Dreamy Optimism-Or A Roadmap To The Future? You Decide!

Morning,all.

Today we have another Guest Article of the Day. This one-and most timely-is by MATTYBHOY

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Before I begin; I do apologise that this rambles on! I originally intended to make a few succinct points that took up one page and ended up writing nearly three. With that in mind I’ve tried to at least break it up into sections to give readers room for pause.

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The four places in the respective finals of UEFA’s two premier club competitions being filled by each of the clubs who finished 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th in last season’s English Premier League is the ultimate manifestation of the long-since abandoned pretence that European football can be called competitive in any way, shape or form.


Perhaps I’m just really idealistic and naïve, but the concept of the once prestigious and revered European Cup, old big ears, winding up in the hands of Liverpool or Tottenham Hotspur simply doesn’t sit right and I feel foolish for expecting to hear more dissenting voices about the current state of affairs in the British media. In fact I should go further, it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth and the dissent – which has already begun from the ground up – is something that I hope to see gathering pace in the new season. It’ll have to come from supporters of course, these things nearly always do.

A simple problem…


The lazy and hackneyed counterargument to the obvious imbalance in the Champions League is always that it’s meant to be a shootout between the best clubs in Europe and fans want to see the best players in the big games in the best competition. Well, armchair fans have had the floor for far too long. Nobody ever stops to ponder why it is that the ‘best clubs in Europe’ all seem to come from such a small pool of countries; nobody seems to wonder why the finalists in UEFA’s flagship competition are so rarely ever the Champions of their own domestic leagues; few media voices possess the gumption to question why finishing 3rd and 4th should be rewarded with a parachute straight into the group stages with all the prize money, coefficient points, sponsorship revenue and international exposure that come with it.


Strip away the backroom deals, obligations to TV companies and the laughable assertions from current UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin that he’s seeking to provide a more level playing field when the horse has already bolted; and what you are presented with is a simple problem of mathematics. There are 55 member nations currently under the umbrella of UEFA. There are 32 places in the group stages of the Champions League. 21 (twenty-one!) of those 32 places are given over instantly to the champions, runners-up and also-rans of Spain, Germany, England, Italy, France and Russia. Not a single qualifying round required to be played, leaving the miserly number of 11 places left in the competition to be scrapped over by the league winners of a whopping 49 countries like the last Golden Ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. I can recognise a cabal when I see one, if that’s not a closed shop that rewards failure then I don’t know what is.


Not content with having the Champions League sewn up, UEFA also ensure that the Big 6 are taken care of by allowing teams who have finished fifth in their league a bye straight into the Europa League groups, again without having to play a single competitive fixture. Then there’s the question of the leftovers from the Champions League playoff rounds. Never managed to get past that notoriously tricky tie in Kiev, Istanbul or Athens? No worries boys, yous can all parachute straight into the EL Groups n’all.


And so it goes on ad nauseum, this ridiculous merry go-round where no one seems to be bold enough to admit we’re watching a rigged game. Ajax: a world-renowned club with a proud history of producing exciting football teams and technically brilliant players are relegated to the role of plucky minnows and seeing them reach the latter stages is considered a miracle akin to Lazarus rising from the tomb (having come so close to glory in the UCL yet winning their domestic league, Ajax now face the prospect of having the spine of their team plucked from Spanish and English clubs and shall need to get through 2 qualifying rounds to make the groups again). Meanwhile praise is heaped upon a club like Tottenham – who had a brief few years as a player on the European scene back in the 60s but have brought virtually nothing to the table since then – and their manager for waltzing to next week’s final in Spain without stopping to consider how the deck was stacked heavily in their favour to begin with. You’re already the recipient of a free pass into the groups, and the grateful beneficiary of a network of TV deals and sponsorship money that’s seen you able to spend £267,000,000 (£267m) in the last four years. Forget about the cheerful wee caveat the press down south want to remind us with about Spurs not having done any deals this particular season: that’s still a competitive advantage that no one else can live with.

A simple solution?


