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The biggest hurdle to our ability to compete in the latter stages of European competition is well documented. The financial gap between Celtic and the clubs in the EPL and Europe’s top leagues is more of a chasm than a gap and as things stand at this moment there is no sign of that changing anytime soon.

Our rivals and critics will respond to this assertion by claiming that the financial gap between Celtic and the rest of the SPFL is huge and therefore gives us an unfair advantage over the other teams in the league. We therefore have no right to complain about being disadvantaged on the European stage.

It is certainly true that we do enjoy a financial superiority over the rest of the SPFL but there is one major flaw in our critic’s argument. The financial riches available south of the border and on the continent are a result of massive television deals and the cash is divided out in huge amounts to clubs who are perpetually fighting relegation and are never going to compete with the big guns in their respective leagues. A team in the EPL can be rank rotten, yet still earn more in a season resulting in relegation than Celtic would in 30 years of payments generated by the television deals struck by our games administrators. There is no incentive for clubs outside of the top five or six to try to break the stranglehold if the bigger clubs because they are going to be rewarded handsomely regardless.

Celtic, on the other hand, have earned every penny that currently resides in our bank account. We have earned that money through success on the park, we have earned that money through regular European participation, we have earned that money through a consistent transfer policy and we have earned that money through a well crafted business model which is the envy of many clubs.

So before our domestic critics compare our financial advantage to the other clubs they should perhaps look at how these other clubs operate and ask why they lag so far behind. They need to be providing answers as to why clubs such as Aberdeen have not pressed an advantage financially given the demise of The Rangers and the ongoing pantomime at Ibrox.

We are the masters of our own destiny, there is no reason why others shouldn’t take matters into their own hands and rather than talk Celtic down and look for excuses they should look to repair their own houses rather than gaze enviously at ours.

Neil Bell

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