Stephen Welsh has provided an insight into what the Celtic players think about Scott Brown and his current contract situation.
It looked for certain several months ago that Brown wouldn’t be renewing his contract. Poor performances and being dropped for Ismaila Soro meant the writing was on the wall as recently as December.
Since then, a whirlwind of events have taken place. Neil Lennon has left the club whilst Brown has slowly won his place back from the Ivorian. The pair now find themselves being rotated regularly in a bid to keep things fresh. And whisper it quietly, but Brown has managed to impress over the last month in terms of his own individual performances.
That’s opened up questions regarding whether the captain should sign a new playing contract or whether he should go into the backroom team of any new managerial regime. Welsh, however, stated that everyone in the dressing room wants Brown to continue playing for the foreseeable future.
“We all want him to stay”
As quoted by the Scottish Sun, Welsh said: “Broony is massive for us. Massive. He’s our leader and we’d miss him a lot if he wasn’t here next season. We need to take every day as it comes. I really don’t know what he’s going to do. Personally I would love him to be here as long as possible because he helps me so much.
“He helps every single player in the team as captain and when he’s on the pitch he is brilliant for us. We will see what happens but Broony is such an important player for us. He has been brilliant for Celtic for so many years and it goes without saying that we all want him to stay.
“It’s completely up to him. He’s achieved so much for the club and it’s only right that he makes the final decision. But of course we all want him to stay.”
Celtic need to find a future beyond relying on Scott Brown
I won’t lie, it irks me as a supporter that Brown can decide for himself whether he wants to continue playing. Okay, granted, given everything he’s done for the club you can see why he would be given that honour.
However, if we’re truly refreshing everything at the club, then the new head-coach/Director of Football should be given the chance to make the decision on Brown. It shouldn’t be for the Celtic captain to decide whether he’s part of the new manager’s plans. It needs to be the other way around for this injection of freshness to be pure.
That’s also without touching on the obvious in that we need to find a life away from relying on Brown. Soro has proven to be a more than able deputy and potential successor. The club should be working as much as possible with him to ensure he’s ready for that responsibility.
A step into coaching could be a wise move for the captain. Or, if he is wanted by the new manager, a bit-part role could reap some reward. We’ve seen how effective that can be in recent matches with the captain coming on as a cool head.
But what can’t happen is that we end up making Brown a central figure of this team again. He’s more than played his part, but there’s no better time than this summer to phase him out and bring in some younger blood.
There will always be a place at Celtic for Brown. He’ll likely make a superb coaching career for himself whenever he decides to take that step. But any new playing contract must only be offered if the new regime demands it.