Rarely has a team started a league season as such overwhelming favourites as Celtic start this season in Scotland.
The reasons for this are well-documented. Their eternal challengers, their bitterest foes, are fathoms below them. Out of sight but never quite out of mind. The likes of Motherwell, Hearts and company will fight as they always do but the depth and quality of Celtic makes the idea of them not winning the league utterly unthinkable. They will win at a canter.
Last year, I wrote a piece on Celtic's transfer strategy. The next challenge for Celtic is, with the league essentially won, to keep hold of those talented players. There are some extremely talented - and no doubt ambitious - players at Celtic Park and if the league season becomes a procession will they wish to stay? My view is they'll have to make a decent foray into European football otherwise the draw of the Premiership, and other leagues, may become too great.
Ki Sung-Yeung, Victor Wanyama, Beram Kayal, Emilio Izaguirre and Gary Hooper (my views on the Hooper here) are all fine players who could survive in the Premiership.
If relative success in Europe doesn't follow, I'd expect the biggest English clubs to start a feeding frenzy on Celtic at new year. In the shorter term, Manchester United are said to want a left-back. If they sign Baines from Everton, Moyes may well turn to Celtic for Izaguirre. He is likely to be cheaper and very possibly better than other alternatives.
I've seen Kayal, Ki, and Wanyama linked to clubs who finished in the top 6 of the Premiership last season. It may well be that if one of those teams comes calling, Celtic - even with their strong finances and sound management - will be unable to resist whilst, no doubt, haggling for a fair price.
The only other ways for Celtic to keep hold of this talent? Well, players aren't always economic automatons.
Lennon may be able to point out that Celtic plucked many of the above from relative obscurity. That argument might cut some ice if not a huge amount. Further, if Lennon can sell a long-term vision of the club to the players, and show them why they are integral to that vision, some may be convinced. If he can convince them that weekly football in front of 60,000 passionate supporters, trophies, and perpetual European football is better than the comparatively big money and occasional football available at a mid-table English Premier League team, more may be convinced. It isn't, despite what we may have heard, all about the money.
Scottish football needs talented players. Even if we don't support Celtic Football Club, we shouldn't wish talented players away from them. Scottish football as a whole will be poorer for it - not just because we've lost those players but because the other clubs may well be cannibalised as Celtic consider replacements.
PS - for those keeping up with Rob's personal Olympic legacy. Tonight (the 2nd night of my regime) I cycled 14.5k in 30 minutes and 500 metres in the pool. Tomorrow is a night off and I'll be back in the gym on Thursday.