Recruitment planning


How was the transfer window for you? The perceived negatives: we didn’t sign particularly experienced players and we only signed one striker. We also lost the best central defender we’ve had in years.

The positives: we recruited the first on the list defensive (Simunovic) and striking (Ciftci) targets, so we were not scrambling around for literally anyone (Scepovic) on the final day of the window. There were a few experienced, Samaras-types on offer, but the decision was taken to stick to plan.

The first issue I raised was about the striker headcount. We could have brought in any one of a number of players, but forget Fletcher or Michu, we’re not talking that calibre. The waifs and strays we’ve churned through since 2012: Lassad, Miku, Bangura, Scepovic, Guidetti have been a considerable waste of money and opportunity.

An overhaul of process took place for striker assessment, no one would be brought in without new levels of assessment and aptitude. The was an acceptance that we are light in headcount but options available in recent days convinced no one they would be better than Scepovic, and the club were happy to cut him loose. The squad needs focus, fewer passengers and space for our own youths, not just Dundee United’s, to break through.

Although his start at Celtic has been considerably hampered, Ciftci met the criteria. He was watched extensively and the manager knows what role he wants him to play. We’ll see if he proves to be more effective when he returns to the team, hopefully fully fit, after the international break.

Lack of experience has inhibited us and there are certainly experienced players we could have brought in for the money spent on Simunovic. Would this help short-term with the forthcoming Europa League campaign?

From here, it feels like it would, but a team development decision was made. Recruitment criteria is to bring in players capable of reaching the highest levels of the game. Get them in, get them playing the same way together. Recruit late-teens, early-20s and build a team. We can afford players who may have genuine talent at that age.

A year ago, when we were recruiting to replace Neil, I asked for a student of the game who could plan like this; improve players and build a team. I also wanted a striker yesterday, not a Scepovic, of course, just someone Champions League-ready.  There’s no question that we have to plan like this, or that the hemorrhage on bench-material strikers has to stop.  And I suspect the Champions League-ready bit might be a shot in the dark.

If the plan works, it’s going to take time and a bit of patience (aye, I know, patience, you don’t need to tell me).  Other plans are available, therein lies the joy of team management.

Over to you now, Ronny.  Show us some of that awesomeness we read about.

I’m going to write later on the business over the city, if only because I’m itching to run an article with the headline:

Green, Whyte and Gaol-d © CQN.

Speak then.

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  1. NegAnon



    I’d also say to you the fact that the past few seasons we’ve bought 3 players for a couple of million and sold them for over £10m that the strategy is working. We are recruiting players within our means that are £10m players, or we are developing them into £10m players. Either way something is working.



    Of course missing out on getting all the positions filled is disappointing and I’m gutted we didn’t get another striker in. I’m also a bit disappointed we didn’t manage to offload a few as the wages they take up to do nothing is costly and could be put to better use.



    The missing link is doing this while reaching the CL group stages. Do that regularly and we will be able to push forward, but we can’t break strategy to maybe, possibly, get there.



    I’m afraid to say it, and you may say this is lacking ambition, but for the club and company, reaching the CL is all that can really be hoped for. This Europa group we will almost certainly finish 3rd in, it’s similar calibre to many CL groups. Look at how much money Fenerbahce have to spend, look at their squad littered with world class players. They were pot 3. They spent €50m this summer. We can’t do that, ever.



    Our minimum requirements are to reach the Europa groups and our goal is to reach the CL proper. Like it or not that’s the way things are and will be as long as we operate in Scotland.

  2. LATCHFORD YOUR $64,000 QUESTIONS ARE THEY ALL FACTS, YOUR OPINIONS OR A MIXTURE OF BOTH OR WHAT?I think we should be told. H H Hebcelt ,Sorry about the capitals – and that’s a fact

  3. I am Neil Lennon e El Juarez Bravo on

    If Nadir Ciftci is the best striker that our much-vaunted ‘worldwide scouting system’ could find within budget, then the whole scouting and football operations division requires root and branch reform.



    I’m sorry, I’m not buying it.

