Celtic elite transfer challenge laid bare as ex boss sets Champions League statement win challenge

Celtic need to ditch attractive football and become hard to beat again to progress in Europe – according to the man who led them into the Champions League knockout stages twice.

And even though the Scottish champions might have tens of millions to spend this summer, Gordon Strachan believes the Parkhead coffers are still too modest to guarantee success at Europe’s top table. So returning to the more defensive approach he deployed when steering the Hoops into the last 16 in successive years in 2007 and 2008, might be the best chance they have of making an impact under Brendan Rodgers next season.

In doing so, Strachan’s dogged team sprung two massive group stage shocks, beating Man Utd and the then European champions AC Milan. And occasional big scalps like that, he believes, are vital if they want to live with the best in Europe’s premier competition. Strachan said: “My mindset and the team’s mindset, was I just have to win. I’d love to play lovely football, but I just want to win. That’s it.

“And we made life extremely difficult for the teams we were playing. If I was playing against AC Milan or Man United, I spent a lot of time working on how we stop these guys playing. That was my main thought. I would like to play good football, but my mindset was just to make sure that we won games of football or didn’t get beat. And also I think you need one big result. It’s like Scotland with the Euros, they beat Spain (in qualifying).

“But in our time if you’d beat AC Milan, who were ‘the’ AC Milan at that time - the number one team - and you beat Man United, that’s three points you took away there. If you can get that, somehow get that. Then you’ve got a good chance. You need that big one. You need that one big win against a big club, and I think that’s what Celtic have been searching for the last few years. They need that one big win, that three points against a big club.

“It’s a bonus three points, if you know what I mean. If you’re thinking you’re playing against Man United or AC Milan, but you get one point, that’s good. That keeps me in with a shout. I need to dig out a lot of results. But if you can get that three points, not only did it help you, but the team you’re playing against, Man United or whatever, have lost those three points and they’ve really got to dig out points against other people in your group as well.”

While having big money to spend might be helpful, Strachan insists the level of finances required to make an impact in Europe is growing rapidly with each passing year and teams like Celtic struggle to just stand still.

-Credit:Getty Images
-Credit:Getty Images

Speaking to bestcryptocasinos.ltd, he added: “The standard has risen in European football and I think the financial side of it, a lot of the clubs have risen there as well. Even if you talk about Galatasaray and teams like that, they can spend much more than Celtic can.

“So there’s a huge difference financially. You’ll probably say to me then; ‘oh, well, there’s a team from so and so who got to the last 16’, or a small country. Yeah, but what happens after that? If they’re reasonably successful, other clubs decimate their team normally now. They take the manager; take the players and they last one season and go. People think because Celtic have a 60,000 crowd that they’ve got money coming from everywhere. That’s not possible. Even if you said to Celtic supporters; ‘We’ve got £40m to spend.’ Where do you spend £40m?

“And Chelsea have proved that £40m is nothing and they’ve spent nearly a billion on a team that managed to get to sixth or eighth or whatever it was last year. But the problem is that Chelsea will always get backers. If Celtic went and spent £40m, you’ve got to remember you spend £40m on transfers, and then what you’ve got to pay in wages. So it’s not just £40m in transfer fees, you’re probably able to spend £20m, and another £20m on wages.

“So that’s the problem you’ve got. So what are you going to get with £20m transfer fees this year? Nothing. It’s absolutely nothing. So that’s the problem just now. Twenty or 25 years ago, Celtic at one point in the early 2000s had the sixth highest wage bill in Britain. It’s nowhere near that now. So there’s not one or two wee things. It’s a financial thing and there’s all sorts going on. The standard, the teams have got better.

“There’s no doubt about it. The teams from Denmark and places like that have got better as well. You find it hard to get through the group stages. There’s more people, there can be five English clubs for one year, it’s a lot harder now.”