Nigeria, Senegal, Qatar, Belgium. Lessons for Celtic


Henry Onyekuru, the wide-attacking 20-year-old Celtic targeted in January, looks set to join Arsenal from Belgian club KAS Eupen. The player had a tremendous season for his newly promoted club, alerting Celtic, and prompting a walkout by the player, when his hope of a transfer in the winter window was rejected.

The moral of this story is that it has become increasingly difficult to sign even 20-year-olds who had no pedigree a year ago, when Arsenal can bid £6.8m for a player who is likely to sit for most of the season in the stands.

For Celtic, the Onyekuru experience should be informative. The player came to Belgium from the Aspire Academy in Qatar. He joined the Academy’s Senegal training facility as a 13-year-old, before moving to the Aspire Football Dreams (AFD) project at the Qatari capital, Doha.

The AFD is a humanitarian project, allowing promising kids the best opportunity to develop as footballers, while receiving an educational scholarship. As you would expect from a Qatari project, it is not underfunded.

KAS Eupen were bought by the Aspire Zone Foundation five years ago and are the Qataris route to Europe for their Academy graduates.

Processes like Aspires costs money and takes time, perhaps a decade, to bear fruit, but the money involved isn’t beyond Celtic’s grasp. As we continue to look to innovate, this case study is worth contemplating.


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    £1bn is more than twice as much as the HRI which caused so much angst. Mainly because it “disappeared”




    I suspect it may do so again.




    Pro-rata,that £1.45bn is about £1000. Extrapolate to the UK as a whole,£65bn




    Roughly how much it will cost us to get out of Europe,roughly eight times how much we will “save” annually. Which still remains to be seen…




    How much is too much to pay when you are desperate to cling to power,especially if it comes-as it must-from another budget source entirely?

  2. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    No need for CQN as Asda are now all over my phone



    Addblocker can’t even cope





    Asda will make a pleasant change from being run down by a bliddy Vauxhall.

  4. 7 years of Austerity, the public sector savaged. But, when £1b is needed to stay in power it’s no problem. That’s democracy for you.





    SNP must be raging at a lost opportunity. Think of the good they could do in Scotland with that pro-rata £5.5bn.



    Although past experience suggests they’d forget to spend it and have to send it back…


    Looking forward to ‘going for 3iar’ this season.Gratitude must be expressed to Mr.Dave King for his statistical altruism.What a mess we’d all be in if it wasn’t for the corrective interference of the sweet talking candid king.


    He always seems to be ahead of the game,I wonder if that has anything to do with his ability to see round corners?



    In other news,Brian Wilson has requested all copies of Pet Sounds be destroyed.”There was no ‘gers in the studio or with me when I was writing it so it has no value and should be deleted from history.The lack of ‘teddy bears’ loitering or involved in the process has rendered the entire project,and subsequent album,meaningless and without merit.Obviously us Beach Boys just aren’t the people.”

  7. thetimreaper on







    SNP must be raging at a lost opportunity. Think of the good they could do in Scotland with that pro-rata £5.5bn.





    I’m sure Kim Jong Un’s big sister aka wee Nicola will have something to say about it.

  8. THETIMREAPER on 26TH JUNE 2017 1:30 PM










    SNP must be raging at a lost opportunity. Think of the good they could do in Scotland with that pro-rata £5.5bn.







    I’m sure Kim Jong Un’s big sister aka wee Nicola will have something to say about it.





    Yep,while the whole country is being taken for absolute mugs.While this horrendous government forms an alliance with the sectarian bigots from the DUP,you can always rely on some on here having a go at the SNP.


    And they accuse Huns of having their heads in the sand.

  9. Breaking news



    The results of both world wars declared invalid as a result of the gets being busy elsewhere

  10. Turkeybhoy,



    Why not have a go at the SNP, they are deserve it. Just ask the people of Govanhill.



    It works both ways, some on here think Nicola walks on water.




  11. THECLUMPANY @ 12:18 PM,



    Two very amusing pieces… You of course are a master but glad the Secovians do their bit to make your job easier:)) Thanks for the insight into Chris Jacks (I think) being England based we don’t have access to his erudite musings…



    From what I can see no one in the SMSM has tried to analyse the MASH v Sevco relationship now it has finished. From what I can see Mr Jacks doesn’t seem to be your go to guy for that…



    Now of course in the face of it, it could look like a DCK victory over Ashley.



    Sevco have the Rangers IP…



    Sevco cut a new “lucrative” deal with SD and in a years time get their Merchandising back.



    MASH sold their shares in Sevco and did walking away…



    …So this could be construed as true however it is worth looking at the timeline.



    Over a decade ago due to severe financial difficulties SDM outsourced Rangers Merchandising to JJB.



    During that time Rangers went bust but Sevco carried on the deal.



    Then JJB went bust, the Sevco Board had bigger issues to deal with than the Merchandising so a quick deal was struck with Sports Direct.



    This developed into a Joint Venture – Rangers Retail Ltd – 51% Sevco, 49% Sports Direct (Though due the company structure a Contolling interest) Puma Supplying the Kit.



    Now, in his bid to control Sevco, DCK slammed the old Board for amongst other things for the Merchandising deal and the borrowing facility of £10M with MASH (£5M of which had been drawing down).



    He organised Boycotts, through the Sevco’s Union of Fans and others; including Sports Direct in general and “Rangers” Merchandising specifically, Season Tickets etc, etc…



    He then successfully mounted an illegal hostile bid for the Club.



