Chris Sutton highlights the big transfer advantage Celtic have over rivals

By David Walton

June 12, 2022

Chris Sutton has highlighted the big Champions League advantage Celtic have over Rangers this summer.

The Hoops have long been used to budgeting for the UCL qualifiers over the years for large spells of the window. The last time Celtic qualified for the competition automatically came back in the 2006/07 campaign.

However, they’ve already been shown the power of automatic qualification even this early into transfer season. Celtic wrapped up a permanent deal for Cameron Carter-Vickers on Friday in a move that could cost up to £10m [SBI Soccer].

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

And Sutton believes having that security of top-table European football gives them a real advantage over Giovanni van Bronckhorst this summer. As quoted by the Daily Record, Sutton said: “Rangers were guilty of complacency last summer when they thought they had their foot on Celtic’s throats. They paid the price for not strengthening properly when they were ahead and that is not a mistake Postecoglou can, or will, make.

“The gap between the teams at the moment is nothing like what it was 12 months ago and my old team has to drive smart and sharp to stay ahead. Postecoglou has given the club a fantastic platform to go on and make the additions that he wants.

“There is no need for juggling finances trying to draw up plans for different scenarios about whether they’ll be in the group stages of the Champions League or not. There’s no need to have to wait until the end of August and after the qualifiers to tell them if they’ll be at Europe’s top table next season.

“Giovanni van Bronckhorst is not in a position when he can promise a signing target a place in the group stages of the Champions League, whereas Postecoglou doesn’t have that problem. He went last season and earned that conversation starter by winning the title.”

Chris Sutton bigs up Celtic UCL advantage over Rangers

This is a particular aspect of our arsenal that’s been pushed quite a bit this summer. Martin O’Neill, for example, also recently spoke about its importance regarding our transfer work [Football Scotland].

The fact we were able to get CCV signed up so smoothly is probably an indication of that advantage. It’s big for the club to have and no doubt we’ll feel it further into the window too.

Sutton, of course, is bang on when it comes to not making the mistake Rangers did last year. We can’t allow complacency to creep into our transfer thinking. There are always areas in which to improve and that was certainly the case even towards the end of last season.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

We can’t just expect our rivals to stand still this summer. We need to keep evolving and we should no longer be using them as our measuring stick. Thankfully, Ange’s “we never stop” motto is exactly the kind of thinking we need within the Parkhead walls.

The opportunity is there to really back Ange and make us a far better team next season. Having UCL money is massive in Scotland and can be the difference between evolution and stagnation.

The early signs, of course, is that Celtic have no plans to do the latter.

In other news, Celtic striker Giorgos Giakoumakis to be honoured at special hometown event