Rivals have burned through £100m catching up to Celtic; now Bhoys can deliver knockout blow

By John McGinley

January 15, 2022

Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson made a curious boast this week on The Athletic Football Podcast, sharing that investors had burned through the guts of £100m to catch up to Celtic.

He said it almost as a point of pride, yet I don’t particularly see the upside of spending that much money to win one trophy in a decade.

Regardless, it shows the absolute desperation across the city to get back to a competitive level and the perils awaiting them in future should Celtic now rise to the challenge.

Photo by Willie Vass/Pool via Getty Images

Robertson told the podcast: “I can’t talk highly enough about the support we have had from the board and the investors. They have invested the guts of £100million now – probably a lot more than they thought it would take at the time.

“We lost the promotion play-off to Motherwell in 2015 and the club was broken. I don’t think people realise how little infrastructure was left when the current board and investors came in.

“Even they were surprised at the state of the club, but it created a fantastic opportunity to build. When we got back to the Premiership, we quickly realised that we still had a way to go in terms of competing with Celtic.”

“I won’t sell Celtic to anyone” | Ange’s emphatic transfer message

“I won’t sell Celtic to anyone” | Ange’s emphatic transfer message

Celtic can stunt Ibrox growth with £40m prize

It all brings into sharp focus just how important this season’s Scottish Premiership race is. With a £40m prize likely on offer in the shape of Champions League group stage football, this year’s league winners will have an automatic advantage.

Indeed, Robertson admitted to The Athletic that Champions League football “would be the No1 priority for us as a club.” I’m sure there are reasons for this beyond the prestige of elite European football. That money is needed.

Celtic stand in the way. Those are the stakes for Ange Postecoglou and the squad in the second half of the season. They won’t be thinking that way as individuals or a team, but that’s the reality.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Likewise, if Rangers build on their six-point lead at the top of the table and take the title, suddenly they have the financial means to build again.

The Bhoys won’t have a better chance to stunt growth across the city while enjoying more success for quite a long time.

It all starts on Monday night against Hibernian.

In other news, “Massive growth area”; Ange delivers another classic Celtic one-liner with a serious point.