Dear Dariusz Mioduski,

Thank you for your correspondence of Sunday 10th August.

In your open letter to Celtic regarding UEFA’S decision to kick Legia Warsaw out of the Champions League qualifying stages, you have attempted to appeal to the fans as well as the club. You talk about great characters of Celtic’s history and the dignity of our club in a cheap attempt to stoke our coals.

This kind of approach reminds me of someone trying to buy something off ebay that is on auction, where the buyer has made direct contact with the seller in an attempt to beat off the competition. Its a very sly game you are playing in trying to call into question Celtic’s beliefs, foundations and history by applying them to a mistake made by Legia Warsaw.

Celtic fans do not need to be reminded by you or anyone else what our club was founded on or indeed what our history is based upon. We Celtic Minded folk know the score and we breathe it every day.

You dare to question the professionalism of Celtic because four of your own staff failed to carry out their duties with any? I suggest you and your club leave Celtic out of this.

Legia Warsaw won the tie fair and square, something that Celtic fans accepted, no matter how bad it hurt. If you have a beef with anyone, it is with UEFA.

The punishment outlined in the rules that were broken were not written by Celtic. As disproportionate as they may appear, it is not for Celtic to remedy the situation.

Do not darken the doorstep of Celtic because we are the benefactors of your clubs failure to execute something simple. Even though there was no gain by Legia Warsaw fielding Bereszyński, it does not come down to Celtic to make it right.

By all means, go to CAS and argue your case. It probably won’t alter this case but it may invoke a change in the future.

The fact is, if it had been a 2-0 forfeit, we wouldn’t be having this debate. If you had managed to score either of the penalties from the first leg, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

Go to UEFA and go to CAS. Celtic have played by the rules and took our medicine these last two weeks.

I suggest you take yours.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

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15 thoughts on “Dear Dariusz Mioduski,

  1. Even if its only UEFA and Legia matter Celtic still can join Legia with its efforts to change this rule and simply give uefa a sign that Celtic is ready for a switch and will not make a case in CAS. Simple as that.

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  2. Excellent Stevie Mac. An intelligent open reply.
    It is strange how many people find it difficult to accept that Celtic can do nothing about this. Nor should they as this is a failure of the Legia Warsaw club and we, as always, have abided by the rules.
    As you say, we were beaten and accepted it. So it was a surprise the next day to see the news of re-instatement. Nevertheless, the rules have been upheld, unlike in our own country.
    Because they had not registered their player, they had an extra name in the squad to choose from. Therein lies their cheating. I do not believe this was a mistake and I do believe that they hoped it would pass under the radar, leaving them an extra member to choose from in each of their previous games. As William Shakespeare wrote “Methinks they protesteth too much”.
    This is why UEFA have had to act and the error was noticed by a polish journalist who brought it to light, not by Celtic.

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  3. “they had an extra name in the squad to choose from” – Unbelievable how many ppl write stuff and dont event know what theyre writing about. Mr Sherlock Holmes – Legia registered only 23 players for this match and obviously had 2 more players toregister and DID NOT DO THAT. Please at least get the details and then write!

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  4. For what match did they register only 23 players? You are unclear on this point, but I suspect you mean the Murrayfield match, which is totally IRRELEVANT.
    Do you have access to the registration documents for the previous 3 matches? I thnk not.
    The simple fact is that the player was not registered for the previous 3 matches. If they had extra places on these documents which they had not used, then this was completely stupid.
    Celtic are not to blame for any of this so get off their backs. It came as a surprise to Celtic too. Celtic cannot and will not interfere in a matter that they have not caused.
    Legia Warsaw broke the rules. Try to grasp this fact. The unbelievable public communications to all and sundry from them yesterday were pathetic.stuff.
    They have recourse to an appeal and this is what they should do. They are not confident in taking this option because they know they broke the rules.
    They either did this deliberately or they have some extremely stupid people in their employ.
    Of course, if it had happened the other way round and Celtic were tossed out, Legia would step aside and let them back in wouldn’t they?
    Only a fool would believe that. You don’t believe that do you?

