A quick check of the fixture list reveals that St Mirren are the first scheduled visitors to Celtic Park after 10 August, the date Clinical Director, Jason Leitch, said he hopes to allow capacity crowds into football stadiums. St Mirren were the last visitors to play in front of supporters at Celtic Park, on 7 March 2020, which will be satisfying, for those who like their fixtures with a bit of symmetry.
Olivier Ntcham’s hopes to earn a rewarding contract appear to hinge on Celtic providing the player with a free transfer, one year before the end of his current agreement. Deals like this were once regarded as rewards for players who gave the bulk of their career to a club. Subsidising Olivier’s potential wages from AEK would be an extraordinarily generous move by Celtic.
The player really needs some football next season, if not, he will be 26 when his contract expires, having played very little football for two years. I would rather pay him to remain the squad (with strict instructions to stay out of the Celtic penalty box) than lose him for free.
It’s great to see reports of talented young players on their way to Celtic, but we all know the script when it comes to transfers. Confirmative press stories mean nothing, just ask Celtic boss, Eddie Howe. If a player is on Celtic’s radar, he will be on a few others.
Speaking of Howe, his phone will have gone a bit quiet since four weeks ago. He rejected Celtic within a day of Real Madrid sounding out their new boss, Carlo Ancelotti, then manager of his boyhood club, Everton. Everton and Crystal Palace are both trying hard to appoint a manager who is not Howe, although he remains on both clubs’ lists. Southampton and Newcastle retained their managers, against earlier expectations.
Shay Logan, weeks after posting the message, “You can’t polish a turd” below a photo of Scott Brown in an Aberdeen shirt, was arrested and charged with an offence under the Proceeds of Crime Act. He remains as classy as ever.