Selling players correctly is trickier than it looks


Photo: Vagelis Georgariou biglens.co.uk

In the immediate aftermath of defeat in Turin our manager was magnanimous towards his opponents, the television broadcaster and his players. Sky TV were thanked for their treatment of Celtic (note to others), Juventus were encouraged to win the Champions League, and Neil acknowledged some players may want to further their careers beyond Scotland.

Let’s be clear, most of the squad are happy at Celtic.  Georgios Samaras could go anywhere in Europe but this Celtic team is his project, as much as it is yours or mine.  Many of the others, including Matthews, Wilson, Lustig, Forster, Mulgrew, Commons, Ledley, Forrest and Izaguirre are settled at Celtic with plenty still to achieve.

Hooper and Wanyama have declined contract offers, so will be most likely to leave in the summer, but in the business Celtic are in right now, if they go, who they go to, is important.    If we lose players to tier-one clubs it will make attracting others a whole lot easier.  If you are a stepping stone to Barcelona, as with Larsson, you are a far more attractive employer than if you lose a striker to Norwich City (I’m friendly with a former Nigerian international who went on trial to Hamilton Accies the week after, and on the strength of, Brian Easton leaving there for the English Premier League).

Selling right makes it easier to buy who you want.  Got to get the right price, keep them for the Champions League qualifiers, and make sure you sell to the right club.

See you at 7.30pm tonight at the Supporters’ Association Club on London Road for the Twists & Turns Celtic Supporters Club charity night.  There will be Question and Answer session with me, John Fallon, Dixie Deans, Archie MacPherson, compared by Phil Agnew.  Afterwards you can enjoy music from Foggy Dew.

Tickets are £10 and you can get them from Phil by calling 07811 178764.  Profits are going to the Tommy Burns charity.
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  1. The Spirit of Arthur Lee on

    I heard you on the wireless back in Fifty Two


    Lying awake intent at tuningin on you.


    If I was young it didn’t stop you coming through.

  2. Son of Gabriel on

    had to log in.



    The Spirit of Arthur Lee, I salute thee.



    Second is nowhere

  3. The Spirit of Arthur Lee



    Hutas, brilliant, had me rolling in my computer chair, there’s a word for the utterly indescribable if you know where to look…


    Enjoy yerselves at yet another shindig while some of us are doing a shift!



    What-it’s for charity? Och,that’s alright then.



    I hope you have a GREAT time and raise a fortune ……

  5. We might as well get the current under 20 players ready for next season, as almost all the current first-team squad will be leaving in the summer.




  6. This might not be popular but I’m not so sure that top clubs will be lining up at the door to sign Big Vic, good player, lot to learn and if he is willing to give up the CL at Celtic to go and play at a lesser team in England then good luck to him…





    Aye,thanks for the reminder…..






    Word for the day,word for the year and a word whose meaning I’d rather avoid.



    I salute you for increasing my vocabulary. And cheering me up.

  8. Wanyama is a star …we will do well to replace him with comparative quality



    Hooper ..IMO is nothing particularly special …not even the top SPL scorer this season …and of late has been poor …if he wants to leave …then ….thanks for your efforts and goodbye

  9. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Giorgios Samaras took a hefty pay cut to come and play for us,if he gets a great offer,i for one wouldn’t grudge him the chance to go to a better league.





    Correct. Sounds like a good idea to me.



    Any strippers?

  11. ….PFayr



    Again this might not be a popular view but I think Neil has played Gary or asked him to play a different role this season, when he played up front with a partner Anto they both scored over 20 goals, I would like to see that partnership developed again, Gary doesn’t seem to do well on his own…

  12. Tallybhoy


    12:26 on


    8 March, 2013


    We might as well get the current under 20 players ready for next season, as almost all the current first-team squad will be leaving in the summer.



    We’ll still win the league ;-)

  13. Hooper looks jaded IMO.


    Tired of the SPL already. He will be first out the door.




  14. South Of Tunis



    12:11 on 8 March, 2013



    thomtheleedstim @ 8 29.



    Juve preparing ——-



    Heard a radio interview with Conte in the build up to the game at Celtic Park —–



    Interviewer asked him re watching Celtic —— Conte told him that he and the Juve squad had watched and dissected all of Celtic’s CL games [ including the qualifying games ]



    Interviewer then made the point that there wasn’t much point watching Celtic’s Scottish games [ given how poor the opposition was ].



    Conte really dismissed that and said there was much to be learned from watching the defending of a team who had almost total dominance of the ball .- You get to see where they are vulnerable/ – you get to see who is prone to making mistakes / you get to see where the left back is when the right back is attacking etc.. My players will know what to expect . We will be ready.





