Rodgers explains need for loans as Celtic PLC bank balance set to bulge

Brendan Rodgers yesterday defended the club’s loan signing strategy and explained how the recruitment process at the club is operating with him back at the club as the Celtic manager.

As we enter the final day of the transfer window, many will see this as an attempt by the manager to get Celtic’s excuses in early, as supporters do their own sums and see that rather than dipping into that £70m sitting in the Celtic PLC bank account to strengthen the squad amid a genuine threat of losing the league, Celtic are actually about to make a profit on this window.

Ireland’s Adam Idah celebrates scoring the opening goal from a penalty during the UEFA Euro 2024 group B qualification football match between Republic of Ireland and Netherlands at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland on September 10, 2023. (Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)

The Celtic manager explained the importance of squad moving players on and a constant recruitment to develop the squad is a necessity at a club like Celtic, according to the manager and that is even the case with a squad winning trebles. Permanent signings will always be mixed with a sprinkling of loan signing, and that’s just the way the game operates these days and it’s a reality that Celtic has embraced, as Brendan Rodgers yesterday explained in his interview with the written mainstream media, with no fan media present. It’s probably too emotional time for that!

“Ideally you want to have players who you know are going to be here for a few seasons to grow and develop. But there always has to be a balance between loan players and permanent signings,” Brendan Rodgers explained as reported by Scottish Sun.

“Permanent signings aren’t always possible. Having had the experience here before there’s always going to be that revolving door. It’s not like the old days when you said, ‘Right, that’s the squad and we’ll keep them together for five or six years now’.

“That doesn’t work anyway. You have to recycle your squad every three years. You have to. Even if it was a team that had won three Trebles — on that fourth year you would have to change it because of the hunger. That’s what experience tells us.”

 Adam Idah of Norwich City reacts after a missed goal opportunity during the Sky Bet Championship match between Norwich City and Preston North End at Carrow Road on December 09, 2023 in Norwich, England. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

While the reliance on data and statistics has grown within the recruitment department at Celtic and indeed at most clubs, the Celtic manager will never solely rely on analytics to make his signing decisions and prefers to watch players in the flesh to allow him to form a more informed judgement on any possible signing target.

“There will be certain clubs who only look at the data side of it. But there are things that you can never find out through analysis other than by being at a stadium and watching the player,” Brendan explained.

“Seeing how he deals the with atmosphere. When you play for a club like this one, you need to have a heart and the mental strength. You have to find out those things and see them live. Statistics will give you a lot, but I’m not driven by it. It’s something which is a really good support for us.”

Nicolas Kuhn of Celtic during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Ross County FC at Celtic Park on January 27, 2024. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Celtic v Aberdeen – David Turnbull poses with the trophy after the cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park, Saturday May 27, 2023. Photo Andrew Milligan
Celtic v Blackburn Rovers Yosuke Ideguchi warming up during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Celtic and Blackburn Rovers at Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland on 16 July 2022. Celtic Park Photo Craig Galloway PSI

Rodgers insists that he likes to meet potential signings ahead of going through with a deal in order to get a feel for the player’s ambition and to see if they are in his judgement suitably equipped to play for a club with such massive demands as Celtic.

“Yes, just to feel their own ambition. I think that is very important. If players are coming to a club, and the agent or the player don’t want to speak to the manager, or don’t deem it as important, then that’s a red flag for me. But that’s very rarely been the case,” the Celtic manager added.

“I want to speak with a player and find a way to do that so you understand their ambitions and what it is they want to achieve because it is about mentality. Have I backed away from some? Yes. There’s probably some I wish I had done so as well! There’s plenty who talk a good game.”

Talking of red flags, many supporters will reckon theirs is all about being told by the manager that we need four quality additions when we’re instead spending nothing – indeed if the £2m comes in from David Turnbull’s transfer to Cardiff City today as expected, the Celtic PLC board will actually make a profit in this January window, adding to the £70m already sitting in the bank account and in doing so failing to make it less likely that the £60m Champions League bonanza will end up going to Ibrox next season rather than Celtic Park.

Stakes are high in more ways than won in the race for the Scottish Premiership title this season – indeed they have never been higher.

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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


  1. Well, if we sell Turnbull to Cardiff for the reported £2m & bring in the PSG left back on loan, as also being reported, that £2m will probably go towards his hefty wages & the fee that PSG apparently want..

  2. If we sell turnbull the money will just go in the bank as usual , or buy some prospect that probably won’t get a game