A Gifted Gamble

Occasionally a certain transfer will catch my eye. The recent João Pedro move certainly did and I’ll explain why.

You may not have heard of the chap before, I hadn’t, but he’s left Serie A side Cagliari and moved to Fenerbahce of Turkey for around 5million Euros with a few addons built-in that could bring it up to around 6.5m.

The fact he moved to a smaller league for a fee that’s within Glasgow Celtics reach sent me digging for more details.

The lads a serious player, a 30 year old  Brazilian born attacking midfielder who was recently capped by Italy after having a barnstorming season (13 goals, 4 assists) helping his club avoid relegation. He was Cagliaris captain last year, a ‘trick’ that ultimately worked, they stayed up after all.

He’s had a stellar career in Italy, over 250 appearances, played 38 games last season showing he’s not a sick note,,,

yet somehow Fenerbahce pry him away for a smallish fee by today’s standards.

Money, of course, would have played a big part in his decision. He’s signed a three year deal for 2.5 million Euros a season.

48k a week in common terms.

This raised my eyebrows, I would have assumed a top flight club in one of the big 5 leagues was more than capable of matching those salary demands, especially for a Captain at his peak.

Apparently not.

I would have assumed another Serie A club would pounce upon such a bargain.

Apparently not.

So theTurkish league it is, Galatasaray were also in negotiations for his signature but lost out. 

With the green tinted specs on Fenerbahce aren’t as big as Celtic. 

With the specs off, an average home attendance of 25k confirms it.

However they do play in a much more populous country therefore should earn more TV income than the Bhoys, and their annual income is higher than ours at around 117m Euros according to the mighty Google.

A Europa League campaign helped swell those coffers.

But they’ve made a choice here,,,they’ve decided to bring in what they consider a talent, and pay him their top tier wage to sign.

Obviously every squad player can’t receive such a large pay packet. Jõao is now the big dog, on the big wage, with big expectations upon those shoulders.

I’ve read of this exact same scenario going wrong, have watched it go wrong. The dressing room harmony is at stake. 

Every player wants to see why exactly he’s worth more than me.

The eye of the scout who recommended the player might be questioned.

The ‘recklessness’ of the Chairman might be questioned. 

The player risks being termed a glory hunter, out for that last big payday and merely going through the motions.

But I’ve seen it working also!

And when it does it’s a thing of beauty!

Ask those Napoli players who weren’t getting paid anywhere near Diego’s level, but loved every minute of the ride.

Keano, Shearer, Henke, and both Ronaldo’s all enjoyed being the top earners, but crucially they had the respect of their teammates and in their eyes deserved that wedge.

So I ask you,,,

If Glasgow Celtic had made that same deal with Jõao or any player for that matter, would you be happy?

Ok with breaking the wage structure for one or two deemed special talents?

Should we invest in a luxury player or two?

To be honest, I would.

I fully understand that’s not our boards or current managers stance, no Billy Big Balls in or around the camp, but yet most would like to move up a level. The ideal way to achieve this is by raising the overall player standard across the board, this Liverpool side are the classic example of that. First one International per position, then two driving each other on, then world class only every window until you genuinely become world class.

It’s notable they aligned themselves to the luxury player model by breaking the wage structure for their star winger Salah, however he had already proven himself, so they didnt just dive in feet first.

How the rest of the camp will react to only one getting the mega bucks remains to be seen. I’m surprised Jurgen took such a high stakes gamble to be honest.

But that’s a top side in a top league where the top money is to be found. 

Under our arse, so to speak.

We can build a good side as we are doing, but gifted foreigners (our current trend) are hard to keep, plus the whole show revolves around Ange and those broad shoulders. Dangerously so in my humble opinion. He’s a leader, and following a true leader is a very hard act.

Ever know Sellic to follow a good manager with another? Exactly. And many of those gifted foreigners won’t fancy downgrading either.

We once bought a good side for Martin but the market has changed drastically since rendering that option a no-go.

Throw into the mix the Tims craving for entertainment, hence their greatest ever player being a football wizard. Some men want that spotlight, crave the glory and embrace the supports expectations, King Eric for instance.

We’ve had heroes, but they all became heroes whilst in the team. 

We’ve never bought a hero. 

There would be pressure galore heaped upon that man, but like I say, that drives some on.

To become a hero for Glasgow Celtic is really something special, those have achieved that label can attest. They’ll never buy a drink again in certain parts, and in most parts they will be asked for photographs.

Celtic, not Barca, was Henkes ‘something special’.

