Warsawry fir yer loss…

Today UEFA threw out Legia Warsaw’s appeal over their exclusion from the Champions League play off round. Personally, I was in no doubt about the outcome based upon the actual rule that had been broken, but fans, the media and the world of football have mixed feelings over the matter.

Legia Warsaw were obviously the first party to make there move. Not just the fans or ex-players, but their very own Chairman.

Dariusz Mioduski’s shallow attempt to appeal to the Celtic community and the ideals we cling to was desperate. The kind of thing you expect to hear from a calulating dictator.

Who is he to call into question our the integrity of our club and our fans? Has he erased Legia Warsaw’s misdemeanours on recent years from his memory or even the lack of support from the Polish FA?

To make matters more distracting, there would appear to be an element of Celtic ‘fans’ who reckon the club should have rejected their reinstatement to the Champions League. Wouldn’t that be looking a gift horse in the mouth?

Ex-Celts such as Dariusz Dziekanowski and Artur Boruc have expressed their distaste. Needless to say, they are now off my Christmas card list.

Kevin McKenna (someone I whose articles I usually enjoy reading) today tweeted that Celtic should have done more and even drew a comparison to the political and military goings on of 1968. I mean, lets not get too melodramatic here Kevo.

He amongst other people on Twitter seems to be full of moralistic views whilst turning a blind eye to the UEFA rule that was broken. Even with the Catholic guilt that never seems to escapews me, Celtic have a clear conscience.

McKenna has obviously bought into the go samaritan style demonstrated by Mioduski. I simply cannot agree with you on this one.

This is a matter that will go round in circles for evdrt or at least until the Court of Arbitration for Sport put the matter to bed once and for all. Celtic stayed out of the argument and allowed Legia Warsaw and UEFA to sort it out but still people want to criticise my club.

As I said in a previous blog, Arsenal Kyiv went out in similar circumstances. They took their medicine and the rules have remained the same for s further two years.

I get that it was an error but clubs make errors all the time. They don’t usually go unpunished though.

I’m behind any rule change but as the rule stands Legia Warsaw are out. I don’t know what Celtic were supposed to have done here.

You’re a moron if you think Celtic should have been surrendering a second chance. If Legia Warsaw had been done an injustice, and they haven’t, I would be right behind giving up this place.

However, there is no evidence of injustice. Legia Warsaw made a mistake which broke a UEFA rule and in turn received the punishment outlined in those rules.

And yet Celtic are the club to blame? People have short memories.

Over the decades Celtic have suffered from poor refereeing and unsporting behaviour at home and abroad whilst Celtic played the game. Celtic did not see proper justice done against Rapid Vienna and Atletico Madrid and live long in the memory of many a Celtic fan.

These are the real injustices. Not when you made a mistake and are not prepared to accept the consequences.

The justice Legia Warsaw seeks isn’t even on the same scale. Their fight is with UEFA and in a dirty attempt to insincerely lure Celtic into the fight, they lost any respect I had for how they played over over the two legs.

It’s Celtic’s gain, but one which was gifted by Legia Warsaw’s incompetence. The blame lies solely with them.

Hail! Hail!



Out of the woods? Not yet.

Domestic football returned to our screens yesterday. Its been all international business since Celtic’s victory over Motherwell following a narrow defeat to Barcelona.

Sadly the international breaks have not had much to offer lately. Thanks to the SFA appointing Craig Levein, Scotland’s a World Cup qualifying campaign ended way back bringing forward preparations for the European Championships!

New Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has injected a little bit of life back into the national team. What his presence will yield only the future knows but I feel he’s the right man for the job for now.

Lets not carried away with the 2-0 home win over Croatia though. Whilst these are encouraging signs, I’d much rather have been watching that victory with the chance of still qualifying for Brazil.

That hope died when Craig Levein was still in charge. His presence in the Scotland national set up was similar to that of a dying swan but without the grace, just the pitty.

How the SFA ever thought Levein would be able inspire a generation of international players is beyond me. He’s not exactly been the most prolific club manager either.

Scotland may not be brimming with stars these days, but when you are managing players from a variety of backgrounds and clubs you need to have the presence and character to get their full attention. As an international coach, you see very little of your squad so on that training ground and when you walk into that dressing room you need to full control of those players.

I’m not suggesting that Levein was not respected by the players, he always comes across as a decent guy. Though when your national team continually sucks you need someone to stoke the coals, not fan the flames.

Strachan was what I would refer to as a national idol, an inspiriational player. Levein on the other hand was not.

Levein saw international duty, but he was no Miller or McLeish. I’ve always felt that for Scotland and their languishing campaigns, you need to be one of those idols and that they possess managerial skills to inspire your countrymen.

Agreeable as it is having Strachan as national coach, I am not getting carried away either. I’m positive he will have players playing with heart again but Scotland aren’t out of the woods yet.

Kevin McKenna’s article in the Observer today suggests Scotland may be on the mend. He writes a good article but lets not get ahead of ourselves here.

McKenna goes on to talk about the failings on the SFA over the decades up to the current day. Nobody knows the failings of the SFA more than a Celtic fan.

We’ve been venting our ‘paranoia’ long before I was born. It still happens today yet nothing ever changes.

Few Scottish journalists have ever challenge the men at Hampden and when they have its been a solo venture. If done on a larger scale, things might improve but as history has shown, and we’ve seen in the present day, its easy to have the Scottish media in your back pocket.

Until that power is rested from the incompetent men at Hampden, the wounds of Scottish football will never heal. At least we have a national coach I can follow again.

Hail! Hail!