Amidst all the controversy over what was and what wasn’t said last night at Ibrox, over all the arguments about the fight in the tunnel and what the Prague players had to put up with from their counterparts, the result and its ramifications appears almost secondary.
That is very much not the case.
Last night could have had major consequences for Celtic.
What a mess we’ve made of this campaign. What a shambles it has been.
Most fans might be oblivious to this, but we actually came with 90 minutes of completing the disaster. Gerrard’s dire tactical decisions have arguably cost his team a place in the quarter finals.
He will not get the scrutiny those decisions deserve. In many ways he’s a lucky manager.
Once again, he’s been saved by circumstances.
But he’s not the only one who dodged a bullet last night, because we did too.
Had he performed better in his job, had his player Roofe not decided to practice his audition for Cobra Kai out on the pitch on the opposing team’s goalkeeper, had the Ibrox club actually managed to get enough from the game to go through to today’s draw our nightmare would have stared us in the face.
Because had they squeaked into the quarters, they’d have been virtually guaranteed qualification directly into next season’s Champions League Groups without having to kick a ball.
The path was open to them, and all they had to do was get through last night’s game.
The Ukrainian clubs were all that stood in their way and they both went out last night. Scotland would have leap-frogged them in the co-efficient running and that would have propelled them to the jackpot.
That would have been a calamity for Celtic.
But it’s the cost of this dismal season, it’s the result we would have deserved for the gross mismanagement at the top of our own house. As it stands, the Ibrox club will have to play qualifying games and they are a gauntlet as we know only too well.
The real joke is how grossly unprepared we already look as if we’re going to be for the same.
I’ll be blunt; I would bet against us making the Champions League Groups.
It will take a near miracle for us to qualify for those in the non-champions path.
There are now less than 100 days before those games kick off. Without a manager and with all the uncertainty floating around the club we’ll be lucky if we’re prepared to battle our way towards the Europa League.
Failure there would be a financial catastrophe.
The board of directors is already jeopardising next season and that’s even worse when you consider that the prize for winning the title is that guaranteed Champions League spot.
We are not only risking that, but risking that the Ibrox club gets it two years running … and that would certainly be the answer to many of their short-term problems.
Slavia Prague saved us last night.
They stopped this car-crash of this campaign being even bigger than it was, even more destructive than it was.
It is imperative that we do not let the next one devolve into an even bigger fiasco … and one that would definitely hand them the keys to the treasure room and an opportunity no-one ever saw them having again.
Our club has to get its act together and fast.
Taking their time is one thing; this is starting to look like dragging their feet or not having a clue.
[snack-countdown title=”Celtic’s Countdown To Champions League Disaster” date=”06/20/2021″ time=”00:00:00″ colour=”#000″ textColour=”#FFF”]