Transfer ‘saga’, David Murray vices, warlords and dafties


Signing players is easy, just ask anyone who has never done it.  The selling club invariably wants to wait until the last moment, when they are sure no one else will bid up the price.  The player occasionally wants to wait and see if you have Champions League football that season.  This deal might be the only income the agent will get that year, so he needs to make the most of it.

Then you have the really complicated ones.  Players have pitched up at Celtic Park from a far-flung part of Europe, terrified to sign because some shady character thinks he owns a part of him and has not been paid off.

There has been a time recently when everything was agreed, then the selling club told the player he would not receive his final salary.  The player, not unreasonably, said, “This is not right, on a point of principle, they need to pay or we try again in January.”

You want to sign all your top targets, but to do that, you need to pay the top price the club, player and agent can imagine you will pay, even then, it’s not always going to happen.

It is only right to pay the top price you can afford on exceptional occasions.  Your strategy should involve being prepared to fail in a negotiation, because to succeed at the prevailing price does not fit your overall budget.

In Scotland, we are still conditioned to some extent, by the bombast of David Murray.  Old Zsa Zsa rattled his jewellery and boasted that he never allowed price to stop him buying a player he really wanted.  I hear the echoes today, “Just pay the money!”

Murray made it sound like a virtue.  It wasn’t.  It was one of several vices that led to liquidation.

You have to lose some.  Players will not come and some existing players, who are out of contract, will leave.  Both will be painful, fans will accuse you of motives which have no internal consistency, but if you get a reputation for not letting players walk away due to money, you are dead in the water.

You need a bucket full of tactics, not cash, to sign players.  Experience helps too, and not the good type, you will mostly learn from bad experiences.  There will be times you phone the player’s grandfather, who is on your side, but you will still not be able to convince the player Celtic Park is the right move.

Then you will publicly turn your face to stone. “This is our line and not an inch more”, was the subtext of a recent Celtic Tweet.  “Curious”, I thought, “What’s the chances this will work?”

The football business is mad, there is no other word for it.  It is full of dafties, alpha males who are still trying to impress their decades-dead fathers, the occasional warlord and some fine young athletes.  Try to understand it through the prism of normal life and you will misinterpret everything.

Oh, and if at least 50% of your transfers are not justifiably described as a “saga” you’re not working hard enough.  Transfers, like sausages, are not meant to look good when they are being made.

Let’s hope David Turnbull passes his medical…..

I’m off to the CQN Charity Golf Day in Aberdour this afternoon, not to play golf, of course, but to hear Danny McGrain and Willie McStay.

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  1. Yeah



    Kenny M …my memory .. avoided at all costs givin a signiture to a young hoops fan when they were jumpin into cars to go to barra fur trainin.



    I could name others….




  2. This is how you protect your young RB assets from unwanted attention :)



    “Barcelona’s reserve team have put a 100m euro (£89.2m) release clause on their new signing Mike van Beijnen.



    Dutch right-back Van Beijnen, 20, who has played for NAC Breda, PSV Eindhoven and Willem II, has signed a two-year deal with Barcelona B.



    He played alongside Barcelona’s £65m signing Frenkie de Jong in Willem’s youth teams.



    Barcelona B play in the Segunda Division B, in the third tier of Spanish football.” BBC Spory.

  3. Are the usual suspects all at the 19th hole? Been quiet here tonight! Anyway, latest from Lake Garda for anyone who’s interested. Been to Torri del benaco today possibly my favourite place so far. So old and beautiful, really takes your breath away. If anyone here is considering Lake Garda, I couldn’t recommend it more.



    On Celtic, was gutted to see PC Lustig go, love him. And welcome to DT, hopefully that goes more smoothly from now!



    Treble treble, you’ve torn your dress…



    Bed time for Bonzo…

  4. let the people sing on

    Glasgowbhoy – if you haven’t been to the Roman Fort at Sirmione, it’s well worth the visit – love Lake Garda, absolutely stunning Hail!Hail!

  5. Just in from seeing The Blues Band and Paul Jones gave Celtic a mention ! He was just about to do a number composed by Gil Scott Herron and that was the connection.


    `night all.



  6. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    After the leaked photo, why has the Turnbull “transfer” not been announced? Hope we are no headed for another Judas indignity. Mind you, ahm wi WITS, the boy is too ugly and dizny hub a Feniany enough sounding name for us.



  7. eddieinkirkmichael,


    i aint sure Peter Lawell would think the debates you talk about were civil.

  8. Appreciating fully the jocularity of the “not Feniany enough” comments about our impending signing’s name, I would point out that the University of Glasgow was founded by Papal bull due to Bishop Turnbull in the 15th century and that Turnbull Hall and Turnbull High School remain testament to his legacy today.



    My question is “what Fenian institutions are named after Bishop or Saint “Hunderbirds Are Gone” to support his Feniancy credentials?

  9. Black 47



    watching now.



    probably the most accurate and exact reenactment of what the famine was.



    it took another forty years for our Celtic to be born.

  10. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    Touché James of Croatia. I yield to your superior knowledge of Feniany lineage within Presbyterian nomenclature. ??



