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Challenges to realising your investment in talent

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Like several wealthy English clubs, Manchester City harvest large numbers of players with talent and potential with the intention of adding the City brand to their CV before turning a profit on them.

They usually get two bites at the revenue cherry, once when they sell them and once when they pick up a portion of the subsequent fee when the player is sold by the club who does much of the development heavy lifting.  The latter part of this plan fell through for both City and Celtic when Dedryck Boyata left Glasgow out of contract in 2019.  Celtic were aware the player would not sign a new contract and recruited Marvin Compper in January 2018 to allow Boyata to leave for a fee the following summer.

Compper was an unmitigated flop and without options they had any faith in, Celtic rejected a £9m bid from West Ham, which resulted in a temporary withdrawal of services by the player and the horrors of a valuable Belgian international leaving without a fee.

City did better with the £4.5m fee they received from Celtic for Olivier Ntcham four years ago.  Olivier had stacks of potential but he failed to maintain a regular starting place at Celtic and was allowed to leave on loan in January.  It seems unlikely that a player struggling at Celtic would be successful at Marseille and the early signs are not promising.  He is very likely to pitch up at Lennoxtown in June without attracting a move to his native France and prepared to run down the final 12 months of his contract.

Despite these two poor examples, there is merit in scouring the development ranks of Europe’s largest clubs – his is how we found Odsonne Edouard, but even when the player is talented and successful, realising your investment when they inevitably leave is far from straightforward.

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  1. Weebobbycollins on

    Hot Smoked @ 8.30…I’m sorry to say it’s definitely not me nor my more famous namesake.

     

    The Wee Barra was my first hero along with Willie Fernie and Charlie Tully. Any one of the three could have been declared my ‘favourite’ but for a singular moment at my very first game versus Stirling Albion (I believe). When I close my eyes I see red shirts with white sleeves. I was six, my dad was thirty. As the teams came out, a wee auld man wi’ a bunnet said to my dad, “Sit the wee barra up here son.” He made a space to allow my dad to sit me on the crush barrier. Throughout the game I heard constant shouts of ‘the wee barra’. My dad told me it was Bobby Collins they were referring to. I was proud to have been called ‘the wee barra’ by the wee auld man ( he probably was about 40 😊). Anyway, on the way home my dad bought the pink Times and on page two there was a photo of Bobby Collins which I cut out and taped on to my bedroom wall. It was still there along with hundreds of other Celtic photos when I finally left home for London in 1968. My mum used to tell me how sad she felt when the room was re-papered…

  2. Paul67

     

    I thought our prime reason we recruit players is to improve the team and win on the field – looks like it’s about making a buck.

     

    This leads to signing players with added value potential but don’t fit into our playing structure or actually what position we need to fill.

  3. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    “…there is merit in scouring the development ranks of Europe’s largest clubs – his is how we found Odsonne Edouard, but even when the player is talented and successful, realising your investment when they inevitably leave is far from straightforward…”

     

     

    It is a failed approach that has left us largely bereft of a core of a good squad that actually wants to play for Celtic. Stop it.

     

     

    HH

     

    BGFC

  4. Son of Gabriel on

    BIG GEORGES FAN CLUB – Poor implementation of a plan is not the same as having a poor plan.

     

     

    No one was complaining when we were signing (for example) Vic for 900k & selling for 12.5m , or Virgil for 2.6m to sell on for 13m

     

     

    We are bereft of a core due to poor talent evaluation and a flawed hiring practice. Doesn’t mean the strategy is wrong.

  5. Weebobbycollins on

    Big George…I agree with you. I was brought up supporting teams where the players all wanted to play for Celtic, were proud to pull on the hoops, and where the fans strongly identified with the players. We were not a stepping stone to the English league. Sadly, those days have gone, probably forever…😢

  6. SON OF GABRIEL on 4TH MARCH 2021 12:30 PM

     

     

    Exactly. We could’ve sold Ntcham for around £9m over a year ago if reports were correct.

     

     

    The trick is to look to sell them when their value is highest. This might upset the fans but we’ll be lucky to break even on Ntcham now.

  7. The Star above The Crest on

    The title of this article sums up why we’re in the sorry state we’re in. Faux esoteric business jargon which is really trying to tell us that someone screwed up without looking stupid. Which in this case is impossible to do. Maybe, just maybe if the powers that be at Celtic left the football stuff to football people then we wouldn’t have to endure seasons like this. Or even better if the football club was ran with the sole intention of being the very best football club we can be rather than to pay shareholder dividends we’d all be a lot better off.

  8. Weebobbycollins on

    Son of Gabriel, unfortunately, it would appear we have not reinvested those profits well enough…

     

    Btw, I am father of Gabriel…

  9. lets all do the huddle on

    The title of this article sums up why we’re in the sorry state we’re in. Faux esoteric business jargon which is really trying to tell us that someone screwed up without looking stupid. Which in this case is impossible to do. Maybe, just maybe if the powers that be at Celtic left the football stuff to football people then we wouldn’t have to endure seasons like this. Or even better if the football club was ran with the sole intention of being the very best football club we can be rather than to pay shareholder dividends we’d all be a lot better off.

