A Guest contribution from Wispy
I Listened to the most recent pod. The loss of Doak may be a sore one, who knows. What struck me was the speculation as to what motivated the move to Liverpool, and the automatic assumption that the main motivation on the part of the player(and more to the point, his advisers) would be money.
“Life changing amounts for a 16 year old”
“Probably sort out his family for life”
“12 to 15 grand a week plus a signing on fee”
This all jarred with a post I’d seen on Twitter earlier on in the week where the same stuff was being posted and one individual said that Liverpool won’t pay players that age more than 40k per annum. The guy was very specific so I did some digging about.
Players like Doak can sign their first professional contract at 16 in Scotland. Players in England cannot. They are subject to what is called the scholarship system and cannot sign a full contract until the age of 18. The poster was right in that Doak will get 40k for his first year and it rises to 45k in the second year. The scholarship system applies to all clubs in England. Liverpool are rigid in their adherence to the fixed rates of pay.
Celtic could and would have paid the boy considerably more than this during the same period. So the idea that the boy has been badly advised because the agent is promising him shedloads of filthy lucre is wrong. I’m not his agent(It’s Jackie McNamara).
Long term if he develops into a player will he earn more at Liverpool? Of course.
The biggest problem we have, and it’s the main reason that we’ve lost quite a few players at this stage of their development, is the playing environment. Guys this age are playing in the Lowland league at best. In England they’re playing against other development teams at a really high standard and also under 23 teams. The quality of competitive football up here for guys like Doak just doesn’t exist.
It’s the reason why he was given first team minutes recently, to show him that there was the prospect of regular football at that level.
There’s historically also been a difficulty in that the first team at Celtic really isn’t the place to develop as a player. We all love to see home-grown players like KT and McGregor make the grade but the reality is the fans demand success, and would not tolerate a situation where we used a lot of academy players in the hope of them becoming the finished article all at once, whilst not winning the league for three or four seasons (as has happened at Ajax). The fans just wouldn’t wear that.
The club are actively trying to show young players that they have a pathway into first team football with us, but recent experience seems to show players are deciding that the environment in England is far more conducive to the prospect of forging a career at the highest level.