Warburton Ignores The Reality That Looms Over His Club Like A Killing Weight

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Mark Warburton yesterday sat in front of the press and dismissed the gap between Celtic and his club as merely “a financial one.”

This clearly doesn’t worry him as much as it should.

Of all the stupid things I’ve heard this guy say, this one has to be the worst.

Of course it’s a financial one. But what does he think that means? That percolates through every other section of the club. There’s a financial gap between Manchester City and Celtic; it means they can put better players out on the park than we could ever dream of.

This is Warburton’s latest bizarre attempt to talk up the strength of his squad, but no sane personal realistically thinks there’s no gap between his and ours. He sounds like an idiot trying to make that case.

Warburton clearly doesn’t think a finance gap is important. But you’d need to be doing something pretty seriously wrong at your club to not have that translate into a better team on the pitch. It’s how Rangers stayed ahead of us during the financial doping years; that was the very point in doing it in the first place. It’s why no side not playing out of Celtic Park or Ibrox has won the league title since Aberdeen did it in 1985?

Even Sevco’s supporters aren’t dumb enough to have missed the significance of this admission, and he tries to soften the blow by underselling how big the gap is. “In terms of the budget,” he said, “I would imagine the gap is two or three times.”

Try four or five times, and all of it sustainable and the same can’t be said for his own. The financial gap is, really, the only one that matters because it’s what gives us the infrastructure to grow, whilst his own club contracts to the verge of collapse.

What must scare those of a Sevco persuasion is knowing that this is a gap which might never be closed. Fergus knew that when he took over Celtic, that we had enormous unexplored potential, and had not come close to our earning power. It’s difficult to argue that Sevco has hit its own financial ceiling.

Even if they were capable of investing huge sums in infrastructure – the LED screen project we’re working on right now is a luxury we can easily afford but one they would be unable even to attempt – there would be no guarantee of it raising significant additional revenues.

Their club is losing money hand over fist, so even with an unbridgable chasm between the two clubs which is already translating into our superiority on the park they are actually spending more than they should. If they were living within their means – and they are too late to start – the gap would be even more pronounced.

To keep going as they are means certain death.

Warburton’s attitude yesterday was that of a man who’s starting to realise that matters are now largely out of his hands. He and the Sevco fans were given reasons to believe things would get better for them; Dave King made promises to that effect which he hasn’t come close to keeping. Had he “overinvested” things might have been better in the here and now but there would have been huge problems waiting for them just down the road.

As it is, those problems are here, now, and the club is a few bad results from freefall.

A lot of people at Sevco have managed to delude themselves for many months about their team being on a par with ours, on the basis of a single result, which they won on penalty kicks at the National Stadium. A 5-1 hammering at Celtic Park has not dissuaded them of that barmy, and unsupportable, notion.

It was always going to take giving them a hiding on the same pitch as they won that game to bring home to them, fully, how much of an anomaly that day’s result was. The gap is real. This time tomorrow they will be on the verge of a sobering education.

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