Michael Stewart doesn't think Celtic need to spend money this summer

By John McGinley

May 24, 2020

BBC Scotland pundit Michael Stewart doesn’t think Celtic need to spend big this summer as Neil Lennon and company shoot for 10-in-a-row next season, writing in his Scottish Sun column this weekend.

The Hoops have just been confirmed as champions for the ninth successive season and have the guts of a squad that looks more than capable to do exactly the same next term.

The priority will be keeping this talented generation together for an unprecedented 10th successive title with stars such as Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie no doubt attracting attention from elsewhere given their form over the last 12 months.

Stewart thinks it’s all in contrast to Rangers, a team he feels needs significant changes in key positions next season.

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As quoted by The Scottish Sun, the outspoken pundit said: “Celtic are in the opposite position to Gers this summer — they don’t need to spend. Neil Lennon has already said he wants to keep this team together to go for ten in a row.

“And in the current climate you’d have to think he has a pretty good chance of doing so. The only doubt would be if Edouard has other ideas as he looks at the next stage of his career.”

The ongoing public health crisis is still playing out and how much it impacts on the finances of football has yet to fully become apparent.

Edouard’s situation might be a lot different right now compared to a normal transfer window that would come two years before the expiration of his contract.

The Frenchman’s value to Celtic as we try to deliver something beyond the wildest dreams of most supporters is arguably more than a major transfer fee this summer if it’s even on offer formally.

Stewart goes on to suggest that Edouard should be in absolutely no rush to leave the Hoops right now when he is on the verge of history and has so much of his career left.

The Radio Scotland man has also questioned Rangers’ pursuit of a permanent deal for Ianis Hagi, suggesting they simply don’t have the cash to strengthen their squad by spending £5m on an attacking player.

He wrote in The Scottish Sun: “They still have instalments of previous transfer fees that need paid but now they’re talking about a potential £5million transfer. Where’s the money coming from?

“The usual explanation is it’s from investors, that the losses get converted into shares. But that not only dilutes your share value the more you do it — it’s not a sustainable model.

“It also raises questions regarding current Financial Fair Play rules.”

Clearly the financial disparity between Celtic and Rangers is going to be a major thing over the next year as the two squads are rounded out for the 2020/21 campaign.

Celtic Park / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

That the Hoops appear so dominant off the pitch as well as on it sets us up very nicely for the road ahead, even taking into account any financial problems suffered from disruption to next season.

Celtic are in a better place than most to ride that out and the club delivered an optimistic update to the stock exchange last week.

That high profile pundits are questioning what’s going on across the city financially is not the best for our closest rivals this season – do they have the clout to do what it takes to get close to us in time to stop the ten?

Right now it would appear not.