Celtic’s Wage Ceiling Has Had One Positive. It’s Prevented Ibrox Style Disasters.

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Yesterday’s result has reverberated through the Scottish sports media like a seismic shock. The disbelief is palpable.

They were so convinced that Clement was the Second Coming (of who? Walter Smith maybe?) that many of them couldn’t even countenance a defeat. It’s not that long ago that Kenny Miller was saying that Clement would not “allow” the team to drop points … as if he was going to set the hungry rottweilers on anybody who fell below his standards.

Jackson, at The Record, famously awarded their team the points from the Dundee game that hadn’t even been played yet. He wrote an excoriating piece today, which was hilarious in bits.

The thing I found most hilarious is the blame being heaped onto the Usual Suspects, and in particular Tavernier. I particularly enjoyed the assertion that this player, who if he couldn’t hit a dead ball would be nothing but a dead weight, is still rumoured to be a target for the Saudi super-clubs, even as Jackson and others rip his defensive failures to pieces on a regular basis.

The delusion that Tavernier and Goldson were ever worth tens of millions of pounds was one that persisted for far too long. In promoting it, the Ibrox club and their media acolytes made two enormous mistakes, and they may be doing the same again.

Way back when Tavernier signed – his manager at the time was Mark Warburton – he was playing in Scottish football’s second tier.

Before this guy had even reached the Premier League there was talk of him being an England international and Warburton being his national coach. Nonsensical, but it did have one unintended consequence which hasn’t worked out so well; all that hype helped hiis agent get him a better contract upon securing promotion.

When Goldson signed, he quickly followed Tavernier into a huge pay rise, based on nothing but media hype.

And that was the beginning of the end. Because no matter what these morons may tell themselves, those two just aren’t that good. Tavernier, in particular, is a woefully inept full-back whose only qualities are that ability to hit a dead ball and a decent talent for crossing it, a talent which should come naturally to every player who plays out wide.

Their salary has gone up with every contract renewal and a couple of times in between.

One poster on an Ibrox fan forum last night, in a fury, reported that Goldson and Tavernier are on around £40,000 a week each … which is astounding, and a tribute to the work of their agents as much as it is an indictment of the Ibrox board’s utter insanity.

Whatever our mistakes have been in the transfer market – and there have been a few, a good few, and especially in the last five or so years, when you consider Ajeti and Barkas and guys like this – we have never gotten ourselves into the kind of trouble they have over there.

Consider this; we paid £6 million for Barkas and roughly the same for Ajeti. These are expensive flops, and no question. But the money was paid up front, and the wages were minor. If these guys were on £40,000 a week, would we have had the luxury of being able to drop them to the bench most weeks, or even out of the squad entirely?

It is not easy to justify dropping your most highly paid players …

They hyped these guys, paid the money that matched the hype and then realised that hype was all it was. How long have they been hoping for the offers for these guys?

The Saudi fantasy is just the latest of them. But they are the only club on the planet mad enough to pay these guys that kind of money every week, and nobody is daft enough to pay a high transfer fee for them, far less the kind of money Ibrox once demanded for them.

If those guys weren’t on £40,000 a week that club would have stood a chance of moving them on back to England, even if they’d never have gotten big bucks for them. Had they moved them on, they might have brought in better players to replace them.

Their utter failure to do so means that at some point they face a big rebuilding job … and perhaps without the requisite funds to do it properly.

In the meantime, Goldson will remain their first choice centre back and an ageing Tavernier will be their right back, retained only because he scores goals.

We would never have chained ourselves to two such raging mediocrities.

Our wage structure has been much criticised and I think it could be a lot more realistic than it is, but it is absolutely inconceivable that we’d have sanctioned salaries like those for two players such as these. When we raise the pay of footballers it is moderate, and only levels up to the McGregor type money when players have proved themselves to be amongst the best at Celtic.

It has taken that club way too long to realise that they aren’t worth it, and now they are about to make new contract offers to the likes of Lundstram.

