Opinion: Should Celtic mirror Man City and buy a development team?

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Before I begin I know that the gulf between Man City and Celtic is somehow even larger than the Gulf between Celtic and Alloa, let alone clubs in the bottom half of the Scottish Premiership.

However, as we ponder the news story of the day about Arzani and his lack of minutes to prime him for both his national team and his mother club Manchester City, should we too purchase a smaller club and use it as a feeder?

With minimal outlay, we would be able to procure a team that could be used both to loan our younger players out to and to develop a youthful surrogate team with an eye of fast-tracking them to Lennoxtown.

West Allotment Celtic plays in the 2nd division of the Northern League, WA Celtic are themselves a team playing on the outskirts of Newcastle, a city starved of success but fanatical about its Football.

They nearly went bust tendering their resignation to the Football League last season but found the money to celebrate their 90th season and remain in the 10th division of the English Footballing pyramid.

Here in lies the beauty of an agreement with West Allotment, it will cost very little, indeed we would be like Fergus coming to their rescue.

The club has 90 years of history, plays in Green and White Hoops and is from the footballing heartland of the north of England, none of its semantics need to be changed.

Whilst it would take 5 years of back to back titles to see WA Celtic rise to the National League, these Leagues themselves are more semi-amateur than semi-professional.

The amount of money needed to first establish a young squad of locals who could take them on a run would be in the 10’s of thousands per transfer if that, where we would be able to pay higher wages without worrying about going bust.

Celtic could take an initial stake at 490,000 pounds and offer 51,000 season ticket holders the stake at 10 pounds each making up a war chest of 1 million pounds, that would surely cash the club up to a level whereby it could attract the best players via trials and nominal transfers.

The transfer policy would be to recruit young players with an eye on them coming into our development team should the succeed.

On the flip side, players like Scott Allan, Eboue Koussi and Kundai Benyu would be sent packing on 6-month loans there and should they not improve have that made into a year, they are doing nothing at Paradise.

It would be a very real trap door that would whip the players into shape quickly.

That or get them away from the playing group and get them actually aiding a Celtic investment.

From the Youths, there is the opportunity to send players there not as a punishment but as a reward, these competitions have cups no one has ever heard of being played midweek all the time, the amount of football they play is extraordinary.

This is perfect for our youths being able to play regularly against grown men, we could rotate our development team through there and toughen them up winning silverware as a bonus.

Celtic FC  spent 4 million quid on lights during the summer that we haven’t turned on yet, in fairness we fixed the roof and did general maintenance as well.

But for a 10th of that cost and not a share issue but a stakeholders pledge of 10 pounds per season ticket holder we could say buy 25% of the club and climb the Leagues.

As the team grows it can sell off another 25% as the competition gets harder and another after that if need be, this would be incremental and hardly a huge hit to the pocket for the stakeholders or Celtic with a maximum of 40 pounds being the outlay per stakeholder.

If some season ticket holders were not keen then open it up to Celtic TV subscribers or relatives of those who have purchased their 10 quid share.

Manchester City bought Melbourne Heart and rebranded it, their outlay was 10 million Australian for the franchise, they sold Mooy to Huddersfield for 10 million pounds and paid it off in a stroke.

Celtic could easily develop 1 gem from the north of England, with any player coming to Celtic we would pay a peppercorn fee, any sold to another team would come with a hefty sell on clause.

The money made would be kept for acquisitions to help rise through the Leagues, dividends being paid only once West Allotment made it to the National League.

At that stage, if West Allotment get one FA Cup game vs a top 5 team, you move the game to Celtic Park in Glasgow then a full house pays for the whole project off.

We don’t need Arab money to do this, we don’t need a hostile takeover, just a simple chat with West Allotment and an extremely affordable prospectus to be put forward to the supporters.

Not all takeovers are messy affairs, this one would merely be providing another team of Hoops a shot at glory with all the benefits flowing to Parkhead.

Would you buy a 10 pound stake-holding in West Allotment Celtic?

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