There has been a lot of talk about money, greed and loyalty in the last few months for obvious reasons.
Football is ruined by money and has been for quite some time. If you need proof of this look at football in the third world or poorer countries. The terraces are packed every week and the atmosphere is thunderous for well over ninety minutes.
Then look at the EPL, the best league in the world?. It is certainly the richest league in the world. But what does that mean? It means it gets the best marketing, it can afford to pay players truckloads of cash and small clubs can punch above their weight spending insane amounts of money. But the stands are graveyards compared to the eighties. The stands in England are libraries compared to terraces in Indonesia, Malaysia, Rio or Buenos Aires.
Loyalty to the badge, support or even football itself plays second fiddle to an agent getting you as much money as he can as quickly as he can. Money talks and Brendan Rodgers leaving Celtic to go to manage Leicester proved that.
Go back nearly 100 years ago when Jimmy McGrory played 448 games for Celtic over 15 years. In that time he scored a record-breaking 469 goals, a record that no other Celtic player has ever got close to.
When his call from down south came he wasn’t interested. Arsenal put a bid in for the forward that would have made him the most expensive transfer in all of Britan. But he refused to speak with them and he got punished for it. The board at the time wanted the money, they dropped his wages from £9 a week to £8 a week. This meant he was now the lowest paid player in the first team.
Asked after he retired what he thought of his punishment for his loyalty, his response would be unheard of today.
“Well it was worth it just to pull on those Green and White Hoops.” and “McGrory of Arsenal just never sounded as good as McGrory of Celtic”
Money always runs out, legacies last forever. That is why a hundred years from now fans will still know who Jimmy McGrory of the Celtic is.