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. Melbourne Mick on

    And just remembered that ghuy that landed on the moon? Neil Armstrong


    i think i read somewhere that his family were Scottish and he in fact wore


    his beloved hoops top under his space suit.


    Now he would win the furthest away Celt award.


    Oh wait… that might have been Stuart.


    o.k i’ll go back to suppin my Guinness.


    H.H Mick

  2. Hot Smoked on 2nd June 2019 11:31 am


    Apparently, Kilmarnock are laying another articial pitch for next season as a new grass one would cost



    ten million pounds. Anyone know why, if true, it would cost so much?







    I think they train on the plastic pitch. They couldn’t train on a grass one so they’d need new training facilities. That’s where the money racks up.



    Ball park figure for a new grass pitch at amateur level is £60,000. Obviously a professional level one would be a good bit more but nowhere near the millions.

  3. ernie lynch


    Thanks for that.


    Here is what was said:



    “Economically it’s the best thing for the club,” Clarke told shareholders.


    “They would have to find probably about £10m to put down a grass pitch and build suitable training facilities. So short to medium term it’s the best option.”


    The word `probably` suggests something less than a comprehensive, financial anaiysis by Mr Clarke !





  4. Or Killie ‘could’ train on a local park like 99% of clubs used to do before the luxury of their own facility.


    The whole plastic pitch scenario in Scotland is one embarrasing joke.


    Killie are a joke of a club with the most fickle and shite supporters in the whole league.


    We have to hand over a decent share of our poultry TV deal to shitty useless clubs like Killie who do nothing but downgrade our game in every way yet continue to be fawned upon by the media for some reason.

  5. weebobbycollins on

    LazyD…all clubs have a fickle and shitey element in their support…even CQN has its grumpies… :-)

  6. MELBOURNE MICK @ 11:34 AM,



    Yes, bit ominous when it’s the weekend and we don’t hear from the brig… then LennyBhoy pops up…



    Tidied up your list… if I’ve excluded anybody please let me know…



    Hail Hail



    Melbourne Mick – Melbourne – Australia



    Prestonpans Bhoys – Prestonpans – Scotland



    Jobo Baldie – East Kilbride – Scotland



    Hot Smoked – Arbroath – Scotland



    Chairbhoy – High Wycombe – England



    Park Road 67 – Girvan – Scotland



    Gene – Biddulph, – North Staffs – England



    PADDYMACOZ – Australia.



    BSR – Lower East Kilbride – Scotland



    Fool time whistle – North Carolina – USA



    Allgreen – Kirkcaldy



    Lennybhoy – Coatbridge



    JamesGang – between Kew and Dunblane but always Glasgow in my heart



    JMcCormick – Wishae – Scotland



    Bada Bing – East Kilbride – Scotland



    Knightswoodbhoy – Guess? – Scotland



    Glasgowbhoy – Edinburgh – Scotland



    Glasgowghirl – Edinburgh – Scotland



    Mncelt – Minnesota – USA



    BIGRAILROADBLUES – Govanhill – Scotland



    DRESDENCSC – Dresden – Germany



    Timhorton – Ontario – Canada



    Almore – Áth Cliath (De Nortside) – Éire.



    WITS – Áth Cliath (De Nortside) – Éire



    YogiHughes – Mayo – Ireland



    Bognorbhoy – Bognor Regis – England



    Thecelt45 – Houston – Texas – USA



    Sid – Stirling – Scotland



    Lazydynamite – Whitby,North Yorkshire, – England



    16 roads – Belfast – Ireland



    SFTB – Cambuslang – Scotland



    WBC – Cathkin Braes – Scotland



    Emeraldbee – South East Kilbride – Scotland



    Fairhillbhoy – Hamilton – Scotland



    Hebcelt Stornoway Scotland



    McPhail Bhoy Dún na nGall, Éire



    Jc2- east kilbride



    Celtic Dawn – Fife via Dundalk



    Corkcelt – Body Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, Heart Cork City.



    GG —- New Jersey after having been formed in the wee green oasis of Plains



    Roy croppie Newton nr Cambuslang after a life sentence in airdrie



    Silver City 1888- Stirling – Scotland



    Mahe the madman – Sonora, Central California, The U , S of A .



    Owen – Cork via lurgan Co Armagh.



    Omacelt, Omagh Ireland, but Derry born and bred.



