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Islam Feruz: The Somalian Wonderkid Who Swapped Celtic For Chelsea

by Greg Gordon
10 September 2011 44 Comments

A refugee, a prestigious talent and a true product of the Celtic system, so why does it seem nailed on that Islam Feruz will be leaving the Glasgow club when he turns 16 today?

He arrived in Scotland as a refugee from war-torn Somalia, and in just 10 short childhood years, he’s been a cause celebre, a wonderkid and a totem of cultural diversity. Now ‘Celtic’s’ Islam Feruz is spending his final days before his 16th birthday as the invisible man.

But where now and what now for Feruz, the first player to be selected for Scotland under the so-called Gordon Smith Rule, a new Fifa edict allowing a UK passport holder educated for at least five years in one of the home nations to represent that country?

What we do know is that the flamboyant attacker, with the mesmerizingly quick feet is unlikely to go to ground for long. He seems set to re-materialise at a Premiership club in the not too distant future – possibly even within a matter of days.

Chelsea appear to be in pole position but Man City, Man Utd, Newcastle and Blackburn could all yet have a say in where the player resident in Glasgow’s leafy West End, goes next.

What we do know is that the flamboyant attacker, with the mesmerizingly quick feet is unlikely to go to ground for long. He seems set to re-materialise at a Premiership club in the not too distant future

According to a number of media outlets, Feruz will make the move to Stamford Bridge, pocket £2,500 per week in wages and set up home in a penthouse flat near the stadium, with Chelsea footing the bill.

Rumours emanating from Feruz’s school, the appropriately culturally diverse Hillhead High School (that boasts over 30 different nationalities on its school roll), had suggested serious interest from moneybags Man City and the champions Man Utd. So far, that interest, like the suggestion of an £8,000 per week salary package and even a Humvee jeep being offered as a signing inducement by one Premiership suitor, remains the stuff of urban myth – symptomatic of the unfortunate hype Feruz’s prodigious talent has consistently aroused.

What isn’t in dispute though, is that to Celtic’s dismay, a legal loophole, means that any English side can sign Feruz for a compensation fee of up to but not exceeding £300,000.

Feruz cannot formally sign professional terms for Celtic until his 16th birthday later this week, but the Premiership big guns are poised to pounce, denying Celtic a major windfall. Under the comparable English FA legislation, Feruz cannot sign professional terms, in England, until he is 17 years old. As a result he will remain on youth terms for another year – a fact that delimits the compensation to be paid to Celtic by his new club.

It is an undoubted kick in the teeth for Celtic, who helped the player and his family settle in Glasgow after fleeing war-torn Somalia in 2001. The bitter civil war cost the lives of two of Feruz’s grandparents and forced the family to flee to the UK via Yemen by boat. They were saved from deportation by the late Celtic legend Tommy Burns, who personally lobbied immigration officials on the family’s behalf, becoming something of a mentor to the player in the process.

Feruz cannot formally sign professional terms for Celtic until his 16th birthday later this week, but the Premiership big guns are poised to pounce, denying Celtic a major windfall.

Privately Celtic put the hours in too. The Hillhead catchment area might as well be in a whole different galaxy such is its contrast to the urban blackspots of Castlemilk and Sighthill, where the family lived initially. And with the family’s welfare safeguarded by Celtic youth supremo Chris McCart, Brian Meehan and another Celtic employee John Simpson, Celtic have played their part in ensuring a harmonious transition to life as an Old Firm hot prospect.

It is for this reason that Celtic fans feel most aggrieved about Feruz’s premature defection. In their heart of hearts they will have reasoned that Feruz would move on eventually (whether or not he fulfilled his potential). However, robbed of their chance to see their poster boy run out in a competitive game wearing the green and white hoops, they would at least expect Feruz to do the right thing and ensure a decent payday for Celtic.

As it is, Celtic are clearly resigned to losing a player that, were he to have completed his apprenticeship at Parkhead successfully, would have been a massive on-field and commercial asset for the club and an ambassador for a devolved, modern, multicultural Scotland.

His nominal manager Neil Lennon had hoped that Feruz, who arrived from Somalia in 2001, and who has been at Celtic since the age of nine, would sign a professional contract when he turned 16 this week. But the Celtic boss has already confirmed to the BBC that: “As it is, I have not seen Islam since the start of the season.”

