When we gave Boyata a jersey after his public display of petulance I knew we were going to have problems with other players. Cue Moussa Dembele, who now wants out and is very publicly accusing our manager and our club of breaking its word to him. Publicly. On Twitter.
We did this to ourselves. I can’t say that enough times.
We advertised weakness and the vultures have come as they always do.
For all that, I can be angry and I am.
One of the things this window has done is remind me – I sometimes forget – that footballers inhabit an entirely different world than the fans do. It’s nice to bask in the glory of the team on the park at times, to embrace the idea that maybe we’re all in it together, but this is the modern era, not the one where a guy like Bertie Auld, a guy like Jimmy Johnstone, were earning something close to the average wage. It’s not the same world where they mixed and mingled with the supporters at functions and after games.
Footballers are in their own bubble, and inside that bubble the real world might as well not even exist at all. What’s more, for people who make a living with their feet a lot of them seem to think that the average fan is as thick as a Californian redwood.
Dembele wants to keep the fans onside even as he slithers towards the exit door. He’s knows he needs the supporters if he’s to be here when the window slams shut, although he’s now telegraphing his displeasure at not being allowed to jump ship. He wants his cake and eat it too, and because he’s a pampered prat who’s forgotten what it was like to pay money into this game rather than take it out he believes that a few kind words to the fans will somehow make us forget the appalling damage he’s tried to do to Celtic’s reputation and that of its leaders over the last 12 hours with his Twitter tantrum. Not a chance.
Hey, some of them scorched their own reputations during this window. They don’t need Dembele’s help on that score. This window will be remembered for years.
Some of us will make sure of it.
Dembele’s loyalty and love for Celtic can be measured in two ways; the time he’s been here and how it ends. He’s given us two seasons. He has no problem leaving a toxic cloud behind him. There is no room on The Celtic Way for a mercenary who was in and out of our club before the ink on his contract was even dry.
A handful of goals against Sevco and the deplorable manner in which he poured fuel onto the burning wreck of this transfer window; these are our “memories of Moussa.” There will not be a commemorative DVD with his face on the cover.
He’s been very clear that he believes he’s being treated badly, and is being held captive by mean and nasty bosses. Except that those bosses send him to work away days on a luxury coach or a private airline, they pay him a sum of money that would be life changing for the rest of us and have tolerated a number of sick days that would have most people’s union reps on standby if they worked somewhere they were even allowed such a thing in the first place.
I am so sick of footballers behaving like children under curfew. I am so sick of them pleading hardship and acting as if tens of thousands of pounds per week left them destitute, and where only the next big move could save them from penury.
Dembele was apparently not satisfied with publicly slagging the club and the manager. He felt he had to go a little bit further this morning and rub a little more salt in the wound. That’s why he played the “I love the fans” card. It insults our intelligence. We are the game. We are the people who allow people like him to have that bubble at all and he’s pissing all over us from inside it.
Celtic will not sell him in this window now, and nor should we. With no time to find his replacement there should be no question of our allowing him to throw a fit and get what he wants regardless of the state it leaves us in.
Come January I want him and Boyata and anybody else who doesn’t fancy it out of the building, and if Celtic Park security exit them off the premises off their feet and use their heads to open the door I will not have any objection on humanitarian grounds.
I want this window closed.
Today I am sick and tired of football, a game where so many who make a living off of it have no regard whatsoever for the people who make that possible. From a Champions League draw where the rich clubs are rewarded just for being rich clubs to the self-entitled posturing of people like Dembele, the whole game stinks to high heaven.