War-Good God!

It’s the most important of the least important things, this game we love, and gather here and elsewhere to discuss.

For some their team can run their lives, some aren’t as attached, but some degree of love for our beloved club runs through us all. 

Countless others out there feel the exact same.

Folks myself and BMCUWPs have done our darndest to create a fine forum, but I must break one of our rules today.

I must bring up politics, to an extent.

I simply must, for what’s happening in Europe shall affect us all, if anything via that club we love. I hope and pray that’s the only way it affect us. 

A blind man could tell the current events shall impact the world’s game. I’ll make my prediction now that there will be no European football next year.

UEFA have been exposed big-time, their prestigious final must be moved swiftly elsewhere, and they’ve been sports washing via their large advertising income from Gazprom, whose logo is getting dumped by football clubs.

Further still the clubs they depend on to bulk out their flagship Champions League are no longer a given.

Ukrainians have much more important things on their mind than mere football, and it goes without saying teams from Russia shall be expelled. Belarus may very well join them and if not I can’t see teams travelling there.

After President Biden told the press pack he doesn’t expect Russian aggression to end in Ukraine, I surmised there’s more countries going on the banned list. I hope not but it doesn’t take a genius to figure teams arent heading to places under Russian control.

One should also take into account the danger of gathering in mass crowds, a potential target. 

Not to mention footballers themselves opting to leave the sport in order to serve their country, Belarus falls under Russian control and Polish footballers shall put their homelands defense first of course.

UEFA is in a big bind, down in teams and locations, with the dominos still falling. And down a sponsor of course, with the associated income. 

That’s a lot of patching up to do.

It’s too much in my humble opinion.

European football must pause, and then readjust itself to the modern reality. In this respect the European Club Association shall have a lot of clout, eventually. 

Numbers need filled out and decent stadiums in without a doubt safe areas shall be in demand.

To these eyes, Scottish football is very well positioned. I never thought I would write I’m glad Peter stayed on, but writing this, I’m glad Peter stayed on. His seat on the ECA runs until the end of next year, or at least it’s supposed to. 

There’s a rejigg coming, that’s simply stating the obvious, and a man on the inside is better than one outside.

We all know this season’s league Champions were entering the CL, and looking at a forty million bounty in doing so. It’s the most lucrative title to date. Or at least it was.

But that was the old world, before things changed, hopefully for the better.

Whether the Champions League survives this or not, some type of elite competition shall evolve, that’s a given. But only one automatic qualification spot? 

Given current events, that is not given. 

I expect Alba to benefit sporting wise from the current circumstances. As much as it pains me given that club should be a memory, the Ibrox mob shall meet many of the criteria when looking for numbers to fill out any elite footballing competition.

Given our boards endorsement of the dressed Old Firm allied with Peter’s voice on the soon to be influential ECA board,  

I don’t think two qualification spots is a leap too far. They have raised their profile and done decent in Europe recently to bolster the case.

I see it coming, I honestly do. 

Chairmen everywhere would feel much easier about sending the squad to Bonnie Scotland rather than eastwards, a great atmosphere and a good chance of victory.

The door has been opened for a massive footballing reshuffle, and for once Scottish teams shall be needed.

As someone who wants a strong league I understand the benefit of one team not financially testing away from the other, not the Champions League money skewing the title race. 

Two qualification spots could lift the league to another level. 

A knockout tie meeting would be unmissable you must admit.

I caveat the above but once again stating football is unimportant. Given the images we are seeing it feels wrong to type about a mere sport. As stated, some degree of love for the club runs through us all, but some degree of humanity also runs through us all. 

Noone wants any war and certainly not another world war.

Unfortunately we don’t make that choice.

God bless the people of Ukraine.

They certainly never made that choice.

By Mahe

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CFC

There is War in Europe.
Putin is determined to annexe Ukraine and this will be a prolonged conflict as The West responds with economic sanctions. It is not a fair fight.
The poor souls in Ukraine are at the forefront.

The repercussions for the rest of Europe are enormous.

As for European football should it continue in any form?

We had a Russian referee at our game.
Zenit played Betis.
Why was this allowed?

big packy

CFC, unfortunately sanctions is the only weapon we have if we all stick together and cut off russia from the outside world, there will eventually be food shortages, oil and gas shortages ,then the people of russia will take matters into there own hands,,I know that does not help the poor people in ukraine.god bless them,

Son Of Gabriel

https://theathletic.com/3139350/2022/02/24/why-do-celtic-still-underperform-in-europe/

Excellent Article from Kieran Devlin of the Athletic.
I’m just going to poste the full thing…

*************************************************************************************************
Why do Celtic still underperform in Europe?
By Kieran Devlin 3h ago

To say the decision was polarising would be a grand understatement.

Ange Postecoglou elected to effectively field a B team in Celtic’s second leg last night away to Bodo/Glimt. The implication being that Sunday’s league game at Hibernian was the priority, and blowing out the candle on any hopes of progression to the last 16 of the Europa Conference League was worth the cost of resting key players for that fixture. Any romances of a surprise miracle from Celtic’s rag-tag team of back-ups in northern Norway was quickly undermined by their conceding a cheap goal after only nine minutes.

