Recruit, develop, reputation: the virtuous cycle


The thing about signing footballers who can transform you, those with real talent which has yet to be realised by the wider market, is that they are unbelievably difficult to find.  Getting this right is not the only requirement in propelling a club forward, but it is a necessary one.

You also need to transform the potential you sign into an end product.  So much talent is left to wither on the vine across European football as clubs hoard talent in an attempt to control their corner of the market.  If you can align great recruitment with manager who has the space to allow talent to develop, you are very fortunate.

Reputation counts as well.  To all the world, it looked like we picked Benfica’s pocket with Jota.  Why would they let another great prospect leave on the same path?  Benfica won big time with Jota.  They gave him to a club that was able to transform him into a £25m player, with a significant remittance going back to Lisbon.

That’s why we got Paulo Bernardo. Benfica didn’t have space to develop him but they’re not stupid.  They know he has potential and they believe Celtic can transform him into a seriously good central midfielder.

Legia Warsaw earned €5m when they sold Maik Nawrocki to Celtic, but that’s only half the deal.  Legia are equally interested in the hefty sell-on fee they hope to earn when Celtic raise his profile south of the border.

Right now we have a reputation with players, agents and selling clubs as a place where great talent can come, thrive, and navigate a road to the top.  Recruitment, development and reputation feed a virtuous cycle.

Recruiting young players with great potential in such a transparent and competitive environment is almost impossibly difficult, but we have to be ruthlessly wedded to getting this right.  Developing players like this should be easier at Celtic than almost anywhere else.  We win lots, usually with plenty to spare, who else can say this?  Do this well and getting a great reputation is a consequence.

Paulo Bernardo (21) had started two Scottish Premiership and two Champions League games before 23 December.  His four starts since then, including his visit to Paisley yesterday, where he delivered two assists, illustrate where we are as a club. Maik Nawrocki is earlier in his journey but is already showing why he is in Glasgow.  More of this, please.

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  1. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    If Paul’s recent report – the sale price in Bernardo’s loan agreement is €6m – is accurate?



    …. And he continues to develop at the same rate over the next five months



    …. And he wants to sign of course



    IMHO, we should buy him.

  2. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    TBB’s point is both good and intriguing.



    How do we change a “stall” to a “dip”



    Tough one.

  3. AULDHEID on 3RD JANUARY 2024 2:14 PM



    Spot on, mate.



    The idea that we put ourselves into a transfer straight jacket given the advantages we have over our main rival and with so much at stake for the winner of this particular league title, is madness.



    In the years ahead, the winner of the SPFL will most likely have CL qualifiers but we know there’s a £50 million prize fund up for grabs this season.



    And as you correctly point out, this is a zero sum game. That money goes to us, or it goes to them.



    Every facet of our football operations should be geared towards making sure we’re the ones cashing that cheque next season.




    Yes, that’s the 72.3 million pound question;))



    Hail Hail

  5. We should be trying to hold on to players like Bernardo and Narrocki rather then priming hem to transfer money. Bernardo will be a superstar



    We do need to recycle to keep alive, but surely not with EVERY gem that we find.


    Keep some sell some…let’s become a FORCE again

  6. CELTIC40ME @ 3:16 PM,



    That’s very true.



    Maybe we should point that out to Paul67;)



    As my comment to POR CIERTO suggests, we can use a multi-pronged attack for recruitment.



    We should also have a policy of player retention like Gordon did with Nakamura.



    Only a bit smarter, like we seem to be currently doing, getting high value players to sign extended contracts, maximising benefit to Celtic FC and Celtic PLC.



    Hail Hail

  7. AN TEARMANN on 3RD JANUARY 2024 1:16 PM



    Very powerful sermon. It’s a pity this will probably not make it into the ‘mainstream’. That way it would ensure much more pressure on those in office. I wrote to my MP and asked that she recognise the genocide, the years of Israeli occupation and the silence of the world leaders to this and am yet to receive a response.



    We step forward, we step back again. We don’t make progress.”



    If we step further forward than we do back, then we do make progress.




    I’m only going on what you said. I cant imagine thats what Paul67 meant

  10. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Off the top of my head we’ve sold the following players for £10m+ (either as straight fees or with sell ons)











    Jeremie (sell on D-Day in summer 24)









    Apologies – there may be others.



    Eight in ten years.



    Not quite one a year but not far off.



    An issue with our model is we don’t have as much control as we would like.



    Hard enough to find and develop them in the first place.



    Once developed and covered, we may want to keep them another year to avoid the “dip” or “stall” but the player – who we’ve sold the club to on the basis it will help theie career – may decide they absolutely want to go.






