On No Account Should Celtic Contemplate Selling Matt O’Riley Before Making Signings.

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This morning, I wrote about the breaking of the dam, the moment when the Celtic fan base erupts in anger at the perceived failures of the club in this transfer window. There is one thing that would be almost guaranteed to bring it crashing down with all the consequences that come with it; the sale of Matt O’Riley before any signings of consequence have been made.

Surely that cannot possibly happen?

For the record, when I talk about “signings of consequence” I am not talking about replacing the keeper, which is a necessity, or the signings of either Idah or Bernardo which simply give us back two players who finished last season. I mean fresh signings, whose visibly strengthen those areas of the team which have been crying out for it since last summer.

This team cannot start the season weaker than it finished the last. That means not only maintaining the quality we had – minus the keeper, which we can do nothing about – but a team that is actually materially, discernibly, better off. With a vast surplus sitting in the bank not only will there be no excuse for not doing this but it will be an unpardonable disgrace.

The sale of O’Riley would complicate that process.

Yes, it would give us the funds to do the job to another standard entirely, but I’m not particularly interested in promises of jam tomorrow. It would be one more player for us to replace, and he damned well would have to be replaced.

No-one at Celtic Park should be kidding themselves on that the signing of Bernardo will cover that gap when both players finished last season in the same team.

We already need, as a key priority, a ball winning midfielder. How much more will this squad be weakened before we start to make additions to it?

At least one of our presently vacant positions needs to be filled before the sale of O’Riley can even be countenanced. If it happens before then fans are fully entitled to vent their fury, and in my opinion, we should have done it a while ago, and it’s long overdue. We are damned fools for not keeping the pressure on all the way through the second half of the last campaign.

For a couple of weeks, the board could feel the heat. Then it was gone. That was a mistake, and one which I hope to God we don’t end up paying the price for.

The people at the top of our house hamstrung us out of the gate last season. Nobody credibly disputes that. It’s an accepted fact. Lawwell Snr was sent packing, but let’s be honest, he was a puppet dancing on Daddy’s strings even before Daddy himself was back as chairman.

If certain people have their way this will be another underwhelming – not to say perhaps even shameful – summer transfer window, and with fans already feeling pretty pissed off and frustrated by the complete lack of activity the sale of O’Riley before we’ve made a single positive move would be one slap in the face too many.

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  • Pan says:

    Permit me to just change your headline James to “On no account should Celtic sell Matt O’Reilly unless it is Matt’s wish to go”.

    During the course of his time at Celtic, Matt may consider that it is time to move on when he thinks he is ready. Until then, no deal!

  • Mark B says:

    Who is running this shit show? It’s a disgrace. We’ve needed a left back since Tierney left we’ve needed a CF since Giakoumakos left. A GK we knew we would need months ago. We’ve needed a DM since Brown left. Sure we have a LB GK but we need more strength. We also have needed a CH since Starfelt left. And a winger since Jota. It’s shocking.

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    There’s nae excuse for lack of activity within the comin few days. This is lookin more and more like they’re gonnae use their usual strategy, in spite of the wealth they’re rakin in. The more ibrox struggles financially the less money this board will spend. No ambition for Europe and all the more for their own pockets.With one week left they need tae bring in about 4-5 players for key positions and up until now nothing. Ah truly and sincerely hope ahm wrong, but If they fail again, the support should take action. An organized campaign in gettin them removed. Cannae help thinkin, if it is the case, the Celtic support have only theirselves tae blame, for puttin their hard earned money up front for these people again and once again, it’s bein taken advantage of.

  • Dan says:

    Celtic Banking Group PLC will not give a jot about signings, if they are offered the cash, it will be grabbed and stashed for some meaty board bonuses. They could even pay for the Sevco stand repairs to keep the league competitive between the beloved o** f***

  • Gordon Raeburn says:

    This sorry state of affairs was always going to happen. The fan base need to get organised and oust Lawwell and Nicholson. I agree that even if we sign Idah and Bernardo we are still much weaker. Personally I don’t want Bernardo
    I don’t think he’s anywhere near good enough and replacing Matt will be very difficult.

  • FSTB says:

    If the board look like they dont give a toss
    Then maybe I and many others might juat not give a toss when the CL package is due

  • Bob (original) says:

    Maybe the Board could just be honest with the support,

    and declare that simply qualifying for the Champions’ League

    and maintaining domestic domination is the ceiling of their ambitions?

