The Celtic Board Should Take A Bow. This Is The Real Measure Of Where They’ve Got Us.

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For 80 minutes this team wasn’t just in this game but with a chance to grab destiny by the throat. But as usual we’ve flogged a great opportunity, and the minute it was clear that we had the roof fell in. I’m glad there is just one more game to go in this tournament.

I am sick of the “we played well … up to a point.” Tired of the hard luck story. Fed up with giving out plaudits for “doing alright.” This has become a chore.

The best decision I’ve made since the draw was made was to save the money for the home Champions League ticket package and to spend it coming here instead. Because this is a club which has simply stopped trying to be a Champions League level team.

Lennon is correct that we might be good enough at some point to win a European trophy, but the truth is that if we did it would represent a failure on some level … we’d either have exited the top tournament first or worse, flogged a domestic league title to qualify for the second tier tournament. A lot of people wouldn’t care. I wouldn’t complain myself if at the end of it was European silverware, but it grates me to know this isn’t our level.

And part of that, of course, is a board of directors with no genuine ambition to be.

That’s not even up for debate, and as long as they continue to behave like a board content just to be here, with no attempt to be or do more, they’ll never get a penny from me to watch a competitive game in this tournament.

A top class manager who is capable at this level is hamstrung by a policy that keeps us in the slow lane, and if he doesn’t grab it by the throat he’ll suffer for it.

Has he done that? He’s certainly tried to. He’s made his feeling crystal clear. He talks like a guy confident of getting the guys he wants, and whilst I’ll take him at his word I won’t be in the least bit surprised if the people in our boardroom fail to deliver on it.

Five games in this tournament and one point; they are completely to blame for that. Every single one of us expected quality in the summer of a level to significantly improve the team. Eight project players and three of them exacerbating the Asian Cup problem which we’d been talking about for months is what these people delivered instead.

That’s what happens when the football department is not run solely based on the needs of the team. It’s run to serve the needs of the “strategy”.

This is where the strategy has taken us.

This is where we’ve ended up, and part of that is down to us too by the way, down to the fans, because a section of our support is more interested in events on the other side of the planet about which they can do precisely nothing than it is about putting the pressure where it belongs here at home.

Self-indulgent armchair revolutionaries want to pick a fight with the club over flags and the perceived political leanings of the directors … that’s a joke at a time when there are obvious problems within our own walls. It was good to see that the Day Of Action let the board know it’s in a fight … by the booing of an ageing rock star for being a Tory.

We need this fan-base to be vocal and express its anger.

But that anger should be directed at the board for the way they fail to back the manager.

It should be directed at them for the scandals of nepotism and cronyism at our heart, and which have led us to this sorry result.

It should be directed at the people who think we’re some heirloom to be handed down to their kids and their grandkids.

The priorities are all so, so, so very wrong.

We are all entitled to feel cheated tonight, by those at our own club who saw the manager’s options from the bench tonight include Mikey Johnston and David Turnbull, two guys who might not have futures beyond this club in January. Holm is a project. Oh isn’t cutting it right now in Scotland, so he’s not going to take you to the next level in Europe … the rest of the bench included three centre backs, a right back and a couple of kids.

That’s the hand the manager has been dealt.

And yeah there are injured players who would be in this team if they were fit and Palma would have played if he wasn’t banned, and that offers a shred of mitigation for the poverty of that bench … but to have gone into this competition weaker in terms of the starting eleven than we were when we played the opening game against Real Madrid last year is on those at the club who have failed to deliver the goods.

That’s the story tonight.

Not the failure of this team, which you can excuse, in part, because these guys are the best we had tonight … the failures are in the directors box, men who have convinced themselves that they are geniuses, and they aren’t going to let a little thing like routine Champions League humiliation dissuade them of that notion.

More than being sick of this, I am heartily sick of them.

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  • Tony r says:

    Agree totally with your thoughts on the board but lose credibity when alm season telling us you were going to treat champions league with the sane contempt as the board has but then travel to an away match and pay money to of all clubs lazio

  • paul obrien says:

    And the board rewarded themselves with an increase in pay.

  • Patrick says:

    Totally agree. Our failure to bring in a proven goalscorer and bloat the side with projects and gems while the likes of Vata can’t even get in the squad is ridiculous.

    • Phil says:

      James, having a dig at the GB for not venting their anger at the board is a cheap shot in my opinion given that you seem quite happy to see the back of them and if you’re waiting on the majority of the remainder who appear happy to sit on their hands during games to vent their anger at the board, don’t hold your breath.

  • Chris says:

    Perfect summary James

  • Dean Stevenson says:

    100% m8, guess what……. it doesn’t matter because it will NEVER change!

  • John Smith says:

    I,m with you James,first time I haven’t purchased champs league tckts,,and I won’t untill (A) there’s massive investment in the team or(B) The board fuck right off,, absolutely scunnered.

  • G Ferguson says:

    As Peter Lawwell proudly boasted at the AGM “You get what you pay for” this is definitely true of the team on the park. Sack the board now and stop this joke of a PLC running our club.

  • Darragh ó Conchobhair says:

    Can we still qualify if we win all our remaining games?

