I suspect we have not seen the best of Daryl Murphy, who has proven to be a solid Championship and fleeting Premier League player in England but has been unable to retain a place in the SPL, but his hamstring injury, suffered after the long flight to Pennsylvania, will be a blow on two levels for Celtic. They are denied a squad player for the crucial Champions League play-off round against Helsingborgs and are likely to unable to loan him out, easing more pressure from payroll.
Daryl was singled out for credit (here) for the way he changed the shape of Celtic in our opening league game of the season against Aberdeen. He would have been useful to Neil Lennon this coming week.
News that Helsingborgs have lost their top striker is welcome but is not quite ‘like signing a new player’ for Celtic. Let’s hope they haven’t lost their Kenny Miller only to find their Jordan Rhodes.
There can seldom have been more financially important games to the club than the Helsingborgs tie. Celtic accounts are usually released mid-August (16th last year) but I don’t anticipate any rush to publish this year. Last season’s accounts could well see the largest loss in our history as the club chased their first league win in four years (insert standard lecture on financial responsibility program, avoid urge to run legacy Sir David Murray malware).
I expect the figures to show Celtic are operating with a Champions League budget (and that’s without evading tax). Football finance lessons are clear, if you have a Champions League budget you need Champions League income. Time for this team to step up to the challenge. Get along and pack the place out on the 29th.
No regrets this time.
Bed early tonight if you are off to Dingwall in the morning. I hope we see a few of the young lads.