Celtic Fans Remain Grounded Whilst Ibrox Supporters Are Locked Into Sevconomics.

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The summer window is always an interesting one, but there hasn’t been one in recent memory which I’ve gone into quite as confident as the one in front of us. The media will do its level best to mess it up for us with every rumour about Ange given plenty of coverage, but overall I reckon that we’re in for as peaceful a one as we’ve had.

There will be some coming and going. Players are always coming and going. I would be surprised if Abada is sold but not entirely shocked. His agents need to be careful what they wish for. A bad move, the wrong move, could be a disaster for him. We’ll get paid the big money either way, and I am sure that we’ll invest it wisely.

Last season, we sunk £15 million or thereabouts into the team in the summer window. Most of that was spent on acquiring Jota and Carter Vickers. The little tweaks were welcome, but getting those two boys in on permanent deals was the key. Both have been exceptional, with Carter Vickers one of the undoubted stars of this campaign.

Right now, I couldn’t tell you what the manager plans to do.

You look at our squad and, as I said in a piece a couple of weeks ago, you start out from the initial question “Where could we get better?” and you come to the obvious conclusion; everywhere. There are better players out there in every position than those we have at Parkhead already.

The two questions are; can we identify those guys and can we afford them?

If you’re asking me a different question, “where do we need to strengthen?”I honestly couldn’t tell you what our priority should be.

The fact is, we’re strong in every position right now. This is the first time in years that there isn’t an obvious one screaming at you to be fixed. Anyone who goes would need to be replaced … other than that, I’d feel as confident going into next season with this squad as I’ve been for many, many months.

But Ange is right. The club which stands still is waiting to be caught, and so I know only that there will be changes and that signings will come in … but who they are and where they play is something known only to the inner circle at Celtic Park. As it should be.

The one thing we know above all is that we will not spend more than we can afford. It sounds daft to be worrying about that with the coffers full and the Champions League income in the bag, but we got here by being careful and smart, and that’s how we’ll continue to act. The fact we spent such big sums last summer augers well for this one … but we’ll see.

We’ve gotten used to being pretty grounded about this stuff. We’ve gotten used to seeing our club act in a way that is both reasonable and responsible, and as long as the big man in the manager’s office is happy with the direction of travel we have little to fear.

But dip a toe into any Ibrox fan forum and see what the alternative looks like. Examine any national title and read some of the nonsense doing the rounds over there. Their supporters expect huge sums to be spent. They expect massive “investment” in the squad. There are articles on various sites talking about spending upwards of £4 million on individual footballers, and I’m not even talking about Malik Tillman here. They simply won’t deal with reality.

Let’s take, for example, the way they and their media friends talk about how cutting the wage bill will give the manager greater latitude to pay big transfer fees.

What planet are these people living on? Do they think the players they sign for these big fees are going to come to Ibrox and play for nothing? No, they’ll start ramping up the wage bill all over again. The disconnect between what we know to be fact and the fictions these people believe in is so vast as to make the Grand Canyon look like a crack in the pavement.

Even when some of their ex-players in the media are trying to be at least halfway sensible about it there’s an air of unreality in what they are saying. Barry Ferguson wants an entire squad signed. Neil McCann likewise.

Clownish Ibrox allies like Tam McManus are in on the act too.

He claims that anything less than £10 million to spend will just waste the manager’s time … he’s right, but I’m not sure what £10 million is going to accomplish either. Or £20 million depending on how mad it all gets over there.

The yard sale for their players, which some are proposing, is equally nuts.

One Ibrox fan site thinks they can raise “an extra” £15 million for the manager with the sales of a slew of footballers including Hagi, Kamara, Davies, Barisic, Roofe, Wright and others.

At least the proposed transfer fees are in the territory of semi-sensible (well, some of them anyway) … but that’s a lot of players to be letting go and not much return for them … perhaps they’ve failed to notice that contract extensions are being given to Jack and Arfield. That’s a sign right there.

With every one of these demented suggestions the size of the rebuild gets bigger, something else they haven’t noticed, and so the amount of money required to fix the problems grows with it.

Again, it’s a sign of a fan-base which really isn’t comfortable with reality.

At the centre of all of it, of course, is the magic pot of money.

Their directions will “have to fund the rebuild” is the general thinking.

Except, no, they actually don’t have to do any such thing. These guys aren’t wealthy enough to carry that club for another round of the Supremacist Sweepstakes, and UEFA wouldn’t let them even if they were.

