Image result for SpFL Challenge cup photos
prize for being fourth-rate .. ?

SPFL Challenge Cup ..
it may be worth a bit for the totally useless
fourth-rate clubs who take part ... and a bit
of a laugh with the involvement of unhealthy
soft drinks and choccy biscuits ... but this
competition is nothing short of a disaster for
our domestic game .. producing the kind of
results we are seeing from SFA squads
against much better organised nations.
there are better prospects here in Scotland
.. if only we had a government to enforce it.

Wu-19, Wu-17 draws ..
 Scotland wu-17 get Italy, Belarus
and Latvia qualifying for Faroes.Is 2021 ... and
slightly unlucky to draw holders/beaten finalist
Germany, Holland, Croatia for wu-17 Sweden 
elite (March) .. unlikely to qualify to May finals.
Scotland wu-19 get Hungary, Montenegro and 
Estonia.. qualifying for Belarus 2021 ..  and
they drew Holland, Iceland and Romania in
Georgia elite next April .. grp 1 .. finals in July.

19s Nations League ..
a new system for uefa u-19 has been drawn, 
 in `divisionswith promotion and relegation, 
played in mini-groups... we are with Denmark,
 Russia and Latvia in League B2 towards
Slovakia finals in 2022. It means two separate
systems will be running, twice as many games.
Leagues B and C cannot qualify for the finals
tournament ... the one hope being that we
can get the `promotion` when hosts Slovakia
drop out .. as we were next highest co-efficient.
From now .. only the best will join hosts ..
Scots u-17 were Pot 2 and drew (G13) France,
Wales and Andorra for qualifying next autumn
 towards Cyprus finals in May 2021 .. Scotland
u-19 drew Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg
(G4) on the road to Romania finals, July 2021 ..
u-17 elite  .. R.Ireland, Slovakia and Czech.R.
u-19 elite ... Georgia, France and Russia

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 Concacaf CL - 16 .
Motagua - Atlanta.United
Comunicaciones - CF America
Portmore.Un - Cruz.Azul
Leon - Los.Angeles
Alianza - Tigres.UNAM
San.Carlos - New.York.City
Olimpia - Seattle.Sounders
Saprissa - Montreal.Impact
due Feb 20/27 (tbc)

Image result for Women's Champions league photos

New Women`s CL ...
There will be a new Womens Champions
League format in 2021-22, mirroring the current
men`s format, with Champions and League
path qualifying and four top clubs automatic
in a new televised group stage for the last 16. 
Qualifying will consist of two rounds,
set out as mini-tournaments, but with a ko
format .. and a rather silly 3rd place match
which earns nothing .. only winners go through.
14 champions will contest a ko round 2, with
seven going to the group stages ... `League`
path offers a way back in for Scotland`s 2nd
club ..unlikely to have one next season ..
going through same format with six 3rd-place
teams from the top nations also getting a
new access. Five `league` path sides will
qualify for the 16-club `normal` group stage.
With central marketting, etc, of last 16, this
offers a considerable advance in standard
and finances for the ladies ... unfortunately,
not matched by the Womens leaders in
Scotland ... who are about to ruin their game
by copying the worst of mens organisation.
Results will be pretty obvious to anyone who
 follows the wider game .. our clubs will get in 
.. for now ... but will not do well in much 
stronger competition .. unless we copy that.

FIFA.Club.W.Cup ..
 the long awaited CWC reform will
appear in China, summer 2021maybe 24
clubs .. just what we campaigned for .. and
replacing the boring Confederations cup ...
FIFA also decided that the u-20 World Cup
2021 will go to Indonesia, while Peru get
another chance to host u-17 World Cup ...
which this year was switched to Brazil ..

               Recent items from our `front page` ..