  11. Atletico Madrid are close to completing the 120m euros (£106.7m) signing of Benfica forward Joao Felix, meaning Manchester United will miss out on the 19-year-old Portugal international. (Evening Standard)






    Extraordinary that a similar sized Club to us is selling a player for £100m and Ajax are doing much the same.

  12. Who won the Cqners hackers day at Aberdour?



    Money is on Mars, he’s a wringer.



    Old Tim and the Davies will still be standing strong at the bar. ?

  13. I fear that if we don’t reach the CL group stages, then KT will be sold immediately.



    Ridiculous, (if true) that the club have put a £25million price tag on the player.



    KT is worth between £30-40million at the very least.



    Yes the club were bumped by Lyon when a £19million fee was accepted Moussa Dembele – thing is the player wanted to leave and we failed to qualify, so the club were forced to accept half of his true market value.



    That previous scenario must not be repeated again.



    HH. ?

  14. ” Motherwell’s David Turnbull will have a Celtic medical on Friday and sign a four-year deal after choosing the Scottish champions over Norwich City.” BBC Thursday.



    ” The 19-year-old midfielder will complete his move from Motherwell, pending a Friday medical.”



    BBC yesterday but still nothing announced officially.


    Has he had a medical?



  15. Jimmynotpaul on

    Morning all.


    I hope all who attended the golf yesterday had a blast.


    In the assumption that the deal goes through, I’m looking forward to seeing D.T. in the hoops.


    An exciting signing.


    Sorry to see Mika leave.


    What a great servant he has been and to think he was signed for no fee.


    I wish him all the best for the future.


    Hail Hail

  16. BBC Reporting that Turnbull has passed his medical. Still no signature yet, indicating that it may happen over the week-end though por cierto.

  17. Good morning CQN from a beautiful and sunny Garngad



    Has David UTurn-bull signed yet?


    Have they not got a pen?



    D. :)

  18. Neil spoke very highly of David Turnbull, sometimes he says too much , thought the same about BR , in my opinion of course.


    When I look at that photo of DT it reminds me of old photos of distant relatives and someone tells you they’re only 19 in it , “no way ,they look in their thirties,” you protest.

  19. It is being reported on various outlets this morning that Celtic have knocked back Arsenals bid of around £15 for KT.With the possible sweetner of 1 o 2 Arsenal fringe players coming to Celtic.


    Of course Celtic are correct to stand firm on our most valuable asset.The player himself appears in no rush to go anywhere.


    However we all know that the time WILL probably come when we lose KT.


    As a fan I would however prefer we did take a deal that involved us getting a player or two in from the buying club rather than pure cash that is likely to sit in the bank like all the other big deals we seem to do.

  20. So


    According to media reports, we have set a price of £25m for Kieran ???




    Crystal Palace want £65m for their young full back Wan-Bissaka or something


    Celtic – Kieran £50m and we can start thinking ??



    Reports Leicester want Callum and opening offer of £17.5m


    Yet same Leicester reportedly want £60m for Maddison


    So Brendan


    It’s £45m plus Benkovic then Celtic will think



    Oh – Ntcham opening price should now be at least £30m – going by prices quoted for players in French teams

  21. Incidentally


    Kieran, as a top Bhoy


    You will hopefully want to go for 9




    Onto 10, as our captain ? with a bit of luck

  22. It’s also worth noting that if it is accepted that KT is worth at least 25 million right now after a very shackled season due to injuries.


    Then if he continues the general curve of his career next season and really steps it up and maybe adds a few goals I would say he could well be a 40 million player this time next summer.


    Celtic hold all the aces here AND for a change we have a player who is not just saying he is in no rush to leave but actually means it .

  23. Auldheid,



    I gather it’s your birthday. Many happy returns and many more of them.



    P.S. Keep up the good, if disheartening, work on Res 12. Here’s hoping Celtic have the courage to act upon the foundations you have laid.

  24. garygillespieshamstring on

    Celtic’s selling policy should be top value for players who want to go and ABL.



    Anywhere but Leicester.

  25. More of a concern than KT transfer rumours are CMcGS’.



    I agree KT has his career ahead and the opportunity to leave will come up in every close season towards ten, I hope we can hold him that long. Callum at 26, however might be persuaded by the big money that only comes, once, I hope we reject all offers for our stars. Olivier Ntcham on the other hand is destined to follow Dembele this year, and doesn’t have the heart to play for Celtic.



    If we sell the ‘money in the bank’ is a dread for Celtic supporters, not a plus.



    Celtic are not able to spend the money we have already, never mind millions more, and its only partly our fault, the main reason is getting multi million pound players to come to Scotland whilst fitting into the wage structure. It’s been explained on CQN since the Blog started, which hasn’t stopped the criticism one bit.



    We’ve cleared the decks at RB and CB where NFL obviously sees the same deficiencies as supporters do, the midfield will be freshened with Turnbull and Henderson, we’re good for wingers and widemen . I’d be surprised if we don’t sign a proven goalscorer, and expect up to six new signings in total, excluding Maryan Shved.



    Stockpiling money can’t continue, vast profits have to be spent, and seen to have been spent.

  26. Celticrollercoaster......Hail, Hail Cesar on

    Good morning CQN



    Over the years, we have found the selling bit a lot easier. Funny that!



    Mind, beers next Saturday afternoon for those that can handle it or indeed for those that cannot ?????









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