Celtic Down but not out.

I was optimistic before today’s game I had allowed myself to think that maybe the performance against Udinese would have gave the team a lift and a bit of belief to put a poor start of the season behind them and kick on. Well I was wrong big time.
So the roller coaster that is season 2011/12 continues to hurl on. So far we have had a couple of highs but the majority of this season has seen far more lows. There have been contrasting reactions from the support today ranging from calls for heads to roll at managerial and board room members. There has also been legitimate concerns about the performance of our strikers and of course injuries to key players.
The truth is there is not one cause for this mini crisis it’s actually a combination of long and short term problems colliding all at once.
To my mind there is one long term problem and that is the genuine under investment in the first team squad over a period of years. You could look back to last summer and say that the board did back the manager and in one way they did. However the money he was given was not new investment it was recycled money from the sale of Aiden. To his credit Neil Lennon spent what he had wisely and brought in some better quality players.
Then the board made the same mistake they have made before in the January window. We badly needed to get Kelvin Wilson in but yet the board decided not to force the issue with Notts Forest therefore we had to scrape by till the end of the season. Wilson arriving at the same time as Commons could have made the difference between winning the SPL and finishing second yet again.
Going into this Summers transfer market we all knew that we needed a top class Keeper, Center half and an big experienced striker in the mould of John Hartson or Chris Sutton. I honestly thought the board would have went flat out to achive these signings as a thank you to the manager for putting up with a concerted hate campaign last season but yet again they never.
They faffed about all summer long and only made one decent signing Victor Wanyama who I’m glad we bought but we did not really need an extra midfielder. That was the one area of the pitch where we do have lots of cover. As for the striker we got Bangura who to me is too similar to what we already have. There were a few good keepers on the market during the summer like Shay Given but once again the board took the cheap option of getting Forster onloan again. We all know that Forster is not the worst keeper but he is still young, inexperienced and does not command his area. For that you need an older wiser keeper but they cost a few million.
The main reason for all this messing about is this mantra of zero debt. Every company I know have a serviceable debt agreement with their bankers. This agreement allows you to borrow money for investment that will in the long term improve the value of your products or services. To myself and many others who have businesses this zero debt target is actually damaging Celtic’s product and therefore market value.
People can call for Neil Lennon’s head all they want but the truth is that if the board of directors don’t change course then it won’t really matter who the manager is we will simply keep hiring and firing managers and the quality on the park will not improve.


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