Brendan Rodgers insists the financial advantage Celtic enjoy over the rest of Scottish football cannot be equated to the gulf in resources between his side and their Champions League conquerors Paris Saint-Germain.
Celtic’s record 5-0 home defeat against the big spending French club on Tuesday prompted some observations that the Scottish champions were simply receiving a taste of their own medicine, in relation to the dominance they command at domestic level.
The most recent survey of global sports salaries by the Sporting Intelligence website revealed that PSG’s average player wage last season was £4.47 million, more than six times the figure of around £718,000 attributed to Celtic. In the Scottish Premiership, that sum sees Celtic pay around 15 times more than some of their rivals including Ross County who, with an average wage of around £47,500, are the visitors to Parkhead today.
Celtic manager Rodgers, however, does not believe the comparison is valid in terms of assessing the difference in quality of opposition his squad have to face when they step up to the Champions League group stage. “It’s totally different,” said Rodgers. “With all due respect, when you are working with that level of player, you see the difference.
“I understand the relative comparisons that get made. But it’s totally different because of that level of player.”
Rodgers feels the gap between the richest top seeds in the Champions League and clubs who progress from the qualifiers, like Celtic, has never been bigger.
“You can see it, can’t you,” he added. “You look at teams like Qarabag from Azerbaijan and ourselves this week in relation to the rich clubs. Those clubs used to have one or two really top players supplemented by other good players.
“But look at PSG this week and what they’ve got all across the pitch. It is very tough, but it’s where you want to be. This is where the learning and development happens for your players, even if the reality is you are not going to win the
“Every year it gets further and further away with the money in the game, whether people like it or not. Time will tell what Uefa do [in terms of Financial Fair Play]. The starting point is having a sanction in place that clubs abide by.
“Don’t get me wrong, I can’t complain, because you never know, you might be in that position one day as a coach. Football is very much financial in every aspect. The money we get at Celtic from the Champions League is massive, but it’s nothing compared to some of these clubs.”