Who’s there ?
As it was with Dalglish and many others throughout the years, we’ll get over it. There will be new heroes, and some of them will even stay longer than a couple of years.
There has been a plethora of opinions on the interweb, and supporters still seem bewildered that the man who professed his love for the club so often upped sticks and left the first time the club received an offer for him.
It’s not the first time.
Around the time of the Slavia Prague friendly just over a year ago he was told about an offer from Everton, and to the clubs surprise, he accepted it. He was talked out of it by Brendan Rodgers and Peter Lawwell, but the seed had been planted.
Put simply, he wanted away.
There is speculation as to why he wanted away, given that he was “one of us “, but I’d tend to believe the lad himself when he said;
When I was younger, it was always Celtic. The ambition was Celtic and that was my dream when I was younger. But when you get older… I’ve done that, I’ve made my dream, I’ve lived my dream and I’ve loved every single minute of it.
Not many people get to live their dream, let alone have a chance for another one.
If he had come out and said that earlier, he would have gained more understanding and respect from the support.
With the money on offer, and the chance to test himself against a higher quality of player, it was unlikely that he would refuse a second offer.
The club held out for what they wanted, and got it.
The player got his move.
And that’s that, really.
Except…there’s a nagging doubt in my mind , and its telling me we’ve all been strung along a bit.
Arsenal made their intentions clear some time ago. Tierney had decided that was where he wanted to go, which is evident when you consider there was not one offer from anywhere else.
As they knew that, they bid low, then they offered instalments.
You can’t blame them, and credit has to go to Celtic for holding out for what they wanted.
“It was the hardest decision in my whole life that I’ve had to make.
As hard as the one last year ?
His mind was made up a long time ago, so much so, that if you recall, he said his goodbyes to his team mates at the Austrian training camp.
It may also be that the two clubs agreed not to announce it until the last possible moment, so as not to distract from the UCL qualifying campaign.
Before you judge him as a rat, a snake or anything else, ask yourself what you would have done in his shoes, bit also consider this….
At Celtic he was on around £25,000 a week. At Arsenal he will be earning three times that , plus bonuses, plus a signing on fee, and more than likely a loyalty bonus should he see out his contract.
To the average supporter, both figures are unimaginable amounts of money, so for us it’s maybe difficult to understand the difference.
To a young man who is no stranger to injury, possibly even career threatening, its a huge leap in income.
Everyday at Celtic, he would encounter John Kennedy, a testament to career ending injury.
That would have been at the back of his mind.
As would the money earned by former team mates who have already headed south.
There isn’t a single one of us, no matter how much we profess to be a supporter, who would not have done the same.
His financial advisors would have told him to take the deal, as it may not happen again.
Former manager Brendan Rodgers, in his time at Celtic, would have explained to all of his players that they only have a certain period in their careers to make the money that will take care of them, their families and anyone else they want to.
Indeed, his family would be more concerned about his health, and the possibility of long term injury, not only keeping him out of football, but possibly even unable to work.
We can be disappointed that he’s gone, after all, he was a great player. But a legend ?
Nah, we didn’t have him for long enough for him to be that.
We never even got the chance to thank him, something that he doesn’t seem to regret, which is a shame, and that, more than anything else is why there is a fair bit of anger around when his name is mentioned.
That and his bloody megaphone, that is. Maybe thats why he is being likened to Brendan Rodgers.
Thats unfair, as Tierney clearly has a genuine affection for the club, whereas Rodgers used it for his own ends.
And anyway, there’s only one real rat in our history, and that was Johnston.
There are a number of positives to come from all of this, however, which might not seem positives just now, but they will.
Whether we like it or not, Celtic is not an attractive proposition to put to top players.
The league is lowly ranked in Europe, and there’s very little money around to match the wages on offer down south.
However, young and ambitious players will see that working your way up at Celtic can be the gateway to making it to the very top, financially speaking, and so the club must use that when trying to persuade them to join Celtic.
Academy players can see that if they put the work in, the rewards are there, because Celtic will give you a chance.
Of course, conversely, they will see what a fickle bunch we are when “one of our own ” leaves, but we’ll get over it.
We have to. It’s not the first time, and it won’t be the last.
We wish him well, and who knows, maybe when he’s still only 27, having run down his contract in London, we’ll get him back.
If someone asks, tell them we’ve sent him out on loan, for five years, at £5m a year.
In the meantime, there’s a league to win.
Lets love the ones we’re with.