The idea that we are miles in front of our rivals is one that was not being wholly taken seriously across the city until very recently. In fact, few were openly debating it over there until Sunday, and now it seems that everyone has an opinion on it.
Some of them still dismiss the idea as ridiculous. Others are not so sure. But on one thing every single one of them is agreed; what gap there is risks opening up over the summer unless the board “invests heavily” in the playing squad.
But the obstacles to that are so obvious than even Andy Walker has not failed to spot what they are. He’s never going to get into Mensa, but he has seen the truth of it. The gap is almost certainly going to get wider in the next 12 months, and if we get things right next season and continue to power ahead there might not be any catching us for a long while.
He knows that Ange is a quality manager who likes to win. But furthermore, he has mentioned the great unmentionable; money.
Where is Ibrox getting the cash to give The Mooch a decent transfer budget?
The one thing I was confident on before Ange was appointed was that there would be plenty for the new boss to spend because – and only because – we had Ajer and Edouard and Christie coming up to the end of their deals and all had interest from other clubs. We knew we could bring in big bucks and use it to strengthen the team.
I don’t know what the thinking inside Ibrox is. But they must be sweating the choices ahead of them. Their two most bankable assets are out of contract at the end of the campaign. Even if they stay, so what? Their squad is no stronger for that and they would be rewarding serial failures by making them the highest paid people at the club.
Look at Morelos. Does he deserve that? Does Kent warrant it? What will that do in a dressing room full of players who think they deserve rewards for their own efforts? The board would be well to just cut these guys loose, but then how do they replace them?
Celtic is a vastly better run club than they are, and makes a lot more money. But without being able to sell Ajer and Edouard, especially, Ange would have come in with very little to spend and that’s the reality of it. We played our cards well, but it helped to have good cards to play. I don’t see anything across the city which is the equivalent of that.