He said: “We have done everything we can to keep the player and done more than enough to make him feel at home here.”

“He does have other people in the background who are advising him.”

“My take on it is that they are advising him wrongly, but we seem to be powerless in that situation.”

The root of any perceived change of heart is being laid at the door of a new French agent, employed to replace the ‘firm but fair’ ex-Hearts midfielder John Colquhoun. Billy Stark, another ex-Celtic star, currently Head Coach of Scotland’s U21s, confirms the impression that Islam Feruz is on the missing list although he is keen to refute the suggestion that an increasingly petulant Feruz insisted that he represented Scotland at U17 level, despite being only 15.

Stark says: “No, that is something that would never happen at any age level. He was offered the option of stepping up to the U17s and that is what he decided to do.” I first heard tell of the Celtic prodigy in 2008, when I found myself sitting next to a Premiership scout at Motherwell. He was keeping tabs on The Steelmen’s Jamie Murphy but as the game ebbed and flowed the conversation turned to the then 12-year-old Somali. As he positively enthused about the youngster’s pace, balance, ability with both feet and emphatic finishing he confirmed that: “Not just every club in the Premiership but also most big clubs in Europe are tracking him. He is the one serious player in Scotland at the moment.”

And it is worth putting that comment into context. It was uttered at a point where Wigan’s James McCarthy was still a Hamilton player being pursued by a gaggle of Premiership clubs, Jamie Murphy was breaking through to Motherwell’s first team and a 17-year-old John Fleck was forcing his claims for regular inclusion at Rangers, having just become the youngest ever player to play in a senior British Cup final. Islam Feruz, by contrast, was still in his first year at secondary school.

“Not just every club in the Premiership but also most big clubs in Europe are tracking him. He is the one serious player in Scotland at the moment.”

By 2009, Feruz reached a wider public consciousness, making his Parkhead bow with a cameo appearance in the late Tommy Burns’ testimonial. Celtic youth coach John Sludden told The Daily Record that Feruz was in the same ballpark as Paul McStay, Charlie Nicholas and Aiden McGeady in terms of raw ability.

With the player having, announced his arrival to the wider world with a bravura Man of The Match performance, and a deftly finished winning goal in Scotland Under-16s’ Victory Shield win over Wales, Sludden said: “When Islam first came into my Under-14 team he was just 11 and we gave him 20 minutes of a game.

“Even then you knew this boy had a lot of talent – the way he just glided past people who were much older.

“He is two-footed and even then he had a presence on the park and the arrogance to take people on and nutmeg them.

“We have taken him under our wing for the past two years and it has been a joy to watch his progress.

“He is a very strong kid. I was brought up with Paul McStay and Charlie Nicholas and Islam has similar ability on the ball.
“I have also been lucky enough to watch McGeady and Islam is also up there with him.”

In the past 12 months though, Feruz’s reputation appears to have lost some of its lustre there are whispers of an increasingly poor attitude and of his Celtic handlers growing increasingly frustrated by the unsolicited gifts from rival clubs.

On the eve of his coming of age, Islam Feruz has been damned by the euphemistic indictment that his ‘head has been turned’ by all the attention, perhaps even fatally. Surely though, it was ever thus? Football is awash with folklore of the nearly men, bright stars that burn out too fast or fail to consolidate their precocious early progress. In this respect, Islam Feruz is no different to the likes of Cherno Samba (currently on trial with Alfreton Town), John Megicks (just released by Cambridge), Sonny Pike (currently studying at the University of Dundee) and Adam Pepper (Aberystwyth Town) who were equally highly touted a decade or so ago.

For footballers, even supremely talented footballers, the margins between success and failure are perilously fine. It is a fact that will surely not be lost on Islam Feruz’s family. Having experienced both great loss and hardship en route to a better life in Western Europe you can certainly understand the parental instinct to advise their son to take the money and run – whatever the rest of us might think.

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image descriptionCOMMENTS

Annie m 12:07 pm, 10-Sep-2011

Good article. But young feruz has to think this through. He can not sign full professional terms with an English club until he is 17. They can promise him the world now, but they can' actually deliver for another 12 months. Celtic can pay him what they like from today because scots clubs can 'sign' players at 16.