    Saint Stivs – port glasgow, a little green oasis







    Jinkyredstar- The beautiful island of Bute



    Peter – Dumbarton



    fleagle1888 -Auckland (NZ)



    David66- Garngad via Knightswood- Scotland



    Fergusslayedtheblues -Garngad -Scotland




    IHTCMM- North Yorkshire – Engerlund



    Philbhoy – Bo’ness Scotland



    Allgreen – Kirkcauldy



    Gerry – The Brig



    Neil Armstrong – The Moon or possibly A FilmSet in Nevada



    LennyBhoy – Coatbridge



    Kevinlasvegas – Airdrie

  7. WRT the artifical pitch….we have an additional cost in that of the Electric bill for all the lights used to help the grass grow.



    Congratulations to young POG and the family. T, tell your Bhoy that the old geezer fae Aberdeen says “Well Done”. Still remember the conversation he and I had on our way to Paradise last season after Coia’s. Thoroughly deserves his degree



    For Melbourne Mick’s list……Bateen Bhoy from Aberdeen via Abu Dhabi and Hoooston ?

  8. Melbourne Mick on

    HE.. HE..” The moon or possibly a film set in Nevada ”


    Luv it.


    H.H Mick

  9. Melbourne Mick on

    As a special one off award for all those who made the list, you are


    invited to my pub in Melbourne this weekend and i’m on the bell.


    I feel it’s the least i could do.


    H.H Mick

  10. LAZYDYNAMITE on 2ND JUNE 2019 12:29 PM


    Or Killie ‘could’ train on a local park like 99% of clubs used to do before the luxury of their own facility.



    The whole plastic pitch scenario in Scotland is one embarrasing joke.



    Killie are a joke of a club with the most fickle and shite supporters in the whole league.



    We have to hand over a decent share of our poultry TV deal to shitty useless clubs like Killie who do nothing but downgrade our game in every way yet continue to be fawned upon by the media for some reason.





    Chicken feed so it is



    HH jg




    tusker- Sutherland, Scotland, via SE England, now Song, Thailand.

  12. Melbourne Mick on




    Scotland to Thailand nearly 6000 miles.


    Scotland to Aukland over 11000 miles.


    Fleagle is still our furthest away fan.


    Apart from Neil Armstrong of course bit of dubiety about that lol.


    H.H Mick

  13. The Celtic Blog.



    AWWELL’S COMMENTS AND THE LESSONS OF HISTORY SUGGEST A FRUSTRATING SUMMER LIES AHEAD. Lawwell’s Comments And The Lessons Of History Suggest A Frustrating Summer Lies Ahead.



    Date: 2nd June 2019 at 1:39pm


    Written by: James Forrest




    It’s been eight days now since the Scottish Cup Final and Celtic’s ham-fisted announcement that they had offered the job to Neil Lennon.



    He took it six days later.



    I think it’s been an instructive week, and if we pay attention the seeds of the next ten weeks are all contained neatly within it.






    From the CEO, the word has gone out; Celtic are playing in a backwater.



    No-one of any consequence wants to come to manage us. Ergo, no-one of any repute is going to want to sign for us either.




    This is the embrace of mediocrity that I was afraid of.



    I said I would write a piece on Celtic’s transfer strategy, and this is it.




    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.



    Because the problem never was the man in the dugout, the problem is the man above him.



    Although I know some of the fans will hold the club’s feet to the fire over backing Lennon I am not optimistic in the slightest.



    Once you accept mediocrity you fashion everything around it, and as Celtic made no effort whatsoever to go out and look for a top class manager I have no faith they will sign top players.






    I should probably be angry about this, but I can’t even muster anger, just a weary resignation, a sense that this is what the directors have chosen and that we’re stuck with it.



    In short, since I don’t expect the club to do anything other than the bare minimum, I am not going to be seduced by hype.



    Our club has just won 3Treble, but there is no sense of excitement about the summer ahead.



    Reaching those standards was only possible because we went out and hired the very best manager we could get. We pushed out the boat for him. We showed guts and ambition and for once looked as if we knew were we were going as a club.






    Over the course of the next few weeks, you’ll see a lot of coming and going at Celtic Park. Players will depart and others will come in. The board’s supporters will say that the team is stronger, and that’s true of any window where you bring in players.



    But will the starting eleven necessarily be better?



    Will there be players signed who can go straight into the team?








    That’s the real question, and already those who supported the Lennon appointment on the grounds that we could not do better are laying out the exact same argument about the transfer window; quality players won’t come to us and so why bother going out there and trying to bring them in?



    It is an utter surrender to second rate status.



    There’s a very real chance that we’ll spend this entire summer signing filler, and squad players, and possibly even losing a first team star … and have more players to choose from, but be no stronger for having done it all. Indeed, it’s what I expect.



    Those who went to the bat for Neil Lennon, who demanded his appointment, should be the most furious if this club goes down that road.