The first-half viewing at the Aspmyra Stadium was grim. Celtic’s squad players were sloppy in possession and timid defensively. It was always going to be a tall order for such a group to perform cohesively as a unit, but the contrast with a side as well-drilled and cohesive as their hosts was stark. The occasion felt more like a training match than a tantalising European night.

Much of the damage was done in last week’s 3-1 first leg defeat at Celtic Park and Bodo/Glimt’s 100 per cent home record in this competition this formidable. But the tie was not unsalvageable by any means, and given Celtic improved after Callum McGregor and Liel Abada were introduced at half-time, it inevitably, uneasily prompted a feeling of “what if the manger had gone full-strength?”.

It brings another European campaign to yet another underwhelming close, as has become the norm for some years, and yet another opportunity to cast off this woeful knockout-phase record in Europe passes by — Ben Doak, the 16-year-old who made his Celtic senior debut last month, was not born the last time the club won a European tie after Christmas.

March 25, 2004. A teenage David Marshall and a 20-year-old John Kennedy were instrumental in preserving Celtic’s 1-0 aggregate lead over Frank Rijkaard’s Barcelona, with a resolute 0-0 draw at the Nou Camp. It meant Martin O’Neill’s side progressed to the UEFA Cup quarter-finals, before their elimination to a gifted Villarreal team flaunting Juan Riquelme, Juliano Belletti, Pepe Reina and Sonny Anderson.

As good a side as Villarreal were, there was also some mild disappointment they could not go close to replicating — or in an ideal world surpassing — their achievements from the previous season, when they were beaten in the UEFA Cup final by Jose Mourinho’s Porto. Yet fans would bite your hand off for a Europa League quarter-final these days. Eighteen years later, that victory over Barcelona remains the last time Celtic won a post-Christmas knock-out tie in Europe.

Why do Celtic continue to underperform so dramatically in Europe? It is helpful breaking that underperformance into two areas which often overlap; why they are routinely eliminated by teams with a fraction of their playing budgets and revenue in Champions League qualifiers, and why they fail to make a dent in the European competition proper.

Their eliminations to Legia Warsaw (2014-15), Maribor (2014-15), Malmo (2015-16), AEK Athens (2018-19), CFR Cluj (2019-20), Ferencvaros (2020-21) and FC Midtjylland (2021-22) owe a tremendous deal to how thin the squad was at the time, with recruitment each season geared towards readiness for the league season rather than organised in time for these important fixtures.

This was especially the case in central defence. Over the past five years Celtic have had to start their third- and fourth-choice centre-backs like Efe Ambrose, Stephen Welsh and Jack Hendry; untested academy players like Eoghan O’Connell and Dane Murray; or makeshift options like right-back Mikael Lustig and midfielder Nir Bitton. Although Bitton has developed a reputation as a back-up defender over the years, its origin was Brendan Rodgers being left with no other option for navigating the 2017-18 qualifiers.

Backfiring tactics and ineffective game preparation is another running theme that overlaps both Champions League qualifiers and no progression after Christmas.

For instance, the lack of control over the middle of the pitch was pivotal in their losses to Cluj and Ferencvaros in Champions League qualification, and against FC Copenhagen and Bodo/Glimt in recent knock-out ties. Acres of space in midfield for the opposition to exploit in transition seems to be a recurring theme regardless of who is manager; whether that is Rodgers, Ange Postecoglou, Ronny Deila or Neil Lennon. Celtic perpetually seem to enable their opponents’ best qualities, while not protecting their own fallibilities.

There are so many varying factors for each knock-out tie lost and each features their own specific problems, but there is one overarching issue that the club return to when confronted by their disappointing showings on the European stage: the game’s changed financial landscape.

Celtic’s underperformance in Europe was brought up at last year’s AGM, to which chairman Ian Bankier responded: “If we talk about Europe, it’s a much different environment to what it was 20 years ago. We all know that, you know that. You go into the Champions League and you get absolutely pasted by the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona. Celtic Football Club is not the Qatar Government. There’s a whole set of different players out there with completely different pockets.”

Shareholders at the AGM then pointed out that the list of clubs who eliminated Celtic from six of the last eight Champions League qualifiers had their respective budgets dwarfed by Celtic’s. Bankier replied: “I accept that, but it’s a game of football, and if the players don’t give you one hundred per cent then you can be beaten by anybody.”

It follows former CEO Peter Lawwell’s comments to the 2019 AGM that Ajax comparisons were not appropriate because the Dutch side’s resurgence in the Champions League — this the season after they reached the semi-finals led by Erik ten Hag — was based on them developing a young team capable of challenging in Europe over a number of years, while going four seasons without winning the league.

Lawwell asked the questioning shareholder, rhetorically, whether seeing Rangers win the league for four consecutive seasons would be an acceptable trade-off for reaching the Champions League semi-finals.

