93 days of this left, the farming of Patrick Roberts


May is not out, the manager is not formally in place yet, but there’s an early bit of transfer rumblings underway as Celtic begin the process of building a squad for an attack on The Nine.

In response to speculation linking Celtic to one of his players, Motherwell chief exec, Alan Burrows, wrote on Twitter, “figures in papers are often educated stabs and not a true reflection on either what one/any club might be prepared to pay or the other might be prepared to accept.”

In short, any inquiry from Celtic for David Turnbull is at an early stage and conversations will not be around the figures reported.

We have 93 days like this until the transfer window closes….

Like you, I enjoyed watching Patrick Roberts.  He is a gifted player and good professional.  His could have been a permanent signing for Celtic but Pep Guardiola had other ideas.  Now he has signed a new contract, keeping him at at Manchester City for another three years, a club he will almost certainly never play competitively for, while simultaneously agreeing to a one year loan at newly promoted Norwich.

It is hard to escape agricultural metaphors when watching what the tier one clubs in England do with young talent.  They are a crop to hoard and sell, not to consume.  City paid Fulham £12m for Patrick four years ago.  His new contract will be worth several millions per year, and when his value is right, they will sell him.  This is a business model, independent of first team considerations.

A season in the English Premier League could be enough to raise a fee in excess of £20m, but there is a risk going to Norwich.  Patrick’s talents are most valuable unlocking packed defences.  Players of craft are less valued the further down the league you go, where robustness and counter-attacking football has become mandatory.

He would contribute his share in that Manchester City squad, or at Celtic, but his bit-part season at relegated Girona is a portent of what could lie ahead for him in Norwich.  At least he’ll be able to catch the tunes on North Norfolk Digital.

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  1. GFFH @ 11.16



    I could understand your explanation if we were a financial basket case like the current incarnation of the TFOD2.1 — economic leper fighting the world.



    However we are a substantial business with known revenue streams, fixed assets and a valuable squad so the scenario you describe sounds a bit far fetched. Plus if the Co-op is not wanting to play ball I am sure there are other alternative lenders out there.



    Then you have the why now and not then angle.


    We have lived on a bank credit facility for quite some time since the 1999 DD inspired splurge.


    So for things to change so quickly just as we start to hoard cash looks a bit convenient to me.


    Plus we seem to have moved well beyond our day to day requirements.



    And now we have CFC Austerity play being signalled by the dog boilers in the boardroom — not good.

  2. P67



    Take your eye of the finishing post and start to look around you.



    We have 6 weeks till our first CL qualifier — the first of a potential 8 that we will need to navigate through to get to the group stages.



    We need to start making our moves now.


    There is such a thing as a free lunch — the question is all about timing.



    Our current squad needs improvement to reduce the qualification risk.


    Consequently we need to get things moving now.

  3. traditionalist88 on

    We have 93 days like this until the transfer window closes….






    If we get our business done without haggling over a couple of hundred grand we can sit back and not worry about the transfer window closing.



    What are the chances of that happening!?




  4. Summer holidays about to begin for this overworked teacher. Thirteen weeks to recover????

  5. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Trad- exactly, if this Window is a failure, Lawwell’s head is on the block, not Neil’s or anyone else.

  6. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    I like the look of Turnbull – shades of Callum McGregor in the way he plays. I sometimes think we miss Callum in the final third when he plays further back (and vice-versa!).


    I think Norwich could be a good move for Roberts. They play good, attacking football and I don’t see them changing too much in the EPL. Daniel Farke looks like a really good coach and will help him to develop as a player. If it goes well and they stay up he would likely make the move permanent next year.

  7. CBN @ 12.13



    We became a selling club because PL was hopeless at his job.


    We bought late and under pressure plus we had to pay people off because they were so poor.



    6 strikers in a row — all over £1mill each and they all needed to be paid off early.


    Huge indictment on the running of the club — we became a selling club to fund PL’s bonus.




  8. Bada Bing.


    I don’t agree.


    Martin won 3 titles and walked.


    Gordon won 3 titles and walked.


    Neil won 3 titles and walked.


    Brendan was on the verge of winning 3 trebles and walked.


    We have a tradition of not backing successful managers.


    Neil, whether he is successful or not, will walk.


    The board always win.

  9. traditionalist88 on

    !!BADA BING!! on 31ST MAY 2019 12:18 PM


    Trad- exactly, if this Window is a failure, Lawwell’s head is on the block, not Neil’s or anyone else.





    Yep – last summer still fresh in the memory,




  10. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Westcraigs- Lawwell will not survive another poor season of transfers,he will get emptied if it results in failure HH

  11. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    If the austerity stories are true that makes the managerial appointment even stranger. Surely bring in a good coach to develop and improve the players we have?

  12. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on




    A good coach will require a transfer budget commensurate with his standing. Lenny has no other options on the table so does not have a strong bargaining position.

  13. CELTIC BY NUMBERS @ 12:13 PM,






    That’s a very interesting piece, as you say the headline figure can somewhat eschew the transfer activity, the vast majority turnover below the £2M mark.



    However it does show the direction of travel and without evidence to the contrary will be the same with Lenny MKII.



    Thinking back, out of our half dozen most valuable players five were in play last Summer…



    Armstrong to Southampton £7.2M


    KT to Everton £30M


    N’tcham to Porto £10M


    Boyata to Fulham £10M


    M. Dembele to Lyon £20M



    We sold two and could well have sold three… negotiations for KT and Boyata were advanced as well.



