This morning, Joe McHugh of VideoCelts published one of his excellent pieces on the latest rantings by Tom English.
The subject matter? John McGinn.
We are four years on from the fiasco that was the summer of 2018.
None of us are going to forget it.
The most obvious effect of it was that it annihilated the working relationship that should have held the whole club together, the one between Brendan Rodgers and Peter Lawwell, and whilst Lawwell was not entirely to blame for that neither side emerged from it with a shred of credit.
The gigantic clash of egos that took place destabilised us and in the end was a contributing factor in costing us ten in a row.
John McGinn was but one element in that toxic combination.
What happened with that transfer failure is still only half understood, but what’s known is that Rod Petrie and Lawwell got into a pissing contest over him and our CEO made a momentous miscalculation; that McGinn, a diehard Celtic fan, would reject any offer which was on the table to wait and transfer to us for free the following summer.
Which he wasn’t prepared to do.
Was there a number which would have moved Petrie and gotten us the player?
Petrie never wanted to sell him to us, that much has always been clear.
But money does talk, and Lennon, who was the Hibs boss at the time, wanted a transfer kitty and was making noises about it in the media. The thing is, Lawwell had his own ideas about what the player was worth and Rodgers, for reasons which I will never fully understand, allowed that interference.
Nobody at Celtic emerged from it with any credit. I was inside Celtic Park, talking to Lawwell, on the morning McGinn made his decision to go to Villa. I was no sooner out of the building than the deal was being announced.
I still remember the sheepish look on Lawwell’s face, as he tried to assure myself and Auldheid that the club had done all it could.
All but pay Hibs a fee which would have reflected the esteem in which Rodgers held the player, and thus made sure he never went down to talk to Villa in the first place.
I don’t agree with English, at all, that “money no object” should have been our strategy, but Lawwell went out of his way to make offers which were more insulting than serious.
Yet let’s acknowledge a simple truth; Lawwell’s strategy was flawed because it was based on a complete failure to understand McGinn.
At its root was the idea that McGinn would wait because it was Celtic, that we were the club he wanted to play for, that his roots and familial ties and his lifelong support for the club would make it an easy decision.
But Lawwell forgot that this was a young guy with a career plan.
Kieran Tierney already had, or was about to have, his head turned by interest from Everton; a little known fact which I assure readers is exactly that. People at Celtic professed to be shocked when, upon informing Tierney of Everton’s interest, that he expressed a desire to go … if that came after McGinn’s decision they ought not to have been.
If it came before it then we should have known that we didn’t have a prayer of getting him once Villa were on the scene.
Right there is the truth that dare not speak its name, that’s what lies at the heart of the whole affair and makes English’s tweet little more than a bitchy snark.
He knows, and we all known deep down, that once Villa made their interest plain that we were never getting near John McGinn.
Not only was the option of waiting that extra year and signing for us on a free on the table, but he knew and we knew that we’d be back in January with a vastly stronger negotiating hand, and he wasn’t even willing to wait for that.
The only way we were getting John McGinn that summer, after English interest was registered, was if we’d been able to match Villa’s personal terms and English knows that wasn’t feasible.
When he says “money no object” it’s easy to do because it wasn’t his money … and Celtic simply wasn’t going to make him the highest paid player in Scotland, and by some distance.
Aside from times like this, I try not to look back.
When McGinn scored that goal last night I didn’t wonder what might have been; what’s the point in that?
The moment passed.
He had a chance to sign for Celtic, albiet six months to a year down the road and he made his choice. Lawwell played his hand badly – shocking badly in fact – but it was a weak hand to begin with.
English, as usual, is simply sniping because he saw an opportunity.
That’s what the man does.
As Joe points out, it’s the reason the BBC slapped his wrist not that long ago.
He can’t help himself.
The man is so poisoned by his own biases that he’s got an itchy trigger figure and it won’t be long before he gets himself into more trouble with it.
March 30, 2022 at 9:52 am
March 30, 2022 at 10:44 am
harold shand says:
March 30, 2022 at 12:04 pm
March 30, 2022 at 12:17 pm
March 30, 2022 at 1:12 pm
March 30, 2022 at 2:38 pm
owen dolan says:
March 30, 2022 at 2:51 pm
Does he perhaps mean the old Rangers way money is no object?
We all know how that works out.
English is as usual talking out of his arse. Nobody knows what John McGinn would have turned into if he signed for Celtic. Chances are he would have had the shite kicked out of him every other week while compliant refs looked the other way and he wouldn’t have developed into the player he is today. Who can blame the lad for choosing a different and lets be honest far better career path. Lawwells arrogance did him a favour.
So he can go running to his hun pals at the BBC and say ,,
” Look what i done , look what i said about Celtic , am i a good boy , did i do good ? ”
Block this moron .
Don’t watch Sportscene and don’t listen to Sportsound
I think you’re forgetting our midfield was already bloated at the time, including a Scott brown. He would’ve been a good buy but that time wasn’t ideal, especially at the money hibs wanted for a player 12 months left to go. Hindsight is great, but still think at that time it was the right decision, especially when Celtic matched hibs valuation and then they doubled it. McCann wouldn’t have stood for it (kinkladze) yet lawell gets pelters for similar. Did we miss the boat, of course we did. Did we regret not getting him, yeah I’m sure we do given all that it entailed, but at the end of the day he still chose not to come when we matched the higher offer
I reckon you should give more credit to your readers James. You write some great stuff but writing stuff on a numpty like english only gives him value. The same as neil mccann you wrote about yesterday. In the scheme of things they should matter not a jot. I like 99 9% of Celtic have no interest in these non entities. Don’t give them any of your attention.
The sooner the bigot is sacked and shipped back to the Provence the better and what about sportcene last night 3 ex EBT zombies spewing there bile on Scotland and trying to hype up Celtics game against the filth
What the fuck the bosses at BBBC are thinking they all must be indocranated racist bigots
JF I have said before that Brendan asked Lawell for money to sign a couple of players to take us further in Europe but was told we did not need any players.The result was Brendan left to go to a club who would provide some money for new players.I don’t agree with your estimate that Lawell wasn’t to blame for it all LAWELL WAS TO BLAME 100% to especially for the missed chance to sign John McGinn who would have been a fantastic replacement for Scott Brown.IMO he was to blame for us losing a fantastic manager in Brendan.
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