The route this year to the Group Stages of the Champions League for Celtic was always going to be a Marathon.
They stumbled at the penultimate hurdle and the reasons are not a mystery.
The sight of Brendan Rodgers shaking his head as he watched a misplaced pass from Jozo Šimunović rather summed up the night.
Failure to provide the manager with the resources he asked for led to defeat in Athens.
Heated Driveway Disasters had been in remission at Parkhead for two years.
However, failure to effect major personnel changes in the summer of 2016 came back to bite Celtic.
The decision is now with Dermot Desmond.
He has had a CEO in place since 2003.
Most of his top people are in post for around seven years.
There is a good reason for that and it is rather akin to a manager rotating the squad and building from a position of strength.
Dermot Desmond now has to do a cost-benefit analysis of who would be easier to replace.
He may have to make a choice between a competent bean-counting CEO or the best Celtic manager since Jock Stein.
For me, that is a no-brainer.
My information is that Rodgers did not ask for anything in the summer that could have been characterised as busting the budget.
However, he wanted players in place for the pre-season and he didn’t get that.
It is worth re-stating that failure to get Fabian Schär and the John McGinn saga was nothing to do with the manager.
Brendan’s frustrations boiled over when the latter situation came to pass.
I’m told that his only misdemeanour in the eyes of Desmond was to make his feelings known in a presser.
The Irish billionaire knows where the problem resides.
It does seem like a very long time since the open-topped bus arrived up the Celtic Way.
I fear that things at Parkhead could unravel rather quickly if Desmond does not act decisively.
The financial hit from last night will be significant.
Budgets will be cut and players may have to be sold.
Mr Desmond knows what he has to do.