“If I was …” is a phrase which usually ends in all the listeners thanking God the speaker is not.
When Kris Commons says “If I was in Neil Lennon’s shoes,” as he’s done several times, I involuntarily flinch because the thought is too crazy to consider whilst sober.
Today he’s been bumping his gums again about how Celtic has got it wrong over Bolingoli.
He even has a solution, and if he “was in Neil Lennon shoes” he would have followed through on it.
“Sack him,” is what he says.
Yes, indeed. Tear up the contract of a player who cost you £3 million and risk a major industrial tribunal overturning your decision and you having to pay him up in full on the remaining terms of a three year deal and watch as someone else signs him for free in the meantime.
Just sack him. Easy to say. Easy to write. Not so easy to actually do in real life, in the real world, where Celtic has to operate, instead of the infantile, childlike world where Commons seems to spend much of his time these days. Celtic have acted correctly, but he sees fault in what we’ve done.
A much more sensible option was to do as Celtic have undoubtedly done behind the scenes, and started working on getting the player out of the club without it costing us a fortune. Because we’re a business and not prone to stupid or rash decision making.
Transfer listing him is surely the correct option, as any football manager and chairman with even a handful of brain-cells knows full well. Some eejit suggested to me last night that we follow the path charted by Sunderland, who sacked Adam Johnson outright.
But there are one or two minor (and not so minor) differences here, but let’s start with the one that’s most clearly related to the issue at hand. Johnson was going to jail.
He had no re-sale value to speak of. His worth to the club had dropped to zero.
They had no prospect of getting any sort of fee because no club was going to sign him. When a footballer in on the way to prison for a lengthy stretch no court in the land is going to uphold the value of his contract.
We’re not exactly comparing like-for-like in terms of the offence either, are we?
No-one is suggesting that Bolingoli has done something deserving of being locked out of the game entirely, only Celtic Park.
His behaviour may have put the health and safety of his fellow players and the staff at Parkhead in some measure of danger but I doubt that was his intention.
I don’t know what Kris Commons’ intention is, other than to hear the sound of his own voice on the radio and see his name in the papers again, but all interviews like this do are remind us that this isn’t the sharpest tool in the box we’re dealing with here, but he’s sharp enough to know that criticising our club, even when we’re right, will get him the fame he craves.
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