News that Hull City had a £6m bid for Robert Snodgrass accepted took the wind out of my sails this morning. Snodgrass was one of the outstanding performers for clubs in the bottom half of the English Premier League last season, so it’s easy to understand his ticket price, despite only having a year left on his Norwich City contract.
He is a Celtic fan and has not hidden his desire to play for the club, but Hull City (good grief) are now bidding £6m for players from relegated clubs, after spending £8m on a Spurs squad filler.
This all begs the question, can we afford to compete with Hull City? Probably, yes, but we can no more afford to splurge £14m on a couple of players than Hull, who a year ago were reporting debts close to £80m.
We’re operating in an environment where indirect competitors for players are spending unsustainable amounts of money, pretty much like Rangers did for 20 years under Sir David Murray. For a few years after Fergus left, we played the same game as Rangers, running up millions of pounds of losses year after year, before pulling away from the edge, while they kept the pedal to the metal and careered into liquidation.
The decision not to match the Bank of Scotland money flowing into Rangers cost us trophies, and caused a great deal of dispute in the Celtic family, but story ended sweetly. So, so, sweetly.
The crash may never hit England, but the job for Celtic is to find a way of remaining competitive in the Champions League while matching income to expenditure.
Visit the CQN Bookstore to get Tommy Gemmell to sign your personal copy of his book, All the Best.[calameo code=0003901719d82038831a9 lang=en page=126 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]