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Lawwell makin pathetic jokes about rangers, then ye watch this ‘so predictable’ outcome time and time again and ye realize, whit a complete joke WE are in Europe because of him and his board. Every season we’re goin through this because of their lack of ambition. Never strong enough tae hold on tae a game and naewhere near good enough for Europe. Never mind tho, the board as every year, have their CL money, that’s all that matters tae them. When ye think of our proud past European history and reputation, then what this board have done and are doin, it’s fuckin criminal.

  • Tony B says:

    Despite their recent claim to be supporters, the most important motivation for this board is to run it as a business not a football club.

    As a business it keeps making them money, so basically fuck everyone else, they’re all right Jack.

    As long as they are in place this will never change, and regrettably season ticket holders are only keeping this farce going.

    I wouldn’t give the Lawwells the steam off my bowel movements.

  • Stephen says:

    Truth. The Green Brigade are children. Armchair wannabee provos with a perpetual antiestablishmentarianism victimhood chip on their shoulders. How dare anyone have a political opinion that varies from their borg-like numbskull collective group-think? How ironic that Celtic is a club that prides itself on being a welcoming broad church, and is saddled by these malcontents. I would not tolerate their reunion. They cannot be trusted to act like Celtic supporters.

  • Mr p says:

    I totally agree with that statement. I don’t blame Brenda’s Rogers in fact if he decided to leave I wouldn’t blame him just like the last time. I watched the game and as always its a hard luck story a deflection a defensive lapse I used to sit there with hope but now I was expecting to get beat with a really poor lazio team. Way too many project players hoping to make a profit. Unfortunately postegello put his hopes on japanese market don’t know how many players that were signed I can think of 2 maybe 3 that are okay. So now to the board hey guys we’ve got 75 million quid in the bank one of the only football clubs in the world that doesn’t owe money. But guess what as long as we make money what’s the champions league about even though we’re getting humilated as long as we get the cash. Dermont Desmond I will never sell my shares he doesn’t even own 51% of celtic because that means he’s responsible for everything give brendon what he needs get rid of the crap 7 to 8 players buy 3 to 4 quality expand the wages go further in Europe make more money

  • JimBhoy says:

    We shouldn’t be measured on the CL. It’s a trophy too far from us in financial terms, in domestic league terms and much more.

    Uefa maybe. Lazio are not the best team in Italy but they play regularly against a high quality of player, their squad is worth 5-10 times Celtic’s and brendan is just in the door.

    I hope Brendan uses the first half of the season to see his initial gaps and maybe bring in a couple of players in january and then the close season 2-3 more to add to the overall quality.

    The CL for Celtic is about money and that should be the realistic target, get as far as we can use the funds to strengthen. Weaknesses in our domestic league and not getting the tv money that the third tier in England get is holding teams back. SFA happy to sign any deal with sky cos the guys who work that bank £250k each renewal.

    Scottish clubs denying fans and losing that revenue will shorten their budgets and their laying squads will also dilute in quality. This doesn’t improve our league at all.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Ach well – They (The Board) can brag at next years AGM about how we got one more point in The Groups in 2023 than Sevco did in 2022 !

  • Jim Duffy says:

    Well said Scud ,spot on again and you’re right the Celtic fans only have themselves to blame for the way liewell and his charlatans ruin our club and our reputation in Europe is a laughing stock,why doesn’t any fan groups stage some kind of protest against the rats on the board.on another matter I can’t think why Brendan or Roy as you call him would have agreed to work with Liewell and the board after the last fiasco when he walked out ,it seems things are the same now

  • calibrate limited says:

    Spot on mes -there is a paucity of ambition amongst the board. They have put a ceiling on the ambition of the fans and the players. Happy to be big fish in toxic pond that is Scottish football. Their behaviour is not that different from the Kellys and the White -extractive -happy to get a regular and guaranteed return, where they take little risk – and they dont tread lightly – they trample on the dreams of CELTIC fans across the globe. So predictable, so needless.

  • Michael McCartney says:

    We’re not good enough at this level, there are only around 5 teams in Europe can win the Champions League all from the top 3 leagues. Of course we could do a bit better and it’s very disappointing not to fall into the Europa League because that’s our level. We should perform a bit better than we have, I really do not know who we could sign of ready made European class that is willing to come to Scottish football and who we could afford with both fee and wages.
    Let’s get on with winning the League and hopefully doing better in Europe next season, Injuries to key players and some refereeing decisions along with lack of belief and European know how from some of the young players have really handicapped us.
    Some on here who belittle the real supporters who turn up every week aren’t Celtic supporters. Face facts until there is a complete revamp of European football we are a Europa League team or Europa Conference team.
    I’m going to be a bit controversial here but in my opinion when MJ came on tonight he was one of our better performers. In spite of what some say I still think there is a decent player there.

  • Mabozza Ritchie says:

    If this board don’t start putting football before bank balance , they are no better than the Kellys and Whites. The disconnect between them and the supporters is getting dangerously wide and there will be a backlash .

  • Paddybhoy67 says:

    Agree with the main point you made, James. The board have strangled any ambition. Don’t agree regarding Rodger$. His record is awful in Europe. We were so timid in that first half it was painful. That was Brendanball 101.

  • M says:

    You slaughtered Nicholas, Provan & Walker who have said as much about our board for years. How come it’s the case now?

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