Have We Outgrown Our Business Model ?

It has been a resounding success, there is no doubt about it. There is no chance that I’m going to moan at the board for getting us to where we are now. What I want to ask is this; Is it time for the next step forward ?

We are exceeding expectations, there is no doubt about that. We have the foundation of a Champions League team, we have an excellent training and development resource at Lennoxtown. Relative to ‘bigger’ Euro clubs we are doing well. The truth is we don’t look out of place in the Champions League. For that, I’m happy πŸ™‚ Also the pricing for the CL games is very reasonable.

However…. I think we are now at the crossroad,or at least very near it. The time will come shortly when we need to make the next step up. We need to decide if we are serious contenders, not just happy with being in the CL but actually adding value to it.

The game in Scotland is a bogey for us. I saddens me to say it but it’s the truth. If we put the energy into SPFL games that we do in the CL we would probably hammer every team we played.

It’s now up to the people who run our club to decide the best way forward. I’m sure they know as much as we do that Celtic are really an untapped gold mine. However to make that goldmine profitable you need to invest at one point.

No Celtic fan wants to bankrupt the club but we really need to take a leap of faith. Bank balances are important but being a major European team is the goal. We might have to take on some short term debt to achieve that. If the board can move us up to the next level without debt then I’ll doft my hat to them. Maybe I’m just being impatient.

I refuse to slag off our players or management team tonight. They done the best that they could. But…I think we are getting to the point where we need to decide if we are a Scottish league club or a Champions League club. TV is dictating the future, we need to make sure we are part of it. That will not be easy.

Hail, Hail !

PS…These are the ramblings of a drunk but concerned man πŸ™‚

20 thoughts on “Have We Outgrown Our Business Model ?

  1. I know where you coming from but the problem is the SPFL. We are now playing league games to just over 40,000. That cannot justify or sustain investment at the next level. If we buy say 2 players costing Β£5M and pay them Β£30K a week each, will we get 15,000 extra bums on seats?! I doubt it.

    1. You’re correct but bums on seats only cover running costs now. Most of our money is made from playing in the CL.Therefore we need to be in the CL every year. To do that we need to add quality every year. We have not done that this year with the exception of Virgil. Too quick to sell, not quick enough at replacing. #HH

      1. But there’s the conundrum. We need to be in the CL and to do that we need to add quality, to quote you. Adding quality costs a lot of money but doesn’t guarantee qualification. Fail to qualify having spent big (ish) money means we start to head towards trouble.

        We can’t win the CL so last 16, possibly 8 is victory for us. Sad but true.

        The current model is the best for our current circumstances. Where I completely agree with you and others is we are at a crossroads but doing anything different is largely out of our control.

        We are kidding ourselves on about the Asian market etc. that’s the preserve of the EPL and we won’t make money from it as fundamentally the SPFL is a crap product.

        So, while I wish we could do more I think we have to accept that for the moment we are pretty much maxing everything out and we should enjoy the ride and wish for the day that some equity in finances across world football allows us to compete on a level playing field.

      2. I agree, Virgil was brilliant last night. Looking back, we have always had great strikers. Imagine the defence now with the likes of Larsson and Petrov in the side. I think we would be superb…It is unlike us to not have a TOP striker. Even McDonald did well, big games he scored in. Hooper was stupid to leave. He is now a bench warmer at Norwich. He could have signed a years extension and played this season.
        I know buying players is not easy, agents feck a lot of the deals. We brought in a few good players over the summer, Pukki and Virgil look good. The rest, who knows..
        I am unsure if Balde is any better than Bangura! Good goal at the weekend but looks frightened when he gets the ball.
        We had some Argentinian on trial, what happened? We send him home? Who else is still without a club we could have got? Must be someone. Stokes isn’t a box player, he created many of Hoopers goals.

    2. Yeah, this is true..
      I think people see is brining in a LOT of money and presume we CAN buy big.
      Maybe the money we are bringing in it so give better or new contracts to other players?
      Basically keeping who we have. The SPFL is poor. There is an argument now, “They” won’t ever be as big or strong as they were, that we have outgrown the Scottish game. Too big.
      I wonder if some kind of European league will ever happen


  2. Great piece mate..
    I think I am glad we didn’t spend and end up where another team is. But the money we made and have, we could have spent better perhaps. Lenny has said many times, as this blog is about this subject “We buy players with talent, make them better and sell for a profit” So great blog. Will we change our stance, or is this it? I would hope if we finished 3rd in this group say, and we made CL Group stages next season we would go up a level.
    Can you or anyone see the board spending even Β£5M on say, a 29 year old player with no sell on fee ever? Right now no..

