ANGE POSTECOGLOU insists he attempts to maximise every penny that comes into Celtic to make sure they continue as Scotland’s leading club.

The Premiership-winning manager has listened to broadsides from rival team bosses in recent weeks about the club’s budget being superior to any other side.

Rookie Ibrox gaffer Michael Beale, in his first season as a manager in his own right, and David Martindale, whose Livingston outfit provide the competition at Parkhead tonight, have both had their say on the financial muscle at the disposal of the Greek-Australian.

THE THINKER…Ange Postecoglou ponders a question on transfer deadline day.

Postecoglou takes the statements in his stride and responds: “That’s okay. I actually don’t mind people saying we have the biggest budget because we have the biggest fanbase and we are the biggest club.

“People forget that that money is on the back of hard-earned supporters who don’t have a lot of money and choose to spend a significant portion of it on this football club.

“My role is not to get their money and stick it in the bank. It’s to get their money and reinvest it in the thing they love. That’s my responsibility and why we do what we do.

“If people are saying we are the biggest club in the land, then I don’t think that’s something we need to be embarrassed about. That’s who we are.

“I guess my role in that is to maximise that. Just having the money and not spending it wisely would have people saying: ‘They have the biggest budget but they waste it!’.

“If people are saying we have the biggest budget and are spending it well, then I’m not sure they’re achieving their goal in saying we have some unfair advantage.”

FOUR OF THE BEST…a quartet of players brought to Celtic by Ange Postecoglou with Filipe Jota, the most expensive at £6.5million, and Alistair Johnston, Carl Starfelt and Aaron Mooy celebrating the Portuguese winger’s opening goal in the 2-0 win over Dundee United at the weekend.

Postecoglou, speaking to the Daily Record, continued: “I take that responsibility very seriously.

“We are not spending money we don’t have here. Through our supporters or through our sponsorships or through our player sales, it’s all money that’s hard-earned.

“It’s not just given to us. We don’t just have a benefactor throwing money at us.

“So, it’s important that that money we have here is spent wisely. I reckon we have done that in the time I’ve been here and we’ll continue to do that.”

Asked if he is monitoring the incomings at Ibrox, the Hoops boss answered: “Nah, mate. If I didn’t need to think about our own transfers I’d be happy, let alone think about somebody else’s.

“No, what I think is important is looking at our place and what we are doing here. We had some clear strategic objectives in this window and I’m pleased to say, from my perspective anyway, that everything we wanted to get done, got done.

“I think that just shows we’re all aligned. What happens at other clubs doesn’t really affect us, to be honest.”

FAR EASTERN PROMISE…J-League Player of the Year Tomaki Iwata delighted to join the Japanese contingent at the champions.

Postecoglou could afford to relax on transfer deadline day after some forward planning made sure he had four players in the building long before the mad scramble before the midnight cut-off.

Canada World Cup right-back Alistair Johnston and Vissel Kobe centre-half Yuki Kobayashi signed their contracts in December which allowed them to get in some crucial training sessions at Lennoxtown with their new team-mates.

J-League Player of the Year Tomoki Iwata arrived last month and South Korean international striker Oh Hyeon-gyu signed a week ago.

All four players have already made first-team appearances and there could be an opportunity for some more game-time against Martindale’s Livingston tonight.

The Hoops go into their third confrontation of the campaign against the West Lothian club with two previous successes already achieved and looking to at least maintain their nine-point advantage at the Premiership pinnacle.

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Livingston this evening – only in your champion CQN.

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