While Rangers were outside the top flight for four seasons between 2012 and 2016, Celtic were left without a demanding domestic challenge to capture their attention, and so were handed an unprecedented opportunity to focus on making their mark on Europe. When they reached the Champions League Last 16 in 2012-13, there looked like a possibility of building something special over the subsequent years.

Yet their European performances and results over the following seasons until Rodgers’ arrival regressed. They finished bottom of their 2013-14 Champions League group, were eliminated in Champions League qualification in 2014-15 — but reached the Europa League last 32 — and then in 2015-16, failed to qualify from their Europa League group.

Over this period some key players were sold. For example, their 2012-13 annual accounts recorded a pre-tax profit of £9.74 million after their run to the last 16 of the Champions League that season. In the summer of 2013, they also sold Kelvin Wilson to Nottingham Forest, Victor Wanyama to Southampton, and Gary Hooper to Norwich City — arguably their best centre-back, central midfielder and striker at the time — which contributed to a pre-tax profit of £11.7 million for their 2013-14 accounts.

A little more than £8 million was reinvested into the squad that summer, though while it brought two success stories in Virgil van Dijk and Nir Bitton, there were also underwhelming signings Teemu Pukki, Amido Balde, Derk Boerrigter — the most expensive at £3m — and Steven Mouyokolo.

The loss of Wanyama and Hooper’s quality in particular was keenly felt on the European stage as they finished bottom of their Champions League group with three points.

Even without financial backing, clubs outside the top five European divisions still go deep into the Europa League; the table below lists those from these countries who have reached the Europa League quarter-finals since its rebranding from the UEFA Cup in 2009-10.

Non-Top 5 League EL quarter-finalists
2009-10
Benfica, Standard Liege
2010-11
Braga, Dynamo Kyiv, Porto, PSV Eindhoven, Spartak Moscow, FC Twente
2011-12
AZ Alkmaar, Metalist Kharkiv, Sporting Lisbon
2012-13
Benfica, Fenerbahce, Basel, Rubin Kazan
2013-14
Benfica, AZ Alkmaar, Basel, Porto
2014-15
Dnipro, Club Bruges, Dynamo Kyiv, Zenit Saint Petersburg
2015-16
Shakhtar Donetsk, Sparta Prague, Braga
2016-17
Ajax, Genk, Anderlecht, Besiktas
2017-18
Red Bull Salzburg, Sporting Lisbon, CSKA Moscow
2018-19
Slavia Prague, Benfica
2019-20
Shakhtar, Basel, Copenhagen
2020-21
Dinamo Zagreb, Slavia Prague, Ajax

There are a number of names you would expect, and might place in the European tier above Celtic — Porto, Benfica, Ajax and Shakhtar Donetsk, for example. But there are plenty Celtic would like to believe are below them in European prominence as a club — as well as having smaller revenues and playing budgets — including Prague duo Sparta and Slavia, Dnipro, Metalist Kharkiv, AZ Alkmaar (twice), Standard Liege, Genk and the FC Copenhagen side who eliminated Celtic in the 2019-20 competition.

That list also excludes the five years of UEFA Cup competition prior to its rebranding but after O’Neill’s Celtic beat Barcelona, including quarter-finals featuring Austria Vienna, Levski Sofia and Rapid Bucharest.

In some cases, Celtic would not be expected to progress against some sides they met after Christmas; Inter Milan in 2014-15, Zenit St. Petersburg in 2017-18, or Valencia in 2018-19. Yet, similarly, they were not expected to be beaten by those Champions League qualifier sides, or by Copenhagen and Bodo/Glimt. Celtic have been consistently beaten by sides less wealthy, while never defeating the sides wealthier than them.

Another reason for the poor showings might be that for eight of those 18 seasons in the knock-out victory wilderness, Celtic were in the Champions League group stages. Competing at the higher level of European competition makes elimination as the fourth-placed side likely, removing any prospect of post-Christmas football. But Basel also reached the Champions League group stages in seven of the last 18 seasons, and since 2004-05 they have won 10 UEFA Cup and Europa League knockout ties after Christmas.

Basel are perhaps the most pertinent club for comparison. While Ajax was the club yelled out in response to Bankier’s “absolutely pasted” insistence in the AGM, and the rise of Red Bull Salzburg has prompted some to wonder why the Austrian club’s model cannot be followed, realistically Celtic have neither the global support network of the Red Bull group nor the infrastructure of Ajax that has taken decades to build.

But Basel’s success should be a red flag. The Swiss side and Celtic were in the 2017-18 edition of the Champions League, so both benefitted from that income. A KPMG report recorded that that year Celtic had revenues of €105 million, while Basel’s revenue was €62 million. Match-day and broadcasting income especially were significantly lower than Celtic’s; €43.7 million and €42.5 million respectively for Celtic, €29.6 million and €16.0 million for Basel.

