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. Siempre Celtic



    Because Sevco never have to say ( Formerly Rangers FC ). It was a wee joke :-)))






    That is part of what I was hinting at. IMO, democracy is a carrot to make people think they reall have a say in how a country is run.



    These International breaks lead to all sorts of non-Celtic converastions !!


    Cheerio for now

  2. Siempre…please no…for a start…a hard border is impossible…is this the UK playing with lrish lives again…am getting angry…leading to rage

  3. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    HOT SMOKED on 3RD SEPTEMBER 2019 2:46 PM



    Got you! Yeah was saying earlier I’d gone down the newco route:







  4. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on




    Can only hope not but No Deal is essentially chaos at least initially and I don’t see how they can have an open border between EU and non-EU…




  5. Macjay1



    How many of the 17.4m voted for a no deal Brexit?



    If you think the answer is ‘it is not known’ or anything similar… You’d be wrong.



    The answer is zero. NADA. None. Because the question was never posed so not voted on. There is therefore I’m afraid no mandate at all for a no deal Brexit.



    There was no date by which the ‘will of the people’ should be achieved by.



    That my unaffected friend is democracy.




  6. macjay1 for Neil Lennon 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.






    You guys just don`t get it.



    If a hard border is imposed , it will be imposed by Ireland on instructions from Brussels.

  7. If people in Westminster truly worried about what’s happens in Derry or Belfast, Brexit would have been a non-starter.

  8. Sorry I’ve stopped reading back as there’s 6 hours time difference from Celtic Park to were I am but here goes.


    1st of all I looked at daily rectum about the currant buns signing. OOPS sorry “SWOOPING” for Clark Kent and playing hardball with Liverpool. Bet you PL is happy we don’t have to deal with his hard headed Ibrox counterpart. Please remember they are from Ibrox and NOT from my hometown of Govan. YGT


    I posted last week Celtic do a professional job when signing played and don’t play it out on the media of who we are after. See one of the dailies running a “Report?” Of the leaked list and who we actually signed. Did not read.


    After the trouncing we gave our big spending rivals our detractors have suddenly reappeared and giving it full Welly. Is it just me being inquisitive (paranoid) about certain posters how you never hear for days then all of a sudden they are both? On backing their arguments/statements. Years ago KOKO would come on with some good info about the reserves but finish up with his right wing slant. This would be backed up later by the Singing Detective in exactly the same layout of his post?


    I don’t know any of the gentleman but we always get poor reports on Celtic PLC, Celtic CEO & Celtic football club from Sydney Tim or Mackay in whatever order. Could these be the same person or it something in the Antipodean water that ties them together?


    On a lighter note. Someone posted


    “Bereft of their songbook their support was as quiet as a prisoners orgasm”which nearly caused me to spray some red biddy from Bali over my computer. (Rubbish but it’s Alcoholic)


    Anyway great to a Tic supporter and hears to nine,ten etc,etc etc

  9. CORKCELT on 3RD SEPTEMBER 2019 2:21 PM



    ‘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.’







    You sound like the Irish equivalent of an English Brexit Party supporter.

  10. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    DUMBHOY on 3RD SEPTEMBER 2019 2:54 PM



    The people voted to leave .





    ” No ifs . No buts ”



    If they didn`t know the potential consequences , then that`s not Boris`s fault.


    Or anyone else`s for that matter.

  11. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on




    What don’t I get? I am only stating that a hard border is inevitable in a no deal situation, I haven’t gone into the trials and tribulations of the vote or anything else at all here.




  12. Macjay1



    No they didn’t. No ifs no buts UNCONDITIONALLY… was not on the ballot and was not voted on. Zero people voted for that…




  13. Lurkin, As Gerry Adams was prone to say, Stay Calm. There are things that happen in life that we have no control over, anger is a very natural response ut in the end it will only hurt you. All you can do is to use your vote to try & achieve the result you want & encourage other like minded people to do the same.



    As to what I think will happen, my bet is that there will be a General Election in the UK, I think this election will further polarise the position. Boris likely to deselect those who don’t back a No Deal Brexit. Will probably come back with less M.Ps but by & large those he will have more likely to toe the Party Line.


    Can’t see Labour under Corbyn making any gains, could even lose a few, I expect the Liberals & the SNP to make gains but overall I see a hung Parliament but a lot will depend on whether there is widespread tactical voting based on Pro or Anti Brexit concerns, what happens from there is anyone’s guess.


