Celtic have made some big signings from time to time but have still had to manage within the restricted budget which comes from being part of Scottish football. A shocking review shows the stunning up to date equivalent of past fees paid by the club.
A recent analysis by football finance expert Kieran Maguire and his colleague Jason Laws at the University of Liverpool has revealed some surprising and shocking figures for Celtic by adjusting past transfer fees into relatively current (2019) values. The Athletic carries an extensive article on all the details covered below and more. Firstly, to add some perspective, let’s remind ourselves that Celtic set their club record signing fee when they brought in Odsonne Edouard for £9.27 million in 2018.
The Hoops have been operating for some time with an approach of trying to identify potential stars at bargain transfer fees. That sometimes pays off, with the likes of Kristoffer Ajer and Victor Wanyama as the perfect example. Using the Maguire and Laws analysis to convert past fees into their equivalent cost in 2019, The Athletic report excellent relative value deals for Ajer (£540,000, whose 2019 equivalent was £1.1 million) and Wanyama (£990,000, whose 2019 equivalent was £2.6 million) as examples.
Those are more recent deals and values though, and it’s when you go further back in time where the more shocking figures emerge and perhaps highlights a significant challenge for the Hoops in the current transfer market.
Martin O’Neill’s Celtic would spend the equivalent of £250 million on 5 players!
Undoubtedly, the board backed O’Neill extensively. Chris Sutton’s long standing record fee (with add-ons) being a great example of investment in the squad. But let’s not forget that in a 12 month period, there were several other significant signings. And when you see the equivalent value in 2019 terms, it’s amazing to consider how bold Celtic were at the time.
Using that same analysis and looking at five of O’Neill’s top signings at that time and their equivalent values: Sutton (£8.55 million, £69.9 million in 2019), Neil Lennon (£7.76 million, £63.4 million in 2019), John Hartson (£8.1 million, £56.2 million in 2019), Joos Valgaeren (£5.13 million, £35.6 million in 2019) and Alan Thompson (£3.96 million, £27.5 million in 2019)
This article was originally posted here