Yet over the past decade, Basel have reached the Champions League last 16 three times, the Europa League semi-finals once, and the latter competition’s quarter-finals twice more on top of that run to the final four in 2012-13 — while Celtic have that solitary Champions League last 16 appearance that same season. The Swiss side, during the Rodgers years, recorded roughly three-fifths of Celtic’s total revenue and continue to bring in vastly lower matchday income. So why do they consistently perform much better in Europe?

There is no easy answer, but there feels a disconnect with fans who believe progress in Europe, and the treasured memories often created to get there, is almost as integral to Celtic’s identity as their domestic success.

At the 2020 AGM, Lawwell described Celtic as a “Champions League club” despite their absence from that competition for three years.

It is now four years and counting, and given they could not even qualify for the Europa Conference League’s last 16, any self-image as a relevant European name looks to be entirely that; a fixation on the legacy of the past, rather than reflected in current reality.

CFC

b p

Yes, a tense time for Europe and The World.

Putin has been stockpiling cash and oil reserves for a few years in anticipation of this conflict. Years worth.
And he very kindly waited til the Winter Olympics were over to make his move- keeping a World power ally on side.
I have a son daughter-in-law and grandchildren in Poland who are far too close if this escalates.

Son Of Gabriel

Posted last comment before reading the lead article; well said & enjoy the opinion on potential restructure

The Gombeen Man

Cheers Magua for the response yesterday.

I gave up watching, reading or listening to the news years ago. As a consequence I’d no idea about the events in the Ukraine until I read about it here, yesterday.

An unfolding tragedy where it’s naive to believe a word any media outlet says. Particularly anything from the British, American or Russian State media.

There’s been too many conflicts, even in my lifetime, where the media peddled toxic propaganda. Ireland, The Falklands, The West Bank, The Gulf…

Folk will befuddle themselves, tuned into to a bevvy of 24 hour news.

In truth, most of us spend our lives in an ongoing cycle of conflict. National, religious, social, economic, political, domestic.

Many will seemingly quite happily add to the toxin by typing away about Huns or Taigs and then reach for the keyboard to denounce violence.

Tragic hypocrisy.

Completely unconscious of our own ongoing participation in global and localised conflict. In response to what’s happening in Ukraine, we’ll revert to type and advocate some form of conflict.

Economic, Social, Military even Cyber.

It’s all we know. Our survival mechanism leads to perpetual conflict. Many of our sports are based on conflict.

We’re addicted to it. Secretly many of us are energised by what’s going on. It gives us a chance to pontificate and boost our own self- importance.

The trouble is that ‘I’ thought. From the moment it enters our heads, first thing in the morning.

We’re in trouble.

‘I’ is the source of all our troubles. The irony is it’s only a thought.

My Politics. My Religion. My Country. My Culture. My Cause. My Calling, My Club, My Blog, My Post, My family…

All a source of Conflict.

All founded in Self-Centred – Thought.

Duality.

Thought is based in our muddled interpretation of the Past.

NATO’s apparent military expansion to the East must be seen as a threat to Russia, especially given their history of invasion from the West. So too, the EU’s expansion East.

Paradoxically countries like the Ukraine must feel threatened by Russia and have an incentive to join the EU and NATO.

A recipe for human misery and conflict.

All based on fear and a reluctance to let go of the past.

All Fear-based thought. The past determining the present.

Do we have the politicians to negotiate a settlement?

Do we have a general public that are capable of seeing beyond their own narrow self-interest? Or will they allow themselves to be manipulated by the media and plutocrats?

Will they ask questions or just continue to be led by the nose through life?

Just continue to get in line and buy those SB’s, type away anonymously and ignore our own contribution to these conflicts?

Who knows…?

Many have warned about light touch Regulation of the greedy Western financial markets for years.

Football is awash with money from Russia.

The Gazprom sponsorship of UEFA is reportedly worth £40m per Season. This Season’s CL Final is scheduled for St Petersburg.

In 2005, Roman Abramovich sold his oil firm, Sibneft to Gazprom for £7.36bn.

World Club Champions and CL Champions, Chelsea owe Roman Abramovich £1.5billion.

Chelsea posted a loss of £155m last Season.

Still nobody cracks a light.

An English Club are Champions via illicit funds. Let’s celebrate. Who cares?

Closer to home…

Post Brexit, we’ve discussed Electric Money Institutions (EMI) on here before.

Specifically the electronic movement of funds, allegedly connected to Russian criminals through the City of London.

See the Open Democracy Report below.

Reitumu Bank are mentioned. They were nailed in France for £80m for enabling tax evasion. They were also fined in their native Latvia.

Dermot’s a major shareholder.

Reitumu are involved with a company called Decta. They are based in London and specialise in the electronic movement of funds, particularly funds originating in Eastern Europe.

Decta have two Beneficial Owners. One’s an Irish Citzen based in Switzerland.

No inference of anyone doing anything wrong, of course.

It’s the same all over. Most just look the other way – until the thing falls apart and then throw their toys out the pram

As usual we’ll have all the platitudes and unconvincing rhetoric but when it comes down to it. As long as the bombs stay in the Ukraine very few will lose much sleep.

But they’ll take full opportunity the platform provides to flex that sense of ‘I’.

