Today a good friend of mine sent me a press cutting on Twitter, it’s a photograph of a newspaper column written by Matthew Lindsay.
It is written in support of Ibrox shareholder Stuart Gibson, and his repeating of this drivel about how we’ve bought our success.
You know that I’m happy that this is the story that won’t die because I think there’s an important psychological advantage to us keeping this idea fresh in Ibrox minds … for all that, the argument is nonsensical.
Celtic has spent more money on the team than they have spent on theirs.
The hard numbers are there, it’s a fact and you cannot spin that any other way.
But every single bit of that spending has been within budget.
Every single penny, until this season, was recouped in sales. Ange has spent more money than any Celtic boss ever has … but he has brought in a fair amount of it on outgoing players as well. His revolution has seen only a modest net spend.
The whole point behind what these people are doing is to devalue our achievements. But in fact all they do is draw attention to them, because our achievements aren’t just those which Ange has secured on the pitch. Our club’s success is built on the strong financial foundations, and it’s these which have allowed us to have money to spend.
The principles our club operates under are amazingly simple. We don’t spend more than we earn.
There it is. Easy.
We do not spend more than we earn, and this means that when we do spend money the onus is on us to get it right.
No club from Ibrox has been content to live within its means for the last 25 years.
They are addicted to spending money. More than they have. More than they earn.
All this talk of how the manager simply has to be backed in the transfer market is the same old people following the same old strategy. Get someone to write a cheque and hope for the best. Hope for interest in a key player. Hope for Champions League qualification. Hope to somehow stop the unstoppable Celtic machine.
Worry how we pay for it some other time.
That’s the extent of their thinking. No-one ever stops to think that it might be a better idea to write off a couple of seasons, buy some young talent and develop them into something that might be a winning squad somewhere down the line. Show some profits. Put some money away for a rainy day. The kind of stuff we do and have been doing for years.
Sooner or later, someone over there, or in the media, has to twig to the fact that we’re strong precisely because we don’t live this petrified hand to mouth existence of theirs where they go on the occasional splurge and then have to find a way to pay for it.
The truth is, and they should be able to see this, that we are not going to drop a lot of points under this manager with this team, so in all probability there is nothing they can do which is guaranteed to catch us, no matter how much money they spend.
Their fans are doing what Ibrox fans have traditionally done.
They refuse to accept that part of our strength – a great part of it – comes from not living the way their club does, beyond its means, constantly reaching into the pockets of some sugar-daddy.
They have no discipline and no inclination towards learning it.
But the media should not be indulging this.
The hacks should not be encouraging this self-destructive and self-defeating path they’ve been on since crawling out of Rangers’ grave, a club which itself died as a consequence of over-extending and spending what they did not have. The media should be calling for restraint, patience and the intelligent use of resources.
Instead you have hacks writing this kind of stuff, playing into the idea that the only way to keep up with Celtic is to spend like we do. If only that was all we did, then that path might lead somewhere other than back to the graveyard.