Transfer strategy, where we are


If anyone tells you we are about to bid €7m on a guy who scored fewer league goals than Billy McKay last season, and who was signed for €500k last summer, don’t listen to them.  Nonsense like this is 180 degrees away from strategy.  Where would such a player’s sell-on value increase to?  It’s just not going to happen, nor should it, it would be a vanity purchase, the likes of which old Zsa Zsa himself would consider.

The last season we have figures for (season 2011-12), when we had Europa League football, Celtic lost £7m.  Since then three significant things have changed:

We’ve sold Wanyama and Hooper for over £17m (before deductions).
We got back into the Champions League and earned an additional £20m.
Season book sales dropped and this season cost £100 less than before.

Cutting £100 off the ticket price will bring in £4m less than last season.  All other things being equal (which they will not be), this would give us an £11m deficit before Champions League income and any trading surplus.  In short, to retain equilibrium, we need to reach the Champions League group stage more often than not.  Money from Uefa is not so much a bonus, it is necessary to push us into the black.

I know we covered this last week, but £17m for Victor and Gary will not, on its own, equate to £17m for new players.  Gary and Victor were both on their first Celtic contracts when they left, neither of which was near the top earning position (although both were offered top earning contracts).

We’re not going to spend £17m on transfers and be able to pay the new players from the money saved by not paying Victor and Gary.  Instead, the boost to the football budget from these sales will almost certainly disproportionately increase wages, leaving a lesser amount for transfers (if we sign four players for £2.5m each, we’ll probably have to pay each more than the average of Victor and Gary’s wage).

Knowing where they came from, I reckon Victor and Gary cost approximately a combined total of £1m p.a. in wages, the bulk of which would have gone to Gary.  If we bring in four players, each costing multiple millions, they could easily cost us an extra £2m per annum in wages, or £8m over their four year contracts.

In short, there is enough money available to buy several good players, for decent money, on high wages (for Celtic).  This is a good, sustainable, place to be, but it is not transfer window nirvana.  We have moved from a position of carrying a perpetual loss to being able to afford an increase in football budget without splurging into debt to fund it.

This isn’t a detailed budget analysis, there are lots of other variables (McCourt, Rogne etc off the wages, not Murphy, whose wages were off the books already), non-football budget cost inflation, considerable drop in one-off ticket sales (20k seats for £42 each at Rangers games twice a season) and commercial income from 2011-12, variations in season book sales (I hear they are marginally up on same time last year but still down on 2011-12).

The big challenge for the club is to ensure the playing squad is good enough to qualify for the Champions League group stage, and to compete when there, more often than not, without indulging in casino football every year.

We stick to plan, scout and recruit players within budget and with high potential sell-on values.  €7m on a striker from Heerenveen?  Better stick it on black.

The Kano Foundation have around 40 bucketeers for their annual drive at Celtic Park on Sunday.  They could do with a few more.  If you can do your bit, get in touch: contactus@thekanofoundation.com.

Check out the 1254125 Great Scottish Run page. I plan to keep this page updated with progress on the event and other resources. When you sign up, let me know and I’ll promote your donations page.
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  1. Electronic Tims @ ETimsNet


    Rumour reaches us we are about to break our transfer record. We don’t quite believe it either but we’ve shared it.

  2. Thanks Paul67 for the shout out .



    Bhoys and Ghirls ,



    Begging bowl time – not for money but an hour of your time .



    We’re looking for volunteers to help with a Bucket Collection before the first league game of the season on Saturday 3rd august against Ross county . 



    As you know this is a 5:15 ko so it causes us (the fans) some issues but also gives us the chance to collect some well-needed funds to help us keep bringing kids along to Celtic Park. 



    So , if you’re interested AND can spare an hour or so pre-Match  , can you drop me a line to contactus@thekanofoundation.com ?



    Also, could someone do me a favour and re-post this every 4-6 hours or so if I don’t get to it myself ?



    Hail Hail




  3. Think of a player who a club want shot of and you probably won’t be far away.


    Hope it is a striker who will net more than 30 goals a season.


    That’s not much to ask is it?




  4. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    10:01 on 30 July, 2013




  5. I reckon I have a bit of a record on CQN, Paul posts a new article either immediately or within a post or two of one of my posts. I can’t say I blame him but I’ve lost count of the number of posts doomed to oblivion by a new article. I know I could repost it on new blog but it was a rubbish post and doesn’t deserve to be repeated.

  6. In the heat of Lisbon on

    More comcerned as to how we are going to use the players in the squad this season. We are screaming out for a ball carrying, creative, centre mid and, any available are way beyond our budget.


    Dreading if we resort to a long ball game because we have a ‘big guy’ up front

  7. “Think of a player a club want shot of and you won’t be far away”………..where do these guys come from, negative,negative, negative, honestly. Anything nice to say?

  8. 'crushed nuts?' 'Naw, Layringitis!' on

    Kirk Broad foot slipped on the stairs at Ross Hall and knocked his two front teeth out.



    The deal’s off!!!!

  9. I would be happy for Celtic to acquire Kevin Doyle. A couple of goals would soon sort his confidence out and he could thrive at Celtic Park.

  10. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    Will you PLEASE stop being sensible …!!!!

  11. BRHT ( from ages ago)



    I don’t agree either with the view that Celtic are ‘scrambling about looking for players’



    This of course is MSM, agent, selling club driven invention swallowed, by Celtic fans hook, line, and sinker.



    I’ve posted before the situation is quite the opposite and Celtic bought early, a CB and a CF unfortunately it didn’t go smoothly, because neither are ready for the first team for different reasons.



    We may ‘scramble in’ a Kevin Doyle to beat a deadline, but expect to see somewhere out there in a cyberspace near you, when the deadlines run out;



    “we ran out of time”



    “no one wanted our money”



    “nothing better out there than what we have”



    “they shifted the goalposts at the last minute”



    “Stokes deserves his chance to show us he can fill Gary’s boots”



    “we tried – but it’s difficult”



    “we’re happy to run with what we have”



    “some clubs were talking in telephone numbers”



    “we won’t spend just for the sake of it”



    “we have a wage structure in place”



    “we’ve a responsibility to the supporters”



    “impossible to replace a player like Wanyama”



    and of course



    “what happened to the dalglish money”



    If we win through three qualifiers (never attempted) or win through the qualifiers two years in a row ( never before achieved ) the quality and amount of spend will then be decided.



    That was the plan.

  12. My argument would be.



    If we paid say 5 million sterling for a striker at 21 22 and he done the business and we qualified to the cl each year he was here with his goals, you would double what you paid for him plus re couping all that income fron the cl exploits.



    It’s how you way it up.

  13. Some of you guys sure do inspire with your charitable work. It is terrific to read about what people are doing to help with Celtic’s 125 campaign. It was moving to learn that some Celtic supporters raised money for the Thai Tim victims. More than a club!

  14. Paul’s article makes extremely good reading and is very much on the ball. We all crave a superstar signing (including me) but realistically it ain’t going to happen.

  15. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    john o neil



    12:24 on 30 July, 2013



    Agreed …… Have always liked him

  16. WGS, O.K.the amounts are out a bit but the scenario you outlined is exactly what we did do with Hooper.

  17. tonydonnelly67



    I thought that was quite positive. A lot of cracking players in the EPL in massive squads rotting away on the bench or reserves!




  18. Glendalystonsils likes a mr whippy with his lime green jelly on




    You missed one;



    “Willo has improved immeasurably as a player in his time at DU. We are delighted to have him back.

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