Last night, Fraser Forster confirmed what this website and a handful of others have been saying from the start, amidst the rumours and claims and counter claims.
He freely admits that when it came to getting him back to Celtic Park that we never stood a chance.
Criticising Celtic for “failure” in this pursuit is simply not fair, and I cannot believe how much grief we have received for it.
We’ve been accused of “dragging our feet” and even of disrespecting him.
We were accused of “penny pinching.”
Even after we spent £5 million on another goalkeeper, some people – include prominent “Celtic men” in the media – were accusing us of being tight-fisted and not “pushing the boat out.”
And through it all some of us were saying “Forster turned us down!”
He let the manager down.
He dragged his feet on the decision and finally then told us he wasn’t interested.
Yesterday he admitted this in the public domain, when he confirmed that he never seriously entertained the prospect of leaving Southampton and it was that club, not Celtic, he wanted to play for.
It came as no surprise to those of us who’d been saying it all along.
But we, as a club, are owed an apology by those who tried to spin this into something it never was.
This finally ends the saga where he is constantly linked with a return.
But it also ends the nonsense that has been talked about this guy and our alleged failure to do everything we could to get him here.
Short of a kidnapping, we went as far as possible. We made the best effort we could.
There are things this club deserves criticism for, and when it has been necessary many of us have given it to them. This was not such an occasion. Fraser Forster chose something other than Celtic, and it isn’t the first time he’s made that choice in his career.
The door should be closed on this forever.
For the record, every one of us admires and respects big Forster as a goalkeeper.
He performed heroics as a Celtic player.
None of us wishes him ill or grudges him this choice.
I am not angry at Forster and his admission that he didn’t really want to return here; it’s always been known that his first ambition has been to get the recognition his talents deserve down south.
I cannot fault him for that; indeed, I agree that he’s too good to sit on the bench anywhere.
No my anger is directed at those in the media who spoke in ignorance, or worse; those who knew the truth and chose to twist it anyway, making out that Celtic had been too slow or too cheap or too lax.
None of it was true, and Forster himself has said so.
That ought to be the end of that matter as well, but although we are due an apology I don’t expect that we’ll get one.