There is even talk of them offering Butland – who has conceded six goals in the last two games – more money (when he’s already Scotland’s highest paid player) to “keep him” from EPL clubs … but of course, that itself may be a ruse designed to “attract bidders.”

Good luck with that.

They will need to be more realistic with their proposed fees, but if you listen to them talk about wanting £15 – £20 million for him, there is no sign that they understand that this is simply a repeat of the Goldson and Tavernier errors.

It’s one they cannot see to stop making. His agents must be laughing, just as those of those other players must have been laughing the whole time.

The people who make decisions over there are out of their minds.

The proof of it was out on the pitch yesterday, and as these serial losers continue to perform like the second-raters that they are, the club continues to suffer for it.

Long may it continue.

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  • Ecky says:

    Don’t forget both the keeper and gold whatever are big boys. Who like to push smaller Japanese players in the box 4 free, even when the ball is still in play. And the buns call this diving? Poor Kyogo.

  • Big J says:

    James –

    In the interests of schadenfreude, I read a Rangers blog last night.

    Have you been writing for them, since you expressed these opinions weeks ago?

    They wrote:”Beale-ball is back as Rangers stall 6+ months of progress.

    “[Clement] . . . just like every predecessor who made all the same mistakes.

    “They’re no longer playing for this club or this manager.

    “Just like with every other boss, the defence is now static and leaking goals all over the place, the midfield is immobile and lethargic, while up front is profligate and relying on Tav scoring a penalty or an OG.

    “It’s the same Rangers as it ended up being under Michael Beale, under Giovanni, under Stevie.

    “And while we can certainly blame a lot of it on Philippe Clement as we did with his predecessors, the squad are doing the same now as they did in the past.”

    Ho! Ho! Ho!

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    My Goodness – They truly do take the biscuit at times do Sevco…

    I mean if they don’t get The Champions League bounty it’ll be a helluva, helluva loss next season on top of this one, yet they seem to get wealthy idiot after wealthy idiot propping up the millions after millions after millions of losses for them and burning the grandchildren’s inheritance while they are at it as well…

    It will be nightmare if they do prevail as they’ll just sanction the whole bloody lot on the playing squad as they inevitably always do…

    So watch out for them pulling every dirty trick in the book to achieve their sordid aims…

    We all know where things stand with the cheats with whistles, flags and moniters but they lost yesterday after the pressure of being on second for once…

    Just watch as the last five fixtures emerge on Wednesday night –

    The clarion call and begging bowl will be out to Sky to get them on ‘first’ – obviously we kick off at the same time as Sevco in The Glasgow Derby and that leaves three others as the last games will all have to kick off at the same time, and it’s my prediction that we will be ‘made’ (forced) to play these other three games after them to hand them the full advantage yet again…

    I think that they’ll give them a home Saturday game with us away on the Sunday, I think the other thing that they’ll do is give them a Saturday lunch lunchtime kick off in one of our Saturday home games and in the midweek card they’ll give them a Tuesday game and us a Wednesday one to complete the set in favour of Sevco…

    I hope you put an article up regarding this on Wednesday James before the fixture dates and kick off times are rolled out and it might kinda shame them in advance of the inevitable skullduggery with these fixtures and kick off times…

    Only it won’t shame them one little iota I’m afraid !

    • Woodyiom says:

      I’ve been thinking the exact same thing re the fixtures. I would bet a lot on money on the first weekend them being at home at 3pm on the Saturday, us away at 12noon on the Sunday (almost certainly Killie!!), week 2 will be the derby game, week 3 we’ll be at home on Saturday at 3pm and they will be away at 12noon same day. 4th game – midweek exactly as you say, they get Tuesday at home, we get Weds away and then on the final weekend we’ll be at home to Hearts to ensure Naismith gives us as much trouble as possible should the league still be in doubt and they will be away to either St Mirren/Dundee which they’ll waltz (especially if it’s Dundee as that won’t even be a true away game as it’ll be played at Perth !!)

  • JimBhoy says:

    They did the same with Morelos, pay rise every time they tried and failed to punt him.

    I have no idea how they keep the lights on, There must still be a court case or two coming up….Surely !

