Why Does It Look Like Celtic Has To Sell Before We Can Buy?

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Look at the current slate of news around Celtic. Transfer targets we would not be remotely interested in – including Scott McKenna, as I pointed out earlier – and everything else focussed on who we are trying to ship out. Before we start, let’s give some benefit of the doubt.

As I’ve said before, the transfer window is open but there are no players or coaching staff at Parkhead or Lennoxtown right now because they are getting a well-earned rest, and I used those words without fear of contradiction. Some of these guys have played constantly over the last few years with barely a break in the summer. They earned it.

That means that anyone we do bring in is going to be sitting around bored until their team-mates are back. But that should be at the start of next week. If that’s the alibi, if that’s the benefit of the doubt, then it’s a lousy one. There are other considerations too, of course, like the fact our first game back is a Scottish Cup tie at home against Buckie Thistle and you would think that even if we’d lost half the first team squad to the Asian Cup, we’d have got through that.

But really, that too is a pretty weak excuse. It looks to most fans as if this is our club doing what it does; dragging its feet, penny pinching, going at a snail’s pace and really, there is no excuse for that since the club has known from the summer where we were short and exactly what was required here. You never would think there was a lot at stake.

The reason you get business done early is that it gives the players a chance to properly integrate into the team, and yes, the apologists can say that this was impossible when there are, in fact, no players to integrate with, but if there are no signings on Monday what then? If the club decides that we can go into that Scottish Cup game without them, what then?

Hypotheticals yes, but this is what I wrote about yesterday when I said that perception is reality and this board has behaved exactly like this before and hamstrung managers in the same way. With the Lawwell influence now evident across the club a lot of us are conditioned to expect the worst, the very worst, and we’re mentally prepared for it, which isn’t to say that fans in the main are just going to accept it. Nor, I suspect, will Brendan Rodgers.

The perception is made worse when you consider that all we appear to be doing right now is trying to move players on. Are we in a position where the manager has to sell before he can buy? Is that what they are telling him? Because surely that cannot be the case. We are still trading at a significant transfer surplus from losing Jota, so that would be ridiculous.

Is it the wage bill? Whose fault exactly would it be if it was? Who sanctioned ten incoming players in the summer, when all we needed were three or four of them, of the right calibre? The squad is a bloated mess, and it’s full of project players who aren’t going to cut it. So is that the fault of the manager? Why should he be the one who suffers for it?

Since Lawwell came in, as many players have come in and gone straight out of the club as have made it and are still in the squad. Ange, in his first two windows, barely had a single failure. Every one of them went straight into the team and improved it. What did we do right in those first two windows with Ange that we’re not doing at the moment?

Say whatever you like about Ibrox, but they are busy. They are going after high profile players, and whilst I think their obsession with bling is ridiculous, if even one of those type of signings can produce anything close to their reputed worth, we will be in big trouble here if our board doesn’t get its finger out. They might have a moronic transfer policy but it is ballsy, it is ambitious, it is designed for shock and awe and they aren’t afraid to take a punt.

They get the stakes here, and they are not scared to throw resources at it. Our board talks about proceeding with caution but what I see is a club that lacks ambition and a board that lack guts. Why should we be allowed to have, and keep, nice things when they can sell our best players for huge profits and look like geniuses doing it?

But we have benefited for years from Ibrox’s bad management, and if we emerge from this window having cleared out a lot of deadwood, including some of the players we’ve just bought, and without at least two first team-ready players – the club across the city certainly will – I don’t see the summer going any differently. Trust in this board is at its lowest point in years.

I agree that we need to move players on. There are too many of them at Celtic Park who are simply not going to cut it and they need to be shipped out. But if the reason we haven’t gotten anyone in yet is that the board has told the boss that people have to go first … well that stinks to high heaven. That’s just not right. And people are entitled to ask if that’s what’s going on.

Until we bring someone in these questions will remain.

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  • Bob (original) says:

    Serious question: is our Board stupid?

