Abada, Messi; it’s not December


Football leagues are all cartels, but the MLS in the US is a particularly malign version in that it is a closed system, without relegation and promotion.  This lack of market competition is normal sports behaviour in the Land of the Free, but leads to a huge number of stale games from early in the season, as clubs outwith the title battle have little to play for.

Don’t be distracted by Messi’s December years in Miami. The former World’s Greatest is filling his coffers in a low tax environment (he’s famously tax averse), paid for by Amazon Prime customers across North America.

Where else would Celtic profitably sell-on Patryk Klimala, Lewis Morgan and Giorgos Giakoumakis?  Patryk only managed an unproductive year before heading back to Europe.  Lewis Morgan has enjoyed a successful four years, first in Miami, now New York.  The one-time Celtic winger has found his level in the US.

Giorgos left us only 11 months ago.  In 30 MLS appearances since (including from the bench), he scored 19 times.  He is our stand-out successful export to North America and at 29, has surely also found his level.

Liel Abada is 22 years old, still learning his trade but already a respected player who has given us a clutch of memorable moments and goals.  I think he can continue developing into a striker, his timing and calmness in front of goal is reminiscent of some of our greats, even if his wing play is not.

If Liel goes to the MLS it will be with some regret.  He has potential well above that league.  We gave him a platform to learn on and grow, but the developmental job is not complete.  There will be more money on the table, but, unlike Messi, it’s February for Liel, not December.

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  1. Wednesday eve has arrived and the super mild weather here continues.



    Peter and Mark gone fishing yet? 100m accounts published?



    Asking for a friend.

  2. Prestonpans bhoys on

    “He is our stand-out successful export to North America and at 29, has surely also found his level.”



    I think Giorgos Giakoumakis level is a good bit better than the MLS, he certainly would have been useful now!

  3. Hoop hoop Hooray on

    Agree Abada could one day be a very good striker.



    Giakamakis was top scorer in eredivisie with a relegated club. A prolific scorer with us. So not sure where found his level in MLS comes from.


    Wish he was still here but we had to get that sell on value before he was too old didnt we.

  4. Strange article P67.



    I fully understand Liel Abada’s conundrum. I would imagine his girlfriend will have similar.



    I hope Liel is aware of the good wishes from the supporters. There is nothing personal.



    I will be sorry to see Liel go. I remember stating that Liel would be a superstar and eventually smash our incoming transfer fee.


    He is nowhere near the superstar level of prediction, for reasons outwith the control of any of us.



    I seriously doubt football will be his main priority at this time and unfortunately I seriously doubt he will become the superstar I predicted.




  5. garygillespieshamstring on

    My recollection is that GG wanted to leave as he didn’t want to be second fiddle to Kyogo.

  6. onenightinlisbon on

    It was very obvious that GG was not in Ange plans to be the number one striker. He took the huff and Ange, being the excellent manager he was got shot of him. Move on….

  7. What is the Starz on

    I will be glad to see the back of Abada if he supports the barbarian regime in Israel.


    If he came out and called for his genocidal government to stop slaughtering children in Gaza I would be glad for him to stay..

  8. Hoop hoop Hooray on

    GG never said he didn’t want to be 2nd fiddle that I can remember. remember him complaining that if he did well he had been promised an improved contract which hadn’t been forthcoming.



    Similarly all JJ said was he knew he was getting sold when we signed AJ.



    As two of the older members of the first team they were sold for a small profit just after lawwell returned as chairman

  9. First up, the Giakoumakis point is ludicrous and a pitiful defence of selling one of our best players.



    Secondly … 418, your tirade … exactly what I would expect from someone writing at that time, fuzzy, wooly headed, not quite in control of his words.



    Because it may just be the most ill-informed, conspiratorial, stupid rant I have ever read on this site. Seriously. It’s that bad. It’s so bad that it towers above some of the faux-political commentary and pro-board guff that readers have to sift through.



    The sheer ignorance of that was mind-bending. I’ve known Auldheid for years, and it takes a lot for him to snap and write something as sarcastic and angry as his response to you … but you deserved it and then some.

  10. So it seems their is a personal resentment to Liel Abada amongst our support.



    Don’t remember Ciftci getting the same ultimatums for the ongoing Turkish genocide of the Kurds ( The world’s largest stateless peoples )

  11. Why do we have to SELL Abada to MLS. They paid us well for players no one else was interested in _ Morgan and Klimala. They paid a decent sum for Giorgios but, if he had stayed with us and continued to score at the rate he was producing for us, I daresay we could have bettered that fee from a down south club.



    We cannot SELL Abada to a big fee paying English or European club but that is no reason to SELL to a cheaper market. If Leil needs to get out of here- let him do so on loan to an MLS club till the summer and then loan him out to a shop window club. If he performs well in England, and he should do better than a Haksabanovic, in front of a crowd that he does not feel conflicted with or opposed to.



