Stunning notice of intent from Celtic


Michael Nicholson’s first day as chief executive during a transfer window is tomorrow, but he has got off to a flier by announcing the signing of three Japanese players, confirmed today.  Full internationals, Daizen Maeda (striker) and Yosuke Ideguchi (central mid), and youth international Reo Hatate (left back), will arrive in Scotland in the next few days and will be ready for the return of Premiership action on 17 January.

This is a stunning notice of intent.  We have never seen Celtic act with this speed in a transfer window.  We want our title back!  It also lets others with designs on winning the league know what a solvent team with purpose can achieve.

The moves will  help Kyogo Furuhashi, who is still getting to grips with the native lingo.  He will now live and work in a Japanese community.

The only problem for the chief exec is how to follow this tomorrow?  No pressure now, Michael.

I will publish a State of the Club report later this afternoon.  Spoiler alert, it will not be as optimistic as this article.

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  1. Welcome to our 3 signings front the land of the rising sun.good luck in your time at hoops.






    Tauranga bhoy- happy new year down under,as you say hope its a better year




  2. Remember we did this without a head of recuitment. Work needed there for when Ange’s wee black book runs dry.



    In his words. Not mine.




  3. Ive watched the usual highlights and youtube compilations of Maeda. Hes not exactly the tallest but wins and scores from lots of headers. He finds space in the box through quick movement. Might be the answer to our many crosses. A bit of the poacher about him. Thats an amateur assessment of the footage available. I hope I’m right and the New Year is good to us all as Celtic Supporters and that our families and friends all enjoy peace and happiness. May anyone suffering find comfort. God Bless and Hail Hail for 2022. Its never perfect but I count my blessings when I can HH

  4. SMSM transfer style guide



    (29) Giovanni Van Bronkhurst issues ‘hands off warnings’ for his top stars



    (30)’ Gers’ brace themselves for January bids



    (31) Ianis Hagi’s £20M get out clause revealed

  5. Paul67,



    I hope you and your Family have a Happy New Year.



    I hope the Celtic have a Season to Remember, we shall Remember.



    C’mon Ange & his Bhoys.

  6. Media started already, The dampner is out, 1 of the new guys has a temper 1 has apoligised for a poor season and 1 they are still digging on. After years of falling numbers they still play the same failed tune. Delicious start to the New Year by the Hoops.




    NY curry made and a bottle of Malbec cracked, highlights on for the new Bhoys and off we go.



    Hopefully we are all fit and healthy in 2022 and get some more success.



    HH Bhoys,




  7. For those with a tendency to panic unnecessarily, here’s the small print on Maeda’s deal :



    “Celtic initially on loan but with a compulsory purchase clause included, meaning he will be with Celtic on a permanent basis from the summer on a long-term deal.”




  8. prestonpans bhoys on

    This is what Hagi’s relative actually said.



    “I know Ianis has a clause in his contract. I don’t know if it’s for £15, £17 or £20 million, but there is a clause and it’s a clause any club can pay at any time.”



    Alternatively the clause could be £1m, santa Claus stuff😂

  9. onenightinlisbon on

    Brilliant news and a statement of intent surely.



    Ange is the man, God bless his little Aussie cotton socks!

  10. Appears to be positive signing news – let’s see what the next eighteen league games bring.



    Happy, healthy & peaceful New Year when it comes, to Paul 67, family and all at CQN…..over & out!

  11. Welcome to our new players. I generally reserve judgment on newbies until they’ve played for a while. So I’ll continue in that. However, it’s usually the case that new managers first wave of signings include guys they’ve worked with or seen regularly and liked the look of in previous jobs. More likely to be safe bets signing wise.


    I think of Wim and Henrik, Dr Jo and Lubo, Brendan and Scott. Maybe Ange has already brought in his ace in Kyogo but it may well be we have another hem or three on the books and/ or some dependable professionals to strengthen a threadbare squad. Time will tell.


    I hope the Japanese guys are good for each other but I also hope they aren’t left alone as a ‘unit’ and not given every help to settle, learn the language and become good teammates with the rest of the squad.



    On Hagi and his £20 million release clause, I’m thinking of Groucho’s famous ‘sanity clause’ quip in relation to a contract. ‘There ain’t no sanity clause’ says he. If there is a clause of that magnitude Hagi is going nowhere and the orcs will have to secure income from elsewhere. If such a clause exists I assume he is on mega bucks as such a prized asset. The most plausible explanation is the media playing the orcs again on behalf of their ‘brothers’ in the boardroom. Holding on to their ‘stars’, getting a couple of pre contracts signed up and maybe a loan or two will be painted as great success.



    That said I’m sure GVB sought some assurance of funds for playing staff. I wouldn’t entirely rule out a director funded punt or two, particularly if our dealings spook them. They have shown zero ability to think in terms of sustainable finances. Time will tell.



