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January window, inflationary expectations, ITV Digital, EU enlargement

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You and I have been through a number of transfer windows in our day but none have been like January 2017.  Tens of millions of pounds were on the table for Celtic, while incredible wage terms were dangled in front of agents, but Celtic declined to sell and the players knuckled down and got on with it.

That wasn’t always the case, Kelvin Wilson in particular, springs to mind, as does Stan Petrov.  Moussa, Craig and Erik were all happy to get on with the job of setting records and picking up medals.

Celtic’s decision not to sell is easier to explain.  Moussa Dembele has three and a half years remaining on his current deal, Celtic can afford to allow the player to mature and perhaps even appreciate in value.

The offer for Craig Gordon was significant for a 34-year-old keeper who was dropped earlier this season, but we’ve not been in the market for a goalkeeper and were not prepared to shop blind.

The project under Brendan has gone superbly well.  We will earn circa £50m more than our nearest domestic challenger this season, a considerably pick-up on our position a year ago, so money isn’t an overbearing constraint on team development.  This biggest challenge in that space is player recruitment.

To this end, last month saw the arrival of 19-year-old central midfielder, Eboue Kouassi (or Jules Christ Kouassi Eboue, to give him the most Sunday of all Sunday names).

I hear good things about Eboue, specifically that he’s first team-ready, but a note of caution.  The outstandingly successful Victor Wanyama was also 19 when he arrived.  Even though Victor only had to make the short cultural journey from Belgium to Scotland, it still took him six months to look like a player.

Eboue may trap sooner, but the lad only turned 19 in December and has a lot of change going on in his life right now.  A settling in period will be needed.

We’ll talk more about Eboue’s recruitment later, but the key observation to make is that he’s played fewer games than most players we’ve paid that kind of money for, and he’s played most of his football in a Black Sea resort city.

Another of our teenage targets this month remained where he was after a different club had a €10m bid rejected – and he wasn’t valued by Celtic any differently than Eboue.  Not only is transfer fee and wage inflation well established, the expectation is that significant inflation will continue for a while yet.

Inflationary expectations have real world consequences, such as Celtic (and smaller clubs) rejecting incredible offers for players they could not dream of getting a year ago.  This scenario is very reminiscent of the period from the 1990s until the ITV Digital collapse in 2002.

Back then you could buy a flop and sell him at a profit and sell your successes at a huge mark-up.  This market fuelled the bonfire Sir David Murray built under Rangers.  The ITV Digital collapse deflated the market slightly, while the 2004 enlargement of the European Union kept prices suppressed for a while longer (a temporary effect).

Many clubs had to cut back for a while; most survived.  Most, not all.

Lisbon Lions documentary

The BBC have commissioned a 60-minute documentary to mark the 50th anniversary of Lisbon.  The plan is not to go over old ground, but to tell the fans’ story – which is where you come in.

I’ve me the director (known to these pages back in the day) and he’s asked if those of us who were around at the time to come forward and tell our stories.  There are few times we are able to contribute to what will be a film of record, documenting the lives of people during a historic event.

If you or someone you know enjoys telling the Lisbon story, it’s time to tell it.  This is from the company making the programme:

It’s 50 years since the greatest moment in Scottish football history and BBC / IMG  are paying tribute – with a special 60 minute documentary to celebrate the all-conquering Celtic team of 1967.

This Lisbon Lions documentary will interweave fantastic archive, revealing interviews with key players,  and pay tribute to the great Jock Stein.

But this is not Football Focus.  It’s not all about tactics, results and refereeing decisions. We’re very keen to hear from fans who remember the game, the build-up, the journey and the atmosphere – both watching at home in Glasgow and in Lisbon.

It’s a social history, a chance to recall that amazing team, and the community that forged them, and what it meant to the city.

Stories, recollections and – dare I say it – old photos / footage from the attic – all welcome….please email us glasgow67@img.com and we’ll get back to you when we can.

The documentary will be broadcast on BBC Scotland later this year.

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  1. FESS19:

     

     

     

    And I forgot to say too, I truly believe that the well being and happiness of the Celtic Support with regards the club is much more important to me than the well being and dividend payout of any transient investor or director.

     

     

     

    I saw us win the big one, I’d love it if the generations since, and the generations to come, experienced the same joy that I once did, and still do.

     

     

     

    For that to ever happen we need ambition and we need players of caliber.

  2. Is Eboue Kouassi not a native English speaker? I think Victor was. Understanding the everyday language is so important to settling in.

  3. KITALBA on 1ST FEBRUARY 2017 12:26 PM

     

     

    Eboue Kouassi Spoke through a French Interpreter last week.

     

     

    Note Gaul resident in my house with my son said his French

     

    “wasn’t very good”

  4. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    THECLUMPANY

     

     

    P…-ripping of consistently high quality. Star man!

  5. JC2:

     

     

    Then all he has to learn is:

     

     

    Man on

     

     

    Square ball

     

     

    Get intae them

     

     

    and

     

     

    God Bless the Celtic

     

     

    Everything else is tosh!

