I’ve been gone, but now I’m back again … James always gets in touch with me at this time of the year to do some transfer stories.
But I wanted to comment on this one, because although I understand why my colleague and friend frowns on the player for wanting the move, he is not daft and he’s not about to see our club, itself, turn down that desert blood money.
In the world of football, it’s all about money now, and for Scottish clubs like Celtic we have to take it where we can get it, and when a club offers us £30 million for one player there’s simply no way that we can turn it down. It doesn’t mean we’ve endorsed their politics or embraced their values. We know the guy is going to want to go.
So the only question becomes; is this a good deal for Celtic?
While Jota’s contributions to the team have been undeniably valuable, there are compelling reasons why Celtic should snap their hand off at the wrist and, at the risk of driving James off his rocker, embrace the influx of Saudi gold.
First and foremost, £30 million would represent a significant financial windfall for Celtic. In fact, it’s a sum of money which must seem terrifying to those across the city as they scramble about in English football’s bargain bin.
They’d have to flog their whole squad to raise anything like that.
With this influx of funds, the club could invest in the sort of talents to take us to that fabled “next level.” Think of the so-called Ange Plan to buy for £5 million, sell them for as high a value as possible, and then use that money to go after the £8-10 million players …. it’s sound strategy and the sort of thing that other clubs in this league can’t do.
Ange built his entire first season team with money like that … here we can hand it to Rodgers to enhance a team already bursting with talent.
In addition to acquiring new players, a generous injection of funds could help Celtic modernize their facilities and improve their youth development system. We’re promised the manager this, after all, and he will expect those promises kept.
And it’s overdue.
The club could invest in more state-of-the-art upgrades at Lennoxtown and get the Barrowfield project off the ground. The more we spend on sports science resources, and scouting networks, the better.
If you put this cash into any other Scottish club bar Celtic, the effect of it would be utterly transformative.
We underestimate that because of how big we’ve gotten and the horizons we’re looking out to. Even if we take two thirds of it and spend that on four quality £5 million players – the Ibrox club would kill to be able to do that – or just two players of a much greater quality, that would blow their own paltry efforts in this window out the water.
And that would still – after Benfica’s cut – leave a chunk of change to sink into other areas of the club. Spend £15 million of it, and that would represent a bigger spend that Ibrox will be able to muster in their “revolutionary” rebuild.
And this is all before we consider that there was a right few quid in the budget to begin with … and before we sell any further first team members for huge sums, and we all know that’s a possibility here, right?
With the financial injection, Celtic can reinvest in the squad, bolster their youth development, enhance infrastructure, and solidify their position at the summit of Scottish football. There is literally no downside to this at all. With a single deal we can hand Brendan Rodgers more money to spend than any Celtic boss in history.
James is a political guy and a passionate one, and I get that he’s pissed off at Jota for wanting to go there, but at no time has he said this is bad for the club because he knows that it isn’t, and at the risk of writing something he might have wanted to do himself, all I’m going to say is that although I’m sure some people inside Parkhead were pissed off with how this deal has been done behind their backs that eyes must have lit up when they heard the fee.
There is no way we could turn that kind of cash down, and at the risk of sounding heretical, I don’t think the guy is worth that sort of fee anyway.
If this was an English club offering it, I think I’d still be trying to recover from the shock.
For that reason, I do hope that the player is a huge hit over there; if those mad men with their oil wealth want to throw another £25 million our way for someone else in the squad I’ll meet them at the airport with a red carpet of my own.
The Rumour Guy is a Celtic fan and blogger from Glasgow. This is his first piece of the close season.
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