We need American trip - Strachan

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan has admitted the Parkhead club have to play in America for the second summer in a row to try to match the increased spending power of clubs in England.

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan has admitted the Parkhead club have to play in America for the second summer in a row to try to match the increased spending power of clubs in England.

From next season, the winners of the Barclays Premiership will net £50m (€75.9m) after the league agreed a new £625 (€948.4m) deal for overseas television rights.

The Premiership’s earnings from media rights over three seasons will rise to more than £2.7bn (€4.09bn).

By contrast, the last television deal signed by the Bank of Scotland Premier League was for around £54.5m (€82.7m) over four years.

Last year Strachan complained about a gruelling pre-season schedule that included a three-game tour of the USA in between two matches in Poland and a trip to Japan.

However, Celtic have been confirmed as the opposition in the 2007 MLS All-Stars Game in Colorado this summer.

But Strachan insists the trip is necessary to raise funds to attract players to Parkhead.

He said: “We have to do these things because the money that is being bandied about in England these days is truly phenomenal.

“So we have to generate funds some other way so we can pay more for players.

“It’s not like we are going to some God-forsaken place and having to earn some money – it’s rather civilised.

“I wanted to go back to America if the tour was based around what I was after for the players.

“We learned lessons from last year and hopefully we can go and enjoy America in a more relaxed fashion.”

Strachan admits that in comparison with English clubs, his search for new talent is far more painstaking.

He said: “We’ve brought three players for the grand total of £90,000 (€137,000) during the transfer window.

“We usually wait until the last couple of days and then we are all panicking.

“If you are like West Ham and Aston Villa, and you can go out and spend £10m (€15.2m) and give away the wages that are now being bandied about in England, you can get it done early.

“But if you haven’t got that finance then you have to play the game that we all play.

“It’s going to become more difficult for us to bring top players here, no doubt about it.

“We have the lure of Celtic but if you are getting treble the money somewhere else then I’m afraid that, being a professional, you might have to go for the treble money.”

Referring specifically to midfielder Shaun Maloney, whose has yet to sign an extension to his contract which runs out in the summer, Strachan said: “We are still talking but, again, we are playing a silly wee game. It’s part of the make-up of the transfer window.

“I would like to think he will be here and I see no reason why he should go anywhere else.

“He likes it here so we have to make sure that a deal can be thrashed out.”

Celtic travel to Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Sunday and Strachan hinted Hoops fans could get their first sight of defender Jean-Joel Perrier-Doumbe who joined from Rennes until the end of the season.

He said: “He’s brought a bit of freshness and pace to the back four, which is good. I think he could play right away.

“He can play either right-back or left-back, so he provides good cover because previously we’ve had to have players playing with bad injuries.

“He can get forward and he looked okay in training.”

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