Yesterday I did a report on our former French contingent. It was an unusual play in many ways, and it was sparked by recent reports of the disappointment many at Palace feel at Odsonne Edouard. What was unusual was that I very rarely wrote about people who are no longer at Celtic Park. Most of the time, I don’t care.
Take Neil Lennon. I know he won a trophy with the Cypriot team last week. I am also aware of his anger on the touchline. Neither of these things concern me in the least; Lennon ceased to be of any importance in my life as a Celtic fan some time ago. I wish many of our former players the best of luck – like the great Bitton and Rogic – but I can’t honestly say I’ll be monitoring their results every week because to be honest, I won’t.
Some people disputed my claim that Moussa Dembele failed at Lyon. They cited the chapter and verse of his stats from the past season. Do you know why I was only half aware of it? Because I didn’t care. I am aware that he never reached the heights I thought he would reach when he left. Other than that, I had little interest in precise statistics.
Ryan Christie is in the papers today. Either he or whoever was interviewing him raised his criticisms among Celtic fans and elsewhere who thought he had taken a step back, and he was in an optimistic mood despite saying that these people were not foremost in his mind. He thinks he has proven he was right to act. Good for him.
He would have believed it whether they reached the EPL or not. We know this because he told us a hundred times. When did I personally stop listening? The first time. He defended the move as forward progress. I know the words “I like being by the sea” but I’ve never taken them literally. Fair play for him if he does.
But Bournemouth are not a bigger club than Celtic, whatever league they play in. He didn’t bet for a football move; he went where the money was. Celtic have no regrets. We got a nice sum for him and his promotion brought us more.
There are undoubtedly selling fees that will earn us even more. We paid a pittance for Christie; unlike some, he gave us several good years before deciding to leave. There is no hard feelings to that end.
That some of us wrote at the time that he was moving for the money is a fair comment. He went to a lesser club, which didn’t even play on the EPL stage. We are right to say that money was one of his motivating factors. I don’t know why he’s so irritated by it.
Because whoever claims they went to Bournemouth for ‘football reasons’ instead of just being straight, mostly they went there for the cold hard cash on offer… that’s a bit of an insult to our collective intelligence.
I don’t know why he and the media aren’t dropping the case.
He is happy. Were happy. He thinks the promotion justifies it. But he didn’t need that to justify it, only what was in his bank account. He made the right choice, because he got out of it what he had sought to get out of it.
So I don’t know why he keeps trying to explain it to us. I don’t know why the media keep asking him the question. It’s not that I don’t agree with everything he says, it’s just that I don’t particularly care about everything he has to say about it.
Good luck to him next season in the Premiership, I think. But I’ll be too busy watching Celtic to give them more than token attention.