The Mooch was heartily slated yesterday for doubling down on his absurd comments about Ange and Celtic by no less a person than Tom English of the BBC.
I wrote about it yesterday and said that the rest of the media should be taking apart his ridiculous assertion that he and Gerrard were relative paupers when compared to Ange’s transfer spending.
And yet what did we find late last night but Robbie Copeland, The Record’s “live sports writer” printing The Mooch’s pitiful “clarification” without providing the least bit of context to it.
Indeed, Copeland’s piece is written in such a way as to say “don’t be so silly folks, he didn’t mean anything by it.”
Which we all know is a load of cobblers.
Once again, the paper has published his comments on their spending without putting them into the proper context. I tried to present an overview of it last night, but let’s not mess about any longer when we could be destroying this claim completely.
Let’s get to the nitty gritty and look at actual specifics. Let’s dig down deep.
He said that we outspent them in every transfer window that he’s been at the club. True.
But without a shred of context being applied.
If you’re talking about net spend – which is exactly the measure we should use – it’s not even close.
In the 2018-19 season, his first with Gerrard, we spent £12 million.
They spent just over £10 million.
There’s virtually nothing in that, except when you consider that we brought in £31 million in sales from Dembele, Armstrong and Sviatchenko. Their total take from transfers was £3 million, most of it for Josh Windass, and that’s as good as it got until they were gone and Van Bronckhorst had the keys.
So whilst his club spent slightly less than we did, they ended with a net spend of £7 million.
We posted a transfer trading profit of £14 million.
That’s a differential so vast as to make his point genuinely embarrassing.
And that was season one.
In their second campaign, our spending came to £17.5 million, with a big chunk of that going on Christopher Jullien.
The rest, sad to say, was squandered on junk; £3.5 million on Klimala, £3 million on Bolingoli, £2 million on Soro and £1.5 million or thereabouts on El Ahmed. Just reading those names makes you dizzy, right? But we also got Frimpong and Greg Taylor, and they were to be important pieces of business, as I’m sure you’ll agree.
So a lot of money went out the door, and much of it was utterly wasted. But see, this is where the waste isn’t necessarily debilitating. Because in the same year we also brought in £23 million, for Kieran Tierney.
So instead of a net-spend, we ended up with a transfer trading surplus of more than £6 million.
Which when you add it to the season before means that we posted £20 million in transfer trading profits in just two years.
Guess what they did?
They spent just shy of £10 million on Ryan Kent, Filip Helander and George Edmunston. And on the flipside, they sold two players – Grezda and Candelas – and netted a mere £500,000 for the pair of them. Adding up to a net spend of just over £9 million … which when you add it to the loss from the previous year means they’d spent £16 million net.
And season three? The Closed Doors Title?
We spent £13 million and we know that almost every last bean of that went down the tubes.
Barkas, Ajeti and Shane Duffy for a ridiculous loan fee. The upside is that we also signed a young kid from Motherwell called David Turnbull. A season of big spending, right? Except, not so much.
Because we sold El Ahmed for £700,000. We sold Eboue Koussi for around £1.2 million. We actually got Patryk Klimala off the wage bill and made a profit of £200,000. Stunning. Oh yeah, and we sold that kid Frimpong. For just over £9 million.
So we brought in little more than £15 million … to post yet another player trading surplus of £2 million.
Add it to the rest and in their three full years at Ibrox we actually posted a player trading surplus of £22 million.
Their own figures for that campaign don’t even need to be guessed at.
They spent £10.25 million that year and brought in less than a million.
That’s another £9.2 million net spend. Add that with the rest and it comes to £25 million net … put it next to Celtic £22 million surplus and it’s painfully obvious who actually “spent the most money.”
Painfully because some people will say that Celtic putting all that money in the bank instead of on the pitch is why we lost ten in a row.
That and hiring Lennon, and I have a lot of sympathy with that argument.
We could definitely have pushed the boat out further and those numbers conclusively prove that.
That’s an argument for another day.
This is about The Mooch and his now utterly discredited claim.
Here’s my favourite bit.
There’s still a transfer window to account for here, the last one The Mooch and Gerrard were involved with.
Ange signed a lot of players, but we finished that season with yet another player trading profit from a £22 million spend on a £32 million income … another £10 million to add to the kitty.
And how did he and Gerrard close the show?
By squandering – the correct word I think – a further £2 million of Ibrox’s money on Juninho Bacuna.
Those two jokers had a net spend of £27 million in a little over three years and left the club in a shocking financial state.
Yes, they got their title but Ange has shown that up for what it was by winning more than they managed in three years in his first campaign and he posted a profit at the same time.
Lucky? That’s nothing whatsoever to do with luck.
It was Van Bronckhorst who cleaned up Gerrard and The Mooch’s mess by selling Nathan Patterson just two months after taking the job and then having to sell Bassey and Aribo at the start of this campaign.
The Mooch is just in the door over there, and he’s already talking about the finance gap and trying to pressure the board into letting him loose with the credit card.
This season, we have pushed the boat out for Ange hard and far.
Our net spend for this campaign, in which we signed both Jota and Carter Vickers for £6 million apiece, stands at £15 million, accounting for the money we just recouped on Juranovic.
It’s the biggest net spend in Celtic’s history, to the best of my knowledge, but it leaves Ange with a net spend of a mere £5 million in two seasons at the club … and with that tiny fraction of what they spent over there he’s won a title and a cup and we have our hands on the second league trophy and we’re in another final.
As I said yesterday, if The Mooch wants to draw attention to this transfer record that he and Gerrard boast about then I’m game, and we all should be. It’s all there to be read up on for anyone who can be bothered to try.
But of course, rather than do the job of dismantling this guy’s absolute claptrap The Record is, instead, writing puff pieces “clarifying” his remarks without digging deep into them.
No wonder he likes it here.
He gets away with murder from these people.