Scottish football: Andy Walker believes Legia's UEFA appeal has little chance of succeeding
Last Updated: 12/08/14 4:21pm
Andy Walker believes Legia Warsaw have little chance of overturning UEFA's decision to expel them from the Champions League following an administration error.
The Poles comfortably beat Celtic 6-1 over two legs of their second-round qualifying tie but were adjudged to have fielded an ineligible player in the 2-0 second-leg victory at Murrayfield.
It is an act of desperation this begging letter that Legia have sent Celtic.
Defender Bartosz Bereszynski came on for the last three minutes of the match but UEFA ruled he had yet to serve a three-match ban carried over following a red card in Legia's final Europa League match of last season.
Celtic were reinstated into the Champions League - and handed a play-off draw against Maribor of Slovenia - while Legia were consigned to the Europa League.
The decision infuriated the Polish champions who insist they will take their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if they are unsuccessful in their plea to UEFA. which will announce its decision on Wednesday.
They also wrote to Celtic calling on them to do 'the honourable thing and give up their place in the Champions League'.
But speaking to Sky Sports News, former Celtic striker Walker said: "I think we will see the end of the matter pretty soon. It is an act of desperation this begging letter that Legia have sent Celtic.
"Celtic have had no involvement in this. We all feel Legia's pain. It's remarkable to think they won so comfortably over the two legs and yet a clerical error has cost them the opportunity to possibly get into the Champions League with all the prestige and the chance of £15m to £20m.
"I understand their pain but I don't think they will get any joy with this appeal."
Celtic kick off the new campaign in front of the Sky cameras at St Johnstone on Wednesday but Walker is convinced the ongoing saga will have little influence on their quest for a fourth successive title.
"I think Celtic will just let it run its course," he said. "I think they will understand that Legia are just exhausting all avenues to possibly get something from this administrative error on their part.
"But I don't think it will be a distraction. Celtic have a big game tomorrow. It's the start of the Premiership and they'll be trying to regain their title and they will be up against it with St Johnstone who started well at the weekend with an away win."
Celtic couldn't refuse anything like £10m for any player, especially a goalkeeper.
And Walker is convinced Ronny Deila's side will make it four-in-a-row despite their lack of activity in the transfer market, and a stronger challenge from the old 'new firm'.
"After listeining to Ronny Deila and the way he spoke about setting out his team when he got the job, the Celtic supporters haven't seen much evidence of this fast-paced game.
"He's made a couple of loan signings in the past couple of days. He has signed the youngster Jason Denayer from Manchester City but the more cynical of the Celtic support will probably think he will be a replacement for Virgil van Dijk who is attracting interest from down south.
"Hopefully he will come in and improve the team. It will certainly give him a lot of good experience."
Along with Denayer, Deila has drafted in fellow-loanees Aleksandar Tonev and Jo Inge Berget but Walker is less than convinced this will appease the Celtic fans following the £10m banked from Southampton for England keeper Fraser Forster.
"Hopefully if they get Craig Gordon back to the level of his days with Hearts and Sunderland then it should not be too much of a problem if he is fit and gets back to what we know he is capable of.
"Celtic couldn't refuse anything like £10m for any player, especially a goalkeeper. It made business sense but there is a great deal of unrest among the Celtic support over the club not spending any money.
The Celtic fans are looking for a bit more imagination in the transfer market with a bit more money spent.
"This move for the Belgian defender, 19 years old, there is no prospect of Celtic taking him on so if he gets Champions League experience then it's a great move for city.
"The Celtic fans are looking for a bit more imagination in the transfer market with a bit more money spent, but they still have enough quality players to be strong favourites to retain their title.
"It will be a great game tomorrow and I'm looking forward to it but Ronny Deila still has to prove himself to the fans. I think Celtic have fallen in stature as a club and they're not getting the type of managers that they are used to.
"I think there is a downsizing of the playing squad which has been evident for months. Ronny Deila obviously knew about it and has obviously bought into it.
"We have heard Neil Lennon speaking about how difficult it would be to keep being successful at the level the supporters are used to. I think that is the main reason he called it a day at Celtic.
"But Celtic should still win the title by some distance. Maybe not as much as last season, but I hope they get a better challenge from the likes of Aberdeen and Dundee United, who are likely to push better than they did last season."
Watch Celtic against St Johnstone live from McDiarmid Park on Sky Sports 5 from 7.30pm on Wednesday evening.