    So, if there still interest I’d say KT and N’tcham are the most likely candidates for the off, fully expect OE will be touted (that’s Odsonne Edouard JB).



    Of course our squad value has plummeted, not only due to sales, players moving on but also the form of our current players.



    Look at James Forrest, rumours of a £10M move to a top EPL Club, now that’s not going to happen. My thoughts, this could be a huge headache for Lenny.



    He can’t go into next season with the performances he got last season. Now what if BR and his staff got performances out of players that can’t be replicated. We know players who didn’t perform under Ronny and have seemed to lose form during the last four month interim.



    Also many of the current squad unproven at even SPL level, the projects and Academy prospects, that are half his current squad are unknowns and Lenny isn’t a big fan of this approach anyway.



    Is he going to get anything from Kouassi, Bayo, Benyu etc..?



    We’re looking forward to Shved and Morgan, more experience of course but still no guarantees.



    A lot of work and unless the Board do what they did with BR, give Lenny a transfer windows Grace, with a nett spend, it will be a tough window.



    Hsil Hail

  14. I’ve not seen a great deal of David Turnbull to be honest.



    But his profile and reputation is on the rise. His stats are also impressive. He is Scottish obviously, and knows the environment. In summary even although I haven’t seen a lot of him, he fits the criteria and would be a player I would like us to pursue.



    Valuation : I saw the twitter feed involving Alan Burrows. And frankly some of the comments from fans out with Celtic , i.e fans of other clubs… their valuations were unrealistic. I saw people stating Motherwell should hold out for 4.5 / 5 Million.



    That’s never going to happen. You could buy half the Motherwell playing squad, the management team and coaching staff… Fir Park’s north stand, and south stand…. and still have change from 5 million.



    Basic football Economics… and whether people want to accept it or not… the valuation of a David Turnbull is relative to his current environment / circumstances. No matter how impressive he is, he is a Motherwell player. Playing in Scotland, for a provincial small club, operating in the bottom 6 of our league. £2 million is realistic…. and £2.5 would be the absolute max. I also believe a club like Motherwell, would bite your hand off for £2.5 million.


    And if the lad is as good as everyone expects him to be, then football economics dictate, that as soon as he becomes a Celtic player, his value then more than doubles.

  15. The hands @1.05


    The board have no other option now,lennny is now in a position of strength .

  16. RUGGYGMAN on 31ST MAY 2019 1:28 PM



    The guy only has 2 years on his deal left. The time for them to sell is now.



    They don’t have too much leverage.

  17. traditionalist88 on

    RUGGYGMAN on 31ST MAY 2019 1:28



    And if the lad is as good as everyone expects him to be, then football economics dictate, that as soon as he becomes a Celtic player, his value then more than doubles.





    The urge to flip him would be so real for certain bean counters,




  18. Regarding the situation with NL’s job offer.


    If NL does not sign up to be the new permanent manager then PL needs to go.



    He will have made a fool of both himself and the club if NL says no.


    Just another

  19. mullet and co 2 on

    The Motherwell head guy said they want much better than the top sale they have ever had. I’d say that’s mentioning a figure ie somewhere substantially north of £1.7m.


    With the ability to get close to another £100m turnover and a wage bill now in the low £50m for the year we have a wages to turnover ratio well below the 60% comfort ceiling.


    With £37m in the bank and the ability to make that at least £50m with player sales before the end of June … we are stinking rich. Yet we want to ratchet bids up by a few tens of thousand for players.


    Unlike McGinn who was a stand out for Hibs when I saw him against Celtic, I haven’t paid any attention to Turnbull. His stats though are impressive. I predict Celtic further engrossing themselves in an embarrassing journalists wet dream of a bidding war.

  20. Madmitch



    Oh I don’t know, we’ve all had people barge into a shower room to offer us a new job? No?





    HH jg

  21. The Token Tim on




    PL or DD?



    Ultimately the job offer decision would only have been made with DD’s blessing. And as i heard it (no way of knowing if there is any truth in it) the job was going to be offered to Moyes, until DD turned to PL in the immediate aftermath of the Final and said go down and offer the job to Lenny.


    Which kind of makes sense to me given the shambolic and haphazard way it was announced.






  22. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    The Hands…


    Yeah that’s true, but “good” doesn’t have to be high profile/big name. Kilmarnock got one!

  23. mullet and co 2 on

    I expect MCGregor and or Forrest to go in the last days of the transfer window with some wonder kid coming in on loan.



    By the way – Ajax are trying to buy Martin Odegarrd for £17m. Ajax who recently became cash rich. You would need to ask them how they afford the wages and compete with the EPL? Peter Lawwell tells us we can’t compete but Ajax do and can?

  24. Peter Lawwell`s salary;


    Peter Lawwell`s pomposity;


    Dermot Desmond`s lack of interest;


    Dreadful transfer windows;


    Neil Lennon being appointed Manager;


    lethargic football;


    An out of touch Board;


    An immoral Board;


    Poor team selection;


    Impending austerity;



    How on Earth did we win anything lately let alone everything?




  25. mullet and co 2 on

    Lennon still not confirmed? Still not back from Marbella? Still no assistant agreed or wages?

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