The most galling thing about it all, to my mind, is that if it really had the will and the appetite to redress fairness and the spirit of competition to the sport then UEFA could put an end to this farce at a stroke. The top 6 leagues can have their league winners and runners-up go into the groups, that’s 12 spots. The champions from the leagues ranked 7th-14th go straight in as well. That’s 20 spots. Already you’ve diversified the competition several times over. The Europa League? Something very similar, except with the domestic cup winners (or finalists if cup winners already qualify for UCL) rather than allowing a back door entry into Europe for clubs that have an eye-wateringly huge wage bill but still weren’t able to put together a title challenge. If I can come up with this back-of-a-fag-packet stuff then surely to goodness someone at the European Club Association can propose a better one?


Now of course, I am not unaware that for a few years you may have the rather silly scenario of FC Vaduz of Liechtenstein crossing swords with Real Madrid; but I can picture a future, more evenly balanced game where such a fixture might not actually be so ludicrous. Because it’s UEFA’s ball, after all. There’s nothing to stop them telling their sponsors, satellite providers and investors to get stuffed unless they start ploughing some of that money further down the footballing pyramid and the full spread of their vast family of member nations starting to reap the benefits of it. Remember, it was only the advent of the Premier League and the Champions League in the early nineties that sparked this race to the bottom and obscene concentration of wealth among a select few clubs that caused such inequality in the first place. I am merely suggesting that if that trend were suddenly reversed and the new policy faithfully adhered to, then Ceferin’s level playing field pipe dream might look more of a reality in 25 years.

Know your enemy


Again here, I know I’m letting myself get carried away by flights of fancy. UEFA have always talked a good game, they’ve always been keen to promote the minnow nations in the name of ‘inclusivity’ and the recent decision to start putting the August Super Cup Final on tour to the likes of Norway, Georgia, Estonia and Macedonia makes for a nice wee bit of PR. Yet we all know the actual clubs from those nations will never see a group stage in our lifetime. Furthermore, you cannot have read the revelations from Der Spiegel or the ‘Football Leaks’ book in the last year and had your sails filled with disgust at the way so-called custodians such as Gianni Infantino have actively sought to undermine their own organisations and personally proposed solutions for the oil-money clubs to get around FFP rules without coming to the conclusion that those who run the game have got everyone exactly where they want them and nothing is going to change anytime soon.
In the last few years there’s been the underlying threat from the clubs who made up the old G14, and others, to break away from UEFA and form their own league where they don’t have to bother playing the riff-raff in the Champions League groups and can just have a constant procession of glamour ties that they can hawk off to the highest TV bidder. I wish they would carry that threat out and leave the clubs from the overwhelming majority of all the remaining countries to get on with it. At least it would be more even. You wouldn’t have this annual embarrassment of seeing the likes of Basel and Porto – astute, well run outfits who make the most of what they earn being trounced 6-0 in the last 16 by bloated clubs who have succeeded only in gaming the system for their own benefit. To quote a far more eloquent poster than I from the Etims Diary comment section back in 2017: ‘how much enjoyment can you get from winning trophies knowing the only reason you’ve done it is because your rich owners have used their cash to weaken your opponents?’.

Conclusion


There is so much about the modern game that is beneath contempt and this website has not shied away from pointing out a glut of examples of this of late, for which I’m extremely grateful. I suppose the point that I’m driving at with this overlong rant is that I hope it starts to dawn on more and more fans that what we’re watching is not sport; it’s just a merry dance that ends with the trophies and the money going to the same places, and that eventually, somehow we collectively demand of football’s administrators to do something about it.


Will I still end up watching Chelsea vs Arsenal in Baku and Liverpool vs Spurs in Madrid? Probably. But it will be in the same way that I’ve endured Series 7 & 8 of Game of Thrones; the passion and personal investment in it has gone, but I might as well see how it ends.

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TWISTSNTURNS from yesterday…

On an iPad,if you touch the top of the screen the page will jump to the top. On the right is a list of Most Recent Posts. Click on the top one. Then when you refresh,the page will return to the post you clicked on.

Simpler than it sounds,hope it helps. The important bit-clicking on most recent post-should work on all devices,though the list of them may not be on the top right on other devices. On an iPhone,it is at the bottom,so click on the last post there before you refresh!

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THEEXILEDTIM

Made me laugh when I got back from work,reading your post about the milkman’s horse.

Classic,and I suspect it may be used again-if I get the chance!

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BIGPACKY

Hope yer Westies are still talking to you!

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MATTYBHOY

A great article,mate. I think you speak for many of us-tonight’s Final is in Baku,2200 km east of the Bosporus which is where Asia starts.