     

     

     

    we would need to de-PLCify Celtic then

     

     

    while we are a PLC it will only every be run primarily for the financial benefit of the CEO and his cronies

     

     

    exactly like every other PLC

     

     

    everything else is purely window dressing to that end

  10. I hope sevco do the decent thing and invite Peter Lawwell to unveil the flag at the start of next season.

     

    Let there be no doubt that he is the most important figure in their success. It could not have been achieved without his cooperation.

     

    He is a sevco hero and Celtic disgrace.

  11. Imagine yourself as a footballer on 10k- 40k PER WEEK at Celtic.

     

    Imagine further that it is possible to change that to 40k – 80k per week in England.

     

    What are the chances of that footballer wanting to stay with Celtic?

     

    The days of parity are long gone and that, quite naturally,has changed the outlook of professional footballers.

     

    I believe Kieran Tierney was/is a genuine Celtic supporter but he is a professional footballer first.

     

    All we can ask of the professionals is that they give of their best.

  12. One of the best returns on investment in recent times has been Brenden and his coaching team. In terms of football success and money received to release him from contract. Get the coaching staff right and it bears fruit.

  13. HOT SMOKED on 4TH MARCH 2021 1:05 PM

     

     

    Fully agree which is why we should never compare ourselves with English clubs.

     

     

    However, we should really be competing better on the field with clubs from Romania, Czech Republic and Denmark with our resources.

     

     

    As you alluded to, I had no problem with Tierney going to Arsenal. It’s sad to see him go but that’s where we are on the food chain and had the money been invested wisely, we could’ve used the Tierney money to win the league the next season or two.

  14. Paul67

     

     

    A mistake by Brendan Rodgers, who vetoed the Dedryk Boyata move, hence the big defender’s flounce?

     

     

    We’ve had mixed fortunes with the ‘MC link’ since the days of John Guidetti.

     

     

    Careful buying has served us well, and Jeremy Frimpong was a Neil Lennon buy, wasn’t he?

  15. timmy7_noted on

    Son of Gabriel on 4th March 2021 12:30 pm

     

     

    Absolutely spot on mate. No mention in the article of our incredibly bad asset management.

     

     

    Bad scouting, bad management, bad coaching now lets hear about that.

  16. The balance isn’t easy; buying players to sell at a profit, so we continually balance the books, while maintaining success on the pitch is easy enough in principle but doing it over a long period of time isn’t.

     

     

    It’s difficult to argue that over a decent period of time until last summer we hadn’t got it right. You could look up net profit on signings over the last ten years but that doesn’t take into consideration that during that time we also had to put a team out on the park to win things, which we did, with record-breaking regularity. Overall the strategy was a success. Success on the pitch is always relative but we did achieve it at the same time as being financially secure and solvent.

     

     

    I don’t think this season represents a failure in the strategy. If anything keeping players who had been signed with unwritten promises of moves to bigger leagues within a couple of years has resulted in demotivated players who’s performance levels have dropped, the team has suffered and their value has decreased. Less time remaining on their contracts as well

     

     

    Whether selling the wantaways in the summer window would have led us to a different place than where we are right now is impossible to say with any certainty. What you can say for sure is that if they were sold it would have been the primary reason for failure for a lot of fans.

     

     

    Paul is absolutely right about mining the development ranks of the larger European clubs. Better to accept your place in the food chain and accept that there are a lot of very decent players out there who could come to Celtic, do a job and either stay or move on with a profit for both us and the club we bought them from. Vvds and Wanyamas are getting scarcer, they’d more than likely end up, like Frimpong, in an academy somewhere before they play enough games at a decent level to come to our attention

  17. timmy7_noted on

    Sorry posted early, in addition to all of those items we still don’t have a management team in place.

     

    So who exactly is selecting new players and offering contracts?

  18. Perhaps it may be worth doing a Boyota on Eddie this summer. We’re under no obligation to sell if the price isn’t right. Likewise with Ajer.

  19. This fanciful notion that players come here who want to play for Celtic doesn’t bear scrutiny.

     

     

    Professional players come here for career development and the money. Some get lucky and punch above their weight with Celtic being the pinnacle of their careers. Others will se it as a step down the road.

     

     

    McGinn wanted to play for Celtic, but he was tempted by the lure of a bigger league and a bigger platform. KT wanted to play for Celtic for ever, until he didn’t.

     

     

    Would you rather sigh a player on the way up with ambition who sees the club as a rung on the ladder (e.g Van Dijk) or is it much more preferable signing a died in the wool bona fide Celtic fan ( e.g duffy).

     

     

    Money talks, those with the most money wins things generally

  20. timmy7_noted on

    Surely the strategy is much simpler than trying to identify players you can sell for a profit?

     

     

    The strategy is to identify good players, at good value and coach them well, if that is in place profit when you sell is automatic. I would suggest recent efforts mean we fail in both of these areas.

     

     

    The issue is not strategy, its our dreadful scouting processes and taking loans from an overinflated EPL.

