Celtic FC -downsizing

“Here is a scenario for you. If the club is down-sizing what might its top salary be? Gary is under the impression the wage he wants isn’t going to be the top salary. Maybe what Gary has been offered is going to be the top salary, but in his mind it isn’t”.- Tony Mowbray.

So the cat’s out of the bag, after years of club officials pretending that the obvious was not occurring, we now have official confirmation that Celtic is in the grip of a drastic downsizing programme. Ok now nearly everyone and their dog have known this for years, the evidence being hardly avoidable every time the team ventures onto a pitch, yet we’ve seen scant recognition of the obvious save for the odd comment from the board regarding the need to lower the wage bill. Those comments though did little justice to the sheer scale of the ambition retreat, and certainly did not recognise that club policies would have such a detrimental effect on the competitiveness of the team. Rather the reverse, when the Europa draw was announced Peter Lawwell had the audience rolling in the aisles when he boldly declared that another “Seville Run” was hoped for.
Two issues have highlighted the absurd mess that the team have been reduced to by the, frankly, bizarre financial policy of the board. The shambolic display against Hapoel Tel Aviv was so bad, so utterly, incredibly inept , that it must rank as one of the most shameful displays ever by a Celtic team in Europe. It wasn’t merely the result, rather the mind-numbing level of the performance which would have shamed a drunken pub team after they’d been given a hiding by a Granny Select XI. Again that old sinking feeling was in evidence as the realisation crept in that many of the players should never have been allowed into a Celtic shirt, unless they bought one from JB Sports. They weren’t merely bad due to malign influences, or “heat” as it’s known to the manager, but rather it simply came down to a fundamental lack of ability.

Tony Mowbray’s decision making process also fell into the Highly Questionable category, starting off badly by placing the overrated (by himself) Gary Caldwell into the midfield slot that he’s made into a tombstone shattered cemetery. He then stood by as the midfield attempted to squat on top of the defence after Celtic inexplicably attempted to defend a one goal lead with half the game remaining, and this against a team who were pretty poor themselves. Ability is not something that can be manufactured out of thin air, you get what you pay for and Celtic are not prepared to pay for anything better. Yet club officials will have you believe that a manager can take players from the lower English leagues and transform these journeymen into a credible European force. Players loafing around in these leagues are there for a reason, their ability, not due to the whim of some overbearing tyrant who has forced them into terrible bondage for indiscretions real or imagined. Only a truly outstanding manager could transform mediocrities into a reasonable team, if at all possible, and why would a truly outstanding manager want to be bothered with such nonsense?

The other event was of course the public stooshie surrounding the contractual demands of Franz Beckenbauer, sorry I meant Gary Caldwell. What Caldwell is demanding is unknown, however The Guardian reported: “Reports have suggested Caldwell is seeking a basic wage of 19,000 a week, which is less than other first-team players at Parkhead.” Yet this appears to be too rich for Celtic’s liking. “Gary is under the impression the wage he wants isn’t going to be the top salary. Maybe what Gary is being offered is a top salary for the foreseeable future,” said Mowbray. Maybe it will be a case of saying, Thats your offer, take it or leave it. Life moves on. I am not going to fall out with Gary. He knows that. I try to give the players respect and it is only if things turned disrespectful that we would have a problem." So if Caldwell has been offered less than 19k, and if that offer is to be Celtic’s top wage level for the “foreseeable future” then not only is that a massive reduction on previous years, its confirmation that the downsizing will continue even with debt cleared .

So we have two events, one confirming the astonishing extent of the downsizing in black and white, and the other in glorious Technicolor, demonstrating just where this policy is taking us on the pitch. Can there really be anyone left on the face of this unfortunate planet that seriously believes the gem amongst dog crap cunning plan can counter the detrimental effects of constant cost cutting? Does Tony Mowbray really believe that he can turn the situation around while existing on nothing more than the biscuit crumbs that fall of the boardroom table? Perhaps he does have some grand master plan, however its certain to founder in the face of the kind of spending restrictions that would have the International Monetary Fund beancounters crying out for leniency.

Mowbray reckons it will take two years for him to bring the team to a position that he deems fit for purpose, yet he’s also on record as discounting any possibility of engaging in a civil war with the board for better funding. Given the low point we have reached, is turning the team around after two more years existing of a frugal financial diet a realistic prospect? As it is he is already finding out that what he has to work with is less than ideal. “We are short of options in all areas of the field,” he said in an interview following the Hapoel fiasco. “We had a situation against United when we had to play Paul Caddis in central midfield. A young right back who is probably third choice in his position if everyone is fit.” Flashing lights and sirens anyone?

Celtic’s excruciatingly perverse financial parsimony has succeeded over the years in reducing the team to the kind of wreck we last suffered when debt collectors were banging on the door, and some would argue beyond that. While money flows through the door Celtic have cut back and downsized past anything remotely sensible to the point where we have events such as Thursday night. Is this any way to run a club? True, debt has been officially reduced to next to nothing, but the cost has been tremendous, and even with that debt now gone there is no sign of the frugality ceasing . On the contrary, reading Mowbray’s comments over the past couple of days it looks as if the financial straitjacket he’s forced to wear will be tightened even further.