Suffice to say,I wouldn’t dream of hosting a Hootenanny there,and nor should UEFA have held a major showpiece final there either.

But money talks. Bob Dylan said that it screams,but the only screaming you’re hearing is from the rest of the game as the life is slowly strangled out of it. I honestly think that if the big clubs try their next move,a 32-team invitation only CL,they will have made the biggest mistake of their greedy despotic lives.

For it won’t strangle the domestic game,fans will just have to get used to not seeing the bigger clubs winning everything. That won’t be a problem! There won’t be so much money filtering down,but that won’t be a problem either,as a lot of clubs are in financial difficulty from trying to keep up.

They can go back to their traditional sources of income-from the fans. We will still turn up,there will still be sponsorship and TV money-even if not so much. The fans will still buy the jerseys,the pies,etc.

The big clubs though will be heavily reliant on one single source. TV.

And that won’t last forever as so many fans worldwide have had enough already of the gluttony of the clubs and the greed of the players. Not to mention the pricing.

If the clubs vote for this,they are turkeys voting for Christmas.

Twists n turns

Bobby
That works.

Actually I knew that. ?

As Captain Mainwaring used to repeatedly say

“ Well done. I was wondering who would be the first to spot that” ?

Twists n turns

Gary Parker coming back as Lenny’s right hand man.

John Kennedy must be moving to left hand man

Damien Duff – middle man?

Twists n turns

TET

Your “ working harder in retirement comment”

My goodness do I empathise.

The last few months of my life have been torture with personal stuff and also setting up this new company. So much so that last night I decided it’s not worth it. No amount of money, no amount of kudos, nothing, is worth the stress this is giving me.

Told the USA guys- change of plan.

I’ll push on, set it up, get it making money, then I’m back out. No 3 year plan as I said initially.

Most recently? Had an issue with the travelling community that you couldn’t make up. Police, politicians, powerless. No appetite to uphold the law.
I refer to them as the travelling community out of respect for the no doubt many decent ones amongst them.
These bastards I encountered? Need locking up, but as I say, no fekker interested.
That on top of red tape after red tape, lazy no good wasters employed in the various other services I need to get up and running in Scotland, have combined to let me realise I should never have come back out retirement.

Excuse the rant amigos but it’s either here , or someone somewhere was getting a sore face if they crossed me today

…. and I’m too old for that shit now

…. so you lot can listen to me ?

Monti

The clubs who are rightly unhappy about the Champions league criteria, should just break away & tell UEFA to ( Joe Pesci voice ) ” Go fuck themselves ”
The time for standing up to them is now, Celtic had to play eight games last year, will be the same this year?
Shocking.
Leave them to their CL!

Terrific read Matty Bhoy.

big packy

MATTYBHOY, brilliant post, ill only watch the Liverpool spurs game for family reasons.hh.

big packy

BOBBY, got your e-mail thanks pal, and yes the dugs are talking to me now.hh?

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TWISTSNTURNS

Sympathise,mate. The travelling community get a dreadful name because of a large number of sociopaths in their midst. TRAVELLERBHOY from CQN,a fella many of us have met a few times,couldn’t be nicer,nor could his family. Yet even they have recently had some problems with their-pardon the expression-fellow travellers. Big problems,and big fellow travellers!

As for the local bureaucracy,you will have much more experience than I have in this regard. But the local MP,MSP and the local papers should be of help. I’m presuming that it’s utilities rather than council officials,btw-if it’s the latter they should be named and shamed.

You and your backers are providing much-needed new employment in a blackspot. Don’t give up on it yet,old son. Get the basturts back.

Name them on here if you like-it’s not like they can sue me for that much…

HH and glad to help with the site navigation. Now remember that post of yours from a few years back about the blood pressure.

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BIGPACKY

Nae bother,old mucker. Glad all is sweetness and light!

big packy

TWISTS AND TURNS, calm doon, cant wait till I reach retirement age but don’t tell jim,,hh.?

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MONTI

As I said in my post above,the big clubs are cutting their own throats in the medium term. UEFA will stick with them so that they get their cut,but they will try to initiate diddy cups for the smaller clubs,smaller countries who are left behind.

And THAT is when the latter should tell UEFA to GTF. We aren’t playing in your diddy tornaments,we will set up our own. With nothing for you,all income to be shared between the clubs and the countries they represent. The only thing they can do to stop that is to prevent access to referees-but not all referees have been registered with UEFA,I think only four in Scotland have,for instance.

