Cluj boss Dan Petrescu shares Celtic frustrations

By Hamish Carton

July 25, 2019

CFR Cluj manager Dan Petrescu has shown he shares the frustrations of Celtic in a feisty UEFA blast.

The Romanian’s side could be Celtic’s next opponents in the Champions League after they beat Maccabi Tel Aviv 1-0 on Wednesday. They could meet the Hoops in what would be both side’s third of four potential qualifiers to get into the group stage.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

And Petrescu thinks that’s too much. The Scottish Sun have some quotes from the former Chelsea man, and he doesn’t seem too happy.

“I do not like the competition”, he claimed. “I watch Ajax play in the preliminaries. What is this?

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“Let’s also respect the countries. All countries deserve a team in the Champions League in a tournament that is called the Champions League.

(Photo by Harold Cunningham – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

“It’s not normal what’s going on. Romanians have to be appreciated.

“We fight like a lunatic one year, we become champions and then wake up every two days on planes.”

Petrescu should try being Celtic manager

While the Romanian is right in what he’s saying, he should try stepping into Celtic’s shoes. We’ve had to put up with qualifiers for the past eight seasons and it’s only getting harder year on year.

Unlike Cluj, we’ve made decent inroads in Europe in recent years but are seeing no benefit. Celtic have been one of the 48 teams in European competition after Christmas the past two seasons so surely that must be worth something.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

UEFA should devise a new formula that rewards lone teams for their European performances and focusses less on country coefficient. The fact that teams like Celtic are hamstrung by the poor performances of their domestic rivals is nothing short of a disgrace.

Petrescu is right – it’s nowhere near good enough. The only difference between Celtic and Cluj is that we’re well used to it by now.