It doesn’t matter what industry you operate in, if you’re the governing body, you MUST show leadership and strength of conviction, otherwise you’ll be walked all over.
By climbing down to the Orange Order and Linfield’s sectarian preferences, UEFA have shown themselves to be weak and easily manipulated.
They are quick to enforce the rules when it suits them, as Celtic have seen in past years, so when the draw for the potential meeting of the Hoops and the North of Ireland champions came about, the game fixture should have been reversed, with the first leg coming to Celtic Park, on the 11th or 12 of July.
Champions League matches are ALWAYS played on a Tuesday or Wednesday, so why should Celtic be forced to play on a Friday to accommodate the sectarian celebrations of the bigoted Orange Order?
Celtic, by refusing tickets for the game at Windsor Park are now caught in a crossfire from fans who want to attend the match. I can understand both sides of the argument, Hoops fans who live in the city know more about Belfast than most.
At the same time Celtic have to look after the safety not only of the fans, but the team too.
Like years before, the board should have dug their heels in, and insisted the first leg be played in Glasgow. I’m sure they’ve got more sway than Linfield in these matters.
Ultimately, UEFA have pandered to the sectarian OO and their ‘culture’ of celebrating the slaughter of Catholics. Just like their Scottish counterparts, the SFA, they wouldn’t know leadership if it bit them on the arse.
The ‘dilemma’ of Celtic travelling to Belfast on the 12th of July to play in the first leg second qualifying round of this years UEFA Champions League, really shouldn’t be an issue at all.
As it’s a UEFA tournament, what the governing body say invariably goes.
Ultimately, if a team cannot guarantee the safety of their opponents and their supporters, in this case Linfield, the question has to be asked if they should be allowed to participate in the tournament at all?
And while we’re on the subject, the fact the game has to be moved should force UEFA to look further into the reasons why.
Sectarian and racist parades in Belfast are being given priority over the game itself. For an organisation that, when it suits, prides itself in it’s ‘No to Racism’ campaigns, year in year out, they are being dictated to by a club that would rather put it’s bigoted ways first.
Should a club with such values be allowed to play in ANY UEFA tournament?
It’s up to UEFA to do the right thing, having said that, at Celtic, we’ve already had experience of trusting the governing body before only to be ‘disappointed’, namely in 1974 and 1984.
Common sense doesn’t always prevail….
At many clubs there’s a particular shirt number that’s iconic. At Celtic, it is of course the number seven.
Our greatest player Jimmy Johnstone, more often than not wore the famous number seven, and the King of Kings, Henrik Larsson, the super Swede became the magnificent seven, in ironically, his seven years at the club.
Others have followed in their footsteps but none of the successors, Juninho, Zurawski, McDonald, Keane, Ljundberg, Miku or Ciftci have reached anywhere near the heights of Jinky or Henke.
is it the case of trying to be someone else rather than themselves that hinders their progress, or is it the fact there are no players who can come close to those two footballing giants of Celtic?
Maybe a bit of both.
So what about other numbers? Yesterday, new signing Jonny Hayes was given the number 15 shirt for the new season, the same shirt worn by Kris Commons these last six years.
Kris won many trophies in the Hoops, including five league titles, two Scottish Cups and a League Cup. He also won the both Player of the Year awards in 2013/14.
His shirt will take some filling, but is it really his shirt? Will Jonny Hayes want to be the ‘new Kris Commons’? Or the ‘replacement’ for Paddy Roberts? In fact, will Jonny want to be the new anyone?
I doubt it very much.
Brendan Rodgers signed Jonny from Aberdeen because of who, and what he is. A versatile, left footed midfielder with a good engine on him, and an eye for goal.
And that’s ALL that counts…
I always find the transfer window as a time when normal, rational fans lose some of their marbles!
It happens twice a year without fail. Supporters suddenly go from joiners, plumbers, shop assistants etc, etc to CEO’s, scouts, accountants, managers and agents.
It’s quite funny to watch.
ITK (in the know fans) tell us such and such will be signing, on x per week, for y years, which creates a frenzy of ‘he’s not good enough’, ‘what a signing’ and/or ‘believe it when I see it’ responses.
Either way, most of the time it’s all speculation, usually coming from the SMSM who need to sell papers regardless of the validity of the story. We’ve already heard from an ‘award winning’ churnalist telling us they’ll print whatever they like about us, because it sells.
They, like the ITK’s very rarely get it right.
And while it’s quite amusing listening to fans debate the lies, I find the best time to praise or complain about new signings, is when they appear at Celtic Park with a scarf or strip with their name on it.
At the end of the day, Celtic very rarely do their business in full view of the media, they’re to busy working on deals to make our team stronger and better. It’s their jobs.
Jobs for the Bhoys if you like….
These days, sponsorship is crucial to every football club. You’ll find lists of sponsors in every match day programme, sponsors of first team kits, jersey placement, lounges, stadiums, sections of grounds etc.
Virtually everything you can imagine has room for sponsorship.
Obviously the most common is the team sponsor. In Celtic’s case this is currently Magners, the Irish Cider maker. The money they put into the club will dwarf anything on offer to any other club in Scotland.
This year has been an absolute bumper for the company’s relationship with Celtic.
A treble winning, InVIncible season that no one could have forecast, along with the 50th Anniversary commemoration of the Lisbon Lions, has kept the club at the forefront of Scottish football.
And Magners, quite rightly, capitalised on the feel good vibes around the club, by introducing a limited edition case of Irish Cider commemorating Celtic’s greatest ever achievement in 1967. Such is the demand they’ve had to stock up more supplies to cope, with more available in the Celtic Superstore.
Contrast the return Magners get from their sponsorship of the best run club in the country, to the shambles across the city, where betting firm 32Red reluctantly renewed their sponsorship of Sevco’s kit, knowing fine well there’s a fan boycott of the replica tops.
I wouldn’t like to be the marketing director of 32Red when it’s pointed out to him Magners get a better deal from boxes of cider, than they do for shirt sales at Ibrox….
Football fans are fickle, to say the least, and some among our own support certainly fit that description.
With the Bhoys heading back to training on Monday, except those who had or have international commitments, the faithful are getting a bit irritable with the lack of movement into Celtic Park.
That situation took a turn for the worst with the news that Celtic and Paddy Roberts WON’T be an item next season. As yet no one has heard from Kieran Tierney, who’s sure to take the news worse than the average fan!
I think the influx of Galacticos over in Govan has made matters worse, or it could be there’s a section of the support who are glass half empty anyway.
However, Jonny Hayes has had a medical and is about to become a Celtic player. The versatile Dubliner is NOT a replacement for anyone, he’s here because Brendan and his staff think he can do a job for us.
There is no doubt others will follow him to Paradise, but only when the time is right.
It would be easy to follow the same pattern as close seasons before and bring in players who’ll bolster the squad but not the team. That just isn’t going to happen under Brendan.
So finding, and agreeing terms with players and clubs for the better quality than our Invincibles is going to take time. I’m sure there is plenty going on behind the scenes.
Personally, I take little notice of the speculation, maybe it’s an age thing, until the club have a presser and the player has a Celtic scarf in his mitts!
In Brendan we trust….