The news yesterday that we had sold Jeremie Frimpong wasn’t exactly designed to get the Celtic fans celebrating. A lot of us think it represented good business; I disagree.
Nevertheless, the fact there’s doubt and discussion going on means that many fans do see it as a move that makes good sense. More than that, some of them think it was an offer we couldn’t refuse.
A player we bought 18 months ago for a mere £300,000 has gone for an eight figure sum. In any other endeavour this would be a phenomenal return.
At Ibrox they are literally stunned by this development.
The NewCo has been trying to flog its own players for elevated sums for the past few years and they’ve never got near this.
Their record remains the £2 million they brought in for Josh Windass in August 2008 … five times less than we what just got paid for the former City youth academy player.
The media thinks this vindicates the Ibrox transfer “strategy” of “holding out for their valuation.” The trouble is, their valuations of their footballers doesn’t reflect what the rest of the market would be willing to pay, and that’s the only criteria that counts.
In “holding out” they simply come across as looking unrealistic and even a bit mad.
There is no question that is there was an eight figure sum on the table, in this window, from one of their players that they would biting the hand off the club offering it … but no such bid has materialised and no such bid is going to. They’ve been waiting on it for years.
The reality of this is fairly simple; even with our club in turmoil and all over the place, even with the team having regressed in the last 12 months, we are trusted by clubs in England and abroad.
We still have a reputation for developing talent, and that’s not something that can be earned overnight. It comes from years of selling players on and seeing them do well.
One of the things that makes our current situation especially frustrating is knowing that this is miles from being a really top class Ibrox team we’re losing to. They have a couple of good players but there are no truly great ones; the Ibrox side is greater than the sum of its parts. The parts themselves aren’t all that much to write home about.
They still believe that if they hype these guys up enough that the big bids are only a matter of time away. This is simply not the case, and no amount of foot stamping or media support for the idea will make it in the least bit legitimate.
I disagreed with the sale of Frimpong. I disagreed with it strongly
. I actually think had we coached this kid properly we’d have gotten a lot more for more. But even I can’t deny that the profit – even with a sell-on fee going back to Manchester – is a whopper.
Football clubs outside Scotland still only see Celtic when they are scouting players for a higher level.
Oh I have no doubt they watch other clubs, including the one across the city, but our networks are trusted and our judgement is respected … and that why time and time again we rake in the big bucks.
Just wanted to be able to do it isn’t going to make you able to do it, and Ibrox’s fondest wish is not going to be realised by the likes of Freddy the Ned.