There are hysterical headlines up right now, from mainstream media outlets that cannot believe their luck, indicating that Celtic are being “investigated” over the impending transfer of Liam Shaw from Sheffield Wednesday.
Sheffield Wednesday are miffed at the timing, and manner, of the announcement and have released a statement which confirms that the deal is done. So there’s no going back on it. But the club has stated that, “We are currently investigating this matter and will consider if there are any further steps available to protect the club’s interest.”
So what exactly is being investigated?
They aren’t clear on that, although the way I see it there’s really nothing to look into.
Celtic had the right to open negotiations with the player from January onwards and as Sheffield Wednesday have admitted, there was even talk of a joint statement to confirm that the deal was done.
Case closed, as far as I’m concerned.
Obviously, some sort of squabble has ensued over the agreed timing of the announcement.
Their club says that Neil Lennon confirmed it in a press conference; indeed, that’s true, but Lennon had gone off the reservation at the time as everyone covering his public remarks knew full well.
Sheffield Wednesday are unhappy; fair enough.
Their statement today, though, goes a bit further than just slamming us for jumping the gun.
What appears, on the surface, to boil down a lack of cohesion inside Celtic Park, which has led to a lot of things getting missed, has been turned into something more with this reference to an “investigation.”
Lennon blabbing about a deal that the clubs weren’t ready to publicly announce, and the way we stopped talking to the English club about the timing, doesn’t make us look good, if we’re being frank about it.
But the oblique suggestion that we’ve done something underhanded here is ridiculous and flatly contradicted by everything in the public domain.
We had the right to speak to the footballer and he had the right to do the deal … that’s where it stops and starts and quite what Sheffield Wednesday think they are doing in suggesting that they might have some kind of case against us I do not know.
I am certain that Celtic has done nothing wrong in this regard.
The media is salivating over it.
Of course they are.
Even a plain text reading of Sheffield Wednesday’s statement confirms that there is no case to answer here … you’d think there was no real news to write with the way this is already being splashed all over the internet.
Honestly, any reputable journalist should be asking Sheffield Wednesday what they are alleging and how we could possibly have done anything wrong when the player’s contract is up at the end of the campaign?
Celtic should consider this statement carefully and I am sure they will.
I am also sure that any further effort to smear us in public, without a shred of evidence, should be, and would be, met with the full force of the club’s legal department.