The clubs don’t even need TV companies nowadays-Netflix,etc,have shown the way forward there. Stream it,€10 a month for the nine months of the tournament.

Twists n turns

Bobby
The day before I was due to take over the unit, fully refurbished and in super condition, I got a call. There are 7 caravan loads of them in the yard. They’ve broken in overnight. Trashed, and I mean trashed the place.
I made my way there, and they’re all still in the yard. Doors to the unit removed, and the state of the place you’d have to see to believe. Wiring ripped out, every radiator ripped from the walls on both floors. Dogs wandering around inside the unit. Fucking police there and taking notes. I said to them “ are you arresting these ******?

No proof

Wtf ?? They’re still here?? They’re trespassing as well. They’ve broke in??

Can’t prove it!!

The next night, they’ve come in again and finished the total destruction of the unit!

Over £100k damage. They were still there. Police there again. Doing nothing

“ Civil matter”

Seriously!!!

Landlords had to pay £1500 for a bailiff to move them on.

Unit is still being refurbished.

I contacted Hannah Bardell the MP for Livingston. Left messages. I wanted her to see the damage.

Fuck all response.

Since then, they’ve moved around various places in West Lothian, breaking and entering and destroying the places. Including a charity shop.

It’s absolutely soul destroying.

big packy

TWISTS AND TURNS, that is fecking disgraceful, ffs they scumbags are still in the building and the police cant touch them,,feel your pain, god bless pal.hh.

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TWISTSNTURNS

Fuxake,that beggars belief! Police standing there taking notes and saying that there’s no proof!

I’m not often speechless…

Shower of spineless cowards and a disgrace to their position-as btw is the MP. Seriously,I’d put in an official complaint about them all. And I’d definitely go the the papers,not that anyone reads them. Probably more readers on here!

Hope you get it sorted,big fella. I’m still scratching my napper here.

Twists n turns

BP
Yes still there and not getting arrested. They’d taken a huge chain and fired it into a distribution board to fuse out the system then proceeded to take everything out. It was a 1200 amp supply into that box .Everything removed.
23000 square feet unit. Every piece of wiring ripped out. From ceiling height to the floor.

Awe Naw

Imagine your the host of a party and one “invited” guest in particular has practically a standing invite to the party;

This particular guest turns up;

Empty handed
doesn´t dress up for it.
doesn´t socialise.
doesn´t dance.
doesn´t drink.

You know from the onset that this invited guest only goal from attending the party is to steal a 6 pack of lager and a plate of sausage rolls and a bag of carrot flavoured crisps and then fuck off. If he´s offered a steak he will take it. Cos you know that the invited guest will be down the market within a week selling lager shandies, carrot flavoured crisp sandwiches and stale sausage rolls

You know that this guest was at one time in a different time continuum the soul of the party hence the standing invite.

Most of the other guests that turn up even those much less well off than the invited, turn up;

Bearing lavish gifts
dressed up to the nines
talk to everyone
dance the night away
drink to their hearts content

They fully embrace and understand that it is a party and also by socialising in this way they are going to be presented with life changing opportunities; a possible romance , a business proposal etc. and do not view the party as an opportunity JUST to get a free 6 pack , crisps , sandwiches and sausage rolls

Would you continually invite them to the party ?

Would the family of the “invited” guest get upset when he is finally and RIGHTLY told to go and fuck off and not come back ?

Noel Skytrot

For me it should only be the champions of each European country and that’s it. Sadly the corrupt organisations who run the show can’t miss out on their junkets and hefty financial square ups.
How do Israeli or Azerbaijani teams manage to be in the CL qualifiers? I understand that football has changed massively over the years but looking at it its just another way for many to wash dirty money and to accumulate heavy capital, football is as bent as a rollercoaster track.

Awe Naw

oh he also took two bottles of Lemonade for the shandies

big packy

TWISTS AND TURNS, we have only got a small dog grooming shop but there is a lot of expensive equipment in there 3 electric dog grooming tables 3 grand apiece so I dread comimg into the shop one morning and find the place trashed we would have to close the business.hh.

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AWENAW

Crisps and sausage rolls? Just my kinda party,canny be gaun this high-fallutin stuff.

Is this your answer to the hootenannies? I like it,when’s the next one?

