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Fletcher, what might have been, what makes it possible

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Steven Fletcher has his own place in Celtic folklore.  We bid for him in January 2009, the player made a public plea to Hibs to allow the deal to happen, but Rod Petrie rejected the approach.  Fletcher would go to Burnley at the end of that season for a deal worth around £4m, which seemed eye-watering at the time for a striker who scored 11 goals the previous 12 months.

As Celtic ran out of steam in the spring of 2009 attention turned to what might have been had Fletcher signed.  He was the one that got away.  The whats, whys and maybes of that time are irrelevant now, but in short, Celtic didn’t value Fletcher at £4m and Petrie reckoned he could get that kind of money in England if he waited.

Before selling to Burnley he didn’t even put the customary call out to Celtic to entice a higher bid.  Petrie wanted Hibs to be known as a team who could produce players for the English Premier League – a Hamilton Accies-Lite, if you like.  It’s a legitimate strategy.

The player is 28-years-old and now free of the ankle injury which plagued him for over a year.  He’s on an astronomical basic wage at Sunderland, who paid north of £10m for his services.  Few Scottish footballers will have higher career earnings than him, but that contract ends in June.  This season has brought 4 goals from 11 starts for a Sunderland team who sit in a relegation position.

The injury profile makes him a possibility for Celtic.  Without it, as a free agent, he would remain in the English Premier League next season (whether Sunderland do or not).  His agent will no doubt be shopping him around right now, as will Sunderland, who at the moment will be asking for a consideration to be paid to release him this month.

We must have signed 20 strikers since January 2009, very few as good as Steven Fletcher.  I’d take him in a heartbeat.

I’m pleased Anthony Stokes (16 months younger than Fletcher) has a choice of clubs wanting to loan him this month.  All three: Dundee United, Inverness and Hibs, would be good places for him.  United are a better team than their abysmal points tally indicates, but they are desperately short of strikers.  Stokes could transform them.  Hibs and Inverness are both clubs looking purposefully towards the second half of the season.

Charity Q&A Night, Carfin

I’m on the (otherwise excellent) Q&A panel at the Xavier Centre, Carfin, on Saturday 30 January alongside two Libson Lions – John Clark and Bertie Auld, Celtic author and sports academic – Dr Joe Bradley, and Fifa referee – Willie Collum.

The purpose of the night is to raise funds for Lanarkshire Cancer Care Trust and the Young Adult Ministry.  Tickets will be scarce, so if you’d like to attend, call Mick on 07827 975271 soon.

You know when you look at a line-up and just know it’s going to be a great night…..

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  1. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    Willie Collum on the panel?

     

     

    Well,there’s an incentive to turn up on the night.

     

     

    I hope he gets pelters for his behaviour in his Saturday job. He’s sure earned that.

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

    Collum in Carfin – jings!!!

     

     

    Brass neck, friendly, brave, arrogant or stupid – take your pick.

     

     

    Fair play to him for attending, though – hope he enjoys the inevitable banter.

     

     

    HH

     

    BGFC

     

     

    LookOutBehindYouCSC

  3. AN TEARMANN on 14TH JANUARY 2016 12:06 PM

     

     

    I can only assume that you’re a member of UKIP the way you rant on about Unionism.

     

     

    Here’s the thing though, Scotland isn’t Ireland, and Ireland isn’t Scotland.

     

     

    Different histories, different political systems, different cultures.

  4. Fletcher . …no thanks lets rather do a Scott Allan and sign MOH to stop govan wanderers buying him

  5. The Battered Bunnet on

    Fletcher is a very capable footballer who carries the unfortunte record of being relegated with virtually every English team he’s played for. Best he heads back up the road and rediscovers the joy of the Game.

  6. Wullie Collum?

     

    I wouldent sit in the same room as that rat.

     

    A despicable narcissistic toxic man if ever I saw one, and for some reason, constantly touches players, other than that have a great night Paul.

  7. TONYDONNELLY67 on 14TH JANUARY 2016 12:26 PM

     

    Wullie Collum?

     

     

    I wouldent sit in the same room as that rat.

     

     

    A despicable narcissistic toxic man if ever I saw one

     

     

     

    ####

     

     

     

    Yeah, but you say that about all schoolteachers.

  8. Fletcher would be a great buy but how would Ronnie play it? He only plays 1 up front (except last sunday) so would he drop LG for fletch? Maybe Ronnie is getting braver playing 2 up front. I hope so cause that is what the fans want to see. Hail Hail.