Far from stepping up the vampiresque bloodsucking, an objective observer would have thought a football club in a healthy financial position might decide it’s time to reverse the rot, crazy I know. Yet this only holds good if the club is expected to react as a football club, and with Celtic that does not appear to be the case at all. Rather than recognition there appears to be nothing more than blind indifference from those with the power to instigate change. Just last week the club revealed a truly remarkable ticket offer, 4 home league games tacked onto a ticket for the Rangers game on 2 January. For just 150 you could attend such mouth-watering clashes as Hamilton, St Mirren and Kilmarnock, for a mere 30 each. Yes you read that right. Quite why anyone would be daft enough to go for this offer is a mystery, but the fact it was made at all reveals an impressive determination to ignore the outrage caused by the desperate depth that the club is now reduced; despite putting out a D list product the club are demanding A list prices.

But downsizing isn’t everywhere at Celtic, and it’s certainly not when it comes to the remuneration of the man overseeing this devastating policy; according to the BusinessWeek.com website, Peter Lawwell received a total of 497,840 from the club, of which 257,950 bonus payment for the 2008 fiscal year. Not bad eh? As the club slides down the competitive scale faster than an drug-free cyclist, huge bonuses can be paid out for the areas that really matter. And do they matter? You may well ask yourself what is the point of a club being in profit and debt free if it still believes it necessary to continue reducing costs at the expense of its core business. It’s not as if this comes without its own cost, only time will tell what the financial impact has been on merchandise and ticket sales, we already know failure to qualify for the Champions League will mean the loss of millions.

Downsizing can be accepted if the reasons are obvious, when they are not obvious however the acceptance simply vanishes, and the reasons certainly are not obvious at Celtic. It goes without saying that a board that has consistently displayed a depressing arrogance towards the support, has made no effort to explain the necessity for continued downsizing. Nor has it made any attempt to explain just why a certain level of debt can’t be maintained in order to generate further income through increased on-field competitiveness. It has taken Tony Mowbray, not Peter Lawwell, Dermot Desmond or John Reid, to actually admit that downsizing is ongoing, let alone it’s drastic extent. For that we should be grateful, we have at least a honest, decent manager who is willing to be truthful, which is more than can be said of other club officials.

tldnr…

[quote=“north county corncrake”]“Here is a scenario for you. If the club is down-sizing what might its top salary be? Gary is under the impression the wage he wants isn’t going to be the top salary. Maybe what Gary has been offered is going to be the top salary, but in his mind it isn’t”.- Tony Mowbray.

So the cat’s out of the bag, after years of club officials pretending that the obvious was not occurring, we now have official confirmation that Celtic is in the grip of a drastic downsizing programme. Ok now nearly everyone and their dog have known this for years, the evidence being hardly avoidable every time the team ventures onto a pitch, yet we’ve seen scant recognition of the obvious save for the odd comment from the board regarding the need to lower the wage bill. Those comments though did little justice to the sheer scale of the ambition retreat, and certainly did not recognise that club policies would have such a detrimental effect on the competitiveness of the team. Rather the reverse, when the Europa draw was announced Peter Lawwell had the audience rolling in the aisles when he boldly declared that another “Seville Run” was hoped for.
Two issues have highlighted the absurd mess that the team have been reduced to by the, frankly, bizarre financial policy of the board. The shambolic display against Hapoel Tel Aviv was so bad, so utterly, incredibly inept , that it must rank as one of the most shameful displays ever by a Celtic team in Europe. It wasn’t merely the result, rather the mind-numbing level of the performance which would have shamed a drunken pub team after they’d been given a hiding by a Granny Select XI. Again that old sinking feeling was in evidence as the realisation crept in that many of the players should never have been allowed into a Celtic shirt, unless they bought one from JB Sports. They weren’t merely bad due to malign influences, or “heat” as it’s known to the manager, but rather it simply came down to a fundamental lack of ability.

Tony Mowbray’s decision making process also fell into the Highly Questionable category, starting off badly by placing the overrated (by himself) Gary Caldwell into the midfield slot that he’s made into a tombstone shattered cemetery. He then stood by as the midfield attempted to squat on top of the defence after Celtic inexplicably attempted to defend a one goal lead with half the game remaining, and this against a team who were pretty poor themselves. Ability is not something that can be manufactured out of thin air, you get what you pay for and Celtic are not prepared to pay for anything better. Yet club officials will have you believe that a manager can take players from the lower English leagues and transform these journeymen into a credible European force. Players loafing around in these leagues are there for a reason, their ability, not due to the whim of some overbearing tyrant who has forced them into terrible bondage for indiscretions real or imagined. Only a truly outstanding manager could transform mediocrities into a reasonable team, if at all possible, and why would a truly outstanding manager want to be bothered with such nonsense?