Twists n turns

Big Packy
Just make sure ya don’t overlook your business insurance bud. Get yourself plenty cover. Add business interruption cover so you’ve got income if you ever have to refit and repurchase everything.
( I’m sure you’ll know anyway but always wise just to check your policy)

Awe Naw

BMCUWP,

your the hootenannyguy

and I never get an invite

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AWENAW

I invite everyone whose mail addy I have-RebelYell.com-then nearer the event I would mention it on CQN. Obviously the latter is out of the question this year,but it’s on 21/9.

Your attendance is cordially requested.

Awe Naw

I´m only pulling your leg mate

Good post Mattybhoy
IMO unless the smaller leagues and clubs get their act together, stop talking and actually get an alternative in motion things will only get worse for us, the top tables and the powers have shown that they give not two tuppeny fecks about us, this is down to our suits, drastic action is needed, we are never gonna break into the top tiers, it’s just not happening.
As has been mentioned there are other ways to get your product out there and it doesn’t have to be that expensive, it’s all relative to where you are situated, a $ in Africa in many nations is a lot of money, things can be priced accordingly to suit, I’m not sure what Sky costs in the UK or Ireland these days but I bet it’s a hell of a lot more than it’s equivalent here in Spain, if you want you can buy the sports only package here without anything else, but as with everything these days it’s down to the filthy lucre, if anything it’s only gonna get worse for us unless we take action sooner rather than later, but I am consoled to keep hearing that we are well run club so the future is bound to be safe in our boards hands.
HH

TnT
That doesn’t surprise me to hear that, had many dealings with them over the years when I lived in Ireland, it was slightly different there as the guards kinda let people deal with things themselves and not get involved.
I recall one time they parked up on land that belonged to a bloke called Jim Mansfield, he owned the City West hotel complex among other things, did the same kinda thing as you described, they were burnt out in less than a day and the guards didn’t bother their arse when they complained that they had nowhere to live, that would never happen in the UK.
HH

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THEEXILEDTIM

Twists IS in the UK!

Central Scotland,in fact.

BobbyM
That’s my point, do you think that if Twists decided to burn them out the police would do nothing then ?
HH

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THEEXILEDTIM

Ah,sorry. Misunderstood the last bit of your post.

Bedtime obviously!

BTW,your article will be up on Friday,along with opinions on the subject from Mahe and myself.

Thanks for that,mate.

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Garry Parker back apparently. I can live with that. Neil needs friends,people he can rely on,beside him-as well as the staff the club provide.

I hope that having Garry back is only the start of Lenny being a tad more forceful towards the great man.
Go get some sleep M 😉
HH

fan-a-tic

Great article MATTYBHOY.
Have been bemoaning the destruction of the once beautiful game for years.
Eventually it will all collapse as the younger audience will find other distractions.
I have no intention of taking the time to watch either final.
Have been watching World u20’s and impressed with the skill of the youngsters.
Japan are a joy to watch with positive forward movement.

fan-a-tic

I cant see Gary Parker adding anything to our coaching.

Bada Bing

Seems there’s 150k of state of the art,monitoring and recording equipment at Lennoxtown,sports science stuff,been unused since BR left. Pointless to get to that level of professionalism, and not use it.

m6bhoy

Garry Parker back apparently. I can live with that. Neil needs friends,people he can rely on,beside him-as well as the staff the club provide.

Surely, more than friends, he and the club need the quality coaches to get the best out of the players. Working on the safe assumption that the board will not release the funds to buy better players than the ones currently on our books then we need to somehow improve the ones we have. Is that coach really Garry Parker? We scoff at the SFA when they appoint their pals to top jobs but somehow it’s ok if we do it. Amateur hour yet again at Celtic Park.

Rebus67

MattyBhoy,

Congratulations on an interesting article. The solution is contained within your article and also involves numbers. Specifically, 49 vs 6, is the key. The disadvantaged 49 leagues need to organise and drive change. Presumably, UEFA are using a divide and conquer strategy to manage them. As usual leadership is the issue, or rather, lack of leadership.

