Peter Lawwell and the Celtic board are entitled to feel pretty pleased with themselves after yesterday’s financial numbers were published.
They make the board look good. They make the board look smart.
Until, that is, you consider the price we’ve paid for their abject failure to put the money where it belongs; out on the pitch.
£100 million in turnover is a mammoth milestone for this club, but that success was only made possible because we have a top class coach who had managed to assemble a top class team. The directors who were patting themselves on the back yesterday have been in hiding since the transfer window shut.
Now they’re taking a bow.
Tonight our club will play in Europe’s second tier tournament. We have two strikers in the squad instead of three. We have lingering problems at right back and in the middle of the pitch. The manager was furious about the complete failure to get deals done. He may still be.
Our marquee signing was a player we had on the books last year.
We closed out the window with a loanee and a guy who’s been available on a free for a month.
This is the definition of neglect, and I can understand the first team squad suffering like that if the club is on the bones of its arse … but it isn’t. In fact, to quote Harold MacMillan, we’ve “never had it so good.”
This is boom time at Celtic, but keeping the train rolling down these tracks depends on us having a winning team on the park.
Hell mend these people if they forget that. Hell mend them if their summer of fun results in us losing our position as the strongest club in the land.
There is a club across the city which has no problem spending money it does not have.
This is lethally dangerous, but I would stipulate that our own policies are just as stupid in their own way. A football club is about what happens on the pitch. Financial strength and stability only matters if the team is getting stronger every year. We are manifestly weaker.
For the first time in a while I’m not applauding the financial returns.
They add insult to injury.
They make it even clearer than before that there was no need for our club to drag its feet in the transfer market the way we did, and the way we do.
The bottom line is that some at Celtic put the balance sheet before the team sheet … and until that attitude changes, Brendan Rodgers is correct to say that building something here is more difficult than it should be.
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