Celtic’s Potential Champions League Reward Is Why Ibrox May Be Forced To A Hasty Decision.

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Today amidst all the stuff about Scotland, there are two stories which run almost parallel to each other. One is about us, the other is about the club across the city. As we all await (with varying degrees of patience) the resumption of league business, calmly working away in the background, there is clearly some turmoil at the club across town.

Let’s be honest, it is impossible to know what that turmoil involves, how serious it is or what might happen. But we know several things.

First amongst them is this; the board is now openly briefing against the manager in terms of his transfer business. Chris Jack has the full “inside story” of how the transfer window played out, and he could only have gotten that from club insiders who are determined not let The Mooch wriggle out responsibility by saying that the transfer policy hampered him.

Their fan podcast, Heart And Hand, has already called it “a mess” and that would be to put it mildly. So there are problems inside that club and they are very obviously big ones. The Champions League exit hurt them. But we have inflicted what already looks as if it might be a killer blow on The Mooch and his beleaguered backroom time.

What makes the board briefing against The Mooch particularly significant is that it comes on a day when Celtic sites and the mainstream press are talking about what next season’s Champions League pot of gold will be worth for whoever wins the SPFL.

There is no question that this money will be game-changing in how it will give enormous spending power to the side which wins the title. The leap from what we are guaranteed to make, just in terms of prize money for merely getting there, from £16 million to nearly £29 million is a next level jump in earnings which they simply cannot afford to let us get.

Because the tournament has a strange seeding system, the chances of getting money for points is also currently greater than it is right now, as are the rewards if your team finishes in the top eight or in the bottom section which contests a two-legged playoff; that’s another chunk of change for whatever team gets to this grand prize.

The Ibrox board looks at this and knows that if we get there and they don’t the gap might open so wide that closing it will be nearly impossible, perhaps for years to come. They know they cannot afford to have that gap open up … and so winning this title is critical. It is probably the most important league title since we stopped Rangers’ ten … vastly more significant than our own tilt at a ten in a row, which would have been tremendously symbolic but ultimately worth little in real terms. These kinds of earnings would create an opportunity for us to strike a decisive blow, and at a time when we would be playing regularly in the biggest competition on Earth it might even be easy to bring that better class of player to the club.

We know we are heading for a European Super League of some sort, although those who doubt that it will be under the watchful eyes of UEFA are howling at the moon. Everything we do now Is about laying foundations – financially, corporate, politically – for a seat at the top table when that days comes, and this is the kind of money that can help us get there.

The chances are that there will be only be one seat at the table for a Scottish club. We know that’s us, we know it has to be if the project is to be treated seriously … but we could be so far in front of them by the time it comes around that even discussing it will seem daft. You can see the thinking in the creation of the league system for this … the number of games will only grow, and once they start eliminating knock-out rounds you’ll know it’s here.

When you look at it like this, when you recognise that this is a campaign you can’t afford to lose, you understand our appointment of Rodgers, and you understand why they are so concerned over there all of a sudden that The Mooch has squandered millions and might be on the cusp of a complete team breakdown. And that begs the question; at what point do they act to try and prevent that, even if there is no obvious candidate or if it reeks of panic?

I’ll tell you what has become obvious in the last week; there’s no way back for him in the eyes of the fans. Their minds are made up, and if the doubts have spread to the boardroom – as they evidently have – then he’s already on managerial death row.

I know this; they can’t afford to simply wait for things to get better. If those doubts have now coalesced into solid form their board will have to decide what to do. The lack of a viable candidate is only one part of their problem; if they pay someone big money to come in and fix this, and that person fails, they might be in even deeper trouble.

But eventually they have to sit down and do the cold calculus; is the risk which is obvious in doing nothing greater than the risk taken by ripping the plan up and starting again? If Celtic does get that next pot of gold and we shown even a shred of ambition, we might be over the hills and far away before they can even start sorting themselves out.

So where, for Ibrox, does the greater danger lie? It’s a question that pleases me to contemplate, just as it must scare the living daylights out of them.

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  • Thomas Davidson says:

    “Money doesn’t talk, it swears”. TRFC would have been in a far better position had the team qualified for the Champions League proper. Given that it didn’t, thereby missing out on much larger sums than are available for playing in the Europa League, and given the moneys laid out on transfer fees over the summer (£13 million, per Mickey Beale) can the club afford to pay off the present coaching staff and pay any fees required to another club for hiring new coaches, while having enough cash to see it through the season?