  4. LATCHFORD on 2ND SEPTEMBER 2015 1:59 PM


    $64,000 questions







    1. Is the Team weaker out of this transfer window ? No it’s stronger in every area of defence.







    2. Should Celtic have invested up front on a striker who would have secured CL prize of £30M ? Question reeks of Monday morning quarterback, We brought in big Nadir who is a proven commodity in the domestic game. Who realistically should we have bought to SECURE that £30M ?







    3. Have we strengthened the balance sheet ? yes







    4. Should we divert attention to Sevcos mess ? Yes But they are managing to steal the headlines all on their own steam, two saviours of Sevco in the dock today (muchLulz) imagine if the bunnet was in jail. pffffhhhh






    Hail Hail.

  5. ok to lighten the mood ( my own if nothing else)



    Lawwell has spent previous bonuses on heated driveways (admittedly an existing feature of his £2.5m home purchase)…



    What might he buy next that is far removed from the values of our club…?

  6. Paul 67



    You must check this guy out.





    I just caught the tail end of an interview on the Colin Murray Talksport programme around 12.45 to 13.00 with him.



    He was talking about the negative effect of the EPL on European football ( which BRTH posted about earlier in the week).



    I believe he cited Ajax as an example of what he called middle class clubs being left behind as the Super Rich clubs impoverish the game at the expense of the clubs in the middle.



    It’s no accident that Ajax and Celtic follow the same develop and sell policies to survive and no accident that as a result CL is a Yo Yo event over any 5 years.



    What intrigues me is that Ajax do not seem to suffer from the same loss in gate money as we do. There might be contributing factors like only club in city (cmon the huns & support Celtic you might not want to but might have to) and a bigger population but there are many parallels at Ajax that explain why things are as they are here.



    I’ll need to see if I can listen to the interview somewhere on Talksport but the thing is look at the guys profile.



    This is the kind of heavy weight we need to join up with if we have not already, to campaign for change at European level, for if we don’t we are as deid as the last dodo who did not realise his time was near.



    Would make a good expansive blog and might convince folk of the desperate need for Celtic to get out of an increasingly hostile environment or make a visible effort to change it.

  7. Cultsbhoy kinda gave the game away with your last sentence “I’m not getting answers – that I want to hear”Just let me know what you want to hear and I’ll post it for you – bizarre indeed.

  8. Mullet and Co….


    fair point.



    Even within our impoverished environment, we should have had the capacity to beat Maribor and Malmo. Absolutely.



    This, of course, doesn’t detract from my point. Which is…



    That would have taken us round the corner, past Jail and facing Park Lane and everything on that side of the board with big, buckle hotels on them.



    And if we DID make it through unscathed….



    We get a measily 200 pounds for passing Go.



    That’s my point about the game we are in.



    It is fixed…..

  9. CultsBhoy



    I don’t think it’s any of our business what Peter Lawwell chooses to spend his money on. Peter wasn’t born into wealth and has made his way in the world.



    If you think his salary is above the norm for a Chief Exec, I’d refer you to the most recent figures from KPMG.

  10. Go tell the Spartim on




    My point remains the same Aberdeen havent played anyone decent yet, neither have we but Aberdeen generally dont face teams that raise their collective efforts or have to combat the MIB’s.



    Aberdeen can fancy their chances, i suspect it will be much like it was last year, though they may sneak a draw out of one of their home games, but not the first one.

  11. And on another note,according to an STV poll,53% of people polled would vote YES if there was a referendum tomorrow….for some CQNers,well a bad day just got worse..Ouch….

  12. Jam tomorrow .



    If Cifti is the best we can come up with we are in deep trouble.






  13. I’m a bit confused – and apologies for mentioning Sevco – but what is going on with them? Is the feeling that Whyte and Green were in cahoots before and after the Sevco 5088/Sevco Scotland switcheroo? I can’t understand why they’ve both been arrested (along with the administrators).



    As for the football side at Celtic, I’ve a feeling we’re very lightweight up front and we have too many inexperienced guys at the back. I’ve written off any progress in the Europa League and winning the SPL will depend on how quickly these guys settle. Having said that, Aberdeen are still over reliant on McGinn and Rooney and sending out Shankland on loan was a crazy decision.

  14. Posting about what people may ot may not spend their salary on, always without a shred of evidence, simply belittles the poster and their credibility however valid their points.