    I will be furious myself, but I will not be in the least bit surprised. The club’s level of ambition has been made very clear in their managerial appointment and having listened to Lawwell it’s clear that Lennon will have to work under the very same restrictions as Rodgers did. There will not be a spending splurge here.



    The contract offers for Lustig and Izzaguire have already given us a hint at the extent of the business we intend to do; these are two key areas of the team, and neither is going to get the attention that it deserves or requires.



    If you think we’re giving Lustig a new deal for him to act as a back-up option you have more faith in the club than is good for you.



    At best, we’ll sign some project player at right back and hope he grows into the role before the Swede’s new contract expires in 2021.



    Lustig will play 30 plus games next season; I’d put money on that.



    The midfield area has been crying out for defensive reinforcements for at least two years. Will that position get covered this time around?



    In an attacking sense, Stuart Armstrong was never replaced, and we’ve been linked with a number of players in that mould, a couple of them English based freebies. But Brown needs at least one other tough tackler around him. Instead, Bitton will be staying. Don’t rule out Mulumbu being retained so Lennon can check him out.






    Look to the Jonny Hayes experiment if you think that’s unlikely.



    When it came time to replacing Dembele – who scored crucial Champions League goals and went for £20 million – we decided to replace him with a striker from Slovakia and then haggled over the fee for nearly a month. I said at the time that the idea of us replacing a top performer like Dembele with a project player from a third rate league was a joke, and it still is.



    And Lennon knows it’s a joke, because he’s made a target man striker a priority in this window … but with Bayo still on the books, along with Griffiths and Edouard, how much to do you think we’d be willing to spend on a fourth front man?






    There’s already talk that he wants Gary Hooper on a free … and he doesn’t tick the target man box at all.



    Sign Hooper and that’s four strikers. Really think we’ll sign a fifth? Which of the current crop do you reckon will be leaving to trim the numbers there?



    Scott Sinclair signed a contract extension. We have Mikey Johnstone who’s proved he can play well wide left. And we also have Jonny Hayes. Lewis Morgan will be coming back in the summer. So seriously, do you see us going out and signing a left sided midfielder? The writing is on the wall as far as that position goes; I think we’ll stick with what we have … so get used to seeing Hayes bombing down that wing for the next year at least.



    I’ve already written on how well covered we are wide right. There will be no business done there whilst Forrest and Shved are at the club, competing for the place.



    Attacking midfield? Rogic, McGregor, Christie, Henderson. Ntcham.



    Nobody who Lawwell would sanction a move for is going to break into that section of the team either, although the growing suspicion that Ntcham is going to be sold to fund whatever business Lennon does do is one that is incredibly difficult to shake. I think that’s a certainty.



    Lawwell has already hinted at all this, with his comment that the team doesn’t need the overhaul that some people think it does. When he says “some people” is he including his own manager in that? Or is he just talking about all of us?



    When he spoke at Lennon’s unveiling he didn’t even sound particularly certain that the squad itself needed strengthening at all.



    “Every transfer window we want to come out stronger. We will do all we can within our financial constraints. We realise the squad needs freshened, it probably needs strengthened.”



    Only probably? Three years on, this is still pretty much the team Ronny Deila left us with.



    The strengthening is long overdue, and Lawwell is still sitting on the fence, still not wanting to make any promise he can get caught in later and called a liar on.



    But Lawwell has consistently misled the fans, by talking about his “ambition” for the club even as he restricts the manager in every possible way.



    In my view, those who tried to sell Lennon to us on the basis that he is some kind of transfer market genius – why did we bother with a scouting department? – and will spend lots and lots of money on our behalf better than others could … the dishonesty of it is remarkable, and all the more so when the CEO himself has already made it clear that this won’t happen.



    I fear that this summer is already shaping up to be a repeat of the last.



    There are some who will scoff, but the club had three months to find a top tier manager and didn’t even look. They knew Rodgers was going for pretty much the whole of the campaign, and did not work at all to find his replacement.



    The team stuttered its way through the whole season, patched up in January with loanees and the spending of £2 million to replace a £20 million player.



    This summer we will lose at least one first team footballer – Olivier Ntcham.



    Whatever money Lennon ends up getting he’ll probably be forced to recoup. I also don’t expect business to be done early; it is virtually certain that we’ll go into the early Champions League qualifiers with the same first team squad as we finished the campaign with.



    The board’s defenders will say that’s just good sense. Then, when our Group Stage fate has been made clear we’ll hear all the usual nonsense about how the club has run out of time to bring in anyone decent. These are the same excuses we got all the way through the last two years.



    Anyone who thinks we’ll give Lennon the pot of gold Brendan Rodgers – Invincible winning Brendan Rodgers – didn’t get has simply not been paying attention in class.

