Celtic exit in January for O’Riley or Abada makes no financial sense

Allowing Matt O’Riley or Liel Abada to leave at this stage of the season, would be financial madness and incompetency of the highest order…

Celtic v Buckie Thistle – Liel Abada in action during the Scottish Cup match at Celtic Park on Sunday January 21, 2024. Photo Andrew Milligan

We know that the Celtic Board are unlikely to resist the temptation to sell our best players when their valuation is met by an interested club and indeed we all understand that in the harsh realities of Scottish football that is our business model and it’s one that’s been successful over recent years.

Whether you think that they are shrewd business people or self serving individuals that care not a jot about the ordinary supporters, doesn’t matter when it comes to what is needed in the next week and at the very top of the list must surely be to retain our best players, particularly the two who have been in the news this week with transfer speculation linking them with moves away. Those two are of course Matt O’Riley and Liel Abada.

Peter Lawwell, Brendan Rodgers and Michael Nicholson. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

But even for our money men and women in the boardroom,, the thought of allowing two of our biggest assets to leave at this time in the transfer window is sheer madness. It would be incompetency at the highest level if they sanctioned such moves at such an important moment in the season, when there is a £60m prize at stake for the winners of the Scottish Premiership this year and there is a genuine title battle to be fought and won over the next four months.

We know the importance of player trading, but what’s the point of selling for £30m then losing out on £60m? I’m no accountant but even I can see that is a particularly bad financial outcome and it’s one that must be avoided as all costs. That’s what makes the thought of cashing in on players like Matt and Liel such a bad idea. It would indeed be shooting ourselves very much in the foot.

Think about it, if we sell two vital players at this stage of the window, we won’t only have a chance to replace them and we’d simply weaken Brendan’s squad while giving encouragement to theRangers who last night won their harder of the two games in hand with a comfortable 3-0 win at Easter Road. That narrows our lead to just five points and they have their game in hand against St Johnstone at Ibrox to come. This title race is very much on and we must be alive to the dangers.

Celtic v Atletico Madrid – Matt O Riley crosses the ball during the UEFA Champions League match at Celtic Park, on Wednesday October 25, 2023. Photo Andrew Milligan

A league title that guarantees automatic entry to a newly formatted champions league next season, where the cash prize has increased significantly. Where that £60m goes – either to Celtic Park or Ibrox – will have a hugel bearing on how Scottish football is going to look for years ahead. If we win the league we effectively leave them behind. If they win it we’re back to being neck and neck and all the advantage since their old club was liquidated and a phoenix re-birth in the lower tiers of the game will have been lost.

So that makes it all the more bizarre if they are thinking of cashing in on two of our prized assets. Keep them and their value will be the same come summer, plus we have a more than good chance of earning a big pay day in Europe’s premier competition.

This Celtic board are money oriented and that’s not an insult it is a fair observation and it can even be looked as a compliment, especially when we look across the city at what their support has had to go through over the last decade or so.

Celtic fans cheer on their team prior to the UEFA Champions League group E football match between Celtic and Lazio at Celtic Park on October 4, 2023. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

If Celtic let our best players leave not only will they seriously jeopardise our title chances they will be throwing money down the drain. Selling the family silver now then losing the league would result in unrest and board  scrutiny just when the season tickets will be going on sale for next season.

We are all watching, we don’t want such incompetency at our club, so resist all temptation and don’t sell our best players in this transfer window. Keep your eyes on the prize. Talking the Celtic Board’s language, we know it makes financial sense.


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Just an Ordinary Bhoy


About Author

An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.

1 Comment

  1. No one will be sold ,and that will be hailed as a victory obscuring the fact that we have yet again failed to strengthen the left back position , the striker is a no brainer for me , Miofski fits the gap between Kyogo and Oh perfectly and we can easily afford him , (a proven Spfl goal scorer ) ,wining the league is the most important thing and then we can strengthen in the summer with replacing the want aways , Hail hail .