  6. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    KITALBA on 1ST FEBRUARY 2017 11:33 AM

     

     

     

    Kit, it takes a lot of skill to come over so condescending and sanctimonious in one short paragraph, but you have excelled yourself there!

     

     

     

    Its all about opinions; you quoted Brendan Rodgers’ interview and I had the seeming audacity to opine on it. You seem, somehow, to have taken that as a slight. The response was written prior to your reference to a semantic minefield; andI did clearly state that it was my own view on it.

     

     

     

    Where that involves a high horse, defence of the faith, sheriffs badge or white hat, I certainly don’t know.

     

     

     

    Grow up son? Get over yourself and try not to come over as so patronising in future.

     

     

     

     

    KTF

  7. ..

     

     

    Eboue may trap sooner, but the lad only turned 19 in December and has a lot of change going on in his life right now. A settling in period will be needed..

     

     

    ..

     

     

    Paul67 or Any CQNers in the Know..

     

     

    Talking about Youngsters coming to Celtic and being Helped to Settle in..

     

     

    It’s maybe only 10 -12 Years since Young Celtic signings would be stay with Families in Bellshill to help them settle into life in the west of Scotland from wherever they came..

     

     

    I’m Sure I read maybe 5-6 Years ago I read there was Accomodation in the Stadium for Younger Players.. I might be wrong.. ?

     

     

    Where Now do Celtic put a £3,000,000 19 Yr Old and what Support do they Offer.. bring Family etc..?

     

     

    Islam Feruz for example seemingly Celtic FC went to the End of the Earth to Accomodate Family Etc

     

     

    Maybe the 10 Year ago model worked better than trying to Please a Full Family and keep a Teenager Grounded..

     

     

    I 100% Believe the Chelsea Model of Buying everything in sight just in case.. letting them Live in London and then Loaning out 98% of them.. Does NOT Work..

     

     

    Best of Luck to the Young Fellow.. 13/1 with Ladbrokes Oz to Score First..【ツ】

     

     

    Summa

  8. Kitalba

     

     

    Like you I would love to see our Bhoys having a great run in the “Big Cup” and would be wonderful for all our young fans to get the excitement we had getting to Lisbon, Milan & Seville. Last 2 results not so good but boy was it fun getting there.

     

     

    I don’t care a flying fe** about shareholder bonuses only about the boys who wear the hoops.

     

     

    We don’t know who was identified as a target but at this stage of the season teams are fighting for promotion or avoiding relegation (one may be fighting liquidation) and are reluctant to sell any stars.

     

    (if they have any)

     

     

    Who in the media had any inkling about Kouassi Eboue before we actually signed him, even the Wardmiester said “it’s about quality not quantity” so I guess he failed on 2 counts.

     

     

    In Brendan we trust so just go out and beat the sheep tonight

     

     

    HH

  9. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    BOURNESOUPRECIPE on 1ST FEBRUARY 2017 11:35 AM

     

     

    ‘I also think he was too open ( for the first time and not like him ) with his words on Leigh Griffiths.’

     

     

    _________________________________________________

     

     

    Shorty is his own worst enemy at times; a fantastic player for us, no doubt.

     

     

    However, a couple days after his manager tells hime to knuckle down he releases pictures of himself having a facial and a skin scrape.

     

     

    Nothing wrong with that in itself, but FFS, keep it quiet son. Make it look like you are listening to the manager and concentrating on the advice given!

     

     

     

    KTF

  10. MOONBEAMSWD on 1ST FEBRUARY 2017 12:24 PM

     

    Is it strange that I enjoy PMQ’s?

     

    ————————-

     

    Well seeing your asking, I’ll try to be diplomatic.

     

    But the answer is yes.

     

     

    HH.

  11. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on 1ST FEBRUARY 2017 12:09 PM

     

     

    Bobby.

     

    Leigh is a real talent , imho.

     

    Like you , I love the guy.

     

    He appears to me a natural and instinctive striker able and willing to pick up any scraps in the box.

     

    As opposed to Moussa who , I feel , likes to do his own spadework.

     

    I feel as I think you do about Leigh .

     

    Slightly concerned.

     

    He comes across as an emotional guy. Perhaps sensitive.

     

    Hopefully , he is able to take on board Brendan`s comments made , strangely enough , in the public sphere

     

    without spitting the dummy.

     

     

    Thankfully , Brendan seems to be a supreme man manager and hopefully , Leigh responds positively .

     

     

    Viz. Big Jock and wee Jimmy.

  12. vfr:

     

     

    And your predicting future phone calls was what exactly.

     

     

    I stated it was open to semantics. Before you put on your big white hat.

     

     

    You think I was condescending, are there no mirrors in your house?

  13. ..

     

     

    KITALBA on 1ST FEBRUARY 2017 12:26 PM

     

    Is Eboue Kouassi not a native English speaker? I think Victor was. Understanding the everyday language is so important to settling in.

