Celtic’s Hierarchy Needs To Have Some Frank Conversations With Hatate And Others.

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Yesterday, when Reo Hatate went off with what looked like a nasty injury, I think a lot of our fans speculated, and not without good cause, if he was being taken off to protect an asset which we’re soon to offer up for sale if he’s not already halfway out the door.

Speculation has continued to surround him, and although I don’t listen to much of it, and nor should any of us, the manager has made it plain that he acts for the good of the team as a whole.

That suggests that Hatate has to work on being a better team player. Whilst the manager says the player is not angling for a move, that’s not a definitive statement in any way as we all should be well aware.

Because there are degrees of commitment and not all of them tick the boxes as well as many at our club would like, and I’m sure that full and frank conversations have taken place within the club about this, and they will continue to be.

Hatate, in particular, will be put to a decision in the next few weeks. That decision will decide whether or not we actively seek a replacement. We have to know sooner rather than later though, and that might explain the manager’s selection policy.

He may well be trying to prepare the team for life without this exceptional and gifted player, and if he is then we should fully support that decision, because Rodgers already knows more than any of us do about what Hatate and his agents are really committed to.

There are a couple of elements of this which are often overlooked. The first is that Celtic has offered Reo a contract extension and no contract has been signed. It may just be a negotiating tactic, but if it’s not then we must assume the worst because along with that extension we’ve undoubtedly offered him more money.

Who turns more money down in the here and now?

People who expect to get vastly more of it somewhere down the line, that’s who.

In short, the only viable reason for turning down an extension is that you acknowledge that it makes Celtic’s negotiating position stronger if genuine interest is expressed in the player from abroad. If we decide to play hard-ball we’re holding stronger cards the longer the player has left on his deal, it’s just as simple as that.

It’s the reason Ange wouldn’t sign a proper contract with us, although he was offered the chance to do it several times … but he wanted the freedom to negotiate on his terms, not ours. It was the first signal to those inside Parkhead that he wasn’t committed long term.

I look at this in the same way as you’d discuss this with your significant other.

There are various answers you can get on “the commitment spectrum” and it’s up to you whether or not you’re willing to live with some of those answers, and the questions they raise.

You might have a partner who is 100% committed. Who loves you and will not consider wandering off the reservation no matter the temptation or the circumstances.

But you might have a partner who tells you “Look, I’m happy but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t stray if the right offer came along.”

That’s you effectively being told that they aren’t going out on the pull but if, as I’m willing to be honest about admitting, Sophie Turner gave me the opportunity then any relationship I was in would have to be flexible enough to deal with that.

I think a lot of relationships could survive a compromise like that.

It’s like in that episode of Friends where they talk about having a “freebie list”; it’s like a fantasy list of celebrities your other half would let you away with having sex with because it was unlikely (to put it mildly) ever to come to anything more than an idea. But if your significant other wanted to include the guy or girl who worked in the fruit market on their list … well, that would be a problem.

So, if Hatate is happy enough to stay at Celtic and not rock the boat that’s obviously good. If he’s clear that he’d want a move if a top four EPL club (based on last season, Man City, Arsenal, Newcastle and Man Utd) came in then you could probably live with that.

If he wanted to add Chelsea, Spurs and Liverpool to the list that might be a little tougher to take because suddenly that’s one third of the Premier League. If he wanted permission to go to a “top half” team then that’s pretty vague for a start and leaves a lot of grounds for concern.

If the compromise you’re being asked to consider is that he’d want to go if a team from a “top five league” made an offer, then that’s like being asked to accept your other half going out clubbing and wanting permission to sleep with anybody who met a certain physical criterion, and that’s a sign of a relationship that’s on its last legs whether you like it or not.

Celtic shouldn’t have to accept that, and Brendan Rodgers certainly will not accept that.

It doesn’t mean that any player who makes that demand is going to leave – the offer needs to be there first, and that’s not always going to be the case, and the offer has to be on terms that Celtic does consider acceptable or there’ll be no deal. But it puts you on notice that you need to start thinking seriously about what your Plan B is.

We’re very obviously doing that, and now we just need to bring that clarity as soon as possible. Because we do not want this following us around for the next two weeks.

Hatate has been put on notice as to what this manager, and this club, expects … he’s either committed to the cause in a way we can live with and accept, or he’s probably not going to be here when the window shuts.

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  • Raymond oneill says:

    Do what big jock done play them in the reserves or sell to lower club know player bigger than the clun

  • Jamma m says:

    Friends epsioade??????

