“You can’t go into Champions League undercooked hoping that projects will get you through,” Stubbs

Alan Stubbs has been speaking about Celtic’s UEFA Champions League defeat to Feyenoord and the former Celtic defender opened up on the club’s funding, “project-type signings” amongst other things.

On the club’s failure to strengthen the squad from last season as had hoped and expected, and with over £70million sitting in the PLC’s bank account, Stubbs echoed the increasing frustrations of the support seeing project signings play in the Champions League only for their own inexperience to prove to be Celtic undoing in a match that was clearly winnable.

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

“Celtic are not as strong as they were last year going into the Champions League groups,” Stubbs admitted, speaking to Share Market Cap. “That’s a real disappointment when you consider the financial results that came out before the game.

“They’ve £70m+ reserves in the bank. The financial results tell you the club is in a really healthy position. I thought it was odd for them to say that it’s there just in case they don’t qualify for future Champions League campaigns.

“To say that, for whatever reason, we might finish second one year doesn’t really send a positive message. I thought Celtic needed two marquee signings, especially for the Champions League.

ROTTERDAM, 19Ã09-2023, Stadium Feijenoord / De Kuip , Champions League , season 2023 / 2024, Feyenoord – Celtic , Celtic player Odin Thiago Holm Feyenoord – Celtic

“They’ve not been forthcoming. This is a trick missed from Celtic. They’ve got the marquee manager back. The valid questions are: Was Brendan backed in the transfer window in terms of players he wants to bring to the club? How much money was available?

“There’s no doubt Celtic are ahead of (the)Rangers now in terms of strength of squad. That, I believe, will be reflected come the end of the season. A few weeks ago, I said Celtic will win the league by 12 points and nothing has changed my mind since,” Stubbs said.

Looking back to the Glasgow Derby, annoying referring to it as ‘an Old Firm’ – it seems old habits die hard – Stubbs reckons that if theRangers were going to get the better of Celtic that was their best chance, and they came up well short with Kyogo winning the points for the Hoops.

Kyogo Furuhashi of Celtic scores the only goal of the game during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between theRangers and Celtic FC at Ibrox  on September 03, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“Celtic were there for the taking – more so than I can remember for a while in an Old Firm (sic) game, in terms of the team Brendan was putting out there. And (the)Rangers weren’t able to beat them. So, there’s a lot more questions over theRangers than Celtic,” Stubbs stated.

However Celtic project signing strategy isn’t something that is going to cut the mustard at Champions League level the former Celt believes.

Kyogo Furuhashi of Celtic celebrates after scoring during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between theRangers and Celtic FC at Ibrox on September 03, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“But this is the time where Celtic should be putting the foot on the pedal and driving it home, staying way ahead of (the)Rangers. And building a squad where they can become really competitive in the Champions League.

“With projects, you’re willing to give them more time. But qualifying from a Champions League group is not something you can wait for to come to you somewhere along the line. It’s an instant demand. You can’t go into the campaign undercooked and hoping that projects just in the door will get you through,” Stubbs claimed.

READ THIS…Feyenoord opener should have been ruled out, same old story for youthful Celtic

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

“The Celtic faithful will be wondering why they didn’t spend more in the summer. This will be an opportunity missed if Celtic don’t progress from this group. On the European stage, the fans want to see progression. With that, you have to be a bit more ambitious to bring in the better calibre of player to give yourself a real fighting chance.

“Brendan is not going to come out and criticise anyone. He’ll say he’s happy with his squad and they’re on the same page,” Stubbs concluded.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who 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. Martin Blackshaw on

    Well, Ange wouldn’t have said he was happy with recruitment if he wasn’t. He was an outspoken man when it came to providing a good and entertaining team for the fans, a principled man. Brendan Rodgers is not doing himself, the team or the fans justice by pretending he’s happy with the summer recruitment when he cannot possibly be. Everyone would think a lot more of him if he just stated the fact publicly in his own way, as Ange certainly would have. The suits feared Postecoglou, they don’t fear Brendan Rodgers.

  2. Lawell and Desmond have been taking us for mugs for years now.Relying on our total commitment to the team to pump our cash in while showing no ambition except on the dividend.Our euro history is being trashed every year.The “old firm” is their business model