Money cant buy you love

Today brings us the curious tale of two footballers, very different in their backgrounds, but both two spokes of the same wheel.


Jordan Henderson has yelled ‘end my Saudi hell’, but in different terms. 6 months in, he’s decided a return to the footballing heartlands is needed, primarily due to the much lower standards across the board.


Kyogo Furuhashi likewise made the leap across the pond, only he has found his spiritual home, so much so that he’s committed his prime footballing years to his newfound home.


One of these men takes home an eyewatering salary, the other is simply well recompensed. One plays infront of 60k home crowds, the other is lucky to see 6k in attendance. One regularly shares the field with world renowned household names like Ronaldo, Benzema and Mane,,the other faces Todd Cantwell, Stevie May and Lawrence Shankland.One struts in the sun, the other plus his trade in the freezing rain.

Yet who is happier? It’s certainly not the man with the huge pay packet.


The English man is now craving exactly what the Japanese striker has been smitten by, a true footballing culture. The latter took a massive step up from the J-League, leaving behind 6k crowds, whilst the former chose the opposite path and now realizes his mistake. Unlike CR7 who is happy to tan whilst revelling in being the media darling, Jordan seemingly just can’t do without ‘real’ football,,the tense but exciting pre-match buildup, the roars emanating from the stands, the genuine ecstasy or agony that every clash brings when taking the field for true giant of the game.

Kyogo also craves these things, hence signing up for more.

They say familiarity breeds contempt, and it’s true I can often view the game particularly in Scotland with some contempt, based in the knowledge it’s not fulfilling its potential which is often deliberate. But reading Jordan’s heartfelt critique of the Saudi set-up has made me sit back and take stock a bit, it really has made me stop and appreciate for a minute exactly what we have and what we often take for granted.


The last two weeks are a great example, under pressure Celtic faced 4 huge domestic fixtures, each one serious hurdle that demanded much more than simply showing up in a crisp top on the day. Any slip-up had massive consequences and would be viewed as a disaster, stadiums were packed with supporters eager to pile on the pressure or exalt in its release, the build-up and public interest in these 4 fixtures made them unmissable events that dominated many lives and conversations. And at the end, the jubilant scenes and cheers made it all worthwhile,,we had passed the latest big test and rightly celebrated, those 4 games brought many a spring in their step as they go about their normal routine.


The last 2 weeks, those 4 games we just won in style, were priceless and a great showcase for just how important and exciting the domestic league can be. Instead of frowning upon it, I was smitten by the SPL recently. It doesn’t have the most riches on offer, but it has mega history between the clubs, a competitiveness that money can’t buy, and atmospheres to match. It was all that Jordan craves, and isn’t finding in Saudi. It was all that he wants to experience again.


It’s surprisingly pleasant to see the bare naked truth emerge on many back pages throughout the land, Jordan’s high profile makes it official, that in football money can’t buy you love. It’s good for future Saudi signings to read it how it really is,,you’re sacrificing big games for a big pay packet, and if you’re a true football man it’s not for you.


Hes officially let the cat out of the bag and now everyone knows that playing for a big club is much more fulfilling than playing for just a big salary.

It’s this simple fact that kicks mega-money in the teeth, a simple fact that may just be one of the beautiful games saviours.

By Mahe 

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January 8, 2024 2:01 am

So true, great article.

Just Sayin’
January 8, 2024 4:01 am

“really has made me stop and appreciate for a minute exactly what we have and what we often take for granted.”

Brutal, third rate Scottish football aside, we are lucky to have Kyogo, and perhaps he feels lucky to have us. Spurned by his National team for the second major tournament in a row, he at least has a profile here.

Doesn’t look like he will get a move to a top half EPL club either, as AP reinforces with the younger, vastly more experienced Werner.
Kyogo will soon be 29, and his options at career enhancement look limited.

So unless he takes the Jota, Edouard, Christie etc pay check route to play bank balance football with little chance of medal glory, we hopefully keep him for a few more years yet.