Matthew 12:53 pm, 10-Sep-2011

Great article!!!!!! It's a very sad story for us really. I really hoped we would get something out of him before he moved on. I, like so many other Celts felt that because of what the club and in particular Tommy did for him and his family, he would feel some sort of loyalty to the club, that he owed us something. It seems money rules the world these days and for a young boy to be offered so much money and the prospect of playing for one of the best (performance wise) clubs in the world, it is hardly surprising his head is being turned. What is a little disappointing though is that it would seem Feruz has not bought into Celtic Football Club and he doesn't understand what Celtic can offer. We are no longer the great club (performance wise) that we once were and until we can compete with clubs on the financial front, that will not change! I would just like to add that I think it is time that UEFA and FIFA brought in rules to limit the money that can be spent on players and limit how much money a footballer can receive in wages without at least giving a certain percantage to charity or something. Rugby and NFL have wage caps, football should have the same! I know UEFA are bringing in a ruling about clubs not spending more than they earn but it's not quire enough to level the playing field! Anyway back to Feruz. My only hope is that when whichever club succeeds in signing him wants to loan him out for first team experience, WE are the club HE chooses to come to! I still wish Feruz all the best, I hope and pray that he still signs for us and that he continues to be a Scotland player! At the very least, I would still love to see him in a Celtic shirt again as a senior player, in whatever capacity!

Liam 6:24 pm, 10-Sep-2011

F@ck him. I can see him dissapearing into the abyss with his attitude. Another nearly man. I hope so anyway

iorek 7:02 pm, 10-Sep-2011

i'd love to see him play for celtic, become a hero and then move on. but he's a free human being and he doesn't owe celtic anything, whatever anyone says. he and his family have been through a lot and i'm sure they'll make the decision that is correct for them. all the best young fellow, i hope it goes well for you.

Greg Gordon 8:58 pm, 10-Sep-2011

Thanks for all the comments. The problems surrounding this are many really. The wishes of the player, the club and the fans can't really be reconciled here. The player (and his family) probably want financial security as much as anything. Not least because of what they have been through in Somalia and the fickle hand fate tends to deal to young football prodigies. If he holds on at Celtic for a year he could be literally worthless and his chance of living the dream could be gone. All it takes is a bad injury or an end to his progress or even the kind of quirks of physical development no one can foresee. If the relationship with Feruz is soured, as you would expect it will be, then Celtic will want some reward for the investment they've made in the player. However, the loophole limiting compensation to Celtic if he moves now will scupper that. Celtic fans want a new hero but even at this stage the percentage chance of Feruz really making it (in line with his potential) is still very small. Then there is the issue that as Matthew points out, clearly the player hasn't 'bought into' the idea of Celtic the way a fan might. And that is a sore one for fans who'd give their all to pull on the jersey to take. It is a sorry business. I was talking to a manager, with great experience of young international players yesterday and he was honest enough to admit that the advice you'd give Feruz as part of the football establishment and the advice you'd give as a parent would be very different by definition. All those players who were in Feruz's position ten years ago probably have little to show for all the promises made to them and the dreams they had as teenagers.Personally, I think it must be an awful situation to be in. Fine if his decision works out. Probably a nightmare that will ruin his life otherwise. Maybe the money would be some kind of consolation, hopefully it would be. Maybe not though.

KevinBarry 4:23 am, 11-Sep-2011

Couldnt give a toss about ungrateful little primadonnas like him. Besides, I have two mates that often play against him in the Celtic under 19's and they say he is rubbish; totally over-rated. Hope he enjoys his few years in London then we might see him back in parkhead - working as a steward!

Greg Gordon 8:33 am, 11-Sep-2011

If your mates are right Kevin, He should definitely take the money if it is on the table now. It may not be there for him in a year.