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    • http://legionisci.com/news/58795_Kadra_Legii_na_Lige_Mistrzow.html

      Here is a full squad for 2nd round. As You can see 23 players were listed and even there in this article from 15th of July You can read (If You understand Polish ofc 🙂 ) that Bereszynski is block for these two matches and thats why he is not listet for them. Legia had only 23 players for taht match. You didnt check it and You accuse Legia for cheating. Legia gave them a handicap because St. Patrick had 25 players ready and listed for this match.

      You wrote :”I do not believe this was a mistake and I do believe that they hoped it would pass under the radar, leaving them an extra member to choose from in each of their previous games.”

      Its an error which simply had no bad intentions. In future plase check more detalis before accusing others. This how war begins my friend.

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      • I can assure you that this is NOT how a war begins, but it is not necessary to call anyone Mr Sherlock Holmes in a derogatory fashion, which may, in some cases do the trick. However, I thank you for the link to the squad names. I also accept that the lists you show have 23 players listed, but, at best, this only tells me that the club may have some very incompetent people at the top. It also does NOT change the fact that they did not register a suspended player for the St Pats games, when they had two spaces in which to do so, as you clearly point out. Had they done so, there would be no problem Legia have also compounded their error instead of accepting their fate. This has been an orchestrated attempt to involve Celtic and they are not involved. I repeat that they protest too much. They are trying to blackmail a club who have not been involved in this and stirring up hatred to deflect attention from themselves. The attempt to pull Celtic into this mess is absolutely despicable. Celtic play by the rules and had not raised any issues about the game at all, apart from the poor performance of their own players. We look to ourselves if there are faults. We DO NOT blame others.

        Should the appeal go in Legia’s favour on Wednesday, then Celtic and their fans will easily accept it, as it will be UEFA’s decision. However, Celtic cannot enter into dialogue with this club. UEFA would punish Celtic harshly. UEFA run this competition, not Celtic, not Legia and not any other club.

        Legia have also landed their own administrator right in the brown stuff, by naming her as the person at fault for the so called clerical error. Her face has now gone public, poor thing. Why did they do this? To protect themselves, that’s why. It is not her job to get this correct. She is an administrator and simply produces what she is told to by a higher authority. The Head Coach should direct her in this. The Polish police have advised her to leave Warsaw for a few days for her own safety. What kind of fans send death threats to a young lady? What kind of club plants the blame on her to cover up for their misdeeds or mistakes? Dignity, honour and integrity – those are some of the words being used by Legia Warsaw, its supporters and former players when calling on Celtic to reject their place in the play-off round of the Champions League against Maribor.
        However, the excellent article presented below was written in the blog ‘Scotzine’ today, and I have copied it for you as it shows how Legia and one or 2 other Polish clubs, the Polish FA and FIFA have been less than dignified and honest in their approach to football results for a good number of years. It reveals the hypocrisy of Legia’s stance over the past week and also reveals much about many (but not all) of their fans. Please take the time to read it. Then you may understand why I am very suspicious.

        ARTICLE from Scotzine (Tuesday 12th August, 2014).
        The ‘sporting integrity’ of Polish football and Legia Warsaw:

        Legia’s campaign against UEFA to hand them a 3-0 defeat, after they breached UEFA regulations, turned from claiming a simple clerical error to begging then an orchestrated PR campaign to show Celtic as the bad guy in this whole fiasco – a fiasco solely down to Legia Warsaw failing to adhere to UEFA’s rules and regulations which they signed and agreed to at the start of the year before kicking a ball in anger.

        There is no denying that in football terms alone, Legia Warsaw deserved to go through as they hammered Celtic over the two legs. But what also cannot be denied is that Legia Warsaw breached UEFA rules covering European football and were therefore punished by the only punishment available – a 3-0 defeat handed to them in forfeit.

