A Duff Deal to Sell?
So Glasgow Celtic wish to buy a controlling stake in Shamrock Rovers according to reports .
Having been over for successful talks over taking their youth coach , Damian Duff , it seems the conversation next turned to a stake in the Dublin based club .
The Irish Independent had this to say
“ It is believed Celtic favour assuming overall control of the biggest brand in Irish football. Any ceding of shareholding will require a meeting of Rovers members, who will be interested to discover the terms of any proposed agreement. Celtic’s Irish chairman Dermot Desmond has in the past pondered various ventures into the domestic game but it is understood the Hoops’ progress in recruiting some of the best teenage talent in the country has made them a more attractive investment.’
Ive seen some posters very much in favour of this , proclaiming great move as they have revamped their youth set up and have great talent coming through .
And I can also see the sense in having a club close to home that you can loan players to and form a close relationship with .
On paper , Im sure this makes sense . It could also be a Brexit based decision , a backdoor to a European set up .
Myself though Im not in favour . Allow me to explain please .
By all accounts Shamrock have reinvented their youth set up and have found the right man to do it . Damian has quite a good playing resume and that old saying “ could command respect in the dressing room “ could be said about him .
He has played under some good managers and seemingly has picked up a trick or two.
Most importantly he approached the game professionally himself , and is teaching the younguns to ,, that can only be applauded .
Word got to Glasgow through some channel and now we have Damian on the books .
I think for the academy at Lennoxtown he could make leaps and bounds with his charges bringing with him that attitude.
But then the controlling stake discussions came to light ,, and coveting the kids apparently has a big part to play .
I find the suits either incredibly gallus or incredibly naive on this one .
Knowing they operate in a bent and racist sectarian market , they want to bring more of the the biggest victims of that sectarianism / racism to take part in the charade that is football in bonny bigoted Scotland .
Now lets be clear , we know they treat it as a business ,, thats not in doubt anymore. Not a football club but a business who’s business is football . If the Plc do anything , it is not for the betterment of anything but the bottom line . We know this .
These youth are to make money , its that simple . Their career is second best here to the board .
So should the Plc try to tempt any of this crop of young players to move and play for Glasgow Celtic , do the Plc even realise what exactly they are asking them to go through? Do they care ?
Has any thought been given to the racial abuse that those of Irish birth ,and even descent as Aiden can attest to , receive whilst playing the national sport for Glasgow Celtic in Scotland ?
Will these young men be helped or hurt by a society that can sing Go Home with impunity ?
Why should they move to a league where the refs have an agenda against them which in real terms means theyre likely to get hurt ?
I could go on .
Leave your home to get abused and play in a sectarian backwater for a Plc that no manager can stick for more than a few years as they get undermined incase they tear away from the competition too much , and all to make us money ! What an offer !
They could do with this and it makes sense on paper . Would probably produce a few players , be profitable , plus it lifts the profile of the club back in “ the old country “. Win Win some might say .
On the other hand ,,, they wanna take the best of our boys and put em in the firing line . And will they protect them ? Dont make me laugh .
Look at whats happened to the higher profile Irishmen that have chosen Glasgow recently . Treated like crap by the Plc and nowadays the vile rhetoric and hatred is worse than ever ,, could the timing be any worse ?
And then call me cynical but this move for Duffer ,, hes a familiar face already in situ and that can only help some of these players / kids make the decision to make the jump right ?
Should any break through and then turn to Duffer for help theres a good chance he will be scratching his head himself at what passes for footie and especially what passes for refs . And if he does speak up he will get the treatment from the clan and press !
The wee Drogheda scamp could play dont get me wrong ,, but these potential bhoys could well look to him as their mentor and protector in their new environment .
Will he be ?
And call me paranoid but there wouldnt be any moves afoot to position him into the dug out if / when the position becomes available would there ?
Because meeting rookie with rookie would be clearly a case of lets be on each others level which hopefully gives us a good title race and the gravy flows thick and fast !
It would be stupid and naive of the suits to even contemplate sticking him in charge.
Because appointing a rookie when you are two years away from the fabled ten would be simply admitting you arent that serious about it .
Theres already threats on blogs about hitting the car park should this years title defence prove unsuccessful .
And thats with a good manager ,, so imagine the uproar if a newbie placeman flops !
Let us all hope the Plc dont go there with Duffer .
If they do , they deserve all they get .
Back to the proposed takeover , at present statistics say one in six people in the Republic were not born there . The demographics have hugely shifted and this could well see a revival of sorts for youth football as the children of non natives and even non natives themselves are not immersed in the GAA culture which many native families are.
A quality crop of youth today should be the spine of the national team tomorrow , and any and all who cherish the national team should hold a wee interest in the development of what has been called a good crop .
Looking at national interests , do we really want this crop to go there ?
Games are the most important helper for a potential footballer of course .
Under this board there has been an average to poor amount of youth brought through .
Theres 3 in the first team now which is good , but we arent exactly known for mass youth players coming through .
Dont think the Plc have a strong hand here to tempt them over myself . Unless Duffer is their hand.
Now to be crystal clear I am not , nor would I ever , advocate ending “ the Holy Trinity “ of Ireland , Scotland , and Celtic . Were the same blood and the bond will always be there . Great men like Sean Fallon would turn in their grave at anyone even contemplating ending the special bond between any branches of the three.
Thats not what I am getting at nor want .
Its this Plc , at this time , in that league that worries me .
The bond between the Glasgow based branch and Ireland has deteriorated over the last generation . Years of neglect coupled with misplaced expectation , plus saturation of satellite tv and little investing into the travel infrastructure helped those bonds fade , but they are still there mostly in the hard core areas though .
This Plc have already pissed off the existing fan base , just read the blogs and most are unhappy at what they see .
If they wish to expand their territory by taking over one of the countries top clubs , and whisk away its best youth , some would not be happy at all .
But lets say some follow the kids and take an interest in the Sphell and their careers.
Whats the chances they end up pissed off , after all we are and we were fresh faced fans also once right ?
Now if you are actually going to try and make inroads into the Irish market , and this move would certainly help on that front ,, is what we are seeing really what you want to hold up and say check it out and buy into this ?
Most already consider it a Mickey Mouse league , and Dubliners in their 30’s and upwards are EPL crazy due to the Sky surge in the 90’s.
If youre gonna hold up that league with its huge issues , probably get it broadcast on tv if theres enough interest generated by this new development , do not expect a flood of new customers . Especially with the Prem so big not to mention the purists dream , GAA.
Rugby and the boxing are still huge , plus McGregor has helped lift mixed martial arts in the homeland .
Wrong league , wrong time .
So nah actually , I think those kids should stay and play , abuse free , see how good they are , help raise the national league a wee bit ,, and then should they be given a choice , hopefully pick a place and team where they may play to the best of their ability with only sporting barriers holding them back , not cultural and social , and have the opportunity to raise a family ( God willing ) in relative normality.
This board better be careful what they are doing here . This has potential to backfire.
If I were the receiving chairman I know exactly what I would say to my guests who came to buy ,, a common saying in those parts
“ Smell ya later ! “
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