On the face of it, last season was a good one for Celtic. A League and Cup double should be a reflection of a successful campaign, but it would be churlish to think that all was well. Results, in general, were good but there many performances that were unacceptable during the course of the season. Looking back, it’s noticeable how important those late, late wins were at Easter Road and Fir Park during February and March. Failure to win even one of those games could have had catastrophic consequences when the prizes were handed out in May.

Ten players were purchased by Celtic during the summer of 2023. It’s a sad indictment that not a single one of them made a significant contribution during the course of the season, not one of them was able to hold down a regular first team place. So much so that, at the season’s end, when Celtic finally hit form, Brendan Rodgers was required to utilise Ange Postecoglou’s side – minus Jota, Starfelt, Mooy, and eventually Abada – which in the end was a considerable achievement, highlighting Rodgers’ organisational and motivational skills which saw Celtic over the line. It was a case of having to go to the well for one last time with that squad of players and reinforcements are desperately needed. To coin a phrase – we got away with it.

The Celtic Board should realise that there is a sense of anticipation and expectation amongst we supporters this summer. The club literally has tens of millions sitting in the bank. We have the Champions League windfall to come. And we have the season ticket funds, from the supporters, which arrives each summer. On that subject, it was a bit bold raising the season ticket prices during a cost of living crisis, at a time when the club is so financially affluent.

Returning to last season’s campaign, there were times when the league title looked to be in the bag. The early season winning run until October and the 2-1 New Year win over Rangers at Celtic Park, twice saw Celtic with considerable leads, which they then surrendered over a period. Even when winning games, the team wasn’t playing consistently well and, in football terms, we were papering over the cracks. The overall Celtic performance last season did not match what the supporters expect.

Some may read this and see it as a sense of entitlement. However, you have to appreciate the advantage which Celtic have in terms of resources. We have by far the biggest stadium, the biggest fan base, and enjoy, at this time, an enormous financial advantage over our rivals. The resources and finances we have must be utilised to our advantage. This summer has to see quality players attracted to Celtic Park. No more projects, young guys with potential, but established, quality players who will be seen as an improvement and be able hold down a first team place and improve the team. Celtic fans pay a lot of money each summer and are entitled to enjoy a certain standard of player and the quality which they bring.

The reason for doing this is twofold. Firstly, we want to sustain our position as Scotland’s premier club. But perhaps more important, we do not want to go into the new Champions League set up and be used as cannon fodder, as has happened these last few seasons. For all his faults, you have to go back to Neil Lennon’s tenure as Celtic manager to find a time when Celtic made any impression whatsoever in European football. This is a source of great frustration and does not reflect well on Celtic’s supposed ambition as a major European football force. It’s about time the Board matched the aspirations and desires of the supporters and that MUST start this summer by recruiting a considerably better standard of player.

Last summer’s player recruitment was absolutely shambolic. Some signings were ordinary, some were mediocre, and some were downright poor. We are now saddled with a number of players who Celtic will have considerable trouble off-loading and there will be financial loss on them.

Almost every area of the team needs improvement. A new goalkeeper to replace the inspirational Joe Hart. A left sided centre back to accompany Cameron Carter-Vickers. A holding midfield player to ease the strain on Callum McGregor. A replacement for Matt O’Riley, who will surely be leaving for pastures new. And two quality wingers to augment Maeda and Forrest. The wide players are absolutely vital to Rodgers’ system. That was the one area which affected the team most last season, especially when Maeda was injured. Kyogo thrives on the service from the wings and nothing was forthcoming. The new recruits to play in those roles, Yang, Tilio, Palma and Kuhn, have been especially disappointing. It’s also hoped that deals can be agreed for Adam Idah and Paolo Bernardo, who will hopefully contribute more now that they are used to playing in Scotland for a period.

As the club basks in the success of last season, the fixtures have now been announced and fans cast an eye towards the new league campaign. No one was really expecting much to happen regarding transfers until July. With the Euros in full swing and the transfer window not opening until I July, the months of July and August will be absolutely vital for the Celtic Board to bring sufficiently higher quality players to the club and give Brendan Rodgers the backing which he deserves as Celtic manager.

Failure to do so, and another mediocre season endured, will not be easy for Celtic fans to tolerate. The patience of the supporters has been sorely tested. It’s all very well to be financially solvent, but sitting on that money and not putting it to good use is actually a considerable form of negligence in itself. The Celtic Board will do well to remember this. Fail to act appropriately this summer and the consequences will be massive for everyone concerned.