Lawwell performed a u-turn on his need for a cash buffer as Celtic hit the skids?

After Celtic’s SPFL Premiership collapse to second place, Peter Lawwell appears to have rethought the idea of amassing a substantial money account.

Fans are focusing more on finances as Celtic’s lead in Scottish football is slipping away, as the team’s performance has declined dramatically from the Treble champions of the previous season.

With Chairman Lawwell having a greater profile than the club CEO and Dermot Desmond appearing to be in charge of big decisions like managerial selections, it’s unclear who is actually in charge of policy and strategy.

The situation is perplexing, made more so by Lawwell’s apparent change in perspective. Speaking on the 2023 Annual Report, which disclosed that on June 30, £72 million was in the bank account, he said:

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It is imperative to emphasize that we must maintain a reserve of cash due to the growing difference in earnings between the Champions League and the Europa League.

We know from history that we won’t always be able to qualify for the Champions League, so having cash on hand gives us the flexibility to manage through seasons in which we play in the Europa League while keeping our squad together rather than having to sell important players to make up the difference in revenue between the two competitions.

Lawwell seems to have altered his view about “the benefits of holding cash reserves” five months after Celtic lost to rivals in a two-horse race and following disappointments in the League Cup and Champions League.

In the club chairman’s interim report from yesterday, he said:

The Board understands that investing in team building is crucial to achieving football success and that keeping surplus cash is inherently inefficient when combined with other financial obligations. The Board is as frustrated as the supporters are with the recent transfer window’s lack of activity compared to expectations.

In a company with a single purpose, Lawwell appears to have quickly changed his mind on club policy.

The amount paid to Rapid Vienna for Nicolas Kuhn will have been nearly compensated by the sales of David Turnbull and Yosuke Ideguchi.

Supporters anticipate that the goal will always be to field the best team on the field rather than accumulating a financial cushion, regardless of the philosophy or approach.

Following four transfer windows that have yielded no enhancements to the starting lineup, Celtic are now left with several players, notably summer acquisitions Marco Tilio, Kwon Hyeok Kyu, and Gus Lagerbielke, languishing on long-term contracts with little possibility of playing for the first team.

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