There’s a myth that’s hung around Celtic like a bad smell for a long time now, and like most myths, is based largely on supposition.
It could be the reputation of the old Celtic board pre-Fergus McCann has something to do with it, but even then as history shows, even they put their hands in their pockets from time to time.
Believe it or not we did break the transfer window record a few times!
The myth? Celtic don’t spend any money.
For years and years, Celtic were always compared to Rangers (IL) when it came to spending, particularly from the day David Murray took over at Ibrox. His overspending, and cheating, gave the football world a false impression that only decades later discovered to be a fraud.
But spend money, usually the tax mans, they did.
Millions and millions of pounds, paying way over valuation, like Tore Andre Flo for example, accumulating tens of millions of pounds in debt. While at the same time making other clubs, including Celtic, risk everything they had to keep up.
Now we all know what happened in the end. The club that Celtic were rivals to, died of financial heart failure. Kaput.
They do have a tribute act playing out of their old stadium, but they’re only a shadow of their predecessors, though they like to talk the same talk. However, when push comes to shove, they can’t walk the walk, unless it’s walking away.
And there’s a lesson for every club not just Celtic.
From the day Fergus walked through the glass doors at Celtic Park, we were never going to get involved in an arms race of sorts with ANY other football club.
We would stand on our own two feet.
Even when the temptation of tax evasion through EBT’s was brought to our table, thanks to the good governance of chairman at the time Brain Quinn, we declined. Living within our means was the way ahead, and so it has proved, over the last 23 years, we do business the Celtic way.
That also means making sure we get value for money in the transfer market. Sure we have plenty of funds available thanks to two successive Champions League qualifications, but that doesn’t mean we should buy for the sake of buying.
I’m sure there was criticism of previous manager Ronnie Deila and CEO Peter Lawwell for bringing to Celtic quantity instead of quality.
The transfer window has thankfully closed for a few months. We have added Jonny Hayes, Kundai Benyu, Olivier Ntcham, Partrick Roberts and Odsonne Edouard to the ranks.
We’ve also extended Stuart Armstrong’s contract, and sold NONE of our main players, despite the efforts of the SMSM, who relentlessly linked Moussa, Jozo and Erik to moves away from Paradise.
All these new additions and contract extensions cost money. We did try and break the clubs transfer record, we did pay the largest amount for a player in nearly ten years.
So when you hear anyone say,’ Celtic won’t pay the money’, politely or otherwise, tell them they’re wrong. It’s just another myth…