It is a curious thing to study the media at times.
Look at their coverage of the Bassey story for one side of it.
In that ridiculous work of fiction, the Ibrox club is perfectly relaxed as the big club’s hover and ready their eight figure bids. Bassey himself is perfectly fine with staying at Ibrox even as these clubs prepare to throw more money at him than he’s ever seen.
And in that scenario, Ibrox is simply holding out for what he’s worth.
Although nobody knows what that is, or what value other sides put on him.
Celtic agreed a deal in January for our big defender Osaze Urhogide to go on loan to Belgium.
That deal came with a right-to-buy option at a fee that presumably both parties were happy with. Incredibly, the club wants to keep him but now wants to negotiate on the fee … how ridiculous.
But to read the media we’re the bad guys here!
We’re forcing the player to come back.
We’re denying him the move he craves and trampling all over the Belgian club.
It doesn’t take a genius to spot the vast disparity in the way the two situations are reported.
But we’re not the bad guys. How can we be when the fee was pre-arranged?
We both agreed that this was the worth of the player if the move was to become permanent. They signed the deal predicated on that understanding … they are the ones trying to be clever, and Celtic are entirely justified in sticking to their guns on this.
I understand that for some people – some clubs in particular – written contracts aren’t considered important or anything people have to take seriously, but in the real world they are rigidly enforced.
Celtic might never have agreed to the loan in the first place without a right-to-buy option with that particular figure on it, so there’s no way we should be offering wiggle room, and their club has some brass neck suggesting that we should.
Imagine we went to Benfica or Spurs with the suggestion that what’s in the pre-arranged deal should be renegotiated now. Not only would the media crucify us for it, but we’d be laughed out of the room by the clubs themselves.
With interest in both Jota and Carter Vickers high amongst other clubs, who would pay those fees at the drop of a hat, it would represent a colossal risk if we did so. If we took that risk and it backfired, as it would, it would be a disgrace and there would be no sympathy for our position amongst the hacks at all. We know this to be true.
Instead, in this case, their club CEO is being praised for “doubling down on his stance” in the face of Celtic “playing hardball.” But his stance is to say that he won’t pay the contracted fee and our position is to say “well, in that case send the player home.”
Who is the serious club here? Which is the serious position?
Certainly not the one from the Belgians, which as it just so happens is the one The Record wants to promote.
Now there’s a surprise, right?
And with the injury to Starfelt – which, as I said earlier, they are at great pains to turn into a crisis – it is a particularly opportune moment for us bringing the boy home to take a proper look at.
If the Belgians want their chance, they better scrape the cash together soon … and after the way their club – the same club by God – grafted us over Hendry they should be grateful that we ever agreed to the loan and the buy option in the first place.