This is Sevconomics at its finest; the idea that money grows on trees.

The idea that you can save cash from the wage bill and spend it on transfers without blowing up the wage bill.

The idea that you can sell eight or nine players from the first team squad and yet limit the size of the rebuild so that you can spend the money on “quality.”

It’s absolutely batshit, and they are quite convinced that it can work.

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  • Johnno says:

    Sorry James but I believe Ange has a far bigger job on his hands than that snidey prick ever has within that shithole.
    The reason why?
    Ange is still facing some huge decisions to be made if we intend to go to the next level in the CL.
    The scum still only have to look at trying to get a squad together for the SPFL as European football is hardly going to be high on the agenda next season, with the security of europa league football guaranteed and would still be beyond there means still.
    We currently aren’t to further down the road with the 4 changes already made to our CL squad, yet that will improve with the development of yuki and oh, who I still not convinced are actually ready for a place within a 25 man European squad that’s required, still have a big part to play for us within Scottish football still.
    Still remain unconvinced about defending the high ball into our current LB position, so maybe a change in formation with using the 3CB could secure that area better?
    The goalkeeper situation remains very unclear still, with Bain getting the position ahead of big Ben for some time now, so what’s that all about?
    Hart has been a brilliant player for us, yet you look for a keeper nowadays to be able to hit 40/50 passes against an aggressive press which we still try to play through but comes with huge risks especially at CL level.
    We are still in the process of building a bigger squad that is going to be needing especially with the expansion of CL football beyond next season where rotation of players are going to be vital in matching the demands of the club still.
    So Ange has huge decisions to be made during the summer which stand to be made even harder after having such a successful season this one.
    And let’s not forget that a very short pre season will be in operation still with the knock on effect of the world Cup and already put an Asian tour into operation.
    So how anyone thinks Ange has an easy job is beyond me especially when facing the acid test of next season still.
    Plenty to ponder still and all without any idea to how it will unfold, yet sure to hear plenty of bullshit along the way still.
    Yet with so much to ponder, still remain very relaxed that Ange will find the right answers to many tough decision making he still faces.

    • AntonDeclan says:

      Good read Johnno and some valid points made….although, haven’t seen so many ‘stills’ since a trip of the highlands and islands! Slainte / Hail hail!

  • John S says:

    They’ve no money and even less sense.

  • Johnny Green says:

    We are going to get this transfer guff from Ibrox for the next 3 months now and I’m sure we will all treat it with the contempt it deserves. It isn’t one least bit interesting, in fact it will be downright tedious at times to hear, but I suppose it will also be slightly amusing. Let them prattle on I say, all the so called experts, the ex Ibrox players and the media selected pundits, it will mostly be gobbledygook and. until the season kicks off in earnest, its best ignored.

    Meanwhile Celtic will go about their business in a professional and organised manner, one step ahead of the rest, its what we do now under the Ange regime.

  • Jimmy says:

    Great stuff James, a great summary. . Please Bin Miller, Halliday and their like stories, they are not worthy of any value on a Celtic site.
    A very interesting transfer window lies ahead for sure. I am encouraged by comments from Ange, we cant stand still, especially with europe in mind. I would look at another goalie as it looks like Bain will move, otherwise I dont know, thank god we have Ange. On the other side of the city, they are in dissaray. Long may it continue. A current Norwich player who had hardly played a game this season is their level. To think the clowns were talking about getting 30 million for Kamara at the start of the season. Silly billies right enough.

  • Joe says:

    The guy who came up with the £15m figure then said “if we put in £9m of our own money.” ? As you say, what planet are they living on?

  • Frankie says:

    What happened to the massive investment to them which was to be Tuesday, nobody in their true mind would do it

  • Jimmy R says:

    My feeling about this window is that there will be few incomings. If Abada goes he will be replaced. Other than that maybe one or two quality, not cheap, signings to raise the already high standards again. If Ange gets his way and gets it right again, we will be a formidable force next season. Onwards and upwards. We don’t stop.

  • MB says:

    The sad fact is, the supporters will be asked to buy shares in the sinking ship. These are good people well most of them. I fear the club will continue to de value, like the church of Scotland which is closing churches all over the country.

    Reality is not a weapon in their arsenal, they advertise the club has 55 titles, even when the titles the claim belong to an entity that no longer Exists.

    This is just my opinion

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