     

     

    ..

     

     

    I had my Doubts Re; His spoken English when I read His Chosen Sunday Name.. Jules Christ.. I mean Jesus Christ You would thing He would know How to Spell Jeezus..【ツ】

     

     

    Summa

  14. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    SUMMA OF SAMMI…. on 1ST FEBRUARY 2017 12:48 PM

     

     

    I hope you`re out buying quids.

     

     

    :-)

  15. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    MACJAY

     

     

    I agree with you about Brendan’s man-management,he has it down to a fine art so far.

     

     

    Up to Leigh. He hasn’t been told to GTF. He has been told what he needs to do,his move now.

  16. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    Kit, we’ll leave it there as you aren’t really open to debate or discussion it seems.

     

     

     

    KTF

  17. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    VFR800 IS NOW A MONSTER 821 on 1ST FEBRUARY 2017 1:02 PM

     

    Kit, we’ll leave it there as you aren’t really open to debate or discussion it seems.

     

     

    KTF

     

     

    ================================================================

     

     

    Please , guys.

     

    I really enjoy the contributions you both make.

  18. ..

     

     

    MacJay..

     

     

    If Brendan didn’t think Moussa’s Injury was bad.. He would Never even brought up Griff in that Interview.. Class..

     

     

    Signing Toure.. Made Brown the Captain I’ve always wanted him to be.. Vocal..

     

     

    Telling Sinclair.. I know You .. You know me.. Now Prove to the Rest I don’t need to tell You what to do..

     

     

    Gordon.. You’ve been a Multi Million Keeper before and Lost it.. Got it back and Lost it again.. I can’t Trust You.. Show me I can..

     

     

    Last but Not Least.. How is The Klopp Factor working for You Liverpool..?

     

     

    Summa of ManManagerAndThenSomeCSC

  19. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    Macjay, I generally like and admire Kit’s contributions; however, I find it a bit rich being called out and told to “grow up son” for stating an opinion. I never criticised Kit nor, in fact, disagreed with what he had written.

     

     

    It’s about differing opinions to create the debate.

     

     

    KTF

  20. “The offer for Craig Gordon was significant for a 34-year-old keeper who was dropped earlier this season, but we’ve not been in the market for a goalkeeper and were not prepared to shop blind.”

     

     

    Sorry Paul67, not buying what your’re selling.

     

     

    If all players have a price (your words)then it’s incumbent on the club to have a list of ready made targets whose PI’s (and expected cost)match a criteria that Celtic are working toward.

     

     

    To `shop blind’ would be very lazy management indeed!

     

     

    HH

     

     

    SS to pump the SS

  21. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    SUMMA OF SAMMI…. on 1ST FEBRUARY 2017 1:06 PM

     

     

    Yes , mate.

     

    Absolutely spot on.

     

    A man motivator.

     

    Whatever it is , Brendan has got it.

     

    It would seem that he is more suited to that role than the multi mill. lip pouters of the EPL.

  22. VFR800:

     

     

    You digressed into the realms of fantasy, I did not. I did not speculate on speculation. I posted a straight copy and paste of the interview.

     

     

    The only thing I offered an opinion on was it was not very professional to spend 6 months researching to fail.

  23. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    VFR800 IS NOW A MONSTER 821 on 1ST FEBRUARY 2017 1:08 PM

     

     

    I don`t want to take sides or criticise.

     

    Or even bloody intervene.

     

    We Tims are in a great place right now.

     

    The friction grates.

     

    Hope you understand where I`m coming from.

  24. ..

     

     

    MACJAY1 FOR NEIL LENNON on 1ST FEBRUARY 2017 12:56 PM

     

    SUMMA OF SAMMI…. on 1ST FEBRUARY 2017 12:48 PM

     

     

     

    I hope you`re out buying quids.

     

     

    ..

     

     

    Nope.. I’ve invested my Dollars in Scunthorpe ..Feijenoord..Monaco.. Aberdeen (2nd).. Dwight Gale.. Griff..Auguero and Matty Taylor.. all in Multiples with Celtic (League Cup) and Melbourne City (FFA Cup)..

     

     

    Plus my Bet of the Season.. Burnley to finish Top 10 @ 20/1 and on Handicap plus 41 pts @ 66/1.. Funny on the same Night I Put a Monkey on Wee Joey Barton to get sent off against Celtic in Season 2016/17 I also Put My Burnley Bets on.. if Only Wee Joey would have Spat the Dummy 3 Days Earlier.. I could have had both bets up.. Ha Ha

     

     

    Summa of LongTermFitbaBetsCSC

  25. FESS19:

     

     

    I watched the Lisbon game on TV. I was at the Milan game. I had a ticket for the Seville game but had the choice between it or seeing my son born. I missed the Seville game. I did watch it on TV though. Games of that stature is what I would like for every generation of Celtic Support to experience and indelibly harbour.

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