The bad news just keeps on coming during this international break. Not for Celtic fans but for the club across the city. Barisic was missing for Croatia against England. Glen Kamara only impressed a former Arsenal player in the media. Morelos failed to start for Colombia again. There are a handful of others, none of them making any sort of a splash.
Celtic players, in various nationalities, will either impress or they won’t. Our key players who are leaving are already attracting the attention we’d want, even Christie, who was subbed today and who won’t get us the sort of fee we’ve been hoping for. Celtic’s record in getting big money is already established. Between Ajer and Edouard we’ll net well in excess of £20 million.
In many ways it’s a disappointing figure; we should have been looking for much more. We’ve left it too long to cash in on them, but even with that we’re still going to net a tidy sum to help the manager rebuild the squad. It’s all good in that regard.
We don’t need the money for anything other than transfer business. Across the city, they are dependent on bringing in a big fee for someone, anyone, just to sustain their unsustainable business model. They have allegedly refused one offer for a defender, Edmunson, but inly because they are holding out for a wholly unrealisable fee for him.
They need to emulate our transfer policy, and they know they do. The trouble is, although Gerrard has built a workmanlike team which plays as a unit, there aren’t really any exceptional individual players in there. I’ve always thought they were a pretty ordinary squad; well organised, but nothing brilliant when you look at them as footballers on their own merits.
This is a problem for them, and for more than just the money. They are still not seen as a credible selling club, one which develops top talent and until they sell someone for the big bucks then they are never going to be. They cannot afford to keep on spending the way they are when they can’t offset some of it with major sales.
For years they have believed that our “trick” was to stick to our guns until we got our price; the truth is, clubs trust us and our development system and they bid what these footballers are worth. Until Ibrox has players of that calibre they aren’t going to be able to do what it is that we so consistently manage to do.
There is no magic trick to this. Clubs will pay big money if they see quality on the pitch. Until then, Ibrox can hold on as long as it wants. They are whistling in the wind.