Plus he puts the fear into the Huns.

January 8, 2024 6:17 am

A lovely article, especially the part concerning Kyogo. I hope that part is accurate but the other part misses some salient points.

Firstly, what is the value of a contract? Henderson signed one, eyes aglow with the monies involved. You signed it, you should honour it. Secondly, was no effort on due diligence made by either Hendo or his agent? Surely a little research would have shown up the quality of the pitches and players plying their trade in the Saudi game. How difficult was it to determine crowd size in the Saudi league? Manfred Mann might have been blinded by the light, but Hendo was blinded by the money!

Thirdly, how rich does Hendo have to be? He was already on mega bucks at L’pool.

Finally, Hendo was seen as a supporter of LGBTQ rights. Knowing these issues, he willingly moved into a Society that shows little respect for them.

Rich guy disappointed at what he has to do to become richer is the theme I am getting from this reality.


The Gombeen Man
January 8, 2024 9:04 am


Thanks for the article.

Few will have sympathy for Henderson after decided to join Steven Gerrard’s Al-Ettifaq in the summer.

He has since played 19 times and won just five times. Gerrard’s side have not won any of their last eight matches.

It’s ironic that many in Scotland seem to think that Celtic represent much of what is wrong with Scottish football.

Regrettably, Scotland also has a long way to go to eradicate long standing prejudices. The powers that be have shown little appetite to confront the deep-rooted anti-Irish Catholic bias that permeates through Scottish society.

Recent events. The prominence of the Orange Order, the bias the media. The failure of the police and judicial system have done little to address the pain and suffering endured by so many at the hands of the Scottish establishment.

Scotland’s establishment is largely responsible for the failure of those wounds to heal. Sadly in Scotland every minority and every justifiable cause takes precedence over the discrimination against the Gaelic/Irish Catholic.

Prejudice against our community is institutionalised in Scotland.


Thanks for the posts yesterday. It’s interesting how the simplicity of the early Christian monks still offers so much.

There is much to be gained in the shared heritage that the Gaelic past offers. Columba is still acknowledged within the Presbyterian community.

There is an opportunity there.

The Gombeen Man
January 8, 2024 9:07 am


Thanks for your replies yesterday.

I note your contention that Regulation would be about oversight of the SFA.

Apart from the fact that this view isn’t consistent with what’s proposed by the Conservatives in Westminster.

How do you reconcile that contention with the views of Henry McLeish, the ex-First Minister and board of the Scottish Football Supporters Association. Mr McLeish resigned after his own financial muddle.

Scotsman 14th November 2018

“We need to set in place more effective relationships with the world outside football, including government, both national and local.

For the immediate future…


The SFA must re-establish its authority, power and provenance within the game and once again become a powerful and a unifying voice when football is increasingly fragmented. The credibility of the SFA has been significantly undermined. The SPFL has taken over the Board structure of the SFA and now distorts the nature and direction of the wider game. Put bluntly, the SFA must halt the power grab of the SPFL/Scottish Premiership, curtail the encroachment of the club game.


Promoting the interests of the club game should never be at the expense of the national game and the common good of football. Over the last 20 years the Scottish Premiership has eaten away at the authority of the SFA and exerted its own priorities.”

I’ll avoid the temptation to substitute the term Celtic for SPFL. I’m sure you are aware of the contempt the Ibrox contingent have for that organisation.

The SPFL have many faults but “empower the SFA.”

– This is stuff of the dark ages.

Mc Leish is of course a board member of the parochial lobby group, the Scottish Football Supporters Association.

The unelected board are a curious mix.

One is a winner of an East of Scotland League Medal. Two are supporters of Dumbarton. Henry McLeish follows East Fife.

One is a former Director of Dundee and a member of the Juventus Scottish Fan Club. Juventus aren’t known for their financial transparency.

Another is an ex-employee of Livingston FC and a now an MP. There’s a Sevco supporter, originally from Govan who, “Cheers on the Teddy Bears.”

