Celtic today drew Dutch club AZ Alkmaar in the final Europa League qualifier.
If we get past the Czechs of Jablonec we will face a murderously difficult task, an outcome that was entirely predictable and is exactly what we deserve for the scandalous lack of urgency with which we approached the start of this campaign.
All this club had to do was prepare, adequately, for the game against the Danes in the Champions League.
Push the boat out a little further, give the manager a fighting chance.
We had the good fortune of a winnable tie. Instead, this club does what it always does; it sent the manager into the qualifying tie wholly undermanned, and by the narrowest margin failed.
That failure is going to haunt us.
Dropping into Europe’s third tier competition would not only be a financial disaster but it would turn this club – a club which allegedly has Champions League pretensions – into a laughing stock throughout Europe.
Quite how Lawwell will have the brass neck to swan into an ECA meeting when this club has regressed to this extent I do not know. But I know that other officials will be sniggering behind his back, and that’s wholly deserved just as this horrible position we’re in is.
This club is now reaping exactly what it has spent this entire year sewing.
We’ve acted like a third rate shower and the Europa Conference League is exactly where such thinking gets you.
This board should be appalled at the prospect, but they haven’t even given this manager the tools to get by the Czech club in midweek; I certainly don’t believe we’ll be in any position to take on a far better outfit in the following round.
The old maxim says “fail to prepare and you prepare to fail.”
We are now preparing for one of the most humiliating scenarios this club has faced in decades.
If this board thought the Deila era and its closed top tiers for European ties was a harsh verdict on them … they ain’t seen nothing yet. They might have season ticket money but nobody should even entertain the idea of purchasing tickets for UEFA’s consolation prize competition, because anyone who did would simply be endorsing this absolute shambles.
The club has not shown the slightest interest in properly preparing us for these competitions, trying to do everything on the cheap – as usual. Well, there will be costs to pay either way.
That’s what they never seem to understand at our club.
If we go out of the Europa League before the groups, it might just be that they learn a lesson they won’t soon forget. Understand that I’m not hoping for that outcome … but I am mentally preparing for it.
This whole club better brace for impact.
The consequences of this wasted year just keep on coming.
We are getting what we deserve.