    The Board seems committed to avoiding any lessons learned,

    from past mistakes.

    Most recently:

    last summer, despite noises that the Board wanted ‘some progress’ in Europe,

    we witnessed a poor summer transfer window which fell well below

    expectations for both the support and [presumably] the manager.

    The CL campaign and our league performances were proof of the summer failure.

    Now, supporters and the manager have expectations that a couple of ‘quality’

    players are needed this window to strengthen the first team.

    So far, it doesn’t look like we are getting them,

    so the risk is that the second half of the season will reflect another

    disappointing transfer window.

    We lose the SC? We lose the SPL title? We lose both?

    The Board doesn’t seem to have learned anything from the summer,

    and is further determined to remain complacent, and hoard even more cash.

    And IF this transfer window does not meet expectations,

    then BR might make it crystal clear that he is not responsible / not best pleased?

    …and our stupid Board might need to search for a new manager in the summer? 🙁

    • Jim says:

      Lawwell is running things again in the background, he cost us 10 in a row due to his miserly conduct, do you honestly think he would have approached hibs for Lennon after Rogers walked , NO.. cheap option again , he walked after no 10 in a row ,now slithers back and up to his tricks again , get shot of him and his obscene salary for ruining the club

  • Bottle Green says:

    It’s almost as if an agreement had been pre-made as part of a “deal” to allow Sevco access to £60m UEFA money to resurrect the Old Firm to Scottish football.
    The Lawwell dynasty must be gotten rid off if Celtic are to make any progress domestically or in Europe.
    Brendan is working with his hands tied thanks to the Lawwells.

  • AsthmaTIC says:

    “Ange, in his first two windows, barely had a single failure. Every one of them went straight into the team and improved it. What did we do right in those first two windows with Ange that we’re not doing at the moment?”

    We played the players that were signed (perhaps out of necessity) and gave them time to develop and grow. It wasn’t pretty at first (or even at times throughout the season) but it worked.

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    And again the window days are just rollin on, accompanied by the deafinin silence from Celtic Park, without a hint of any business bein done far as any players comin in’s concerned. If this board don’t act, it just proves how they believe they can get away with the same strategy, every time and indefinitely. Rake the money in, don’t strengthen the team properly and gamble with the season ( givin the ibrox club lifelines as a result ), then if our team suffers, sit back and just ride the response from the Celtic support out. Dae the exact same followin season. That seems tae be the pattern. If this season goes tae the wall and it’s been mainly due tae their incompetence in the transfer market, surely it’s the last straw for our support.

  • Jim McGinley says:

    Why could Ange get it right straight away by bringing in his own players who slotted straight into the first team and BR is stuck with project players?It Peter lawell and his son are to blame along with the rest of the pathetic board!!!

  • Nik says:

    It staggers me at how inept our board are. Only Celtic would find jobs for the boys, ie lawwell junior, who is massively out of his depth. Lawwell sr should never have been back anywhere near the club given he was a failure as a CEO. Unfortunately Celtic football club, iconic as it is, will never go anywhere whilst these guys are at the helm. Desmond would rather hold than watch the club. I cannot believe Rodgers came back, what did he expect after the dire hand he was dealt last time by lawwell! It’s an absolute nonsense. 70m in the bank but a rank rotten team on the park!

  • SSMPM says:

    @ Bob. Is our Board stupid?
    Ansa: na m8 they’re wealthy.
    Are our fans exploitable, gullible and being duped? HH

    • Kevan McKeown says:

      @ SSMPM. Yer absolutely 100% correct. And they’ll keep doin it as long as the support tolerate it. They’ll sit up there and take any flak thrown at them. If this is another negligent window, the support need tae act with their feet and their money.

  • Eldraco says:

    With ben falling through for now and rocco going we are up to 5 out none in.

