Celtic slap West Brom silly with short damning statement
It took less than a day, but Celtic have issued a statement slapping down West Brom’s Technical Director Luke Dowling’s comments about the way Oliver Burke was treated by Neil Lennon and the Scottish champions.
Dowling claimed: “He [Burke] won’t be going nowhere near Celtic with the current manager. We sent Oli to Celtic in good faith with Brendan Rodgers and Lee Congerton, some really good people up there that wanted to take Oli and play Oli.
“They wanted to make him a better player than he currently is. We forget how young he still is. Once Brendan left to go to Leicester the treatment he got from the manager that’s in place now is something we don’t expect from one of our players.
“He won’t be going anywhere near Celtic Football Club. They know what’s gone on and Oli certainly knows what’s gone on. It’s just something we're not happy with at all."
Following those comments Celtic issued a statement slapping down Dowling, stating: “These comments, which question the professionalism of both Neil and Celtic Football Club, are ridiculous and completely inaccurate. West Brom have made no contact whatsoever with either Neil or the club in relation to Oliver.
“As with every player who comes to Celtic, Oliver received the very best of treatment and every support and opportunity. We wish Oliver the very best for the future.”
Following two high-profile big-money moves to RB Leipzig and then West Brom, Burke’s career stagnated thanks to the Baggies demise from a Premier League club to a Championship side one. He saw off four managers in two years before he was sent out on loan to Celtic in January - with all four Baggies managers not fancying Burke to do the business for the club.
It was Celtic who gave him much needed game time, it was Celtic who Burke found some relative form with and scored four games in 19 appearances. And it was his time at Celtic that saw him win a further three caps for the Scotland national team.
Under Brendan Rodgers, Burke played 11 times [8 of those being starts] for Celtic totalling 662 minutes on the pitch - scoring four goals in three of those games.
When Rodgers sneaked out the back door for the Leicester City job, Lennon came in, steadied the ship and helped Celtic to their eighth title in a row and a historic treble treble with victory in the Scottish Cup against Hearts.
Under Lennon, Burke played in 8 games with a total of 496 minutes on the park. He made six starts under Lennon and scored no goals - missing two blatant sitters against Livingston and Rangers in the process.
Since Burke signed for West Brom in August 2017 for £15 million, Burke has played in a total of 21 games with just four starts scoring once.
Yet Celtic are the ones who treated Burke badly?
As I mentioned in my other piece on Dowling’s comments, this has all the hallmarks of West Brom’s Technical Director trying to prevent youngster Rekeem Harper from signing for Celtic and instead hope that he signs for an English club - so that they can get a few million in compensation rather than £235,000 if he signs for the Scottish champions.
There could also be the thought that maybe Rodgers and Congerton gave the Baggies Technical Director the impression that Celtic would buy the player during this summer transfer window. And that with the change of management, Lennon was not interested in signing Burke to a deal, which led to this point with Dowling and West Brom taking the hump after losing out on recouping a monumental fuck up of a transfer fee for a guy who runs like a gazelle, but plays football like a hippo.
Celtic fans though will be celebrating the news that Burke won’t be returning to Celtic under Neil Lennon. That is surely going to unite every Celtic fan behind Lennon finally!