When Dermot Desmond got the word to the media the other day that he was personally involving himself in our transfer business I’m not sure what he thought the response to it would be. For most people I speak to, it wasn’t a cause for celebration.
Nobody heard that and thought “oh well, that’s good, he’s coming to the rescue.” Indeed, most of us wondered what the value in ever releasing such information was.
Now, with the club pondering two tricky Europa League rounds of increasing magnitudes of risk, it reads less like a boast and more like a taunt. Stories online today suggest that talks with a number of targets have broken down over wages, and that’s hardly surprising.
The man who didn’t think our own staff were entitled to something called the Living Wage isn’t going to pay footballers what they think they are due. If you thought Lawwell haggled over pennies he’s got nothing on this guy.
Nothing about Desmond involving himself in this stuff seems good.
It means that he’s pushed the CEO aside. It means he’s dealing with the clubs and agents directly, and making his own value judgements about what he thinks players are worth, something he isn’t even remotely qualified to do. This is the guy, after all, who thought last season’s team was a better one than the Seville side.
Is he really someone you want deciding what players are worth?
It’s also a message to the fans; if you were expecting big changes in how this club operates, think again. It’s his way of saying “the faces might have changed but the strategy that got us here will not be.” In short, it feels less like preening and strutting than it does simply taking the piss. It feels as if the guy is actually trolling us now.
The deadline for the Europa League signings was yesterday.
We are now almost certainly going into the Jablonec qualifier without key personnel.
Having already mucked about and slow-walked us into a Champions League exit, this club is now flirting with the disaster of going out of the Europa League before the Group Stages.
I’m already pretty sure that I’m not paying for Europa League tickets, as the club made no effort to secure us a Champions League place. I am damned if I’ll even consider attending a single game in Europe’s third tier competition; if ever Celtic deserved matches played in front of empty stands it’ll be those.
It will be an insult even to send out the advertising circulars.
Those running this club at the very top of the house really do need shaken out of their complacency and their arrogance. Desmond leaked that story to the press either in an effort to make himself look like the white knight or to remind us all of who runs Celtic.
But since it came out, where are we?
There are no new signings, we’ve gone out of the Champions League and the silence from those at the top is deafening. Celtic has offered the fan media a chance to interview the new boy Starfelt today; for the second time in a row I’m taking a pass, because there is nothing important that he can tell us.
The decision makers continue to evade and elude scrutiny.
They continue to operate as if we neither known nor deserve answers.