  14. weebobbycollins on

    Melbourne Mick…heading to the train station now….I wonder how much a return to Melbourne will cost?….Anyway, I’ll have a cold Guiness Mick…

  15. Melbourne Mick on




    I’ll be sittin there waiting on yeez just as i did for all the other wonderful


    Celtic family members that came down under for a wee holiday.


    H.H Mick

  16. IniquitousIV on

    MELBOURNE MICK’S Location List


    INIQUITOUSIV signing in from Washington DC, United States of Trump.

  17. Melbourne Mick on




    Could you find out if we can add the Donal to the list?


    I heard from a gowfer up in Eberdeenshire he wears a Cellic tap


    in the senate.


    H.H Mick

  18. Melbourne Mick on

    Right ghuys it’s lights oot for me,orders from her of the royal




    Hope there’s enough ink in the machine to keep adding all these


    Celtic family members, as i used to say to my wee da when


    counting all the Celtic buses on matchdays.


    ” there’s mullions a them da ”


    H.H Mick

  19. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    thomthethim, reporting from Donegal, via East Kilbride and Maryhill NW, Glasgow.



    UEFA reaped the rewards of shoehorning also rans into their premier competition.


    Not a national title between them in over a generation.



    Two poor finals in a week, with one of them placed on an oilfield.


    Heads should roll.

  20. Was trying to explain to 14 year old Jnr yesterday (even before the match!) how the 70s and 80s saw such distinct national/regional ways of playing.



    The technically-excellent, though often regimented teams of Eastern Europe v the flair of South America. The Latin expression v the ‘good at everything’ Germans. The idiosyncratic Dutch!


    And how they’d so seldom play against each other. And seeing them on tv was a treat that unfolded only every few years.



    By contrast, this season has effectively ended with two additional


    EPL fixtures, played out by globetrotting football mercenaries.



    Gotta love big Jurgen though. V Tim-like in his values.



    HH jg

  21. Melbourne Mick



    BigYinMilan frae Butny to Lyon via Boston, New Haven, Oxford, Milan and points in between.

  22. Currently on Holiday in Puerto de Mazarron, usually at the the top of the Gallowgate in Parkhead por cierto.

  23. Beamishismypint on

    Surprised Lenny was quoted as saying we’d be signing British players this Sumer. Outside the SPFL seems where there is least value for money to be had.

  24. Fool Time Whistle on

    Celtic’s business model is successful. There i said it.



    The word “Business” is anathema to many Celtic fans, but the decision to change from a charity to a business was taken in 1891 then 1897 by long dead founding fathers. It was not taken by any allegedly Tory voting directors from the last 30 years. For all but those first 3 to 9 years Celtic has been a business.



    “Successful” in this context is also a dirty word for many. It implies profit & loss, margins, mark-ups, shareholders, markets, exploitation, winners and losers.



    The current model (with minor adjustments) was introduced by Fergus in 1994/5. It changed the business of Celtic from a private to a public model & that’s how I and thousands of others now have (a very few) shares in Celtic.



    I often imagaine what each of our realistic & acheievable goals would be for Celtic – if we actually had to write them down.



    Imagine the board in a wild moment of true democracy asked all fans to compile their list of the things they want Celtic to achieve – a massive consultation exercise if you like.



    What would be on your list & my list would probably be at least 90% the same. Probably.



    That’s my starting point even if I’m being naive in thinking that, anyway…



    I’ve accepted that Celtic are a business, but not just a business.


    I’ve accepted that Celtic are run largely as business, for better or worse.


    I’ve accepted that Celtic the business is largely synonymous with Celtic the club.


    I’ve accepted that the primary aim of Celtic after the survival of the club/business is success measured in both footballing terms AND financial terms.


    I’ve accepted that there HAS to be a balanced correlation between success in those two areas.


    I’ve accepted that Celtic do indeed operate in a footballing & cultural backwater that inhibits the chances of increased success in both areas.


    I’ve accepted the limitations that all of the above & our perceived lowly status places on our chances of recruiting the best players or managers.


    I do not see my acceptance of the reality of the Celtic’s situation as settling for mediocrity, rather for me, if you don’t know where you truly are in the grand scheme of things, then making progress will be a fraught lottery.



    I wish Neil & his staff all the best for the coming season & beyond.




  25. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    FOOL TIME WHISTLE on 2ND JUNE 2019 4:38 PM


    Celtic’s business model is successful. There i said it.





    Excellent post. One which I imagine most reasonable minded people will agree with.



    Then again, we are Celtic supporters, wired for contrary opinions.

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