Today is a good day to be a Celtic supporter.
Don’t get me wrong; every day is a good day for that, but today it feels especially delicious.
Scott Allan has signed for Celtic.
Which a lot of people saw coming.
Which I thought was a proposal so ludicrous I literally offered, on this website, to eat a cement mixer of humble pie if it came to pass.
I hear it rumbling down the street as I write this.
I have my spoon in my hand.
And to think I wanted to shed a few pounds before my holidays ….
Ah well. Better dig in.
Before I do though, I want to say a genuine heartfelt cheers to everyone who’s emailed me on that one since I posted the piece and it very quickly became evident that this story was more than just Keith Jackson taking a punt.
The readers of this site and the other Celtic blogs are a classy bunch of folks, but they’re sharp and they don’t let us away with anything … especially lazy journalism.
Keep it coming, and especially in the light hearted way you did it.
Brilliant. All of you.
A hell of a lot of credit for this ought to go to the CQN boys.
They gave me a good laugh last night with their post announcing that the deal was done.
They, as it turns out, are the ones who broke this story, not the hacks, and had I realised that at the time I would not have dismissed it so readily.
To me, it read very much like mischief making on the media’s part.
I could not, for the life of me, foresee any scenario which ended up with Scott Allan at Celtic.
I genuinely thought that he had his heart set on Ibrox and that Hibs would hang on to him through the season.
When I heard he’d rejected a move to England, and said he wanted to stay in Scotland … well, I thought that was simply putting a cherry on it.
I would have put my every penny on Scott Allan winding up in a blue jersey.
It looked as good as done, because I thought he had been bitten by the bug and bought into this Warburton Revolution nonsense, as so many others have.
I was concerned that certain people were using this situation as a way of making us look bad, and I thought there was a risk of us walking into a minefield.
I also wondered if Allan was the right calibre of player, and I still do.
I don’t think that’s unreasonable, and already I see signs that I might have got that wrong as well.
And I welcome that, and I want to be wrong.
Because Allan has the mental toughness for this task, and no doubt about that.
He knows full well that he’s walking into the lion’s den here …. I cannot praise him enough for having the courage and personal confidence to take this step as decisively as he has.
I think it speaks volumes for the calibre of person he is.
Apart from that, one other thing turned me around on this and it’s that the club has given a three year deal to Liam Henderson and sent him to Hibs on loan.
One of my concerns was that by signing Scott Allan we’d be side-lining this kid, when he’s shown so much potential and should be part of our long term plans.
That we’re retaining him too, and blooding him in Allan’s place no less, makes this all the sweeter.
Ronny knows we’re facing a lot of games in a short space of time.
He also knows that competition is what drives footballers to do better.
Scott Allan will not be sitting on the bench.
He’s going to be a first team player, albeit in a rotated squad.
If Sevco fans are consoling themselves with the idea he’s destroyed his career (and only truly bitter people could, and a special mention today to Derek Johnstone who almost wet his pants on Clyde last night at the notion that Allan’s bloodwork might have turned up something wrong … I was furious listening to that) … well, they better think again.
We’re going to find out just how good Scott Allan actually is.
He will learn more about himself in the next 12 months than in his whole career so far.
He has the right attitude, and that can take even a mediocre player a long way.
And I don’t think Scott Allan is that.
Sevco fans are, of course, furious about all of this as even the tiniest glance at their websites will reveal.
To call it an explosion of anger doesn’t do justice to what it actually is; a vicious outpouring of bile and hatred that sort of stuns you at first, although we should be used to it.
(I wonder if The Record will highlight it, as they did a couple of tweets from Hibs fans earlier in the month?)
They see Allan as some kind of sell out, not only a guy who signed for a rival club – which happens all across football – but as some kind of cultural traitor.
This mentality is why so many people loathe them.
To read the contents of their forums you would think Scott Allan has gone through, or is going through, some kind of profound identity crisis.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Scott Allan is well aware of who he is, and he has a good grasp on the world around him.
This deal is worth more money to him, for a start and as it’s now been done, I have to conclude that Celtic have been interested in him for a while and he’s probably not been unaware of this.
When it came time to make our move we did it decisively and without fuss.
That makes him feel as if he’s wanted by our club, and valued, which he would never have been able to say, with conviction, about the people across town whose offers to Hibs were derisory and who were willing to let him dangle on the line until January, when they would probably have offered him a cut price deal marketed as his only career option.
Allan, who has passed up opportunities to sign for them in the past, may have had a football allegiance to them when he was young, but I think it’s pretty clear to anyone who doesn’t have marbles for brains that he’s never shared the “cultural leanings” many of them seem to think go automatically with attending games at Ibrox 20 times a year.
That they expected him to show some “loyalty” to such repulsive notions is ridiculous at best and at worst a perverse concept that they need to snap out of sooner rather than later or see it continue eating their club from the inside.
Their own identity crisis is far more profound than his.
I’m talking about this self-image they have, this notion that they are something special, and not a second tier team assembled on the cheap, with dodgy directors with a peculiar tendency to change their minds and their “plans” like the Glasgow weather.
I don’t mind that they have delusions of grandeur and actually believed a choice between Celtic and them was any choice at all for a young player with ambition and who wasn’t infused with all their insanity and closed mindset …
I mind that they try to ram it down our throats every chance they get and that certain sections of our media are happy to further the myth with them.
They are going to have to start adapting to reality here.
This should be a wake up call to them about where they actually are in the pecking order and it should be an eye opener about the calibre of people running their club that they couldn’t sell a boyhood fan on the idea of biding his time and getting his move there.
They really ought to be doing some sober reflecting today.
I’ll leave them to it.
There’s a game on later, a player to be introduced to the Celtic crowd, and I have a cement mixer of humble pie to eat.
I going to enjoy this. All of it.
Enjoy your own weekend brothers and sisters.
And welcome, Scott Allan, to The Celtic Family.
You’re gonna love it here, and you will never regret what you’ve just done.