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. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on




    Do I really have to spell out to you the way it works ?



    Perhaps your fellow democracy denier could explain ?


    Or perhaps not .

  2. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Not bad Pablo (a bit like this transfer window).



    One thing I would add if I may …



    On the assumption that the squad is now in “decent” shape, the January 2020 window must be used, as much as possible, to top up with a little bit of quality for the CL qualifiers (yes – this also assumes we win the league).



    Only one or two either



    – arriving in January and settling in OR


    – precontract, arriving 1st July to be ready for 3rd qualifying round



    This scrabbling around in the summer is tiresome.



    Hopefully the cycle can be broken.



    PS – I am genuinely sanguine about BR’s character and capability but … IF ..



    he is the least bit bothered by the opinions of a fat Sevco loving imbecile he has gone down in my estimation.



    Hail hail

  3. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on



    A copy n paste mistake I can live with…but do not presume to know my politics….





    Glad you recognise your mistake.


    That`s progress.



    Couldn`t give two twopennies about your politics.

  4. Spell nothing to me…there is no democracy…only the false impression of it…that remains in our psyche…







  5. MacJay1…I love you as a contratrarian…but even you, with yer education can see that democracy is an illusion…

  6. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on







    i am perfectly happy to accept the limitations and shortcomings of the democratic process as used in UK and in other countries.



    Not , however , as used in this referendum.


    Perfectly clear result which the govt. of the day , perhaps stupidly , decided to


    employ and the result of which it promised to enact.

  7. mullet and co 2 on

    6000 seats at £20 for 25 games adds £3M in turnover. What’s the cost to knock down the main stand and rebuild it versus a hotel? A hotel would net you £2.5m in additional turnover.



    Over time we should look at doing both.



    The inflation on footballers and ROI on them is far greater though. I’d look to buy some good ones I could sell at a profit in excess of £3m or £6m per year.



    I’d invest in the best scouting and coaching in the world before I spent a bean on any of them.

  8. i am perfectly happy to accept the limitations and shortcomings of the democratic process as used in UK and in other countries.



    But am not going to rock the boat…bollix…that should be our raison detre…




  9. Of our new signings , I must admit that I have been really impressed with Elhamed. He looks a proper defender to me . Slotted in alongside Julien easily on Sunday as well.


    Must admit not a fan of 12 month loan deals with no option to buy.

  10. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on



    SAINT STIVS on 3RD SEPTEMBER 2019 12:02 PM


    ….Aye ………….he is getting rubbisher.





    See Wee Jimmy live every week, and agree with you that he does a power of work in tracking back to help the defense.



    Glad you mentioned the Hearts game – I said the same to Wee BGFC during the game – Wee Jimmy at right back, won tackle and played ball forward – excellent effort throughout the game.



    Also agree re: AIK goal away. I know big Odsonne got praise – rightly – for the return ball into Jimmy’s path, but the first touch to take the ball away from the defender was sublime, and the thundering finish was emphatic.



    Maybe people don’t notice him so much on the TV because he is small, and they are far away… :-)))









  11. Macjay1…so Bojo’s attempt to suspend parliament is democratic?







  12. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    ST TAMS on 3RD SEPTEMBER 2019 2:00 PM



    Must admit not a fan of 12 month loan deals with no option to buy.





    Not ideal but we have matches short and medium term which we have to win – long term planning is very important but sometimes you have to kick the problem down the line if thats the best option (obviously debatable on a case by case basis) or even the only option.



    Plus, even if there is no option to buy, having the player on loan can increase the chance he’ll want to come back for another loan or permanently.




  13. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    BHOYLO83 on 3RD SEPTEMBER 2019 2:10 PM



    Thanks, takes a bit of getting used to!




  14. ” PHIL01 on 3RD SEPTEMBER 2019 10:56 AM


    Not sure why people spend time discussing with people that are clearly glass half empty mentality. That is just their nature and nothing you say or any evidence will convince them otherwise.”



    Coincidentally, whilst out cycling this morning , I decided I wouldn`t bother responding to those who are ALWAYS negative about Celtic for that very reason. It is pointless.





    MWD What was your blog name before MWD ?

  15. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on



    Macjay1…so Bojo’s attempt to suspend parliament is democratic?




















    It`s legal . It does not create a precedent. What`s your problem ?


    It may well be tactical. So what ?


    As if tactics are not being used to deny the will of the people.


    Particularly by the pompous twat in the chair.




    Why don`t you just fess up ?


    You didn`t like the result.


    A democrat would accept the will of the people.


    Why won`t you ?





    Democracy delayed by almost three years. That`s Undemocratic.

  16. Siempre Celtic


    You are obviously not based in Scotland . If you were, you would realise this bit `(FORMERLY TRADITIONALIST88)`is unnecessary .




  17. SYDNEYTIM on 3RD SEPTEMBER 2019 12:59 PM








    Once again, that is not anything but conjecture from Harry Brady. It’s not reporting.



    “We knew Lee Congerton would follow Brendan Rogers out of the door.”



    How does he know that? Does Harry know when the first approach for Congerton was made? Is he privy to conversations between Lawwell and Congerton?



    “We could have tried to pay off his contract at that point, but instead we waited for the inevitable knock on the door from Leicester and the request for him to accompany Brendan.”



    At what point? The way I see it is we were practically in March when BR left. Congerton was still under contract and we had to be preparing for the summer.



