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Celtic must radically change salary structure if Rodgers is to stand a chance next season

Celtic will be forced to make some major changes to their wage structure if they are to bring in the quality that Brendan Rodgers requires to be competitive in the Champions League.

It seems fairly obvious that Callum McGregor is the highest earner at the club, money very well spent. Behind the captain Cameron Carter-Vickers, Reo Hatate, Kyogo Furuhashi, Matt O’Riley and Daizen Maeda are likely to be very well paid having all signed new contracts over the last 12 months. The rarely seen James McCarthy will be one of the biggest earners after signing a four year deal as a free agent from the EPL in August 2021.

Having recently managed at Leicester City and knowing the English market Rodgers will be well aware of the level that Celtic have to operate at to be respectable in the new look Champions League.

With the sort of fee being discussed for Adam Idah the striker won’t be settling into the rumoured £10,000 a week cap being paid to the signings made last summer such as Maik Nawrocki, Luis Palma and Gus Lagerbielke with others such as Kwon Hyeok-kyu and Marco Tilio likely to be on much less than that figure.

After losing to Lazio in the Champions League Rodgers spoke about his pre-season assessment of needing to add four quality players. It will take a scouting miracle to bring in four first team starters in the £10,000-20,000 a week wage bracket.

Even with the trimmings of eight Champions League matches on offer £40,000 a week is going to have to be on offer to bring in the players required by the manager.

£2m plus a year on a four year contract is a big commitment but Nawrocki, Palma and Lagerbielke cost around £10m in transfer fees with their aggregate wages coming to a significant sum.

Idah has four years left on his Norwich contract, if he is going to move for a fee of £6m or more he’ll be expecting a pay rise that is likely to put him at or above McGregor levels, the player and his agent will know the sort of deal that a show-pony like Todd Cantwell is on at Ibrox.

As well as the signings made by Mark Lawwell last summer there are half a dozen others draining the wage bill while making no contribution to the first team.

Ben Siegrist and Yuki Kobayashi never played a minute of competitive football last season but appear to have no interest in moving elsewhere. Sead Haksabanovic and Alexandro Bernabei made virtually no impression out on loan but are sitting on long term contracts.

Moving the non-contributors on will be a costly exercise but after the disjointed recruitment headed up by Mark Lawwell it is one that needs to be done with a new strategy put in place.

There are far more efficient ways to use the wage bill than ramming it with projects that can barely get near the substitute bench, in the business end of last season Rodgers turned to the squad that was put together by Ange Postecoglou with the additions of Idah and Nicolas Kuhn.

Some fresh thinking and ambition is going to be required in the summer transfer window, or to put it another way a better use of resources.

Signing three or four players at fees of £10m is viable with Celtic’s vast resources but it should be possible to identify players in the £6-8m price range that can make an instant first team impact.

What absolutely isn’t needed is more projects as the examples of Tilio, Kwon, Yang Hyun-jun and Odin Thiago Holm has demonstrated. O’Riley and Hatate are the exceptions, brought in by a manager who had very specific requirements after inheriting a shell of a first team squad.

From now on it has to be about quality in terms of the transfer market, once that issue is addressed the focus can turn to unearthing the next Victor Wanyama or Kris Ajer rather than signing half a dozen in the same window.

CLICK HERE for Celtic’s 23/24 squad stats.

CLICK HERE for Keevins performs incredible u-turn on Rodgers as he accuses Celtic fans.

CLICK HERE for Santa Ponsa celebrates Celtic’s victory in the Glasgow Derby.

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