Rebus

fan-a-tic

I think there is an air of complacency around next season’s title challenge .
Consistency wins titles and there lies my area of concern as we have been erratic in the past two seasons.
I know we won by a decent margin but the conditions of next season may make a higher level of performance vital.
The huns have signed players that has definitely weakened spl opponents.
Sevco split their games with us as we both won 2 apiece.
After the recent tactical farce at ibrox we should have concern.
Steve Clarkes Killie were the huns nemesis beating them twice and drawing twice so denying them 10 out of a possible 12 points.I do not expect that to be repeated this season by Clarkes replacement.
Aberdeen denied them 5 points courtesy of one win a draw and 2 losses.
Both the above sides have been weakened with the departure of key players and in Killie’s case the best coach in the spl last season.
And then there’s a refereeing core whose cheating is facilitated by the mssm on behalf of the best wee country.They were brazen about it this season in what was a practice run for stopping 9.
They are worth quite a lot of points to the huns as they ably demonstrated this season allowing them second place when they were no more than a mid table team.
Wether our custodians have an appetite for the fight remains to be seen.
Their behavior to date suggests not.
Next season may be a watershed for the team, support and directors.

fan-a-tic

BADABING1
That’s not a good sign.
What next?
Bringing back Peter Grant for his pointing skills.

Byres Road Bhoy

A super article MattyBhoy. It highlights how increasingly difficult it has been made for clubs like Celtic to qualify for the CL. So am I wrong in thinking that the optimum time for Celtic to spend money on players was when their main league adversaries were liquidated and a tribute act reconvened in the lowest division? After all, given the club’s squad depth, league championships were more or less guaranteed for several years at least so shouldn’t the main focus at that time have been on CL qualification with all the attendant prize money available? I would contend that, then and now, if you have a team capable of achieving that goal then the league will largely take care of itself.
Does anybody think that if Brendan Rodgers’ summertime targets – Fabian Schar centreback, Cristiano Piccini right-back, and John McGinn, had been signed we wouldn’t have been able to get past AEK Athens and won another £30m? We could have had them all for £15m and I’m being overly generous. We could even have recouped £9m of that outlay letting Boyata away to Fulham. I’m not necessarily being wise after the event here because if, as he claims, Brendan gave him assurances that he could leave, is it not likely to have been on the assumption that Schar was coming in?
But our CEO seems to lack the ambition of most of the folk who pay his wages. Consider these figures from the CelticWiki/Players/Transfers. Under Brendan Rodgers’ watch, 29 players came in for a total of £28.85m. Player sales for the same period totalled £31.95m – mostly via Dembele and Armstrong. Nett spend -£3.1m. And he qualified for CL two years in a row! How much did that bring in? And where did it go? Looking further back it gets worse. During Ronny Deila’s two seasons a total of 23 players came in and £12.825m spent on transfers. Player sales amounted to £25.5m. Nett spend -£12.675m. And during Neil Lennon’s four season tenure 42 players came in for a total of £26.6m but a whacking £41.65m was realised in player sales. Nett spend – £15.05m.
Poor wee Neil. No wonder he left back in 2014!
I’m with you ‘Exiled Tim’. A degree of speculation is called for in running a club like Celtic but I’d prefer to call it manageable debt. It’s not a concept that’s entirely unknown. It is what most households and, in fact, the UK and the USA are currently operating successfully.
But with all the money swilling about in the plc’s coffers at the moment it shouldn’t be necessary. Besides, if you buy in quality players and things don’t work out, you can always re-sell and get some or all of your money back.
Having demonstrated what a modern, highly-capable manager can bring to the Scottish Premier League Brendan Rodgers’ ambition for the club delighted the fans but must obviously have scared the board more than somewhat. So have they returned to their comfort zone?
I sincerely hope NFL is not coming back to Paradise on the same conditions as before.

I cant believe Christophe Dugarry is rubbishing Moussa Dembele. Says he’s not good enough to join Man. Utd. This is from a forward who played with top European teams and yet only managed to score 62 goals in 354 league games. That’s about one goal every 6 games. Moussa has so far scored 56 goals and he is only 22 yo.