    “This meant that for 12 months we had a head of recruitment that we did not trust and we knew would be leaving with the manager.”



    Not sure about that timeframe. Brendan Rodgers actually left Celtic on the 26th of February and Congerton left around 10 weeks later.



    I understand that BR had been working his ticket before then but what does the lack of trust mean? Does that mean the guy we appointed as a head scout wouldn’t try to do his job?



    “Our scouting strategy was therefore non-existent, with him either identifying inappropriate targets or no targets at all. We approached this Champions League campaign with key players leaving and no scouted replacements”



    Has Harry seen all the targets scouted by Congerton? How does he know how many and how appropriate?



    Anybody who has been following the rumours Celtic Underground post on twitter know that they know nothing.

  18. Elhamedy,played on Sunday with the fracture.Had not trained for 10 days.I did mention before the Hun game that big Nir was no shrinking violet,as proved,think we have another one here.Bauer looks every inch,the modern,full back,quick,athletic,and that throw is a weapon that is priceless.I hope from now on,we save the ball from going for a corner,and knock it out for a throw in.Anybody else think that Ryan changes his boots to concrete one when taking corners.Woeful.His only fault.The 2 Manchester signings along with the other younger signings,could be the answer to trying to get players in for the qualifiers.4 year contracts.Nearly impossible to do our business in the couple of weeks available in the summer.Players on holiday,tournaments ongoing,agents doing what they are paid for.Continuity,the best way forward.


    Have to say,in parting,I do think Bayo is a real striker.We have a star here.

  19. Macjay, I am loathe to get involved in the Brexit debate. You are well away in Australia and will not suffer in the slightest regarding the fall out of a no deal Brexit.


    So from your lofty safe perch you preach away. Do you not realise that you are annoying & upsetting people who have genuine personal concerns for how this will turn out,


    When you talk about Celtic I find myself in almost 100% agreement in your observations.


    When you delve into areas like Politics, Emigration, Refugees, Climate Change your stuff makes me physically sick.


    I must admit to being a bit ambiguous re a no deal Brexit. I do believe it will be bad for Britain and I also believe it could lead to the Break up of the Union.


    As a lifelong Irish Republican I would give anything to live to see the Break up of the UK and to see the Butcher’s Apron rendered redundant . For that reason alone I would be prepared to suffer the economic fall out if it meant achieving this goal.


    However for me the war in the 6 Counties is over and I don’t want to see any further bloodshed or violence there. It is hard to envisage how Ireland could operate within the EU Rules & not have a hard Border on the Island in the event of a No deal Brexit. If a hard Border re=emerges it is highly likely to spark off the violence again,


    However none of this will affect you so prattle on.


    Final word, are people not entitled to change their mind in a Democracy, The people of the UK are much more informed now then at the time of First Referendum, what is so wrong with giving them the opportunity to vote again. If there is a genuine majority there right now who would prefer to remain surely their voice deserves to be heard, if there is not then the Brexiteers having nothing to fear.

  20. Macjay1/Anyone else, really,



    For a society to be truly democratic, would everyone need to be sufficiently well informed to make a valid assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the various policies being offered?




  21. MacJay1…



    Going back….there was a Conservative Party Leadership



    war…Brexit was a an illusion…the liars won…we are going to pay the price…



    look to The Loudest Voice for how the media works

  22. Fek politics.Democracy is a sham.Cant be assed.Get Independence,and give a real,real,left wing Labour Govt,with a real opposition from SNP,answerable to their voters,who are not distant from them,a chance to redeem themselves.Will take a lot,but my dream,when I was an activist in the 70-80s,not yet dead.Have to leave the UK,for it to happen.


    Preferable to what is foisted on us now as democracy and government.


    Anyway,my tuppenceworth on that crap.


    Invincible season coming up.

  23. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    HOT SMOKED on 3RD SEPTEMBER 2019 2:17 PM



    Not at the moment. But still not sure why that would be the case…




  24. Jj at triple 2



    I wish that were so…but the main stream media in this cuntry is biased…

  25. Turkeybhoy….is there such a thing as independence?…any country will hav to deal with other Sovereign Nations…do we have a strong enuff hand? Oil n gas?…that’s limited thinking…what happens next?




  26. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    CORKCELT on 3RD SEPTEMBER 2019 2:21 PM



    It is hard to envisage how Ireland could operate within the EU Rules & not have a hard Border on the Island in the event of a No deal Brexit





    Its impossible. A hard border would be inevitable. And sadly its very close.




  27. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    CORKCELT on 3RD SEPTEMBER 2019 2:21 PM



    Your personal comments are grossly unfair.


    I did not start this conversation.


    Perhaps if it is so painful to you , you could have a word with those who did.




    ” It is hard to envisage how Ireland could operate within the EU Rules & not have a hard Border on the Island in the event of a No deal Brexit. If a hard Border re=emerges it is highly likely to spark off the violence again, ”



    That is a Ireland`s problem to solve.Between herself and the E.C.


    Boris Johnston has stated categorically that he would not impose a hard border.




    So , the ball is in Irelands court.



    ” Final word, are people not entitled to change their mind in a Democracy,”



    No. Not when the British govt. promised to implement the result.



    Are the Irish people who didn`t vote for Leo entitled to demand another vote because they didn`t like the result ?


    Or are those who did vote for Leo, entitled to demand another vote because they didn`t understand his election manifesto or because he hasn`t carried out his pre election promises.



    Ludicrous propositions.

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