The self-entitlement of David Turnbull

Celtic’s statement on twitter on Friday night surrounding the David Turnbull transfer affair was a surprise to many, but after the failure to land John McGinn last summer they had to make sure the fans knew that they were not resting on their laurels.

For those of us who have covered Scottish Football over the years, we know there are all sorts of players and agents out there. Celtic as a club saw that with Dedryck Boyata and his agent last August - which had a massive impact on Celtic’s failure to qualify for the Champions League and now we have Motherwell’s David Turnbull and Liam O’Donnell’s agency Pro Legal Group - who also represent Andy Robertson, Stuart Armstrong and Ryan Christie.

Celtic, in their statement, admitted that they had offered the player a ‘magnificent’ deal which was reportedly around £10,000 a week - ten times what he is on at Motherwell currently. But with an agent who represents other Scots with knowledge of the wage structure at both Celtic and down south, the player and his agent are now playing hardball demanding that he is offered more.

This reeks of self-entitlement from David Turnbull, a player who has mustered a mere 34 games in his professional career at Motherwell and is a major issue within modern-day football. Agents whispering in their client’s ears that they can get more money down in England playing for a two bit lower league side rather than fighting for a place with the Scottish champions, the chance to win silverware and play European Football.

The only other club to have come in for Turnbull officially has been Barnsley. A club that plays in a stadium with less than a capacity of 24,000 and was promoted to the English Championship as runners-up in League One.

Celtic don’t have much time before they kick off their season starting with the Champions League qualifiers, so they shouldn’t be wasting time and their energy on a player that believes he should walk into a Celtic side that just won an historic treble treble and has a midfield that includes Scott Brown, Ryan Christie, Tom Rogic, James Forrest, Scott Sinclair and Callum McGregor.

And this is where my problem lies. Turnbull expects a Celtic jersey and to become a first team regular to be handed to him on a plate, as if he deserves it. A good season at Motherwell has seen Celtic come in for the player and on improved terms that he is currently on - but if he thinks he deserves to be one of the highest earners at the club then he is having a laugh.

There are many more within Celtic already that are more deserving of a Celtic jersey and regular first team football than some wee self-entitled 19-year-old who’s probably not had to struggle for anything.

Whether it is his agent playing funny buggers or the player himself, either way they should take a look at the rise of Andy Robertson. He had to work his arse off to get to where he is now after being released by Celtic as a youngster. He earned his spurs with stints at Queen’s Park, Dundee United, Hull City and is now reaping the rewards at Liverpool - recently winning the Champions League and now Scotland captain.

He could have thrown in the towel and given up, but he fought his way to the top and deserves to be there. What has Turnbull done to deserve being one of Celtic’s highest earners?

He may have won the Scottish Football Writers’ Young Player of the Year after scoring 16 goals in 34 appearances for Motherwell in all competitions this season - what else has he achieved to justify a wage rise from £1,000 a week to £20,000?


The £3 million transfer fee agreed between Celtic and Motherwell - which Motherwell were already spending before Turnbull returned from holiday - was achieved off a good season at Fir Park. To be guaranteed first team football, that is another story. He has to work at it, he needs to perform during pre-season, during training and in the games that he does play to justify his inclusion in the team - that is how he deserves to be a first team regular not walk into the club and demand big bucks and then the jersey off the back of players that have worked hard for it.

It all may be too late for Turnbull now, Celtic are refusing to budge on their reported £10,000 a week wage offer and the fans have already turned on the player and his agent for their wage demands and behaviour.

Turnbull has a decision to make. He can accept Celtic’s offer and work his arse off to get into the Celtic team regularly and with it play in Europe and win silverware. Or he could get his agent to tout his services to the likes of Barnsley and end up as another Scot playing in the lower leagues for the money before returning north of the border at the end of their contract because they aren’t getting any game time or no other club is willing to match their previous deal because they haven’t shown they deserve such a deal. Failing that he could just remain at Motherwell and hope that he continues to perform as he did last season, that he remains injury free and that a big club comes in for him again in January or next summer.

Whatever he decides, Celtic fans have already called on the club to turn their attentions elsewhere. And if Turnbull does eventually sign for Celtic - he will need to work hard at not only securing first team football, but also to win over the fans who are currently seeing the 19-year-old kid as just another Nandos-generation footballer expecting everything to fall on his lap without earning it.

Time to decide, the deal won’t be on the table for long. If he doesn’t accept by the middle of next week, Celtic should take the deal off the table and move on.