Chris Sutton left wondering about Celtic and their Scott Brown approach

By David Walton

March 27, 2021

BBC pundit Chris Sutton has been left confused by Celtic’s approach to re-signing Scott Brown after the skipper completed his pre-contract move to Aberdeen on Thursday.

The Hoops captain will become Stephen Glass’ number two at Pittodrie in a player/assistant manager role. It brings to an end a heroic 14 years at Parkhead, where Brown has developed from an immature raw talent into a bonafide serial winner.

Peter Lawwell stated in Celtic’s statement that the club “desperately” tried to keep him. It had been reported that a one-year contract was on the table for Brown, which he rejected. He will now move to the Dons at the end of the season when his current Celtic deal expires.

But Sutton isn’t convinced Celtic moved heaven and earth to keep the Parkhead legend. Speaking in his weekly Daily Record column, he says the club should’ve done more to tie him down.

“There’s no other way to describe Scott Brown when you consider his contribution, his longevity and his haul of 22 trophies.

“Brown’s efforts have been remarkable and it’s a bitter blow that he’s leaving for Aberdeen. Celtic should not have let him walk out of the door. Let’s be clear here, I don’t know the circumstances. Maybe there was nothing they could have done to prevent him leaving. Maybe Brown had made his mind up and that was that.

“Celtic said they were desperate to keep him. I would have thought if they were desperate to keep him, they could have done it, but I can’t be critical because I’m not sure of the exact circumstances.”

Chris Sutton a touch harsh; it’s difficult to know what more Celtic could’ve done to keep Scott Brown

It’s unfair to even suggest that Celtic could’ve done a bit more to keep Brown. In fairness to Chris, he acknowledges that he doesn’t know the full details.

But even without knowing the full details, you can’t really question Celtic here. Outside of offering Brown a new contract, there’s nothing else they could’ve done that would’ve been the right move.

You can argue whether Brown could’ve been offered a two-year deal – what he’s signed at Aberdeen. But there have been clear signs this season that the legendary Parkhead captain is slowing at a rapid pace. In two years’ time, Brown may be nowhere near worth what he would be getting paid. And Celtic simply isn’t a charity for its football players.

Scott Brown (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Brown would likely have walked into a coaching job at Lennoxtown too. But it’s a massive difference coaching youth players and in the senior ranks. He couldn’t and shouldn’t have been guaranteed a spot in any new manager’s backroom team. It should be down to any new boss what he does with his staff.

Brown was given as much time as he needed to make his decision. He had earned the right not to be pressurised by Celtic into making a verdict. In fact, it’s highly questionable as to why his own Celtic future was down to him and not the new manager.

So you can’t criticise the club for not doing enough. They gave Brown all of the incentives and time he needed and deserved. The opportunity to be guaranteed a spot in a senior coaching position was clearly too tempting to turn down.

In other news, Celtic are reportedly in danger of missing out on a talented SPFL star.