Governance and the money that has to be found


Money has always been an issue in Scottish football, there is never enough to satisfy demand for what seems to be needed.  Previously, the requirements have been formidable: safe stadiums, but more often they have been less pressing: better players.

The modern training facilities Celtic and many others enjoy would be marvelled by all clubs as recently as 20 years ago.  Then there are playing surfaces.  Look back at old videos and you will see just how poor pitches were and how far many clubs have come.

All-seater stadiums, pitches with artificial lighting, which allow water to drain and remain mostly green throughout the winter, training facilities with dressing rooms within a miles walk of the pitch have cost the game an unimaginable amount of money in a relatively short space of time.

If you were around when the Taylor Report, released in the wake of the Hillsborough Disaster, mandated almost all top-flight clubs to rebuild their stadiums, you will remember the game itself seemed in jeopardy, needing to spend money it never had.

A causal look at any Premiership club’s accounts will convince you that there is no money for Video Assistant Referees (VAR), but like the stadiums, the pitches and the training facilities, money has to be found.  Society is on a trajectory where greater levels of customer service and administrative governance are expected.  What we put up with in the past is no longer tolerable.  Soon, we will not tolerate freezing our bums off for two hours with a roof providing only partial shelter from the elements.

Premiership managers met with referees and the SFA yesterday and agreed that VAR was needed, no chief executives were harmed at the meeting.  This would be one step towards better the governance we all now expect.

Celtic Charity Football Talk, Xavier Centre, Carfin

Saturday 19 January, 8pm

I am joining Tom Boyd and George McCluskey after the game tomorrow night for a question and answer in Carfin.  We are raising money for Vision of a Blind Golfer, to assist George’s son, Barry.

Tickets are £7 each, call Mick on 07827 975271 to book.  See you there.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author


  1. Go tell the Spartim on

    I think by and large this site is very “Celtic can do anything they like and its braw with us”. Which of course is fine, everyone is entitled to view everything they way they see fit.



    However, it becomes tedious and actually down right insulting and arrogant to foist ones perceived realities onto someone else, BR is well aware of confirmation bias, perhaps some on here should be too.



    Lets deal with some facts, without apportioning blame :



    Main striker sold right at the death of the summer transfer window


    Summer Targets missed thru a variety of reasons as with every club (popular story PL takes too long and penny pinches)


    Winter window – Two loans and a punt (though i like the look of him, from what ive seen)


    Squad too big of bang average players but too light up front, due to unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances


    Two CB’s leaving in the summer, of the ones remaining, ones learning his trade, the other cant be relied upon.


    Need for RB


    Better cover for LB needed, given KT’s injury


    Captain at the end of his career and on the verge of leaving for pastures new


    Money in the bank (figure changes on your view point)



    Does this sound like a growth strategy to you?

  2. A lot of talk about Celtic not buying any more centre backs in this window and that Boyata & Benkovic will be first choice for remainder of season.



    The CQN article currently running says “It seems certain the club will not add to their central defensive position in this transfer window….”



    I hope CQN are wrong.



    If this is the case it is seriously negligent given the fact that we’re losing both these players at the end of the season.



    Brendan witnessed – as did we – the shambolic central defensive performance that cost us a CL place in August. He recognised the importance of not losing Boyata and pressurised the board into writing off £7m to keep him….so it’s not as if he thinks that we have an internal solution in place.



    Losing Benkovic makes it a double whammy.



    Brendan as a good Celtic man is as emotionally invested in the club as we all are. But another CL failure due to losing centre backs and not properly replacing them and his professional reputation takes a hit.



    So why would he allow this to happen……I hope he knows good things that we don’t…….

  3. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    : ? on 18TH JANUARY 2019 3:05 PM



    To begin with, what is your name- I’m seeing a motorcycle emoji?



    To the point: not sure I get on board with the metaphor. Players are a hybrid of employees and assets for accounting purposes. However, I believe the gist of your input is that there are players we can’t afford and richer teams than ourselves; of course, I don’t disagree that.



