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. Fairhill Bhoy,


    Enjoy the concert,my boss is away down to it as well,maybe you can keep each other awake during it .

  2. Selling KT while we are going for 10 would be a disgrace, he does not want to go and the club would be betraying the support if they push him out. Selling him for less than 50M would be gross negligence, the market has established the value of young high potential FB’s, per MU & Liverpool’s current bids.

  3. !!Bada Bing!! on

    FB- Billy Joel is on my bucket list, going to New York in a couple of weeks ,he is playing Madison Square Garden, the night we leave….?

  4. “A rumour we are bringing a guy in from Rapid Vienna, no names yet…”




    Hope its the impressive named Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo, love to have that on the back of my top.



    Don’t know if he can play bit he’s a LB/LW so a good replacement for Emiliano Izzaguire as far as the jersey printing of letters go.

  5. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Got to laugh at the knickers getting in a twist about KT getting sold,, worried about rain when nain fallin.

  6. fairhill bhoy on

    GORDYBHOY 64-high mate ya bitch ?


    Just got off Piccadilly line and came out to hallelujah being song brilliantly by a busker ?#Tommy Burns .


    BADA-don’t miss him if you can,a brilliant entertainer ?

  7. Jimmynotpaul on

    From BBC Website


    Arsenal are optimistic of signing Celtic defender Kieran Tierney, despite having a bid rejected for the Scotland international.



    The Premier League club had a £15m approach turned down by the Scottish champions but are expected to return with an improved offer.



    Arsenal do not expect personal terms to be a stumbling block.



    Tierney has only played sporadically this year because of a hernia problem and is recuperating from surgery.

  8. The MSSM regularly report rumours which have the affect of unsettling those in the Celtic support who give those rumours credence. Would those supporters, by any chance, be the same ones as those who call the Sevco support gullible?




  9. The PLC Board will have a valuation for Kieran (£25m?) and if it is met he should be allowed to leave and better his career. Robertson is probably now the best left back in the world so it’s reasonable to assume KT can reach and compete at the highest level too. The boy is a superstar and needs to make the natural progression to a higher level. Its all very well being one of the lads etc etc and being a Celtic fan through and through but at the end of the day the Club are not investing or showing intent to progress. Kieran is already showing signs of wear and tear and the hustle and bustle of our farmers League does him no favours. Hayes can do a job in Scotland which is all thats really needed. The £25m can sit in the bank for a rainy day and will cover expenses and bonuses going forward.

  10. Our manager had the opportunity to say KT is not for sale instead he said he expected bids, talked about why KT is in demand and that a decision would have to be made….

  11. Jimmynotpaul on

    Hot Smoked.


    I’m one who normally dismisses the madness of close season, which is used to unsettle Celtic players and support.


    This one, for me, is a bit different.


    It’s came from English MSM and the man who has put up the article, David Ornstein, usually has a bit of insight into Arsenal and their dealings


    That’s not to say, that it could be nonsense, it’s just that it has not came from Scottish MSM.


    Hail Hail

  12. There is not a price that Arsenal would pay for Kieran Tierney that would begin to equate to his true value. Celtic DO NOT NEED to sell him and they better not. Imo, that would be a transfer too far.

  13. Had a full day, gym stuff the a day out with family in Glasgow , good lunch in La Lanterna, although a bit less memorable than previous visits.


    Back home npw amd catching up with the KT story or non story.


    IMO. Kiearan will leave at some point in next two seasons. The SPL will hold him back or end his career with injury. He is a darling ofthe crowd ,probably more so than Charlie Nicholas and Dalglish in days gone by. I think he is comaprable to Nicholas but way behind Dalglish. Both of the above could win games on their own. . I really hppe he stays for the 10, if not the price is £40m and let the bidding begin.

  14. The much vaunted Ajax model is built on selling their best players at the peak of their value, extracting Top dollar from the Top 3 Leagues. As a support we like the model when it works but I don’t think we have come to terms with the emotional pain of selling our top players.



    This will test our appetite for the model. KT is our most sellable asset, though it may be debatable if he is at his peak value given the injury blighted season just gone.



    He is contracted until 2023, played 100 senior games, 13 caps & captained both club & country. We are holding all the cards, let’s see if PL has learnt anything from his dealings with Petrie over the past few years.



    Wan Bissaka hast been valued at £55 million by Man Utd, his CV cannot compare to KT’s in any shape or form. This should be the mantra put out by the club, nothing under £55M, will be considered, once this is established they key is to get at least 2 clubs bidding. Ignore the bullshit about SPFL players not being valued in the same way, KT has CL & International experience. There is no risk in KT not adapting to the EPL.



    Would hate to see him go, at any time, particularly this season but there will be interest, how we deal with it will tell us more about PL’s skillset than any McGinn or Turnbull purchase.

  15. weebobbycollins on

    Big Peter will be having desperate sleepless nights…counting 15 million notes until eventually he conks out…

  16. weebobbycollins on

    Sloleybhoy…”Wan Bissaka has been valued at £55 million by Man Utd, his CV cannot compare to KT’s in any shape or form.”


    Oh yes it can! WB has proved himself in the EPL, KT hasn’t and that’s seen as a good enough reason to offer less…

  17. ” JIMMYNOTPAUL on 22ND JUNE 2019 5:53 PM


    Hot Smoked.


    I’m one who normally dismisses the madness of close season, which is used to unsettle Celtic players and support.



    This one, for me, is a bit different.”



    Fair point.




  18. Regarding KT, the critical factor is if the player wants to go. If he doesn’t, there is nothing the club can do to change that so long as he has a contract. In the end, it will be the player’s choice

  19. KT is every bit a Celtic man as Paul McStay.


    McStay was incredibly loyal to our club but I believe he earned not much less at Celtic than he would have anywhere else at the time.


    I read somewhere that Fergus McCann was aghast at the level of McStay’s wages when he first came into Parkhead in 1994.


    I don’t recall the figures but I am pretty sure it would seem like peanuts by today’s standards.



    KT will no doubt be able to treble his 25k a week salary…Probably 3 or 4 million a year in wages are available to him .


    Quite simply if an offer comes in around the 25 million mark being quoted then im afraid it will be all over very quickly.

  20. weebobbycollins on

    Friesdorfer…”Regarding KT, the critical factor is if the player wants to go.”



    or…the critical factor is if Peter Sellwell wants the player to go.”



    We shall soon see…

  21. WEEBOBBYCOLLINS on 22ND JUNE 2019 8:19 PM


    Sloleybhoy…”Wan Bissaka has been valued at £55 million by Man Utd, his CV cannot compare to KT’s in any shape or form.”



    Oh yes it can! WB has proved himself in the EPL, KT hasn’t and that’s seen as a good enough reason to offer less…



    If we can’t value KT properly then no-one else will. Of course their mindset is to offer less but we hold all the aces in this one, we don’t have to sell, Player is happy here, he is contracted until 2023. If they want to buy him that’s the starting price.



    Another example, James Maddison had one good season in the Championship, Norwich had to sell to avoid administration yet he still went for £22 million.



    There is no logic to a players value, £50 million is bread & butter for the top 6 clubs

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