Ex-Celtic hero Frank McGarvey questions board’s European ambition

Former Celtic striker Frank McGarvey has questioned the board’s European ambitions.

McGarvey, along with all Celtic fans, has watched the club toil to get through the Champions League qualifiers, often moving to add to the squad after several rounds of crucial fixtures.

As often as not, these moves have come too late to help the team progress into the group stages.

There’s been a feeling among many Celtic fans that the board are happy as long as they’re a point ahead of Rangers, something that has been evident in transfer dealings throughout the years.

McGarvey said: “My worry is Celtic are happy enough to keep winning trophies in Scotland,” reports the Sun.

“The players and supporters have ambitions in Europe, but I don’t think the board share them.”

For most Celtic fans, nine and 10 in a row have become the holy grail. But McGarvey is right in that fans want to see the club make its mark in Europe again.

Many feel that, while Celtic have built a decent squad domestically and have made a good start in the Europa League, failing to qualify for the Champions League against beatable opposition in three of the past five seasons represents a huge missed opportunity.

Coming out of each transfer window with more cash in the bank than we went in might be pleasing for the beancounters, but less so for the fans.

Celtic are an Edouard injury away from having to endure a worrying couple of months until the January transfer window opens. And McGarvey, who scored over 100 goals in the Hoops, reckons it could all come down to goals.

He said: “I think it’s going to come down to the Old Firm games this season ­— and you have to think about goal difference being worth a point.

“It could even come down to goal difference to decide the title.”

He continued: “Look at Rangers tearing Aberdeen apart. Aberdeen are meant to be the third team in Scotland, but Rangers hammered them 5-0.”

It’s a fair observation by McGarvey and with the Ibrox side sitting at the top of the league, there’s no room for complacency.

However, it has to be said that Celtic have had the tougher start to the season, not least in terms of home versus away fixtures, having played five away matches to Rangers’ three.

Gerrard’s side have been banging in the goals too, but beating an injury ravaged Aberdeen side isn’t really a barometer of how the season will pan out, nor is beating Hamilton 5-0 at Ibrox.

They have certainly improved at home, albeit they crumbled when the champions visited. A clearer picture might begin to emerge by the time the first round of fixtures is over or, more realistically, by the halfway point in the season.

While Edouard is head and shoulders above any other forward in Scotland, as regards how we get the goals required, a lot may depend on the transfer window.

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