Thompson targets Euro lifeline for Celtic
St Mirren 0 Celtic 2: Celtic coach Alan Thompson believes the Parkhead club deserve to be reinstated to the Europa League even though they were knocked out by Sion.
After losing 3-1 in Switzerland on Thursday night to go out of the play-offs on the same aggregate score, Celtic were the next day given hope of a reprieve by Michel Platini.
The Uefa president said the Swiss side had “not respected the rules of the transfer ban” by signing five players who are, in the eyes of FIFA, ineligible to play due to a transfer embargo.
One of them, Pascal Feindouno, scored twice against the Hoops and Thompson addressed the issue after the 2-0 Clydesdale Bank Premier League win at St Mirren because manager Neil Lennon had to rush away on transfer business.
“I don't know what will happen but for Platini to come out and make his views known, that tells you that there are views in the higher ranks of UEFA, so we will see what happens,” said Thompson.
“Everyone is entitled to their views, whether they are Celtic fans or not. If we get reinstated we will be delighted, we can go and enjoy six games in Europe and see what happens.”
Thompson admitted he was aware of interest in midfielder Ki Sung-yueng, reportedly from Blackburn and and two unnamed Russian clubs, but is hoping the South Korean remains in Glasgow.
He explained: “I think there has been well-documented interest in the lad and rightly so, he is a terrific player with a massive future but not one we are looking to get out the door.”
An early Gary Hooper double gave Celtic a much-needed victory today and Thompson admitted it was good to get back on track.
He said: “It was important that we got three points today, no matter how we got them after the disappointment of Thursday and last Sunday (when they lost to St Johnstone).
“In the first 20 minutes St Mirren struggled to cope with the way we started the game, the tempo, the energy, the power and the pressing.”