As Two More Ibrox Officials Depart, Celtic’s Ralston And Vata Make Sense Of One.

Image for As Two More Ibrox Officials Depart, Celtic’s Ralston And Vata Make Sense Of One.

Last night closed out with another resignation at Ibrox, and there’s been another one this afternoon. Last night’s is the easiest to understand; it was the director of their academy, Craig Mulholland.

He was responsible for Gilmour and Patterson.

They were decent talents, although vastly over-rated. Lowry might be a good player.

But we might never know.

At a time when this guy was attempting to develop footballers to play in their first team squad, their side, like ours, was playing its youth in the sixth tier of the game. What’s worse is that they are facing a massive summer rebuild on very little money.

If there was ever a time for giving youth its chance to break through this would be it. Instead their manager is scouring the English free transfer market to sign ex-youth prodigies who didn’t quite get there.

He clearly has no faith at all in the club’s youth.

Mulholland must have looked at “the plan” for the summer with mounting despair. Either way, it was not a great reflection on his skills. He is not a fool. He knows what it means. One way or another, the door, the pathway, to the first team was effectively shut to the players under his charge. Some say we have the same problem.

But nearly every year at Celtic, someone does shatter the glass ceiling in some way or another.

Take Ben Doak, for example.

In spite of the rebuild he would almost certainly have been a full member of the squad had he opted to stay. Ange recognised his talent. Rocco Vata might be the next big thing.

We have nurtured his talents and now we’re about to properly unleash them.

This stuff takes time.

Sometimes players have had to leave our club and return as better players in order to fully realise their potential.

Take Ralston for example. He’s still only 24 so it might surprise people to be reminded that he spent five full years out on loan at other clubs … it’s only now that we’re seeing the fruits of all that hard work. His path hasn’t been plain sailing, but he’s got there, and young enough that he could play at Parkhead for many, many years to come.

Callum McGregor is an even better example. His talents were developed at Celtic before being polished on loan at Notts County. He returned a vastly better player, and now his skills have been honed to a cutting edge.

James Forrest was developed at the club.

So too was Stephen Welsh, and we have actually resisted transfer bids for him and that makes it obvious that he’s rated highly by those inside the club. He has a future here, perhaps a big future.

The media wants you to believe that our academy isn’t producing, but as usual they want it both ways.

There are young Celtic players in Germany, at huge clubs, who would almost certainly have been on the fringes of the first team or in it if they’d still been here. They were the ones who wanted to go, to learn in a better environment than the Lowland League … but whose fault is it that this was our only viable option? Certainly not ours.

Celtic continues to produce talent. Talent sufficiently good to inspire the manager to give players a chance.

Ange has a history of that.

At Ibrox, I don’t believe Mulholland had any faith that there was anything but the remotest prospect that The Mooch would give their young players opportunities sufficient to turn them into first teamers, and in the manager’s defence he clearly did not have the slightest faith that they were good enough to be.

That’s a failure on both sides of the equation.

They did blood a couple of them earlier in the season, and Mulholland must have been thrilled by that. But that was only during a period where there were injuries, and he’ll have heard the plans being laid by The Mooch and the board for the summer and he’ll have recognised that developing talent is not a current priority.

Every available penny is going to be spent on team-ready players … even if they are bad ones.

Even as I’m writing this, the news has broken that Andrew Dickson is leaving Ibrox now.

That’s another key member of the leadership team going, so it’s now not in the least doubt that there is something dramatic happening over there … something the media has been blindly ignoring for weeks is now screaming at them.

Will they finally get off their backsides and bring their readers some clarity on what’s going on over there?

Will they finally do their damned jobs?

Share this article


  • Si says:

    “Will they finally do their damned jobs”That James is the mistake you continue to make. Why can’t you understand that the media gives you the story that suits them, not the one to inform the public. They are only interested in selling papers and brainwashing their readers or viewers. Do you think Sky News owned by billionaires will be celebrating the coronation or highlighting starving people needing foodbanks? Remember, numbers needing foodbanks had skyrocketed BEFORE the cost of living crisis, i ask myself how bad it is now. Still,out of sight out of mind. Remember when Covid first struck? We seen images of people dying in hospitals in Italy, coffins everywhere. Two weeks later hit in Britain and zero hospitals, zero coffins. Wakey, wakey!

