Celtic Diary Friday March 22: Don’t Tell Our Players..
Football Leaks, a website with documents pertaining to footballers wages, agents commissions and highlighting the creative financial management of the kind that Christian Ronaldo left to his financial advisors is in interesting and disturbing read.
The money available to even decent players is shocking, and sooner or later fans will decide its time to finish paying for it.
A book, written by Der Spiegel journalists Rafael Buschmann and Michael Wulzinger, describes the story behind the website and documents how they delivered the scoop that shook the game.
In it are details of the contracts of several top players.
Only one has any connection with Celtic, and when you look at what he earns now, its little wonder that he left.
Virgil van Dijk is arguably as good a defender as anyone else anywhere. Though one has to consider the Sky EPL hype around him as a factor, there’s little denying he is an excellent defender.
He plays for Liverpool, in a city not noted for its wealth. They have a lare, loyal support, and it can be argued that they are closer as a club to Celtic in tradition and political outlook than any other club in England, It could also be argued that their ground has an atmosphere that has so far resisted the changes in the match day experience in the south.
The club paid Southampton £70m for van dijk, rising to £74m after he plays 150 games. It’s their money, I suppose, mostly from TV-and don’t forget if you subscribe to Sky you are funding this madness, and they have to spend it on something.
Although clearly not in helping the community that supports the club, not to this extent at least.
And I cannot help feeling nauseated at the claims in the book pertaining to his wages.. (from Football Leaks, authors noted above )
His contract, which runs to June 2023, guarantees him a weekly wage of £124,568. (p.293)
Then there’s the add-ons.. (p.294)
£6m signing on bonus.
£5m loyalty bonus.
£20,000 a goal (League and Europe )
£20,000 an assist (League and Europe )
Clean sheets ? He’s a defender after all.. (p.294 )
“The agreement was complicated. If van Dijk started and played at least an hour in fifteen competitive matches in which the Reds didn’t concede a goal, the Dutchman would get an additional £250,000 at the seasons end. for eighteen such matches, the reward was £375,000, for twenty, £500,000, and for twenty two, £750,000. ”
Of course, we’re all aware that the English clubs pay silly money, and of course van Dijk is not the only recipient of it. but I’m using this example purely because he’s the only ex-Celt mentioned in the book.
Perhaps it becomes a little easier to realise why it’s impossible for players heads not to be turned south when the offers come in.
Maybe now we can see why marquee signings are a thing of the past, and that we simply cannot even hope to compete for players that would lift us up to the next level.
What we can offer them, though, and its why the likes of Scott Brown have stayed, is a support that supports, and a club that has largely stayed true to its roots.
Okay, that bit needs a bit of work, but that can be done.
The name of Celtic, the ethos of Celtic and the history of Celtic is our bargaining tool. It won;t work with many, but those it does work, such as van Dijk, Dembele and so on, will give us a couple of years of top level players as they learn their trade.
Lawwell attended the European Club Association meetings that discussed the effects of this kind of money on the game, and it would be naive to think he isn’t aware of it when snactioning transfers, fees and wages.
Anyhoo, Scotland played yesterday.
And Scotland lost yesterday.
Khazakstan beat the pride of Scotland 3-0, the first two goals coming in the opening ten minutes.
Manager Alex McLeish obviously hadn’t noticed this, as after the game he told reporters he thought his side had started well.
Presumably he meant that everyone had remembered where they were supposed to stand during kick off, because they certainly didn’t remember anything he’d said after that.
After the game, an incident took place between Calum MacGregor and James MacFadden , who has somehow ended up as a national coach.
Scott somebody or other of Manchester United sprinted up the tunnel at the final whistle, neglecting to thank the support who had travelled across six time zones to follow their heroes.
Macregor,as captain, was incensed by this, and went after him, to be blocked by MacFadden, who was instantly chosen to play in defence on Sunday against San Marino.
There was a bit of handbags which was later explained by MacLeish . He said Scott Thingy had a poorly tummy and wanted to go plop plop.
In fact, it was MacLeish himself who was full of shit, and the supporters who felt the urge to evacuate their bowels.
In the same way the SFA evacuated theirs over all football fans when they picked MacLeish as manager.
For yet another supreme performance on and off the field , MacLeish takes this weeks Etims
Knob of the Week.
MacLeish actually had a cameo in the recently released Laurel and Hardy movie.
You can fill in your own punchline.
Yesterday, we gave you this to ponder..