Collins, who will leave with Ronny Deila following Sunday’s flag day celebrations against Motherwell at Parkhead, said: “Martin O’Neill was signing English Premier League players, but Celtic will never be able to sign an English Premier League player.
“It’s disappointing, but the word is reality. It’s the financial reality and a lot of people forget that we have restraints on salary and fees.
“They can’t compete on salaries. That’s a fact. It will stay that way unless the club breaks the wage structure by four or five times the current rate.
“We are shopping in different places. Fans still look back on those days and think we want that again, but it’s very difficult.
“You have to be very creative in your scouting and development and create more of our own young players.