    For our part, there are other areas to strengthen, a few players we need to get put on loan to help them develop and some we should sell if we can. If we get it all right, keep people fit, get Jota going again and settle our new ghuys in quickly it won’t matter what the zombies do.



    The bigger picture here is also being equipped to qualify for the CL proper should we need to. Much talk of Deadco needing the £40 million. As I understand it the champions this season will only get all of it if the second placed team doesn’t get into the group stages. Is that correct? There is also a scenario I which there will be no direct entry to the CL for the champions of Scotland. In short, any speculative spending now by a cash strapped entity is a huge gamble.

  12. All we need now is a Japanese billionaire who is willing to buy Desmonds shares,and why is it these obsessed Celtic Supporters worrying about Sevco on here ,anyway good luck to the 3 Japanese football players signing for us ,Hopefully we can sign a decent goalkeeper and a Centre Half just in case Juliens injury plays up again ,and hopefully a Upgrade in 2022 in the Main/Front Stand .

  13. Delighted we have moved so fast any other Season if they came at all it would be late January and we would be lucky to see any of them on the pitch before 1st March as they wouldn’t be fit enough,


    This year I’d expect to see at least one of them start against Hibs with another coming off the bench.


    Well done Ange & our new CEO, hope this shuts up the Conspiracy Theorists, who will have us believe, Celtic are in cahoots with the Huns to throw the League.

  14. Timbhoy163 I’m not sure anyone is worrying about the zombies. They have a material effect on our club. There’s a ‘concomitant’ (remember that) interest in what they are up to.


    Since I was a nipper the negative celtic stories and bumming up of ibrox clubs I the media has been the talk of the Celtic family. I outdate the Internet, so my first experiences of that were sitting round kitchen tables etc reading papers, listening to the wireless and all that. The constant chipping away of celtic has an effect on the psyche eventually!

  15. Read last year’s report again – we’re in a much better position this season overall. The squad has been overhauled and we’ve the first trophy in the cabinet.



    League wise, this time last year we were 16 a drift with 3 games in hand. A potential 7 point gap.



    We’re pretty in the same position in that we simply have to win the next derby to make this a race while making sure we take care of the other games – tynecastle stands out. A big few weeks in store when we get back.

  16. Somebody mentioned stadium tours and quipped about not having them in Japanese yet. We should be planning for that. I’m optimistic that the omicron endgame is upon us and the summer may well see a return to ‘normal’. We are likely to see significant visitor numbers to paradise to see our Japanese players. We should be ready.

  17. Hopefully these guys come good….we certainly needed the bodies in ……surprisingly nobody has mentioned how cheap this market seems to be .!!…it really is peanuts comparatively to our usual shell out …..not being greedy but I’d like another wide player and possibly another mid and centre back !!….

  18. Happy new year to you all. I’m off into my partial Internet exile again.



    It’s going to be a good year for Celtic. I can feel it. I can see the signs.



    Be good to the people around you and be kind to yourselves.



    Hail Hail, the Celts are here.

  19. TIMBHOY163 on 31ST DECEMBER 2021 2:04 PM



    ‘why is it these obsessed Celtic Supporters worrying about Sevco on here’






    Perhaps the suspicion that the Celtic Board view the huns survival as essential for the long term success of Celtic.

  20. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Agree Pablo with the statement of intent sentiment.



    Also agree that Michael Nicholson deserves a lot of credit.



    But credit also to our manager.



    (I suspect) Ange’s forcefulness has heavily driven the delivery of these outcomes.



    Like his methods or not, the man doesn’t faff about.


    A proper leader.




    The Exiled Tim ….



    “our best ever January window and it’s no even January yet”



    Brilliant summation. Respect.

  21. Great article from James Forrest on moving on from the horrendous way that Lawwell done business.



    This time last year, it was obvious that 2021 was going to be a year of change at Celtic.



    It had to be. 2020 was ending so disastrously nothing else was possible.



    Within weeks, Lawwell’s departure was made public and Lennon was shown the door.



    Many us thought that a whole lot of others should have followed them both. We still do.



    The shambles that engulfed us in the early part of 2021 didn’t seem to be indicative of the sort of sweeping reforms we had all expected though.



    The pursuit of Eddie Howe was a botch-job right from the start. We ought never to have allowed that farce to go on as long as it did.



    Whether Ange was a well-thought out alternative or a panic stations last-ditch appointment is still something I’d debate. I think he was the latter. The links between the Lawwell operation and the City Group are obvious. The only other manager part of that stable who had a record of success and who was a realistic target was Ronny Deila.



    Here’s the thing, and it’s the important thing; once we made our choice, once the amiable Aussie had offered his thoughts and laid out his football philosophy we backed him, and we backed him hard.



    There are still people in our support who sneer at the idea that we fully supported Ange in the last transfer window. I don’t know what they would have done differently except spent more money, much of it just for the sake of it.