Rui 10:52 am, 11-Sep-2011

THis is the Crappyest article i"ve ever seen... There is a part of it that corresponds to Islam's reality. The rest is simply a copy of what Celtic Glasgow Representatifs are claiming and don't correspond to Islam's reality. If you were a serious journalist you would at least try to have a FULL version of the story. Anyway, I can only say TO ALL CELTIC FANS THAT CHRIS McCarth didn't did SHIT for Islam Feruz... He's the 1st responsible for Islam decision of quitting Celtic. He have multiplied insults and behaviours that have made the BOY turn his back on Celtic... Whoever told to this journalist this "Sweet Fairy Tail" about Islam's in Celtic, not only take you for a full but also think people around the place are IDIOTS. Things are much more complicated than what you think and Please, it's important TO ALL CELTIC Fans to understand one thing : " ISLAM FERUZ and his Family, since the tragic death of Tommy Burns, was threated without much consideration from Mr Chris McCarth and a couple more Celtic Representatifs..... And i can assure you even related to the family that since many years now, Celtic have not done much for them. The only person who honestly tried to do something lately was Neil Lennon but, it was too late! Islam Feruz thanks all the Scotish people for their support and hope to give many joys , representing his Country in all the Competitions

Rui 10:58 am, 11-Sep-2011

What moderation???? the same done by Greg Gordon when he wrote this piece of Crap??? Please spare me your hypocrisie. i had the impression that for him journalism is a word he doesn't really understand.... I guess that he's just a Celtic's Fan opinion , exposure of rumours in here and i found it extremely unfair towards Islam. In the end of the day , Greg Gordon will be the 1st wearing Islam's shirt when the kid will play for Scotland . Just sad all this

Rui 11:12 am, 11-Sep-2011

Yes there was all Europe after Islam... Normal, the boy is really a special player but how many games have he played for Celtic last Season???? Do you know this year Celtic won the Youth Cup with Islam's Feruz ( Best scorer of U17 National team) being on the bench and warming up for 45 minutes and not given even 1 minute of game???? Gordon, i was really angry reading your article simply cause it only shows one side of all this story and i can guarantee you that that side of it DOESN't correspond to Islam's Feruz reality at Celtic Glasgow. Anyway, next time take the time to make a SERIOUS inquiry, try to have a full version of facts before writing things like this . As you know , public opinion are influenced by what they read and in the end of the day, Islam is a 16 years old boy, that represents Scotland with an amazing proud and dedication and that like evry single one of us is only looking for the best for himself and his family . And considering how things went with Celtic, maybe the best for him and his family was no longer in Glasgow. Islam stays a big Celtic fan, keeps in his memory all that Tommy Burns did for him and will try to give back to Scotland what Scotland gave to him and his family. But trying to make individuals from Celtic look pretty and professional and " The reason why Islam is what he is today" , would be the biggest mistake ever as it does not correspond to the truth!

EMAC 2:46 pm, 11-Sep-2011

Fantastic article that should be viewed with a broader context in mind, the rights and treatment of youth footballers in general. The behaviour of "senior clubs" has been questioned before ,e.g. Obi Mikel, and while this article focuses on Feruz, I believe its value is on the focus it places on the broader issues. Do young players receive enough protection and guidance from Football Authorities, are the rules and regulations in place consistent and robust enough to do the job they are designed to? Finally, in regard to this specific player, I have no problem with him or his family following the money on offer, but lets remember that there is a lot to be said for moving on gracefully and discreetly. I repeat, a great article!

wb 5:21 pm, 11-Sep-2011

Rui Islam maybe didn't get on in the Final because he wasn't ready for this level,seen him play Livingston in the semi final and he struggled to make any impact, and also in the last Hearts game at Lennoxtown, was sent off after 25 mins for a petulant tackle from a Hearts player, no doubt they were winding him up, but he must be able to handle this,I ve saw the bhoy from the age of 11, at training and in games,and there has been alot of hype around him.there'a a fine line between arrogance and confidence, no doubt he has potential, but that's all it is, for now. Also McCart has a reputation in not exactly doing what he promises, so can't blame the kid for wanting away from his influence, hopefully he will not disappear down south, and truly realize his potential.

KevinBarry 5:32 pm, 11-Sep-2011

Not done anything for him for a while? Perhaps if they had allowed him to be sent back to Somalia THERE WOULD BE NO ISLAM FERUZ!!!!! regardless of what chris mccart has treated him like, Celtic is a lot more than chris mccart, so if he had any issues about how he was being treated then he could have spoken to chris mccarts boss. It's just another case of money grabbing...

