For the last few years, The Athletic has gained a reputation as one of the most knowledgeable football publications in the business. They have good contacts. They have excellent writers.
They offer insight and analysis. I have to say, I’ve become a huge admirer of their work.
Today they have a piece out which says that our bid to sell Edouard to Leicester has broken down over what they are calling the “Brendan Rodgers tax.”
In short, they are saying that the club is slapping an extra few quid on top of our asking price, just for him.
If that’s true, then it is amongst the pettiest and most reckless acts I’ve ever heard of from a Celtic board.
Not one of us is happy about the manner of Rodgers’ departure, but if our club thinks that it is professional or appropriate to let their personal animus with him transfer over to what should be a straightforward business transaction then I’m appalled.
If Leicester make a good offer, that meets the valuation we would accept from elsewhere, then we should take it, allow him to talk to them and then bank the money for the new manager.
Every day we delay is a day wasted and in the event no other club does come in for the player, and he decides that our idiotic stance has cost him the move he wants and he chooses, then, to sit tight and play out his contract, who explains that to our shareholders?
As I said yesterday, I suspect Leicester’s withdrawal will bring other teams to the table. West Ham are rumoured to be the first to come back around. But if they don’t then this could cost Celtic plenty … because some folk can’t just act responsibly.
I know there are people at Celtic Park who fancy themselves as crack negotiators, but this makes us look like a spiteful and nasty little operation more interested in pursuing vendettas than doing business and that’s just wrong.
It’s Celtic being used as a vehicle for somebody’s ego.
I know Desmond likes these kind of displays of machismo. I know Lawwell does too. But they are gambling with the club here and that’s where the line ought to get drawn.
We are getting used to seeing this club indulge in self-destructive behaviour … but organisations like the Trust should be asking serious, hard questions if this story turns out to be true.
Our board needs to start acting in a professional manner.
If we’re truly behaving like this then we aren’t even close to that.