Hugh Keevins, Scotland’s most desperate hack, struggling to stay relevant, incapable of looking objectively at Celtic and forever trying to get into the heads of our supporters, has launched his latest effort to drive a wedge between the club and the fans over transfers, by invoking the spectre of John McGinn in relation to Jota and Carter Vickers.
As reported, as ever, by my good friend Paddy Sinat over on Vital Celtic, who keeps a closer watch on this geezer and some of the others than even I do, Keevins is scrambling around looking for something to use as a weapon, even as the club pushes forward with deals.
Uhuh. Except … no, not even close to being accurate.
Look, I covered the McGinn saga in detail and there were two elements to it which made it entirely different. The first was that we were dealing with a club that did not want to sell to Celtic and secondly there was the outsized ego of Peter Lawwell and his arrogant presumption that McGinn would wait around for an extra year so he could sign for us on a free.
Major mistakes were made in the pursuit of John McGinn.
Lawwell played a bad hand catastrophically.
There were ways he could have forced the issue, whatever Petrie wanted to do, such as appealing directly to Lennon, who at the time was Hibs manager, to push for a quick deal so he could get the transfer cash to spend. But that would have meant offering a fair market value for McGinn, and Lawwell preferred to penny pinch and make insulting offers.
At least part of Petrie’s attitude to dealing with Celtic was an attitude towards Lawwell and his outsized ego. It wasn’t really anything to do with the clubs but a pissing contest between those two men.
It was a botch-job on Lawwell’s part right from the start.
In this case, we have an agreed transfer fee in advance.
Celtic has made it clear that it’s a fee we’re perfectly ready and willing to meet.
We would not be having this discussion otherwise.
If Jota was being judged on his form the value would be outrageous.
But it’s a done deal if the player is willing to sign for Celtic … and that’s the point where this stops being within our control.
We cannot offer him an outrageous salary, but we can give him security for him and his family for a few years and get ourselves an excellent footballer for a spell. We’re under no illusions that we’re going to hold onto him for ten years.
The same applies to Carter Vickers; again, there is a set fee, Celtic knows what it is and is willing to pay it.
If he decides to explore his options elsewhere that’s something we can’t do much about.
In neither case will it because we screwed up the negotiations.
And you know what else?
I believe in Ange’s vision enough that even if we got neither, we would have a backup plan for both. The manager will already know, by then, how it’s going to spin out and he will have his alternatives sourced well in advance.
Keevins thinks that we’re all absolute dolts, rabid, foaming at the mouth loons just waiting to turn on the club.
His presumptions are insulting. He knows nothing about us at all.