        They were not thrown out of the Champions League, they were not banned and they certainly were not kicked out in favour of the more fancied Celtic as some – even in Scotland – are claiming. Legia were handed a 3-0 defeat and with that added to Legia’s 4-1 win in the first leg – the tie was 4-4 after UEFA’s decision – therefore Legia went out on away goals.

        IF Legia Warsaw had scored those two penalties that Charlie Mulgrew gifted to them in the first leg, you wouldn’t be reading this article, Legia would be preparing for Maribor rather than begging to anyone that will listen – how they have been wronged by UEFA and Celtic.

        There is no denying that the Champions League is a financial gold mine for not only the clubs participating, but also UEFA themselves and they do treat the big teams differently to that of the ‘provincial’ and smaller clubs. However, we have known this long before last week’s decision and yet some are still surprised at this?

        Celtic are not a big club in European football – despite the rhetoric from the club’s PR staff – they cannot compete with bottom of the EPL clubs nor top half championship teams in terms of wages. Last season proved that against quality opposition they can be beaten and humbled also.

        Celtic is not a cash cow for UEFA – neither is Legia Warsaw – but it seems that Legia want UEFA to ignore their own rules to favour the Polish champions over a club who adhered to the same rules that Legia breached and now want ignored.

        If UEFA does change their mind on this decision then it sets a dangerous precedent in which clubs can use to their advantage over their opposition – if that is the case why have rules in the first place?

        You may be surprised to hear that it is not the first time that Legia have fallen foul of UEFA and bumped their gums about it.

        After ANOTHER Champions League qualifier, this time in July 2013 against Welsh champions The New Saints, Legia Warsaw were fined 30,000 euros (£25,700) and ordered a partial stadium closure for their European home game against Steaua Bucharest because of the racist behaviour of their supporters.

        Legia breached Article 14 of the UEFA disciplinary regulations on racism, other discriminatory conduct and propaganda, in relation to incidents in both legs against TNS.

        In response to the sanctions imposed, Legia Warsaw fans displayed a banner with the message “Ultra Extreme Fanatical Atmosphere” and lit flares and fire crackers in an explosive protest before the opening kick of the match against Steaua Bucharest.

        There was no apology for the racist behaviour of their fans.

        Controversy has never been far away from Legia – again all of their own making.

        Earlier this year a match between Legia Warsaw and rivals Jagiellonia Białystok turned into a battle between rival Ultra fans, causing the match to be abandoned. Not only that these ‘halo’ wearing Legia fans also attacked Celtic supporters in a Warsaw bar before the first leg tie between the two sides.

        However, the biggest piece of evidence that proves that Legia are hypocritical when they call for sporting integrity to win out, is their part in one of the biggest match fixing scandals in Polish football history.

        Anti-corruption journalist Ben Wheatland recently wrote: “When the stakes of qualification are so high, the stakes for missing out become even higher. Spending money usually puts a club in with a better chance of winning and therefore qualifying, but even this is not a guaranteed method. So then, why not make sure you win the league another way, by paying referees to give a favourable decision in a crucial game, or paying rival players to throw games.

        “This is what happened with Widzew and Zagłębie in 2007-08, and both Legia Warsaw and ŁKS Łódź in 1992-93, where they both lost out on the title to Lech Poznań after having match results disqualified for match fixing. Legia Warsaw’s 6-0 win at Wisła Kraków on the last day of the 1992-3 season was wiped out due to match-fixing.”

        The Polish FA are also far from lily-white in this scandal also.

        Polish authorities in 2005, began investigating widespread corruption with the game. A year later the Polish sports minister criticised the Polish FA for failing to take proper steps in their fight against corruption and launched an investigation into the running of the association itself.

        Polish FA board member Wit Zelazko was arrested by Police in January 2007 on corruption charges, but when the entire FA board was suspended FIFA stepped in demanding they be reinstated – despite the widespread allegations of corruption surrounding them. With threats of sanctions, the authorities backed down and the Polish FA board was reinstated.