    But my original comment was in response to the claim that renewing contracts is now equivalent to investing in the team; it’s really not for the reasons I pointed out above; the main one being that when you don’t invest, you don’t simultaneously lose an asset. However, if you don’t extend a contract, you do lose the asset.



    All things being told, our investment is still very conservative this window; it may yet change. But to date, it’s been another exercise is spending very little money.



    Also, people continually conflate England (and the money therein) with the rest of world football. It’s not the case, but that is inconvenient to that narrative.



    Case and point: compare the spending of the newly promoted German, Spanish and Italian teams to the English:



    I agree,but this Rangers team has consistently outspent,by a great deal,the rest,and still performed erratically.Even the 1st half of this season.


    I have a really strong feeling that we will go the rest of the season unbeaten.

  5. SuperSutton 12.58



    ‘re the wage differential,


    Its mad isn’t it?


    We can’t compete and won’t ever do so.


    It’s soiling football and knocking out competition in England and is having a knock on effect in Europe with each country never meeting the income of England.


    Just annoys me mate,the imbalance in it.


    Hope your good mate



  6. TurkeyBhoy



    I hope you are right.



    I have concerns about Celtic right now. However some of those concerns fall to the lower reaches of priority.



    However, of pressing concern. Almost paramount is our full-back positions. When Izzy desperately lunged in on Niall McGinn and went to ground for their penalty. When Ryan Kent tied Lustig in a knot, and Lustig desperately lunged in and went to ground.



    I’ve used the word desperate a couple of times, and also that they lunged in. Because as I see it, they are both players who are finished. A good full-back shows the winger the outside track. A good full-back shows the winger to the byline. A good full back wins that race to the byline, and then anticipates ny change in direction by the winger. Good defenders don’t over commit, and good defenders don’t go to ground very easily.



    Lustig and Izzy however…. Guilty as charged

  7. In ither news…..



    It’s dead sleekit that ishortie has chosen the pic of the boul’ Wullie for their puff piece on VAR.


    Nane o’ the staunch britherhood need re-training. Nup.



    Dead subtle Dick!

  8. And with question marks over Tierney’s return.



    Our full back positions could be our undoing. I’ve made the point before on here, but opposition managers I believe devise their tactics, based upon getting down our right hand side. They are targeting Lustig. And for good reason.

  9. traditionalist88 on

    The most frustrating thing is that this may be as good as it gets if we don’t sway even slightly from the ‘strategy’.



    We have a high profile manager with excellent contacts in the game, 2 consecutive CL appearances behind us (10 in total I make it?), the best sponsorship/commercial deals we’ve ever had and some of the highest attendances in Europe, yet we can’t get the managers top signing target for midfield out of Hibs, we have a first choice right back way past his sell by date with a young guy who was deemed not good enough a few months ago as backup, and are 4/5 months away from having 2 gaping holes in the centre of defence before we start CL qualifiers again. You’d hope that would put the theory that most transfer business isnt done early in the window to bed but would you bet on it??




  10. Go tell the Spartim on

    Interesting podcast from Mark Cooper on comparable teams (in his opinion) we should be looking at.














    Sporting Lisbon







    We are second for income


    2nd for wages paid out


    9th in league coefficients


    7th for spending on transfers


    10th for player sales ratio to profit



    If its accurate its at least worth investigating

  11. CELTIC have made the top ten of European football’s attendance league.



    The Hoops come NINTH in the Uefa-commissioned report based on season 2017/18




    Record income through STs,CL money and sponsorship, and we can’t get a right back,or a centre back? Please, no more excuses….




    From page2



    I like that this is now wheeled out as the new type of ‘investment’ made by Celtic. This isn’t an investment. It’s a choice between losing players for nothing/a transfer fee (because they have run down their contract or because they are not being paid their perceived worth) or increasing their remuneration (which is often deserved). Now, there is an upper limit as to what we can pay players so should the player demand a certain fee, he has to go either by running his contract down (Boyata) or being sold (Ledley).



