Celtic manager Neil Lennon has stated that he believes the effect of the current pandemic could see the club affected in the transfer market, and didn’t rule out a player sale.
Clubs around Europe have appeared to be less willing to spend big money on players due to the financial implications of the current health crisis. Reports have been going around of leagues such as England’s Premier League losing £100m per month alone due to not having fans back in stadia (ESPN).
Naturally, then, Celtic will be feeling that blow just as much as anyone. Despite raking in over 50,000 season-ticket sales for the season, the Hoops are still missing key gate revenue that only comes from supporters being allowed into the stadium.
And that may create a ripple effect that Lennon believes could sway Chief Executive Peter Lawwell’s decisions in the transfer market.
As quoted by the National, Lennon said: “I try not to think that way (that we may need to lose players). But, at the end of the day, the board will do what is best for the club as an ongoing concern.
“It’s been difficult to predict and navigate what this transfer window is going to be like. There has been some money spent, but not in the bundles you’d expect.
“Clubs have been wary and the news on Tuesday may have made them more cautious, so we aren’t exclusive from that. That’ll be something Peter [Lawwell] and the board will be looking very hard at.”
Celtic fans have still seen money spent this summer
In truth, despite the fact there’s been the pandemic, we’ve still seen our club spend well over £13million on the likes of player transfers and wages this summer.
In addition to that, Lennon has been backed heavily with big-money signings such as Albian Ajeti, Vasilis Barkas, and David Turnbull respectively. Shane Duffy’s wages still won’t be cheap either.
So we can’t say that we haven’t been blessed when it comes to our recruitment. So many positions that needed filled have been and it looks as though many of our signings will make a positive impact in the long-term.
However, what’s worrying here is how Lennon failed to rule out a big-money departure this summer. With the lack of Champions League football again going to hit the club’s coffers hard, costs will surely need to be made somewhere.
With the futures of Odsonne Edouard, Kristoffer Ajer, and Olivier Ntcham being a source of speculation all summer, there’s no guarantee that all of them will be Celtic players come the closure of the transfer window on October 5th.
So we’ll see what happens over the course of the next couple of weeks. But as things stand, there doesn’t appear to be any guarantees from the Celtic boss here.
In other news, we discuss why this Celtic player needs to be given a chance before his loan move becomes a waste.