Celtic Park Exit Reveals The Ever-Decreasing Loyalty Players Feel Towards Clubs.

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Earlier on I wrote about Ange needing to be tied down on a long term deal.

Part of the issue here, part of what might appear to some as a sudden bout of needless anxiety is because we’ve been given a lesson, as if we needed one, on the way loyalty has become a rare commodity in the game.

We’ve been handed it by our own players.

Today Juranovic signed for Union Berlin.

Giakoumakis is expected to move soon.

Giakoumakis and Juranovic gave us just 18 months.

This continues a trend which has become depressingly familiar.

No footballer should be leaving a club after 18 months. These guys come here and sign long-term contracts. Is it too much to ask that we make some of them at least pretend that they take that seriously, and honour them?

Our club has a policy of letting players move on if they want to which is laudable and smart and yet one which manages to make us look weak and stupid at exactly the same time. Weak because we give these players more power than we need, and stupid because it generates the impression that we don’t require loyalty when people sign for us.

But let’s not pretend that it’s not laudable and smart as well, because there are great young players who otherwise might never come to Scotland who can be convinced to sign for us because they know that the club can turn them into major talents and that this will be to the betterment of their careers.

We aren’t in the business of holding hostages; players appreciate that, and it makes Celtic seem like a club that cares about them and their futures.

Still, when someone comes in with talk about what a great move it is and then starts making noises about wanting away a year later it leaves a bad taste in your mouth and there is a part of me that thinks it’s better just to get these guys out the door rather than have their attitudes toxify the rest of the club.

But this is not a bacterium which can be kept at bay by rigorous scrubbing of the door handles.

This is an airborne virus, capable of infecting anyone.

And it’s virulent because of that big, bloated, money soaked league south of the border, and although Juranovic and Giakoumakis are not headed there it’s the cash that is driving their decisions, and we would be foolish not to acknowledge it.

So the question “what price loyalty?” has a very simple answer.

More than we can afford, which means that when it comes to Celtic we shouldn’t count on it.

That makes those handful of players who do give us more than a brief “hello and farewell” special ones, worth everything we throw at them, worth all the adulation they get.

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  • JimBhoy says:

    I wonder when JJ will be lamentime leaving Celtic and it was the best ever football experience etc.

    We bank £8m for him probably a similar figure for GG, they are around the same age and this will be their biggest financial move so best of luck to them.

    Ange is constantly looking for better players to join our club that’s all that matters.

  • Benjamin says:

    I don’t blame the players. None of these guys, with the possible exception of the Scottish contingent, ever grew up hoping to someday play for Celtic, and there was never any emotional attachment to the club. They’re not fans – they’re professionals, and what brought them to Celtic was to advance their careers, nothing more. Occasionally we get players who come here and develop that emotional bond with the club and continue being fans long after they’re gone – guys like Hartson, Dembele, and Sutton – but it’s not realistic to expect that as a baseline from every player coming through. In any other industry this sort of behavior is quite normal, and nobody even questions it. All I know is that if someone offered me 30%, 50%, 100% or more of a pay increase and guaranteed that through the entirety of my prime earning years, I would be all over it. There are very few people who would actually turn that down, and as we saw with Tierney, that even extends to people who have a genuine attachment to the club. Business is business, and expecting players to not do what’s best for their short careers is not realistic. The best we can hope for is that they’re professional in the way they conduct themselves while they’re here, and by all accounts Juranovic was the consummate professional right up until the day he left.

  • Seppington says:

    When a “dyed-in-the-wool Tim” like Tierney won’t hang about why on Earth would you think any foreign player with zero connection with the club would stay?
    Loyalty and football are a thing of the past, players treat the game as we would a job in Tesco – chuck it in a heartbeat if Asda offers more cash! We need to accept that reality, even if it hurts like Hell….

  • Geoff says:

    Decent players will still come to us knowing we are a stepping stone and can improve under Ange.
    Who wants to finish their careers camped around the opposition 18yd box in nearly every game?
    Both Josip and GG cashing in.
    Pretty sure they will not be missed at league and cup level here.

  • S Thomas says:

    Juranovic has been a very good player for our club.. albeit only 18 months. He deserves his move to Germany, and the wage that he will now be earning. Celtic unfortunately play in the Scottish league, which is very poor in comparison to other leagues. If a new employer was going to offer me 3 times my current salary, I would also move in a heartbeat. You can’t blame these guys for this. Giakkoumakis is slightly different, he hasn’t been starting matches, so I can understand him not being pleased either. Ange has been far to loyal to Kyogo, and he has played him every when he wasn’t in the best of form. The big Greek, would have been saying to himself, why am I not starting. I have been thinking that myself, on a lot of occasions as well.

