LWYRUP. Youth recruitment. Newco cave


John Beaton was the man who put pressure on referee Don Robertson earlier this month, not Brendan Rodgers.  Robertson had already awarded Celtic a penalty in the game against Hearts when VAR Beaton recommended he rewatch a high boot by Yang, who had already been cautioned for the incident.

Right then we knew the chances of a referee awarding Celtic a penalty, then declining to change his decision after a VAR recommendation was non-existent.  Beaton was left helpless at the Celtic penalty, there was simply nothing he could do about it.  The Yang incident, though, that was an open goal for him.

Celtic arrived at yesterday’s hearing LWYRUP, which was material to the SFA Disciplinary Panel’s decision to award the manager only a one game touchline ban, which he will serve on Sunday against Livingston.  Disappointing, though this is, Brendan will be available to continue his dominance at Ibrox the following week.

The CIES Football Observatory this week issued a report on the average age of recruitment of first team players over 10 transfer windows (to July 2019) for over 800 clubs in the world’s top 48 leagues.  It’s a fascinating read and documents a period after an incredible change at Celtic.

The Red Bull stable are unwavering in their commitment to The System.  RB Salzburg top the table (ave. age 20.93 yrs) and RB Bragantino (Brazil) are second.  Also in the world’s top 30 are RB Leipzig and New York RB.

Salzburg have taught the world how to recruit on a budget.  They sign lots of young players, develop them through a collaborative network, then bring their graduates to the first team, before selling them on and promoting the next generation.  The only UK clubs in the top 30 are Liverpool and Brighton, two impressive examples of how recruitment should be done.

Scotland’s highest entrants were Hibernian (41st) and Celtic (59th, ave. age 23.53 yrs).  59th out of over 800 is a high placing.  It would be higher still without the likes of Kolo Toure and Scott Sinclair.  I know what you’re thinking – don’t say a word against Scott Sinclair.

Scott was a stand-out in the Celtic team which won the first of our Quadruple Trebles; without him, one of the most historic periods of our history may not have happened.  But there is a cost of this success.  While we were spending money on Scott’s wages, Salzburg were signing hordes of teenage talent.  Most of those would not make the grade (few as spectacularly as Kolo at Celtic), but this is always the way in football.

Apart from that Quadruple Treble, our most common 21st century reference point is the Martin O’Neill era.  Martin transformed us from always-underdogs to always-favourites.  He remains an inspiration.  But Martin recruited old men with no notion of what tomorrow would bring.

Sign them at their peak and let them leave when they’re done.  It was exciting, but despite all the trophies and European runs, we lost money every season Martin was here, as we marched a pace behind David Murray’s Rangers towards the cliff.

Change came just in time.  Spend was curtailed and the club built a recruitment strategy which did not rely on Match of the Day.  Murray’s Rangers, gloriously, stepped over the edge alone.

This season has seen us commit to a plan Salzburg would endorse.  We are not as good as them (yet), but honestly, if you think there is an alternative strategy that would better serve our interests, you have an unhealthy need for short term fixes.

Celtic and Newco have agreed to allow around 3,000 visiting fans at their games after Celtic insisted on having a safe segregated area of Ibrox or nothing at all.  After years of torment, Newco reduced Celtic’s allocation to 800 tickets (Celtic responded in kind).  Celtic fans were left vulnerable in a corner of Ibrox and had to egress from the area through usually unhappy Newco fans.  In the stadium, Celtic fans were subject to missile attack from above, while the journey home was far from pleasant.  Eventually, Celtic decided it better to have no visiting fans at these games than allowing an unsafe situation to continue.

There will be some satisfaction at this decision, however, the devil is in the detail.  I have been going to Ibrox since the days we got half of the old enclosure but only a third of the stand above; missile attacks from above have been around that long.  Make it safe or don’t have Celtic fans there.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author


  1. Martin recruited old men?



    Martin recruited men,who came in and done the job,and created the best Celtic team since the early 70s…..

  2. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    Worth an hour of your time……



    CLUNKS on 29TH MARCH 2024 12:12 AM






    Ooooft……unfortunately it will not be everyone’s bag and with a nod to lies, damn lies and statistics go watch the ascom’s vlog on SFA refs.












    When you see it laid out like that, its madness




    The stats are so out of the ordinary




    Its madness that we allow it to continue

  3. The Battered Bunnet on

    I don’t subscribe to the dichotomy, Paul. We need performers regardless of age. Player development is an integral part of the model, but we can find value in many player profiles.



    Mooy and Hart are recent examples, there are many others.

