Finally! Finally, Pedro has come to the party! He’s got his best shoes on, his dancing moves primed, but more importantly, he brought his wallet and by god does he needs a wheel barrel for it!
Ever the optimists here at the Celtic Way Blog, we’ve sat quietly, waiting. For anything really. David Turnbull saga aside, we’ve been too quiet this summer while those around us get their business done. Regardless of how you judge the quality of their business, they’ve at least had a plan and executed it in good time.
But finally, and I say this with palpable relief and a belief that Pedro has uncorked the biscuit tin to do damage – Welcome to Celtic Christopher Jullien!
I’ve got somewhat of a unpopular opinion on all things transfer related. We’ve all seen and laughed at the damage recklessly chasing that which is wildly out of our reach can do. And what a laugh it was. Now I severely doubt the same could happen to us because, well, we’re not run by incompetent crooks. But that being said, the prudent approach buy the board may have provided the platform for the final assault on 10 in a row.
It’s fair to say, from around the time our neighbours went down the pan, till we signed French Eddy, we put the brakes on “marquee” signings. Big money gambles that make the likes of Pedro’s sphincter shrivel up and have him patting himself down looking for his wallet. Just in case. Heated driveways and disco lights apart, Celtic have been prudent in their expenditure. Since 2012, Celtic have outspent their transfer income twice. Brendan Rodger’s first and second seasons. Ironic since he pretty much took Ronnies team and made them better. But that’s hopefully the first and last time I need to mention his name. Ever.
Consulting Transfer Market, that leaves Celtic roughly £36 million quid in the green for transfers in the last 8 years. Our last accounts as of February this year had us sitting at £38.6 million, up over £8.9 million from the same period last year. That’s no bad going for a league that gives you a pat on the heid and a lollipop for winning it. And I know, the old guard will slaughter a mention of the accounts, and no, the balance sheet can’t play RB. But it’s the strength of that balance sheet that we’ve built up over the last 8 years plus, that’s made £7m and £9m signings possible in back to back seasons. Throw all the “Balance Sheet FC” insults you can think of, but without that balance sheet, where are we? I’ll tell you where, we’re sitting on the cusp of history without a pot and a depleted squad who have absolutely run their legs off for the last 3 seasons. I don’t believe for a second all those loan deals were designed for this moment where we’re sitting on a fortune for one last push at the 10. But it seems to have worked out that way. And we’re not done yet.
We’re not in the know, far from it. If we see something we might comment on it here and give our tuppence worth. Like we all do. That being said, the spending will continue. We don’t have a choice.
Everybody has had their say on Peter Lawwell in one capacity or another over the years. There’s no denying he’s a shrewd businessman. And again, I’m not saying that the plethora of loan signings over the last few years have been in any way a master plan for this moment. More likely a result of the biscuit tin being buried under that heated driveway of his. But by luck or design, we’re in a position to nail the rest of the league to the floor for the fourth season running. And this season more than any in the run to 10, is the most important. The money that has been thrown at the squad across the Clyde in the last 3 seasons has been obscene. This season is their hail-mary, by all accounts they’re all-in. If they blow it this year, next year will be ever harder. Celtic are turning the screw on 9 in a row. Imagine what we will do for 10.
It’s a peculiar situation though. I was knee deep in pint 6 when the final whistle went and the Treble Treble was confirmed. That deflation when 20 minutes after the whistle, before we had even lifted the cup, the news filtered around that Lennon was full time. I won’t lie, I wasn’t in the minority on this one. But by appointing Lennon, it’s painted a target on Lawwell (like he needed another one). He must back Lennon to the hilt and beyond. It’s his arse after all.
Pedro can be the guy who either killed 10 in a row or made it an absolute slam dunk. You can only lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Pedro has got a grip of the reigns, and we’re on our way. Very soon, it’ll be over Neil and the rest of the bhoys to prove all the nae-sayers wrong when they grumbled over his appointment.
It’ll be firmly on his shoulders to make sure each and every player in that squad, plus whoever else pitches up in the coming weeks, drinks, and drinks deep.
Nine is more important than Ten. For now.