The biggest trade this window was the chief scout


We had a very real problem this transfer window – our chief scout walked out the door 20 days before it opened.  Think what you like about Lee Congerton, but when Brendan Rodgers took him to Leicester, the apex of our recruitment structure left a significant hole in a club that knew it needed to significantly replenish its squad.

The top priority was to appoint a manager, which happened within minutes after the Scottish Cup Final.  It would be Neil’s job to identify where we needed to strengthen and the type of player he wanted, but we also had to find a chief scout of the calibre required.  There is not a fluid market for such people.

Nicky Hammond had worked at Reading and West Brom and got the gig on a ‘show us what you can do’ basis.  He, Neil and Peter Lawwell needed to quickly get on the same wavelength and work with some targets. He was appointed on 20 June, four weeks before Champions League qualification began, with precious little opportunity to scout players.  Even when he did scouting, most were preseason, playing friendlies, when it is impossible to measure true capabilities.

When Brendan left six months ago I was not unduly worried.  He had clearly been working his ticket since August, allowing no one with clarity on the future, but taking Congerton in May was a low blow.  He must have known the carnage this would cause.

11 weeks on from Nicky Hammond’s appointment and we have signed Moritz Bauer (loan with option to buy) and Hatem Elhamid for the right back role, Greg Taylor and Boli Bolingoli at left back and Christopher Jullien in central defence.

Southampton’s current top earner, but third choice keeper, Fraser Forster made a surprise loan return after Scott Bain was injured, while left-winger Mohamed Elyounoussi also arrived on a season loan from Southampton.

A significant volume of our work this window was done on the youth market.  Luca Connell (18), a defensive mid, arrived from Bolton, striker Jonathan Afolabi (18), means the headcount from Southampton reached three.  Then last night, we saw right back Jeremie Frimpong (18) come from Manchester City and central defender, Lee O’Connor (18) appear from Manchester United, both on four-year deals.

Out went Kieran Tierney (sigh), Mikael Lustig (again, sigh), Dedryck Boyatak, Marvin Compper, Cristian Gamboa, Scott Allan, Emilio Izaguirre, Doris de Vries and Youssouf Mulumbu, while loaners Toljan, Burke, Weah and Benkovic returned to their parent clubs.

The time to judge a transfer window is at the end of the season, but right now, considering the unprecedented challenges we faced this summer, it appears to have gone better than I expected.  We brought in a completely new defence and goalkeeper, lost only two players who would still get into the team (KT and Dedryck), strengthened an already strong forward line with Elyounoussi and bought four teenagers.

Ahead of the visit to Ibrox, it was clear so some of us that despite the Clujbacle, we had navigated a path through some choppy waters.  Sunday’s win, and our subsequent transfer dealings, seem to have convinced the more sceptical that this will be our second nine-in-a-row season.  A few panicked over-reactions out there?  Sudocrem is available from all good supermarkets.

We will know soon if Nicky Hammond will be retained, but in his short tenure, he has worked well with the manager and chief executive.  I am sure those inside the club are still too stressed to agree, but maybe we will look back and consider it a good thing that both Brendan and Lee Congerton left when they did.  After eight-in-a-row and a treble-treble, you might expect some staleness at the lack of genuine challengers, but there is a fresh feel about Celtic this morning.  We are in a good place.

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  1. Corkcelt, Good to hear. That would be a fantastic move by PL and the board and would finally alleviate my concerns around cash hoarding of this last few years.



    67,000 is good but surely we could go to 75,000 and make it a prospective CL Final destination in the next few years.



    North Stand 27,000


    Lisbon Lions & Jock Stein 13,000 each


    New main Stand 22,000 with all the trimmings to accommodate UEFA standards for CL Final.



    Don’t see the point in increasing by just 5k from 8k to 13k.





  2. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    CORKCELT on 3RD SEPTEMBER 2019 11:35 AM



    I`ll check my multiple vids. and see if I can throw any further light .

  3. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    Blog name change. In the current climate too many negative connotations with the old name I suppose with the numpties in power in different parts of the world. Plus didn’t realise it was so easy to change display name about 14 years after choosing it!




  4. Good summation P67 and credit where credit’s due if Nicky H is getting some impressive ‘ins’ over the line.


    As I said the other day, extend his contract after his productive probation so he can focus on the ‘outs’ in Jan.



    Also just askin’ …



    What percentage of our, say, 60mill transfer intake would have to be spent to satisfy some of our celtic Cassandras, that the club was astutely investing in an astutely ambitious future?


    Or what’s needed to convince them that our quality quotient has been sustained if not surpassed with Elhamed (equal to Mika) Elyounoussi (equal to Weah) Jullien (equal to Boyata), Bauer for Gamboa, Forster for De Vries…Taylor or Boli for (bad example at LB)…


    In fact, I’d venture that this team is not missing our gone-to-the-gooners player that noticeably.