    Your knowledge is essential.



    Juve had a lot of time to work on Celtic’s strengths.



    Well Done Juve for getting past Celtic.



    We will make the last 8 next season IMO.

  15. Bada bing



    And all the abuse he has had to take from dobber supporters who have no idea what constitutes a decent footballer

  16. Hoopers problem is he does not score enough goals for a first pick striker. A top notch strker would score 30+ in the SPL for us. Hooper is above average IMO -just.

  17. !!Bada Bing!! on

    PFayr-Too true,for me Sammi and Vic are the best players we have when we play better quality European teams.FF has been exceptional too.

  18. Starry plough



    I disagree re Vic …IMO he has looked very comfortable in the CL against top opposition …he will play at the very top ..



    I wouldn’t mind if he hung about CFC for a few years



    Re Hooper …looks hardly interested at present … Not impressed of late

  19. swatson Neil Lennon's 6ft skinny twin! on

    tim malone will tell



    11:57 on


    8 March, 2013



    It was vetoed by a board member! Who was Surprisingly another Rangers man!!! So it would have to be raised as a new motion again. They have abused every bit of power they have in there positions to keep this going.

  20. tomtheleedstim on

    South of Tunis – it seems Conte leaves nothing to chance. Quite right too.


    We did something similar with Barca.


    It’s what we should be doing at this level of football. Total preparation – full commitment.


    In other words, being professional.

  21. A wonderfull season by the the club, but Unfortunately we have 3 qualifying rounds due to corporate mismanagement by our CEO over the 3 years before


    CL is where we should be every year


    Our 2 top SPL scorers in hooper(14) and victor (6) look like they are off ski


    What now. We do have cash



    Crossroads Csc

  22. ….PFayr



    He will play at the top you’re right I’m not sure if it will be this year, I’ll be very sad to see him leave, we can achieve even more next year with him in the heart of the team and if Rogic is the player he looks to be at inside forward, let’s see what the summer brings.



    Good strikers are hard to find for the right money as we have seen since Henrik left, Hooper for me has been the best of an average bunch, I would advise him to hone his skills in Scotland rather than move to mid division or worse in England but then I’m no English!!

  23. Just dropped in to say….



    Re: Hooper


    Celtic had – 1 – shot at goals on Saturday v’s St Mirren.


    Hoopers shot – touched onto the bar by the Saints GK.


    The 2 goals we scored were headers btw.


    What I’m driving at here is – 1 fecken shot at goals !!!


    Why ?



    I’ll not hang around and wait for an answer…


    ….don’t want to get accused of starting trouble :o)



    The Bhoy Who Cried Wolf – CSC



    Off oot




  24. pfayr ,


    I agree with you re Gary. I think he’s been great from us but I do think it has gone to his head a little. His European performances perhaps explain why it was Norwich rather a bigger club who sought him in January.

  25. !!Bada Bing!! on

    If guys want to leave CP,I have absolutely no interest where they go,mid table EPL or anywhere else.As long as we get decent money for them,thank them for their contribution and goodbye.

  26. Re Hooper



    With 75 goals for Celtic in under three seasons, he is already 27th top goalscorer in the club’s history. If you look at those who have scored more than 50 goals for Celtic, his goals to game ratio of 59% is bettered only by 8 players:



    Jimmy McGrory (106%)


    Henrik Larsson (79%)


    Dixie Deans (72%)


    Jimmy Quinn (66%)


    Pierre Van Hooijdonk (62%)


    Brian McClair (62%)


    Tommy McInally (60%)



    A few more goals this season could see him join the top 5.




  27. If Hooper and Victor move on, then so be it. As Paul says, we should try to sell them to bigger clubs(financially). At. Madrid did good business in this respect over the last few years with big monies acquired from the sales of Torres, Aguero and De Gea. It hasn´t stopped the club progressing, quite the contrary.



    I still feel that Stokes was needed against Juventus, he is good at the lead-up play for goals and was in good form leading up to the game, having been out for a lot of the earlier part of the season. The great Luis Aragones had a knack of playing the players who were in form at the moment, even though they were not big names. In 2008 he surprised a lot of people by incorporating the relatively unknown Cazorla into the Spain national team and he was proved right as Santi has gone on to be a big time player.



    Managers who show that they know more about football than the high salaried players, eg Ferguson v Rooney, is the only way to build a winning side and keeps the squad happy. NL has had some success , let´s not get carried away, but it must be a massive job to keep control of the situation when the players and their agents cut so much mustard these days. Celtic as a glamorous club suffers from the star system. However we will only win anything big when we have a manager, with football savvy, prioritising the club instead of guaranteeing a starting place for some players.



    Always play the form players.

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