Wednesday 13 December 2017

Celtic chiefs on mission to carve niche in Asian market

CELTIC 1 DUNDEE UniteD 1

Roddy Forsyth

A Celtic trade mission begins in China this morning as the club seeks to expand its presence in the Asian powerhouse economy – and also explore a possible source of new talent on the field.

Chief executive Peter Lawwell and chief scout John Park flew out yesterday accompanied by the commercial director and head of communications as part of a series of exploratory missions.

"It's an extraordinary developing country. They are football-crazy, mainly about the English Premier League and the Champions League, so with our profile and exposure, people are now talking about Celtic," said Lawwell. "We are going to sign an agreement with a Chinese company who are going to represent us."

Closer to home, Celtic have taken an interest in the recent comments by Galatasaray president Unal Aysal, who said 20 top clubs were actively planning the formation of a European Super League.

CONCERN

Meanwhile, manager Neil Lennon admits his side's problems in front of goal are a concern ahead of their crucial Champions League clash against Ajax in Amsterdam on Wednesday.

The Scottish champions needed an injury-time goal from Charlie Mulgrew to rescue a point against Dundee United at Parkhead after another day of missed chances.

The Hoops had a couple of good opportunities before Stuart Armstrong gave the Tannadice side the lead in the 38th minute with a well-worked and well-taken goal and there was more huffing and puffing from those in green and white thereafter.

Just when it looked like United would get their first win at Celtic Park since St Stephen's Day 1992, Mulgrew rose in the second of three added minutes to flick a cross from Emilio Izaguirre past Radoslaw Cierzniak to make it 11 league games unbeaten for the leaders.

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

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