Rui 6:52 pm, 11-Sep-2011

Minimaliste way of seing things but ok... In Somalia , in Scotland or anywhere else his talend would have always been the same. Also don't mistaken yourself, he's someone full time with Celtic or without. The only person Islam or his family need to thanks is Tommy Burns, someone amazing that back in time have represent Celtic Glasgow institution... Stop making like if Celtic have created life for anyone ... We can't be sure of it but i think that Islam Feruz Talent is not Celtic's property and with Celtic or without Celtic , his talent would have been exactly the same. Kevin, i realise that in fact you have never seen Islam playing... Well , you should my friend, maybe than you will understand why this boy should have been Chris McCarth responsability but not only his... He was the responsability of all Celtic employees... Anyway, even if i tell you that he spoke with Chris McCarth Boss and even his Bosses Boss , would it really change something for you? I don't think so! The only thing i wish you is that one day you have the chance of seing the Boy playing... after that all your questions will be answered. Yes Kevin, I think Islam himself will answer all your questions and clearify all your points of view. In any case that's all i wish him. To have the chance to prove to all Scotland how good he is and that Celtic have not made the right effords to make him stay. I also wish him to make Tones of money, to have hundreds of success no matter where he might end up. I had the chance to see him playing several times against Boys 2 or 3 years older than him, sometimes 20 or 30 cm taller, 10 or 15 kilos heavyer... He have always behaved like a warrior and you could feel in all the decisions he was taking , his determination and his Talent. Not a cheater, he look always 2 steps ahead of the other Players. A delight for any Football Supporter. I just hope the kid will make it....

Greg Gordon 10:15 pm, 11-Sep-2011

I sincerely hope so too, Rui. Thanks for your comments. You certainly seem passionate about the subject. Do you know Islam Feruz yourself? Kind regards to everyone who has posted. All input greatly appreciated.

Scubey2 9:12 am, 12-Sep-2011

Rui, how much money do you make from his reported move to Chelsea ? it's obvious now what your interest is, and why you spin things the way you do. as a Celtic fan, I'm disappointed that young Islam has been led away from the club that has done so much for him and his family ( but for TB, he'd have been back in Somalia...what good would his talent have done him then ). he could have remained here and been amply remunerated ( for a 16 year old ) and developed, and then moved to a Premiership club. I hope he doesn't regret this decision, but, like all Cetlic fans, would wish him nothing but success and happiness. as for you.........well, we all know that agents serve themselves first, and then their clients. your arguments mean nothing now that we know who you are.

Greg Gordon 9:30 am, 12-Sep-2011

Just to confirm Scubey2 is suggesting that Rui is Rui Alves, Islam Feruz's agent.

Rui 9:42 am, 12-Sep-2011

Well, unfortunatly i'm not the same Rui being someone close to all this Islam stuff, i know that the Rui you talk about is not after money but more after changing things Scubey2. And i can assure you that Islam's agent is someone much more strong than what you imagine Scubey2. if i was playing football i can assure you that i would run to have an agent like Islam's one as he's my brother and he's for sure one of the bests... My brother don't cheats and don't lie... and in our family we have all been raise under very strong values. We are not lead by money but by success... Like Islam i guess and like you should. I assure you that if Celtic would have try to keep Islam , for my brother it wouldn't have been a question of money so don't be desapointed and stop thinking that everyone is conducted by financial Reasons... I will ask my brother to come here and comment on this article. Greg, that's why i know so much about this Islam story... I'm a Celtic fan too in plus...

Greg Gordon 9:50 am, 12-Sep-2011

Thanks Rui for setting the record straight. I would love to know why your brother thinks that Celtic didn't want to keep him and also why he feels particularly let down by Celtic.

Scubey2 9:53 am, 12-Sep-2011

I have to say, I'm sceptical, but maybe it is pure coincidence that you share the same name as his agent. If that's the case then you have my apology. it doesn't change the feeling i have that he's been advised by someone who doesn't necessarily have Islam's best interests at heart. An agent who isn't interested in the money ? aye, right........ i can't believe that Celtic didn't try to keep Islam - why make the investment that they obviously have and then just let him walk away without trying to persuade him to stay ? I suspect his head has been turned by promises of all sorts of riches. If he'd stayed at Celtic Park, he'd probably have been a member of the first team squad within a year, if he's as good as reports suggest. Playing in front of crowds of up to 60,000, in Cup Finals, in European Football, gaining experience he certainly won't get at Chelsea and with the chance to become a Hero to thousands. Good Luck Islam, I hope you can look back in twenty years time and say you have no regrets....

