Davie Provan can't get his head around Celtic's Scott Brown decision

By David Walton

March 21, 2021

Former Celtic hero Davie Provan has admitted he’s stunned at the fact Scott Brown will be allowed to decide his own future.

Brown’s contract is up in the summer after 14 years of service at Celtic Park. Throughout that period, Broony has secured an extraordinary 23 trophy successes. He’ll undoubtedly go down as a Celtic legend with a legacy that stands the test of time.

However, there are no guarantees that his Celtic career will be over in the summer. John Kennedy has revealed in the past that Brown will have the decision on whether he signs on again for next season [Glasgow Live]. So far, the midfield icon hasn’t given anything away [Glasgow Times].

But Provan can’t believe the decision will be his to make. Speaking in his Scottish Sun column, the pundit said the decision should be down to the club.

“That lack of leadership is summed up by the Scott Brown saga. Had to rub my eyes when reading Brown will decide if he fancies another season at Celts.

“In my day, it was the club who decided when players were ready for the glue factory. That’s how it’s always been in a business where players are horsemeat.

“Listen, Brown has been a terrific servant over 14 years. You don’t do that stretch in Glasgow without proper character. But his time is up, he is past his best. Callum McGregor, David Turnbull and Ismaila Soro represent Celts’ future, not a player turning 36 this summer.”

Davie Provan bemusement is understandable; Scott Brown no longer an automatic pick

Nobody can argue that Provan has a point. It should never be down to a player to decide whether he wants to stay on for a new campaign under a new contract.

It’s even more confusing now when a new manager and new regime enters the club in the summer. There is no guarantee they will want Brown. It’s not a good start when the manager is told a certain member of the playing squad has to stay because he wants to. The new manager must have full autonomy.

It would be more understandable if Brown was a starter every week. If he was an automatic pick that can’t be dropped and is still outperforming his teammates on a weekly basis.

Scott Brown hasn’t been himself this season / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

That hasn’t been the case. We’ve seen with Ismaila Soro just how ready he is to step into Brown’s shoes. The new manager must be allowed to make a decision on that. At the very least, there can be no clauses in any new contract regarding game-time.

There is no outrage at this of course. As supporters, we want to give Brown as much respect and leeway as possible when it comes to his future decision. But the club are likely already willing to back him if he wants to retire and take up a coaching role. Celtic would be doing their bit for him, with any new playing contract earned solely on merit and dependent on a new manager’s plans.

That’s the way it should be for all players at any football club. No exceptions.

In other news, this Celtic star has been given a big incentive to down Rangers today by Steve Clarke.