Groundhog Month for Celtic?

I feel that we’ve been here before on Planet Fitba.

Celtic has just won a league match in December against Rangers.

The Hoops are ahead in the league and the people that run Celtic look across the city and they see financial carnage.

Everyone knows that Rangers will have to sell players to raise desperately needed cash.

Therefore, goes the logic, if Celtic don’t lose anyone in the transfer window then we will be, ipso facto, stronger in the second half of the campaign because Rangers will be weaker.

No need then for Celtic to spend money and strengthen an already “bloated” first team squad.

I had a look at the REAL Size of Celtic’s squad.

At first glance there is a squad of 34.

In reality there are 20 outfield players available that could be considered first team players and one of them is definitely out for the rest of the season.

So since when did 19 outfield players become a “bloated squad?”

There are three goalkeepers which is a standard amount for any squad.


The squad has good cover in the full back areas.

In central defence the best option for Neil Lennon at the moment and a first pick is Charlie Mulgrew, a converted left back.

The Lurgan man has asked for a centre half to partner Kelvin Wilson.


Lennon has good cover and plenty of options in this area of the field.

Although losing Beram Kayal for the rest of the season is a blow he still has four contenders for two positions.

In the wide midfield areas there is plenty of cover.


In attack, on the face of it, there are four strikers for two berths up front.

Bangura, Hooper, Samaras and Stokes.

Bangura’s agent, it is rumoured, has been told to find his guy a move.

The big Greek has been a revelation in the wide left berth in midfield and really toils with his back to goal.

The other two strikers are Keatings (one for the future) and the unwanted Rasmussen.

That leaves TWO recognised penalty box strikers.

Bloated squad?

Neil Lennon has said that he wants to bring in another striker  that will offer something different to what he has at the moment.

No one will know if Stephen Fletcher would have pushed Celtic on in 2009.

However what we DO know is that manager Gordon Strachan, with three SPL titles under his belt, wanted this player in January. It didn’t happen.

In the end Kris Boyd didn’t go to Birmingham and the window closed with the Rangers squad intact.

Celtic brought in Willo Flood for £50k.

The Celtic Chief Executive had his polished explanations for the tabloids, but many Celtic fans weren’t convinced.

Neil Lennon has identified two positions where he needs a player.

A centre half and a “target man” striker

At the press conference after the Celtic AGM last October I asked Peter Lawwell if Neil Lennon asked him for two players in the January window would he authorise borrowing to fund those purchases.

Lawwell said that the club had already spent “millions” on players.

I asked him “is that a net spend?”

He said “it doesn’t matter if it is a net spend.”

Clearly it does as the players brought in by Neil in the summer were funded by the McGeady money.

The Celtic board can put this league out of sight by authorising a relatively small amount of borrowing to get Lennon the two vital players he needs.

Failure to do so could see the other side of the city celebrate 4 in a row.

This time the “no one wanted our money” excuse won’t wash with the vast majority of Celtic supporters.

Peter Lawwell didn’t answer my question in the AGM presser.

However, when this transfer window closes we’ll finally have an answer.

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