Mike Ashley’s Rangers takeover has perturbed plenty of Gers fans, but Celtic legend Charlie Nicholas doesn’t believe the discount sports goods vendor will have to invest much of his billions in order to help the stricken giants bridge the gap to his old club.
The Bhoys have been anything but impressive in the Scottish Premiership this season and were technically eliminated from the Champions League play-off round twice.
For many, the absence of Rangers is responsible for the Hoops’ decline and now, after falling all the way to the foot of the Scottish Football League ladder, the Light Blues could be but a season away from overhauling Ronny Deila’s men as the soccer super power north of the border.
Or at least that’s the view of TV pundit Nicholas, who says:
“It wouldn’t take a lot of investment to make Rangers able to compete with Celtic. I don’t know if you can talk in terms of finances, but if you look at their squad I’d say they are potentially only four players away.”
The ex-Arsenal forward has cited the Parkhead club’s penchant for shedding their top talents at the first sign of profit as the reason behind this belief.
After receiving bucketloads of cash for superstars such as Fraser Forster, Victor Wanyama and Gary Hooper in recent campaigns, Celtic have reinvested a fraction of the funds in replacements.
Instead they pursue a transfer policy of unearthing diamonds for pennies, hoping to auction them off for millions further down the line.
It’s a stellar business model to follow, providing, of course, top talent can continually be found in the bargain bins.
The Bhoys’ plight this term, however, is proof that it can’t.
Nicholas suggests that, should substantial offers come in for any of their top performers this term, they’ll certainly be accepted, while the potential loss of loan stars such as Jason Denayer will also be devastating.
New Rangers head honcho Ashley has proved that, despite widespread criticism and a tendency to turn to football clubs into enormous advertising hoardings, he will spend money when it’s needed.
Just this summer he forked out around £30m improving the Newcastle squad in accordance with Alan Pardew’s wishes, a fraction of this would elevate Rangers to a level where they’d be capable of toppling Celtic next term, should they get promoted.
Currently sitting in second in the Scottish Championship, the Gers can be backed at 7/1 to claim a 55th top tier crown in 2015/16.