    Would have been nice if Dundee were still trying for that to 6, would have made midweek much more interesting given the Ross Co result.

    Hope the game is on at Dens on the beach like surface. Give Clement some excuses if he gets a couple of injuries or a bad result.

  • Charlie Green says:

    Tavernier is the best crosser of a ball. best dead ball exponent and best corner kick taker in the SPL bar non. Would love to see Idah, Kyogo and Oh getting a chance to get on the end of his crosses. All he has is Dessers.
    The problem and long may it continue is that they have designated him a right back and don’t have the intelligence to make him a winger and get someone to cover for him.
    Having said that if Maeda can keep him busy in a couple of weeks we will win easily.

  • Johnny Green says:

    They made the same mistakes with Alfredo and Kent, bumming up their values and then being forced to pay them mega bucks to keep them from leaving. That worked out well didn’t it, they left for SFA.

  • JimBhoy says:

    They’ll Have Tav and Goldson for a couple of seasons yet both in their thirties and no sell on value.

    Lundstram could get a free move this year but he is a plank tbh. Take a big wage off the bill.

    They’ll be flogging Butland next season I believe but he is early thirties also. He would fetch £6 or £7m maybe mostly as he is being looked at for an England cap. Of course £6-7m will be made up to £20m like Patterson’s move.

    After the coming season CL money may be harder to come by.

  • Roonsa says:

    Not for 40K a week but I think I would tolerate Tav just purely because he is fairly reliable from the spot and when have we EVER had someone who could lay claim to that? Goldson did OK that season they won the League I recall. I think he’d do pretty well alongside big CCV but, again, not for 40K per week.

    If, as well all now expect, we go on to win the League then Celtic have to be up front with the fans. They will either stick with the transfer policy that has almost cost us the League this season or they will give Brendan a reason to hang around and make sure:

    1) We retain the title next season with room to spare
    2) There is something for us to cheer in Europe

    OK, 2 can never be guaranteed especially in the CL but I haven’t seen anything in Europe in recent years other than hard luck stories and shit-shows. Surely we aspire to more than that. Is that to much to ask for?

    I say all this knowing that Celtic are, based on performances this season, capable of cocking this one up. My view is regardless of whether they do or not, Lawwell either fronts up or fks off. Keeping us in suspense only to be let down once again and then fed stories of “well, we almost signed M’Bappe” ain’t gonnae wash anymore.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Schadenfreude, Schadenfreude, Schadenfredue…
    Schadenfreude, Schadenfreude, Schadenfreude…
    Schadenfreude, Schadenfreude, Schadenfreude…
    Sha-den-freude….. Sha-den-freude !

    Only it’s not too much tonight…

    They have wheeled out Halliday and some guy called Roger Hannet whoever he is (he thinks Sevco will regret not signing Shankland) which I think he has a point and I said at the time that we should maybe have…

    But what the hell must Hearts and Motherwell fans be thinking at all – their player on a national radio channel talking Sevco, Sevco, Sevco…

    Although obviously I’m delighted that it’s The Sevco Huns that are hogging the phone lines tonight due to yesterday’s beautiful result !

  • Michael McCartney says:

    Dundee probably still have a place in Europe to play for next season, if Hearts, Celtic or The Rangers win the Scottish Cup then the top five in the SPFL qualify for Europe. If this happens then it looks like Dundee and St Mirren will go head to head for that final position.

  • Joe McQuaid says:

    In their position my view at the time was play the Dundee game at the earliest opportunity, be positive and get the points on the board. They didn’t and now the pressure is higher both on and off the pitch.
    It will be interesting to see the psychology at play across all teams in the final five fixtures. Given the point gaps, Hearts are stick ons for 3rd and Killie for 4th – will their players play without fear or be half way to the beach already? Dundee and St Mirren will fight it out for a possible Euro spot – will that make them more dangerous or more nervous?
    For us – one game at a time. I want a double but viewing the SF as a chance to get more minutes into the legs of Calmac, Hatate, Yang and Nawrocki.

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