Armstrong, Asset Management, the folly of the past


You remember the days we used to bang on about Asset Management?  The Martin O’Neill was glorious but that team left with barely a dowry.  Great players were kept on ever-increasing wages, some until they could scarcely run the length of themselves.  Tales of John Hartson’s bleep test live in the memory!

This was unquestionable folly.  Celtic lost money each season under Martin (and Gordon Strachan), debt rose ever-higher, while the background noise was an incessant call to spend more money.  The early days of CQN saw demands to show the kind of ambition Sir David Murray did at Rangers, or for Dermot Desmond to donate cash, by some who had confused Celtic’s charitable ethos with being a charity case.

A successful trading strategy is crucial for any club to achieve its potential.  Keep them on wages you can afford and sell them to a wealthier market when you cannot get them to extend their contract.

All of those great goals from Stuart Armstrong, the Cup Final equaliser, all those trophies he won, cost the club zero.  Absolutely nothing.  His transfer fee to Dundee United and entire wage bill was more than covered by the fee from Southampton.  In fact, we made a profit, which is available for us to kick on with.

There were two alternatives:

Let him leave without compensation next year.  Celtic would be busy looking for a replacement as Stuart’s agent would be shopping him around.  And there would be no money to reinvest.

Or, break the wage structure to match what he can get in England.  And even then, he might still fancy a the chance in England.  There are some players worth breaking the wage structure for, but with all due respect to Stuart, you can only do it for an unequivocal first choice.

More important than the money, Celtic cannot stagnate.  There are lots of reasons to feel good about our general domestic brilliance, but your football club regards itself as a Champions League operation.  On that front, we have plenty of room for improvement.

Just as there are limits to our wage bill, there are practical limits to the squad size.  We need to churn those on the fringes and try to replace them with players who will become un-droppable.

Best of luck at our benefactor-by-the-sea, Stuart.  I hope you are a huge success.

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  1. Looking at Moses Odubajo and if this is any measure of the man he will do for me:





    Its about 10 minutes long but well worth a watch. This is the type of player we want (in terms of his character) and he looks a decent full back as well.



    For all these reasons, I’d love to see him sign: he will “get” us straight away!






  2. Manchester City are considering a move to re-sign Australia midfielder Aaron Mooy, 27, from Huddersfield Town. City have a £20m buy-back option, while Everton, West Ham United and Southampton are also weighing up a move for Mooy. (ESPN)



    How much is Tommy Rogic worth then?


    Well played Southampton for making a donation to our foundation for royalties for The Stuart Armstrong song. Great fun.



    Happy birthday Angel Gabriel, have a blast.


    Hail Hail


    1999-2000,Celtic lose out by 21 points. This despite heavy investment in the team,and also in a “management” duo.



    Only one of those recruited players was with us for any great period of time,STAN PETROV. At a push,I could give you Bobby Petta. For one season.



    2000-2001,Martin O’Neill arrives and spends about the same amount of money that John Barnes did. All of his players stay with us for a good few seasons,and help everyone connected with Celtic regain our battered pride.



    We win the league by 15 points,a 36-that’s THIRTYSIX!!!!-point turnaround.



    So…We lost money virtually every year that Martin O’Neill was our manager.



    So what? We lost money virtually every year for decades,and had won damn little doing so.



    Criticising Martin O’Neill for losing money is cheap.



    He was worth every penny.





    You mentioned a cheap insult by me yesterday ? Personal insult………apologies if I did, wasn’t intentional. I did mention one thing (if you missed a smiley) could have been misinterpreted ?



    Can you clarify please ?

  5. TONTINE TIM on 26TH JUNE 2018 8:58 PM



    BAMBOO on 25TH JUNE 2018 11:40 PM





    Jim Baxter got a broken leg in a euro game – show-boating once to often. I dont think he was quite the same player after.





    *I recall that day well, it had been an afternoon ko and deidco were over in Vienna with a slender 1-0 lead from the 1st leg.





    I was on the train home when a punter got on at Dumbarton Central, he had one of the evening papers with him and just as the train crossed the bridge of the River Leven he enlightened us all with the news they had won 2-0 over there, a very credible results, a lot of heids went down until he read the stop press, baxter had broken his leg, a huge roar went up, it was the only solace us young Tims could find and a pre-Christmas present tae.





