Then you look at Rangers: a club that is struggling to stay afloat, and has been on the brink of administration for months on end. With selling player after player and can only afford to bring in a select few, the future is bleak.
Now, if you were to predict who the most successful club was in the last couple of years, about 99% of people (Who obviously didn’t know) who would have chosen the first club.
For all the healthy bank statements and money the club has, we have only the solitary League Cup to boast about since May 2008. All the while Rangers have won two league trophies in a row, and a couple of cup victories too, all while still going strong in the league this season. For every Celtic fan, it’s beyond acceptable…
So, is it time for a change in strategy?
There’s no denying the change this year in football’s spending; it’s down for the first time in years as clubs are facing the hit. Fortunately, we as a club are in good stead and are in the select few who are not feeling the pinch.
Despite that, clubs are still in masses of debt, and all of the clubs owe hundreds of millions to banks and owners. Even the mighty Barcelona failed to pay their players earlier on this year.
Would Celtic fans be willing to accept a change to a different financial outlook? It couldn’t be any worse at the present moment, with no league trophy for two years and no successful European campaign for three.
The worst thing any club can do is sell your best player. Let’s face it, its total regression. To even slightly appease the fans, the star player must be replaced with someone of a similar ilk. Even if you are struggling to afford the transfer, is it really worth it? Given Celtic’s history in the last couple of seasons, the answer can only be yes…
Obviously there are extreme cases of blatant cheating when it comes to finances, like Portsmouth for example. They bought their way to a FA Cup in 208 and played players they just could not afford. Severe consequences followed, and a harsh lesson for any club wanting to down same route Leeds did. Even Mallorca was denied entry to the Champions League this season because their finances were that bad. Again, a harsh lesson on how far one can go.
Whatever way Celtic decide to go (and let’s be honest, Lawwell is in charge so there is only ever going to be one way), it’s going to pretty vital in the next year or so. If we do go down the safe route and continue to keep money rather than the spend, then a league victory is absolutely essential, as three league trophies in-a-row for Rangers is unthinkable for every Celtic fan and another year without success (And European football) really is beyond pathetic.
Or, if we did spend money and fail to win the league, it would be doubly bad for the board, as more money has gone and no Champions League football for another year is inevitable. Saying that, the board, for once, couldn’t be accused of having a lack of ambition and the fans at least would be safe in the knowledge that the club are trying to get to that next level.
Are we just now? Who knows, as we seem to be tapping the international market for inexplicable reasons (Davie Ki, anyone?) and are still relying on SPL players to plod along week in, week out for the club.
I just long for the day when, one afternoon, the board will stick their neck on the line and make that big signing or show some intent against Rangers for the league. As for just now, all your free transfers of this world will simply not cut it.