Not forgetting the member who has worked for that bastion of sporting impartiality the BBC, for over 20 years. There’s also a Partick Thistle supporter and an Ayr United supporter.

One might be forgiven for thinking that the board of the SFSA in many ways mirrors the composition of the dreaded SFA.

All that’s missing is Ernie Walker and Jim Farry.

This has all the hallmarks of a lobbying group operating in the interests of peripheral clubs.

Until the Scottish Government can demonstrate a capacity to confront the anti- Celtic bias in the media, police, justice system they can’t be trusted.

Confront the Orange Order and the influence Freemasonry in the public services.

Let’s see what the promised Judicial Enquiry into the Malicious Prosecutions reveals.

It’s that simple.

The presence of the Armed Forces Covenant in the SFSA website is hardly likely to encourage supporters of Celtic to engage.

– Politicians and lobby groups like the SFSA need to earn trust. They need to acknowledge the deep rooted bias at the heart of the Scottish establishment.

The situation in England is completely different. That’s about a potential breakaway, loss of income and financial sustainability.

Scotland needs to confront what’s staring us all in the face first.

– Sectarianism and bigotry.

Till later.

Have a great day everyone.

January 8, 2024 9:15 am

Good article, Mahe. Thank you.
We don’t need Jordan Henderson to show Kyogo the downside of going to Saudi. Our own Jota was treated appallingly by the sheiks and his football career has stalled. Mind you, how many of us would thole it for £200k per week? I’d wager if Kyogo was offered a similar deal, and Celtic were getting a fee of £25m, our directors would be queuing up to drive him to the airport.
Your point is valid, however. Money, even shed loads of it, cannot buy the atmosphere of CP, or even Anfield. I can’t see this changing. Money will dictate how the game proceeds from here on in. The attitude of FIFA, UEFA, SFA and directors of most clubs is to follow the money. We are doubly handicapped by our miopic board who still cling to old firmism.
Scottish football will fall further down the rankings but we’ll still get 60,000 fans at CP and 52,000 at Ibrox to watch a bigotfest, while the other clubs tut tut at the hate, but pocket the cash.
Our leaders, political and in football, are shit scared of the orange mob. Nothing will change till that particular Scottish boil is lanced. Even then, the money men, their corruption and greed, will still call the shots.
It doesn’t look good.

January 8, 2024 9:43 am

Good morning all. HH

January 8, 2024 10:12 am

KF — I would not be surprised if he moved on.
I would prefer that he stays and builds on his game.
Getting left out of the NT must hurt.

His form / attitude — to me anyway / others might see it differently — took a dip after he got his CL goal.
Thought he was having a very quiet game against our friends in Govan until his class shone through.

I think he is weighing up his options at this moment in time.
The positive would be that we give him the luv that he does not get from the NT.
The negative is that we aren’t getting him into the NT.

January 8, 2024 10:33 am

HMcL vs Football = word salad.

The article focuses on what is wrong and struggles to get across what needs to be done.
Who is to blame — sub editor vs author?

Very limited guy who struggles with the basics.

The basics — youth football needs better / professional coaches and better facilities.
Plus more pathways to keep the playing numbers up post 16 — Regional academies come on down !?!.
What are the numbers in Iceland and why aren’t — repeat aren’t — we bettering them?

Quick fix — give college and uni football better visibility.
Look what it has done for LS — his football age is 3 years behind his biological age but he is growing fast.

Future — let a thousand flowers bloom.

January 8, 2024 10:47 am

Regulator — I fear it will turn into another layer in the Russian doll that is Scottish football.

Down South — the whole process looks like a land grab by the establishment to try and rein in / control the Premier League.

When did Westminster ever giveaway power to an outside agency?
Answer — never unless it was in its own interest.
The regulator concept reeks of BoJo populism.
Useful idiot to keep the plebs happy.

The establishment are worried about the influence of outside actors will have if anyone is allowed to own an EPL team.
They are scared fartless at the influence SA has on a large city in the north of England.
Citeh was bad enough — they played by some sort of rules — SA are flexing their muscles from the get go.

