We have been banging this drum for a while when supporters have brought up either Andrew Gutman and Manny Perez and their future as Celtic players.
Both American’s are currently on Celtic’s books but have yet to play a competitive game. Why?
Because Brendan Rodgers, Lee Congerton and Celtic gambled on two players who thought had a good chance of making a breakthrough into the US national team.
Why is that important?
Until 2015, football players needed to have played in at least 75% of their country’s senior international matches over the previous two years to play in the UK. Eligibility for a GBE now depends on a national team’s FIFA ranking, as follows:
|Official FIFA Ranking||Required % of international matches in past 2 yrs|
|FIFA 1-10||30% and above|
|FIFA 11-20||45% and above|
|FIFA 21-30||60% and above|
|FIFA 31-50||75% and above|
The USA currently is 23 in the FIFA rankings.
Without international game time, both players are in limbo. Gutman has made strides into getting into the setup, being cut from an initial USA squad this year. Manny hasn’t had the same chance as of yet. At some point, Celtic are going to have to do something.
A work permit seems unattainable in the next 12 months.
Speaking about Celtic Perez told SunSport:
“If I could get there tomorrow then I would get a flight. It would be a dream come true for me. I’m in love with Celtic. We have the best fans in the world. I have a Celtic TV account, so I’ve been keeping up with the games. If I can get my permit to go through, we can just move forward from there.
“My agent and I are trying to sort things out, and have been in constant communication with the club. Hopefully, we’ll be able to work it out soon. Our season ended about a week ago, so we’re just trying to get myself over there.”
Gutman got over last winter break for some game time but Manny was injured. It looks highly unlikely either will ever make a competitive appearance for the club.
We’ve approached Celtic about their chances with ni reply. The SFA pointed us to the work permit rules you see above for non-EU players.
Could this change after Brexit?