    , however valid their poin

  15. mullet and co 2 on



    Pukki was a long term target and had been identified as a goalscorer even though he had never scored a lot of goals. Neil Lennon was quoted around about that time as saying he was a replacement for Hooper. Plenty of folk on here posted before he was signed that he was never a goalscorer.


    Balde was purchased at the same time as Virgil. No other club was interested and the fees we reportedly paid vary greatly. Neil Lennon cast doubt on fees paid for 1 or 2 players around that time. Boeerigter was an absolute disaster for everyone that signed that off.


    In essence the moaning fans are more astute than those at the club with respect to these 3 players.


    I am intrigued by the reported fee for Simunovic.

  16. timaloy29 on 2nd September 2015 2:17 pm



    I think it is our business…. Celtic supporters are funding the remarkable Lawwell ‘rags to riches’ story…



    Anyhow I’m only expressing ( obliquely) my distaste for heated driveways in houses owned by anyone who is conneceted to an institution with the origins of Celtic. Call inverted snobbery.



    My post was really to inject a bit of fun in to anotherwise disappointing situation.

  17. I have a question, what is the currant life expectancy record for a Scottish club being invented, existing (briefly) then self destructing dramtically. Are we about to witness history being made :-)



    You can do it Sevco.



    Hail Hail.

  18. Nobody can ever the answer the question of “who should we have bought guarantee the CL?”. It’s always “I don’t know but they’re MUST be someone out that fits our budget”.



    Last season it was FInbogasson that would have scored the goals. Having moved to Real Sociedad his goals per minute was equivalent to not quite 1 goal per 8 games. He couldn’t score against Aberdeen.



    He’s now on loan at Olympiacos. £7m well spent for Sociedad.

  19. BRT&H


    No we have not met, and no we have never discussed resolution 12, but the fart In a cave got a lengthy answer, I said at the time that in my opinion you had the wrong ball carriers but that I did agree with resolution 12, and after I said that, I got the proof, they where all over me like a rash, and that’s when I said better wear long trousers in the big boys playground.



    Celtic where on it they had a handle to it, and I said that at the time, and then you found out for yourself and gave up the ghost, not you but the ball carriers at that time did, and all I was saying was you went that far, you should have taken it all the way.



    And now it’s celtics fault you gave up the ball? You had it, they didn’t take it from you, without a fight you gave it up, that’s my point, you had hundreds of thousands of shares to back you they did back you they trusted you, and you dropped the ball, there was a fart in a cave somewhere but I wasent there, and I never read out the statement at the AGM that I was happy with what Celtic had told them.



    You know who was there and who read the statement that all was well I was at that little bit of amateur night, and when I heard what he read, I cringed, and said to my self, he for got his long trousers.



    Now the fact is you where having a go at the Celtic board today and that is your prerogative, but! I Was backing them up as is mine.



    You can let your dogs loose on me any time, PS don’t see much of them these days and in my opinion that’s a good thing.

  20. CultsBhoy



    “I think it is our business…. Celtic supporters are funding the remarkable Lawwell ‘rags to riches’ story… ”



    Celtic fans help pay his wage yes. He provides the club with a service as a result. You might disagree with his methods but he certainly does turn up for work.



    Celtic fans do not own the man and what he does in his personal life is his own business.



    Personally, I don’t find your remarks funny. Sounds like somebody who is a bit bitter and jealous.

  21. mullet and co 2 on




    Fixed I agree but the odds were stacked in our favour since the Champions route became available to us in the early teens of this decade.


    We now have the opportunity to play a Malmo or Maribor every year. We are likely to be in the seeded top half of the draw every year yet we have failed on 3 out of 4 occasions.


    We now get access to 20 million if we get through those ties. That’s a VVD transfer fee sized net hole to cope with.


    We should play to demonstrate our coefficient but we don’t. In the champions league and the Europa league we should be aiming to take some scalps from those seeded higher. The champions route to the champions league isn’t Hong to change any time soon but we look rocky on maintaining seeded status. A good Europa campaign is essential.

  22. What is the Stars on

    I don’t mind queuing for bread if I have to


    That’s fine.