The EPL was good when it was helping the balance of payments — we are a service economy after all.
However the influence a football team can have in this time of identity politics / faux populism / tribal nativism …
The current Westminster establishment wrote the book and they are not liking the ending.

Holyrood is following the Westminster model to the core.
Evidence / 25 years of devolution — Auld Reekie on the up and up / Glesga on its uppers.
Thjey will just coat tail as they always do and wrap it in Tartan.

January 8, 2024 11:00 am

Morning all,

Where’s all the new signings ????????????

I’vebeeninacomaCSC 🍀🍀🍀

January 8, 2024 11:03 am


What makes you think I agree with McLeish and am not aware of his past?

His original review of Scottish Football raised good points but was shelved by the SFA.

Who does that speak more of? The SFA or McLeish?

Are those reasonable points to be dismissed because of other aspects of McLeish character?

Has McLeish hypnotised other members of the SFSA,some whom, gasp, have Timmy leanings?

The James Dornan motion was unexpected but now he, a Tim, is getting involved to get the case for relevant oversight on the agenda. Is he then likely to be hypnotised by McLeish?

The reason the SFSA have to take a neutral approach is the minute there is perceived bias for one side or the other, then the greater good of Scottish Football falls to the its just another Rangers v Celtic issue. The SFA already used that ploy to dismiss Res12 because the SFA were the target and did not want to lose their unaccountable power.

The issue has the game been corrupted as result of governance failures is much greater than Celtic and Rangers, well an honest game is, and we already see here on SC that dishonesty is going to be a factor in determining what degree of support Celtic get in the future.

Resisting attempts to restore a sense of trust and honesty will not be in Celtic”s long term interests, especially if it starts to effect the bottom line.

What ATOB has said will not be confined to her alone and Celtic need to be aware of such feelings. The time to do that is before automatic ST renewal asking Celtic what assurances can they give that the game is not bent and what are they doing to address that perception?

As regards the deeper problem of sectarianism in Scottish football and society, one way is to stop it being profitable for those running the game.

January 8, 2024 11:07 am


Nail on head. Maybe a hairline crack in the dam
and others may follow his ‘plea’ to return.
It could also hasten yet others to grab those contracts whilst they are being touted.
Be a queue of clubs to take him back.

January 8, 2024 11:10 am

Great article,MAHE. Job satisfaction really does matter,no matter what you do. Henderson is finding out the hard way,but to a certain extent so too is Kyogo. He might be loving it at Celtic-I genuinely think he is,as shown by signing a long term contract at 28yo-but for him,that has to be tempered by the lack of recognition and respect by his national team manager.

My Dad and I were talking about Jota’s situation over the weekend. I neither know nor care what his sexual preferences are,and I like to think that is the case for most people. But Saudi authorities aren’t most people,and it is likely that he is being frozen out for non-footballing reasons. Shamefully.

But he has a watertight three year contract worth £30m tax free. Sitting on that in his current situation will be a miserable existence,but he will only be 27yo when it is complete. Personally,I’d stick two fingers up at them and take the money. But then,we don’t know how that will affect his mental health. As I said,job satisfaction really does matter.

January 8, 2024 11:15 am


“ I’vebeeninacomaCSC”

Don’t drink so bloody much then! Although,in fairness,you’ve got a raft of Glasgow publicans to support while BIGRAILROADBLUES is away. So fire in,by all means.

St tams
January 8, 2024 11:20 am

We signed anyone yet ?
No, I didn’t think so.
All that money must earning a fortune in a high interest account

January 8, 2024 11:25 am


There’s a rumour going around that BRRB is currently in the Bahamas and trying to arrange a golf game with oor Desmond 👍

Money goes to Money they say !!!!!!!!

Hope he brings back good news on signings 🤔🤔🤔

Nah, me neither ………….