  • Joe says:

    Is a ban from European competition on the cards?

  • Effarr says:

    Last week Mulholland would have been a clown but as soon as he leaves Old Firm Sevco he becomes flavour of the next 24 hours at least. The “serious professional” was the same and even GVB became a good guy when he got the dum dum bullet. Beale was the opposite, he was a brilliant tactician under Gerrard but became “The Mooch” and an idiot when he returned.

    As for the Academy kids. They might as well close the lot down as there are only four at the most of the present squad who have made any progress. McGregor definitely, Forrest from a while back now, Ralston, to an extent, and Welsh who is only there to make up the numbers of home grown talent. He will be off if they sign another Scottish player.

    All in all, nothing to justify this boasting.

  • Johnno says:

    The making of a celtic squad is going to always be hampered with the 8 home grown rule in place for European football.
    It remains a disgrace within the SFA that it still hasn’t been addressed which in turn has made the progression of Scottish clubs within European competition even more harder.
    It’s not just a problem ourselves are facing but moreso upon the lesser clubs within Scotland especially for the scum now.
    A requirement for a celtic player now within a squad is hopefully to be able to play within a CL standard with the minimum of been able to depend upon them within the SPFL.
    Even ourselves can struggle with getting that balance right to be able to maintain the demands within the club still.
    In general we can be very quick to write off the younger Scottish players, yet there still calls for the demand for there worth still.
    We still only stand at 3 where we can feel content with the current situation imo, especially now with turnbull looking far from clear upon where his future may be as Ange seems to have lost a lot of trust he once held in turnbull.
    Also believe Forrest has nothing more to offer in the bigger games, so is Mikey Johnston or Vata really ready to potentially take a position of Forrest within a celtic squad?
    Even Macarthy has only been used along with Bain in making up the 8 without ever wanting to be used or depended upon either.
    Think Macarthy could well be loaned out next season rather than remain as a wage stealer and Bain as a 3rd choice keeper which wouldn’t bother myself.
    Still a potential decision will have to be made upon Walsh or liewal, yet can they be depended upon when rotation and injuries can play a bigger part in the earlier part of the season still?
    Plenty of decisions for Ange to mull over currently and address during the summer.
    Weather we like it or not, the Scottish involvement within a celtic squad still remains crucial for our development as a team, even if it tends to get overlooked to much still.
    The make up for next season will depend upon how we actually fill the 8 positions available for a 25 man squad.
    That leaves 17 available for foreign players for which we have already and depend so hugely upon currently.
    We will continue to struggle to get players in, if no European football is going to be on offer for them either.
    So this shite talk of Ange being lucky and an easy job on his hands is exactly that.
    Huge decision making is required still to meet the demands of the club with progression within European football and keeping Scottish dominance intact at the same time.
    Rather Ange to be making them as far from easy to be making such decisions, especially with the hindrance of 8 Scottish players needed and dependable and keeping harmony and focus within a celtic squad at the same time.
    Deserves every bit of credit for being able to manage such a situation so well currently, especially as it tends to go so unnoticed still

  • Ian Campbell says:

    Behind the scenes at sevco

    I can see a channel 5 series here.

    It would raise a couple of million too
    (Towards the 9.5 million hummel legal action)

  • SSMPM says:

    Scotland/SFA bringing back a development league for clubs’ young players and reserves to play in would be a positive move as a transitional way station. Instead we watch our youngsters and those across the city move on cheaply due to the lack of opportunities due mostly I guess to age.

  • John S says:

    If they’ve any sense, Aberdeen will now do what Rangers* should have in 2012 when they began. Scouring the country for the best youth+ and giving them opportunities. Continental and English clubs will give young players a run and loan them out when the time is right. Mind you there is one big distraction, silly money, which can poach the best talents.

  • Graham Laurie says:

    Sevco Laptop LOYAL sycophants, Keith Jackson, Gavin Berry and Chris Jack will ALWAYS stick to their SEE no evil, HEAR no evil stance as they continue to maintain the ‘Same CLUB’ lie.

Comments are closed.