    It looks like a late panic sell. No sell-on cut from a future transfer out of MLS will give us anywhere near Neil’s worth. Who has paid big fees for MLS players? I looked at the Transfermarkt site and there are fewer than 20 players who have gone for over 10 million Euro and most of them have not thrived. The 2 names that stick out as successes are Almiron to Newcastle for 24m Euro and the great Alphonso Davies to Bayern for 14 million Euro. Leil is not as good a player as that.



    The other big Euro fees paid were for John Duran to Villa (16.6m) , Pepi to Augsburg (16m), Martinez to a Saudi club (16m), Taty Castellanos, Thiago Almeida, Dorde Petrovic, Esequiel Barro and Brendan Aaronson. A veritable category of Who’s That? Aaronson is the only one I recognise and he scored one goal in 36 matches for relegated Leeds and has scored 1 in 17 matches for Union Berlin. I suspect Leil can be worth more than him.



    I am not seeing the sense in a fire sale for Leil Abada

  12. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Couldn’t give a flying monkey’s about Abada’s ceiling if he’s not going to be playing for us.



    Also past caring about missed profit potential because having money brings us no benefit on the field.



    It would only be spaffed by the Lawwells on cheap duds and Exec/Non Exec remuneration.



    And who cares about that (apart from the Board shills on here)?

  13. I couldn’t really care about Abada’s development – once a player leaves, my only concern is that we maximise our fee.



    I’d dearly love to have GG available for BR. I doubt Oh could score double digits in the MLS. The levels our dross eventually settle in will be very telling.

  14. Many Thanks for the comments on my post this morning, it is gratifying most of you appreciated the point…



    HOT SMOKED @ 11:10 AM,



    All well and good but I would have thought at least a mention of the connection between Rangers winning three in a row and spending millions they didn`t have, leading to their demise, would have been worthy of a mention.



    It seems you didn’t… (appreciate the point that is:)



    Multiple aspects of what we have achieved and haven’t since the millennium could be highlighted and examined.



    In actuality, most of it has been at one time or another on the blog.



    Martin O’Neil managed to build on the foundations laid in the nineties at Celtic Park.



    We went from a broke organisation with a dilapidated Stadium and being dominated by our City rivals…



    …to the finest team in Scotland and the best supported Club in Scotland, who were punching their weight in Europe.



    The anno pedro – Twenty Year Domination thing is a myth, the Peter Lawwell has created a – “you’ve never had it so good era”, is a myth.



    And it’s a dangerous myth.



    Celtic is a collective and can only succeed as a collective.



    The, their’s no “I” in team cliche is very appt just now.



    People’s reputations are at stake, of course, the natural thing to do is try to protect that.



    Yet at the expense of Club legends, at the expense of our future prospects, at the expense of reality, and any other “expendable”, I think not.



    The Twenty Year Myth, blanks out what went before, stymies our future, and shades deeds that need to be exposed to the sunlight.



    There is no Twenty Years – we don’t need anymore smoke’n mirrors.



    Hail Hail

  15. Think we can dispense with the thinking that abada isn’t in the frame of mind to play for Celtic to he doesn’t want to play for Celtic, so he gets transferred or hangs about to the summer here, I wonder how other Jewish players are getting on in Europe?

  16. AULDHEID @ 11:44 AM,



    “There is a clear pattern of Celtic doing what is said on the tin of their QUAC code compliance statements ie to increase shareholder value.



    It might have been better to state to stop shareholder value from falling below £Xxx.



    A team fit for the purpose of consistently beating all domestic competition should not decrease share value but when a decision is made to keep some cash in reserve in case CL participation is not acheived is planning to maintain share holder value rather than increase it.



    The idea of buy low sell high might work if executed properly but it clearly is not and PL is DD’s man responsible.



    The only break in the pattern is when PL was absent and his reappointment is the PL equivalent of appointing NL in the shower and we all know how that turned out.



    It was an insult to the broad intelligence of Celtic supporters.



    A reap what you sow decision that will erode the sense of self respect of even the most loyal of supporters.”



    Yes, whatever way they wanted to “play” this, it has badly misfired, so the true aims and objectives are fuzzy to say the least.



    The sceptical among us are pointing out…



    We don’t budget for the UCL anyway, ’cause that’s what we’ve been told.



    The most sceptical among us are pointing out



    If we need a UCL buffer, logically that can only mean, a buffer against R2ngers dominance



    As we don’t technically “lose” money by not being in the UCL, we just don’t gain, R2ngers gain…



    The buffer was to ensure if R2angers won the League and automatically qualified for the UCL, our buffer money would put us on a parallel footing with them.



    Both “old firm” clubs would have an equivalence and be financially sound.



