Celtic Must Not Manage Expectations On Signings. Following Tierney’s Departure It Has To Meet Them Instead.

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Neil Lennon was playing expectation management at his press conference today.

I sort of understand it.

He talks about moving on players from some positions before we bring others in and that seems to be good sense … but I think the board needs to be sent a clear message just the same.

Fans aren’t in expectation management here.

There is a lot of anger out there over the sale of Tierney.

A lot of the websites are seriously pissed about it and a lot of the fans are too.

The board isn’t going to get away with playing games here and limiting the ’s ability to strengthen this squad.

There are expectations and they won’t be “managed.” This time, they have to be met.

It’s really as simple as that.

The Dembele money was not spent and I’m not in debating with anyone who says that it was, because their argument is a transparent fiction; it’s sitting in the bank to this day.

The board is not going to get away with that twice.

This is a weaker squad than it has been since the end of Rodgers’ first season, when we had Armstrong, Dembele, Tierney, Roberts and Boyata in it.

The Tierney money has to be put back into the side.

If our board believes that they can leave that cash sitting in a bank when it should be out on the park, they are sadly, woefully, mistaken.

Nobody expects us to sign the “next Kieran Tierney” but a second left back is a must, a second right back is a must and Lennon has to get his midfield player and his striker.

And yes, serious money needs to be spent here and the money is there.

If there isn’t already a shopping list, then somebody – maybe a lot of people – at Celtic Park are asleep at the wheel.

Lennon’s spending sits at £12 million.

If this window closes and it isn’t double that, at least, then people are going to ask questions and they are going to be entitled to ask them.

And Lawwell will quickly find himself at the centre of those questions.

In my view, a lot of them should have been asked already; they should have been asked when Neil Lennon was appointed in such a shabby, dishonest fashion and the board admitted they hadn’t even bothered to look someone better.

In my view, that remains a sterling example of gross management and my current satisfaction at the job Neil is doing makes not one blind bit of difference to that fact.

In my view, the board is guilty of not putting us in the best possible position in relation to this campaign, and that will be the case no matter what the accomplishes.

We have a relatively straightforward path towards the Champions League groups now.

A home win – or even a 0-0 draw – will secure qualification against Cluj.

But if we don’t make an effort to bring in at least one player to enhance the squad before the tie against Prague then woe betide this board if we go out and end up in the Europa League.

There’s nothing wrong with trying and failing.

If we take the chance to play in the Groups seriously, if we spend on at least one more footballer, fans will understand if we don’t quite get over the line.

But fail to try … and that’s a whole different ball game.

The question – the wholly legitimate question – will be the same as it was when the managerial appointment was announced; has Celtic done everything in its to give the and the team the best possible chance?

Without at least one more signing the answer will be a resounding no.

If they board doesn’t free up some money Lennon prior to the deadline for the next round in Europe, then I will hold them responsible for any failure.

There should be a short-list sitting in a desk drawer right now, of players Lennon and his team have identified.

Someone at Parkhead should be on the phone getting at least one of those signings over the line. We got every penny of the Tierney cash up-front … that’s by the Stock Exchange announcement. Fans want to see it put back on the park.

We’re not a business that happens to run a football club, we’re a football club that runs like a business. We’ve lost a key player and there has to be an adequate replacement. Not like-for-like, but someone we can look to and say “they are taking this seriously.”

If we’re going to muck about and show second rate ambition we belong in the second tier tournament. If we’re going to endanger nine and ten in a row then the board better realise that they are gambling with their own positions and their own reputations forevermore.

They can rise to this moment, or go down in history with the Kelly’s and Whites, and that’s what we’re talking about here. An historical, golden, once-in-a-generation opportunity sits before us, and we have a mammoth financial advantage.

If we press it, we’ll wrap the next two titles in a bow and everyone involved can take a bow when that tenth is unfurled.

Fail and its curtains for the lot of them and a place in the Book of the Damned.

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