No sooner had I written and published the last article, on how Brendan Rodgers has told Celtic fans that he wouldn’t be constrained by the “wage cap” that so restricted Neil Lennon and Ronny Deila, but The Daily Record hack Gordon Parks was trying to spin that as something damaging to the club.
In the piece he wheeled out the very arguments that I said were a proven nonsense; that once the wage structure was broken other players would demand big increases and that when they didn’t get them it would create an unhappy dressing room.
The sheer idiocy of making such points has to be pondered.
Clubs all over the world operate on the policy that you are paid what your skills are worth.
In the article he mentions Scott Brown being the highest earner at Celtic Park, but then goes on to extol the virtues of Charlie Mulgrew, pointing out that his contract negotiations have stalled. (Have they? Has he even established that they were ongoing?) He seems to think this proves his point.
What it does prove, of course, is that there is already a grading system inside Parkhead; all a change to the wage cap would do is alter the level at which the higher earners are paid.
Mulgrew doesn’t get the same salary as Brown.
Nor does Scott Allan or Stuart Armstrong.
None of them has ever banged on Peter Lawwell’s door and demanded to know why.
The answer is obvious. They haven’t proved themselves worth it.
The argument Parks is making – that the Celtic dressing room will split, that this will cause more trouble than it’s worth – is little more than an exercise in wishful thinking.
His prejudices and biases are way out here, front and centre.
This is a typical “fan with a typewriter” piece and you don’t need to be a genius to work out that it’s not a Celtic fan we’re talking about.
This is so par for the course with these people; where possible as regards Celtic, turn a positive into a negative. Funny that he never ponders the impact of Joey Barton’s inflated salary on the Ibrox dressing room. Odd that he hasn’t written about how Lee Wallace getting a new contract might spark other players at Sevco to want the same.
For the last couple of weeks we’ve been hearing, non-stop, about how Brendan’s appointment and the Barton signing have made Scottish football “box office” again; in fact, it’s the Celtic boss who has done that. Barton is simply following in the footsteps of a number of others who saw the SPFL as an easy ride and one last meal ticket. His big mouth far exceeds his talents, which is why the press is more focussed on the words that come out it than anything he might do on the park. The Celtic boss is the real story, a genuine top class talent at the height of his powers, who had plenty of options including a chance to become England boss.
It is Rodgers’ plan for Celtic and the decision to go for quality players rather than spend his budget on filler which will elevate the standard of the game here and increase our profile, especially if he can lead the team into the Champions League groups.
Everything else is just white noise.
The media is supposed to be embracing the fact that a big light is shining on our little country again. Today they’ve shown their hand. That a journalist would try to lament the idea of top players coming to our league is frankly embarrassing. That he’s trying to do it in the name of preserving Celtic’s squad harmony … that’s just laughable.
We know that the narrative in the newsrooms is that Rodgers has been brought to Celtic as a counter to what’s happening at Ibrox … it’s garbage as every Celtic fan is wholly aware, but the media can spin it that way as long as Brendan is the only sign of ambition at the club. If he goes out and brings in top players, though, then we’re undeniably focussed on bigger things than a four year old club with delusions of grandeur.
That’s what the media dreads most. Celtic looking beyond these shores, at bigger things, whilst Sevco scrambles around trying to build a team of free transfers and has-beens. It would be a show of strength at Parkhead, whilst they try to pretend they’re not dreadfully weak.
A top class manager, signing top class players … could there be a more dramatic exemplar of how far removed the two clubs are from each other?
No wonder hacks like Parks are scared stiff of it.
The contrast embarrasses their favourite team, so the press has to find any little point of friction that they can.
This one is pitiful, but that’s the standard we’ve come to expect of them.