The media is speculating again, and this time on whether we are the club who the chairman of Peterborough has slammed over the transfer saga involving their former striker Ivan Toney. They recently sold him for £10 million, with Brentford the buyers.
You’d think that a guy who’d got his asking price would be happy, but right from the start of this saga he’s been snarking at people in the media, with our club a particular target. Today, with his cash in the bank and the deal done, he’s had another pop.
The press is interpreting it as a dig against us and maybe it is and maybe it isn’t, but actually I think the one who comes off looking worst here is him. Because right from the start he and his club have acted in a thoroughly unprofessional manner, doing their negotiating via the press and trying to spark an auction by feeding the media details of our negotiations.
No wonder Celtic walked away from this, and no wonder we took our £6 million somewhere else.
I liked Toney but he’s been playing third tier football, and is unproven at a higher level.
Our new boy has already scored twice from the substitutes bench, so I reckon we’ve done alright out of going for Ajeti instead.
Everyone should be happy here.
Yet here he goes again, on the attack. He has said that an unnamed club – some of the media has named Celtic without needing a further steer – offered half of what Brentford did and basically said if our bid was refused we were willing to wait until January when we could talk to the player for free.
This, by the way, is an old negotiating tactic of Peter Lawwell’s, and it has already cost us one top class footballer in John McGinn.
It seems our CEO never learns.
But I can’t actually hold it against him here; Toney is not a £10 million player and we were never going to offer that for him.
At the time we made that bid nobody had beat it, and we were perfectly entitled, as the club the player wanted to go to, to hang in there and play hardball. It was already common knowledge that we had other options, so Celtic’s negotiating stance, whilst dangerous, was not all that unreasonable or unrealistic.
Darragh MacAnthony should not be pointing fingers at other clubs for their professionalism when his own has behaved in the shabbiest fashion during this affair. Even after we had signed Ajeti he and his club were still baiting us through the media, trying to get us back to the table so they could get more out of the only other club that was interested.
Look, I don’t complain when clubs string us along over transfer deals as long as they do it in private.
Word usually leaks out, but you can put it down to them being hard nosed just as we are. But doing business through the press is just shoddy.
Celtic did nothing wrong here at all, except keep our options open.
It’s nothing every other club doesn’t do.
Across the city at Ibrox they are playing a similar game with Sheffield United over John Lundstram and nobody is batting an eyelid.
If the media is going to use this to beat us with they need a bigger stick.
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