After the professional contrarians, next come the clowns. This is the Scottish sports media neatly summed up. We had Sutton yesterday making the claim that Celtic is weaker than at the end of last season, in spite of three signings and a fourth on the way, and where the contrarians go the men in the car with the red nose that squirts water are sure to follow.
I disagreed with Sutton yesterday and his bizarre assertion that players he’s never seen and knows nothing about are inferior to the player he knew nothing about two years. Ignorance does offer a weird sort of hiding place for people whose job it is to simply generate noise, and as much as I like Sutton that’s really all he is at the end of the day.
Keevins is from a much worse tradition, the one that dares to try to speak for Celtic fans and advise the club even when we all know they are utterly clueless and have no right even daring to. Keevins has gotten every big prediction about this club wrong that I can remember. Every time he has tried to imagine what our fans are thinking he comes up short.
Even if he wasn’t a throwback to one of the worst eras of sports journalism in the history of this island – and his generation look like Pulitzer Prize winners compared to the current one, and it pains me to write that – his ignorance is staggering.
Today he’s predicting outrage from our fans if we don’t break our transfer record, and not even by the end of this window. He seems to think that there will be pickets outside the stadium if we don’t do it in the next week. What a fool this man is. Does he think that’s how we built our fortune in the first place? Spending money just to be seen to do it?
Celtic is about to complete the signings of our two Korean targets. That will take our spending in this window to in excess of £10 million. For a club in Scotland that’s outrageous, and extraordinary. It adds to some £40 million in transfer spending in the last two years. No club in the country has spent so much in such a short time and done so in a sustainable fashion.
As I said last night in the piece about Sutton, we’ve done this because we do not chase headlines. We do not spend for the sake of it, or because fans or the media demands it. We built an entire squad for that £40 million spend in Ange Postecoglou’s two seasons, and we’ve already made almost all of it back on the player trading model which serves us well.
Two of those signings cost us in excess of £6 million.
We got both Carter Vickers and Jota for what Ibrox once paid for Tore Andre Flo, who remains the most expensive player in Scottish football history.
I expect that record to fall one day. It may even fall in this window, as a result of something we do. It will not fall just because people at Celtic have had it in our sights and feel the need to shatter another of Ibrox’s grand delusions.
Flo was an utter waste of money. We paid the same for Hartson and Sutton, and you tell me who got the better of that deal? Our own club record was paid for Odsonne Edouard. We made a profit on that transaction too. We’re so much better at this than Keevins evidently recognises.
Nobody is going to go nuts if we don’t break our own transfer record far less the Scottish one.
Nobody is going to be standing outside Parkhead with a “Sack The Board” banner even if there’s no “marquee” player, which all of us do expect there to be anyway. As long as the manager gets the guys in the positions where he wants them we’re in good shape.
We have a title winning team here. We are building everything on a solid foundation, laid by people who recognise the limitations of where we play and who nevertheless have managed to give outstanding backing to the last manager and who have already sanctioned the spending of an eight figure sum to augment what is already a strong side.
We already know – because we’ve seen it – that big signings don’t necessarily have to cost the earth.
No player in our current squad cost as much as the idiotic £7 million Ibrox allegedly paid for Ryan Kent some years ago, and yet the guts of that side just completed a treble. We recognise that Celtic is a club that runs right, and it will continue to.
This club will spend a bunch more money in this window.
But this window has a long way still to run.
There are seven weeks or so of it left, and if Keevins thinks that we will simply splash the cash because we have Pittodrie and Ibrox to go to shortly he’s even stupider than I think and you already know how stupid I believe this joker to be.