Our Champions League Jackpot Shows The Rewards Of Spending On Quality

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It was a long time coming, the signing of Scott Sinclair, and I don’t just mean in the length of time it took for us to get the deal over the line. It was the first sign of genuine, honest to God ambition, we’d shown in a while.

Scott Sinclair could easily have been a signing from the height of the O’Neill or Strachan eras, an Alan Thompson or a Shunsuke Nakamura. It was adventurous. It was ambitious. It was exciting. All the while, through our delight at it, we didn’t even realise we had secured the services of an even more sensational footballer, one who’s set the league alight and scored in Europe.

And showing that kind of ambition … well, it clearly reaps rewards.

Last week the newspapers were filled with stories about how our club is going to coin in a minimum of £28 million from this year’s competition; that doesn’t include gate receipts and prize money. This far exceeded the expectations of board, fans and manager. That is a pot of gold most of us didn’t even dream about when the draw was made.

The value of investment has been proven by this announcement. No-one can be in the slightest doubt that putting money directly into the playing squad, backing Brendan to the hilt, will pay dividends for the club. The money has to be spent wisely, of course, but there is no doubt that if it is spent that we’ll prosper as a result.

The highest spending periods for Celtic in the last 20 years were also those where we earned the most money. When we’ve shown ambition that has paid off. Did we over-extend at times? Of course we did; this was also the high watermark of our debt. But does that mean we should stand still out of fear? No-one is asking for, or expecting, all £28 million plus to go towards the first team squad. But so many Celtic managers have never been properly rewarded for their efforts; it would be appalling if Brendan joined that list.

Just listen to the man talking lately; he speaks about a three year plan. He knows what it is that he wants to do, what it is that he wants to achieve, and he has very specific ideas about how he wants to go about it. More than that, this is our six in a row season. If Brendan is here for eight – which is what he’s talking about – there’s no way he’ll leave before ten, so this is the guy who’ll be carrying the torch for the next five years at a minimum.

He wants to build something lasting, something that changes our future.

To do it, he needs to be backed. With as much as possible. He has made wise decisions already, so his ability to spot a player shouldn’t be in doubt. The midfield is still the key area where he has to work with the players Ronny left him, but he has transformed the fortunes of Scott Brown and Stuart Armstrong, he has convinced Rogic to sign a new deal and he has made a definitive decision on Kris Commons, whether people agree with it or not.

This is a serious man, doing serious business.

Now it’s up to others at the club to prove they are serious too. The benefits of pushing out the boat are obvious this year. A decent transfer kitty for the manager – starting at the end of next month – should ensure that next year is just as good.

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