The other event was of course the public stooshie surrounding the contractual demands of Franz Beckenbauer, sorry I meant Gary Caldwell. What Caldwell is demanding is unknown, however The Guardian reported: “Reports have suggested Caldwell is seeking a basic wage of 19,000 a week, which is less than other first-team players at Parkhead.” Yet this appears to be too rich for Celtic’s liking. “Gary is under the impression the wage he wants isn’t going to be the top salary. Maybe what Gary is being offered is a top salary for the foreseeable future,” said Mowbray. Maybe it will be a case of saying, Thats your offer, take it or leave it. Life moves on. I am not going to fall out with Gary. He knows that. I try to give the players respect and it is only if things turned disrespectful that we would have a problem." So if Caldwell has been offered less than 19k, and if that offer is to be Celtic’s top wage level for the “foreseeable future” then not only is that a massive reduction on previous years, its confirmation that the downsizing will continue even with debt cleared .

So we have two events, one confirming the astonishing extent of the downsizing in black and white, and the other in glorious Technicolor, demonstrating just where this policy is taking us on the pitch. Can there really be anyone left on the face of this unfortunate planet that seriously believes the gem amongst dog crap cunning plan can counter the detrimental effects of constant cost cutting? Does Tony Mowbray really believe that he can turn the situation around while existing on nothing more than the biscuit crumbs that fall of the boardroom table? Perhaps he does have some grand master plan, however its certain to founder in the face of the kind of spending restrictions that would have the International Monetary Fund beancounters crying out for leniency.

Mowbray reckons it will take two years for him to bring the team to a position that he deems fit for purpose, yet he’s also on record as discounting any possibility of engaging in a civil war with the board for better funding. Given the low point we have reached, is turning the team around after two more years existing of a frugal financial diet a realistic prospect? As it is he is already finding out that what he has to work with is less than ideal. “We are short of options in all areas of the field,” he said in an interview following the Hapoel fiasco. “We had a situation against United when we had to play Paul Caddis in central midfield. A young right back who is probably third choice in his position if everyone is fit.” Flashing lights and sirens anyone?

Celtic’s excruciatingly perverse financial parsimony has succeeded over the years in reducing the team to the kind of wreck we last suffered when debt collectors were banging on the door, and some would argue beyond that. While money flows through the door Celtic have cut back and downsized past anything remotely sensible to the point where we have events such as Thursday night. Is this any way to run a club? True, debt has been officially reduced to next to nothing, but the cost has been tremendous, and even with that debt now gone there is no sign of the frugality ceasing . On the contrary, reading Mowbray’s comments over the past couple of days it looks as if the financial straitjacket he’s forced to wear will be tightened even further.

Far from stepping up the vampiresque bloodsucking, an objective observer would have thought a football club in a healthy financial position might decide it’s time to reverse the rot, crazy I know. Yet this only holds good if the club is expected to react as a football club, and with Celtic that does not appear to be the case at all. Rather than recognition there appears to be nothing more than blind indifference from those with the power to instigate change. Just last week the club revealed a truly remarkable ticket offer, 4 home league games tacked onto a ticket for the Rangers game on 2 January. For just 150 you could attend such mouth-watering clashes as Hamilton, St Mirren and Kilmarnock, for a mere 30 each. Yes you read that right. Quite why anyone would be daft enough to go for this offer is a mystery, but the fact it was made at all reveals an impressive determination to ignore the outrage caused by the desperate depth that the club is now reduced; despite putting out a D list product the club are demanding A list prices.

But downsizing isn’t everywhere at Celtic, and it’s certainly not when it comes to the remuneration of the man overseeing this devastating policy; according to the BusinessWeek.com website, Peter Lawwell received a total of 497,840 from the club, of which 257,950 bonus payment for the 2008 fiscal year. Not bad eh? As the club slides down the competitive scale faster than an drug-free cyclist, huge bonuses can be paid out for the areas that really matter. And do they matter? You may well ask yourself what is the point of a club being in profit and debt free if it still believes it necessary to continue reducing costs at the expense of its core business. It’s not as if this comes without its own cost, only time will tell what the financial impact has been on merchandise and ticket sales, we already know failure to qualify for the Champions League will mean the loss of millions.

Downsizing can be accepted if the reasons are obvious, when they are not obvious however the acceptance simply vanishes, and the reasons certainly are not obvious at Celtic. It goes without saying that a board that has consistently displayed a depressing arrogance towards the support, has made no effort to explain the necessity for continued downsizing. Nor has it made any attempt to explain just why a certain level of debt can’t be maintained in order to generate further income through increased on-field competitiveness. It has taken Tony Mowbray, not Peter Lawwell, Dermot Desmond or John Reid, to actually admit that downsizing is ongoing, let alone it’s drastic extent. For that we should be grateful, we have at least a honest, decent manager who is willing to be truthful, which is more than can be said of other club officials.[/quote]

Bullet points. :rolleyes:

:thumbsup:

Celtic will really feel the pinch with not being in the Champions League this year. Its worth 20million euros to the club.