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Good article once again ! Yep – a week ago I was very nervous and to be honest I’d have been delighted to have got outta Liebrox with a point but hey ho look where we are tonight then…

    Sure nothin’ is won in September and after getting ma fingers very burnt in 1986/87 by bragging to Rangers (as they were then) fans about a nine point Christmas time lead that we specturlarly blew in 1987 to hand them the title by 6 points – then I’ll never be cocky like that ever again –

    That said it’s nice out the back in this 1976 esque weather, magners n’ ice, whisky, nice views, Smokey, Beech Boys, The Seekers and a few Rebs on Alexa – and knowing where Celtic are and the pressure Sevco are under…

    Just lovely – Life’s no bad at times like this !

  • Johnno says:

    We have already started the process with next season in mind James imo.
    With the increased number of CL games, then squad sizes will increase also.
    Just by doing the number of players involved this season gives us some indication of the process and planning already undertaken.
    6 players will miss out on involvement within the CL squad this season.
    Potentially another 5 Scottish players within the CL squad, who you wouldn’t want to see getting to much, if any game time.
    So already 11 player’s who you wouldn’t expect to feature to much in our bigger games already this season.
    So already we have a team in place that wouldn’t feature to much for ourselves, yet believe they could challenge anything the scum or anything else within the SPFL has currently.
    This process will become even stronger next season with attracting better quality players, yet remain strong within SPFL when player rotation is going to play a far higher role, than it will do this season.
    The scum have been so blinded by trying to keep hold of our coattails, without any planning involved.
    We have much bigger plans for the future than keeping a shower of scum relevant?
    Well that should be the focus of the future, yet with this board and a lawell name involved, you can never feel overly confident that it will actually happen properly

    • William Melvin says:

      Well done, Johnny.
      You successfully managed to mention the humongous elephant in the room !
      And it goes by the name of Lawwell !!
      Guaranteed,he will be up to all sorts of chicanery whilst trying to appear the innocent.
      His beloved Old Firm Franchise MUST be protected at all costs and if it takes throwing them a bone(and this league) he will be the man to do it.
      Watch this space………and this scumbag !

  • James Archibald says:

    o don’t think it will be long before mcinnes is in that seat HH

  • Anthony says:

    Can I have a go of your crystal ball please?

  • Steffan T Omazik says:

    Absolutely riveting. I agree ? wholeheartedly. We must push forward, & never take our foot of the gas. I personally think Rodgers appointment was ambiguous & most definitely a master stroke. In 2019 when Rodgers left our club’ I was seriously ill in hospital & it was touch & go. Last rights situation. We are a wonderful club & to me I give my heart. As the saying went we never stop. Let’s get behind Brendan & see the Dragger of knuckles swept to the way side.

  • Bob (original) says:

    The DR reporting about sevco cuts in its scouting / recruiting is significant.

    Obviously a necessary cost cutting exercise,

    and a decision with long-term effects.

    If you don’t have cash to buy players, then why have scouts?

    sevco claims it can better use data and video… 🙂

  • Peterbrady says:

    I said in July the cockney wanker would not see hallowean and junkie drug dealer Martin jail has been sounded out you read it here 1st FACT.

  • Mike Keyes says:

    Regardless of our income Celtic will never leave Sevco behind. Our transfer policy is buy cheap, hopefully improve the player and then sell. Then repeat. Where as we should be investing in higher quality players we revert to back to square one. So at any time Sevco could get lucky and win the league. We will never reach the land of milk and honey with this policy. Just keeping a step ahead is our ambition. Quite sad really but hey ho.

  • JimBhoy says:

    Attracting and keeping the ‘next level’ player will always be difficult in our wee league. The CL carrot will help but it will always be a stepping stone to England. Work your strategy around that and realise the limitations and we will be in good shape.

    Second part of that strategy attracting the next young talent so prosper and giving them that couple of years in the shop window with a sale at a very healthy profit, again realise the strategy and embrace it.

    We are a selling club as are 95% of clubs but we are in a good mid-way position for the players in the calibre above to be showcased, prosper and become valuable assets to Celtic as well as helping maintain our growth and prosperity.

    Sound plan we should stick to.

    2 Bad games and the Beale filter of lies and obfuscation fails and the Klan can hear and see what the Celtic fans have seen for months.

    Well done Mikey Beale enjoy your weans at Xmas. 3.5m reasons to.

  • John S says:

    Stuck with an imposter they previously couldn’t see (all sense and vision blocked by moonbeams).

  • Frank says:

    and there was Souness knocking back an ambassador role because it lacked input elsewhere in the club. Rodgers returned can Souness do the same. The size of his ego a wouldnt be surprised

  • James Beattie says:

    Just for once bury them

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