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.


About Author


  1. Slabhoy - on the road to 10 on

    !!BADA BING!! on 3RD SEPTEMBER 2019 5:43 PM


    Slabhoy- if you read the previous couple of pages,you will get why i posted….:)



    I had done – that’s why I laughed!! :-) Pithy and apposite

  2. HeknowsWHOknows on




    Because its absolutely disgusting. That’s why.



    Who made you administrator???

  3. HeknowsWHOknows on

    Sorry…… However there is no place in society for that nonsense regardless of profession.



    It needs investigated and followed up with an appropriate penalty or whatever there called these days.

  4. Macjay



    The UK had 3 years to negotiate a deal which would allow an orderly withdrawal. After those 3 years the UK has still not come up with any workable solution to the problem of the Irish border. Funnily enough a problem they created both in 1921 and 2016. The backstop was inserted into the withdrawal agreement by the UK and EU negotiating teams with the sole aim of providing a temporary solution to enable the discussions to progress. It was the neanderthals in the DUP and hard-line Conservative eurosceptics who refused to accept this. Boris arrives on the scene as pm and tells everyone that a deal is possible if only the EU will completely cave in to his demands. He has been asked repeatedly what his “innovative technical” solutions to border checks are and his only response has been that they are “innovative and technical”. A no deal brexit has been his aim all along.



    He is using the old nazi playbook methinks. Make outrageous demands which can never be met, blame traitors and agent provocateurs for undermining your glorious future, gain power as the leader of a minority coalition of right wing cranks and xenophobes. I just hope the Palace of Westminster has checked its fire alarms recently because the next step is a Reichstag fire and arrest some “foreign type” for a show trial followed by assuming power, reluctantly of course, in the interest of stability and security.



    That last bit was my little macabre joke. Or was it?

  5. TBB



    Did they not put that on the side of a bus. Think I recall something advertised on a bus.






    Oh aye. Always been MWD or related although I did change to “Dougie” “Dougie” for w wee while signing off with MWD.

  6. Staying mainly out of the Brexit stuff in general not just on here..It is beyond tedious and boring.



    However the vote was cast ….the uk voted OUT.



    They should be OUT by now.All the opinions and greeting in the world wont change my opinion on that.



    I do not live in scotland .I live in the east coast of yorkshire.


    Believe me around here vote leave is the vast majority .


    If that does not happen on the 31st october there is going to be a mass unrest.



    Video online with Brown is an absolute disgrace. That little poisonous individual deserves to live a very sad life.




    Absolutely disgusting.




    He knows – unfortunately the scumbag will be hailed as a hero down Greyskull way.



    D. :)

  8. onenightinlisbon on




    Scotland didn’t vote to leave. Mass unrest here?




    Unfortunately Scotland had already voted a couple of years earlier to have the UK make that decision for them.

  10. The Battered Bunnet on

    On Ernie’s point on the demographics of Leave voters, particularly that those who voted Leave were older, and Remain younger (implying that 3 years on, a greater number of Leave voters will have died than Remain voters, and that the proportion of voters and votes may now be reversed) Draw breath…



    The research shows a mixed picture, and there remains some disagreement amongst researchers, but the consensus shows that the three indicators most strongly associated with Leave voting areas are: Low Income, Low Education and High Unemployment.



    It’s notable that this complexion is what might, in an orthodox view, be considered a classic Labour-voting demographic.



    At the individual level (as opposed to the geographical) the data suggests that “the key channel of influence was not through general dissatisfaction with life. It was through a person’s narrow feelings about his or her own financial situation.”



    We might label that as “Austerity”.



    Further analysis suggests that Leave voting was not skewed towards older people. Only the very young were substantially pro-Remain, with older folk were (largely) as split as the rest of the electorate.



    Just sayin’

  11. Lazydynamite @ 7:01


    55% of Scots voted No in 2014 because ( amongst other things) they were told they would out of the EU if they voted for Independence . Figure that one out !

  12. For all I was disgusted and still am with Brendan Rodgers I am certainly not going to take the side of Kris Boyd against him.


    Private txt msg should remain private NOT used as a column piece.


    I am pretty sure that the former celtic manager is guilty as charged at his ‘riding to vanity fair’ perception.



    But could you imagine the juicy private information he might be privy to when being celtic manager that he could bring public to shame boyd back?


    Maybe I’m wrong but that story was in bad taste.


    Aimed at getting us celtic fans wound up and starting a Lennon v Rodgers debate.


    Rodgers is a rat for what he did but his teams against rangers were in general superb.

  13. Frannyb67



    That will pay it without moaning and forming committees to debate the structure and affiliation of moaning like we do!

  14. As I recall and I may be wrong but weren’t Glasgow [just] and Dundee the ONLY Scottish cities that voted for independence?