    We are watching jnr learning well on papa knee. Get them tae fuck

    • Danny breen says:

      Just get Shanklind in,doesn’t matter what he is,find net more with us40 million pounds at stake here next season,we don’t win league this season,need get big flags out cover empty season thats how big this season is.

  • Jim Duffy says:

    I still can’t believe Brendan Rodgers accepted this situation after the last debacle over transfers that caused him to bolt.Has he seriously accepted that Pete and mark liewell are calling the shots ,if that’s the case he’s as well doing another runner because at least sevcos board are trying to improve their managers lot,unlike ours who are hamstringing Rodgers who seems happy just to accept his fate at the hands of the liewell board.

  • Clara says:

    Why would they ( the Board ) change, its the exact same people running the Club and you can add a bit of nepotism to that as well, was PL’s son really the best candidate for the job, oh forgot there were no interviews or other candidates considered.

    This hesitance to spend will cost us and we could hand Ibrox a treble and entrance to the enriched CL next season, but you know that all PL and co will do is pat themselves on the back for being such clever boys by banking money for when we didn’t make the CL.

    To sum up Celtic, many many years ago I read an interview with John Reid and when asked about MON he stated ” the only problem with Martin was that all he wanted was what was best for the Team” in any other Club the problem with a Manager would be not wanting what was best for the Team, that says it all about the Club.

    Finances comes first and any risk to maximising them is seen as a “problem”.

  • Matt says:

    Celtic now appear to be a BP, Apple, Amazon like business (on a smaller scale). All about business profit and the total opposite of what the club was set up for. Trophies and progress will only be tolerated if the balance sheet is acceptably very very high. Sad really as potential is there for good things but it never happens. We have been saying the same for a long time and ten years for now it will be the same. The board know the fans will follow and fill the coffers no matter what

    • Danny breen says:

      If we lose league this season flags be out cover empty seats,thats how crucial this season is,board need take blinkers of.

  • Johnno says:

    Wouldn’t say that’s the case at all James imo.
    We may have been spoilt over the past few windows under Ange with getting player’s in far quicker?
    Would put that down to Ange being far more decisive upon his decision making and knowing exactly the type of players he wanted to fit into the team imo?
    Don’t believe Rodgers is as decisive, especially with the amount of players he’s used from the squad to date?
    What is it now? Over 25 different starting players, and bearing in mind that a few of them have started nearly every game also?
    Let’s face it, if this wasn’t a manager with Rodgers reputation, then we would be questioning as to whether he really knew what he was doing in the job currently imo.
    Hardly helped himself either, when so many match day decisions have been totally baffling on way to many occasions to date?
    Allowing him the luxury of the summer window remains a poor excuse now imo.
    Is he actually more interested in topping up his sun tan, than getting down to the work that’s still required for the remainder of this season?
    Way to many outstanding questions and not enough answers been provided lately, and as manager, would expect him to becoming far clearer with his plans for the rest of this season and beyond?
    We know now that the keeper position isn’t going to be addressed, right or wrong decision?
    Haven’t a clue upon the Turnbull situation?
    Is he even in the plans of Rodgers or surplus to requirements?
    If so, then surely another midfielder has to be in the offering, or are we going to limp along with a half hearted player until the end of the season?
    Is Rodgers happy to keep Taylor as his 1st choice LB, then is there going to be a potential backup put in place or is bernie still there to do the job if needed?
    We know the need for another potential striker?
    Is this a player who could also play out on the right wing also or an out and out striker?
    If an out and out striker, then is OH potentially on limited time within the club now?
    Could go on and on James, but far enough into the season now, to be getting far better answers to the questions that are contained to arise?
    Ok continue with the board bashing, and allowing the blame game to continue all we like, but answers is what we want and need?
    The answers should be coming from the manager, but not totally convinced he knows the answers as of yet imo, which is nothing more than poor management upon Rodgers imo?
    There is time to rectify and get the answers required, but certainly won’t be entertaining any of Rodgers bull, especially when in the job long enough now to actually know what he should be looking for, but does he?
    We know that we can and did get these deals done with a decisive manager in place, is that really the case now, especially when board bashing has become our favourite subject so far this season?
    This issue if not resolved this window, has all the potential of causing great harm to the club, and will put Rodgers name alongside that of lawwell for doing so if anything should materialise from the working relationship between them?
    Made all the harder currently as I don’t really trust either of them presently

  • James Garrity says:

    When we talk of Ange’s first two windows we shouldn’t forget Ideguchi and the expensive McCarthy.

