“Make no mistake, they are gambling with the title here,” Chris Sutton

Chris Sutton has described Celtic’s transfer strategy as ‘bonkers’ as he shared the blame for the January transfer window fiasco on Chairman Peter Lawwell, CEO Michael Nicholson and manager Brendan Rodgers. And he reckons that Celtic are gambling with the title having failed to strength the squad in the January transfer window, following on from a summer window that produced more projects than first team performers for Brendan Rodgers’ side.

The former Celtic striker reckons work should have started on the January window activity on 1st September last year and Celtic should have had a list as long as your arm for players as possible signings for the various positions we were looking at. Instead Sutton reckons that the list was lost down the sofa as Celtic were left scrambling around in the closing days of the window without much luck.

Sutton reckons the strategy is muddled – retaining Gustaf Lagerbielke because of a new injury to Cameron Carter-Vickers at the same time as selling David Turnbull to Cardiff City despite another injury to Reo Hatate is illogical and leaves Celtic weakened in the middle of the park. Turnbull, Sutton notes, has an eye for goal.

Celtic v Ross County – David Turnbull celebrates scoring the first goal of the game during the cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park, Saturday August 5, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

Brendan Rodgers yesterday admitted that the club should have been braver in the transfer window that produced a surplus in revenue coming in over the modest expenditure, as Rodgers promised to fix it for the summer. Yet Sutton notes that it wasn’t broken before he arrived, pointing to Celtic previously under Ange Postecoglou going out and bringing in quality, first team signings such as Joe Hart, Kyogo, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Jota, Josip Juranovic, Daizen Maeda, Matt O’Riley and others.

So what has changed now?

“It’s no wonder the supporters are losing patience. If they thought the booing was bad after beating Ross County, just wait for what is in store if results start to go wrong in the next couple of weeks,” Sutton stated in his weekend column in Daily Record.

“There is anger in the stands building. But even worse than that – there is also apathy due to what they feel is a lack of ambition. If the supporters begin to wonder what is the point, we might as well be back to the Ronny Deila days when Celtic had to shut the top tier.

“I just can’t fathom how they have got to this point. Make no mistake, they are gambling with the title here, regardless of how you look at the business (the)Rangers have done.

“In the summer they failed to prepare properly for the Champions League and paid the price. Now they are risking even getting to the Champions League as they have left the door wide open for their rivals.

“The work in January should have started on September 1. Instead they were scrambling around on the final day. He was the one who said this squad was lacking three or four quality players. Did he get them in January? We all know the answer,” Sutton said.

Hard to disagree with what Sutton has to say and his is a view that will be widely shared by Celtic supporters heading to Aberdeen this morning or getting set to watch the game at Pittodrie on TV.

Sutton mentions the booing last weekend and that as we have argued on here was not just about the performance against Ross County – woeful as it was – but about the lack of activity in the window as we could see that the title gamble was indeed taking place. The sale of Turnbull turned the window into a profit for the moneymen but if that is paid for by the loss of the title and the huge Champions League windfall is gifted to theRangers then the support will not be happy. Not happy at all.


About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk


  1. Our team has more than enough to win this title but that’s besides the point. The point is, we always seem to pass up the chance to get better, instead being content to just get by.
    We could easily have the best of both worlds, stronger domestically & for Europe, but that doesn’t seem to fit with some plan we’re not privy to; the club is beyond frustrating! …you get what you pay for and we’re not willing to pay for much!