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Gerrard Is Getting Restless As The Realities Of Life At Skintco Start Hitting Home.

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What an interesting weekend this was for Steven Gerrard. In what seemed to me a blatant attempt to mirror Ange at Pittodrie, he celebrated on the pitch at full time on Sunday as if his team had just won a crucial European tie.

He then posed with the Ibrox black shirts as they said farewell to one of their members, probably because the guy can’t afford shares, a season book, MyGers membership fees, Club 1872 direct debits and over-priced school uniforms from Castore.

Nobody has questioned whether he should have been photographed with these goons; the media just let’s that one slide. But Gerrard has other things to worry about.

His celebrations were so phony and contrived it made you wonder what he was playing at. What he’s playing at is being the loyal servant, even as he tries to keep the press sweet in case he has to have another dig at his own club. It will come sooner rather than later.

Gerrard is walking into a firestorm the likes of which he’s never seen. His “successes” in Europe were what sustained him through his early Ibrox campaigns; his dire tactical decisions in the Champions League condemned his club to a long year of financial gloom. His tough-guy attitude towards losing any of his top stars has put his club in a bad spot.

Everywhere at Ibrox, frantic calculations are being made.

Financial calculations, but the other kind too; calculations about who’s on top and who isn’t. Not in the SPFL but inside their own walls.

Does Gerrard have the overwhelming support of the fans? If the board went over his head and sold players in January, and gave him nothing to spend, who would the supporters back if he raised a stink about it? Gerrard believes he has the fans … he thinks he would win.

But he knows that depends on results. And he knows that he’s barely scraping by right now. Celtic’s start to the season actually makes things worse for him, not better, because with a six-point lead over us their fans won’t accept being caught and overhauled.

Their board has to calculate what will happen if Gerrard still holds that lead come January, and they force him to weaken the squad. If they then lose the title, who will the supporters blame? It doesn’t seem likely that it’ll be the manager.

What a mess that club has gotten itself into off the field, where the pursuit of the single title to stop the ten has wrought havoc on their finances and particularly because it came in the year when fans weren’t allowed in the ground.

Rumours stalk them; one tonight that they will post losses of £31 million for last season seems over the top until you consider that we posted a big loss in spite of selling a couple of players. The £31 million figure is entirely believable. A number that big, well it practically demands that the SFA ask them how they are meeting their obligations.

It demands questions from UEFA too … but their proposed changes to Financial Fair Play have spared Ibrox a major headache. But it would also have brought them to sanity, and sanity still seems as if it is far away over there.

Gerrard weighs up the opportunities which still exist at Ibrox for him. If he believes that those options are limited, that theirs is a club on the downslope, that financial pressures will lead to him losing the players he needs to bolster his own reputation then he won’t hang around for it. Why should he? He talks a good game but he owes that club nothing.

Indeed, he has to know that he’s operating in a lunatic asylum and that he’s surrounded by people you would ordinarily cross the street to avoid. His little photoshoot with the Union Bears at the weekend was nauseating; he has some brass neck to bang on about racist fans and then be photographed with the Famine Song singers.

But I think it’s a strategic move, a move to make sure than when the war with the board comes he can go to those same fans and call on their support. This guy is not stupid, although he often comes across that way. He has thought some of this through.

In the end, he’s thought it through more than the directors who catered to his every whim these past few years and are now trapped in a cycle of spending which has led them to the brink. If they were able to gamble for one more season they might be willing to roll that dice, but he suddenly doesn’t look so sure on his feet and he’s casting blame in their direction.

I’ve never believed theirs was a marriage made in heaven but I suspect it has begun to grate on them both already and both sides can see the limitations of the other. Gerrard knows that his best hope of making it to Anfield one day is not to let Ibrox drag him down … but if he times the leap wrong he might not get to go on his own terms.

He’s starting to sweat. That celebration at the weekend was clearly calculated, partly a dig at Ange and partly a way to ingratiate himself with the fans. But you know what? It was also an expression of relief because he knows they’re riding on luck.

This guy is already thinking beyond the club. The club knows that it’s going to have to start cutting its cloth to suit its circumstances. Gerrard will not sit atop an organisation like that, so in some ways they are already looking beyond him.

It is up to Celtic to make the end of this marriage as painful – and expensive – as possible. All we have to do is keep on winning.

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7 comments

  • Mark O says:

    Our end figure didn’t include the money for Eduard and Ajer.

  • The Great God Pan says:

    They are riding on more than luck, for example, blatant cheating from referees and corruption in the SFA.

    • John mcghee says:

      Listen the corrupt sfa spfl will make sure sevco get there feet in the door on the CL spot we all seen it last season stopping the 10inarow the only cunts that didnt see was our board of cowards p.lawwell and thats afact we need a change on our board infact the hole board needs changed and fast at that because celtic are only interested in our money not us fans.so wake celtic fans are club is a shambles way the shite it takes from sfa.spfl all cowards.

  • Brian says:

    My god have you learned nothing from lawwell keeping them alive. We don’t want them to go bust our board Love the blue pound, and as much as they deny it we are the old firm in their eyes. They have to win the league this season and the powers that be are already making sure it happens on the park.

  • REBELLIOUS says:

    I think you’re giving him way too much credit James. Visionary he ain’t, well, maybe as far as next week; maybe?

  • wullymcmurray@gmail.com says:

    Aye but the 30 million windfall is on the horizon. We’ve got to keep in touch till January and hopefully pounce

  • SSMPM says:

    Gerrard is no visionary but he is probably being well advised in the progression of his long term goal of managing Liverpool. That’s what its all about for him and why he’s sold his soul to ebox and accepted all that goes with it. Honestly how can a reasonable minded person stay as manager of a club with so much hatred of Catholics, the Irish and the racist bile that he surely hears coming from their fans in the stands.
    If he fell into the job naively (which I doubt given he’s been to Celtic Rankers games historically) as a career promoting exercise then he now knows the truth. If we keep winning then I feel that will be the parting of the ways for him and he will have left them in a dire financial mess. Always look for the positive. HH

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