Rui 10:38 am, 12-Sep-2011

My name is Nuno... I simply put my brother's name Scubey2 . nothing to be sceptic my friend...

Scubey2 10:55 am, 12-Sep-2011

fair enough, but there's nothing wrong with 'Nuno' as a name, so why use your brother's name ?.....and it's clear now ( i think) you are Islams agents brother, not Islams brother. silly me.....my points all still stand though, and I can't help but feel Islam has been poorly advised.

Rui 11:17 am, 12-Sep-2011

I love my name too... jeejejjeeje... just answered over one of his emails so had to put his 1st name... Well, time will tell if it was pooly adviced or not... Gordon, i had a call from my brother and i think you rather talk directly to him and ask him those kind of questions. I'm not intitle to answer sorry... But he told me he will comment on this article so, let's wait. He will answer here , he always do what he says so he will. And you will have all the answers you need i'm sure. Nice Article Project, just sad you didn't had the point of view of all the concerned parties.

Greg Gordon 11:40 am, 12-Sep-2011

That's great Nuno. Now everyone can read both sides of the story and judge for themselves. Good.

Matthew 12:22 pm, 12-Sep-2011

Rui, I'm interested to know, do you think he should stay at Celtic?? You said you are a Celtic fan, most fans would rather he stayed and developed his talent here before moving on where he can continue to develop but go there a much more accomplished player. Forget anything Chris McCart did or didn't do and all the rest. Would he be better staying or not? Also, may I ask out of interest where you are from? Now that it seems he will sign with Chelsea, I just hope Islam and Chelsea do something good for us by giving him back to us on loan in a couple of years!

mick 10:24 pm, 12-Sep-2011

this type of thing should not happen if they cant sign him till 17yrs old then should not be able to take him till 17 unless you brought them to club before 14yrs that would stop this in its tracks

Tommy 11:03 pm, 12-Sep-2011

Rui, Its Chris McCart. I'm not a Celtic Supporter but I think this is shocking, I remember reading what Tommy Burns and Celtic did for this young boys and his family. Your brother must need the money bad. I think this is all about money. Everyone will tar this young lad with names such as judas when its all about your brother. Socked. Sad to read a story like this in football. Poor Lad.

Colin Stephen 12:23 am, 13-Sep-2011

Rui,i would just like you to think about 1 thing here,if Tommy Burns did not persuade the home office,etc to save Islam and his family from being deported back to Somalia and also gave him a life away from opression,etc then why does he feel that he has to now go for the money when he of all people should realise if Celtic didn't put the time and money into him he wouldn't have any of the options on offer,so even if the money offered is alot more,wouldn't Islam like to be a man and stay strong in his principles by repaying the club just a little?or is he way past that point now?Does he think he's too good for Celtic now and no matter what he will do what he wants?Because if thats his attitude then we are better off without him and you or your brother who wouldn't even have heard of Islam if it wasn't for Celtic,now you are only doing whats best for YOU so don't come on here making out Celtic and Chris Mcart have let Islam down because if we let him down he would be living in a mudhut in Somalia,if he was still alive that is...

Greg Gordon 9:25 am, 13-Sep-2011

But why should a 16-year-old lad feel forever grateful for having escaped a situation not of his own making in the troubled country where he just happened to be born? How long does he have to stay with Celtic to wipe out this perceived 'debt' to the club and fans?

Kevinbarry 9:45 am, 13-Sep-2011

Greg he should not 'have to feel forever grateful'. He should have at least tried to play ONE big game for the first team! I mean we've had bigger and better players namely one henrik larsson who played for us for 7 years, seen out his contract and then left and won the European cup! The boy has been poorly advised (in my opinion) as he would find it difficult to get in to Celtics 1st team just now but he'll really struggle with chelsea's! They get kids like this all the time! He should have stayed with Celtic for a few years and developed himself mentally and physically. Ps rui I did see him play quite a few times - he looked good in flashes but sometimes the games passed him by BUT none the less he was brilliant for a boy of his age!

