As much as we don’t like to admit it, football is a business. Success comes in the form of inflated wages, agent fees, loyalty bonuses, and sell-on clauses. With the sales of Odsonne Edouard, Kristoffer Ajer and Ryan Christie in recent times, the amateur accountants are in force demanding that Celtic use the money immediately for transfers with no regard to the other financial commitments of the club. 

The prize money for winning the Cinch Scottish Premiership is £3.35 Million, with the prize money for the Scottish Cup and League Cup sitting at around £240,000 and £300,000. 

For reference, using data from, the average player in Celtics first team earns around £12,000 a week and with around 24 players earning that wage, this equals a rough estimate of £288,000 every week. Remember these are only estimates and don’t include the lowest wages of the first team squad or development team but already it is clear that the playing staff wages would far outweigh the prize money of even a treble winning season.

Because results on the pitch are not guaranteed, the transfer of players is where Celtic can at least have most of the control and ensure a healthy profit is made where possible. The problem however, in recent years has been the reluctance of the Celtic board to allow players to leave when it is clear the player wants to do so. I had written before in my previous articles that we must accept our position as a stepping stone to some players. The likes of Moussa Dembele and Odsonne Edouard did not dream of playing for the club but have and will play for the biggest teams in Europe after developing here at Celtic. This reluctance to allow players to go leaves a sour taste in the mouth of players departing and fans too when in Edouard’s case, the performance level has dropped with his head turned towards the Premier league. The players should not be abused for moving on with their career and certain comments online such as “good riddance” to departing players is absolute madness. Especially when that player has stayed on longer than they wanted to try and help us win the 10. 

Odsonne Edouard’s new wage is around £70,000 a week. Celtic simply cannot compete with such sums of money and the players who earn such a wage, generally wont be coming to the east end of Glasgow. Celtics commitment to buying younger players and selling them at large profits has ensured that we remain high in the rich list of European clubs and stature rankings whilst also having the privilege of watching these talents up close for however long they call Glasgow home. 

There has no doubt been some duds come through the doors at Parkhead with failed signings such as Nadir Ciftci and the one and only Marvin Compper claiming a place in our history. But for the most part, our scouts and those responsible have provided numerous young players for us to watch and progress before our eyes and we have loved it. Kristoffer Ajer, Virgil van Dijk and Moussa Dembele are easy examples of when the recruitment team have got it just right. These players went from raw, potential talents to a top 5 league at the very least in Ajer’s case. For most of the big transfer fees received by the club in recent years, this has been the method. Buy young, develop and sell-on. A proven track record, a proven source of income. 

We must trust our recruitment staff and those making decisions behind the teams. Dominic Mackay has now proven what kind of ambition the board holds with a transfer window that most of us were ecstatic with. Our goalkeeper and defender crisis has finally been addressed With Cameron Carter-Vickers making a late entrance to compliment Juranovic, Starfelt and Joe Hart.

The real revelation so far this season has been Kyogo Furahashi who has impressed with his energy and willingness to get into spaces to receive the ball, something that has been sorely missed with the attacking options last year. There will of course be players who are signed that are simply not good enough or don’t fit the style of play or style of Scottish football, as with what happened to Teemu Pukki when he played in the hoops. His running-behind-the-defence/counter attacking strengths became useless against a lower league team who had parked the bus, but this did not make him a poor player, only an unfortunate victim of circumstances. 

We must understand that in recent years, the financial gulf between the Scottish league and the top 5 European leagues has grown exponentially. Our recruitment team cannot simply reinvest every penny made to find a replacement because a £14,000,000 player that wants to play for £12,000 a week doesn’t exist. 

Celtic can and will only sign those who are affordable. This means an element of risk as with all signings but then again, who had really heard of Kyogo Furahashi before now.


  1. This Seasons build up feels a bit like the Season Lenny took over full time from Mowbray as we brought in 10/11 players that Summer in what was effectively a full squad rebuild.
    The only difference is of course Lenny was a novice in Management and Postecoglou a proven experienced Manager who has won Titles and Trophies elsewhere.
    I think Desmond came out in the Summer declaring he was getting hands on and no sooner had he made that announcement both Hart and McCarthy arrived within days.
    I think he’s been heavily involved as he was probably sick of the way Lawwell had handled things in recent years watching guys like McGinn move elsewhere and now worth tens of millions as Lawwell quibbled over lowball offers for him.
    The contract situations for Ajer ,Édouard and Christie (especially Christie’s running out in January ??‍♂️) were probably the last straw for him and Lawwell as he had definitely took his eye off the ball in that regard whilst keeping a firm one on his own sizeable bonus at Celtic.
    Whatever happened it seems to have worked as we have in fact got players in in the positions that required immediate attention.
    I don’t think we are done yet and fully expect Nisbet to come in Jan with possibly a rejuvenated Griffiths heading the other way as a sweetener as he by then should have got among the goals and also put his off the field issues behind him by then?

  2. We realise we can’t keep hold of these players but we need to sell at the time when we can get the maximum value to give us better spending power and time to look for quality replacements.

  3. Totally agree with the piece but you also have to remember that the club also has other avenues of generated income,ie sponsorship deals,commercial sales of branded goods,pools,ticket sales,stadium tours,weddings,catering etc,etc and although the signing,development and ultimate sale of players is a large part of the accounts it is only a part of the financial stability of the club.?

  4. Hail! Hail! Our beloved club is in good hannds with Ange at the helm and Wee Kyogo?? turnbul ???????and big Welshy??????? lookin after tne spine not to metion big Hart(no flag here)? in goals protecting us! YNWA mon the bhoys from Dublin Erie ???????????


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.