The Celtic recruitment team need to take responsibility for falling so far behind Rangers this season, according to Alan Hutton.

The former Gers and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, believes the Hoops allowed themselves to become complacent in terms of new signings and insisted they were now paying the price.

Speaking to BBC Sportscene earlier this week, former Bhoys star Craig Gordon claimed the Hoops failed to address the need to replace players as Brendan Rodgers’ treble-winners were “eroded” away.

The shot-stopper also suggested senior players recognised new recruits were needed at Parkhead but that the club’s decision-makers failed to act swiftly enough.

Hutton has insisted while someone like Scott Brown may have been able to advise the manager or the board on new signings, the squad cannot be blamed for the club going backwards.

Asked who was to blame for the Hoops’ failings, Hutton told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “That side is down to the managers, the recruitment staff, the sporting directors – these are the guys that are paid the big money to make these big decisions.

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“We can’t put that down to players – players are there to play the game, work hard, do their bit. If they’re not doing good enough, those higher up let them know, that’s how it’s always worked.

“Yes, within some dressing rooms you have the odd player who’s got a great relationship with the manager, whether it be the captain or whoever, who might go in and say: ‘Look gaffer, I think we need another centre-half or whatever.’ You do get those sort of relationships but not all the time.

“I think it’s a case for those higher up and for me, you could see it. Brendan Rodgers at the time had the best team, in my opinion. He obviously left, there was obviously times within that spell that changes needed to be made, but Rangers were nowhere in sight so they didn’t have to go and spend the millions.

“They could just keep the team that they had and just plod along and they were still winning trophies so everybody was happy. Now that Rangers have stepped up their game and moving forward, you can see how far behind Celtic are and they really should have been upgraded years ago.” 

Gordon told BBC Sportscene: “The team that was invincible under Brendan Rodgers has been eroded away. There are only a few guys left, the guys that are still there have aged four or five years since then and it’s been something that’s been coming.

“I think players needed to have been brought in earlier to realise what the club was all about to then step into the shoes of these (older) players. It’s been something that has been coming, I think the more senior guys in there would have probably realised that.”

In other news, Celtic have landed a key attacking threat as loan deal completed.