While I have no intention of belaboring the DeRosario kerfuffle and the ever-shifting statements from all and sundry, there are a couple points that may deserve to be tossed into the pot here, to wit:
First, TFC agrees that they "discussed" DeRo going over to Celtic with the player and his agent, who works out of a respected London agency ad, presumably, knows the rules.
Further, TFC acknowledges that they said they were fine with it.
So the only bone of contention is the paperwork, which is important to be sure, but as we all surely know by the time we reach the age of reason (which of course leaves out certain yellow journalism-addicted Toronto-based bloggers) people often walk away from conversations with entirely different takes on what was said.
Put another way, as my Old Pappy used to say (well, OK, I never actually called him that, it just sounds more folksy that way) "people hear what they want to hear".
Furthermore, we seem to have no current statement from the player himself. We've only heard from his brother and his agent.
My question is simply this: who would normally be the guy who would be responsible for making sure the paperwork is in order? The player or his agent and/or business partner?
Which of course is another way of asking what DeRosario himself really knew. Did they tell him everything was fine and that he was free to go ahead over? One certainly would assume so. It's THEIR job, it's what they get paid for.
(And in truth, they may have actually believed it; see below)
In short, all DeRosario may be truly guilty of here is taking his agents' (and his brothers' apparently) word for it, which every player in the world does on a daily basis.
I don't know this, of course. Neither does much of anyone else who's writing about this and calling DeRosario a "liar" and saying that he's "taking the low road".
Now I understand why writers who are also TFC fans would want to use an opportunity like this to ingratiate themselves with their local club by sliming this guy; he's been there two years now and yet Toronto does not sit atop the league table; they've got to blame someone and a lot of people are leaning towards DeRo.
And in truth it's entirely possible that he's as guilty as sin.
But maybe we could back off a bit until the facts come out.
Secondly, I find it very odd, in the rush to dump on a player, that no one is pointing a finger at Celtic in all of this.
They know the rules as well as anyone else: in order to go on trial an agreement must be signed - there are no exceptions - between the two teams involved clearly spelling out who is accepting responsibility in case the player is injured.
And Celtic knows whether they signed such an agreement.
Furthermore, they know perfectly well that hearing "It's OK with Toronto" from an agent isn't exactly the legal contractual agreement necessary to trial a player who is someone elses' property.
And Celtic isn't about to accept what might be a massive amount of liability based on the word of some schmuck in a cheap suit. There aren't virgins or children here.
At the end of the day, I believe the truth will be a lot less sexy than the "DeRosario is a stinking liar" meme which some circles are tub thumping.
Rather, I think at the end of the day we'll find that:
a) There was a miscommunication between TFC and the players' people and
b) This is NOT really a formal "trial" at all and DeRosario is simply "training" with Celtic for off season work. We all know that many times a guy does this and HOPES to get some interest from the team. It's a well-known gray area, as we are all well aware.
UPDATE: RIght on time: his agent SAYS EXACTLY THAT
Maybe I'm dead wrong. God knows it won't be the first time.
But let's all take a step back here and stop kicking the man around until we know something besides the TFC-and-agent he-said-she-said drama that's now being bandied about.
The guy has been a huge asset to MLS and he deserves the benefit of the doubt.