March 5, 2024


Timing is the whole thing in Scottish football. Especially when it comes to Statement O’Clock.

It’s emerge as one of the running jokes in our game. When to spotlight properly news – and when to bury the bad as plenty as possible.

For years, Rangers were masters at sneaking out stuff at ridiculous times. Annual accounts that read like Stephen King novels were launched to as little fan fare as feasible at 10pm on Friday nights. Aberdeen at one point despatched out an email with their financials at about 4 in the morning, hoping no one would observe when they woke up.

But Celtic tried a novel approach closing year. They tried to bury GOOD news. It used to be every other one of these bizarre moments in a season the place they are managing to clock up a precise few. The switch window had not long shut and Celtic had been going into theirChampions League clash with Feyenoord in Holland. Rodgers was doing his pre-match press convention and the chat was European aims, hit memories about the 1970 final between the pair and a bit of chat about the summer business.

The manager had barely left the media room when the annual bills dropped. The numbers had been beyond impressive. Here used to be a Scottish membership with more than £70m in the financial institution at a time for most when money was once tighter than a dart players vest. Yet Celtic were attempting to sneak it out underneath the radar. The supervisor couldn’t be quizzed about it and no one in a Celtic go well with was up for speaking past the internet site announcement – which has been the case for about two years.

The huge query used to be why? Why the need to conceal the first-rate discern a Scottish facet has ever posted? We all comprehend why. Because the subsequent query was why do the membership want to be sitting on all that dosh. And the Parkhead chiefs knew it used to be well. Hence the secrecy.

It will be fascinating this week with Celtic’s half-yearly quantities due out any day now. When they get released into the wild will be interesting. If you’re a having a bet man, possibly at half-time at Hibs on Wednesday if the Hoops are ahead. Perhaps it will be in the historical Rangers Friday 10pm slot. Go out of the Scottish Cup to St Mirren and they could appear at half three on Monday morning.

And the humorous factor will be, there is a precise threat the figures will be extremely good again.

Peter Lawwell and Michael Nicholson

Celtic have banked any other chunk of Champions League dosh and all the ticket income that go with it. They made a net profit in their summer season treasure dealings and had been not a long way off breaking even in January.

There had been some gorgeous switch costs and wages to be paid out for the duration of that time but until they’ve been quietly doing a ton of DIY round Celtic Park and Lennoxtown, there need to nonetheless be a right whack of money in the coffers. And that’s why the timing of the elevation will be telling. Celtic fans choose to comprehend why their cash is now not being spent.

Because that’s how they see it. Celtic made plenty from Europe and participant sales, but the full-size majority of their incomings come from the pockets of the punters. Selling out season tickets, snapping up Champions League briefs, shopping for the infinite strips released, even the ones that look like they’ve been designed by using nursery kids after a sugar rush.

Celtic fans get called entitled by rivals, and even with the aid of some internal the club, but that is why they feel entitled. What came about to reinvesting each penny again on to the pitch? Listen, financially, Celtic are one of the satisfactory run clubs in the world. Good success finding any aspect on the planet with dosh in the financial institution and the player trading model has labored a treat.

Yet there are signs the wheels have come off the wagon in the previous 18 months. Future proofing in opposition to now not making the Champions League is like saying there’s no point in fixing the roof because you would possibly need the dosh for slates if there’s a storm.

There have been negative strategic decisions with players bought that not have been sold, others replaced with inferior fashions and now a experience of a loss of self belief in the switch market. That might be down to the manager setting his points of interest higher than the recruitment team can reach, or it could just be Rodgers didn’t fancy too many of the options that landed on his desk.

He has talked about the club’s need to be braver but it will all now rest on him for the remainder of the season. He’s obtained a heck of a job on his hands. We’ll only be aware of via the give up of term, but winning the Old Firm conflict at Christmas may have been the worst component that passed off at the club.

The last time they misplaced a biggie to Rangers in the Scottish Cup under Ronny Delia, they clocked the threat and raised their game. Keeping Rangers at bay remaining month created a self of security that doesn’t sincerely exist.

On current shape trends, it doesn’t take some stats geek to work out Celtic are in principal danger of present wrapping the title to their friends throughout the city. And when you look at the rewards up for grabs in Europe soon, the annual money owed will definitely want to be sneaked out at stupid o’clock.

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