Andy 1:36 pm, 13-Sep-2011

Oh how i laughed! Are Celtic fans really upset by the thought of one of theirs being poached by the big fish? What goes around comes around.

mick 3:30 pm, 13-Sep-2011

this lad is now a very small fish in a big pool he may not make it know we will wait and c

Colin Stephen 11:35 pm, 14-Sep-2011

I'm not in the slightest bit upset over him leaving Celtic for a minute,we have had thousands of better players leave our club for England.I heard his behaviour was disgraceful in some games he played last season and was sent off in a few games and his attitude was from what i heard terrible.I hate to say that i was a talented footballer who played for Celtic boys club and alot of other teams and i had all the scouts at my door nearly fighting over me,i ended up drifted away from the game but when you are 16 you think you know what's best when you really know nothing.He will learn a harsh lesson and most Celtic fans aren't upset over him going,it's the way he done it without even a thought or a thank you,maybe even stay another season and let Celtic get back some of the money they invested in him and his family but he never even considerred it,as soon as he heard money that was him so we all now know what he's like,you would expect after everything Tommy Burns done that he would just be delighted to be living in a land where he didn't need to worry about soldiers killing his family and the fact he's now done all this makes it even worse,you would think someone in that position would have strong principles and appreciate what Celtic and Tommy done for him,they basically saved his family and him from being deported back to Somalia and do you think you or your bro would have even heard of him?No,i don't either and your brother is doing exactly what low-life agents do best and that is to try get as much money as you possibly can while telling Islam everything you say is the truth and nothing but the truth,if you where that interested in the boy where were you 5/10years ago when Tommy was there fighting with the Home Office to allow him and his family to stay in Scotland? Most of it is down to his utter contempt towards Tommy Burns and Celtic.I don't expect him to repay Celtic but you would think even his family would have a word and say if it wasn't for these people we wouldn't have even been here,the lack of loyalty to Tommy and others is a disgrace and i hope he thinks money will make him better off because it won't,he will learn who his real friends are if it goes pear shaped as i guarantee your bro won't waste all his time on him if there's not enough money for him,money will make him well off but it will also turn him,he will find out who his real friends are now that he has done this.Just ask Maurice Johnstone if he could turn back time and go back and give Rangers their £1million back and i bet he would do it in a second because of the hassle that he got afterwards,he had to go live in America and even there he still got abuse,he's got to live with this all through his career,if he has one at Chelsea that is.He will struggle to even get in their reserve team and if he ends up back in Scotland at some point because he can't hack it down south then i hate to say this but he will get what he deserves,it's all about Tommy,not him,i don't want him thinking he's that great that this is the reason for all this as it's not,it's about Tommy Burns who will be in a way happy for him but deep down even Tommy would have thought he was being very ungrateful to a club who stood by him,a thing Tommy Burns knew all too well,and the reason why he gave everything to Celtic Football Club!

Joy 11:13 pm, 15-Sep-2011

No man can save another man if God had no purpose for him. Celtic fans you all need to be patient on Islam who knows what he can become. Maybe help Celtic or Scotland win trophies in nearest future.

Greg Gordon 9:53 am, 16-Sep-2011

Thanks so much for all your comments. Much appreciated. Shame that Rui hasn't got back to us but he might yet...

jay mac 7:56 pm, 16-Sep-2011

the boy and his family have disgraced the memory of the late, great tommy burns. i hope his career goes down the pan after he is quickly found out at chelsea

D SMITH 4:58 am, 27-Sep-2011

Just watched what footage is available out of curiosity. At best he plays like Sean Maloney who in the fullness of time has become nothing more than a squad player at Celtic. Islam Feruz and his family are African refugees from Somalia. They think Somalian and act Somalian. Whatever cultural values they have will prevail. The idea and concept that somehow after a few years in Scotland they metamorphosize into full blown "Celtic minded" and Scottish Nationals is ludicrous. They are in transit "from here to there" as a family unit and they got lucky with their sons prodigious talent to the extent they all now have British passports nothing more and nothing less. Will he make it in the top flight at Chelsea et al? Probably not. He is already 16 and yet to do anything of any significance. Most lauded teenagers of his ilk are at least knocking on the first team door-this was never the case with Feruz at Celtic. As an example Wayne Rooney was scoring goals for Everton in the first team at 16. Darren Fletcher was debuting for Man U at the same age. Feruz is nowhere near that level and if he is lucky he will become a regular with a team at the bottom of the EPL. Just my 2 bobs worth. Enjoy Do I care?

