Not long after the final whistle on Tuesday evening after Celtic had lost to Lincoln Red Imps of Gibraltar 1-0 (still can’t quite comprehend how that happened…), I ran a poll to gauge how much the Celtic support thought the club would spend this summer…
The poll results were as follows:
£1-5 Million: 48%
£6-10 Million: 31%
£11-15 Million: 14%
£16-20 Million: 7%
The clear winner was £1-5 Million with 48% of the vote. It seems the people who voted in the poll don’t have a lot of faith that the board will back Brendan Rodgers with sufficient money needed to guarantee we would qualify for the Champions League which is a concern. I know money is no guarantee of qualification but it’s a good place to start.
I didn’t specify in the poll if this was net spend, dependent on sales or any other stipulation. My own feelings is that people will have answered what they thought would have been net spend. My own vote was that Celtic will spend £6-10 Million; therefore if, and it’s a big if, we sold Nir Bitton for ca £5 Million then I would expect us to spend at least £11 Million this summer.
At present we have paid ca £500k for Moussa Dembele as a development fee. If you balance that with the £1.1 Million we have gained from the sell-on clause for Victor Wanyama and also ca £1 Million from the permanent transfer of Stefan Scepovic we are at the moment £1.6 Million in the positive for transfer funds by my calculations.
If we were to spend what I think we could and should spend this window then we have 6 weeks to part with over £10 Million. There is no guarantee we can overcome Lincoln Red Imps and if we don’t then there are some serious issues to deal with at the club but if we do the next round is going to be extremely challenging with out any further additions to the squad.
Furthermore, there certainly appears to not be a huge amount of transfer gossip at the moment. That could be for two reasons: the club is doing it’s business really quietly or it isn’t able to progress any targets. I sincerely hope its the former (a la Dembele) but I imagine it to be the latter.
I, like many Celtic fans, don’t just want us to sign players to make up the numbers and they must be able to improve our first 11. This isn’t going to happen overnight but at the moment we are sleep walking out of Europe if we don’t improve the squad. I don’t want this to come across as wholly negative but who among us thinks this squad is good enough (based on the showing versus Lincoln) to go to Astana and get a result over 2 legs?
Celtic fans have backed the club in remarkable numbers with sales of season tickets this summer, it really is time for the club to show they mean business and back Brendan with the resources to compete.
I specifically made the poll a question of the perception of ambition of the Celtic board. If I had made the poll ‘How much money should Celtic spend this summer’ we would have had a very different answer.
If we, as a support, don’t have the perception of any ambition from the board that’s worrying but not surprising based on the last few years. I thought this summer might have been different due to the appointment of Brendan Rodgers and I would love to be proven right with my own estimation of net spend.