Former Celtic scout Andy Ritchie has disclosed that he didn’t see 1990s Hoops star Pierre Van Hooijdonk’s disruptive behaviour coming, the Daily Record reports.
Ritchie scouted the player when the Dutch striker signed for the Hoops in 1995. However, it ended on a sour note for the player at the club, as it was claimed that he said that ‘£7,000 is enough for a homeless person, but not enough for a top-class footballer’ regarding a contract offer from Celtic.
Striker left Hoops after only two years
A claim which he denied to FourFourTwo magazine back in 2016. In 1997, Van Hooijdonk moved to Nottingham Forest.
Now Ritchie has had his say on the situation.
“If you’d said to me 20 minutes after we brought Pierre van Hooijdonk to Glasgow he’d later be suggesting his wages were going to be less than what they’d give to the homeless, I’d have been certain that situation would never appear” Ritchie said, as quoted by the Daily Record.
Football is very different from the game then
Football certainly is very different now from the Van Hooijdonk situation which happened in 1996 and 1997. Van Hooijdonk’s departure from Celtic stemmed from a falling out with Hoops chairman Fergus McCann.
“Our best players were on five‑figure sums per week, and I was not. McCann said if I did well he would raise my salary. I became top scorer, but he never offered me the same money as the others. I’m a man of my word” he said, as reported by the Guardian last year.
It is no real wonder that his exit from Celtic ended in acrimony. It is easy to see why Ritchie didn’t see the behaviour coming either. Events like that didn’t really happen in football than often back then.
Nowadays, with social media to the fore, you would find out about a player’s unhappiness in no time. Hopefully Celtic don’t have to deal with a Van Hooijdonk type situation any time soon.
This season is far too important for any issues with players who want to move on. Hopefully this season passes off without any incident, and Celtic crowned 10 in a row Champions.
In other news, Albian Ajeti expects to be fit for the Glasgow derby next month.