“News” broke this morning that Carlton Cole has left Celtic. Next they’ll be telling us the Berlin Wall has fallen.
Carlton had ‘left the building’ some time ago. Last month I asked about him in unflattering terms “Didn’t look like a Celtic player on paper or on the field, so why did we sign him?”. He was a pay-as-you-play punt, available to sign between transfer windows. If he could cut it, he’d get a game and be paid, if not, he wouldn’t cost a penny.
He didn’t work out (of course), but there’s no real harm in taking punts like this. I suspect Celtic also had a break option in Colin Kazim-Richards contract which allowed them to encourage him out of town this month. He was another bizarre looking signing who didn’t work out, but unlike Carlton, at least we got the odd shift out of Colin.
Don’t look for top-level strategy in all this but you’ll find a low-level strategy known at Celtic Park as ‘Keep the receipt” business. Get them in, get an option to make the move permanent, but give yourself an out, in case the warning signs have substance.
In short, the Carlton Cole-Colin Kazim-Richards strategy looks indiscriminate but it’s not really. Making transfer mistakes is a problem for all, but if you’re going to do it, and every club does, make cheap mistakes.