More Conflict.

Paradoxically :

So is this.

Till Later.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/dark-money-investigations/will-e-money-boom-make-uk-hub-money-laundering/

Saltires en Sevilla

Mahe

Sometimes Politics are unavoidable on here. War in Europe changes the landscape … literally.

Nowadays many of us have family, friends and colleagues, living in or far too close for comfort, to war zones.

Whatever transpires in football, it seems there is more going on here than an attempt by Putin ( not ordinary Russians) to build a buffer between West/NATO. More than protecting his ‘sphere of influence’.

When the old Soviet bloc was broken up assurances were given to both Russia and its satellites by Western governments. Including, but not restricted to, ensuring Ukrainian sovereignty when they agreed to give up a huge nuclear arsenal. ( previously stationed on its territory)

Thereafter, the inclusion of Baltic states, Poland, Czech & Slovakia, Hungary, Roumania and Bulgaria into EU/NATO would obviously worry a nation with historic fears about Western intentions and various invasions. Around 2007/8 At a NATO conference in Bucharest? ( from memory) there was a statement about the intention to add both Belarus and Ukraine to NATO …

Here we are today … with ordinary folk facing dire consequences.

Deaths, bombing, infrastructure shredded, shortages, prices, investments, restrictions on travel … and of course, sport!

Someone here will have better understanding on reasons for this … but for some time now Western ‘allies’ have been squeezing the baws of the Big Bear. More than simply poking his eye..

We know a small group there are ripping out the income/profits from Russia’s huge natural resources/assets and taking it out the country for personal gain. Thereby, failing to turn,or return, that revenue to the common advantage of the ordinary people there.

The West, including London, eagerly welcomed that money into its greedy clutches.

With hardly a word!

How different are the Oligarchs in the East than from those in the West?

The Western variety simply want a taste of that resource/profits.. to wet their beaks

Most of us Remember in the 70/80’s being genuinely fearful and worried about the nuclear button being pressed by some absolute nutter?

It’s a Sickening feeling.

Saltires en Sevilla

Son of Gabriel

Great link and saved. Thanks

Often feel ongoing failure in Europe is ripping the soul from Celtic.

To know we were ‘saving’ ourselves, to prepare for a game against …Hibs

No offence to them, but …Good grief!

Noticed Sevvies weren’t sparing anything last nite… and scalped a genuine Top-table Bundesliga team.

Saltires en Sevilla

The Gombeen Man

Always a pleasure to see your views here buddy.

Glad you mentioned the obvious fitba links … I was too feart… what with poison-tipped brollies etc.,

Can never be too fearful… I mean careful… 😅

HH

McCaff

Morning all. I’d expect, and hope, that this war will be contained without spreading too far into Europe. Russia and Putin are isolated at the moment with harder sanctions surely to be announced by the UK Government who at the moment are terrified of losing the Kensington and Chelsea Roubles. The USA will lead the way with economic sanctions but the UK must do more. I foresee the Ukraine being Russia’s modern day Afghanistan, a war which can never be won. I think it was NATO Gen Sec Stoltenberg who said the other night that Putin appears mad, dislodged and behaving like the old KGB. I don’t see an appetite for war in Eastern Europe except from Putin.
I’m not sure I can agree with the general tone of this morning’s lead article. To be fair to you, Mahe, I think you’ve had an emotional reaction to yesterday’s news, perhaps because you’re living in the States the rhetoric you’re hearing is more, traditional, anti-Commie stuff than over here which is more economic (after the Humanitarian view, of course!) Apologies if I’ve called that wrong, of course
How all this affects fitba is probably too early to call but UEFA will do EVERYTHING in their power to ensure their gravy train is minimally affected by circumstances in the Ukraine. It is easy for UEFA to reschedule/move the CL Final to another country. It is easy to ban Countries/Teams from their competitions and increase entries for other countries. The desire to complete last year’s European tournies, played in neutral venues as a one-off tie rather than Home/Away legs shows UEFS’s adaptability when a buck is up for grabs. Moving forward if GazProm become Champion’s League pariahs I’m sure the advertising space can be sold elsewhere…I’m sure Emirates, as a top of my head example, could buy into a piece of CL action.
The modern world, particularly after COVID, has no desire to return to any state of abnormality – anything and everything which can be done to ensure life goes on as normally and routinely as possible will be the order of Governments across the World!

God Bless the People of Ukraine.

McCaff

Son of Gabriel…cheers for the c+p job on the Kieran Devlin article. Years of poor management by Celtic summarised in one ten minute read!!

Prestonpans bhoys

Was on the ‘ran dan’ last night so missed the game, recorded it but after reading comments will give it a miss.

Did talk politics in the pub last night. I do expect the Russians to overcome the Ukrainians, eventually. However they will get a bloody nose in the process, they are not a third rate armed force. Now I’m not expecting a result like the Finns got in 1939 but nevertheless the Russians will get a nasty shock.

That’s the end of my political thoughts 😱😵

McCaff

Update…CL Final moved to Paris.

