One of the articles I was planning to write tomorrow got written for me today by another site. I never worry when that happens; as long as someone puts the facts in the public domain, that’s just fine by me. I am delighted that someone knocked one of Ibrox’s premier lies on the head. It’s the one about the UEFA co-efficient.
This theme has been gathering pace on their forums for weeks now, and it came to a crescendo yesterday when we beat them at Ibrox.
Put simply, it is that they have built the co-efficient that has virtually guaranteed automatic Group Stage football, only for us to nip in and take it from them. I don’t know what they were expecting for this; thanks? Applause? That we turn down the automatic place and give it to them as they earned it in the first place?
There’s just one problem with this narrative; it’s not actually true.
I know. You’re sitting out there and you’re thinking, “Surprise me some more James, why don’t you?” Because of course it isn’t true, and of course they believe it anyway. I had run down the stats on this the other day. 67 Hail Hail have obviously done the same, and David Walton has published the details tonight on their site.
Every Celtic site should be doing the same. This is one piece of nonsense that really needed knocking on the head. I’m only surprised the likes of Keevins and Rae and Boyd weren’t already pushing it.
And what are the facts? Well, in the five years prior to this one – on which the co-efficient is based – it is our European performances which account for more than half of the total which has got us here. For all the hype and the hysteria about them, we’ve done this ourselves.
In the last five years, we made the Champions League Group stages twice. We’ve twice reached the last 32 of the Europa League. We have beaten the likes of Lazio home and away along the road – without debate Lennon’s finest results as boss.
This has given us a co-efficient score of 34.00. Their own score for that five year period was 31.50, which is a way behind ours. Within their five-year period is the disgrace to Scottish football that was their exit against Progres Niederkorn.
The simple fact of it is that we built our own qualification success story. Like so many other things that Ibrox believes in, there is more truth to reports of fairies at the bottom of the garden.
Well done to 67 Hail Hail for publishing the details, and I hope every other site follows suit in ramming this one down the throats of all who try and trumpet it. These Peepul are the tiger sharks of Scottish football; they’ll swallow anything.