So the end comes, at last, for Vasilis Barkas.
This saga, which has dragged on for what seems like more years than anyone wants to count, is almost over.
He has no further role to play at Celtic Park, even as a backup, and he’s too experienced to sit on the bench forever when what he really wants to do is play every week. He will get his chance.
Two clubs are allegedly interested in him, one in his home nation of Greece and the other in Holland. If one of them offers to take him off our hands I don’t think we’d resist even if there were no transfer fee involved. He was a mistake. That’s been accepted already, by everyone involved. His departure will not trouble anyone at Parkhead.
The media will write its crap stories about how terrible this blow has been for us, but we could afford Barkas when we bought him and nobody has been under any illusions about this for a while now. Like gamblers who lose a modest sized bet, the board and the coaching team long since got their heads around this. They just want it to be over.
What the Hell went wrong with this guy?
The media was part of it, and a number of Celtic men in that profession played their own roles in that of course, as useful idiots for our enemies. They helped destroy his confidence before he had his feet under him … but the ease with which they were able to do it does suggest that we’d have had problems anyway.
The weight of expectation on him, as a £5 million player, was enormous and some players can handle that and other players cannot. He was clearly not up to carrying that. It’s a pity because his record prior to Parkhead does suggest he was a lot better than anything he showed us. But after a certain point that no longer mattered.
Sometimes you can just tell with a player, and although I wanted us to be supportive there was never a game where he looked as if he would justify it. He did not inspire confidence.
He did not do anything to suggest that he would eventually settle.
So a mistake, yes, and an expensive one for sure.
It is a great shame that things have turned out this way, from the point of view of the player and the club both … but we deal with the world as it is and not as we would wish it to be. This one is over.
We will all be glad when the curtain falls on this shit-show. That time is almost upon us.