Our Rivals Might Be Sneering Right Now, But Celtic Will Have The Last Laugh.

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Dave King has re-appeared in the media this week.

That’s hardly a surprise. Now that things on the park appear to be going well for them he wants to get his face in the papers and tell us all how smart he is and how he saw Celtic’s collapse coming.

He’s full of it. His comments about Celtic folding “like a house of cards” were a prediction for what would happen if his club was able to win a title. The collapse we’re suffering right now isn’t going to take down the whole operation at Parkhead; by any measurable metric we will still be comfortably ahead of them in every key area, off the field at the least.

To get back on top all we have to do is take the right decision in relation to the management team.

A more general review and restructuring of the football operation, coupled with the departure of Lawwell, will leave us stronger, structurally, than we’ve ever been … that’s not good news for the board of directors at that crumbling relic across the city.

Our club needs a shake.

The events of this season, and the supporter backlash, will provide it.

With a new CEO with a new plan, a Director of Football who works with the manager instead of doing things behind his back, with renewed engagement between players and club we should be in a stronger place than we’ve been in for decades.

It will not take Celtic long before the whole Parkhead operation is firing on all cylinders again.

At that point I fully expect that Celtic will have the last laugh. But we’re wasting valuable time, time which should be spent by a new manager analysing the playing squad, deciding who stays and who goes, and then working with the scouting department to fix those problems.

We are our own worst enemies, but as I’ve said before these are results of weak leadership and a poor strategic outlook, not structural problems at the club itself. We are in better shape than any club during this pandemic. We are certainly in better shape than the one across the city … hard to believe when you look at the league table, but true nonetheless.

Ibrox remains a basket case operation. Yes, they have increased their revenues and the media seems delighted about that, but their cost base is still way too high … and that’s in a good year.

How do you think they’ve fared this season, in terms of income to expenditure?

I’ll tell you; they are deeper in trouble than ever. Directors are still paying the bills; that can’t last forever and UEFA has to put their finances under the spotlight at some point.

That’s when the wheels start to fall off the wagon over there.

There are people who say one good season of Champions League income will sort them out; those people have no idea what they are talking about. Their problems exist because the DNA of that club is infused with crazy ideas about spending more than they earn.

No Ibrox operation has consistently broken even for nearly 40 years.

They don’t know how to live within their means. The more they have, the deeper into debt they’ll go because wage costs will spiral, transfer fees will rocket up and they won’t know where to stop.

Covid is going to have an immense impact on football in Scotland; we haven’t even seen the beginnings of its effects yet. Directors might be happy to pay the bills for the moment, but the real rent hasn’t come due and it won’t until certain realities sink in.

Here’s reality one; we’re going to start next season with reduced crowd sizes if we’re very, very lucky. I expect that’s going to result in a season ticket sales downturn across the boards … fans just aren’t going to pay £600 again for badly produced streaming shows.

You think the crisis at Parkhead is going to have an impact on ours?

Well if we do the right thing and make the right moves and appoint the right guy our fans are being sold on a fresh start and a new beginning for the club.

The Ibrox operation has geared its last few years to stopping ten in a row; I expect they’ll have a season ticket sales shortfall as a result of them pulling it off.

Because it’s no longer a campaign of historical significance, it’s just another year and one in which fans won’t be guaranteed to get into the grounds. To the best of my knowledge, no-one at Ibrox is even remotely prepared for a scenario like that, but common sense tells you that it’s as likely as not.

They need at least one major player sale in the summer to guarantee that the books balance. We know the likes of Edouard and Ajer are sought after and will bring in tidy sums.

Where is the interest in their footballers, in spite of this campaign? It’s non-existent and they still expect to get ridiculous prices for their “stars” which aren’t even remotely likely to materialise.

Clubs have to trust that you know what you’re doing; this is why Leverkusen paid us £10 million for a young right back who wasn’t a guaranteed starter in the team.

I think we got robbed; others see that money as a massive coup … relatively speaking it is. It’s four times higher than the biggest fee the Ibrox club has ever received for a player in its nine-year history.

The Champions League – should they get there, and it’s not a done deal – will give them access to a greater share of TV revenue, but you’re still talking about three quarters empty stadiums.

You’re still talking about huge sums of money that they won’t get near to from not being able to sell all those match tickets. Our club will post losses for the first time in years precisely because we didn’t have full houses for those European games.

The difference is, we were sitting on a surplus and we’ve been able, in January, to offset some of the losses with the sale of Frimpong, letting go of Ntcham and the departure of Abd Elhamed.

These were not welcomed by this blog, but there is no question that they strengthen the financial position of the club and will make the balance sheet look a little better.

Celtic will emerge from the twin crises which have struck our club reasonably intact, and with a brand new management team and structure. For all the muted celebrations over at Ibrox, and the bombast from the glib and shameless tax cheat, they have no idea what their own club will look like in two years, three years or five years time.

Celtic will have the last laugh. Celtic is still Scottish football’s undisputed superpower, because we built on solid foundations.

Nobody who argues that Ibrox is similarly well placed can be taken even remotely seriously.

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