Celtic Reach The Last Sixteen Of Europe’s Elite Competition
Less than forty eight hours ago, Celtic Park held it’s breath. With Barcelona and Benfica drawing 0-0, Kris Commons’ penalty was to be crucial. As it rattled off the bar, I’m sure more than a few hearts were in a their owner’s mouths, both inside the stadium and around the world. Thankfully, it went in. Thanks to the false goal celebration triggered midway through the second half though, Kris Commons has since admitted that he thought Barcelona were beating Benfica at that point. Anyway, it matters not now, and the Hoops find themselves amongst Europe’s elite. As many have pointed out, it is now acceptable to say we are part of that elite, and a tremendous amount of praise must go to everyone at the Football Club for this achievement.
Celtic’s success will not only benefit themselves though. Each of the other eleven Scottish Premier League sides will receive a payout from UEFA at the end of this domestic season, with £1.5 million to be handed to the SPL to divvy up as it sees fit at that time. Sadly, despite much speculation, it appears that the figure of £235,000 extra for every club thanks to qualification for the last sixteen is fictional. “Solidarity Payments”, as they are known, only apply up until qualification for the group stages.
Anyway, putting this to one side, congratulations have been rolling in from (almost) all sides of Scottish Football, with a selection from the SPL displayed below:
However, the plaudits did not stop there, with another mixture below:
Of course, this small sample wasn’t totally representative of the views held by some in this country, as the poor bloke running Ross County’s Twitter feed found out. As he says, “classy”:
Now, to answer Mr Alexander’s query. Yes, I am actually interested in what Ross County have to say, in the same manner in which I am interested in the thoughts of Dundee United and all other Scottish Clubs. However, I would also point out that Ross County, a side who went on an incredible forty match unbeaten league run not too long ago, and a Club formed in 1929, have a much bigger, and a much more relevant say than a Club less than a year old, in the Third Division, who seem to wish to create division and hatred between themselves and everyone around them at almost any opportunity.
Returning to Scottish Football as a whole though, it has been fantastic to see so much support flood in for Celtic’s success thus far. In the same light, it was brilliant to see Celtic wishing the likes of Hearts, Motherwell, and St Johnstone all the best for their trips to England, Greece, and Turkey earlier this season. Whilst we all compete domestically on a weekly basis, our national European coefficient effects us all. As the years pass, I for one hope we’ll see more clubs like making forays onto the European stage once more.
Until then, we can only thank those who have congratulated Celtic once more, and simply smile and wave at those who seem to have other things on their minds…