    Now, are the Celtic Board really follow that strategy, I’m not convinced, yet it makes as much sense out of this clusterfugg as anything else put forward.



    As for the buy low, sell high policy, that seems to be well in the purview of my understanding, a poorly thought out strategy very badly implemented.



    Par for the course…



    Hail Hail

  17. The Star Above The Crest on

    An tearman



    From previous blog



    What’s Eastwood and me playing football got to do with anything?

  18. Paul67 et al



    Ever heard of the NFL?


    Not much in the way of promotion and relegation in that League.


    A whole lotta competition though


    Likewise the NBA


    The MLS has its’ own model, not perfect but relatively successfull, in promoting the professional game across the USA.


    I quite liked Lewis Morgan, not as a centre forward though, as a player that really could cross the ball, unlike many of the “wingers” who have followed him at Celtic.

  19. JAMES FORREST on 20TH FEBRUARY 2024 12:27 PM


    418, your tirade … exactly what I would expect from someone writing at that time, fuzzy, wooly headed, not quite in control of his words.



    James, the Treble Numbered One is a Hun who only comes on to post drivel that he hopes upsets a few of us and leads to some discussion about his posts.



    Only my opinion, but best to ignore and starve him of oxygen?



    Ave Ave

  20. It’s a sad day for Celtic when a player feels he has to leave due to the way he is treated over his background. A quick twitter browse will confirm some of the bile directed his way since late last year.


    Indeed, even CQN has seen its share of inappropriate comment. Very sad.


    WITS earlier post would doubtless be appreciated by those who have booed James MacLean over the years. Note that I’m not comparing or conflating the respective backgrounds, merely the supporter behaviour.


    For the hard of thinking – my wish for politics to be left at the door in no way suggests i support the IDF bombing innocent children and adults. If you ever see this being supported at Celtic Park, make it known and I will condemn it.


    I’m firmly with Willie Maley on this one


    “Celtic Park – where a man is judged by his football alone”

  21. There is no point in hanging on to a player who doesn’t want to be here. It does nothing for dressing room morale. Likewise, we’ve too many inferior players who are stinking out our dressing room and that’s down to our Head of Recruitment . Family ties notwithstanding, he has to be sacked, he has been an unmitigated disaster in the role and Daddy should be handing him his p45 today.



    I curse the day we allowed DD have control of Celtic, he cares not a jot about anything but profits and dividends.

  22. “Indeed, even CQN has seen its share of inappropriate comment. Very sad”



    just 1 quote with bile directed at Abada on CQN please…



    just 1 example of Abada being booed at CP ?



    absolute bollox

  23. For the hard of thinking Abada has been treated excellently by supporters, not one disparaging thing said about him in the stadium or by the club. Social media is full of bangers giving out abuse why would anyone base their life decisions on views from Twitter??



    As for the player himself, two things standout. Firstly he’s achieved nowhere near the potential people have been predicting for years, and this is well before oct 7th or even his serious injury. Lightweight, lacking composure, schoolboy-esque. Klimala’s an interesting example, as that’s exactly who he reminds me of. Secondly, saying he’s not in the right frame of mind because he doesn’t like Palestinian flags it would seem. Chase yerself wee man, you’re a bit of a dud and in breach of contract, and if you go to the US it’s a win-win. Huge Israel supporting demographic in MLS I’m sure, what a love-in.

  24. PeterLatchfordsBelly on




    Any chance you could start your own blog, maybe call it Celtic Real News – with a strap line of ‘not just lazy and inaccurate Lawwell propaganda’?

  25. Abada not kicked a ball got a very long time , if we can move off the wage bill temporarily or permanently, then we’ll all forget about it in a years time.



    On wider team performance, seems to me that the managers public bleating about quality has taken a chunk out of team morale. For me the situation on centre half selection is driving a rift through the club and possibly the team.



    I cannot understand how Maik and Gus are behind Welshy and Liam , it seems such a glaring act of self harm but it plays to the lack of quality narrative.



    Modern football is tricky to work out sometimes but if you strip it back , the manager has undermined the squad with constant chit chat , picked on certain players , and gradually the keep ball message has diluted all the strong points of the players who now look useless.



    The next stage is that we start to look unfit which is the final stage of decline.



    Still being football there is still hope.




  26. As someone who has lived in America for over 30 years, and watched the standard of Football/ Sorry, Soccer has improved very much. They know how to market the sport and attendances have improved significantly as well as the improvement and upgrade in practice facilities for the teams, male and female. Looking at the way our team is playing right now I think there are few players that MLS would be interested in taking. As someone pointed out, Big GG made his mark, not found his mark, at every club he played for. He scores goals. This found his level at MLS is a lazy statement. What feckin level are we at right now??? Fix our own product first .

