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> Champions League Draw, Old Firm in groups for first time
GG
post 28th Aug 2003, 04:46pm
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QUOTE
CELTIC and Rangers will make history today - and big money - when they both go into the draw for the lucrative Champions League.

It will be the first time two teams from Scotland have been involved in the flagship European tournament in the same season.

The Parkhead and Ibrox clubs will each scoop a guaranteed £10million windfall just for taking part in the first group stages of the competition.

The Glasgow giants will bank that money from Uefa and from the huge television kitty and gate receipts.

On top of that, they will receive around £230,000 for a win and £115,000 for a draw in the group stages.
The group stage of the UEFA Champions' League draw took place in Monaco today, with both Old firm teams being represented at this stage for the first time:

Group A: Bayern Munich, Olympic Lyon, Celtic, Anderlecht.

Group E: Man Utd, Panathinaikos, Rangers, Vfb Stuttgart.

Related Shorts:

QUOTE
English champions Manchester United will face Scottish counterparts Rangers in the Champions League after the clubs were paired in the same group today.

The British giants came out together in Group E at today's draw in Monaco along with Greek outfit Panathinaikos and Germans Vfb Stuttgart.

The matches between the two clubs will be the first between English and Scottish sides in Europe's elite competition since Rangers beat Leeds over two legs in the 1992-93 season.

--

Celtic, meanwhile, will feel well-placed to advance, especially if they can avoid defeat in their opening match in Munich. Anderlecht are a great name of the past, but have done little lately. Lyon were first-stage losers last season so one of the lesser teams has to make it into the next round.


How far do you think each glasgow club will progress: beyond this group stage?

Will the inability of each club to spen during the transfer window affect their ability to progress?


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Jim D
post 28th Aug 2003, 07:58pm
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I think Celtic have a good chance of progressing to the next stage.

Bayern Munich is a great name in the football world but they did not progress any distance in the Champions league last year.

I think Rangers will find it more difficult. They have they obvious threat of Manchester United but Stuttgart will be no push-overs either.

But at the end of the day - Scottish football has made progress in the Europe rankings by both teams making it.


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whyteinch
post 28th Aug 2003, 09:48pm
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I cannot see either of the teams progressing to the next stage. The lack of a good quality squad by both teams will not help them.
The inability of each club to spend during the transfer window will affect their ability to progress.


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hubert
post 30th Aug 2003, 04:26am
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I agree with whyteinch?
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linzeh
post 30th Aug 2003, 02:43pm
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i'm a little more confident..i think 2nd spot for either team is a possibility.. cool.gif


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GG
post 31st Aug 2003, 08:00pm
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A very interesting interview of Martin O'Neil who seems far from happy at the 'no transfer' situation:

QUOTE
...the Celtic boss was backed up by his players and fans.
Celtic’s board has refused to sanction any cash for O’Neill to make a major signing, despite earning £18m from their run to the UEFA Cup Final last season.

To compound matters, O’Neill has since steered Celtic into the Champions League with the guarantee of another £10m minimum.

Yet still the money remains in Celtic’s infamous “biscuit tin”, with their directors happy to keep it there to pay off their debt.

This did not stop banners being unfurled at the start of yesterday’s game against Livingston. One said, “Give Martin the money now”. Another read, “Riley and Desmond out”.

After the game O’Neill brought some humour to the matter by saying, “I probably wrote them, although I didn’t see them.
“That’s why I am wearing glasses.”
Neil Lennon quickly added the weight of the players to O’Neill’s cause, “I can understand the fans’ frustration. The players all echo their sentiments.”

Earlier O’Neill commented “I don’t think the debt is insurmountable. It was there before I arrived at the club.
“If the figures are correct we actually surpassed what we would have made from the first stages of the Champions League last season by going to the UEFA Cup Final.

“So it’s disappointing from the element of expectation of the fans not to be able to sign a new face.”

O’Neill is envious that Champions League opponents Bayern Munich have been able to spend £12m to buy Europe’s leading scorer Roy Makaay from Deportivo La Coruna.

“I just know what is going to happen in the next couple of months. I know precisely and I am not a soothsayer,” continued O’Neil.

“We don’t have another gear for Europe. Come the first day of September it’s all over and you can’t improve your squad until January.

“There is no thought about the obvious thing — injuries.
“A player with experience of playing in Europe would have given the whole club a bit of a lift.”

“I don’t see Celtic winning the European Cup as things stand.”

O’Neill promised one day he would have a full discussion about finances at Celtic Park. Significantly he said, “It will probably be about a week before I get the sack.”


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whyteinch
post 1st Sep 2003, 07:25am
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Matrin it would help a tad if you had mentioned the source of this interview.

My view is that Mr O'Neil as the team manager should vociferate more on this matter...but it suits him to play it low key as it will be his justification for moving on.


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Tusker
post 3rd Sep 2003, 03:14pm
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On paper, I think the best Rangers can hope for is 2nd place in their group. Man. U. will be an extremely tough nut to crack, so it depends not only upon how well Rangers play against them, but how well Stuttgart and Parathenikos play against each other, also. It'll be a dogfight for 2nd place, but I think Rangers will take it without too much of a problem, if they stay healthy and play up to their capabilities. I also think Rangers have a better chance of tieing or beating Man U. than have either of the other two teams.

Again on paper, Celtic have the easier task of the two Scots teams. I think they have a very good chance of winning their group, and at worst placing 2nd. Again though, they can't afford any let-downs. None of the teams got to this stage of this tournament by luck alone.