    PS – based on zero intel, I think Matt will leave in the summer.



    The fee will be interesting.



    I’ve watched a few midfielders in the EPL this season.



    Compared to some of them? …. I wouldn’t entertain less than €35m.

  11. AIPPLE on 3RD JANUARY 2024 3:04 PM









    That’s where it was. He was decent for them.







    130k a week at NF to warm the bench. Some life.



    He did do well at West Ham a couple of years ago,but plenty players like him in recent years, nobody is going near them as they’ve downed tools with millions in the bank,Dele Alli,Daniel Sturridge, Danny Rose,Jermain Pennant similar types,plenty of money- zero work ethic.HH Bhoys

  12. CELTIC40ME @ 3:35 PM,



    Yes, it wasn’t a dig, maybe a bit tongue in cheek.



    Paul67 has a view, as a “businessman” he views good business practice as key in running an enterprise.



    That’s absolutely fine.



    He is also a ghuy that likes to spin, again fair enough, it is now regarded as a key attribute while putting a view across not my way but I understand it.



    Did you know that during Rodgers MKI, that Paul67, stated that Gordon’s home record in Europe was better than Brendan’s



    That was of course true.



    What he didn’t mention, that was also true, is that Brendan’s away record in Europe was better than Gordon’s.



    It’s the way of things, no need as you say, for it to deteriorate into a squabble, the debate has been very good and as usual your comments insightful.



    Hail Hail




    Ange scoffed at a reporter for suggesting anyone could be a bargain for £40m but Maddison is seen as one in England at that amount and Matt’s four years younger than him so he must be worth something in that region.



    Big leap from the previous record fee from the SPL though

  14. We should be using ex players for scouting,Mjallby,Lustig, Samaras,Moravcik etc,far more qualified than who we have just now

  15. McPhail Boy,Chairbhoy,Favourite uncle


    Thank you,it is powerful



    MNCelt yup,its a very good post written by a son of a cqn’r ThomtheThim



    Best of health and luck to you Celts in ’24




  16. !!BADA BING!! @ 3:51 PM,



    Yes, Izaguirre had an input on his fellow Honduran Palma…



    We’ll have to watch how well he develops but for me Luis was a good shout.



    Hail Hail

  17. The returnof weeron on

    Sorry Paul67, I’m not seeing that the Club is being ‘transformed’, or being ‘propelled forward’.



    Ambitious organizations usually do well at Recruitment and Retention. Retaining some of their best talent helps them to grow as an organization.



    The current model at Celtic doesn’t include enough ‘retention’. As a result we are not moving forward. We are exactly in the same spot that we were a decade ago. Winning in Scotland and getting skelped in Europe. Nothing is changing, except the names on the jerseys, We have a small number of players that are happy to spend their career at Celtic (for which we are very thankful).



    Then we have a group of players that we barely know, but who will be sold on long before their true value is evident.



    We will want to sell Hatate and MOR. We’ll hope to get younger player who might reach the heights of the aforesaid. But the minute they approach these Heights, we will want to sell them.



    We have been very fortunate to have had Broonie, Calmac and Craig Gordon on our books. Quality players who were happy to spend more than 2 years with us. Replacing them, and their longevity will be our biggest challenge going forward. The widespread disdain for local players won’t help.



    So, where will we be in 5 years time? At best, right where we are. Heading for Title number 15 out of 17 and still getting our erse handed to us in Europe, while paying massive wages and bonuses to suits whose only objective is ensure that the organization stands still.



    Let’s not pretend that we are anywhere else.



    Happy New Year,



  18. Prestonpans bhoys on




    Good succinct summary of where we are and going to👌

  19. garygillespieshamstring on

    When Carl Starfeldt came to Celtic, he was almost immediately labelled a dud and a “bomb scare” , just as Rocky and Laagerbielke are getting now.



    Even at the end of last season, many thought Carl should not have been playing for Celtic.



    My own opinion was that he was a solid centre half once he settled into the team.



    Gus and Maike are being rubbished after about three or four starts each and lengthy periods out injured.



    Both players have been through games against the hun and performed creditably in those games.


    No reason why they can’t develop as Carl did if they are given the chance.



    I’m of the belief that the only reason we haven’t seen more of them is that CCV is an automatic pick and Liam Scales has been consistent in the standard of his play.



    Had it not been for injuries, Liam would probably be at Aberdeen at the moment. Good on him for grabbing his chance when it came along.

  20. The Battered Bunnet on







    We don’t though, do we.