  9. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    BGFC

     

     

    Take the wee man to Dublin and leave him with the in laws on the Saturday night

     

    I’m raging I can’t make it

  10. Ernie 12.23.

     

     

    thanks for the history lesson,gee didnt know that!!

     

    Scotland isn’t Ireland and Ireland isn’t Scotland

     

    but the union shall be defended and westminster will use all its power to retain its power.

     

    your weapon was sectarianism.

     

    always the gift of westminsters

     

    but you know that.

     

     

    HH

  11. So let me get this right due to disciplinary reasons we get shot of a 15 to 20 goal a season proven SPFL striker, we look at someone who is injury prone and want to be kept informed about Michael O’Halleron, we keep Ciftci why not shift him .

  12. BMCUW

     

    all well

     

    but flung out the scouts after mixing up my life modelling classes night

     

    so joined the harriers

     

    and my application to appear on the Undateables was knocked back again

     

    very much looking forward to our next Guiness soon I hope

  13. Lennon n Mc....Mjallby on

    I’ll be in Carfin with a barra load of rotten tomatoes on January 30th should anybody like to come n say hiya.

  14. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Would have taken a punt on him as a hungry 21 year old. Sadly I think the EPL money has given him all he needs.

     

    Seemed to become a great player by the SMSM when he was out of the Scotland picture when they needed a stick to beat Levein with.

     

    For the money he would be looking for I think we could spend it far better elsewhere.

  15. AN TEARMANN on 14TH JANUARY 2016 12:43 PM

     

     

    I think that Scottish culture, and Scottish history and Scottish people are capable of producing sectarianism without any help from Westminster or the English.

     

     

    You evidently think that’s not possible.

     

     

    Is Scotland too wee, or too weak, or too stupid do do anything on its own without outside help?

  16. Eyes Wide Open on

    millerston tim on 14th January 2016 12:38 pm

     

     

    Everything we do and plan for should be based on improving our European performances.

     

     

    Griffiths shouldn’t lead the line for us against top opposition so the question is who should.

     

     

    Carlton Cole?

     

    Steven Fletcher?

     

    AN Other?

  17. TONYDONNELLY67 on 14TH JANUARY 2016 12:26 PM

     

     

    Wullie Collum?

     

     

     

     

     

    I wouldent sit in the same room as that rat.

     

     

     

     

     

    A despicable narcissistic toxic man if ever I saw one, and for some reason, constantly touches players, other than that have a great night Paul.

     

    ₩₩₩₩₩₩₩₩₩₩₩₩₩₩₩₩₩₩₩₩₩

     

    Got to say I agree with TD…. I wouldn’t give him the time of day, cheating little Uncle Tim…!

     

     

    Ayrshire is Green and White

  18. CultsBhoy can not relate to Celtic Board ambitions on or off the park on

    Fletcher? Maybe.. I’d rather M O’H from St Johnstone..but actually we should get both and loan Cictci back to DUFC… or better still send both Ciftci and Stokes on loan to Hibs in exchange for Jason Cummings.

     

     

    Actually Stokes and Ciftci rehearsing a partnership elsewhere could be interesting – if it works bring them back and give Griffiths some competition as he currently is our only viable option up front.

  19. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    MacIntyre – “Rangers” have had two six-figure bids for O’Hallaron turned down.

     

    Err – why not just say what the bids were? Maybe because you want to give the impression they were nearer seven figures than five?

  20. Fletcher,not for me,time has moved on ,we should be looking to sign young hungry strikers wanting to better themselves.

     

    If this is the best our scouts can come up with they should be sacked,starting with JP.

  21. Ernie

     

    no Ernie i stated and repeat it here,Sectarianism is owned by westminster,you know that too.

     

    deny/deflect all you want.It is their gift which you used.

     

    whats the big deal in calling you out for using sectarianism for your own political agenda.

     

    live with it.

     

    your goads at Scotland are laughed at here.it only paints you as more confused

     

    offski now,high tea and scones with 1 maybe 2 ol city friends

     

     

    HH

     

     

     

    HH

  22. lennon's passion on

    It’s a known fact (I’ve seen it in the papers)that Warburton and his scouting team are the best in Europe/World. Signing unknowns for peanuts and selling them for millions. So it’s a smart move watching who they’re after and buying them. Who said Celtic don’t have a plan. PL bashers take deep breaths.

  23. Wullie Gollum?

     

     

    The only Mib with eyes in the back of his heid!

     

     

    Ask him about that PAUL.

     

     

    HH!!

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