    If I was a Brit (God Bless the Mark as my poor Mum would say) I would be demanding a Government of National Unity.




    2,000,000 people have died in the UK since the referendum.



    A similar number have become eligible to vote since then.



    It’s a peculiar notion of democracy that the dead should dictate to the living.

  15. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on




    What don`t you get ?



    A hard border would be imposed by Ireland.


    Not by UK.


    Ireland`s decision .

  16. A hard border is an inevitable consequence of Brexit.





    Responsibility for a hard border lies with those advocating Brexit.

  17. Ernie, I know you are a Scottish Unionist so my views won’t sit well with you.


    However as an Irish man I have plenty of reasons to dislike the Union Jack & what it stands for & that is all I have to say to you sir.

  18. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on




    The delay was caused by stupid Teresa May`s decision to have an election and lose her majority.


    And by the better negotiating techniques of Brussels.


    May`s heart wasn`t in it.



    None of that changes the promise made by Cameron to carry out the will of the electorate.


    Justice delayed . Justice denied.

  19. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on



    A hard border is an inevitable consequence of Brexit.



    Responsibility for a hard border lies with those advocating Brexit.








    So blame the 17.4 million.


    100% agree. “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”.



    This means that the Australian and New Zealand “flegs” (inter alia) will become redundant.



    First line of the W.Ts “Rock on Rockall” springs to mind.

  21. How in God’s name is Ireland imposing the border. The UK decided to leave, the UK came up with the backstop and the EU (Ireland is simply one member state) has to accept that the UK is deciding to have new trade borders . A tiny minority on the island of Ireland want a no deal Brexit and a minority in the North want Brexit at all.

  22. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on




    You are confusing me with someone else. I haven’t said anything about who would impose the hard border.

  23. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on




    Its absolutely finished and Brexit is the backlash. Horrible sense of entitlement has never gone away.




  24. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on




    Fair enough.


    Sorry about that.

  25. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on




    No worries.




  26. Macjay will you go back to live in this Wonderland of Brexit? Apart from saying the people voted for it why do you think it is the right thing for UK and what are the advantages that could send you back to live there. Me? I don’t live there but my children/grandchildren do so I go with what my children want. They do not want fascism an Scotland and believe you me it is a threat in both UK and Europe. Look what happend in Govan on Friday night.

  27. “Here’s the ball”, he said, “show me”!



    Recently, and more than once we’ve been harried on the park and belittled in the media.


    It appeared that not a thought was given to Neil Lennon and Celtic.


    So Neil Lennon had to manage his way out of the high press on the park


    and low press in the streets.



    “Here’s the ball”, he said, “show me”!



    From the opening kick off to the final kick off the park red card, Neil Lennon showed that management is not about big names but big ideas. He handed them the opportunity to play in front of their own support. “We don’t need the ball” he said, “We don’t need the noise that 7,000 Celtic supporters generate, we can play when its quiet” he said. “You think you can play football” he said, “come ahead”. Neil Lennon set them up.



    “Here’s the ball”, he said, “show me”!




  28. Only 1 country has ever imposed or recognised a border in Ireland… The GFA saw the 32 county govt revoke their recognition of a full Ireland as a condition which also included no fixed border. It would appear to be dangerous folly to undermine that bedrock TREATY for a cheap Brexit…

  29. I know I’m a bit late with these comments but there was a lot of things and no small amount of nervous tension to deal with on Sunday like the big game at Ibrox and then thrill-a-minute GAA game in Croker.



    On Friday I posted that I was delighted to see all the hot air emanating from Ibrox and not for the first time we saw what this can lead to a no show from Le Blues. I also hoped Neil would include Nir Bitton and Hayser in the team. Nir was superb and a brilliant late late show from Hayser.



    After two massive results last week in Stockholm and Ibrox was a great bonding curve for the three defensive newcomers and lest we forget these guys were well used to playing in big packed arenas before coming to us. Ibrox held no fears for these lads. Cluj is now forgotten and Neil onwards and upwards – the man for the job.

  30. Paul67



    Good article long live CQN



    Torturous window from Turnbull to Taylor, fine if you’re a Celtic supporter on a desert island, with no internet, glad we can all get back to supporting the team.