    We just go back and forward between two relatively static points. I don’t think there’s much prospect of that changing – or the points moving forward – until we manage to retain the top performers for longer, thus having more of them in the team at once.

  21. glendalystonsils on

    Our ‘model’ seems to be sufficiently effective to ensure domestic success most years while keeping the biscuit tin bulging at the sides .


    Why rush to cash in though as soon as our prospects seem to have cut their footballing wisdom teeth?


    If a player is nearing the ‘finished article’ stage , we should be the beneficiaries of the time and effort put in to his development , at least for a season or two .


    3 or 4 finished articles would make a huge difference to us in Europe where we might be competing against teams containing 8 or 9 finished articles .

  22. Weeron



    I think we sometimes get a bit carried away with talk of the model, we arent looking to fill the team with development players. Of the team that started against the Huns only Bernardo, O’Riley and maybe Palma are players I would see as those sort of players. Our team is full of players who probably see Celtic as their longer term home.



    Maybe we need better players in those roles, but we dont need more of them imo.

  23. What is the Starz on

    An Tearmann


    Sorry to have been the source of some disinformation/ fake news earlier when I said the Irish Examiner article had been written by Tommy Martin..He does write the soccer columns for said newspaper and is “one of our own” but this report was written by a different guy.


    Thomthethim has been in touch to say his lawyers will be in touch with mine shortly to discuss how much we can sue YOU for !!!

  24. Good early evening friends. A reminder is hardly required this week as I’ve already received almost as many emails as for the Glasgow derby. However, keep them coming – just under 4 hours left to give me your opinion of our 3 best performers from yesterday. Don’t be shy – join in at any time! SENCELPOTY@GMAIL.COM 😊

  25. The returnof weeron on




    However, in this case, I read Paul’s piece, responded, and read back.



    It’s not my fault that all the earlier responses were a lot better than mine….:)






  26. The returnof weeron on

    CELTIC40ME on 3RD JANUARY 2024 4:54 PM…..



    Fair point, but…..



    We did recruit about 2 million (no exaggeration..:) players in the last 3 windows, most of whom were nowhere to be seen last night.




  27. Top 3 from last night









    Never put a foot wrong




  28. Chairbhoy



    The point I was trying to make, probably a bit clumsily, was that no matter how much revenue we generate through sensible business the Huns will always be able to get near or exceed our spending. It’s in their nature to spend beyond their means to try and catch us, they cant live with being second best so unless they get sensible new owners we’ll see it as long as theres a team in blue playing out of Ibrox. it means that if we do get it wrong, like we did in 20/21 they will be in a position to take advantage.




    The conditions for unsustainable spending have changed for all clubs has changed with the introduction of FSR that limits spend on playing squad to a reducing % of football income both of which are defined in FSR. It started at 90%, then 80% and levels off at 70% which is only a season away



    Now here is the thing, at the 2022 AGM Celtic made a point of being very involved in the development in FSR and so they should. It could be a game changer.



    Now I like to think that when arguing the case for change Celtic could point to the behaviour of the SFA and Rangers since 2000 up to 2011 that both Celtic and UEFA were well aware of as a result of (and I know it has been dismissed by some) the pursuit of SFA reform via Res12. The evidence presented to both was irrefutable.



    The only worry is abiding by the rules is no deterrent to R2ngers but it has to be in Celtic’s and UEFA’s best interests to ensure that SFA scrutinise UEFA Licence applications as UEFA intend.



    Further Celtic’s football earnings exceed that of R2ngers so in theory or (say) 70% will enable us to spend more than their 70% ON players and if the gap is increased via CL income to Celtic next season we should be outspending them season on season .



    That is why my wtf reaction to them spending more than we did on players.



    It is definitely good husbandry to have some rainy day money set aside against insolvency, but under FSR Celtic should always outspend R2ngers on playing squad and perhaps that is why we do not for fear of SPFL becoming a one horse race long into the future, losing all sense of competitiveness.

  29. Wits





    I have been judged not to read your posts :-) on basis you have a 3 day ban on your adulation to Peter :-)




  30. We will want to sell Hatate and MOR. We’ll hope to get younger player who might reach the heights of the aforesaid. But the minute they approach these Heights, we will want to sell them.






    What if they want to go? If it was you, would you spend your whole career playing for example Ross County etc on a wet and cold Tuesday, or pit your wits against Liverpool etc away, whatever the weather?

  31. with the steady improvement shown by Bernardo and emergence now of ‘Rocky who should bed into the team with a few more games, CCV and Reo could find themselves having to fight to get back their places in the team. No doubt a happy dilemma for BR and a chance for CCV and Reo to get themselves properly fit with a stay on the bench.

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