All the way through this season, when the Ibrox club have been on top, do you recall many stories about how the big clubs in England and elsewhere were sniffing around their squad?
No, neither do I and it’s funny because although we were having a bad time of it there were endless stories revolving around ours. Not all of this is about stirring up trouble at Parkhead.
The endless swirl of rumours about Celtic players is grounded in two things; our history of producing and developing talent and the fact that we are respected and trusted at being able to spot a player on the transfer market.
Failures happen to every club, but our success rate is critical to an understanding of why we get the premier offers.
At Ibrox, the current club has never sold a player for more than £2.5 million.
They still believe, over there, that they can “name their price” and wait for the offers to come.
But nobody is going to step up and offer them mega-millions for their players.
The Ibrox club won this title on back of chaos at Celtic Park and in the wider game and the simple fact that can organise a defence. Other clubs have been able to organise a defence, but few have spent the sums on it which they were able to do.
That’s values all six of them at £10 million plus and at least one of them, presumably, in the Edouard bracket.
But there is no universe in which any club will buy Connor Goldson or Aribo or Kamara for £10 million. None of those three is worth that. You would struggle to justify that price tag for Kent. Barisic’s valuation is based on his national team. That leaves Morelos, and everyone knows that his on-field antics bring as many problems as they bring goals.
Those “valuations” are not remotely realistic, and a run in Europe’s second tier competition did not change that and nor did winning the SPL.
For openers, at least three of those players – and you argue others – would not get into our first team if everyone was fit and available.
You could make a case for Morelos, as a goal scorer, Barisic as a left back and perhaps Kent if you didn’t fancy Elyounoussi, but Kamara is one of the most over-rated players in Scotland, Aribo has done nothing to convince me that he’s a footballer at all and I reckon Goldson is a second tier player who bad SPL strikers have made look far better than he actually is.
Where is the interest in these guys, from England or elsewhere, which justifies those massively inflated price tags?
Have they ever received an offer for Goldson which puts his value at eight figures?
Barisic, in spite of being a Croat international, has garnered precisely zero bids.
Aribo looks like the player who left Charlton on a free. Kamara gets hype, and lots of it, but he looks ordinary to me.
Kent was the subject of a bid from Leeds, but it wasn’t as high as the press maintained, and then there’s Freddy The Ned, who remains at Sevco although every window has been full of attempts to sell him through the media, with no-one prepared to meet the asking price.
They continue to believe this stuff for two reasons; they have completely misunderstood what it is that Celtic does and why it works, and the media has as well and keeps on telling them that the only trick here is to quote a ludicrous price and wait till someone meets it.
I’m not going over the old ground about how that is a club that needs to sell in order to meet the bills as they come due; as long as there are mugs in their boardroom willing to write cheques for equity confetti there’s no telling how long they can carry on as they are.
But those directors know that selling players is going to be necessary at some stage if they are to even start to run the club on a sustainable basis, and the truth is if they are going to do it they are going to need to start getting real on these stupid valuations.