  4. Maybe if Buckfast was as popular as Red Bull, we could start our own cabal of clubs trading favourably with each other.



    Global companies can ride rough shod over all the “Corinthian” principles of sport, just as they do with tax regulations in countries.



    Plus Red Bull is pish.

  5. !!BADA BING!! on 29TH MARCH 2024 10:53 AM






    Ridiculous for a friendly ($190)



    I remember seeing Celtic beat Barça and Rangers in the same week at Celtic Park.


    £26 for Barça, £27 for Rangers. That worked out to about $100 Canadian. That same year Aston Villa played Toronto FC in a Preseason friendly…$110 for tickets!




  6. Paul67



    How much easier would it be for Celtic to follow the Salzburg model if



    1. there was Rangers in their league to contend with?


    2, There was no SFA with no liking for Celtic to contend with? and


    3. They had not been allowed to continue as supposedly the same club after 10 years of cheating?






    Could Salzburg follow their model if


    1. There were a Rangers equivalent in their league?


    2. The German SFA had a disliking for them?


    3. The Rangers equivalent had been allowed to continue as the same club after 10 years of cheating?



    Perhaps if the barriers to following the Salzburg model were addressed then Celtic could conduct their business in a similar manner?

  7. There has to be space in the squad for senoir players who have no resale value but can give you several years of good service, however James McCarthy destroys this approach, who signed this guy on a 4 year deal and who will probably have a loyalty bonus thrown in?


    Our youth should come from lennoxtown in the main so that place is not producing suffient players of the necessary potential, it needs overhauled with new faces in charge and new expectations.

  8. The SPFL can confirm that Rangers FC and Celtic FC will provide ticket allocations of around 5% for away supporters, for SPFL matches between the two clubs in season 2024/25



    is this an early April fool , we are being sailed down the river , unbelievable , thems should be nowhere near Celtic Park unless we get the whole stand or nothing at all.

  9. The Battered Bunnet on

    Auldheid, I didn’t appreciate that there had been a latter-day Anschluss. Has emdy telt the Austrian FA?

  10. R C Agree Celtic Supporters to receive,2,500 at Ibrox,they get 3,000 at our place ,full Broomloan Stand should be available for Celtic Supporters

  11. THE BATTERED BUNNET on 29TH MARCH 2024 12:38 PM


    Auldheid, I didn’t appreciate that there had been a latter-day Anschluss. Has emdy telt the Austrian FA?



    Yes was away checking that myself when I saw your reply to Auldheid

  12. TBB



    I spotted that too but Auldheid has made a point albeit inadvertently. the Austrian club does have a cozy relationship with RB Leipzig and a lower tier feeder club (German) NYRB (USA) and 2 Brazilian clubs.



    A lot of Germans used USA and Brazil as escape routes last century.



    Red Bull are very secretive in their footballing accounting.



    But, before we take any moral high ground, I want to be sure we are still not part of the Man City group- just poor at providing them with good enough players.

  13. lets all do the huddle on

    the 2500 ticket situation is just a sop to the padded seat brigade in the main stand.



    no one else will get one

  14. DUP Leader Jeffrey Donaldson steps down….


    ‘Allegations of an historical nature’…..

  15. James Mccarthy was a very good player, at one time. When he signed for us, he had a long history of injuries and not actually playing a lot in the years prior to joining us.

  16. the hun blogs are raging over the tickets, 3000 newish season book holders wont be at the game,



    doent make sense to me now,

  17. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “if you think there is an alternative strategy that would better serve our interests, you have an unhealthy need for short term fixes.”




    Wow – I wasn’t aware of that. Thanks. I’ll mention it to the doctor!




    Great to see the old firm back near its “best”! I wonder which half will benefit from that……….

  18. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    If 20 years without a knockout win in Europe is short-term, I wonder what long-term is…….

  19. DESSYBHOY on 29TH MARCH 2024 12:21 PM


    What is LWYRUP?




    As someone has already said, it means Lawyer Up.



    Think it is taken from Bob Odenkirk’s character’s (Sol Goodman) in the brilliant series ‘Better Call Saul’.



    It is a prequel to Breaking Bad and I thought it was even better for this that haven’t watched it.

  20. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Had a look at the statistical data.



    RB Salzburg way out in front.



    The rest you could barely put a fag packet between.



    The average age profile is one thing.



    I’d like to see the average fee paid profile overlayed on it.

