For Celtic To Earn The Truly Big Bucks In Europe We Need To Rebuild Fortress Parkhead.

Image for For Celtic To Earn The Truly Big Bucks In Europe We Need To Rebuild Fortress Parkhead.

As you’ll probably have seen – it has been widely covered on the other sites – our friend Swiss Ramble has produced an incredible thread on how much we might earn from Champions League Group Stage participation next season. The numbers are mind blowing, with a guaranteed £30 million from qualification cash and TV income alone.

This of course says nothing for ticket sales, which will be substantial, and add even more cash to the kitty. The estimates of a £40 million take are not exaggerated. This is the ballpark we’ll be in even if we fail to win a single point.

But we can earn much, much, much more if we do win games of course.

And that, my friends, is where the really great news lies.

Because a pot of gold which is half as big again awaits us if we get three wins in the Group and go through … that could add as much as £20 million more to the take and give us a further Champions League round after Xmas.

All we have to do – and it’s not as easy as it sounds, of course – is rebuild Fortress Parkhead.

Three homes wins and I think we’ll be in good shape.

Nine points is usually enough to get you through the Groups of a major competition, although I’ve seen unlucky sides go out with that total and incredible ones with the luck of the devil go through on eight.

There was a time when our home ground was one of the most feared in Europe. Crucially, our home form, domestically, has been exceptional under Ange. We also beat Betis, AZ, Jablonec and Ferencvaros here last season in Europe.

We’ve all been a bit spooked by the Bodo/Glimt result, I think.

Before that people had looked at our Europa League form and were pretty confident.

Certainly, if we did have qualifiers to play and we’d been drawn against Midtjylland for next season there would be none of the trepidation we all had going into that game at the start of this one … we’d be very confident.

The Champions League is a different playground entirely though, of course, and its harsh and unforgiving nature has exposed better teams than us. We need at least a partially favourable draw, but the likliehood is that we will get at least one of the super clubs and that’s a simple fact of football life which we have to face up to.

It’s also a fact that we have a manager whose first instinct will be to go toe-to-toe with that team and try to punch them out. Which guarantees us a white knuckle ride and a half, and especially in the away fixture. At home though … well you’d have said that at home we should always have a chance, and so it might prove to be here.

The preparations will have to be excellent, of course, but we have the insurance policy of knowing that money is in the bank. It’s not a theoretical prize, it’s real, it’s a tangible, we have our hands around it. So really, there will be no excuse whatsoever if the transfer business is left to late, if we’re scrambling about at the last minute trying to do deals.

But with a summer to properly prepare, and the best summer we’ve seen in well over a decade, with no need to endure qualifying fixtures – and we’ve played a minimum of three rounds per season in that time, which is incredibly draining early in a season – I think we’ll be as ready for those Groups as we can possibly be.

If we get the home form right, the prize will be immense … not to mention the restoration of our profile and the belief that we belong on that stage.

Share this article


  • Joseph Mcaleer says:

    We will not be up against cluggers and hammer throwers ,ie spl, but class players ,
    Time for realism this is where you are judged, we need another year with the team we have to mature. We will give it our best shot so let’s go.

  • Bigmick says:

    Although i agree with your thinking, James, let’s just get this league title in the bag first.
    Close as we are, I’m saying nothing until its over (3 pts on Saturday seals it, and i believe we’ll get them) but it’s far from a foregone conclusion.
    Celtic Park needs to be a fortress on Saturday.

  • Jimmy R says:

    Getting the league won not only gives access to the CL riches. It gives us a great Xmas present. If we don’t start until August then come the madhouse fixture rush in December, our Bhoys won’t be running into the mid season break running on fumes. The qualifiers take a lot out of the squad. Avoiding them will be a great bonus.

    • Mark Barrett says:

      Your forgetting the new schedule due to Qatar & The Sydney Cup so the games have been rearranged so no break as per previous years……?

  • James W says:

    As JF rightly says, for the first time in many a long year we have some serious amount of time to plan for a new season. Six CL group games in the Autumn is a mouth watering prospect. And a scary one as well.
    Recruitment will, as always, be the key. We need a minimum of four quality additions to the squad, not project/prospects or has-beens, but oven ready genuine talent. A huge number of squad deadwood needs to be offloaded and we should be left with a first team squad of around 30 players. All Celtic quality and worthy of the jersey.
    We will soon find out if Nicholson and Lawwell Jnr have what it takes.

  • Martin says:

    It will be interesting to see how we cope against the CL teams. My feeling just now is we’re not at that level. Maybe with a good preseason we will be, but I think we need 4 key players (LB, CDM, another CB, cover RB) minimum to be in with a shout. In Ange we trust though and we will see what happens.

  • Brian Cavanagh says:

    Interesting in your salivating over 30-40 million potential income from Europe. Is it not the corrupt and rigged system of UEAFA where teams are 3/4th are able to play in the Champions League. Last time a read a dictionary champion was defined as some who had won, not come fourth. It is precisely pandering to the English, German, Italian and lSpanish systems that distort the nature of the trophy driven by the sweetner money from Sky.
    No one is challenging the misuse of money to support an unsustainable English Premier league where mediocrity is celebrated with millions of Sterling. In the meantime what happens to the League 1 and 2 clubs who are one of the backbones of the English lead

Comments are closed.