Prestonpans bhoys
January 8, 2024 11:54 am

St Tams

“All that money must earning a fortune in a high interest account”

And when they receive the interest…….it will be taxable 🫣 bloody clowns 🤡 🙄

January 8, 2024 11:57 am


There’s a rumour going around that BRRB is currently in the Bahamas and trying to arrange a golf game with oor Desmond 👍

Money goes to Money they say !!!!!!!!

Hope he brings back good news on signings 🤔🤔🤔

Nah, me neither ………….
BRRB’s chances are better of playing DD at golf if he flies over to Barbados. 😉

January 8, 2024 12:26 pm


Or DD using his private jet to fly BRRB over 😉😉

January 8, 2024 12:36 pm


Or DD using his private jet to fly BRRB over 😉😉
If BBRB went on the wagon, he could buy DD out.😊

January 8, 2024 12:47 pm


One might be forgiven for thinking that the board of the SFSA in many ways mirrors the composition of the dreaded SFA.
Well I could hardly say don’t forgive but if you are wrong what is left to forgive?

The SFSA are using what is happening in England ie Government involvement, for whatever reasons, to prevent the SG falling back on their old line of no government interference in football matters.

It needs to be made as difficult as possible for them to take that line which will require the views of supporters reaching MSPs to open the road towards transparency and accountability.

I that respect using events in England as leverage to get the issue on the table a Regulator is not the only change the SFSA seek and what they seek is the result of their own Fan Review of Scottish Football which can be downloaded from

There are 22 recommendations arising from that review which will play a part in taking matters forward IF the SG accept they have a responsibility to put Scottish football on a more stable footing.

It would be folly to dismiss that review on the basis THE SFSA Board are untrustworthy and allow matters to continue as they are.

There should be a healthy debate on the pros and cons of the recommendations based on what the fans have provided not ignore it because of distrust of some on the SFSA Board.

Page 16 contains the 22 recommendations with further thoughts on how those recommendations might be taken forward.

There will be pros and cons but debate on them should not be stifled from fear of an outcome based on mistrust of the folk who have been working for SFA reform for years, some of whom as I’ve mentioned are of a Timmy persuasion.

What would add value to the discussion is for folk to look at the SFSA recommendations and if any dangers to Celtic are spotted flag them up so they can be countered if/once SFA reform becomes part of the SG agenda.

There already is agreement on both sides of the Celtic/Rangers divide that greater transparency and less secrecy is required of the SFA. Who would have thought that would happen?

It might start with VAR and Referees but once that genie is out the bottle it should not be allowed to be put back in it.

Bada Bing
January 8, 2024 12:47 pm

Henderson was on about 150k a week at Liverpool BTW

January 8, 2024 12:51 pm


Or DD using his private jet to fly BRRB over
Had DD offered me 6 free fortnights and First Class transport a year to Sandy Lane in Barbados to drop Res12 I might have been tempted. 🙂

The nearest I got was swim with my then 12 month year old daughter off Sandy Lane beach.

January 8, 2024 1:08 pm


SC engagement / involvement — look good in cord and can sing Kumbaya?
What about the rest of us …
Not good.

January 8, 2024 1:32 pm


Last week before his cruise, BRRB wrote a cheque and the bank bounced !!!! 😉😉

Hope you’re well 👍


That DD is a rogue, charlatan and fraudster ( albeit a rather rich one )

Don’t think he has the finger on the pulse because no fan interaction is the wrong strategy, in my view..

We’ll see ………………

Mike in Toronto
January 8, 2024 1:53 pm

Not sure if he still has it, but Roman Abramovich used to own a place down the road from Sandy Lane …was passing by it one day and noticed the bushes were moving and seemed to be following me …on closer inspection, realized it was his security service in camouflage … true story as BP would say.

Maybe if BRRB is meeting with DD, he could see if could also have a word RA too …maybe scare DD into not taking advantage … although tht may be like me telling my girl that if she doesnt shape up, Im going to leave her for Heidi Klum … she didnt seem to worried ( the girl… not HK … although HK probably would be terriified at the thought)…. Now Roman may have an issue with the GB … but worth a shout

Mike in Toronto
January 8, 2024 1:59 pm

Forbes reporting tht Real and Mbappe have reached an agreement.

