After years of unchallenged dominance, selfless Celtic appear willing to risk their status as the sole powerhouse in Scottish football, or so their recent transfer activity suggests.
Essentially guaranteed the Scottish Premiership title before the start of each and every season to follow Rangers’ exile from the upper echelons in 2012, the Bhoys seem keen on levelling out the discrepancy in quality existing between their squad and those of their trailing rivals.
The foundation upon which this assumption is built is the Old Firm outfit’s new-found obsession with buying players from Dundee United, a team only good enough to finish fifth last term.
Nadir Ciftci is the next Terror earmarked to make the Parkhead switch, with a £1.5m bid for his services accepted by Jackie McNamara’s men.
The Turkish striker has found the net 33 times across two seasons in Scotland, 14 of which were registered in the league last season.
He’ll be the third Tangerines favourite to join Celtic this year, with highly-rated Stuart Armstrong and fellow forward Gary Mackay-Steven recruited in January for a combined sum of £2.75m.
The former was part of a lauded raft of youngsters harvested from the Dundee United academy, alongside Ryan Gauld and Andrew Robertson (who was signed from Queens Park as a teenager), who were sold to Sporting Lisbon and Hull for a sum just shy of £6m.
Auctioned off before the season began, neither of the pair kicked a Scottish Premiership ball in 2014/15, but their three former colleagues to feature on this page were heavily involved.
Yet, despite stocking millions of pounds worth of talent, United were unable to finish higher than impoverished outfits St Johnstone and Inverness in 2014/15.
With Celtic intent on siphoning off a mediocre Scottish Premiership side’s players, perhaps devolution is their primary objective this summer.
It’s a brave, yet necessary move.
Rangers’ expulsion from the top tier led many to fear for the future of Scottish football, with a dearth of competition for honours diverting fans elsewhere in their search for intriguing title tussles, an eventuality that would, inevitably, have a disastrous impact from an economic perspective.
Similarly, a league not worth winning is not conducive to attracting the best players, preventing Celtic from improving on a continental scale.
Fearing for the long-term prospects of the Scottish game, the Bhoys have taken drastic, yet benevolent action to revitalise the nation’s top flight, even if that prevents them winning a 47th title next term.
They’re 8/1 to relinquish their crown in 2015/16.