    As you say in the last minute he tried tae extract the urine, the offending player wisnae even cautioned as far as I can recall.





    It seems he hit the bottle hard after that allegedly drinking 3 bottles of laurel and hardy a day although that seems highly unlikely.









    IIRC the other team was Vorwaerts of East Germany, the very team Celtic play this afternoon.

  6. TOSB,



    A dude who drunk every day for 25 years…. he said that Jim was a drinker. Perhaps it is exaggeration on the bacardi that TT was talking aabout. He may not have been wrong going into a 3rd bottle.



    It is sad that 1 single moment can influence a life so much.



    Praise the Lord, the Most Almighty for being so fortunate.

  7. PETEC



    Baxter was a brilliant player. To be honest it was a tragedy how things turned out for him after that injury. It seems he wasn’t such a bad guy either as his two best mates were Pat Crerand and Billy McNeill.

  8. Is Paul67 softening us up for another ‘life in the slow lane’ period?



    The enjoyment the fans had, the memories that remain as well as the money Celtic also raked in , especially in the Seville season, more than made up for the team not being broken up and sold for profit.

  9. Tim Malone Will Tell on

    I only just realized yesterday that I had watched Moses Odubajo play a few times for Warburtons Brentford a few years ago.


    He was very good going forward. Difficult to comment much on his defensive qualities since Brentford seemed to largely play without a defence at that time – two centre backs were left exposed more often than not.



    Moses was well liked and well rated at Brentford – I hope it works out for him at Celtic if he has regained his fitness.

  10. The dude talked about a dude that had been ‘off it’ for 40 years I think, not sure, it was a AA meeting they had went to.


    Suddenly he had devastating news and he was back on it.



    We All need Support. Even the Ridiculously well off.

  11. AlbertKiddCSC on

    I think it’s clear that Paul is not criticising MON (Or WGS), he is only stating the fact that we lost money during those years and that the previous Business model was unsustainable if success on the park was to be continued…

  12. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy on 27th June 2018 12:36 pm






    Baxter was a brilliant player. To be honest it was a tragedy how things turned out for him after that injury. It seems he wasn’t such a bad guy either as his two best mates were Pat Crerand and Billy McNeill.







    Heard a few stories from Bernie in the shipyards. He was there oot his tree, funnily enough near Victoria Road. He was hammering the spirits heavy @ the time. I’d guess JB could, over a 1 day period get to a 3rd bottle. Frightening for a Doctor. :D



    Obviously things were annoying him.



    A Good Lady is ALWAYS to be Cherished.

  13. PAUL 67



    Spot on Paul, no Celtic player should be wearing Hoops when they want to wear another strip, for any


    reason, specially not money.



    Heroes come and hairos go.



    Hail Hail

  14. Aqua Al @ 12:07 pm said: ‘Surely not second?’



    Nae luck, mate.



    I have long argued that winning second spot on our hallowed podium is actually harder than getting first.



    Several times I challenged the fabled podium-grabber, Philvisreturns, to have a go at grabbing second place (instead of first, for which he was [almost] unbeatable, possessed – as he was – with seemingly preternatural keyboarding skills – either that or a flux-capacitor). But he ducked out (knowing that my challenge was beyond even his exceptional talents) …




  15. Paul



    Are your sources giving you any feedback on yesterday’s deliberations at Hampden … ?





    Cheap/personal insult/remark yesterday ?



    I’ve asked for a response 3 (4 now) times.



    I’ve always found you one of the most courteous contributors on here. It upset me that you thought I did tbh (24 hours later is testimony ?).



    As before if you missed a wee smiley thing or if I was offensive (firstly apologies) but I’d really like some substantiation here, please. I genuinely don’t like upsetting good folk.



    Am I missing something ?

  17. DUP dark money & brexit, BBC NI.


    On BBC iplayer.


    Hmmmmmm ?





  18. bournesouprecipe on 27th June 2018 12:52 pm



    PAUL 67



    Spot on Paul, no Celtic player should be wearing Hoops when they want to wear another strip, for any



    reason, specially not money.



    Heroes come and hairos go.



    Hail Hail





    Thats why we are reticent,



    About Eboue Kouassi become prescient.



    Best of Luck Stuart make Celtic a packet.



    Dinnae understand it but hey.

  19. glendalystonsils on




    Seeing the pictures of Stuart Armstrong shirt , it just didn’t look quite right to me.