I look forward to seeing some excellent fitba', with both Scots teams advancing to the next round -- though what will happen beyond that stage is anyone's guess....
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hubert
post 3rd Sep 2003, 04:03pm
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Well Tusker it wouldnt bother me one bit if you are correct?
Rangers surprised me with a decent performance against Copenhagen, and the loss of Amoruso and Ferguson I feel they can overcome, but these other teams will as you elude will be very tough! Rangers do have a good goalie!
Celtic for two seasons have failed to strengthen their squad with quality players that are needed to compete in the CL tournament, and their defense through injury and poor performance from certain players are at sixies and sevensies, to say the least.
The midfield lacks imagination, although young Miller has potential I believe, also Celtic do NOT have a good goalie, which in my opinion is a crucial position.
For Celtic its going to be a looooooong season?
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Tusker
post 5th Sep 2003, 01:20am
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Hubert -- I agree that Celtic haven't done much by way of strengthening their team. But despite that, they still managed to reach a cup final against Porto, just a few months ago -- beating a few good teams along the way. At the same time, they were beaten for 1st place in the Scottish League by goal difference. Not too shabby -- although they hadn't strengthened their team.

As I said previously, I believe Celtic have poorer opposition in their section, although all the participating teams earned their berth. But on paper, if Celtic play up to their potential, they should get through to the next round I think, either as 1st or 2nd in their group.

Rangers, on the other hand, are drawn against Man U., and as you pointed out, have lost Amoruso and Ferguson -- which will make things even more difficult for them. The loss of two players of that calibre can't simply be dismissed, by saying "I think they'll overcome that." Having a great goalie doesn't guarantee a winning team either, any more than having Larssen, a prolific scorer and striker (another "crucial position") guarantees a barrowload of goals scored against every team. Teamwork will be required, as strikers can't score goals without support, and goalies can't prevent goals without help from their defence.

Once again I'll say, I believe both teams can advance to the next round, although Rangers, without a doubt have the tougher row to hoe. I can see them placing 2nd to Man U. I certainly hope that both teams DO advance, although what happens in the following round is anyone's guess. Time will tell.........
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hubert
post 5th Sep 2003, 05:17am
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By way of interest at least to me, let me say this about that!
Celtic certainly did well in Europe last season, but it was NOT the CL they advanced to in the Final!
Yes goal difference was the reason Celtic were second in the SPL, some say a miss is as good as a mile?
The team that knocked Celtic out of the CL last season, did invest money in players Celtic didnt, that was my point about last season?
You use the word shabby, never even suggested in anyway Celtics performance last season was other than superb, and again they won nothing, except justified pride in my opinion!
You say Celtic have the poorer oposition in their section, poorer to whom, and how will that equate to their task being easier?
I didnt compare Celtic to Rangers in both their quest to advance, reason being there is no point, they both have to deal individually with the opposition in their respective groups!
And I believe that Celtic have a weaker squad this season, for the defense is less stable, due to injury and ongoing changes in most of the positions?
Maybe this guy Gray can play left fullback, MoN sure has tried a few there already, and I thought Crainey was not bad, but MoN chooses only to play him on occasion?
Oh yes I also dont hold alot of trust in Balde, in this forum I dont think I have mentioned that, but certainly have elsewhere!
When he came on the scene shortly thereafter I said he would blunder, and it could be said, that getting Red Carded in the Final last year was the downfall of Celtic in that game?
Amoruso is a fair player, but he makes fatal mistakes, he did with his present team, two games ago?
Ferguson well he is a good player, nothing brilliant!
Berg and Ball look no bad in the Rangers team at the moment?
You sure shove in words that I never said, guarantee, your right about the striker and goalie, its no guarantee, but surely with the calibre of Larsson, and Klos, you will agree they are vital?
Larsson most times needs support, but is such a good player he can score when others couldnt?
And some goalies do win games without the defense playing well on a given day, that is the point of goalies winning games, some do it virtually on their own, again on a given day?
I am a Celtic fan, have no resentments against Rangers for any reason, if they dont go through it wouldnt bother me one bit, however I hope to hell Celtic go through, although under present circumstances, I think the task will be very difficult, hope your right, and I am wrong!
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GG
post 5th Sep 2003, 12:13pm
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I was listening to Radio Clyde's football phone-in the other day and 2 hypotheses were put forward as to why the Celtic board were refusing to open the tin box:

1. Martin O'Neil has intimated his intention to the board that he will leave at the end of the season and thus the board want to limit the money given to him; saving it for his successor to re-build the team for himself.

2. The board are saving the cash for a last ditch bid to keep Henrik Larsson at Celtic at the end of the season.

On the CL, I think both teams will struggle to get second place as there are large chunks of paper over the cracks in both set-ups.


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Tusker
post 5th Sep 2003, 01:02pm
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Hubert -- No point in flogging a dead horse. You and Whyteinch have both indicated that in your opinion, neither Scottish team will advance beyond this round of the CL.

I have a different opinion. I'll wait and see what happens....
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hubert
post 5th Sep 2003, 03:09pm
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Martin on reading your post, I was reflecting how it could be tough for O`Neill and family living in Glasgow and him being a Celtic coach, with the deep sectarian etc feelings between the OF fans. Must have been hell at times living and growing up in Northern Ireland?
He will leave sooner or later, under what circumstances, people may fully never know?
England has to be a better environment in many respects?
About Larsson I doubt that, again theres more to life than in his case I would imagine, than money, his family will be a factor here I believe?
Could be wrong about the board wanting to try to keep Larsson, but an expensive replacement sounds feasible?

This post has been edited by hubert: 5th Sep 2003, 03:16pm
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hubert
post 16th Sep 2003, 12:17am
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The Cl starts the morra fur the OF, Rangers play Stutgart, and Bayern Munich plays Celtic Wednesday!
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