    Basically I remember the phrase at the time was ‘shat it’.



    Scotland had it’s chance to take control of its own decisions.


    We can all tell tales of ‘they said this and they said that’.


    It was a clear choice to be ruled by westminster.


    Just like it was a clear choice by the population of the UK to LEAVE the EU.



    All the rest we hear time and time and time again is mince.

  15. Obviously we have been running an Academy for years & young bhoys have progressed through the ranks and from time to time we have went after outside players at various stages of their Development but has there ever been a period like we have just experienced, so far we have brought in a Keeper from Spurs Toby Oluwayemi, a kid from Rosenburg Leo Hjelde, former Rangers player Liam Burt, Luca Connell from Bolton, Jonathon Afolabi released from Southampton, Jeremi Frimpong Manchester City & Lee O’Connor Man United.


    Hope I’m not forgetting anyone but that is 7 essentially Development Players, we would have paid hard cash for 5 of these players I’d guess an outlay in excess of 2 million plus wages. Some of these players are not starry eyed kids, Luca would have a full Irish Senior Cap only for an injury & played regularly on Bolton’s first team, Lee O’Connor made Manchester United’s European squad. I reckon the majority of these ghuys will be anticipating getting some game time with first team this year, add Karamoko Dembele, Armstrong Oko-Flex & the likes of Greg Savoury & Barry Coffey & you will have a host of disappointed kids.


    We already have 7 Development Players sent out on Loan, there is no Reserve League & ghuys like Sinclair & Shved, Kouassi, Arzani & Miller will even struggle to make first team bench.


    I struggle to see the logic of it, I’m all for getting in young talent & developing them but surely there should be some obvious road of progression. At the moment I can’t see it, would welcome enlightenment, if anyone has it to offer.

  16. 37% of those eligible to vote voted leave the EU. 37% of those eligible to vote voted yes in the indyref!!






    Turn out the big difference.



    What about the 30 odd million who did not vote to leave. The forgotten figure.







    ‘Further analysis suggests that Leave voting was not skewed towards older people. Only the very young were substantially pro-Remain, with older folk were (largely) as split as the rest of the electorate.’







    Do you have a link to any evidence that would support such an analysis, because it flies in the face of anything I’ve read about it ?









    ‘Just over 70% of 18 to 24-year-olds who voted in the referendum backed Remain, four major academic and commercial polls conducted shortly after the ballot agree, with just under 30% backing Leave.



    In contrast, only 40% of those aged 65 and over supported Remain, while 60% placed their cross against Leave.



    These younger and older voters may be even more polarised now.’

  18. Must admit that I don’t think we need to increase the capacity of the ground. But the south stand upper and lower are badly needing updated as the facilities really are very poor. I used to sit in front stand section nearest to the Lisbon lions stand. When I took ill in 2017, I needed to use a disabled toilet which was situated in the away section of the LL stand. I had to give my seat up due this really not being convenient. Luckily I am now in the North West corner disabled section.

  19. P67 @ AstroTurf Towers



    You really are havering now.


    Fourth PL inspired CL failure in 6 years.


    At least £20mill down the Swannee and you think things are going well?



    A couple of crumbs doesn’t make a balanced diet.


    A good victory over a shocking TFOD2.1 side does not make our season.


    A productive week does not atone for a shocking three months.



    Huge season ahead of us and currently we are trying to compose ourselves after a count of 8 knockdown.



    We are currently half the team we could have been if only a well known second rate property bean counter on the slide had seen sense and retired.

  20. Would be happy to see the old main stand upgraded. 67,000 is a nice wee nod to our past.



    More seats and better facilities for corporate.


    Better toilets, facilities and floor space for all supporters in south stand.



    Hand over the current corporate facilities in the north, west and east of the stadium to the foot soilders so everyone benefits ps add sensory rooms, increase elivated seating for disabled people, add more toilets etc…



    Replaced dated facade with modern facade and remove the two massive posts that restrict view. Better media, dressing rooms, conference rooms and all other associated improvements.



    Add the hotel, bars, cafe, museum, fanzone, parking and superstore and the whole place Would be simply great for us supporters and visitors alike.



    Not sure any of it will come to pass but that level of investment in and around the stadium would more that pay for itself.




  21. I heard from what I consider a reliable source that a decision has been taken to renovate stand, have no idea of scale of operation or what increase in capacity if any is envisaged. From planning to finish likely to take 3 years.

  22. The Battered Bunnet on



    ‘All the rest we hear time and time and time again is mince.’



    By this are you referring to the illegality of the brexit campaign and the fact that no-deal was never mentioned as a possible outcome?



    Because if you think they are ‘mince’ you are not in any way, shape or form a defender of democracy.

Do Not Sell My Personal Information