McCaff

…further update – Ukrane and Russia teams to play at Neutral venues.

McCaff

Another thing that struck me yesterday on waking to the news of the strikes on Ukraine – Boli Bolingoli has now made bad calls on TWO foreign trips that I’m aware of!! 😂

St tams

SoG
Excellent article from the Athletic.
Only part I would disagree with, is that Bitton was a success.
Thanks for sharing

McCaff

St tams…as I said last night, I like Bitton. It’s hard to justify it sometimes but he’s a decent footballer – certainly not the worst I’ve seen at Parkheid. A review of his career will see a trophy-laden leave Glasgow after a very fruitful and lucrative 10 or 12 years. In any fitba career that has to be regarded as a success. None of which makes it easier to watch him make the most basic errors, though! 🤐

McCaff

Gordon64

“In war, truth is the first casualty“ — Aeschylus

McCaff

The Gombeen Man

SES,

Thanks.

Most of us seem to lead our lives wrapped up in Conflict.

Opinions, judgements, conclusions.

Count the number of sentences that open with the dreaded, ‘I’.

It’s appearence is the Banshees’ harbinger of inevitable Conflict.

We ignore all of the warnings and queue up to buy our Old Firm SBs.

Belt out the Rebs or Party Songs. Wave our cheap, dye coloured rags.

Ignore warning after warning.

And yet at the first sign of actual violence we can’t be seen for dust.

Oh, the tragic hypocrisy.

As mentioned, I’ve no interest in the news.

A good place to start is by following that money.

If only we’d look at our own contribution to Conflict?

As usual, we’ll probably take the easier, familiar path of pointing that finger elsewhere.

Enjoy your weekend, that’s some portfolio of Celtic related memories you’re compiling.

McCaff

TGM…this might be too simplistic but I’m really struggling to equate the conflict in Ukraine with any part of how I view the world. I always view your comments with interest and tend to have an introspective afterwards but this time I’m just not getting it!

Son Of Gabriel

McCaff – that Buffalo Springfield song is a classic. Regularly in my spotify top 100

St Tams – 700k for 168 appearances isn’t too bad with a birdseye view.
Defiitely didn’t hit the heights it looked like was possible when he was playing out his skin as a 10 for Ronny.

Saltires & others – happy to post it.
He also mentioned this in his pre-match conversation thread;
“Interviewed Bodo’s assistant manager this morning (piece hopefully going up next week), and was fascinated to hear how much preparation they did for Celtic. Wary of Celtic’s aggressive pressing, they shrunk an 11-a-side pitch but still played 11-a-side, and demanded the team out of position to press as furiously as possible. The principle being – if you can handle that intensity in training, you’re more comfortable with Celtic’s press in-game.

Anyway, a sneak preview for the feature, but thought it was interesting to share ahead of tonight.”

Will do another copy & paste job when the article drops. The Bodo coach is likely bound for bigger & better things. They are a well run outfit who scout excellently for traits relevant to how they want to play.
Always comes back to talent evaluation. Always.

bada bing1
fan

We live in dark times with propaganda being added to the weapons of war.
The hypocrisy on all sides is no surprise.
Israel has annexed parts of Palestine for decades with no sanctions or outrage from Nato and Western allies.
Much of the weaponry that will kill many in the Russian invasion was manufactured and supplied by the self proclaimed outraged.
UK and USA will kick and scream while enjoying the fruits of Russian financial corruption.
Meanwhile millions of innocents die as a consequence.
Our care and outrage is selective.
As The Gombeen Man says follow the money.
May the innocent be saved.

Angel Gabriel

Some excellent posts this morning regards what’s happening in Ukraine.
Meanwhile
A pal from school, who I played beside in the school team, good dude & a Tim is currently trying to reach Poland by car, from Kiev .
The last I heard from him was via Facebook yesterday morning.
He worked in the aircraft industry and got engaged a couple of years ago , to a very pretty Ukrainian girl.
Just hoping he makes it to the border safely.

fan

Bada Bing1
Guy looked good but taking opposition into account maybe we flattered him.
We need as a priority central midfielders as that area of the field is a disaster.
People said we improved when Calum and Abada came on but the reality is we still conceded another soft goal when our central midfielder followed ball like an obedient puppy leaving his man an easy and uncontested shot.Our lack of shape and defensive acumen in the central areas is amateurish and embarrassing.
Players apart the coaching bears a huge responsibility for the performance in this area.
I have been saying all season the midfield is unbalanced and has poor spacing so this is not a rant about the 2 Bodo ties.

bada bing1

We play Ross County on Sat 19th, huns now away to Dundee on the Sunday, a chance to put pressure on

Rebus67

Here is my twopence worth on the Ukraine/Russia situation.

Putin has been in charge in Russia for a long time. His position is stable. Having controlled domestic opposition, he is now looking to establish his place in history. Reviving a version of the USSR is his goal, although he will not call it such.

