ruc,and their support act the unionist scum.No matter how hard the fans try to behave they will come under severe provocation and the smallest misdemeanor will be blown up to Manchester proportions by msm,even if nothing happens some them may report us to uefa just like they did a few years ago when we visited Barcelona and they made up stories that uefa threw out of court,Uefa should move it to the south,if not Celtic should not take any tickets for the away tie
MARK HATELY HA HA ANOTHER M-NKEEH-NBASKET
Don’t be ridiculous Willie, take all the tickets we can get and go and enjoy and support the Hoops, f*ck what the msm thinks, not like they need an excuse. Brilliant tie, can’t believe we drew it still, cannae wait.
Like you I have faith in the support. If there is a negative reaction from any source then there are ways to expose the truth. Power is not all in the hands of others and certainly not the SMSM whose credibility among any supporters is steadily slipping into oblivion.
I love this Charlotte lassie – better value than Wikileaks any day (I presume Whyte will be seeking refuge in the Ecudoran embassy soon – could get a bit cramped in there).