    However while queuing for bread it irritates me that the public announcer for my block of flats in people’s Republic land keeps telling me that there is no queue,


    Of course it could be worse, there might be no bread


    But only imperialist lap dogs would even think that.


    The 5 year ( make it up as you go along) plan is working and comrade ronny will lead us all to the land milk and honey ( of course comrade ronny could end up in the gulag)



  23. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma on

    Joe Filippis Haircut on 2nd September 2015 1:58 pm



    OK Noting all that you say, there is no doubt about it that communicating all the detail of what has ahppened over the last two years is difficult partly because we have no channel in which to get everything out clearly, and partly because we can’t simply reveal every detail because that may have an effect on other things.



    Also, there are certain pieces of correspondence that we were asked to keep confidential for the moment.



    That being said I can only speak for myself when I say that I have previously reported the following:



    1. Immeidately before the 2013 AGM, it became apparent that Celtic PLC had in fact previously raised various matters related to the concerns raised by Res 12 with the SFA.



    2. Whilst that was so, we were able to point out certain other matters, regulations and how those matters related to those regulations which made Celtic drop their opposition to the Resolution as not necessary and it was agreed that we would work together on further correspondence and questions to the SFA



    Since then there has been several meetings with the Company Secretary and there followed further correspondence with the SFA from Celtic PLC which again brought a response.



    3. That response did not answer all the questions raised and both we and Celtic recognised that and so further correspondence and questions regarding the application of the rules surrounding the 2011/2012 UEFA licence and the proceedures adopted by the SFA and others fiollowed.



    4. This correspondence then led to direct discussion between the SFA and Celtic with Celtic pointing out to the SFA that they had received well researched information and enquiries from shareholders who they were obliged to answer – and that the only way they could answer fully was to make enquiries of the SFA.



    The SFA apparently took that on board.



    5. Discussions with the SFA then began to centre on certain aspects of the proceedure followed in 2011 and on certain documentation and correspondence setmming from that period.



    Particular legal problems arose with some of the information concerned as it was not clear what was known and disclosed by various parties at material times, nor could the legal provenance of certain information be verified which would allow any further action to be taken by anyone.



    6. To get round this, it was suggested, following upon discussions between Celtic and the SFA, that we, as shareholders, enter into direct communciation with the SFA with a view to setting out our concerns in substantail detail. They could then respond to those concerns in so far as they could at that point.



    7. Prior to that, we as shareholders, commissioned expert advice on opinion on certain aspects of HMRC procedure and documentation. Having obtained that opinion we then ran that passed an advocate of our choosing together with a substantial legal letter setting out the evidence we chose to reveal at the time together with our interpretation of the rules and the failings, as we saw them, in how those rules were aplied.



    8. Having prepaed this groundwork to this extent, we had further meetings with Celtic and explained the steps we had taken and showed them the legal and professional opinions we had obtained. We then further outlined an additional position which cleared some of the legal hurdles that had previously been alluded to.



    Armed with that information, within a matter of hours Celtic not only agreed to a specific course of action but positively encouraged it within a defined timescale.



    9. This led to ours sending all of the necessary information to the SFA directly and almost immediately some of this was erroneously reported on elsewhere.



    10. Moving on from that juncture, we as shereholders, and after a tremendously long search, then engaged a global firm of solicitors to act on our behalf in furthering the points raised to that date. They have since been in direct communication with the SFA on our behalf, and we, as shareholders, continue to liaise with Celtic in realtion to that correspondence.



    11. Further discussion and correspondence will ensue this week as that entire process progresses.



    12. Given the events of the last few days, the entire line of enquiry submitted to the SFA thus far ( and there is every chance – indeed a likeliehood – that further questions will be posed ) it would seem that the entire Res 12 course of action has not only been justified but absolutely necessary.



    13. Thoughout the entire process, those of us who have been involved in this, have attempted to make it quite plain that the enquiries concerned have been researched and presented in the most professional way and with the help and assistance of professional experts in their field and through professional channels where possible.



    14. That process is continuing and it is one which poses questions which I would best describe as “awkward”.



    It is not yet near a conclusion however, although that position could easily turn very quickly.



    For legal reasons – I wouldn’t want to say much more than that on here to be honest.

