Spend more to compete in Europe, Celtic Board told

Celtic should spend more in the transfer market to compete in Europe, says prominent journalist…

Celtic Chairman Peter Lawwell and Chief Executive Michael Nicholson in the directors box. Celtic v Kilmarnock, Cinch Scottish Premiership, 17 February 2024. Photo Stuart Wallace Shutterstock

It’s well-established by now that Celtic’s Board are never ones for putting their hands in their pocket and spending what we have to make us competitive in European football.

In some ways, it feels like this tale of woe has been going on for us supporters longer than anyone would dare care to remember. Not since the days of Martin O’Neill have the Hoops made a dent in European football, although during Gordon Strachan’s tenure we did make the knockout rounds of the Champions League twice.

07.11.2012  Tony Watt scores past Victor Valdes during the Champions League game between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park.

Neil Lennon managed to beat Barcelona way back in 2012 and qualify for the Last-16 too, but immediately afterwards his team was broken up and sold to the highest bidder. It’s been a malaise that the club has been under for far too long a time now and this doubt with the returning Chairman, who was the CEO for some years when this managed decline was taking place, has done nothing to assuage any fears that this might change.

Yet again on the European stage this year we were pretty much outclassed, outfought and out-thought from the offset. Our refusal to build on the wonderful foundations that Ange Postecoglou had started to put in place before his untimely departure to the English Premier League, was swiftly undone by the summer recruitment drive that once again placed quantity over quality and inexperience over seasoned professionals.

Referee Irfan Peljto gives the red card to Odin Thiago Holm of Celtic during the UEFA Champions League match between Feyenoord and Celtic FC at Feyenoord Stadium de Kuip on September 19, 2023 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. ANP OLAF KRAAK

It was hardly a shock when we exited Europe’s top club competition with barely a whimper again and undeniably, the summer transfer window and overall player-trading strategy played its part in our demise. Instead of pursuing deals like the ones we sealed for Cameron Carter-Vickers, Jota, Giorgos Giakoumakis, Carl Starfelt and Josip Juranovic, we foisted too many young players upon Brendan Rodgers and asked him to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear again.

Brendan Rodgers, Feyenoord v Celtic, UEFA Champions League, Group E, Football, De Kuip, Rotterdam, Netherlands – 19 Sep 2023 Photo Bart Stoutjesdijk/Shutterstock

Déjà vu

Robert Grieve, chief football writer at the Scottish Sun, has claimed that the Celtic hierarchy should be looking closer to the £10 million bracket for players as they look to improve their team and chances on the continent.

The journalist was appearing on the PLZ Soccer show with Peter Martin and Hugh McDonald when he urged the Parkhead powerbrokers to abandon this stringent and frugle policy which is suffocating the club and depriving the supporters of progress.

Have a listen below…

Paul Gillespie

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About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

1 Comment

  1. What we have already learnt this season, is Rodgers didn’t rate any of Ange back up options within the squad, with offloading so many already?
    So far more work within the overall squad was required for Rodgers liking?
    Even now, with keeping the current squad intact, we are still possibly looking at potentially another 5 players?
    And that’s without the decisions to be made regarding Paulo and idah, and weather we will keep hold of Oreily imo?
    No doubt it is going to be a very busy summer with incoming players, along with a big number of outgoing players who certainly don’t feature within the longer term plans of Rodgers, if he even stays in his position as manager?
    There is already a fair amount of money that can be raised with selling a fair few who don’t feature within the plans of Rodgers presently?
    The wage bracket seems to have been widened to allow for ourselves to be more competitive in wages for the more experienced players, even if our current wage budget is being wasted upon way to many who don’t or won’t feature for the club in the bigger picture?
    The question still remains as to whether we will become more adventurous with actually spending over the 5M upon player’s, instead of trying to go with the loan to buy, which we have done for the past 3 seasons?
    Just got a feeling that the summer could well be the biggest spend, we have ever seen within the squad imo?
    And it’s not before time either, but you can never be confident about spending with this Celtic board in place, as the 2 hardly fit together to well either?