    On, and when’s a good time to drop a hashtag that may have now appeared patently irrelevant? HH

  5. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on




    Gone down the newco route :)




  6. I want KT to smash it in the EPL., IF he can stay fit.



    I want all new recruits and remaining treble treblers to smash every game for the MIGHTY Glasgow CELTIC.



    Hail Hail

  7. ulysses mcghee - a demographic of one on




    I love to see the revisionism of both sides of the same coin after a window closes.



    That all the nay sayers should get back in their boxes and so on.



    A lot of information came to light over the past few weeks in regards to how things played out with BR and also how Lee Congerton’s time was spent.



    It wasn’t one window in isolation people were reacting to – there was a definite feeling of Deja Vu in regards to ECL failure.



    Everyone who’s happy now and lining up their sights on the bed wetters and anti board posters – just think how happy you’d be if we were in ECL stages and the cashola that generates? Because I have it on very good authority there was a different signing strategy if we had qualified.



    But wishes and horses and all that.



    My disappointment arises from the fact that from a position of power a lack of control and due process we dropped the ball in our scouting/signing departments and if all rumours are true then Congerton’s research on players was nothing more than their names written in crayon on brightly coloured cardboard folders.



    So maybe NFL’s eye for a player has actually helped us this window – I hope so.




    Because we needed to sort our back 4. We need a plan to rest Calmac & Jamsie & Ryan & Scott Brown effectively without upsetting the rhythm of our winning squad.



    If I could line my sights on anyone just now – it would take the form of a plea – can we stop obsessing about Newco and their imminent demise? However they’re doing it, they’re doing it – no one plays football for nothing so everybody’s wages are getting paid. Time to accept (despite the blogs elsewhere) that there’ll be a bunch of journeymen playing out of Ibrox week in, week out and their sole motivation, is also that which kills them – our pursuit of leagues 9 and 10 in a row.



    We don’t have to sweat how they pay wages if we get to a place where we don’t care if they are or not.



    They are not our concern. Their funding is not our concern. And their future has nothing to do with us.



    Celtic – that’s the team for me!




  8. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on



    He had clearly been working his ticket since August, allowing no one with clarity on the future, but taking Congerton in May was a low blow. He must have known the carnage this would cause.








    Just reinforces the instinct some of us had about the self centred character of the man who walked out on us at the drop of a contract , leaving us in the lurch.



    He`s gone.



  9. Trad88…



    Siempre…coat (iron or steel) with a protective layer of zinc…lol







  10. PS…


    P67; the fact that something’s claimed as ‘unprecedented’ suggests that the club’s issues mgmt or scenario planning faculties are more than a bit deficient


    Point being, did no-one in Mgmt even consider that maybe as BR was gonna be offski, that he’d take his homies with him? Scenario planning means you try to look over the brow of the hill and take precautionary action. Ie, we should have been looking for a Congerton type when BR was ticket-working.


    That said, sometimes life just turns out pretty sweet anyways.

  11. Mostly on the button but a couple of things I disagree on. Why did Taylor take so long to sign when he was under our noses all along and may have even been cheaper before we had the KT money tucked away?



    Secondly, I disagree that Boyata would get in our team today – not if Ajer and Julien are both fit.

  12. Bolingoli was identified by Congleton and Jullien by Kennedy.



    All the Irish lads were identified by Damion Duff.



    The rest were players either Lennon knew or were in plain site.



    There is a ton of work to do here as regards a functioning scouting operation.

  13. GB78…what is so hard to understand…Taylor needed to be replaced before his club would sell…







  14. Auldheid. Just checked. Nope we did not play Aik before all the other JF mr invisible performances at ibrox. Bit seriously team actually created more chances when JF went off as it was a more solid unit




    As for pau67 excuses.


    1. Everyone and there dog knew lee had down tools and was for the off Peter did not sack him as he was waiting for compensation which duly arrived. Saved the penny’s and lost the pounds ( cl money ). It was reported on


    Celtic underground and Celtic star the real story.


    2. Sorry mate. Can’t run that oh Neil got appointed late again. You ran that in NL 1st appointment when we never prepared. Can you see a pattern here



    Sorry this one is all on Peter lawwell another failure to prepare for CL qualifiers is down to Peter lawwell



    Even the Greg Taylor If we wanted him the day after KT left he should have been signed. But the bean counter holds every thing up




    Sorry time up Peter




  15. Can’t blame Celtic for their contracted players saying no to Kilmarnock.




  16. CBN…I love your output…but…



    There is a ton of work to do here as regards a functioning speller…







  17. Here’s my view of our match day squad which should do us for the next 17 weeks. Than we do it all over again in January when we hopefully add Turnbull (£2/3 m) and take it from there …


    Start XI : Forster, Elhamed, Ajer, Julien, Boli, Brown, McGregor, Forrest, Christie, Elyounoussi, Edouard


    Subs : Forster, Bauer, Bitton, Taylor, Ntcham, Johnston, Bayo


    Squad : Bain, Simunovic, Hayes, Rogic, Morgan, Shved. Griffiths

  18. Syd…jeezo…if there’s such a thing as opposite a silver lining…you’ve found it




  19. On the matter of capacity, I believe the management will always low-ball the number of seats and standing places becuse they want to make season books not merely desirable but essential.