  24. To the poster who continues to use “where” when he means “were” they mean completely different things. Just saying like

  25. hebcelt on 2nd September 2015 2:13 pm



    Cultsbhoy kinda gave the game away with your last sentence “I’m not getting answers – that I want to hear”Just let me know what you want to hear and I’ll post it for you – bizarre indeed.



    …. I was just demonstrating self awareness

  26. Timaloy



    I’m possibly bitter but never jealous. My bitterness is not born out of my own personal circumstances – I do ok in life.



    I’m bitter for those who are prevented from a living wage by a man who is so far removed from the values of Celtic FC it’s not real. It is important to remind ourselves of what we stand for and what we should be seen to stand for.

  27. Jozo will be a step up if he can cope with zonal marking and can jump to head a ball. The problem with the current strategy is that you need to get the fans on board with it. In our case, the strategy is elucidated on this blog but do the majority of fans get it? One mans living within your means is another mans downsizing.

  28. mullet and co 2 on 2nd September 2015 2:26 pm



    8 goals in 15 appearances sounds like a decent record. Who is it? Why it’s Teemu Pukki this season with 5 in 7 in the league and 3 in 8 in the EL.



    It’s his 11 goals and 8 assists in 19 appearances for HJK Helsinki that got him his reputation.



    Even his 10 goals and 3 assists in 27 for Schalke in his 1st season wasn’t too bad.



    He was and can be a goalscorer, it just didn’t work out with us.

  29. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma on

    tonydonnelly67 on 2nd September 2015 2:34 pm






    sorry but all of that is harrumph and water in my opinion.



    By the way I don’t have dogs, literal or metaphorical, and your earlier post didn’t back up the board at all and chose merely to say that the Res 12 ball had been dropped.



    You have still not said how, when, by whom, in what way or anything like that and as I have pointed out before you have not been at any of the meetings and so on.



    Now, to be clear here, I am not one for personal discourses on a public blog and certainly not for any anymosity with anyone as it is just not my style.



    However, I will argue my corner in the smallest and largest of rooms – hopefully always with a smile on my face – and so with respect I have to suggest that you are mistaken on Res 12.



    I couldn’t care less who reads out what to be honest ( and by the way both times Ian Bankier has read anything out re Res 12 his words were drafted and prepared by me ) other than what was read at the AGM was formally read into the minutes of the PLC AGM and are there as a matter of record thus binding the shareholders and the board in terms of what was agreed.



    See my answer above for about as much detail as I can give right now, and if you really want to know more then by all means ask rather than remain ill informed – I will do what I can to answer hinest guv.



    As for the board — we have dead wood on that board and many people think likewise.



    I honestly believe we need some new young board members with vision — in exactly the same way we needed them when the old board were in situ and they all had family names which had been in office for far too long.



    Just my point of view.

  30. CultsBhoy



    You see, if you mentioned that you were unhappy with the lack of a living wage at Celtic I’d agree with you.



    However, that’s not the same as criticizing a man for what he spends his wage on. We didn’t all sign a declaration to spend our wages on Celtic approved sources.



    If it is so horrible having a chief executive who spends money on a big house, should we be paying players even more than that? Should we just be run like Queens Park?

  31. Cultsbhoy,



    Aw cmon. Big Peter isn’t all that bad.



    He did manage to secure £11-£13.5m for a guy you’d have sold for £5m







  32. CultsBhoy likes living wage hates heated driveways on

    TIMALOY 29



    Players are more transient commodities. Lawwell has been ther for 12 years and claims to be a custodian of the club’s values – players are there for 1-3 seasons generally ( before being promoted to Southampton) and are openly hawking themselves for their services.



    I’m lucky enough to live in a nice house and enjoy nice things in life so I don’t begrudge anyone their crust or their choices in realtion to how they spend it. I object to others who have no qualms about denying Celtic employees the living wage while taking a £1m a year out for themselves…as I say it doesn’t resonate with my understanding of Celtic values…

  33. BRT&H



    I was talking about who read out the we are happy with celtics answer and we will leave the resolution with them, not in those words, but that was the gist, and think it was Canamalar or Morrisy who read it at the AGM it was read from the floor, not the board table, of that I am not wrong.

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