News from across the city reveals that the club over there has already tied up its first new signing of next season. I’m not terribly impressed by the player, to be honest, but I’m impressed that they aren’t messing about.
Their club exists on director’s loans, but they don’t let them stop them in their pursuit of victory. Like it or not, their board never stops pushing forward. As lunatic as their strategy seems to me, they are absolutely committed to it.
They understand, over there, that there’s a big clock ticking loudly in the background. Notice that they don’t wait until players leave and then madly scramble after their replacements.
They need to sell at least one key member of the first team squad in the summer, and for big money which I don’t think they are going to get, but before they do they’ve got the guy in who’s going to replace him on the wage bill.
That’s how clubs do it who are capable of thinking things through from point A to B. It is scandalous that their work is well underway even as we continue to wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait with no end to the waiting in sight.
It pains me to write this, it actually does, but there is no question that their directors are more committed to their club than ours are.
You look at someone like Lawwell, and the money he takes out of the club – more than any player does, more than the manager has or will. He is the highest paid person at Celtic Park and has been for years.
The last time Dermot Desmond put his hand in his pocket for our club was so long ago that whatever money he took out of it has mould on it.
At the 2019 AGM it was announced that Lawwell had personally walked away with £3.5 million in salary and bonuses, in the season where his abject failures in securing the players that the manager wanted caused the manager himself to quit his job.
Lawwell, who forever tells us that we cannot be expected to compete with the EPL, was the highest paid CEO in British football that year.
At that AGM, our idiot chairman – who to be the best of my knowledge has never spent a single penny of his own money on Celtic; he certainly doesn’t seem to own any shares – brazenly compared Lawwell’s salary rises over the years to the inflationary upwards drive of the price of a Mars Bar.
Apart from having his facts utterly wrong – a Mars Bar didn’t cost 20p in 2003 and it doesn’t cost £1.30 now – even if he’d been close (and he was not even in the ballpark of being close) that would have represented a six-fold price increase.
Lawwell’s salary has actually increased ten-fold in the same period.
If Lawwell’s wages had gone up with inflation he’d be earning £260,000 right now … instead he earns five times that and in that particular year, he took home 15 times that sum and 30 times what his starting salary was when he arrived at Celtic Park in the first place.
Let’s look at it another way.
One third of the £9 million we got for the Rodgers management team went straight into the CEO’s pocket; that’s something worth remembering when you hear that he is Mr Celtic and “oh how much he cares.”
I don’t want a sugar-daddy run club, and I don’t want one built on director’s loans either, but you cannot not be impressed at the way the boards at Ibrox quite literally put their money where their mouths are.
At Celtic there are a lot of people with their hands in the cookie jar who only know how to take, take, take.
At Ibrox their board funds the club out of their own pockets … there isn’t a single director over there who hasn’t given up a seven figure sum in the last couple of years and some of them have forked over a hell of a lot of their personal wealth to see the league flag fly over there. The contrast between that and our own directors is stark and shocking.
Last week, we sold a player who the next manager might have wanted a look at.
Today they went out and secured one on a pre-contract deal.
That’s the difference in how the clubs operate right now.
I know that what they are doing over there is insane, and dangerous and will end in utter disaster if they continue on that path … but let’s not kid ourselves that our own path isn’t perilous and damaging because it absolutely is.
They are moving forwards and we’re not even standing still any longer.
Our position gets weaker with every day we waste, the value of assets at the club depreciates and there is less chance of us selling out the season tickets. Right now, we’re going backwards.