    Good player, undoubtedly. Just joined the wrong club.



    A number of years ago – not exactly sure how many – he was given the ‘keys’ to a brewery owned pub in Irvine. Can’t remember which one, but some on here, BMCUW, CCB and others may know.



    Didn’t last long, or well, sadly.




  21. Sound of silence



    Stuart has, IMO, made a mistake, he wisnae a Celtic Supporter so it is understandable in some ways. I just thought he’d give it a go when Brendan put so much Faith in him.



    Brendan is Ruthless, although it may not have been obvious last Season.



    An All Time Great Celtic Song and a Double Treble – Stuart will be remembered fondly.

  22. Hi Paul67,



    Too right about Stuart… not even the most positive- anon was predicting we would get this sort of money for Mr Armstrong in the last Season of his contract.



    Though to be fair TBB made the point that in the EPL the stage that a player is in his contract has minimum barring on the transfer fee.



    If Southampton believe S.A. is a player they need to keep them Competeing at the right level of the EPL Table he’s a valuable asset…



    Getting relegated and getting Stuart on a fee for next year is not an option for them.



    A lot of positive comments have been made about the deal and I would second most of them.



    One that hasn’t but means a lot to me, being a minority Scotland supporter…



    The national team will benefit, Stuart has been in a hiatus and is someway from his potential – if he’s going to be picked for Southampton he will quickly reach that potential – he’s a smart lad.



    Also Scotland managers can pick Stuart without being afraid of exceeding their Celtic quotient.



    Good luck to Stuart, it’s a long time since we’ve had a Scottish footballer tearing up England’s green and pleasant land… he could be the man to do it.



    Hail Hail

  23. The Battered Bunnet on




    “Celtic lost money each season under Martin (and Gordon Strachan), debt rose ever-higher”



    You’d be well served to delete the parentheses. As is well observed, Celtic changed the business model under Gordon.



    Carrying some legacy wages from MON’s time, Celtic lost £4.2M in WGS’s first season, 2005/06, one without income from Europe (ouch!).



    The following 3 seasons, Celtic reported record turnover and profit, due in large part to WGS’s Aristotelian ability to take his modest group and compete in the Champions League.



    Three years of successive profits amounted to around £21.5M, giving a total of net profit over the WGS years of over £17M.



    Accordingly, as the profit was retained, net debt was reduced from £19.5M at the end on the MON years, to £1.65M at the end of WGS’s tenure.



    That’s not to say the model under MON was “wrong”. There are many business models, some good, some less so. The model under MON was all about re-establishing Celtic’s place in the Football world, and on that basis, it worked. What it didn’t achieve – the big objective – was entry to the EPL, so ultimately the £40M (net) punt on MON did not deliver. It was considered a punt worth taking though. I’d hazard a guess that the model was ditched simultaneously with the club concluding that the EPL was just not going to happen.



    The MON model was appropriate for its time, and its time passed more than a decade ago. Since then, we’ve adopted a self-sustaining model, pioneered by WGS, developed further by Lenny (remember the kindergarten pre-season?), and (hopefully) fulfilled under Brendan.



    I don’t feel the need to trade one manager off against another. Each was of their time and of the prevailing circumstances. In all of the time since 2000, only the Tony Mowbray delinquency merits critical scrutiny. The rest of it has been (at the very least), a qualified success, with some highly burnished triumphs.




  24. glendalystonsils on










    Seeing the pictures of Stuart Armstrong shirt , it just didn’t look quite right to me.



    Ooops……meant to say in a Southampton shirt.

  25. My friends in Celtic,



    The points Paul 67 makes about our previous business model are not subjective, they are factual.



    Just like opinions, can truth ever be wrong.? Even if a touch unpalatable.



    On another note; we grant a player the honour of a song and with one flick of a comb, he is off.


    Should we be more selective in our ” honours” system ?



    HH to all.

  26. Btw I would urge everybody to check out the Moses interview.



    Articulate and thoughtful young man who, if he plays as well as he speaks, will do for me!



    Always a big risk taking on a player who has had a serious knee injury – just ask John Kennedy!



    But…ye never know!











    Yes, they and the Stevie G revolution has some source of funding .

  28. Glendalys



    Money talks, especially for the beautiful footballer with the best quiff since Johnny Thomson. They all want to play for our Celtic and the next one is just around the corner.




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