I wonder what Celtic fans would consider as an achievement in Europe worth celebrating?

Well that’s it confirmed. It’s farewell to Ange and we are back on the Brendan Voyage. Unlike a lot of people I didn’t have too much of an issue with his departure. Certainly didn’t put him in the rat category.

So I don’t have a problem with him coming back other than that I am not sure going back always works out. He has the credentials though so we shall soon see.

May 27th 2017, Hampden, Scottish Cup Final Celtic versus Aberdeen. Celtic Manager Brendan Rodgers

(the)Rangers will be a bit of a different proposition this time around. Also he has to hit the ground running as far as Europe is concerned. We can’t afford to have “need time to build his own team” mantra.

I think too that as a Club, and as fans, we need to have realistic ideas of how we view Europe.

When Kenny Dalglish left one of the things that disillusioned me was the realisation that the days of going in to each season with realistic expectations of getting to latter stages in Europe were fading. The gap that was appearing then is now a yawning chasm.

In 1977 when Kenny left it was still realistic to imagine that with a few breaks clubs like Hibs Hearts, Aberdeen could win the League. Those days are over. Nowadays the fans who buy their season tickets for Pittodrie, Tynecastle, Easter Road know they are spending money to watch their team play in a competition they have no chance of winning. Getting third spot or even getting into top six is their cause for celebration. I wonder what Celtic fans would consider as an achievement in Europe worth celebrating?

At this juncture I’d be delighted with a third spot in the Champions League group and then getting past the first knock out round in Europa League.

Photo by Bagu Blanco/Pressinphoto/Shutterstock Josip Juranovic shoots a penalty Real Madrid v Celtic FC, UEFA Champions League, Group F, date 6. Football, Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Madrid, Spain – 2 Nov 2022

I was looking at the new format for CL that starts in 2024/25. As I don’t have a degree in Advanced Mathematics I didn’t fully understand it but it did seem to indicate there was no drop down to Europa League for clubs who didn’t get top places in their groups.

Instead there will be more CL games to be played but if you finish outside of the top 24 then European football is over. For the likes of Celtic it could mean playing out fixtures with no realistic expectations of progress in the competition. On the other hand if we didn’t qualify for CL it might mean playing in a Europa League or Conference League competition with a better chance of winning it?

My youngest son, Seán, who lives in Sydney was telling me that there is a lot more coverage of Ange now in the Aussie media. We often think of Celtic being a “big” club – and we are – but there is still a huge difference between us and the English Clubs.

In my years down here I have met many Celtic fans from NZ, Australia, South Africa, South East Asia. With very few exceptions they are Scottish or Irish, or the children of Scottish or Irish parents. On the other hand when I meet supporters of clubs like Spurs, Man Utd Liverpool etc they are Kiwis, Aussies, Chinese, Korean, Indian, Iranian etc. They are not supporters in the way we are but they buy the merchandise and the TV subscriptions.

The English game to me exemplifies what is good and bad about professional sport. There are good players, quality matches and excellent games. But in order to keep going and improving English football then football in other countries gets deprived. In my last job I worked with a Korean guy and an Indian guy. The Korean supported Spurs, the Indian was a Liverpool fan. Neither had any real interest in their own countries’ domestic games. More alarmingly I hear Celtic fans talking about “their English team”.

Not sure how we move on from that. The new European set up seems to help solidify the existing big Clubs into their place rather than give an opportunity for the likes of us to be progressing in that arena.

Anyway rant over.

All the best for now.

Mike Maher


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  1. Interesting about the Ange coverage down under. There seems to be a unique kind of fan down under…the manager groupie. They appeared on Celtic comments pages in droves. They merely followed Ange everywhere he went. Adopting and discarding teams as they went and spoke,in unguarded moments about their “ Scottish team” ,” Japanese team” etc. Funnily enough they never spoke about their “ Australian team”. It was all very weird. After a while they assumed they knew everything there was to know about Celtic. If someone made even a hint of a criticism about Ange they were told they weren’t true Celtic supporters. Needless to say they have mostly disappeared from our pages/sites. Like you I’m not that keen on going back down the same road regarding managers . However something Ange said or did made DD very angry indeed,and when that happens he gets up off his backside and shows everyone who’s boss.