Amidst all the media hype of the last week or so, over the Gerrard moonbeam and how much money he’ll get to spend, one question has hung over much of the coverage; what will Celtic do in response? I proposed an answer on the day the deal was done. I suggested that our answer should be nothing at all, to get on with the business of growing the club.
That’s why today’s news that we are spending £4 million on infrastructure – not the critical sort but the “experience enhancing” sort – is so welcome. It is a thank you note to the supporters for everything they’ve done these past few years but it’s also a subliminal nod in the direction of Ibrox. It’s our way of saying “we’re not afraid of you in the least.”
If we were concerned, at all, with what they were up to our club would be spending that money out on the pitch, on players. As it stands, it won’t even affect Brendan’s overall budget. In fact, this is the Van Dijk money, or some of it anyway. The £2 million and change that’s left might secure the long term futures of Armstrong and Rogic … and that’s who we are as a club at the minute, one that can afford to spend this sort of cash on making the match-day experience better.
Part of it will go out on the park; Brendan is finally getting his brand new state of the art surface and if it improves performances at home even a little it will be very welcome indeed because that’s where we’ve dropped most of the points in this campaign. But it’s the light show element that excites the imagination; I was at the Allianz Arena earlier in the season and the place looks incredible from afar and even better when you get up close.
This news makes me smile for a couple of reasons; first, as I said, is the obvious contempt it shows towards Sevco’s puny operation and King’s “house of cards” notion. Secondly, it confirms Celtic Park as the finest football venue in Scotland and one of the best anywhere and third, and finally, last and most definitely least, it scotches the claims of internet goons who have made spurious allegations about Celtic Park being a rusting hulk.
Some of these stone stupid eejits have drifted from one conspiracy theory to another over the past few years. Celtic Park is falling down is my favourite, by far. The truth is, our ground and the surrounding area has never looked better. The plans for our development and future prosperity have never been further advanced.
It eats these Peepul. They spend so much of their time looking for the magic bullet that will send our club into a tailspin that they’re largely ignorant of the problems – the actual problems as opposed to the imagined ones – inside their own walls.
But this is how it feels to be Celtic. To watch a club getting better and better and better on and off the pitch. This is how we respond to empty threats and ego trips elsewhere … by doing nothing. By following the plan. By making sure our own house is in order.