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I mentioned in an article a few weeks back about how grating it was to see Celtic fans panicking about transfer activity. Tonight I’m once again reading about how the club are penny pinching and words like “disgrace” and “shambles” are being used. It’s almost enough to drive a man to drink!

Firstly let’s take a look at the overall transfer business of Celtic this year:

OUTS:

  • Thomas Rogne – Free
  • Paddy McCourt – Free (No Riots as it technically wasn’t a sale!!!)
  • Lassad – Free
  • Miku – Returned to Getafe after Loan
  • Rami Gershon – Left after Loan deal
  • Victor Wanyama – £12.5m
  • Gary Hooper – £5m
  • Kelvin Wilson – £2.5m

I appreciate there were also a few younger players allowed to leave, but I will focus primarily on the first team.

INS:

  • Virgil van Dijk – £2.5m
  • Amido Balde – £2m
  • Derk Boerrigter – £3m
  • Steven Mouyokolo – Free

Now these figures may not be exact and are the reported numbers, however I’m sure they will be in the correct ballpark. If my maths is correct, not allowing for wages and fees, we have £12.5m profit from transfers. Add in the money made from last season’s European run and season tickets and hey…..we’re minted!!!

Pretty much debt free, plenty money in, tell you what, let’s go blow it then on a massive shopping spree!!

The universally agreed opinion is that centre forward is an area we need to strengthen. I would go along with that to a point. I also agree that a holding midfielder and possibly a number 10 type wouldn’t go a miss. Sensible opinion is all well and good and hopefully Lenny and the board will deliver these and we will all be delighted.

I have no issue with sensible discussion over who the targets should be. Some think Kevin Doyle would do a job, others don’t. No problem.

Some people think Efe Ambrose should be pushed forward and given a run in centre midfield, others would rather he wasn’t even in the team. Again, no problems with that debate either.

My issue centres on fans who fail to grasp an understanding of how the transfer system at Celtic works.

Some people act as if the “transfer kitty” works in the same way as a night out kitty. Whoevers holding it at the end gets to keep it!!

If Peter Lawwell and Eric Riley etc. decide not to spend all the cash, it’s not because they are trying to keep a Scrooge McDuck style vat of pound coins to swim in. It’s because it is in the best interests of the club. You and I do not know what it takes for the club to run healthily. One thing we do know is that qualifying for the Champions League helps the pennies, therefore why would the board jeopardise that?

If my information is correct, Joe Ledley, Sammy, Stokes and Commons are all out of contract next summer. At least 3 of these players are vital and deserve a new deal, probably with a pay rise and nice wee signing on bonus. I doubt any of them will accept ginger bottles or Kensitas coupons.

If we are to believe the papers (and it still baffles me as to why you would) then we are being quoted upwards of £5m for Finnbogason. I see fans clambering for us to spend it, just spend it….if it’s the price then pay it……! Now if only there was a club that spent recklessly and ended up Donald Ducked because of it…..!!! That’s all the example we need.

Let’s look at it sensibly. Our successful business model is buying young and cheap, develop and sell high. There is a ceiling on the amount we can ever realistically recoup on a player. If Victor Wanyama lasts more than 2 years at Southampton before being sold on for the £20m mark, I’ll be amazed. But because he played in Scotland, there was a limit on amount we would get. So why would we spend £5m on a player we would only probably get 8-9 million back on? Take his wages, bonuses and sell on fees into account and it’s barely any profit. Then where is the guarantee of success?

How do we know Lenny actually wants him? The papers have told us, so it must be true!

The same paper told us Craig Whyte was a billionaire.

I hear cries of look at his stats! They are fairly impressive. 73 in 117 appearances is a very good ratio. Celtic may, or may not end up signing him. But if we don’t it will not be due to any form of penny pinching. The lad has already stated that Scottish football doesn’t appeal to him. There is interest from Serie A, Bundesliga and if Wikipedia is to be believed, he may already have signed for Trabzonspor. All of this interest pushes his price up, turns his head and makes it far more difficult for us to attract him.

And stats and YouTube videos can make anyone look a superstar. Remember the YouTube clip of Rabiu Ibrahim that made him out to be the Nigerian Messi? And those of us old enough to remember, Brattbakk came with stats of 97 goals in 100 games, and we all know how that ended up don’t we? Too many folk play FIFA 13 and think that defines a player. (Finnbogason is rated 75 by the way) There are no guarantees when signing a player and at Celtic we can no longer afford to spend that amount of money on a risk. 2-3 million is the going rate we will pay.

And ask ourselves a question. Before the link to him, how many of us knew a thing about the guy? Just like Marco Capuano, as soon as a paper mentions a player, fans demand the club signs him and when they don’t they’ve failed. Even if the club have never once even looked at the player, they’ve failed!!

Please please please, stop listening to national press and trust the guys who’ve guided our club to a healthy financial position and built this successful team to deliver the players needed.

As I’ve said before, if come midnight on the 2nd September we haven’t signed a frontman, I’ll be surprised and possibly annoyed, but let’s give the club time. I would also say that if we haven’t it’s because the right player hasn’t become available at the right price.

Sensible debate over whether a player is worth it or good enough is fine and healthy, but simply using ignorance as a weapon to moan for moaning’s sake is just ridiculous.

 

Hail Hail

The Newton Sammy (@TheNewtonSammy)

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