 Big money view ..
thanks to the efforts of Celtic and Rangers in 
the last two seasons, Scotland could see a spectacular rise in the club ranking and access list, where we started 19-20 at 26... meaning none of our clubs avoided the qualifying rd 1 in early July. But, with two clubs in EL groups, we have climbed to 15 (currently) in 20-21 listing, which would see champion and cup-winner up to qr2 .. 
and since Rangers didn`t contribute beyond three 
seasons ago, the extrapolation of their current results 
could mean a rise to 13 in 21-22 .. two clubs in 
champions league, cup-winner in ELqr3 and an extra 
club (2) in ELqr2. If that isn`t the bees knees, moving 
the points ranking on to 22-23 at the current earning rate would see Scotland 8th in uefa, champions and cup-winners direct entry to CL and EL groups, plus a qr3 
spot for r/up (CL) and 3rd (EL), with an ELqr2 spot for a 
5th club. But, of course, maintaining that level ... 
getting over that line ... means old firm keeping up performance and other clubs stepping up theirs .. as national points get divided by the number of clubs taking part.  If it does go in this direction, it inevitably means invites to big summer tours again ..  more big-money friendlies .. plus larger uefa pay-outs  .. kassies
This would certainly herald a new european era for the top
 five or six clubs ... but then a huge gulf in standards to
 the remainder .. fully supporting our analysis that SPFL 
should be 8 and 8, premier 1 and 2 .. with the rest 
thrown into a real pyramid (Spain) with all challengers.

Image result for FC Kobenhavn photos

FC Kobenhavn ...
should be underdogs to seeded Celtic in the
Europa League last 32, but not much in it ..
Currently 2nd to Midtjylland in Superliga and
into winter break, they lost out on pens to
Red Star in CL last August before entering
EL groups, where they never scored or lost
more than 1 goal ... fans will not see old foe
 Nicklas Bendtner whose short contract is over.
No individual friendlies lined up, but they will
play two in Algarve`s Atlantic Cup from
Jan 31 - Feb 8. They are also in q-finals of
DBU Pokal against Aalborg ... one league
game at Esbjerg before the Celtic tie ...

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Sporting Braga ..
with the famous May 1 stadium up against a 
cliff built for the 2004 Euro in Portugal .. Braga
were 4th in Primera Liga last season and 
currently trail 8th .. but diverting to league cup
(Taca da Liga) at nearby Pacos de Ferreira on 
Sun Dec 22, where a draw takes them to semis
and final in their own stadium Jan 21-25 .. less
`foreign` than Rangers, but they could field an
entire team of Brazillians .. comforting, eh ?
After losing the cup this week at Benfica (2-1)
they also go to Porto and home to Sporting
CP, before travelling to Ibrox on February 20 ...

Steve`s Xmas .. ?
While you lot are enjoying the wine and music 
this Xmas and new year ... you can bet Steve 
Clarke`s festive period will be laced with a little 
nail-biting at the prospect of two of the biggest 
games of his life ... certainly in his tenure as 
Scotland boss, since there is no indication we 
are likely to get to Qatar 2022, Germany 2024, 
or USA/Mexico/Canada 2026. His double-edged 
quandary will be how to use any strike-power 
to best effect at Hampden against Israel ... 
then, hopefully, away against either Norway 
or Serbia ... while organising our slightly leaky 
defence against some very good opposition 
strikers .. like Israel`s Moanes Dabour (27), 
who scored 51 in three seasons in Austria 
(Salzburg) before moving to Sevilla this autumn
 .. and the `king`, Eran Zahavi, who since he 
scored twice at Hampden last November, has 
added 12 more for his country and broken
the Chinese single-season scoring record at 
Gangzhou R&F with 29 goals. Overcome that 
and we could face Alex Mitrovic (25) of Serbia, 
who has banked 36 goals in 2.5 seasons for
Fulham in Championship and Premier. But the 
odds are that we will face Norway, who lost only
 once in their 2020 qualifying group in Spain .. 
and are recently scoring a lot more than they 
lose, with Joshua King (27) of Bournemouth and
 Tarik Elyounoussi (31), cousin of the Celtic star,
 Mohammed, also in the squad .. but now joined 
by Salzburg sensation, Erling Haaland19, who 
scored 8 in champs lge games this autumn. 
Drink up Steve .. it may dull the pain ..

Draws ...
Asian CL 2020 saw top clubs were 
allocated groups in either the west or east 
sections .. holders, Al Hilal, in west 2. 
Yokohama Marinos are back having won J-Lge
 first time in 15 years .. p/offs to be added...
 Monday 16 is the UEFA spring draws..
and  .. Tue 17 .. Copa 2020 draws ...

FIFA.Club.W.Cup ..
 the long awaited CWC reform will
appear in China, summer 2021maybe 24
clubs .. just what we campaigned for .. and
replacing the boring Confederations cup ...
FIFA also decided that the u-20 World Cup
2021 will go to Indonesia, while Peru get
another chance to host u-17 World Cup ...
which this year was switched to Brazil ..

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