Looking to the long term.
After a thoroughly depressing summer transfer window-I think that’s four out of the last five,or to put it another way,par for the course-where we lost our star homegrown player along with our entire defence and their deputies,we were probably thanking our lucky stars a week ago that we hadn’t lost anyone else!
And with some justification too. Rumours were rife that Porto were after Olivier Ntcham and that Leicester were keen on Callum McGregor. These two had a strong element of truth to them,in my opinion. Not so much the recently surfaced one about Monaco agreeing a deal in principle for I Wanna,only to to change their mind.
And then change it back again,at which point Eddie told them to sod off! Naturally,none of the papers could provide much in the way of evidence for all this. They couldn’t even make up the “agreed price” although it would undoubtedly have been less than they still think MoreLoss is worth.
So it was with some pleasure that we found out yesterday that Celtic plan to tie up a new long term deal for CalMac,all the more so when the offer was revealed to be in the region of £35k a week. The reason I was so pleased at the suggestion is that Celtic seem to have,at long last,woken up to the realities of football economics. Remember,it wasn’t so long ago that the club shunted Joe Lesley out the door for a reduced fee for suggesting that he was happy to sign a new contract on the same terms as before,and it is widely believed that the same plan existed at the end of Broonie’s first contract,a plan only scuppered by a timely phone call.
I am still of the opinion that we have a strong nucleus in the playing squad,with Ryan Christie,CalMac,James Forrest,Leigh Griffiths,Eddie and Ollie. Michael Johnston too is improving with every game. And all of these players are already on recently signed long term contracts. None of them run out before summer 2022,and we should be looking to build the team around them while dangling the carrot of improved terms and longevity. Four of the seven have time very much on their side to move to riches on offer elsewhere if they so desire-the offers will undoubtedly come if they continue to improve as they have been-while the other three are hardly reaching yet for the pipe and slippers.
In addition to the seven mentioned above,I very much doubt that any of our new signings will be on less than a four year deal. As too is Tom Rogic,and I would expect Fraser Forster to be offered similar at the end of the season-if he can be persuaded to take a wage cut. I think Southampton will be relatively easy to deal with as he is on a five year deal at c£4m pa. If we sign him at the end of the season they will have saved £10m on wages alone. I suspect that will concentrate their minds wonderfully.
Add in the rejuvenated Nir Bitton who will almost definitely have a contract on the table for Christmas and the future is looking a bit brighter than it was maybe three weeks ago. That’s not to say that I’m delighted with the transfer window-I personally think we should be looking to improve in each of them,and we clearly haven’t done so for a while-but in an era when the club loyalties of players are rightly questioned,we can be happy that we have so many who clearly love playing in The Hoooops.
Open the biscuit tin and let the players know that the rewards are there for excellence and you never know,we might even see a testimonial or two before too long!
Above article by BMCUWP.