Sutton on ticket row: “It wrecked the game as a spectacle but the debate now is sideshow”

A week before the real stuff gets underway Chris Sutton in his weekly newspaper column this morning in Daily Record, runs through the squad changes at both Ibrox and Celtic Park as both teams gear up for the start of the Scottish Premiership.

We’ll spare you the commentary on the signings across the city and concentrate on Sutton’s stand-out comments about the Celtic squad going into the new season. And Sutton also provides his thoughts on the latest away tickets row, which as we keep saying, was caused by one club and it wasn’t Celtic.

“The issue about no away fans at Ibrox in September was inevitably going to come up again as Celtic stance hasn’t changed since last season,” Sutton stated. “I’ve said before how I think it wrecked the game as a spectacle but the debate now is sideshow. The real issues are on the pitch.”

Moving on to the key points from Sutton’s commentary on the Celtic squad as it stands going into the new season, he foresees a three man central defence for Europe and strong competition for places particularly between Carl Starfelt and new signing Maik Nawrocki to play alongside a fully fit Cameron Carter-Vickers.

“Celtic have a head start because they are building form a position of strength. Maik Nawrocki looks a solid signing but I’m not sure he will oust Carl Starfelt as the main partner to Cameron Carter-Vickers,” Sutton said. “But he will compete for the role and will also give Rodgers the versatility if he wants to go to a three at the back, especially in Europe.”

Liel Abada Celtic, JULY 19, 2023 – Football / Soccer : Friendly match between Yokohama F.Marinos 6-4 Celtic FC at Nissan Stadium in Kanagawa, Japan.

With Jota away and Liel Abada staying this could be the season that the Israeli winger really makes his mark at the club. “Rodgers revealing Liel Abada wants to stay is a big one as well. It was slightly strange last season how he ended up spending a lot of time on the bench – especially as he matched his numbers from his first season with about half the minutes on the pitch. He could be a big player under Rodgers too,” Sutton reckons.

Sutton has an appreciation for the business model that Celtic have that its serving the club so well and understands that Brendan Rodgers has already bought into this, so perhaps the big money signings to help the club push on in Europe are perhaps aspirational among the support but Sutton reckons that new arrivals can turn into marquee signings and provides two very good examples.

Brendan Rodgers. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“I get the demand from fans for a marquee signings but it was interesting seeing Rodgers’s comments about not to expect £10-15m arrivals as he’s sticking to the model. Listen, we sometimes don’t know a marquee signing until long after they have arrived.

“Carter-Vickers and Jota were not marquee signings when they pitched up on loan – but they became ones when they turned those moves into permanent deals. It’s all very well sticking to the model, but we keep being told the club is financially well off and the talk is improvement in Europe,” Sutton said.

Carl Starfelt of Celtic embraces teammate Cameron Carter-Vickers after the team’s victory in the Scottish Cup Semi Final match between theRangers and Celtic at Hampden Park on April 30, 2023 i. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“I still think they need to add a couple if they are going to do that, and I’d be surprised if Rodgers didn’t feel the same. We know he’s a coach and a developer, and we know he’ll be keen to work with this young squad. But it’s also about improving the levels and I wouldn’t bet against some big moves in the coming weeks.

“Rangers have done a lot of their business but there’s a feeling Celtic haven’t had the same need and are only really just getting started. There are questions on both sides of Glasgow but we’ll soon find out who has the answers.”

Click on the image above to shop


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

Comments are closed.