Dugarry spent 2 seasons at Birmingham City, played 30 league games, scored 6 goals and got inducted into their hall of fame!!!

mahe

Mattybhoy ,,
Great writing and many many thanks for todays food for thought.
For the most part we agree but I do have little issues here and there .
For instance “ winding up in the hands of Liverpool or Tottenham doesnt sit right “
I completely disagree . Feels and looks great and refreshing where Im sitting plus its a triumph for attacking footie . The Pool in particular are favourites for their 6th cup,, if they don’t deserve to be there no one should.
Spurs are very exciting who are there on merit and have a British core which is to be applauded.
And aren’t bankrolled but grew organically which again is to be applauded.
Thon Levy has effectively used the money from trading wisely and has elevated the club to the top bracket through legit and clever means,,Im happy to see them challenge the hegemony.
And these four slots being taken by British teams will only increase the slight panic on the continent that they are gonna take over,, this should help drive change.
In the current set up the two teams in the final should be seen as good guys as they showed attacking football can conquer and have forced the richest biggest boys out of the latter stages.
No one would have thought these two would be here,,thats refreshing rather than Real vs Juve ( the ronaldo final and tv dream )
Both managers also believe in improving the players the inherited and not just buying the best for every position ala Real and others.
They are the best of a bad bunch I think and as such deserve a bit of leeway.
Its worth pointing out that Spurs have a net spend of 30 million roughly in the last four years, recouping much of those transfer fee’s which is surely commendable.

As for a new set up your model sounds great to me.
And as mentioned the new streaming services will be kicking in soon. The only way to watch THursday night football here is on Amazon prime for instance.
The boxing recently lead the way with tenner a month instead of the usual 30 to get to the masses a lot easier and it seems to be working .
The tv revenues are down for the first time ever and are anticipated to fall again next round,,music to our ears I think.
The Eca has been a failure and it took a Times article for me to find out Brian Quinn walked out of Uefa in disgust at his boss Infantino for failing to implement the statutory punishment to Man City and Psg for not adhering to FFP.
W should have screamed blue murder and walked out telling the world why,,wonder why we didnt?
They have failed us ,, Uefa ECA fifa them all .
The average fan has been failed. Thats why we should hit them where it hurts and cut cords ie watch without paying . If everyone bailed but just caught it somewhere else t would make a hell of an impact and youre not asking people to give up their team. Just the intake method.
Again many thanks pal and the front page is yours anytime.
Hail Hail

mahe

Jim that year France won the World Cup ( 98? ) I thought Dugarry was great back then. It was him or Anelka up front and Henry on the left . What a team they had.
Back to tip top shape? Youre a pub quiz man arent you ? I shall count you in .

Twists thats a shocker but Im not surprised and many will have a tale of woe after crossing paths with bad travelers ( there are good ones as Mick points out ).
I recall nasty spat the biggest heftiest travelers were lined at the entrance to the camp with shotguns and iron bars and dogs daring the community to act after a mini crime spree left many pissed and out of pocket.
One old man drove up to them , opened the car boot and let them look in,,a couple minutes conversation and that was that sorted, nothing happened again.
He was an old Provo who showed them a part of the local arsenal and their shotguns suddenly didnt look so tough.
Always a bigger fish etc
Still a shocker though. And no sure if youre being serious but stress is a killer and must be avoided at all costs.
If stressed you simply must do something about it before its too late. Some of my ex bosses would have had me dead through overwork by this stage. I recall getting yelled at lying in a hospital bed ffs,, a bed his stress put me in btw.
Hail Hail pal and chill out.

Mahe, Dugarry might well have been a good player but I thought it very ungracious of him to stick his oar in on a young man’s career on the way up. So I just thought I would bring him down a peg or two. 🙂 I feel better for it anyway!

Auldheid

I posted this on CQN there as it touches on something that I believe is as, if not more important, than who we sign or where we are on a Big Clubs list.

CHAIRBHOY on 29TH MAY 2019 2:17 PM
GLASSTWOTHIRDSFULL @ 1:38 PM,

Yes, I’m very sceptical about the European league.

It seems to me, as you suggest, a power play…

We have UEFA, ECA, the EL etc all vying for position.

On top of that you have the mini cartels… British Clubs not wanting to give up the EPL golden goose, the Spanish big guys have got it good…

I believe UEFA will win a compromise agreement with the ECA and that a reformatting of the current UCL and UEL will happen to keep the big Clubs in the big Leagues happy.

For me, expecting Celtic to come out on top is a long shot. If we maintain something close to what we have, European wise, we’ll be lucky.

As far as Rangers go. I was an idealist with that an awe. My thoughts were Rangers would go bust, a new Club would emerge, with huge potential.

If that Club had a modern, innovative, forward thinking

Approach it could have been a breath of fresh air, a new dawn for Scottish Football. Wrong!!

