Our infamous summer of 2020


Whatever plans Celtic had for the summer of 2020, the pandemic and a 6’ 7” goalkeeper put paid to them.  Fraser Forster spent the previous season performing miracles for Celtic on loan from Southampton.  Both were keen to extend his stay, so much so that Fraser’s pal and understudy, Craig Gordon, accepted lesser terms from Hearts than were on offer from Celtic to get some football.

A week after Craig left, Southampton gave Celtic the green light on a fresh loan, but on taking the call, Fraser about turned, he had heard of interest from Chelsea and wanted to pursue that option to a conclusion.

Without two keepers, and with a ban on international travel, Celtic had to go to market for a replacement without the ability to watch players.  The list came down to the best from the Scottish market, or theimpressive AEK Athens keeper when they eliminated us from the Champions League qualifiers two years earlier.  The Є5m plus wages spent on Vasilis Barkas will remain a lesson for years to come.

Fresh from a domestic crisis, Shane Duffy arrived on loan from Brighton.  The Celtic supporter suffered a torrid time alone in Glasgow that spilled into his play.

We needed a striker and money was available with two options under consideration: Peterborough’s Ivan Toney, or West Ham’s Albian Ajeti.  Toney was banging them in, in the English third tier, whereas Ajeti had just spent a wasted year at West Ham.  Ajeti, though, was a full Swiss international, who got the move to West Ham on the back of two great seasons at Basel, where he had also gained Champions League experience.

Albian was the man the manager and scouts all wanted, a rare unanimous nomination, they were delighted to get his signature.  How you can score 26 in 32 starts for Basel, then do nothing for four years between spells at West Ham, Celtic and on loan at Sturn Graz, is another red flag.  Toney became a sensation in the EPL and a full England international.  He is currently serving an 11 month ban from the game for betting transgressions.  Red flags, eh?

With Ajeti is set to leave for Turkish football this week, the lessons from him, Duffy and Barkas, not to mention Forster and Toney, paint a picture of the many pitfalls in the sport.  It’s only easy on paper, once the whistle goes, normal rules are off.  Maybe we should stick to players Benfica are prepared to cut loose after one league start.

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  1. Man city connection must be fecked …I’d been on prayer mat for a while but looks like I was wasting my time … maybe there might be a spurs connection now ?….I see Dier ( who I would have in a heartbeat) is wanted by B Munich..so there goes that one though ridiculed by many …another ridiculed by many was outstanding last week against real Madrid….Starfelt….think we let him go too cheaply

  2. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    ST TAMS on 30TH AUGUST 2023 10:25 AM


    How does the huns winning or losing tonight, affect Celtic ?









    I’m a little bit superstitious ST … so, if you don’t mind, I’ll refrain from elaborating until after full time.



    BTW – if Sevco qualify, you won’t hear me on the subject



  3. Just seen the Refereeing Goon Squad for Sunday.Disgraceful.When our Board sits back and watches us being robbed,cheated,and the officials literally celebrating with the opposition manager,and say nothing,this is what happens.


    Coming out,and calling out,the honest mistakes,and questioning,at least the dubious pictures taken,in a robust fashion,as they do,I dont think we would have seen that line up of odious cheating scumbags officiating on Sunday.As usual they dither,tut tut,and say and do nothing.The authorities know they can get away with this blatant,get it up yees,.Too late on Monday.

  4. bournesouprecipe on

    Hatate, 1.4M international


    O’Riley, 1.5M international


    Hart 1.5M international


    Maeda 1.4M international


    Johnston £3.5 international


    Abada £3.5M international

  5. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Time for the truth about Mark Lawwell to be revealed finally.



    He is not actually Peter’s son.



    He only took our Chairman’s name as a means to gain some initial prominence while he made his way in the sector.



    He has now come to realise that this approach is no longer productive ….



    …. and that the negative association with the Lawwell surname far outweighs benefits enjoyed in the past.



    So, as soon as the transfer window closes he is going to revert to his real surname.






    He is Nicky’s younger, less talented brother.



    I’m sure this new tactic will remove all negativity about him.




  6. Vinnie,



    City have a very good CH,Taylor Bellis,who they have been loaning out.Outstanding on loan last season.I have been hoping.We will see.

  7. St Tams



    It puts tens of millions into Sevco’s coffers and takes around £10 million out of ours ,as we have to split CL TV income with them and income for qualifying for the CL group stages.




  8. TINYTIM on 30TH AUGUST 2023 11:04 AM


    St Tams


    It puts tens of millions into Sevco’s coffers and takes around £10 million out of ours ,as we have to split CL TV income with them and income for qualifying for the CL group stages.







    Added to that if they drop into the Europa League, sorry ‘storm into the Europa League’, copyright SMSM they will play their games on a Thursday evening, meaning that they will have some games (potentially) in the league after Celtic, on a Sunday. They had very few games last season in the league after we had played

  9. paulsthroughball88 on

    ST TAMS on 30TH AUGUST 2023 10:25 AM



    “How does the huns winning or losing tonight, affect Celtic ?”





    In the short term, I’d rather, especially given our recent form, that Celtic face a tired, disappointed Sevco on Sunday rather than a triumphant one that has just overcome the odds to qualify for the CL group stages, with the accompanying boost to both prestige and their finances.



    Hopefully, BACK TO BASICS can expand on the longer-term effects later, because that’ll mean they must have been knocked out!