  • Jim The Tim says:

    Why do the gers not have the same level of unrest. !!!!!

  • Peter Murphy says:

    I wouldn’t think that Union are paying more than Celtic I think he just 2ants to play at a higher level .

  • John S says:

    The manager has made it clear that he requires 100% commitment. The club are happier with the transfer fee, rather than prolong issues. Both G and J are at a stage in their careers where they’re looking for a pay day. There are precious few loyal players but Celtic have had a good share, more than most.

  • Charlie Kelly says:

    Huns probably don’t have this problem because nobody wants to buy any of there players,look how long Fatboy and wee Kunt sorry Kent have been refusing to renew contracts,and still nobody comes in Simple just not good enough

  • Scud Missile says:

    It’s the best of both worlds for the player if he wants out he can leave at short notice,if he ain’t doing it at the club he downs tools doesn’t get picked and picks a nice wage for doing Jackshit.

  • king murdy says:

    it’s just over a generation or so ago…clubs treated players almost like chattels…where they went and when they left…then came the bosman ruling and things swung in favour of the players – rightly so…
    we play in a glass ceiling, shit league….why wouldn’t any player worth his salt want to move on ?
    i believe if paul mcstay had left and went to england, italy or spain, he would have become a world renowned football player…and a lot richer too.
    i love calmac, and broony too…..loved that they stayed with celtic…..both were and are good enough for any league in europe…
    players are transiant now…part of life…they just have a loan of the celtic jersey’s….the only thing pemanent and loyal about celtic are our fabulous supporters….

  • Peter cassidy says:

    I thought this is how we are set up buy cheap sell high well that’s what we are doing” players will come and go that’s how football clubs are now.In Scotland we lead all other teams doing this it’s called business.

  • Johnny Green says:

    Easy come, easy go, that’s the way of it. As long as we don’t get our fingers burned financially it is acceptable, disappointing but manageable.

  • Paul Mac says:

    Whilst working on the world cup in Qatar I interviewed a Croatian journalist on the eve of the 3rd place playoff match who informed me that Josip picked up a knock and would miss that match. He also told me that Josip had been telling the croatian press how happy he was at Celtic and was flattered to be linked to some clubs but would only consider a bigger club in a bigger league. Now Union Berlin may not have the history that we have but can if all goes well (they sit 3rd in the Bundesliga) offer Champions league football and they are still in the Europa league (they play Ajax next month) so its not exactly a middling team in a higher league (as for example West Ham or Southampton two teams that were “linked” with him, or Monza)
    BUT we must get out of this mindset that the players will stay eternally at the club .. especially the foreign ones BUT the good thing for us is that whilst he was at the club we searched and signed his replacement. This HAS to be the future, after 18/24 months we must be looking to replace and evolve, it gives us the best time to sell and control of the situation .. Lack of foresight has hampered us so much in the past !

  • Johnny Green says:

    Let’s face it, their age has also got a lot to do with their decisions. At 28 they will feel that their time is running out to hit the big pay day before their bodies give out to the wear and tare of a professional footballers life. We should be signing younger players with a longer shelf life who’s thinking processes have not quite gotten to that stage yet. Celtic take note.

  • Johnny Green says:

    Tear not tare. 🙂

  • Donald Macintyre says:

    I must disagree with your article, yes it’s disappointing when good players leave but the finances must take priority, we definitely don’t want to be like sevco, no funds.
    Our business model works well for us and in Ange we trust

  • Gary Brophy says:

    When they sign and give a press conference show it back to them when they chap the manager’s door and ask for a transfer. When there agent calls tell him or her to piss off. This is a agent driven problem at celtic!!! Not at the ‘rangers’ they wish they had that problem.

  • Mark B says:

    Sadly money has spoiled our game. The connection between plays and clubs has weakened. And thus has the link between players and fans. I was brought up on steady teams with real loyalty. McGrain McNeil Lennox Aitken Burns Bonner. Even Larson Sutton Lambert Petrov Hartson gave us several years. Bowman is good for players but has made the game greedy at the top level. It is sad.

    • Peter cassidy says:

      Mark, the days of loyal players are well over if we have players who supported Celtic from young age etc they know what it means to play for celtic. But players now go to clubs for money first and silverware 2nd loyalty near the bottom that’s business.

  • Bad Andy says:

    Celtic signed these older players to win last years title and enter the champions league. That target achieved they are being jettisoned for a younger profile of player with greater long term value. Ignore Mooy he landed on oir doorstep, it is no coincidence our two oldest imports are being bounced. This whole sequence is being stage managed by Celtic, not the players. I fully expect this process was spelled out to the players at the signing talks. It’s a win win all round, we just don’t spell out the brutality of it to all and sundry. No loyalty expected or given,

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