Europe on our mind?

After the disappointment of going out of Europe in August – for the second year running – the news that UEFA has decided to eject Sion from the Europa League in our favour has cheered us all up. Or has it?

There are obviously some purists who do not like our still being in the tournament on those grounds; others are more concerned that the forthcoming six matches in the Europa League may cause the team to lose sight of the main aim for the season, the winning of the SPL title. Personally, I have little truck with the former but have some sympathy with the latter view.

If Celtic wish to be bracketed among the top teams of Europe, then the club has to spend most seasons involved in the Champions League. That is where the big boys are, it is the more prestigious of the two European competitions and the financial rewards are far greater than those from the Europa League.

UEFA has already issued a list of the money earned by clubs last season in European competition. Each club in the Champions League could have received the following;

For reaching and playing the six matches in the Group stages………7.2 million euros

For group stage performance……………………800,000 euros for a win; 400,000 for a draw

For a  reaching a place in the round of 16…3 million euros.

For reaching the QFs…3.3.million euros.

For reaching the SFs…4.2 million euros

For reaching the final, the winner received 9 million euros, the loser 5.6 millon euros

Every club, of course, keeps the receipts from all its home matches and also receives a ‘market pool’ payment, dependent on the value of the domestic markets of that club. So, if we add all that up, then the money received by some well-known names was as follows. The figures are all in euros;-

Barcelona….51,025,000       Manchester United….53,197,000        Chelsea….44,523,000

Tottenham…..31,133,000             Real Madrid….39,288,000             Arsenal….29,983,000

Rangers….18,526,000 ( also received 724,972 for the Europa League last 16 stage)

Even a side like FK Partizan, which did not win or draw a single match, received a payment of 8,510,000.

By contrast, the teams in the Europa League did not fare so well;

Manchester City and Liverpool… both 6,131,224                                Porto….7,837,046

Although Braga, conquerors of Celtic in the Champions League qualifying matches, were the exception to the norm, picking up 11,842,000 euros from the CL plus 4,528,191 from the Europa League.

All the above evidence would suggest that it is imperative that Celtic win the SPL this season and the visit of Motherwell to Parkhead at the weekend is a good time to maintain form. There can be little doubt that the Hoops have the better pool of players but those guys in green-and-white must show that on a consistent basis. There can always be after-match discussions like the manager’s choice of team, the tactics used and so on but for any group of players, there are two vital aspects of performance just as crucial now as they have been right through time. They must rise to the challenge and they must not give the ball away. If they do that, then the SPL title can come back to Celtic Park. This is undoubtedly one of the poorest Rangers sides of my years in football; to allow them a fourth consecutive title would be unsettling, to say the least.

Jim Craig


3 thoughts on “Europe on our mind?

  1. Firstly its great that Celtic are back in the Europa league…… but part of me wishes that we hadn’t complained to uefa in order to get back into the competition. If UEFA had done its investigations and simply come to Celtic and said ‘listen Sion cheated, we’re throwing them out, youse are back in’ then fair enough. I just don’t think the image of the club was enhanced by complaining.

    Yes Sion cheated; they don’t deserve to be in the competition… but we should’ve sat by the side and let uefa come to us. Some people might question whether uefa would’ve taken the action they did, in the absense of an official complaint…. I just don’t know. But ye know I’d have been happy enough to forego any european competition this season just to get the spl title back to paradise. That is #1 priority.

    Hail Hail

  2. Great to read the views of a true Lisbon Lion on this site!

    I agree we have to take the second euro chance with both hands, but share the view it cannot be at the expense of the SPL title.

    If we make 3-4 million from the group matches, Peter Lawell should pledge every last penny to improving the playing staff in Jan (perhaps even raising the wage cap) so that it brings the fans the SPL flag, and shows the champions league intentions of our club, where the real rewards are to be had as Jim has highlighted in this article.
    SPL failure this season after a good run in EL without reinvestment is sack the board territory!

  3. Well said Jim, we give the ball away far too easily and the lack of fight sometimes is frightning.
    The team plays better when we press the other teams in their own half but of late we seem too have reverted too Gordon Strachan type tactic. Far too much tip-tap and no thrust.

    KTF Jim and looking forward to reading your blogg

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