Celtic have informed 18 academy players that they will be placed on the government’s furlough scheme in light of new coronavirus restrictions in Scottish football.
The Scottish Daily Mail reports that U18 manager Darren O’Dea has been in touch with the 18 players via Zoom to tell them of the decision.
All football under Scottish Championship level has been suspended, initially for a period of three weeks.
It’s reported that Celtic are unlikely to be the only side in the Scottish Premiership to use this scheme for their youth squads.
However, an anonymous family member of one of the academy talents has now criticised the club. They aren’t happy the club spent a lot of money to send the first-team to Dubai, while simultaneously placing youngsters on furlough.
As quoted by the Scottish Daily Mail, they said: “People are struggling to understand why Celtic would go to Dubai during a pandemic and squander all that money on warm-weather training and then put young boys earning a fraction of the sum of the first-team players on the government scheme.
“That doesn’t seem right.”
Unfortunate Celtic academy reality
The truth is that Celtic likely would have taken this step regardless of flying to Dubai or not.
It’s not the first time staff members at the club have been placed on furlough of the last 12 months. Many big companies around the UK are doing the same.
Sure, it’s not a great look and arguably bad PR, but Celtic will feel justified in their actions here.
If the youngsters cannot train then, the club won’t want to lose further money on their development.
You can argue about the morals of taking government cash while making big transfers and heading off to training camps. But that feels like a different argument to one that should upset the youth squad directly.
I doubt anyone will be taking joy in this at Celtic, least of all the coaching staff.