Football is a game where eleven players face eleven players most of the time, but the financial disparity between two teams can help determine who will be the likely victor. Of course there can be upsets but nine times out of ten, the team with more money is odds-on to come out on top.
At the moment, we are ten points behind our rivals; a gap that it is hard to take for most fans, but speaking to Sky Sports (via the Herald Scotland), ex boss Mark Warburton believes there is an even bigger gap financially between the two teams:
‘The longer that Celtic are exposed to Champions League football, the greater the financial divide becomes so Rangers need the investment and they need to dampen expectation and recognise you’ve got to build the club back up.’
‘All that does is increase the gap between Celtic and Rangers and every year you’re fighting now to close that financial gap.’
On the face of things, there is a ring of truth to what the former manager is saying. Money from the Champions League group stages over the past two years means that Celtic should have the advantage over us, and it will take time for us to bridge the gulf.
However, that is only one side of the story. For sure, we shouldn`t expect to have been challenging right from the off in Warburton`s maiden season in the Premiership, but you do expect some progression over a period of time.
Last season, we were drawing against the likes of Kilmarnock, lost twice against Aberdeen and Hearts, while this season we have lost to the likes of Hibs and Kilmarnock twice. These are teams with smaller budgets, and let`s face it a number of inferior players. If we had been dominating against such teams this season, but still lagging behind our Glasgow rivals, then I think there would have been more patience.
With that in mind, the mistakes that Warburton, and his successor Pedro Caixinha made, are less forgivable. You can say we need to manage expectations all you like, but I think the lack of a plan to progress in the league is the main bone of contention here. Is there any truth in what Warburton says? Let me know in the poll!