Yesterday, as the papers and the internet were full of stories about how Tom Rogic had turned down a contract offer from Celtic, I was very careful not to subject him to the kind of criticism like that which I had given James Forrest.
There were two essential reasons why; first, Rogic has two years of his deal left and whilst it would be nice to get him signed up on a long term one, it’s not an imperative at the present time.
The second reason is this; Tom Rogic is a class act.
When he left our club to go on loan, barely a year after he’d joined, I thought we had seen the last of the Australian midfielder. I would have put money on his never returning to these shores, except years later, probably with some European team where he’d inevitably have hurt as so many of our stars of yesteryear have tended to do.
When we signed Scott Allan I was baffled, as the midfield area was already packed to the gills. I had completely forgotten about Rogic; when he returned for the start of pre-season training I thought “Bloody Hell, what’s he doing back in a Celtic shirt? How the Hell can he expect to get time on the park here?”
Yet from the start of the season he looked superb.
I think he’s got a good shout for being our player of the year.
Whilst I would not have mourned the loss of James Forrest, I would consider Rogic’s leaving to be an outrage, especially as he appeared happy at Celtic and like a man enjoying his football again.
One of the biggest criticisms of James Forrest over the past few weeks is the way he and his agent have essentially gone to ground and refused to engage with the fans over the contract refusal. He’s not uttered a word, in public, about the situation. If the story wasn’t true we’d have heard it by now. If there was any chance of a deal being done, he’d have told us.
We can only assume, therefore, that he’s simply not interested in Celtic any longer.
Tom Rogic didn’t keep us waiting for word.
He wasn’t content with silence and he actually does have more respect for the club, and for the fans, than my namesake. He came out quickly, and moved decisively, to give the fans the information they sought. Not only is he perfectly happy at Celtic Park, but he wants the negotiations concluded quickly so that he can play on with a long term deal under his belt.
This is great news for all of us.
Rogic has always been a fine footballer; even in his early days at Parkhead you knew he had something. But he’s clearly a class act off the park as well.
I am pleased with the way he’s handled this.
Good communication stops rumours and counter rumours dead, and Rogic has given us a clear steer away from sensationalism and towards a good outcome, one we can all be pleased with.
Well done that man.
Come on Celtic, get him tied up on that new deal quick.