    Ange was allowed to sign twelve players. He was allowed to spend real cash.




    Yes, it was partially funded by the two big sales but we knew that would be the case anyway.



    Coming out of a bad financial year – our first in a long, long time – there were going to be pressures on us, but we forged ahead with Ange’s plan for the squad and it paid off.



    To have backed him in this fashion, this early, for this window, indeed to have done so before the window is even open, is outstanding and it shows you that in fact we’ve learned real lessons after all. I think there will be other signings. The need in certain areas is still obvious. But a number of things are already clear to see.



    First, Ange is most definitely running this show.



    These are his players. These are players he knows and is comfortable bringing here and betting big on. Instead of people pondering these signings and asking who really made them, we can just enjoy them for what they are; pieces of the manager’s jigsaw. This, on its own, represents a sea change in how we do business.



    Secondly, the system seems to be working. For that, this blog gives immense credit to a man we’ve scorned up until now; Michael Nicholson. We’ll get to a more thorough examination of that tomorrow maybe; for the moment, he should be congratulated. This blog did suggest that there was no barrier to us bringing these guys early enough that they could have played had we been hosting our rival’s tomorrow, and it looks like that was the plan all along.



    Work permit work has been done behind the scenes, days ago. The contracts were tied up probably weeks back. The players are already in Europe and two of them have been for days. This is as smooth as any signing operation I can remember in years, and we’ve announced all three of them, with perfect choreography, in a single day.



    So whatever is being done differently behind the scenes, it’s working. Whatever other business is to be done, I think we can assume it, too, will be done in a better fashion than the slapdash manner we’ve gotten so used to in the last few years when everything remains in flux right up to the final possible day. I don’t know what Lawwell’s thinking was in dragging business out the way he so often did, but I know that it was costly in more ways than one.



    Third, there is some joined-up-thinking in evidence here, at last.



    The manager has the players in so quickly that he can do proper forward planning, using this break period and the next 18 days to properly integrate these players into his squad. The football department and those who run the club as a whole are working with better synchronicity than we’ve seen in a while.



    And you know what that means for the summer? It means proper preparation for the season. I don’t expect to have to play qualifiers, but if by some curse we do we will be more ready for them than we have been in years.



    All too often, it is the summer months which have shown how out of whack the CEO and the manager have been … it may well be that this represents the biggest and most fundamental change of them all, and if that’s the case then Nicholson will very quickly have proved himself a much better choice for the job he holds than this blog ever thought possible.



    A football club’s operational level is a machine built from various parts; it is vital that those parts work as one. It has been a long time since any of us thought that this was the case at Celtic Park, and we’ve had ample evidence to support the view that this breakdown was real and that it was actively harming us. Rodgers left, at least in part, because of that.



    Celtic is a better organisation than it has allowed itself to look in recent years. Our failures have not been failures of size or scale or structure but of leadership. We have been abysmally directed from the top and that was always going to percolate down at some stage and cause us major problems, and this time last year we could all smell the rot.



    That smell is gone today, and so much more with it. This feels not like an ending but what New Year should be; a fresh start. It’s the sort of beginning to a year which presages nothing but good times. It is the best possible way to introduce 2022.




    Re Japanese Tours.



    Yes, the tour guide did say that would be learning some Japanese phrases as they’re pretty sure journalists will take the tour at the outset, and then tourists to the city. Also, how are we going to accommodate the number of journalists who will now follow these players over here? We may have to move a few ST holders to build out the press area, again, por cierto

  23. Good read Lambo thanks,




    ASCOM and Ryan118 both worth a look as well for Hoops content.







  24. WGAF about Hagi.For so many not to read the SMSM,they seem to swallow every load of guff they print.


    Today,try and focus on the team you will be watching shortly.We now have a proper squad.Picked by the Boss.Sit back,enjoy the ride.Its going to be fekin marvellous.

  25. itscalledthemalvinas on

    With all due respect to Sean South,this is certainly not a dreary New Years Eve.


    Welcome to Celtic our Japanese Bhoys !

  26. We’ve signed 13 new first team players since the start of the summer. A full starting 11 and 2 subs



    Not bad going really

  27. Tora!Tora!Tora!



    Welcome to our three new Japanese Bhoys and May the be as good as and become as popular as Kyogo and Shunsuke before them.



    Let’s hope the Huns can say Sayonara to their title hopes.



    Having run out of Japanese film titles (Banzai was nicked earlier 🤣), I’d like to wish Paul and his family and each and every CQNer, wherever you may reside, a very Happy and healthy 2022. Happy New Year everyone!

  28. A lot of congratulatory back slapping going on here – will we ever learn? Let’s wait until we see them play, our record in the transfer market is atrocious, agree the signs are good, but hang fire on the celebrations until we’ve at least seen them play and play well in the Hoops. Happy New Year by the way 🙂

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