Over the last few years he has gained confidence from his manipulation of a like minded dictator that ran his biggest threat, the USA. Even Trump’s admirers were shocked by his subservient role next to Putin. The growth of the far right, people’s parties or populists within the West has suited Putin as these countries struggle with internal divisiveness. He sees this as his time.

Opposing boots on the ground are unlikely. The time for that was prior to invasion. Now the West has fewer options in the form of degrees of isolation. Sanctions have political capital for those imposing them, but there are ways round them. Some country is always willing to act as a broker, and Russia has plenty of toadies.

The only potentially effective action that I can see is exclusion from global organisations. Vote Russia out of the WTO, The UN, the World Bank, the IMF. Re-examine any trade agreements with the West. Do this soonest or it will have less impact.

The trouble with this approach is money. It will cost the West to enact it. Further, it is like the high press in football. If one part of the team does not apply it, it will fail. Unity is the cry today but will it hold when some countries have to pay a higher price than others to sanction Russia.

I do not know the geography of the Ukraine but I doubt it would support an Afghan style guerrilla war. This war will be swift as Putin intends.

Rebus

Auldheid

A very insightfull article from The Athletic.

My uniformed opinion, as I know I know sfa and so could be away of the mark, is that creating a properly run football club to meet the circumstances faced is too much like hard work and not necessary when supporters are happy to pay over the odds for what is foist on them.

Or

It takes two to tango.

The Gombeen Man

McCaff,

Thanks for bringing me the news if the tragic outbreak of conflict yesterday.

Fan puts it very well.

Rebus too…

Anyway,

“…of how I view the world.”

From your post earlier…

What makes up this ‘I’s view of the world?
What conditioning? What influences? What preferences?

Can you see that, ‘I’ inevitably means daily painful conflict?

It’s that ‘I’ versus 7.7 billion other ‘I’s.

It’s just a matter of seeing that ‘I’ will never bring you or anyone around you peace. It always looks for more, less or better.

It lives in perpetual fear, seeks impossible security, appreciation from others and control of virtually everything in it’s vicinity.

The ‘I’ through which we view the world will never know lasting happiness.

Enjoy your weekend, if you can. Hopefully things settle down in the Ukraine. The best thing we can do is a few prayers for the people of Ukraine.

(The above isn’t personal. We’re all, prisoners of this, illusory, out of control – ‘I’.

‘I’ in Latin is Ego. For fun, everytime you read ‘I’ replace it with the word Ego).

Lunchtime.

Auldheid

The Gombeen Man.

The Ukraine is resource rich therefore it is not beyond the bounds of possibility Russia wants some.

Now why would anyone who has enough want more and be prepared to steal what they already have?

One answer is having faced past deprivations we wish to protect ourselves from a repeat.

But the most recent past deprivations were result of Germany thinking it hadnt enough and so the fear of not having enough stokes the boilers of the war machine.

Logically it makes no sense to strengthen that fear by making it seem more real by introducing sanctions but logic as in reasoned thought is hard work and is left to others to judge what is best.

What the world needs now is love sweet love which overcomes fears that are not based on reality.

There is more than enough, every season new apples grow if the trees are lovingly nurtured.

Putin is mad but he is far from alone.

Love more fear less.

Rebus67

Back to football and Celtic.

That was an interesting article on the club’s prolonged failure in Europe to “lesser” teams. The first observation is one of perception, our conquerors were not, in fact, lesser. They were better prepared and were teams and not groups of players sent out to do their best.

The fault lies in Celtic’s approach to hiring coaches. Instead of trying to bring in European competencies we take the narrower approach of looking for ex-Celtic players or those with a degree of Irishness about them. Our two deviations from that approach have been accidents….Deila, appointed because Lennon left, and Ange, because of the How and Where of Howe.In my view, Deila was a second rate coach who could not walk the talk. Ange has broader experience but not in Europe.

Meanwhile over at Ibrox, they have gone Dutch, French, Mexican, plus a large slice of Liverpool’s European success. Yes, not all have been successful but it shows a much broader perspective in recruitment, rather than simply appoint another McCoist.

Has the club ever formed an internal committee or brought in a consulting firm to advise on what has been going wrong for so long? Has anyone heard of any initiative to address this long term problem that bleeds out cash every year?

Lack of European coaching and tactics is the enduring problem, its effects are witnessed by the likes of Malmo, Legia, Copenhagen, Cluj, and recently, Bodo.

Here is the most troubling thing…..it is still not being addressed. Ange has virtually no European experience, except for a brief sojourn in a low level of Greek football.

We really are a poorly run organisation that succeeds because Scottish football is a duopoly. Neither of the top two clubs need to be too innovative to achieve a measure of success.

This is why the club no longer get any of my money. Love? Yes! Money? No!

Rebus

Auldheid

Rebus

Has the club ever formed an internal committee or brought in a consulting firm to advise on what has been going wrong for so long? Has anyone heard of any initiative to address this long term problem that bleeds out cash every year?

====

Having sat across the table from the current and previous CEO I have seen no evidence whatsoever of what I’d call a Lessons Learned Commitee that takes account of the thoughts and feelings of all stakeholders in Celtic to review the past and plan the future.