  21. WESTCRAIGS on 4TH MARCH 2021 12:57 PM

     

    I hope sevco do the decent thing and invite Peter Lawwell to unveil the flag at the start of next season.

     

     

     

     

    Let there be no doubt that he is the most important figure in their success. It could not have been achieved without his cooperation.

     

     

     

     

    He is a sevco hero and Celtic disgrace.

     

     

     

    ###

     

     

     

    He was only doing his master’s bidding.

     

     

    And his master is still there, and is still calling the shots.

     

     

    An whatever you might think about Peter Lawwell, he is a Celtic fan, always has been and always will be.

     

     

    His master? Not so much.

  22. !!Bada Bing!! on

    HS- that’s a very accurate summary of where the Club will be for the foreseeable future, I would hope McGregor stays, and build a team around him,but if an EPL club offers him 60-70k a week, we shouldn’t stand in his way, he’s been an outstanding player for us.

  23. jimbob71 & little Miss jimbob on

    NOTTHEBUS

     

     

    Professional players come here for career development and the money.

     

     

    —————————————————————————————————–

     

     

    Yes, a lot of them do and hope to put themselves in the shop window of the big clubs. A win for them and financially a win for Celtic.

     

     

    Problem over the last few years is players are seeing we are poor in Europe so their visibility is diminished and their hunger, if they are with us, can go. I place Eduoard in that bracket.

     

    N’tcham too and maybe that is the reason Frimpong wanted out so soon.

  24. The revisionism on social media about Fergus McCann is a site to behold.

     

     

    The majority of posters either have selective memories or did not live through that era. No mention of the “biscuit tin”, the booing at the raising of the league flag, Jock brown, Dermott Desmond shares, Wim Jansen resignation, the three Amigos, The Bhoys against Bigotry campaign Tommy Burns sacking and the multi million pounds profit he left with.

     

     

    Fergus saved the club, no doubt and I am eternally grateful, but he was no saint.

     

     

    I wonder if will be lauding Peter in 20 yeas time about quadruple trebles and a second 9 in a row.

  25. I think the model is wrong and needs replacing. We’ve been stuck on Moneyball Mode for over a decade now, with varying degrees of success.

     

     

    Personally, I’d invest everything in youth with a wage cap and clear succession plans for every player by the time they are 21.

     

     

    There will be winners, and losers but at least we can control this market by our coaching and sports analytics and science as opposed to a near £5m punt on a Man City kid.

     

     

    Whole department needs an overhaul now our fail CEO is shifting his frame out the way.

  26. ernie lynch on 4th March 2021 1:33 pm

     

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

     

     

    Just like footballers – business are mainly money driven – fact.

  27. WESTCRAIGS on 4TH MARCH 2021 12:57 PM

     

     

    8I hope sevco do the decent thing and invite Peter Lawwell to unveil the flag at the start of next season.

     

     

    Let there be no doubt that he is the most important figure in their success. It could not have been achieved without his cooperation.

     

     

    He is a sevco hero and Celtic disgrace.

     

     

    =======÷====÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷==========

     

     

    a disgrace of a post

     

     

    Your unhappy at not getting1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 9… 10 i get that but you have enjoyed a lot of success.it was earned and merited

     

     

    but the hun girning does not move us forward right now

     

     

    am sure the crooked and bent cheating hun will prefer their 49 times convicted chairman to the chair of our club who whether you like it or not has overseen a 20 year period of unmatched in successful domestic terms.

     

     

    hh

  28. In the time since PL became chief executive the Huns have cheated their way into oblivion trying to keep up with us, won 1 league in the last 10 and watched us win 4 trebles in competitions that they’ve taken part in

     

     

    Strange hero to have

  29. timmy7_noted on

    jimbob71 & little Miss jimbob on 4th March 2021 1:37 pm

     

     

    I agree with a lot of that but you can’t compare Eddie and Ntcham, Ntcham couldn’t even be bothered to put in the required effort to get into the first eleven regularly. He is the worst sort of player purchase, not as talented as he thinks he is and lacking in any kind of motivation. An example of the dreadful waste of money much of our scouting has been in recent years. Another was Elhamed, as far as I know he has been at 4 or 5 clubs outside Israel and failed in every one, why are we not aware of that? If we are what tells us that our story would be different?

     

     

    Many of these guys see us as one thing, money making opportunity that could hopefully lead to a move to the English championship.

  30. NOTTHEBUS on 4TH MARCH 2021 1:39 PM

     

    The revisionism on social media about Fergus McCann is a site to behold.

     

     

     

    ###

     

     

    It’s hard not to conclude that the ownership profile he left behind (which is somewhat at odds with what he said he would do) is at the root of the current malaise.

  31. 67 European Cup Winners on

    Odsonne Edouard

     

    Am I the only one that thinks he is an average (but one of the best in Scotland) player

     

    When he plays up front on his own I sense we are playing with 10 men he is never involved

     

    When we play 2 up front I think he is more in the game

     

    He just looks uninterested, he wanders about with no urgency

     

    I don’t know what all the fuss is

     

     

    Just my humble opinion

     

     

    67ECW

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