Woody 11:10 am, 27-Sep-2011

I hope ,probably in vain, that he eventually feels the shame and guilt that he should for his greed and complete lack of loyalty and respect for the individuals and the club that has given him so much. Sign the contact and then move giving something back rather than sneak out of the country and forever be a name of shame and disrepute in Scotland. I for one will boo him if he ever wears a Scotland shirt regardless if he's good enough.

theresgonnaebeashow 7:11 pm, 27-Sep-2011

This sounds like a young boy has had his head turned by a dodgy agent who cares nothing for football, only his own pocket. This agent, whoever he is, might as well have gone and danced on Tommy Burns' grave. He has besmirched the hard work done for this boy by a good and decent man. In time young Islam will (hopefully) learn that "ye need a lang spoon tae sup wi' the de'il".

Colin Stephen 8:52 pm, 27-Sep-2011

He only cares about the latest fancy flat in London and wages offered,he had already made this decision months ago because he got sent of twice in last3games and his attitude was shameful in the past few months,he failed to turn up for pre-season training and was sulking about like a petulant 2year old and was acting asif he had already made it and was too good for others when apparently he wasn't even that great,i think alot of hype is making ppl think he was so good,we all rmbr the stories about young John Fleck who was training with Liverpool and that a few yrs ago while still young and Gerrard and all that where raving about the boy and he hasn't done ain in the Scottish game with Rangers never mind Chelsea,Islam and his agent are trying to make out they appreciate what Celtic done,they don't care a fkn bit and e1 now knows that,i really hope he's realised how heavy a decision this is to the Celtic fans,i hate to say it but i wish Tommy Burns didn't bother his arse,maybe we should've put all the time and effort into s1 else that would've appreciated it,Islam has to live with this all his life and i guarantee he will regret the decision he's made,he will get hounded anywhere he goes because of what he done,and let me make this point clear again,i could'nt care less about Islam Feruz,my only concern is about Tommy Burns,i don't want Islam's ego to get any bigger than it already is thinking all this hype is over him when it's not,it's what he done to Tommy Burns and the stuff also said about Chris Mcart on here asif these ppl should have laid on a gold plated fkn car and house for the boy,he didn't even say thanks,if anything it was the opposite.I believe the only reason he stayed in Britain was because of Tommy Burns,i hope he thinks back to how close him and his family came to getting deported and where were all these people that are now surrounding the lad?Where were they Islam??fkn nowhere,remember that in future.

Greg Gordon 9:27 pm, 27-Sep-2011

What I do find strange, and maybe you can answer this Nuno/Rui, is why you as agents haven't put out some quotes from Islam Feruz either thanking Celtic for their help or conversely, backing up the allegations made against Chris McCart and Celtic further up the piece. The view from Neil Lennon at Celtic today is that Islam Feruz's 'representatives' have handled this whole sorry business badly and to be honest, there is a lot Rui/Nuno could have done to make the situation better - even after the transfer story broke. Instead, as it is, Islam Feruz is tarnished in the eyes of Celtic supporters as much for his silence as for anything else. By his saying nothing, by way of explaining his decision to leave Celtic, it is inevitable that people will think the worst and you can't really blame them for doing so.

farah abdullahi 7:35 am, 30-Oct-2011

let him go where ever he wants to go.. he is a man that can his own decision.. he ain't going to played for scotland in th senior squad because he is playing for hisnative country somali..

Woody 3:33 pm, 30-Oct-2011

He's certainly free to go and do what he likes as he has shown. He goes in shame though and will never be forgiven for not honouring the help that Tommy Burns gave him and just for a few dollars more. Looking forward to not hearing his name again unless linked to failure and regret.

tim nicoll 8:45 pm, 14-Sep-2012

its well known that hes 2 years older than he says he is!

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