I think this morning, I’m glad this transfer window is finally over.
I’m glad I can put it behind me, and move on.
Much as I want to move on, I know it will still rankle with me.
Because somehow, I think it’s really going to come back and haunt us.
And when it does, we’ll point to the fact that if we had actually done the business required in January, we wouldn’t find ourselves fighting for this title.
Because make no mistake, we are now in a title race.
The Ibrox side, well, if you were to read Barry Ferguson’s column in this morning’s Record, have done fantastic business in this window.
I guess that remains to be seen, but at least they have actually made an effort, which would indicate they are serious about taking this title from us.
We, on the other hand, seem fairly content to give them the best possible chance to do that.
As expected, we finished the transfer window with just Nicolas Kuhn, and Adam Idah on loan.
I’m blue in the face from talking about what an abject failure this window has been, so I’m not going to bother talking about it anymore.
Instead, I’m going to focus on the possible fall out from a Lawwell driven window.
One of two things is going to happen in the aftermath of the January window.
It’s pretty simple.
Either the gamble will pay off, or it won’t.
Don’t kid yourself on that the board haven’t taken a gamble here.
Because that’s what it is, plain and simple.
But not only have the board gambled with a £60 million Champions League pot, and significantly reduced our chances of winning the league comfortably, they’ve also gambled with the retention of our manager.
Whether that is by design, or by chance, remains to be seen.
I wrote an in depth article on this two days ago.
In it, I put it to a vote to see what fans believed would be the outcome of the board’s current behaviour.
I asked if Brendan Rodgers would be gone by the end of this season?
I expected a fairly balanced response.
The reaction I got surprised me.
Out of 1,069 readers who voted, 920 (86%) believed that Rodgers would be gone by the end of the season.
Now that’s pretty conclusive, and it seems to be a reflection of the mood, and the current feelings, of the fans.
Our fanbase is not happy.
There is a dangerous undercurrent now crackling beneath the surface.
The Lawwell lovers are starting to realise that the great leader is maybe not all he’s cracked up to be.
Remember the Wizard of Oz?
In the end, he was just a small old man, operating the machinery that protected the ghostly image of his face.
That’s sort of how I see Peter Lawwell at the moment.
He sees himself as the great leader, the chairman for life, but right now, this old man is walking on very thin ice.
His gamble might pay off, but if it doesn’t, all of the fan’s ire will be aimed directly at him.
He will think he can tough it out.
And maybe he will, because as I alluded to in last night’s article, it is going to be very hard to get him and his nepotistic cronies out of power.
However, if he has to walk into a cauldron of white hot anger aimed at him every time he attends Celtic Park, his attitude might change.
You see, people who think they’re untouchable will always push the boundaries.
People like Lawwell have gotten away with the same behaviours for decades, so why should they change now?
Lawwell’s attitude is the fans have taken it for the best part of 20 years, so why should that change now?
What Lawwell doesn’t seem to understand is that his constant weakening of the squad, undermining of the manager, and asset stripping of the team, all while there is tens of millions in the bank, is what is fueling people’s anger.
We have somehow conspired to come out of the January window weaker than we entered it.
Our third top goal scorer is gone to Cardiff City for £2 million.
Meaning our net spend in the January window was £1 million.
We have further weakened the backbone of our midfield.
This is coming off the back of the news that Reo Hatate’s injury could result in him being out for up to 8 weeks.
Two back up wingers in Mikey Johnston, and Marco Tilio are also gone out on loan.
We still require a left back.
I’ll put it this way, when we arrive at Ibrox in April, for what could be a very important clash when it comes to the destination of this title, we will absolutely need to be fielding a full strength side for that tie.
We will not be facing a fool like Michael Beale this time around.
We won’t be able to wing it with a decimated squad like we did last time around.
Clement will punish us if we are weakened by injuries, if we field a threadbare squad.
The next three games are all away from home, if we drop points in any of them, it opens the door for the Ibrox side to reach the summit.
Tomorrow, they will hammer Livingston at home.
On Tuesday, they have Aberdeen at home, we will get a snapshot of what to expect from that tomorrow.
Following that, they face Ross County at home.
Let’s call a spade a spade here, that’s 9 points in the bag for them.
It is a much trickier endeavour for us to secure 9 points from our three away fixtures at Pittodrie, Easter Road and St. Mirren Park.
If we come off the back of those three fixtures in second place, then Peter Lawwell can expect a very hostile atmosphere at Celtic Park on February 17th.
That is where it will begin.
Many years ago, when I was a kid, there was a bully in our school.
He did the rounds with the kids, but he usually gave me a wide berth.
In the first few weeks of secondary school, he had tried it on with me.
He got a few sharp punches into the head when he least expected it.
That bought me a couple of year’s peace from him.
When I was nearly finished school, he slowly but surely started on me again.
Never physically, but with sneaky, underhanded things.
One day, he crossed the line, and went beyond the point of no return.
I saw red, snapped, and became so enraged I could not be held responsible for my actions.
I stormed into our class room, pulled his table out from under him, and dragged him to the floor.
Whereby I proceeded to rain down punches on him.
To this day, I find it very hard to remember my actions.
I know It took two teachers to get me off him.
I think if they had not managed that, my life would have turned out very differently.
Simply because I would have inflicted serious physical damage on that bully, if they hadn’t pulled me off him.
I have never really snapped like that again in my life since then.
So what, you ask, is the moral of this story?
It’s a metaphor for what we’re experiencing at Celtic at the moment.
Peter Lawwell and the board represent the bully.
Thinking they can get away with whatever they want, without there being any repercussions.
They keep on pushing, and pushing, but we never push back.
One day, they’ll push it too far.
Then we, the fanbase, will see red and snap.
I get the feeling that day is close at hand.
It will just take the right circumstances, or the wrong circumstances, whichever way you want spin it, for it all to kick off.
Dropping points in the next three fixtures could be the catalyst for that to happen.
The board is sailing dangerously close to the wind at the moment.
They might find themselves caught in a maelstrom sooner than they imagined.
For me, and thousands of others, it will be about time.