SCOTT ALLAN has questioned Celtic’s professionalism after claiming he was arbitrarily banished to train with the Bhoys development squad and denied a January transfer to Hibernian for non-football reasons.
Allan, 27, failed to make a single appearance for the last term – the undoubted nadir of four miserable years in the Parkhead wilderness – and has finally opened his heart about life as the Hoops’ forgotten man.
The gifted playmaker reflected ruefully on a dearth of opportunities to shine in Glasgow’s east end, being farmed out on loan to the likes of Rotherham, Dundee and Hibs. However, he is more disheartened by what he felt was unfair treatment behind the scenes.
Allan is adamant that it got to the stage where he did not even know where he would be training when he reported to Lennoxtown in the morning.
“Do I think I was treated professionally? Not 100 per cent of the time, no,” said Allan. “Definitely not. In football, when you are playing, you are part of the squad. When you aren’t part of that, it is easy to be cast aside and forgotten about.
“There was a period after January where five or six of us would come in and ask: ‘Who are we training with?’
“We trained with the development squad at times. We would need to go and find out who we were to join. We talked about it amongst ourselves and told each other to stay professional.
“At 27 years old, it should be structured. If they want you to train with one group, you should be told: ‘Right, you’re training with them.’ You could get that through your head. But it changed day to day.
“I’m not angry. It just became that I was expecting it. I felt I dealt with it well, kept my head and didn’t chuck my toys out of the pram.”
Allan is adamant he could have got his head around the situation if he had been afforded a run of games and subsequently failed to shine. Instead, he started just three matches in four years at Celtic.
He made a further 14 appearances off the bench after joining the Glasgow giants from Hibs in 2015.
“If I got a run of three or four games – which I didn’t get, even in the Ronny Deila era – and didn’t perform, then you can hold up your hands and say you did not take your chance,” continues Allan. “But that chance was never there for me.
“Every other player in that squad got at least two games to show what they could do. I never got that, which was strange to me.”
“It was hard for me to argue about not playing because the boys there had done such a good job over the previous three years,” added Allan. “But I thought there were chances for at least get a wee sniff.”
That sense of frustration was only heightened on deadline day in January as Allan sat at home, furiously refreshing his phone.
With a pre-contract switch to Hibs already agreed and the playmaker utterly frozen out, it appeared inevitable that a transfer would be completed prior to the transfer window closing. That would not be the case.
Choosing his words carefully, but evidently with plenty to get off his chest, Allan suggested that he was the victim of politics between two boardrooms, mere months after Celtic had failed to secure the signing of Scott Allan from Hibs.
“On deadline night I was battering my phone – but nothing happened,” rued Allan. “There were other factors, obviously between the two clubs, and I was in the middle of it.”
Asked if he was referring to strained relations between the clubs following a series of fraught negotiations over players, Allan added: “I think that is the issue, definitely.”
Following four miserable years at Parkhead, Allan looks like a man with a point to prove as he embarks on a third stint with Hibs.
“It has just given me more fire going into this season,” said Allan. “I’m happy that chapter is closed and I can move away from that portion of my career.”