    I would like to think if Lenny and the players he is brining in keep doing it on the park that the board will move with the Lenny and his team, and that is up the way. Tonight we lacked composure, and that costs money. We had maybe 3 players who were composed on the ball, 2 being Ambrose and Dijk and perhaps Samaras?

    I think we need to go and buy CL experienced players, tonight at times the player were kicking the ball anywhere, just as long as it was up the park. At times we got the head up and played the 5 yard pass, but look at Barcelona tonight Β£200M worth of players on the park, every one plays with their heads up and just relaxes into the game, all games. We need 4 or 5 players like this, if we are going to progress.

    Who we missing tonight? Ledley and Boerrigter?

    Good blog bud

  3. It is true, and your right about the effects Media are having on the game and it is what’s limiting Scottish football and the leagues. I’m from Ireland and our league has a major issue with the media impacting the league here, obviously there is a different level of standard though. This is what happens when there is a league in the shadow of the Premier League and major broadcasters dictating tv rights such as Sky Sports. The extra step forward from a business point of view is needed from Celtic but some factors come into play such as the financial fair play rule and the progress UEFA are demanding of clubs in the next two years limits spending by a considerable amount, especially for a club like Celtic who suffer from generating as much revenue as Premier League clubs, especially from television rights.

    The only way to I think Celtic can take that extra step is by increasing the brand globally. Celtic have fans from all over the world but not on a large enough scale I think to other CL clubs. I think Celtic as a brand franchise were 37th out of all the clubs around the world which is great so they should focus on pushing up that table and getting into the top 20. Things like pre-season tours across Asia, Africa and so on playing local professional teams is a great way to do it and where Celtic need to spend some money to increase the brand, this in turn will generate revenue to attract more CL experienced players. The CL games at Celtic park have attracted a global audience so the club need to make the most of this while the name is out there on different continents.

    Totally right about taking another step though

    1. Agree with you about increasing the band globally. I am living in Indonesia and have seen Celtic tops (original & copies) for sale, also tops in Buenos Aries and Malta so there is markets to be exploited. In Indonesia we have had Arsenal, Chelsea & FULHAM playing here. I was in shop yesterday and owner said ” you had that Japanese guy who was great at free kicks (Naka)” He was a MU supporter selling a majority of CL tops including Celtic. There is a market in South East Asia that we need to look at on our next tour to Australia. If Fulham can come here surely CELTIC should consider it.
      P.S in my travels to B.A, Malta, Jakarta and many points in between never at any time seen SEVCO tops


  4. Untill we play in a league that gives us an income through tv money we are above our station. Anyone who insists on spending has no knowlege of finance. Borrigter done nothing so far and he is A top player for Celtic , fee and wages considerable. Pukki only signed when qualification was sure .
    its not fantasy football there is no next level.
    There are championship clubs with much better squads .
    We have to raise a team and import young talent , this all costs . We should celebrate our position , the envy oc many a biv Euro club . HH

    1. “Anyone who insists on spending has no knowlege of finance.”

      I’m a bit of a novice as I have only been managing and running several different businesses over the past 25 years. These businesses are still growing and profiting after me running them with my lack of financial knowledge and business acumen. LOL

      There is a time in any business when you have to make the decision to pursue a larger market or stay comfortable in your current market. Both are fraught with dangers. I’m merely suggesting that Celtic are now at that crossroads. #HH

  5. Hi Wullie

    I am rushing off in a minute. I just popped in to see what everybody was saying and I clatter into your very thought provoking blog. I will have some time to ponder the various issues you raise during my morning stint. My first reaction is the club has a very real quandary. Sadly, almost all of it is outwith its immediate control and if there is a way forward there needs to be massif accommodation from bodies outside of Scottish football. Therein lies my despair. I firmly believe there is not one organisation, one club or even one supporter outside of Celtic who is ready and willing to offer Celtic the potential to design a new business model. UEFA, The Premiership etc. are perfectly content to enjoy the fruits of our exceptional occasions. But to allow us to be potential challengers to their dominance and participants in their grossly exaggerated and unequal incomes is not, I am afraid, on the agenda.

    I will, almost certainly, want to add to this but at 07.45 it will take me all my time to see the car door these days.

    Can I just say again a big thanks to Shaun for all his efforts last night and I apologise for my outbursts but perhaps I can explain why over the next few days.

