This blog has always believed in giving out stick when it is justified, but also in giving out credit where it is due, and as another player signs on the dotted line with an improved, and longer, contract it falls to me to say a big and heartfelt congratulations to the Celtic board, and to Michael Nicholson in particular, for getting another massive renegotiation over the line.
Yes, there are already cynics in the media saying that a new contract means nothing, that the player could still be sold in the summer. Rot, and they know it. This might not be a commitment for life, but we’re entitled to believe that the guys who has put their names to these new deals will be here for the remainder of this campaign and the next one too.
All are happy at Celtic. All could have had their negotiating positions, in terms of getting moves away, dramatically strengthened by having less time left on their deals. That’s what forces clubs into the position of having to sell at a certain time. And yes, all of them might have negotiated minimum release clauses into their deals … the beauty of those is that they have to be met before the player can go, and the numbers will reflect the club’s valuation.
So really, in spite of those media hacks who are desperate for Celtic to fail or so badly afflicted by The Cringe that they cannot understand why these guys aren’t clamouring to go to England already, there really is no downside to this stuff at all, and he joins a procession of other key squad members, including, by the way, Anthony Ralston who signed an extension the other day, in committing to what Rodgers is trying to do here.
The board deserves immense credit for getting this stuff done. They have demonstrated more intent with the renewals than they have, you could argue, with the signings. But the renewals are important, and vitally so because they provide the club with some continuity and certainty going into the remainder of this campaign and then the next.
The nonsense has started already, that all the club is doing is “protecting an investment” as though that were a crime, as though that were not smart stuff. As I said, there is literally no downside to this for our club. We’ve got an excellent player to commit, the club is in a good place again, and we’re moving forward under an outstanding manager.
And this is to the credit of those at the top of our house, who could take the decision to let their contracts run down to the point where we had no choice but to sell. Instead, they’ve shown the right ambition for the balance sheet … and the team-sheet at the same time.
One other person of course should be given credit; the manager himself. I will write a lengthier piece about that, but Brendan Rodgers has done something that Ange would never have done. He has convinced these guys that their future lies here … perhaps because he himself has made a commitment beyond what Postecoglou was willing to make.
But Rodgers has previous for this … which is why as big a story as this is, it is not a great surprise. He has the magic touch when it comes to players. He can do wonders for them, and that in turn has done wonders for this club.
Congratulations all round, folks, and to Reo himself and his continuing future here.