    Not a good combination Lee Compper Congerton in fact more unmitigated disaster, shackled to a ‘want away’ career psychopath, the scouting system has had a makeover, we won’t know if it’s fixed until the next time, and the next.



    The window may have ended brightly but it was badly delivered, by our club in a PR context with mixed, disgarded notes, or no messages throughout, when you consider we’ve signed 12 players ( 5 full backs ) you’d never know that it was the most players signed ever, in any window mixing with Celtic fans through summer.



    Neil Lennon has delivered, his backers have backed him, Scotland poo pooed us, and it’s same old Celtic, always winning.



    Boli 🇧🇪


    Jullien 🇫🇷


    Elhamed 🇮🇱


    Forster 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿


    Elyounoussi 🇳🇴


    Bauer 🇦🇹


    Taylor 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿


    Afolabi 🇮🇪


    Connell 🇮🇪


    Oluwayemi 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿


    Frimpong 🇳🇱


    O’Connor 🇮🇪



    Hail Hail



  31. DELIASMITH on 3RD SEPTEMBER 2019 12:16 PM


    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.





    Just read this on catchup.


    100% agree.


    A comparative lesson from golf.


    Golf clubs all over the country are struggling with falling membership. Membership of a club was the most affordable way to play golf in the 80’s and 90’s when I started to play.


    Clubs had 2 yr waiting lists.


    Then golf boomed in my area 9 hole courses extended to 18, new courses popped up, the waiting lists dissappeared.


    When golf became less fashionable membership fell off. The annual fees increased to make up the shortfall and more golfers realised that their occassional round was now working out at £50+. … they left.



    You can walk in off the street to play my course for £25…..


    The consequences of this are increasing number of course closures ….many more are sitting on a membership demographic time bomb…..hoping that it happens somewhere else to someone else and that they pick up some refugee golfers.



    There is often talk about extending the stadium…..Deliasmith outlines the dangers in his post.


    if we were to do this, we move the tipping point (where there is no necessity to hold a season ticket) to a dangerous position.



    It is not too long ago we had upper sections of Celtic Park blocked off.


    If we were to increase capacity, where do the South Stand season ticket holders go whilst the building work proceeds ?



    Maybe the crumbledome will be vacant soon.



    The Onlooker


    Carefulwhatyouwishfor CSC

  32. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on




    Bit knackered , but you deserve a response.



    I would return temporarily to reunite with family members and pals and to visit some old haunts.


    Politically , I would have serious concerns about what I would expect to be a socialist Scotland. If Scotland became independent .





    The rise of fascism in Europe is directly related to ” no border ” Schengen.


    Imposed by the EC.


    Don`t see the Jocks being seduced by fascism. Certainly not the fascism of the right.





    Keep wee, my fellow Tim .













    A hard border is an inevitable consequence of Brexit.







    Responsibility for a hard border lies with those advocating Brexit.



















    So blame the 17.4 million.








    I was brought up not to speak ill of the dead.



    But I draw the line at being dictated to by them.

  34. I am satisfied with the sightings in the window and that has been more productive than the previous 4 windows.



    We have slapped down secco.



    We failed to qualify for the CL and so lost out on £30m.



    It would though be remiss not to look at the wider picture and speculate if we could have done better.



    If Paul67 says we knew Rodgers was done in summer 18 then we knew he was off sooner than later. He came with a team and we should have excepted that team to go with him.



    We knew Boyata was going. He said so. Benkovic loan up. Looked like we knew Kieran would go and we knew we weren’t offering Lustig a 3 year deal. That is a big whole to plug.



    We should have anticipated Congerton going and his period in charge of scouting wasn’t our best.



    The new temp seems to have done very well in there.



    It seems a bit unprofessional not to interview candidates for the managers job whether we favoured Neil or not.



    I have 1 question really. If we had reflected on this better could we have gone about our business better that might have meant we were in the CL groups?



    From where I’m sitting I think we could have called a few things differently and been better prepared.



    Those with executive roles should consider this question for future learning.



    Mistakes will always be made. Not learning from them is the crime…




  35. Mackay correct me if I’m wrong but “I want Brexit for the UK but Fu***d if I would live there”


    Get a good sleep, only 22:00 where I am.


    Watching Return of the King, pissed off it’s not about Henrik but why does Gollum remind me of Wee Barry

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