Celtic Is Not To Blame For Scotland’s Co-Efficient Slump. The Allegation Is Preposterous.

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As I wrote yesterday, it is at times like this when you see the Scottish sporting press at its literal worst. You see them exposed for everything they are; bitter, insular, petty, snide and biased. There really ought not to be any doubt over what the story of the week is; Ibrox’s limp loss at home to Benfica after they had hyped themselves to the max. It’s their second home defeat in a row. Their team looks leggy and out on its feet.

But nobody in the press corps wants to talk about any of that.

Part of it, obviously, is their own deep-seated embarrassment at having done a lot of the hyping themselves. Some of them were already eyeing their Dublin hotel rooms as if really good sides weren’t standing in the way of that. A couple of good campaigns in European football’s second tier has convinced this lot that they are world beaters. They got carried away and now feel humiliated. So naturally, they want to deflect.

And deflecting to some negative about Celtic always makes these people feel good anyway. So Ibrox’s defeat is actually a peculiar form of victory and it is Celtic, who weren’t involved in the game, who will suffer because they got beat. There might be a parallel universe where this is actually true, but we aren’t living in it. In this one, Celtic fans are rightly laughing at all this.

Celtic’s European performances have actually been better than our results suggest, but it’s only the results which matter, of course. Had we gotten our act together and strengthened this side the way we were meant to I do believe that Celtic Park loss to Lazio would have been a win (hell other than a close offside decision it would have been a win) and that we could have gotten one against Atletico Madrid at home, instead of a draw. Likewise Feyenoord away, where we might still have taken something but for Lagerbielke and Holm not been red carded.

But results really are all that matter, and that enables some people to point their fat ignorant fingers at our club and preach about how it is Celtic who have tanked the co-efficient. What garbage this is, what absolute rot. It covers a multitude of sins too.

Nowhere does it pay heed to Ibrox’s catastrophic Champions League campaign of just last season. Last season, for God’s sake, ignored completely by those who want to present a different narrative. They want to ignore that the Ibrox club was hammered by PSV and so didn’t even make it to the Champions League this time around and that they started their Europa League group this time around with some absolutely dreadful results.

They only had to get a result at home against a piss-poor Benfica side to go through. That would have protected the co-efficient. They are out. They played their own role in contributing to Scotland’s declining standing and nobody can tell us any different.

The much-lauded “European final” campaign saw them win just seven times in twenty-one matches in Europe. That campaign started with Malmo dispatching them from the Champions League. They got out of their Europa League group with two wins and eight points; we went out of Europe altogether with three wins and nine in the same competition.

As lauded as they’ve been for their European “performances” this season, they won only one leg of their qualifier against Servette in the Champions League, were thrashed by PSV and in their Europa League Group could not beat a Cypriot team in two attempts, including one of the worst results a Scottish club has ever recorded in the Groups when Limassol beat them 2-1. Did none of that play any part in Scottish football’s declining co-efficient?

Some of those blaming Celtic for this are just poisonous cretins who would blame our club for the summer wildfires if they thought there was a receptive audience for it. I don’t even need to name them and have no intention of doing so. They can rattle on the asylum bars for attention all they want, but their motivations are obvious.

It’s easy to have a pop at Celtic right now, especially when a lot of our own supporters are in no way impressed by our European form. But blaming us for the co-efficient slide would be a lot easier to sustain if Ibrox really were performing at the elite level most of these goons seem to be suggesting. It would be even easier to do if you were judging the performance of Scotland’s European teams by looking at just two of them and how they stack up to each other.

But the simple fact is that Scotland’s co-efficient is in the toilet because the teams outside Glasgow continue to be bad in European football in a way that genuinely does embarrass our league. Even looking over the results these teams have had makes me want to go and have a lie down somewhere. None of them should be sneering at us considering their own records, and nobody should be trying to hang this around our neck when you look at how poorly other sides in this country have performed over the years.

The long and short of this is simple; the Ibrox club just got beat and few in the media want to acknowledge how bad a performance it was. That they have found a way to make the story about Celtic is hardly surprising, and especially not this season, and they are welcome to bleat on and about how it will adversely affect us two seasons from now as they like, but since that involves us winning next season’s title before it even matters no-one will shed tears over it.

But this stuff blaming us, and only us, for the national co-efficient is just plain rubbish and it’s not going to fly and we should not be letting anyone away with it.

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  • George Cairns says:

    UEFA don’t pay the same money in each competition so why aren’t the coefficients ranked relative to the tier of competition ?

  • Roonsa says:

    I know it’s not the point but we certainly don’t have cause to be celebrating our European performances. I don’t care if it’s meant as a snide dig to cover up resentment borne from expectation and disappointment. The people who “run” our club should have his forcibly blasted into their ears. Especially if, as you pointed out the other day, they believe Celtic to be a World Class operation. It’s not.

  • SSMPM says:

    Apart from their run to the EL final, still can’t see how they managed that run, us having the odd CL win we have all been pretty rank in Europe. The rest of our country’s teams fail repeated in the very early stages.
    The blame is a collective one and a true reflection of the quality and standard of our league.
    Big win today plz bhoys. HH

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    That ‘Champions’ League is a bloody rigged competition anyway so it is and certainly not and never will be ever again geared up to facilitate progress for clubs like Celtic or Sevco for that matter either…

    Yep – I wanna see Celtic qualifying for The Groups – of course I do, but primarily to blow Sevco outta the water financially is my main reasoning as it’ll only be an embarrassment competing in it…

    Look at the quarter finals – season in, season out, the same old, same old, same old tired teams in there…

    It’s a competition that I never watch these days, obviously if Celtic are in the group stages it increases the interest (and inevitable fear that we don’t surpass the abject records broken by Sevco in recent seasons)…

    It’s nearly as much as a laughing stock as The Scottish Premier League which definitely is the laughing stock of global football given that nobody outside of Celtic, Rangers (died c. 2012) and Sevco have won it in the last 39 years…

    Fcuk Uefa and their co-efficient crockery cartel !

  • king murdy says:

    james….i would far rather have our results BETTER than our performances….as you keep harping on about the huns in europe…downplaying their runs…if it was any other scots club,we’d be saying “fair play to them…”they’ve been punching above their weight..etc,,,etc….and the famous glasgow celtic fc…the club like no other…”elite” coach and all ????
    we’re a fukn joke in europe…and begining to replicate our european “form” on the domestic front….celtic fc are fuking-up our coefficient…along with the other scottish no-hopers…
    AT LEAST…the huns show a bit of ambition….
    and we’re just left to gloat when they are eventually beaten…

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