  10. BSR,



    Apart from Hart,everyone on that list was a gamble,punt,or project.They came good


    Bernebei,,Ideguchi,,Kobayashi,the 2 from Rubin Kazan,not so much.I would switch Maeda lists,but thats a personal opinion.

  11. Anyone who does not think a defeat for the scum tonight is not a good thing,away and have a word with yourself.All the reasons mentioned,valid.


    On a personal note,I will be estatic.

  12. So it means the huns will have more money to spend and we will have less in the bank.



    Happy fir us to get beat on Sunday as long as they lose tonight.



  13. St Tams



    I won’t be happy on Sunday if that it the case .



    But you are talking a swing of about £30million in our favour if they fail to qualify tonight .



    We have the remainder of the season to recover a two point gap if we lose on Sunday .



    They will most likely strengthen further if they qualify for theCL group stages .




  14. Chairbhoy



    AJ was No1 from the start, a huge contrast to the prospects we are filling the squad with this window”





    When he made his debut at Ibrox just less than 8 months ago, he was described everywhere as “a surprise selection”



    That was because we still had Juranovic on the books and didn’t know yet he would soon be for the off. Tony Ralston was not around as he was out injured. Juranovic was not injured and was on the bench where he came on for Taylor as a LB, even though we had Bernabei on the bench too. We got away with a 2:2 draw there, on AJ’s debut. 8 months earlier we had drawn at Ibrox with Anthony Ralston playing RB.



    There is a very flexible interpretation of “oven ready” and “project/ punt”. You already told me that Kris Ajer was never a project and now AJ does not fit the bill. Yet Lagerbielke and Nawrocki are part of 7 projects even though both were thrown into games straightaway, as Al Johnston was.



    What is it, apart from hindsight, that distinguishes oven ready from punt?



    It cannot be transfer fee as Ajeti (punt) cost more than AJ/Ajer (oven ready)



    and Hatate (oven ready) cost less than Lagerbielke/Nawrocki, Holm and Yang (all punts).



    The only sense I can make of it is that you are not a punt/ project (even if you were called such on arrival) if you hit the ground running and become first choice for your slot quite quickly.



    By that reckoning, a lot of our greats were punts.



    Jinky was in and out of the team as a very young boy.



    Bobby Murdoch was a so: so inside right until he became a world class right half



    Calum McGregor was a journeyman left winger and left back till he got a gig in central midfield.



    Kyogo was a 26 and a half year old with a handful of caps and not good enough for a WC squad, but he proved not to be a punt.



    Ideguchi had more caps but failed, as did Maeda who has gone from punt to oven ready, quickly but seems to be drifting back to being a punt because he has had a period of sticky form.



    Maybe the punt/ Oven ready distinction is not that useful as it is too flexibly interpreted much like the terms Woke and Libertarian.

  15. The Scottish clubs’ share of the CL prize money is around £8m



    We receive all of it if we’re the only Scottish club participating, 60% if they get through



    So £3.2m difference



    But PSV have a better 10 year coefficient than us and we have a better one than the Huns so if PSV qualify it will cost us around 1m



    So 2.2m less if the Huns get through.



    Total uefa income for them was around 22m last season, they probably be looking at 10m less for some decent performances in the Europa. Factor in players and coaches bonuses and increased ticket prices and you won’t see much difference I’d say. Other associated bonus payments are difficult to estimate



    Very roughly I’d say them getting knocked out would be worth 2.2m more to us and 10-12m less to them. So a 15m swing at most.



    Could be wrong.

  16. I think they’ve done their cash for this window. Maybe a loan for the big center backs brother.

  17. Tinytim,



    Yes,it is,but opinions can be shared,and agreed on by many,or not,as is the case, often on here.Only thing I can say is that the large amount of Celtic fans I know are very unlike most on here,as they don’t give a toss about the Board,or PL.Can never remember any discussions on these things,before or after games.So opinions are all about the team.


    Which is good.On my Whatsapp group,I think Maeda isa Diddy,out left.8 are of the same opinion,4,not.


    Its not always just a personal opinion.

  18. SFTB,



    “Maybe the punt/ Oven ready distinction is not that useful as it is too flexibly interpreted much like the terms Woke and Libertarian.”





    I think you’re spot on here. Like a lot of debtes on this blog, it becomes binary. Mention an issue of power and pace and someone brings up Jinky. etc etc.



    The problem we are trying to solve is complex. There is no lift and shift from another club (oh look, Benfica fans are unhappy) and solving for this creates new problems (e.g. how to create a compelling pathway).



    We need a combined system that creates MORE young talent at a price point we can afford, that can contribute relatively quickly nd who can create mutiples of return on their purchase price.



    How many ? – More thn today.


    How much ? – Focus on the multiples – £1m goes for £4m, £6m goes for £24m, £10m goes for £40m).


    How systemic ? – All parts of our machine need to be pumping from better scouting, better proposition, better analytics, better risk appetite, better coaching, better experiences, better style of play, etc). We’re moving slowly along some, but not others, etc etc.



    We need to build our Celtic version of everything that just stops us from standing still.



    No idea how you label that :)




  19. Does this week feel coherent from the club ?


    Fixing systemic problems identified at the start of the window by many ?


    Well-scouted individuals who meet both club and playing style requirements ?






    Or has Rodgers commitment waned after being boo’d at the weekend and we are now reverting to helping shore up the team before our domestic season unravels?




  20. Every agent and every football club in Europe know we are now desperate. Fees will now be inflated accordingly. What a way to run our club. We never learn.

  21. On the other hand every agent and football club desperate to move their player on will be offering them for a song

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