BRTH one of the other 4 guys who represented a small group of shareholders on Res12 shares my views and more on what is lacking and some sign of moving towards creating such a mechanism coming from Celtic would be as important if not more important in improved relationship terms as on field success which is never dependable but was the underlying approach as in keep winning keeps them happy.

In the Athletic article PL is mentioned asking if our support would be happy with the Ajax model that meant no titles for 4 years.

My answer would be as long as other titles were shared by clubs other than Rangers in a financially fair competition I would be more able to accept the Ajax strategy, so what are Celtic doing to change the current
football landscape in Scotland built on toxic ground?

Craig76

Hannah / ハナ⁷🚅🐬🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇯🇵 (@esperbymitsume) Tweeted: Wee update on Kyogo;

Japan National Team manager Moriyasu participated in an online session to report on the progress/condition of Japanese players abroad.

On Kyogo: “He is not yet able to play. But recovery is going smoothly” https://twitter.com/esperbymitsume/status/1497163352036065280?s=20&t=8zQcYmVPsHGY4bwu8EUuEQ

The Gombeen Man

Auldheid,

Hopefully the lessons of The Crimea haven’t been forgotten. The Charge of the Light Brigade, the Thin Red Line. Florence Nightingale saving lives.

The irony is that our insatiable drive for security, invariably results in insecurity. We take bigger and bigger risks.

The drive for security you mention, has both propelled the human and is his/her Achilles heel.

There’s a problem with the Off Switch.

David Bohm used to talk about a lack of proprioception when it came to conscious thought.

Proprioception helps us with balance and movement, a sixth sense almost.

There’s a lack of that when it comes to thought. When we embark on a given course, there’s a glaring lack of an ability to change course. Often when the consequences are obviously fraught with danger.

The environment is a good example.

Years of churning out pollutants and a lack of balance when it comes to the damage we’re causing.

So too with many things.

Wars included.

Anyhow, let’s hope our proprioception is on point at Easter Road.

Back to the grindstone.

SFTB

Interim Superbru update

This should be updated fully when the postponed Dundee v St. Mirren tie from Wednesday night gets played but, since a new round starts tomorrow at 3pm, I will give the results as they stand.

Best performers this week (so far) are Gutenberg and Cosy Corner Bhoy with 12.5 with Knoxy in 3rd on 11. There’s whole host on 1 point (pending the Dundee tie) including arc, fess 19, Mick The Tim, Raplochbus, Craig76, Por Cierto and Bada Bing.

In the overall lead, Call me Gerry is almost 10 points clear of Hopeful Hoops with MagnificentSeven in 3rd place. At the bottom, excluding those dropped out, Chalmersbhoy has moved off the bottom to be replaced by Scaniel with BGFC in 3rd bottom place.

Get predictions in again by 3pm tomorrow and, if enough of us predict a good Easter Road result on Sunday and an upset at Ibrox- just maybe- we might be less despondent than we are at present.

Thanks again for your support.

bada bing1

Scottish Cup QF
 
Dundee United v Celtic
 
Monday 14th March
7.45 ko

No reason not to play at Saturday lunchtime….

jimthetim53

Packy I heard there’s rumours going about that conscription might be brought in to the armed forces. As a retired person I will be exempt. Dad’s Army for me! However as you keep reminding us, you are much much younger than me. So whats it to be. Army, Navy or RAF?

big packy

JIM as you well know im 6 months older than you, so if your not called up what chance do i have,,another true story😎

big packy

remember the episode in dads army, where captain mainwaring says to pike dont tell him your name pike, I still laugh at that even today, a classic😎

jimthetim53

Ah so the truth is out there now! The next time you say weren’t born at the time of the Big Freeze 1963 or the Cuban Missile Crisis I will remind you! 🙂

bada bing1,

From https://www.live-footballontv.com/

Saturday 12 March 19.45 Hearts v St Mirren BBC
Sunday 13 March 12.30 Motherwell v Hibs BBC
Sunday 13 March 16.00 TBC – Premier Sports – I take it this is Dundee v Sevco
Monday 14 March 19.45 TBC – Premier Sports

Now, I wouldn’t expect the Huns to play Monday – Thursday (EL) but BT Sport (Premier Sport) have Brighton v Liverpool at 12.30pm on Saturday 12 March so, they probably wouldn’t have presenters and/or cameras for us to play on the Saturday. Easier to shift the cameras 100 yards over two days while sticking us with the Monday evening slot.

Now, this is were the Board should step in and have one of their famous ‘behind the scenes’ chats.

HH

big packy

JIM you have got me there.well done😎

Craig76

JTT53 Think Putin needs to listen to this and chill out

Dario G – Sunchyme (Official Music Video) / Chrysalis Records

jimthetim53

Craig that way of thinking is beyond him. He wants to be another Stalin.

big packy

JIM, putin has been very clever here, he knows the uk has not got the resources any more to fight,and he knows america wont get involved because of the threat of a nuclear war,,another true story,