        A year later, the Polish Olympic Committee demanded the Polish FA be suspended for a second time, claiming they were guilty of “violating its statutes in a continuous and flagrant fashion.”

        After they were suspended once more, FIFA stepped in to give them another reprieve.

        By 2009, 200 people had been arrested by the Polish authorities, including referees, observers, coaches, players as well as some high-ranking officials of the Polish FA.

        Zagłębie Lubin, were relegated from the Polish top flight due to corruption, along with Widzew Łódź who were also charged with corruption and match fixing – but were relegated through poor performances on the park anyway.

        According to reports in Poland, a total of 75 Polish football clubs have been suspected of match fixing and corruption over the years.

        Corruption is still rife in the game despite the authorities best efforts.

        Legia Warsaw may ‘no longer be the friends of Celtic’ but they certainly cannot lecture or dictate what Celtic should do after they simply kept quiet and let UEFA deal with the situation according to their rules.

        The club asking for Celtic to uphold sporting integrity and doing what is best for the game, not only were found guilty of widespread racist behaviour and hooliganism – but also corruption to fix games in a bid to win the league title.

        Legia are certainly not a club that should be lecturing anyone about ‘sporting integrity’.

        In Legia’s own words: “It’s not just about the money, it’s about what football stands for, the values of honesty and honour.”

        It’s a pity that they didn’t care about the values of honesty and honour, as well as what football stands for when they bought referees and fixed matches to win the Polish league title.

        Whatever UEFA’s decision is on Wednesday, one thing is clear Celtic have nothing to be ashamed of in this whole mess and as I wrote last week, not one club would have rejected that place in the next round of the Champions League qualifiers – if the shoe was on the other foot do you really think Legia would hand over the keys to potentially qualifying for the group stages of the competition for the good of the game and with the thuggish and racist fan base that they have?

        As Gordon Strachan said: “That’s the rules and you have to deal with it.”

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  5. I have a solution that is more realistic than a Celtic vs Legia playoff, let’s have a Celtic vs St.Pat’s, after all it’s St.Pat’s who have been robbed the most here. HH

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    • Why do You think so? Why them? Bereszynski didnt play vs this team.. Also noone else was listed for him.. There were only 23 players registered for these matches from 25 avaible.

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      • I don’t have inside information but the reports mention the 2 ties against St.Pat’s, either way if Celtic had broke the rules all beit 4 mins, we would have accepted it with dignity, and ofcourse we wouldn’t be happy but thats life.

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  6. Let’s make it fair to everyone, what should happen Legia (out) Celtic vs St.Pat’s, after all St.Pat’s are the real victims here. HH

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  7. I saw a lovely response on the blogs yesterday to the idea of having a play off with Legia.
    The response was ‘Naw, y’er aw’right’.
    I think this treats it with the contempt it deserves.
    Well done that man.

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  8. Now isn’t this interesting?

    Awaiting UEFA’s Decision. Today – August 13th.

    Legia’s Champions League appeal was heard this morning at UEFA after a week long campaign attacking Celtic for their own screw up. The UEFA panel will now look at the appeal in full and deliver their verdict either tonight or tomorrow morning. Time is of the essence with this appeal as Celtic are due to face Maribor in the play-offs next week.

    Last night a huge hole in Legia’s appeal was laid bare when it was discovered that the club had actually spoke about the suspended player before the tie at Murrayfield. The hierarchy at Warsaw assured the management that everything was fine.
    In light of that evidence the Polish FA chief Boniek was quite critical about Legia’s role in this farce.

    “The guilt does not lie with UEFA or Celtic but with Legia. The people who are responsible for it have turned out to be completely incompetent. As the head of the Polish FA I would always try to help Legia or any other Polish team.” said Boniek

    I called, I asked, I got strongly involved but the provisions for which Legia were punished left no doubt. It had to be a walkover.

    Hmmm…

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  9. I should have added that the source of the above is the ‘Celts are here’ blog, who are usually on the ball, so to speak.

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