CELTIC posted their 6-month interim financial report yesterday and it made for pleasurable reading to stay the least.
Revenue up, profits up and that’s before any money is taken into account for the club’s cut of the Virgil van Dijk transfer. It’s certainly an excellent place to be!
I try to resist the giddiness some exhibit when they see the bank balance and wave it about like a badge of honour while a neighbouring clubs gloat about loans.
I’m a football fan, I’m a Celtic fan and it’s fantastic to see the club in such great financial health but I’m a football fan and I’m always going to be more excited about what that money can bring rather than celebrate it sitting in the bank.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I’ve never been a fan that shouts spend, spend, spend. I’m as pragmatic as they come in many aspects. I accept how the club operates on a general basis; buy low sell high has been the catalyst for such good financial numbers.
While I accept how we operate, there’s always room to do better and there’s still room to do something special from time to time.
I believe that ‘something special’ should be the signing of Patrick Roberts on a permanent deal. ‘Oh no, not this again’ I hear you cry or the beloved B side to the disgruntled Celtic fan album. ‘Can we not just enjoy it while he’s here’ – My answer to both is yes, this again and yes, we can enjoy him while he’s here (when he gets fit). It shouldn’t stop us from wanting the player here for keeps.
Patrick has been on the scene for a long time now in footballing terms at Celtic Park. The saga of the summer last year saw the midfielder come back on-loan. While injury has curtailed his season somewhat this term, his influence and ability is not diminished in my eyes.
Celtic did attempt to sign the player permanently before the loan move and were told by Man City they weren’t ready to make a final decision on the youngster. It’s imperative Celtic ask the same question again this summer. It would be negligible to send him back down the road without exhausting every avenue possible to keep Paddy here. It’s clear Rodgers would love to keep him.
The reports show we have the money there to do it. If Celtic could broker a deal and break their transfer record to snap Roberts up, then it would be a massive statement of intent. The player, who has only turned 21 could spend the next three years up here and head back down south for the big bucks once he’s made his mark properly at Celtic.
If Celtic had to shell out £8+million for Paddy, it should be seen as not just an investment for on-field purposes but a high risk, high reward financial play. We have seen now if Celtic players can display their talents to their full potential, substantial bids will be forthcoming.