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FEEDBACK FRIDAY: BRENDAN RODGERS: MASTER OF THE UNDERSTATEMENT, ZLATAN FOR CELTIC, SINCLAIR’S OFF SCOTT-FREE, TAXING AT GERS, CASHING IN

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A WARM welcome once again to FEEDBACK FRIDAY, our new column that welcomes the fans’ views, frank or frivolous, candid or controversial, blunt or brutal, as you let off steam with your observations, comments and opinions.

The weekend starts here, so let’s see what has been interesting, intriguing or even irking Scotzine readers.

Strap yourself in, please, we’re in for a bumpy ride.

“Who would have thought that Brendan Rodgers was such a master of the understatement?” asks Mary Boyle. “I read his words about leaving Celtic in a hurry in February and, remember, taking three key backroom staff with him.

“He admitted: ‘The timing wasn’t ideal.’ You could have knocked me down with a feather at that remark. Forty-eight hours after he scarpered, Celtic had to play a crucial Premiership match against Hearts at Tynecastle, a venue where the team had lost earlier in the season, and that would be followed by a weekend Scottish Cup quarter-final against Hibs at Easter Road, a ground where Rodgers had never won as a manager.

“Neil Lennon answered the call to return and worked wonders. Credit to Rodgers, though. He did lead the club to seven successive domestic honours in his two-and-a-half years at Parkhead, but he left in indecent haste with the unprecedented treble on the verge of collapse.

“Lenny got us over the line and Brendan is now history. He is doing well in the football hotbed that is Leicester City and the fans down there should enjoy him while they can.

“If Arsenal or even Manchester United come calling for the Irishman he’ll be off as fast as a bride’s nightie.”

Ed answers: Interesting comparison, Mary. I can’t possibly comment. 

Questions are coming from all angles this week and next up is Barney McLaughlin who asks: “What is all this nonsense about Zlatan Ibrahimovic heading for Celtic? Yes, he was a fabulous player in his day, but please not the sense in that sentence. It’s very much in the past.

“He is not having his contract renewed at LA Galaxy and no-one should be too surprised. The guy is 38 and we’ve all seen his best days with Sweden, Barcelona and AC Milan. He didn’t pull up any trees at Manchester United, either.

“Where would Neil Lennon play him? I would put money on a properly-attuned Leigh Griffiths scoring more goals in Scottish football than Ibrahimovic. Zlatan in the hoops? Give it a rest.”

Ed answers: As real as Jose Mourinho taking over as manager of Celtic? I seem to remember that being touted before May 25.

Tommy Wilson gets in touch to query: “Am I correct in my thinking on how the  the player’s contract system works? People are saying Scott Sinclair could be transferred in January because of his lack of game-time at Celtic. The club would then get a transfer fee for a player who cost £4.5million when he arrived in the summer of 2016 and who is clearly not in the manager’s current plans.

“Sinclair says farewell to Parkhead and goes to a team willing to give him first-team football. Fair enough. So far, so good?

“But doesn’t it make more financial sense for the 30-year-old to simply run down the remaining months of a deal that is reported to be worth circa £33,000-per-week?

“Then he can walk out the front door in June, Celtic don’t get a penny and he can negotiate a lucrative signing-on with an interested club who do not have to pay a fee to another club for his services. Is that not how it operates?”

Ed answers: You could ask Dedryck Boyata.

Eddie Leggatt is still on the cash theme with this offering: “So, the taxman overcharged Rangers £50million and forced them into liquidation? Have I done a Rip Van Winkle and slept all the way to April 1st?

“Supposing this barmy story is correct, does it not put a bit of a spotlight on the old board and the club’s accountants.

“How could they miss that gigantic sum of money? I can well understand our friends at HMRC overcharging, but for someone at Rangers not to notice the so-called miscalculation is mind-boggling. Heads must roll!”

Ed answers: I get the feeling there might be more to come on this story. Don’t sharpen that axe just yet, Eddie.   

Willie McArthur is obviously warming up for the Season of Goodwill. “Delighted to see that Neil Doncaster received a bonus of £91,000 from the SPFL,” he says. “With Christmas around the corner, the spare change will come in handy for another of football’s fat cats.

“I note that is performance-related. Is this the same Neil Doncaster who had Celtic playing Hearts in the Betfred League Cup semi-final and Rangers v Aberdeen at Hampden on the SAME day last year?

“The clubs, the supporters and the cops had to protest to have the games switched to different venues with different kick-off times in different cities. And then what do we get? Celtic, the holders of the trophy, told to go to Edinburgh to play a team who are from…Edinburgh. Even better, the semi-final is not at a football ground, it’s played on a rugby pitch. Good grief!

“That kind of bizarre decision-making is deemed good enough to earn a whopping £91,000 on top of your wages in an already-lucrative post? I’m in the wrong job!”

Ed answers: At least, you can look on the money side, Willie.

“The sooner Hearts and Hibs stop embarrassing themselves and acting like big clubs, the better it will be for Scottish football,” states Lorna Donnelly.

“Paul Heckinbottom, after arriving in February, is apparently on gardening leave at the Easter Road team – what does that actually mean? – and a 70-year-old English manager in Neil Warnock is being touted as Craig Levein’s successor at Tynecastle. That’s the way ahead.

“Why no mention of Steven Pressley who has just been shown the door at those soccer giants Carlisle United? When will this madness end?”

Ed answers: It’s never dull with these clubs. Capital punishment? Or capital gains? You pays your money you takes your choice, Lorna.

* Well, folks, time has beaten us for another week. Thank you once again for your shrewd observations. Please ktc and ktc – keep them coming and keep them clean – and we’ll use the best of them in FEEDBACK FRIDAY. As ever, enjoyable spending time in your company. Thanks for your support and have a wonderful weekend wherever the action may take you. See you the same place next week!
Contact us at: scotzine1@gmail.com
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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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