The Celtic fans have effectively funded the rebuild; time for club to get moving
So; what now then for Celtic?
After our CEO announcing record-breaking ticket sales, and the possibility of another sell-out year, you’d have to imagine the club’s accountants are having a busy day. While it’s unlikely that the finance department are holding hands and singing “we’re in the money” due to Covid-19, things probably look substantially healthier than they did last month.
Because, as we’re all aware, tickets are expensive. They’re also a substantial source of income for the club. A University of Strathclyde study, commissioned by the club, said “football related activities”, including ticketing, accounted for 36% of the club’s income. More recently, Forbes reported that “Celtic’s loyal following accounted for 51% of revenue in 2019/20 and 62% the previous season.”
We’re not sure about Forbes’ word choice, there. “Faithful” would’ve been better, but that’s by the by.
All this being the case, it’d be very hard to convince me that Celtic supporters don’t need to see a return on their investment. This isn’t in a brattish, “entitled way”; just because someone’s paid £540-odd to watch their team, it doesn’t guarantee winning every week. However, given that Celtic supporters, en masse, have significantly dipped into their pockets during a pandemic means we need to see substantial transfer business. And soon.
Lest the goodwill being generated around in the club in recent weeks begins to dissipate.
Celtic supporters need tangible evidence of their money in action
Now, as someone who’s against much of the capitalist trappings of modern football, this might sound cynical. Unfortunately, though, poring over finances is a big part of the game these days. The Deloitte rankings are important to supporters in this day and age. You know?
And there’s a certain romance inherent to Celtic that’s missing in conversations about “well, we paid for Celtic to buy players”. However, the truth is that, especially in these times, the supporter contribution is what’s primarily driving the club. The Hoops were the only team not to take advantage of a Scottish Government loan [Sun], and season ticket sales from 20-21, despite no in-person matches, have to have contributed to that.
But now, especially with the squad the way it is, we need to see the club bringing in some quality. You can’t dangle huge promises in front of fans and then not deliver. We’re (here that word is again) entitled to wonder why, under a new manager, no new faces have arrived yet. Barring Liam Shaw, who agreed to a deal months in advance.
The club may not be fan-owned, but we’re the reason it’s in good health, financially. Lip service is not enough. To preserve the positive vibes around the Celtic Way, the club have got to get to investing in the first-team, because we are not currently equipped to win back our title. Let alone embark on a run in Europe.
We are a patient bunch, despite what others say. When we’re backing you, you know it. The club have our hard-earned cash, it’s time to see them use it.