    Now, the thing is after DCK got the Club, he changed his tune (NOMAD anyone) he was only too happy to work with Ashley. Wanting to draw down the next tranche from the MASH loan facility and negotiate a deal with Rangers Retail Ltd, of which, he was now a Director – So it was DCK who was trying to placate Ashley, it was him that wanted to deal.



    Of course as any reasonable person might have predicted Ashley was having none of it, in fact, demanding the repayment of his outstanding Loans.



    The thing was a total Car Crash.



    Rangers Retail Ltd has turned over multi-millions yet due to their billigerence my understanding is that Sevco seen little of this, not even the 7p in the Pound nor due Dividends.



    Now as Rangers Retail Ltd is winding down, a venture that made a lot of money. DCK in his statement made passing comment to Sevco receiving a dividend from RRL.



    Sevco had a 51% stake in this business, if the deal had been run properly the Club would be due many millions in Merchandising payments and over half the Business’s worth.



    Why is Sevco getting so little from this deal. My view, because MASH had DCK over a barrell and Sports Direct have walked away with everything except a small token dividend payment to Sevco as part of the agreement.



    Also as part of the agreement is the New deal; everything comes from Sports Direct who totally control Sevco Merchandising. Sevco only get a proportion of what MASH construe as the Nett Profit at the end of the year.



    This allows SD, Puma and other partners to mitigate their loses they stacked up while doing business with Sevco. Of course the money to fund this comes from the Gullible Rangers Fans… so the deal must be spun as a good one for the new Club to insure they part with their hard earned.



    Of course it does help the Club… not by giving it more cash but by ensuring MASH, Puma et al don’t continue their highly damaging legal action (also helping DCK & PM personally). It also helps the Club out of the rather embarrassing position of having no Kit for the coming Season.



    So in cash terms, Sevco get little from the old Merchandising deal and will make little from the new deal…



    Now of course it is true that Sevco under DCK managed to pay back the £5M loan to MASH (remember though, DCK’s hand was forced) and get Rangers IP back and next Season they’ll be able to negotiate their own Kit and Merchandising deal, though in those terms they start from scratch.



    Not only don’t they have a Lawwell to sort that out for them, they don’t even have a Martin Bain.



    In all seriousness, how much is all this costing their Club?



    To finish Ashley sold his shares to Club 1872, hoovering up the money DCK had his eye on… The rest, he brought in a player… is he a Real Rangers man!?



    To my mind Ashley didn’t put his tanks in reverse, he simply rolled them right over Ibrox and kept rolling on.



    The smart Ibroxian will be looking at the dust cloud as they trundle into the distance and watch Sevco’s only legitimate chance of narrowing the gap disappear over the horizon:(((;



    Hail Hail





    Mibbe so,but what in my post was factually wrong?

  13. Oh, another thing… it is worth pointing out it was Ashley’s guy’s who r reported DCK to the Takeover Panel that has crippled Sevco and Stymied Mr King.



    Pyrrhic doesn’t even begin to describe This Victory.



    Hail Hail

  14. Are parking tickets from supermarket car parks now enforceable in court in Scoddland?







    Mibbe so,but what in my post was factually wrong?




    nothing,but with what is happening in the country,especially today,and with the farce that Brexit is becoming,the poorest getting humped,along with the disabled,the sick,I find it incredibly stupid to be making snide comments about Sturgeon.If you really think Mays government is doing a better job then fair enough,we will say no more on the subject of politics.I know where my rage is directed,and its not at anyone North of the border.

  16. mike in toronto on

    Seems the world’s greatest manager has left, Halliday, Joe Dodoo, Rob Kiernan, Michael O’Halloran and Harry Forrester off his European squad.



    As I have said, I dont think that all of the portugese/mexican players he has brought in are bad (although, some seem questionable)… but, there is a real danger of spltting the squad. Already hearing stories of web pages for last years players….



    It cant be good to have half of your team from last season being told they are not wanted …. unless someone else takes them off his hands, I can see another Paul LeGuen situation starting up… where ‘scottish’ players turn on the manager/start running to the press. And if they dont come out of the blocks winning every game, the good old scottish fans will turn on the pape manager and players..for not having enough ‘real rangers men’ in the team… and we all know what that is code for.



    A high risk strategy for Pedro, and his Board …. unless they get off to a flyer in the league and Europe, I can see this blowing up quiite badly, quite quickly

  17. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Okay – who said this?:


    “I don’t apply myself to ten in a row itself. Winning the league is very important. Whether we have to beat Celtic to win the league, or whether it’s an Aberdeen or whoever doesn’t necessarily fuss me.”


    Clue: he may have been referred to as a glib and shameless liar!

  18. South Of Tunis on

    Lovely wee thing on a London radio station featuring an electioneering Maybot opining re the absolute necessity of getting rid of The Triple Lock on Old Age Pensions -” Unaffordable ” ” hostage to fortune ” ” negative impact on future generations ” etc – Move onto 26 th June – Cue the necessity to bribe the DUP in order to stay in power and Hey Presto – We are keeping the Triple Lock.

  19. MIKE IN TORONTO on 26TH JUNE 2017 2:46 PM



    I agree with everything you say.



    Pedro will benefit from lower expectations. PLG couldn’t point to finishing above Aberdeen as “Progress”



    Brother Pedro can

  20. tho other day i posted about a guy from mayo. whom i met and said. he worked with 3 blokes from linfield over in jersey. and they wouldnt talk to him how pathetic

  21. mike in toronto on

    TIMALOY29 on 26TH JUNE 2017 2:58 PM


    MIKE IN TORONTO on 26TH JUNE 2017 2:46 PM




    I agree with everything you say.






    You are my new favourite poster!



    I had to repost it just to make sure I hadn’t misread it the first time!




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