Signing players on and off strategy


Bobby Collins left Celtic in 1958 after nine years’ service.  He’d won the Cup, the Double, the Coronation Cup, and, of course, the 1957 League Cup Final – Hampden in the Sun, Celtic 7, Rangers 1.

He went on to have a great career at Everton and to make a transformational contribution to Leeds United, but he will forever be a team mate of Sean Fallon, Willie Fernie, Bertie Peacock, Neil Mochan and Charles Patrick Tully.  Our thoughts go to his family and friends today.

Over the last year or so we’ve asked the question, how many appearances a player needs to make in a well-scouted league to allow an agile club to discover him, before the hoards arrive and price-away any value in him?

Victor Wanyama made 50 appearances in Belgium before we nabbed him but he was knocking back substantially improved contracts from Celtic after only 30 games (which is a different point); England had already taken notice.  Virgil van Dijk made 62 appearances for Groningen, would we have been able to sign him on the kind of money we did if he’d stayed for another 30-or-so games?  It’s unlikely.

Amido Balde made 27 top flight appearances before arriving here, while Teemu Pukki played 37 times for Schalke – enough to score 8 times but there would have been little game time for Celtic scouts to watch him.

In the summer we concluded that there was a 50-80 game value opportunity.  Below this and you’ll struggle to find a player who has developed sufficiently for our agile scouts to be on the case and to do their work properly.  Above this and any player worth a punt will be packing stands with scouts from all over Europe.

If we’re signing someone without the necessary miles on the clock, he’s a punt and should be considered off strategy.  If we’re singing someone who has been watched by dozens of scouts, chances are, at best, he will be no more than a decent return on our money, there will be no hidden value.

Stefan Johansen has made 67 top flight appearances for Norwegian champions, Stromsgodset.  Enough for him to develop into a player who can attract the most agile to Norway, not enough for him to attract those who seem to use Fifa 14 as their primary recruitment database, so he’s on strategy, as far as our 50-80 game value opportunity theory goes.
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  1. teuchter ár lá


    02:58 on 15 January, 2014





    Just re-read your post…..It’s gettin’ late :-)


    You can purchase a DIV X player around $20 – $30 which will play anything.


    I picked up one from Loblaws Superstore a couple of years ago.


    Good luck




    teuchter ár lá



    Obviously you are..where do you live? Thanks..I’m gonna get one. I was looking at trying to copy them onto my external hard drive so I could watch them on the tv. Haven’t managed it yet..still looking four a good site to rip them…any pointers on how to copy dvds and store them would be extremely helpful.

  2. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    we haven’t had a no.8 since the maestro…


    no pressure there then..



    Welcome to the melting pot Stefan

  3. Johansen’s Youtube video shows one thing: he can play on some pretty poor pitches. Welcome to Scotland in winter!

  4. I’m going to Canada in June, I’ll be popping into Brampton at some point during my visit, I lived there for 23 years, I still have lots of friends there, looking forward to it.

  5. St Patricks day 1956 on

    !!Bada Bing!!


    11:47 on


    15 January, 2014


    Get Sammi and Kris signed up anaw….



    Agree with you, and if we add a top striker to the squad, it will be onwards and upwards.

  6. Parkheadcumsalford



    Condolonces on your loss. May she RIP




    Jimbo67 supporting Oscar Knox

  7. tonydonnelly67 @11:43 on 15 January, 2014




    I prob, knew/ know yer old man ;)




    Sadly, it is “knew” and you probably did – most folk in the club did.



    You surely didn’t miss Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders. Tickets were sold out months in advance. I still remember the look on their faces when they were shown to their changing rooms. They were hardended pros and took it all in their stride. The place rocked that night.



    Talking of committee men, I remember one night the place received a bomb hoax (not that uncommon at the time) and one of the committee men stopped the band to announce,



    “…the police had been informed and not to worry as they had thrown an accordian round the club”.



    Like I said, the stuff of legends.

  8. prestonpans bhoys dam justice for the 5 on

    From ET:



    “RANGERS have put a limited number of tickets on sale for Monday’s League One clash with Forfar”



    don’t remember sale of tickets before thought their RSA’s dealt with them. Interest falling on the tribute act???

  9. Philbhoy - Free the Dam 5! on




    Sorry to hear of your loss.



    Prayers said for Rose and those who remain.



    Take care.

  10. Marrakesh Express @ 11:51 on 15 January, 2014



    My ma and da (Vera and Pat) were part of a bigger gang who usually occupied the tables to the left of the stage right next to the PA system which partly explained their profound deafness in their later years. And to think they used to tell me I’d go deaf listening to my “modern rubbish” (Free, Led Zep., the original Genesis and Lindisfarne, etc., etc.) on my headphones.

  11. M6bhoy



    That’s a true story, and that wee guys name was John Donnelly ( no relation of mine) a really smashing guy, and what a character, I remember when the committee where up for re election old John stood at the mike and said there is a lot of allegations going around about people who are running for the committee, and that this has to stop, and we know who the alligators are, I never laughed so much in all my life, that man was a legend.

  12. TonyD, yir a hellova character. Love yir posts. Wan a these days am gonnae pop in the Brazen Heid and introduce maself and buy ye a pint.