    Oh, and to whoever told me to keep my chin up, have felt the weight of that beard? πŸ™‚

    H H

    1. Arthur. thank you mate, I am doing what I love, when we do anything Celtic, it’s fun, its what we do, it’s what we want to do. Wullie works his backside off to create this for everyone and brings all the Celtic family together, I am part of that Family, no if’s, but’s or maybe’s. When doing something you want to do or like to do, it isn’t hard, it’s easy.
      My only wish is I would love to talk Celtic on some Audio platform..
      I am working on that dream πŸ˜€
      Baby steps is best. I need to just do what I enjoy and I am sure it will happen.
      It’s not about being popular, gaining followers on Twitter. I don’t allow Celtic fans to follow me on Twitter and I feel pretty bad when I block people. But I want this experience to be JUST CELTIC. And besides anyone can talk to me here…
      And no outbursts from you Sir, just passion, nothing wrong there πŸ˜€
      I was too busy typing to read comments, so I am sorry also. I never seen them till full time.
      And that was me that told you to keep the chin up πŸ˜€ I hope your neck is not too sore ha-ha

      Thanks again, you are too kind..

      1. Shaun you are doing a wonderful job here,I did not follow last night…..I was down the Celtic Club watching the game,we were …..unlucky……2 great chances missed.I can,t get to a lot of games these days (no hard luck stories I still have my health praise the lord).It,s great to be part of the Celtic Family…..Your,s in Celtic TC.

  6. I wouldn’t ditch our model just yet. It’s served us well. And is the envy of a lot of clubs. Maybe once auto CL qualification is achieved we can alter it. Let’s not forget a lot of CL teams have massive debt to compete. The arse will fall out the EPL/Sky gravy train. And Barca/Real have massive tax breaks from the Spanish government. Which UEFA say they will stop. We only need to tweak our finances. Hopefully FFP will level the playing field.

  7. This buy young & sell for profit model has only been running a few years at Celtic & in my eyes is doing better than most expected, why change now when its doing well, all we need to do is build on the scouting network, we need to keep buying youngish players to sell on & hopefully in a few years we can spend Β£5m-7m on a player. At the moment if we spend Β£5m on one player there is a very small chance of selling him on for a small profit. it not a risk worth taking at this time

  8. I think the problem lies as u all say scottish game it’s rubbish that is why CELTIC can’t get decent players.CELTIC need to move out not necessarly the EPC.THEplayer looked tired during the game maybe looking at training &fittness where can it be improved as wee know thiers always room for improvememt.Wee CELTIC again close to scoring but failed more composure look up & see u’r team mates to pass.The hard work &money the club fans alike put into the displays are briliant for the WORLD to see,just get it better on the pitch is required. HH GODBLESS KTF

  9. Hi Willie

    have we outgrown our buisness model ??? NO

    The buisness model has served celtic excellently over the last few years and with the current situation with scottish football (as seen in the recent financials ) it would be crazy to change at this time, with falling domestic revenues as a result of rangers the model has been able to mill in the missiing gaps as a result, putting celtic in a very strong position while everyone expected a disaster

    the things we need to address, although celtic stock is rising in european football (currently 58th http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/uefarankings/club/index.html ) scotlands is falling (currently 23rd http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/uefarankings/country/index.html )so regardless of celtics perormance in CL for the next few years were playing 3 qualifiers and this is not going to change until scotland has a second club sucseeding in european football,, and I dont know IF/WHEN that will be given the current circumstance at SEVCO, celtic cant do this on their own.

    Celtics pre season tour of germany was a disaster, while i can accept the argument that these games are meaningless and friendlies, they are however important in the build up to the champions league qualifiers,

    The important part is celtic needs to be playing champions league footbll every year, yes every year and that should be the main goal of the club (i know it already is) but we have to be more prepared than we were this year, cliftonville was a walkover, we played woeful against elfsborg, and pulled of the great escape the shakter karagrandy, we should count ourselves lucky to have qualified this year..

    so what i propose is a slight adjustment this year to get us better prepared for next years champions league qualifiers.

    with cash currently in the bank we should take next summers purchases with i expect 10 – 15 million or 15- 20 milllion if st pater is feeling generous and go shopping in the WINTER TRANSFER WINDOW, this would allow new player 7 months to settle in, get used to the surrounding and gel as a team, so that we use the pre season to regain match fitness in preperation for the qualifiers, and that we hit the ground running and are not trying to fit new players into the team.

    This would give celtic a better chance of playing champions league every year.



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