    • Eddie o’Neil says:

      That’s the level of “Mentality” you’re dealing with here Jamma m! This guy Forest is total Student Nob!

      • James Forrest says:

        What’s that supposed to mean?

        I’ve not been a “student” for 15 years fella.

        I’m sorry if my intellect intimidates you. But that’s your own hard lines for not educating yourself. Nobody else is responsible for you being a braindead tit; that’s all on you. You think it’s macho to have a go at someone because they’re a graduate? You sound like a dick mate.

  • Johnno says:

    This is just another issue for the club to decide upon, which meant this transfer window always had the potential to be very difficult to negotiate ourselves through it, and that seems to be the case now.
    With such success, will always bring huge attention to ourselves, and we better get use to it, as can’t see that changing any time soon either.
    Think steps are being taken to actually increase the wage structure currently which will help matters in the long term, yet still have to tidy up the mess lenny and PL created still, which hopefully will be resolved soon enough.
    Bringing players into the club on big contacts is always a risk, but our ventures into Asian market has bought great success overall to the club, yet the physicality of Scottish football remains an issue currently.
    Our scouting network has improved hugely with identifying players, and that also needs to continue.
    Hatate was always going to potentially attract interest, then if he wishes to continue his career elsewhere, then as a club we have to let him persue that as long as the price is right for ourselves.
    We also have to be careful with becoming so cash rich, that the demands for money to be spent increases hugely, which is already starting to happen within much of the support, I would say.
    Will be glad when the window finally closes as a huge distraction currently, especially when already certain areas within the team needs strengthening now, and hopefully without hatate adding to it now

    • Treble-T says:

      I agree about the cash rich statement but I was delighted to see last week’s story about us committing to spend the £20m on upgrading the Barrowfield training complex. The next phase was supposed to build a small stand (15,000 capacity?) and use that complex for the ladies and lowland league teams.
      We definitely need to keep improving our infrastructure and our support systems like scouting and youth coaching.
      It’s all about spending our cash wisely and investing but not to the detriment of the first team player recruitment.

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    As we know, the media are absolutely gaggin for the likes of Hetate and Kyogo tae leave. Practically beggin them. Hopefully we’re already lookin tae make another 2 or 3 signins before the window closes. If a players mind’s set on leavin, let him go soon as.

  • ANDREW says:

    I found this article very negative and un necessary

  • Clara says:

    Should have been told you sign the extension now or leave now, the nightmare scenario for the support is these guys leave in the last week of the window leaving no chance to replace them, cash rich but weaker by far.

  • Jack says:

    Hatate is not committed and will be gone sooner rather than later. Would not be surprised if he ends up in Saudi. He’s good, but not irreplaceable.

  • SSMPM says:

    Something’s going on and I have to say that it’s not benefitting the team first and foremost, so in the short term that plan’s not working at all well.
    Seems like the decision makers, Brendan included, want a new contract signed or a guarantee of big money, forcing a stay or go now, one way or the other, situation.
    It may well be that Hatate is angling but it seems the decision makers are angling too and I don’t think the outcome will be that we’ll be in a happier or stronger position as a team or supporters of the club for it.
    As a supporter I don’t want the club or decision makers simply banking loads of dosh whilst equally not improving the squad or the infrastructure of the club ie reinvestment on players that don’t improve the team/squad or building that new stand or improving their own wealth from our club via bonuses. We been there before right.
    Surely the compromise position that suits all concerned is the offer of a new contract with improved wages and a release clause should a certain figure be achieved.
    If the decision reached is that Hatate wants to go or we want him to go or both then there’ll be no like for like investment that’s for sure and for me that speaks volumes about the decision makers’ self facing intent for than for the team’s good.
    If they want the players to show their cards then it would be nice if they treated the fans with the same respect. If they plan to sell for good money and come out honestly saying we won’t be reinvesting significantly in the team from that income but will be building that stand then woopeedoo. HH

  • brian cavanagh says:

    This is about big money bigger than Celtic should be prepared to pay. We have been down this road before and it smells just Ange when he went all round the houses in an interview about his future. Get rid -and pronto- this has been allowed to fester for too long.

  • Gerrard Duffin says:

    Spurs with money we will be sweating

  • Michael Harvey says:

    If was him I wouldn’t stay he’s probably been the best player at club but he’s getting put on bench this team was miles better than rangers last year since Rogers came back the team has gone backwards I’m dreading the old firm game the style Rodgers plays is rubbish he’s trying to hard to change it from last year he is going to destroy the team

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