    Hi mate,enjoying your posting.


    You were answering saying it’s not really investment.i would argue it is,it is light



    But just say I sign you on a 3 year deal,1 mill a year,deal cost to club £3m



    If in year 3,with 1 year left agreement to extend your contract is made.costing club say 4m(wee rise for you)



    Are wages not an investment? I would take a prudent approach and say yes,which would include the opportunity cost of you failing/being injured,not making it although I would hope you would go on making me and you money.


    Hope your good




  13. Fool Time Whistle on

    CONEYBHOY on 18TH JANUARY 2019 2:57 PM





    The BBC said earlier that the Chookie Embra ‘careered’ off the road.


    Sum mistake surely – he hasn’t had a job since WW2





    But he has had several careens in that time frame.

  14. FAN-A-TIC on 18TH JANUARY 2019 3:06 PM



    Wits has a “quirky” sense of humour. I believe that was the terminology used to describe it by a previous poster.



    Fair enough, however one problem is that nobody knows when to take his posts seriously. Subsequently I would not get too upset..






    Ps: It seems many posters are still underestimating the huns. In Scottish terms they are one of the best teams.. We underestimate them at our peril.

  15. glendalystonsils on

    GREENPINATA on 18TH JANUARY 2019 4:42 PM



    The 29th December should have knocked any underestimating on the head. Not that we underestimated sevco……more a case of underestimating our own fragility.

  16. ?????‍♂️??? (THE HANDS CANT HIT WHAT THE EYES CANT SEE) on 18TH JANUARY 2019 3:20 PM



    I only use an emoji but you should be able to guess my name from it!



    I understood your point, but I see the wage bill and contract extension as an investment; revenue costs as opposed to capital costs. A transfer fee (or the cost of training a young player) is the capital cost and is always seen as an investment. I would argue that the ongoing costs are still an investment and the increases in salary to players we have retained on better and longer contracts are still an investment. The capital cost is amortised to zero at the end of the contract so we have a zero value asset. Any extension on that “rental” provides us with an asset that we will continue to pay for over the extended contract.




  17. What is the Stars on




    never take me seriously ….unless I say something like ….God Bless Peter Lawwell etc..

  18. VFR ( ages ago)



    A brave attempt to stem the internet cynicism, with reality its round about this time every year SFTB has to post his rational on ‘how transfers work at Celtic’ despite the fantasy that we all get caught up in.



    I agree its now very difficult to attract the quality of player that Celtic need, and it follows that players of the quality that we have signed are waiting in the revolving door, to be egressed. Celtic supporters are waiting ( my guess is still deadline day ) to sign players better than Sevco have signed because, on the face of it a diabolical liberty has been taken in allowing them to ‘catch up’ when they have no experince, no history, no bank account, and no money.



    Cristian Benteke was the last player Brendan Rodgers signed for Liverpoool at a cost of £32M it hasn’t gone down well, and now he’s dealing in the bargain basement which whether we like it or not, is SP hell. But and its a big but the Celtic support don’t want any more transper market hard luck stories, it’s time to show the extent of the gap again by flexing our muscles and considerable wealth, even if its for a mere £4M RB that the dogs in the street round Parkhead, know we need.



    BR’s biggest Celtic mistake and his £60K per week was last summer was showing his hand to SMSM, and allowing the cynics to wade in with their anti Celtic agendas. He’s busy preparing us with no ‘marquee signings’ or ‘no Centre Backs till summer’ but he should be signing much, much better than the options which we’re left with at full back.



    The striker situation was laid bare at Ibrokes, and has only been partially fixed, but there should be no ‘priced out’ excuses come 31st Jan regardless of ‘ how transfers work’ or a few £millions.