  • JimBhoy says:

    You made the point before James and correctly. The plans should have been agreed and in motion before the season ended. End of.!!

    Players going on holidays, other tournaments should not affect that in these times of communication options. All players have agents or reps.

    Where is the hold up, there is no shortage of cash, there is a prospect of big CL monies.

    Ideally your new players play preseason with his new team mates.

    Scandalous if we are haggling over a few hundred thousands for targets.

  • DixieD says:

    I said a while back on one of your pieces that I had a serious concern that this board may wait until they sell O’Riley before committing to some serious spending. I still sincerely hope to god I’m wrong but it’s looking more and more like it with every passing day! I also believe that they think Bernardo is his ready made replacement. In the early days of the transfer window you talked about having a “free and easy feeling” about this transfer window, a feeling that I have never had and I said so at the time. I can never trust this board to get it right with transfers. This is quickly looking like another potential car crash of a window! That mob are a complete fekn omnishambles and we’re dragging our feet working at a glacial pace as always.

  • Bigchunkylardass says:

    James, have yi learned nothin over the years – as long as Pedro the Hun is in the building – that’s exactly how we do it, sell before we buy, quality fir the group stages before we buy, almost bring in players in January.
    The only surprise is that anyone is still surprised when we do this…


    • Jimmy B says:

      100% correct. It is completely baffling why we are even having this conversation.
      There is no ambition, the fans mean fuck all and if we start the season with no signings, and Brendan stays, he’s in on it too.
      They have our money already, the huns are in a state, that’s all that matters.

  • brian cavanagh says:

    The very fact that you have pen to paper on this makes me to fear for the worst. Because it is precisely the extractive behaviour that the board have continued to indulge in. 6 weeks on from end of season we have three player less than when we started.I sometimes wonder if our board has a secret plant designed to throw the team off course – bit a MI5 mole inside the IRA. How else can such disregard for the well being of the club be explained. And the fact that you have surfaced the issue, the delay begins to make sense – no deals till O’Riley has gone. So it is not indolence but calculation that is the reason for a lack of activity. I so hope I am wrong and my paranoia has got the better of me!

  • Jim M says:

    As I commented on the earlier piece, I fkn dare lawwell to try this , career suicide , the fans will not accept this 1 bit, do we honestly think Brendan Rodgers wants this , we don’t need ORileys departure to fund purchases, we have more cash than his sale would bring with CL qualifying alone , possible frimpong add on , and others not required leaving to further bolster the already bloated bank balance.
    The players Rodgers has requested must all be brought in before weakening this team any further, anything other is an absolute insult to the manager and fans and will be unforgivable.

  • Michael McCartney says:

    If Lawell and Nicolson think that the signing of Idah and Bernardo is going to appease the Celtic support, then as usual they are taking for granted our loyalty and seriously underestimating our intelligence.
    This board just don’t care, Lawwell, Desmond and their like minded cronies on the board are only interested in one thing, “the bottom line”.
    The two players I’ve mentioned should be inside Lennoxtown right now, a keeper should have been signed by now. Then the reinforcements for what is going to be a demanding campaign should have been on there way over the next few weeks. For no one to have been added since the window opened is pitiful, 3 weeks until the season opens and the League flag is raised, and the people trusted with running our great club are missing in action once again.
    Lastly, is it inevitable that Matt O’Riley will move on? He’s under contract until 2027, surely any bid under 30 million should be laughed at.

  • KC67 says:

    Selling MOR will provide the funds for any signings (plus a little profit on his sale). The fans £100 million is safely salted away.

    We’ve all been here many times. Lawwell will enjoy turning the screw on Rodgers and the rest of us. It’s what he does.

    He’s a small time operator way out of his depth.


  • Jim M says:

    Brendan Rodgers will not hang around to have his reputation shredded by lawwells inadequacy to strengthen the team again , the upcoming US games are going to embarress the clubs reputation and gift the media a field day on us after we take a tanking in all of these games , we’ll be starting with a weaker team than we had at the end of the
    season , no 1 is bigger than the club alone, well lawwell states we’re world class in everything the club does, never have I heard such hollow words or a statement of contempt.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    They will probably want £100 Million in the bank at the next set of figures due out in August or September…

    Check that figure out – ONE HUNDRED fuckin MILLION…

    Though Lawwell and Lord Lucan-Nicholson might just make it £99 Million to try to dupe The Hoops support…

    Well it won’t cut any ice with any of us on here for sure !!!

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