    Imagine if you knew that you could get a seat for any game bar the biggest European matches and maybe the Rangers: would you bother with a season boook? And if you didn’t have a season book would you always go to the Hamilton, Livingstone etc. matches? In fact, if it cost you £25 or £35 a go, plus expenses, how many matches would you bother with?



    The present situation, 50-odd thousand season books and a good long waiting list, is almost ideal from the board’s perspective – a big lump sum coming in when needed – an asset which you can literally take to the bank at any time, a decent crowd at most home games, and – not a detail – a bridle on potentially rebellious fans.



    Too-big stadiums can be a millstone – ask the Brazilian FA.

  20. MWD – all fair points mate.



    Re Celtic park capacity…………………………………………..



    It should be upped to either 67 thooosan, or


    88 thoosan.










  21. HEKNOWSWHOKNOWS If we wanted Taylor we had the cash to pay them



    Why did Celtic sell KT to Arsenal when the replacement was not in place. Oops

  22. Lurking. And the failed CEO is still


    There holding our club back



    The CL qualifying shambles is down to PL



    Again and again he fails



    Time for a change

  23. Syd…Cluj was a team and management failure…don’t remember seeing PL playing…



    But you keep on wrapping yourself in negativity…saves us from doing it lol







    (from last blog)



    Good luck at parliament. This is the greatest threat to democracy in our lifetime, We all need to stand up and be counted if we want our kids to have a decent future.Respect to you.




  25. If am being flippant…it’s from seeing Herr Hitler working a deli counter…badly 🤣




  26. THELURKINTIM It is Peter lawwells responsibility to ensure


    1. Scouting system in place and funds available


    2. He failed at item 1. Before we sold KT the money dried up as we could only Afford 1.5m for the Israeli Center half we bought for the right back position



    Peter lawell did not back our manger with required funds During CL qualifiers. That is now clear

  27. SYDNEYTIM on 3RD SEPTEMBER 2019 12:07 PM



    1. Everyone and there dog knew lee had down tools and was for the off Peter did not sack him as he was waiting for compensation which duly arrived. Saved the penny’s and lost the pounds ( cl money ). It was reported on






    You are representing speculation and rumours as fact.



    Neil Lennon said, before he was appointed permanently, that he was working on summer targets with Lee Congerton.



    Lee Congerton was working as evidenced in the leaked transfer docs.

  28. Frankterry…it’s a coup d’etat without the necessary bloodshed…am embarressed/disgusted/raging that “democracy” can be seen to be so weak that it is worthless

  29. Syd.. so PL should have been so all-seeing that the Rat would decimate our staff…and prepared accordingly…what world do you live in?

  30. TIMALOY29 The targets don’t just disappear lol Paul67 just used excuse for 2nd that Neil was appointed late and no time to get things together lol. Can’t have it both ways



    Was reported that lee downed tools and visually zero prep done for qualifiers Pete wanted his compo from Leicester

  31. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    One for the uninitiated.



    Definition of democracy. 1a : government by the people especially : rule of the majority. b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.




    The people voted.


    Their representatives have , to date , ignored the instruction of the PEOPLE.

  32. Apologies for the wee copy and paste from last night. It was perhaps lost in the frenzy of the transfer activity….


    *** CQN PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2019-20 ***




    After the 179 votes that were made for the AIK game, the Ibrox match has attracted even more, with 204 votes coming in from 68 different CQNrs. And I can announce that the total votes cast for each player are as follows –


    Forster: 0


    Elhamed: 29


    Jullien: 58


    Bitton: 26


    Bolingoli-Mbombo: 31


    Brown: 22


    McGregor: 1


    Forrest: 0


    Christie: 1


    Johnston: 2


    Edouard: 31


    Bauer: 0


    Ntcham: 1


    Hayes: 2


    0Unused subs – Gordon, Morgan, Bayo, Griffiths.


    Our back 4 received roughly 70% of all votes cast.


    So the players receiving points are –


    Jullien – 5 points


    Edouard – 4 points


    Bolingoli-Mbombo – 4 points


    Elhamed – 2 points


    Bitton – 1 point


    And the aggregate totals are now


    Edouard – 8 points


    Jullien – 6 points


    Forrest – 5 pts


    Bolingoli-Mbombo – 4 points


    Bitton – 3 points


    Christie – 3 pts


    Elhamed – 2 points


    A wee break before our next game!


    Hail Hail!

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