  27. The lads on twenty minute tims haven’t held back in their latest pod.



    I suggest any fans of Liam Scales should give it a miss though.

  28. agreed on BR undermining the players/having favourites/throwing them under the bus….


    very poor man management/psychology


    who would want to play for him ? stupid to say they are well paid professionals, should play for the fans etc etc


    thats not how human beings work

  29. GLENOWEN on 20TH FEBRUARY 2024 1:00 PM


    I agree entirely.




    Where does the £92 million come from? Who has seen inside Celtic’s bank accounts? – answer nobody.



    How do people know the directors and PL lied about such things as Res12 and the 5 way agreement? – answer nobody. These two items are irrelevant in the history of Celtic and have made no difference to our progress, or, prospects. It’s all bar room, student room, clever-dick point-scoring by barrack room lawyers with too much time on their hands.



    Dermot Desmond, Peter Lawwell, Michael Nicholson, the board of directors, the management, coaches and players, are all involved in a sophisticated conspiracy to uphold the Old Firm label and to “keep the Ibrox club relevant”. How in God’s name could this happen and exactly how do you manage and monitor “relevance”…. and what the heck does it mean anyway?



    Purposeful disinformation is spread irresponsibly by certain people in order to engage and encourage the conspiracy cliques and freaks. They then pile in and shout down reasoned debate (call people Huns etc) because it does not agree with their group-speak narrative.



    The GB is anti-supporters and has the form to prove it. Their number has no right to bring their brand of politics and prejudice into Celtic Park and to away fixtures week after week. They are supported by the above blog/forum people because they can add ‘live’ rabble to their written rousing.



    We are having a tough time at the moment, just like all football clubs have had, irrespective of money in the bank, or, money spent. I give you Chelsea, Man Utd, Barcelona, Everton, Tottenham……etc. I thought Celtic supporters were better than that considering our success this century; but there are two kinds of Celtic supporters, one will (and has) stick with the club through thick and thin, and the other, the minority, is an entitled bunch who demand 100% success – that doesn’t happen – nothing is perfect. Then of course there is the GB, a boil on the face of Celtic and a disgrace to the ethos of our great club.

  30. BS



    agreed, tho wonderig what heppened to that Cifuentes guy, the most talented player that Chiellini had player with :)

  31. darwin



    “thought Celtic supporters were better than that considering our success this century; but there are two kinds of Celtic supporters, one will (and has) stick with the club through thick and thin, and the other, the minority, is an entitled bunch who demand 100% success”



    theres a third kind – those who get tore into their fellow supporters. the GB have done more fro celtic than you ever will (unless you are a lisbon lion or henrik of course ;))

  32. We were interested in Cifuentes at some point. LAFC brought in some expensive older players and his time became limited.

  33. onenightinlisbon on

    DARWIN on 20TH FEBRUARY 2024 1:55 PM



    “Support the club through thick and thin”



    Even while we are being fleeced by fat cat Tory B*******?

  34. We are in the position we are in right now due to our own pig headedness of thinking that we didn’t need to improve or work on our position of dominance. That has been our way for a long time, way back to when the 5 families were in charge. Look back after we won the double in 88 at how quickly we declined. Now I know we have been spoiled these last many years with trophies and trebles galore, but to be in the position we are in, and the football we are playing is complete shiteyballbags. How the people in charge have completely taken their eye off the ball, or are so out of touch with our own fans , is beyond me. I’m not a business man, just an old school teacher/coach of 25 years who puts passion and determination into his job everyday. Why the heck can’t our owners and players do the same thing for those loyal fans who fork out exorbitant amounts of money every year to follow a club that they love, that sometimes doesn’t love them back. it amazes me that we still have nearly 60,000 show up for games and pay their season tickets every year with money that probably could be put to better use somewhere else, but when you love something as much as we do in Celtic, the heart rules the head. The last game that I was at physically was up at Tannadice in 2002 when I was home for Christmas/New year. I have never missed a game since with my Celtic TV pass, which is sometimes crap quality. I used to leave Birmingham at 3 am with a much better celtic man than me called Dan Shields, and we would drive up to Fado’s Irish bar in Atlanta, and watch the games until the EPL product came and we more or less got swallowed up. It is rewarding and frustrating to be a Celtic supporter, more so right now as the pain has been self-inflicted.


    Sorry if I am not making any sense, just the ramblings of a man who hasn’t been home in far too long:(((((

  35. BOONDOCK SAINT on 20TH FEBRUARY 2024 2:15 PM



    I used to leave Birmingham at 3 am with a much better celtic man than me called Dan Shields, and we would drive up to Fado’s Irish bar in Atlanta and watch the games until the EPL product came and we more or less got swallowed up.



    *Now there’s a name from the past I used tae blether tae Dan on a couple of North American sites and actually met him when he came up here for a convention, quite the character, is he still around.

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