  19. Not read back so this may have been mentioned already. During the use of VAR at the World Cup, what was being reviewed in the booth was also being shown to the public on tv. Will this be the case in Scotland?




  20. 1️⃣5️⃣ clubs welcomed more than 1️⃣ million fans to their matches in 2017/2018



































  21. mike in toronto on

    Posters have been having the same conversations for years now … and no one seems likely to change….



    so, rather than continually bickering, how about bed-wetters post Monday, Wed, Friday and Sunday, while the Depends wearers (they are just as old, so if they aren’t wetting the bed, they must be wearing depends) post Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday… and then they can alternate the next week.



    It would be just like west side story … you come onto the blog on the wrong day, and you get a (virtual) beating …



    and Roy Croppie (if he is around .. I haven’t seen him for a while) can be CQN’s equivalent of Leonard Bernstein, and write/play great music



    I was going to say ‘like West Side Story without the dancing’ (because none of us are getting any younger… and most of us dont want to see our old uncle dancing ….)… but as this guy shows, you dont have to be young or a little thing to be a great dancer …





    so, if you feel like dancing too, go for it….

  22. VAR.


    I can’t see it helping Celtic.


    It all comes down to the wording, clear and obvious error.


    There’s enough wiggle room there,to give a decision based on bias, be it unconscious or not.


    2 examples, Derby the other night, I didn’t think it was a clear and obvious error, the VAR official did and disallowed the goal.


    France penalty in World Cup final, VAR thought clear and obvious error and awarded pen. I thought, no way, despite waiting on France for a substantial pay day.


    VAR officials will see what they want to see.


    Hail Hail

  23. BSR I would suspect Celtic are trying to get a decent RB in and may still be talking to Aberdeen about McKenna (possibly about a buy now and loan back deal) but won’t be held to ransom. The £4M RB we were apparently interested in leapt to £8M overnight and the other one wants to go to EPL for sill money.



    If deals can be done, they will but at the right price and in the background (as much as is possible in the current climate).



    We have bought 3 players (Bayo, Perez and Gutman) and brought in 2 loans (Weah and Burke) so that’s 5 (although the American guys might not hit the first team just now). We still have 13 days to go so there is still time if the right players are available. Let’s have the sensible debate when all the business is done.



    Too many Celtic fans are swallowing the SMSM bollocks that Rangers have strengthened and we haven’t. They have 2 loans and 2 pre-contracts. That’s 2 older players (who couldnae get a game wi’ Bournemouth and Southampton) and 2 coming in the summer. Scott Brown at 33 is being written of as too old but DeFoe (36) and Davis (34) are great signings? The SMSM and the gullibles now think they are destined for 55!



    Think of Barton, Keane, Dublin, Gravesen, Wright, Keane and Ljungberg. Those 6 were from the same bargain basement as Davis and Defoe (all arguably of better quality) but none of them really made and impact here. In fact with the exception of Robbie Keane who was average, the rest were rank rotten! Time will tell.









  24. Why do we seem to get linked with/bid for players who look like they are game changers (Castagne/ Schar/ Piccini) then when they dont come off we do nothing or sign a project. Looks like a real poor strategy in place. Seems plan A and plan B are poles apart in terms of quality.

  25. mike in toronto on

    BSR … you dont have to do Tuesdays, but, you have to make the time up during the rest of the week. Fair enough?

  26. Bourne – I hear stories, I read blogs and the press. They are not always right but not always wrong either….

  27. Why don’t we sign 2 CBs,a fortnight before the CL Qualifiers, which are the biggest financial games of every season?

  28. Kelvinbhoy



    Same here.



    We’re due a winning bonus on the transfer front, where some fans don’t think we’ve spent the Dalglish money, never mind Moussa.



    Fingers crossed, because ten is everything and I don’t buy the Celtic ‘dither’ sh7t3.




  29. Guys on the ST payment plan, got renewal letters today……a tactic the huns get roasted for on here….