Of course it wasn’t, SFA, SPL the majority of Scottish Clubs and Celtic all wanted the aul’ Rangers back and the continuity myth was borne… compromising everything that is good on Football.
So Im not happy but the old firm is back and I’ll be “enjoying” the events.

If Celtic do get into any elite league Rangers will need to be there… a sad but necessary appendage.

Hail Hail
==========================
I was hoping for the same re a new Gers, but I believe all clubs gave in to blackmail.

(Green held a gun to their head, – give me immunity and continuity or I walk away) the result of which is the 5 Way agreement, the contents of which influenced the LNS ToRs, are playing a part in the delay in resolving Res12 and bedevil the game still.)

Now what happens at Ibrox might not seem to be Celtic’s problem but have a look at this:

https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/rangers/rangers-in-red-line-for-wages-but-good-news-for-celtic-hearts-and-hibs-1-4936820

Instead of making sure there cannot be a repeat of 2012, clubs, and Celtic in particular, given the evidence that the UEFA Licensing System is as useful as a chocolate fireguard if a club lies, ( https://www.res12.uk/ ) have been derelict in their duty not just to protect shareholders share value but to protect the game at large.

The question is what is being done at Ibrox to change direction? Is it another dash to administration or liquidation that this time, with other clubs healthier than 2012, there is no chance of “RFC continuity” based on fear?

Or will there be another 4 Way Agreement Between CurrentCo/NewNewCO/SFA /SPFL? that keeps the myth alive?

Why not?

It seems to have worked for past 7 years despite the stigma the 5 Way has placed on Scottish football (more on that to come btw)

Why is this question about “Rangers” financial risk taking not being asked anywhere?

Being on a big club list hoping for crumbs from the big boys table means nothing if the domestic game is in jeopardy – AGAIN. Its Candy Floss.

What are Celtic doing to make sure the SFA licensing system, that failed to reveal fully Rangers use of ebts even though SFA should have had a list of players holding them, in the form of tax owed to HMRC, from RFC’s 2009 UEFA licence applications under previous UEFA Licensing rules from 2005?.

If the SFA did not have the list then both the 2009 and 2010 application for a UEFA licence should have been rejected and Res12 has shown that the 2011 Licence was granted on what appears to be false pretense.

Why would that behavior be confined to 2011 when CL money was essential to Rangers survival from 2008? when rather than take steps to cover the tax bills arriving in spring that year, they went on a spending spree to build the team (including ebt players) that won 3 iar from 2009?

The biggest danger Celtic and Scottish football face is Rangers being unsuccessful and going bust again. So does that mean a repeat of the “Honest Mistakes” season of 2010/11?

If it does happen the Res12 guys could say “you were warned” but the question is “is anyone paying attention ?”

Bada Bing

Wee Paddy to Norwich seemingly

MattyBhoy

Thanks everyone for the constructive responses which similarly provide much food for thought.

Rebus you’re quite right about the 49 needing to somehow band together and instigate change. I didn’t make mention of this in my piece but I know fine well that the first retort from all the armchair fans would be “Well why do we even have such countries as San Marino, Andorra, the Faroe Islands and Gibraltar under UEFA in the first place?”; but that is a different argument and misses the point. The fact is, they’re in (rightfully in my view, football is for everyone and that’s one of the few credo that FIFA/UEFA deserve praise for in the modern age) and therefore deserve proper representation and not just to be used, as it certainly looks from where I’m sitting, as cannon fodder for the wealthy nations and clubs to pick up easy coefficient points from that widens the gap further still.

Byres Road that really does make for some horrifying reading when you sit back and think where Celtic could actually be as a club if there actually existed a shred of ambition and foresight at board level. This past decade will truly go down in history as a missed opportunity. Yet from what I’ve learned hearing from older, wiser heads than I over the years, this is what Celtic have always done. It is immensely frustrating.

Mahe you’re quite correct about Tottenham. I don’t believe as a club they’re anywhere near deserving of a place in a European Cup final but romance aside it is undeniable that Daniel Levy has simply played with the cards he’s been dealt and seen his investments pay off to wonderful effect. Your man Harry Kane has got some cheek demanding a place in the starting 11 right enough!

All things considered folks it’s still marvellous to read like-minded souls that also despair at the state of the modern game and are interested in finding solutions to it. Definitely the thinking fan’s blog, this.

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