  • Jim Duffy says:

    Our board is back to it’s penny pinching,poker playing gambling at its best,I doubt very much Rodgers has a say in any of the transfer matters,why are we looking at another winger,I’m sure we don’t need one


    The £70+million kitty is to tide us through 24/25 when we’ve handed SEVCO the title and automatic entry to the re-vamped CL Megabucks and we’ve failed as usual to get through the qualifying rounds.
    This is Lawwell’s ‘Old Firm’ trading model at its peak. Save SEVCO at all costs.

    The man is a disgrace. Complicit in the 5Way Agreement and helping them at every turn. Not hammering the SFA for the bigoted Refereeing Ludge and their ‘ pattern of assistance’ in The Tribute Acts favour. Not going on the warpath, à La the Tax Dodgers, about the abuse of the VAR system and specifically those who monitor it viz a viz Dallas and Co.

    He knows Scottish Football is corrupt but he does SFA about it. Back channels and a quiet word here and there don’t cut it.
    His total arrogance at coming back when we all thought we had seen the back of him. Just wait, won’t be long before Son of Lawwell is made either Head of Football Operations or given a seat on the Board. Nepotism and cronyism is rampant with the Lawwell and Strachan dynasties now in place.

    Time for us to take a back seat before we eclipse their 55 which would be the death knell for their support. They would walk away rather than accept ‘ Espanyolification’. Our Board are terrified at the consequences like reduced revenues leading to reduced bonuses.

    All about the ‘ filthy lucre’ to our Board. Forget integrity and moral compasses. Forget about the Game itself as a sporting challenge on a level playing field. All about maintaining the share price and dividends and enriching themselves in the process. Oh how we laughed at the procession of Charlatans, Shysters and outright Crooks that gorged themselves on the Debtdome’s carcass. Doesn’t seem so funny now.

    Get them all tae fluck and gieus oor Club back.

  • Kevin McNicoll says:

    Probably because as Rodgers has said we have 30 players and you can’t just keep adding players without getting rid of some first. Some times your articles are actually laughable

  • Jim Duffy says:

    Why do we think lawell wants to save sevco,if that’s the truth then lawell is an idiot,does he think if the boot was on the other foot sevco would help us? No they would only help us to go under and keep their boot on our throat,does lawell not realise this, sevco hate us with a passion and would love to see us eliminated from the game.

    • Kevan McKeown says:

      @ JD. Money talks mate. He couldnae care less what they would dae tae us. He knows that. They’re far too important tae his business plan. While the team suffers from lack of ambition, him and his kind get richer. Typical greedy tory.

  • Charlie Sweeney says:

    The club’s strategy is based on an accountant’s mentality – balance sheet first and everything else a lower priority – including buying experienced players – who do not fit the financial parameters of purchasing “cheap” players with a large onsale profit margin.
    This approach is perfectly sensible from an accountant’s perspective but will always result in diminished progress from a football perspective, and our board seem content to continue with this approach ad nauseum. Given the European riches available via retaining the league, now is surely the time to “speculate to accumulate” given the existance of a very healthy balance sheet. Or are they asleep at the wheel?

  • Kevin Lee says:

    They do need a clearout but who wants them? The board won’t make any profit on most of them so they’ll be left in the background to fade away until their contract runs out so that means no profit equals no decent players brought in so we’ll still get the same mantra We’re looking at this guy and that guy with no intention of buying any of them Wake up celtic fans the only clear out needed is the board

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