  21. The Star Above The Crest on

    If only Martin O’Neill had an incompetent, penny pinching CEO looking over his shoulder and interfering. Who knows what he could have achieved. Maybe we could have sold Larsson for a profit. That would’ve been nice.

  22. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    RB Salzburg’s capacity to play the long game with young players is clear from a quick look at Wikipedia.



    They’ve won the Austrian Bundesliga 10 times in a row. Most seasons by a ten point margin or more.



    Perfect conditions for developing players, taking the inevitable performance hit in the short term.

  23. Paul



    I have to respectfully disagree with you. Signing only young players means that we will never make an impact on Europe. A balance of signings of both youthful and experienced players makes sense surely.

  24. TBB



    Auldheid, I didn’t appreciate that there had been a latter-day Anschluss. Has emdy telt the Austrian FA?





    I forgot to bring my phone date forward from the late 30s when the clocks changed last weekend in Spain.

  25. PeterLatchfordsBelly on




    100%. False comparisons are odious. As are strawmen all or nothing deflections; ie it seems there is no middle ground between Sutton and Kwon…



    Read between the lines here and the following can be deduced about plc thinking:



    1. Our club is principally now about making a profit for already rich old men. Flint-eyed capitalists corrupt everything in the end.



    2. We will never build a settled team. We exist as a feeder club to EPL minnows like Brighton (have you ever been to Brighton?). See 1 above.



    3. We have consciously risked the league in service of 1 & 2 above (concern for winning it apparently evidence of weakness for the short-term fix). Additionally facilitating a potential £120M net swing to our only rival seems in stark opposition to 1 above. Self-harming even, unless your principal concern coincides with preserving the long-term economic health of your rival. Old Firm anyone?



    4. Finally, a conspicuous omission of any reference to Alan Morrison’s compelling analysis of a rigged game. Again I ask, Old Firm anyone?



    I will bookmark this blog for a time if and when the huns win the league. This is an insidious exercise in corporate doublespeak to convince you that this season’s (potential/ odds-on) calamity is actually a marker on the road to progress.



    Don’t believe it. These guys are not the masters of the universe they want you to believe and they are not motivated by the same values and aspirations we are.



    Like Nat Phillips they have feet of clay.

  26. Back to Basics



    A better way of making my point and avoiding history and geography lessons.



    What’s an Anschluss anyway?



    A kind of slush puppy?

  27. Paul67



    Is there a part 2 to this blog? Is age the only variable Salzburg considers? What about the quality of the player and the level of competition he is playing at?



    This season they have signed 7 players. One from their feeder club in Brazil, One from the English Premier League, One from Serie A, One from the Danish Superliga, Two from the Bundesliga and one from Bundesliga 2.






    The player from the Danish Superliga is Adam Daghim. He is an 18 year old, 6ft 2 striker / winger. Aside from a short YouTube clip I just watched I know far too little to speculate on his potential. As STFB says they are secretive with their accounts but the reported fee is 3 million euros. He was immediately loaned out presumably as he is nowhere near ready. We asked Yang to start twice in the Champions League.



    You are not comparing like for like, throwing out ages is completely meaningless without context. As far as I can tell no one is suggesting spending £8m on players in their 30s. As far as I can tell the vast majority accept we have to bring in players with potential to develop with us before moving on to a higher level. But the money is there so go and spend serious money on serious potential instead of buying a few dozen raffle tickets and hoping one or two hits. There will also be occasions when spending money on experienced players will be required because we are first and foremost a football team, not a place to simply buy cheap assets to be sold for profit. Anyone at the club who doesn’t understand the need to sometimes take a loss on a player’s value for the benefit of the team should be chased out the door this summer.



    Finally, anyone not convinced that the Mark Lawwell era was utterly disastrous then take a look at the standard of the Player of the Year nominations




  28. Peter Latchfords Belly.



    I find it all disrespectful of folk’s intelligence and awareness.

  29. Paul 67,



    Maybe we should look closer to home. First question, Is our Academy providing value for money.?


    2nd question: How can we improve it.and categorically state its not just jobs for the bhoys.


    3rd question. Do we really need it.?



    Are we employing AI to its optimum. ( I notice you mentioned Brighton). Yes it costs money, but we have money, or is it earmarked elsewhere ?



    Regarding a reciprocal arrangement with the huns. Super, if we want to maintain the old firm.


    For thiose of us that think there is no old firm, then why ?


    The huns can do want they want at Greyskull, that is their perogative.



    But at our home we should be looking after own own. That should be our focus.


    Subsequently, we don’t want any huns at Paradise.


    We don’t want them and we certainly don’t need them.