But also reporting that Haaland’s contract contains a release clause of 200 million pounds for other EPL clubs, but only 100 million for other clubs, and that Real are strongly considering triggering the clause.

Not sure how they would manage the finances … but they seem to make these things work …

January 8, 2024 2:07 pm

MM 108


January 8, 2024 2:10 pm

Mike in Toronto,

Remember years ago, playing golf at Penrith Golf Club

I swore the bushes were moving and said so after finishing round.

Turned out Willie Whitelaw was a member and previous Norn Ireland Secretary..

It was his Security Team.

Funny auld game Saint ………..

January 8, 2024 2:11 pm


Next time we meet I’ll show a copy of his reply to a Membership Scheme idea I put to DD pre 2011.

January 8, 2024 3:20 pm


If that had been me,I’d have been more careful with the contents of my golf bag next time. The thirteen clubs would be fine,but the eighteen cans and hip flask would have to go.

January 8, 2024 3:37 pm

Been offline for a while and I see my name being mentioned. I told DD that I couldn’t accept his offer of hospitality. His private jet didn’t stock my favourite brands of beer and spirits. Cheapskate.

Mike in Toronto
January 8, 2024 4:15 pm

My prediction … not sure if it will all happen this window, but by the summer …

Salah to Saudi, and replaced by Mbappe (salary basically paid by Salah’s transfer fee) and Haaland to Real Madrid

January 8, 2024 4:30 pm

Frank Beckenbauer gone

Bada Bing
January 8, 2024 4:30 pm

Linked with this guy,not impressed going by these stats

Mike in Toronto
January 8, 2024 4:32 pm


Tiny … non-scoring winger/striker ….and cheap …. Perfect Celtic player profile

January 8, 2024 4:37 pm


No chance of us going for him. Agent pawprints all over this,I suspect.

Hope I’m bloody right!

January 8, 2024 4:41 pm


Beckenbauer is one of the all-time greats. The German George Connelly! Won it all as a player,then repeated the trick as a manager. A wonderful player to watch,he made the game seem absolutely effortless.

January 8, 2024 5:08 pm


Very strong rumours that Liverpool are resigned to losing Salah,and want Mbappe. Your suggestion,bringing Haaland into it,makes a lot of sense.

January 8, 2024 5:17 pm

Has _anything_ MIT said ever made sense ? 😜

January 8, 2024 5:17 pm

First pair of Adidas boots I owned were Beckenbauer. Never made me a star but Jesus they were the dogs bollocks at the time. Just seen a pair of Adidas at the weekend named Kaisers. Told my wife about Beckenbauer then.
What a player he was.

January 8, 2024 5:18 pm

Mahe loved today’s article 👍

Mike in Toronto
January 8, 2024 5:27 pm


Any more out of you, and BMCUWP will have to change your blog name to ASWGS … A Supporter Who Got Skelped😆

January 8, 2024 5:29 pm

bada Joe Gelhardt err 9 goals in 100 games, wtf is he a goalkeeper ?

January 8, 2024 5:34 pm

MIT threats is it ? I’ll be speaking to my lawyer ….in other words telling my mum.

Mike in Toronto
January 8, 2024 5:40 pm


Bad timing pal…. I brought mum to the Dominican Republic for 10 days, so I am in the good books this week. Any other time and your plan would have worked 😆

Mike in Toronto
January 8, 2024 5:45 pm

ASWGL … oops misread your post … I thought you were telling MY mum. Clearly Ive had too much sun and/or too many pina coladas😆

A Supporter Who Got Lucky
January 8, 2024 5:49 pm

MIT 🤣🤣

January 8, 2024 6:04 pm


Hope you have a great time. Look out for a flying visit from a disoriented BIGRAILROADBLUES.