Our club of choice shall compete with Europes best this season, but no one expects us to seriously challenge. Third place in the group would satisfy the masses.

Jock wouldn’t be happy I think it’s fair to say.

So growing a team organically won’t work in this current environment, assembling talent offers no guarantee as we tend to get talent plucked or piss off the man running the show ala Martin and Brendan.

What’s left but special talents?

Winning the league is not enough, I point out the biggest club in the land should win the league most seasons.

There’s three European competitions available to win these days, clubs with lesser turnover and stature regularly best us when we meet or do better in those competitions.

We should stuff every Bodo Glimt we come up against, seriously!

Ange is a breath of fresh air, and our player level has improved, yes. 

But the fact remains three times in twenty years a Scottish team has been on the cusp of European glory and fallen short.

Given this, a genuine difference maker or two looks more and more like common sense.

And an exciting prospect.

By Mahe

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July 29, 2022 8:19 am
July 29, 2022 8:20 am

From JOBO re Player of the Year

*** PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2022-23 ***
I’ve been encouraged to relaunch something that I used to do under the umbrella of CQN – an exercise to determining the Player Of The Year for the forthcoming season in real time. No end of season nominations but instead a game by game voting system.
My idea hasn’t changed and certainly isn’t rocket science – I will simply collate each of your individual opinions on who our best 3 players are on a game by game basis. You don’t need to decide which player was best, next best etc. Instead, just decide which 3 players (in no particular order) impressed you most for any given match. All three of your nominations will then have received a ‘vote’. I then tally up the total votes from everyone who takes part for that match and the player who gets the highest votes gets the Man Of The Match award and earns 5 JOBO POINTS. The runner up will get 4, next gets 3, then 2, then 1.
Of course, you don’t need to worry about the detail. All you have to do is nominate 3 players.
And how do you vote? Simply by sending me an email to SENCELPOTY@GMAIL.COM . You don’t have to explain your thinking or make specific detailed comments. All I need is an email from you, short and sweet along the lines of “Hi, for the Aberdeen game my 3 picks are Auld, Chalmers and Lennox”. And neither do you have to vote after every single game – just the ones that you actually attend or watch. Your votes remain confidential – unless you decide to mention on the blog or elsewhere who you went for. But there will be no leaks from me, I promise!
For each game voting opens after the final whistle and remains open until 10.00pm the following evening. I’ll do my best to then tally up the votes and post the results on here usually before 10.30pm.
For the first few games I’ll stick out regular reminders on the blog as each game comes around. You don’t need to sign up or commit to anything, and you don’t need to vote on every game (please just do so for those games that you actually see the whole 90 minutes!). Also, there’s absolute zero cost involved although, equally there are no prizes on offer!
Absolutely anyone is welcome to join in, whether you post on here, post elsewhere or just lurk. And feel free to encourage friends, family etc to join in too, whether regularly or just after certain games. Remember everyone’s opinion is equally valid and everyone’s votes carry the very same weight. If anyone wants to mention or promote this on any other sites I’m absolutely fine with that – copy and paste till your heart’s content! The game by game results will only be posted on Sentinel Celts but, again, I’ve no problem if they are then copied elsewhere.
This is really just a wee bit of fun to maybe give us another topic to discuss as the weeks go on. And I think that it gives a much fairer, real time assessment of how players are performing rather than just looking back at the year end. As the competition develops, I expect to notice certain trends – maybe players that didn’t catch the eye early season then developing into regular vote winners and vice versa.
So the competition will cover every competitive first team game during season 2022-23 starting with our Flag Day visit from Aberdeen.
Finally, if anyone has any other thoughts, ideas or just wants to check their email works please feel free to contact me at SENCELPOTY@GMAIL.COM . You might get an ‘automatic reply’ but I’ll try and send a more personal one over the coming days.
Thanks for reading this far.

Jobo Baldie
July 29, 2022 8:20 am

Good morning, friends and a Big Happy Payday/Pensionday Friday to all who post or lurk on here.

July 29, 2022 8:22 am

From SFTB re Predictor Competition…

Payment details for Superbru

By cash in person to CRC at Celtic Park (CQN Corner)
By bank transfer to
Account name: Walk With Shay
Account number: 15326765
Sort code: 80-22-60
Bank: Bank of Scotland
Ref: Enter your name or moniker (not CQN predictor, as we cannot identify you!)
By paypal to walkwithshay@yahoo.com (please send as gift, so prize money pot is not diminished by paypal charges).

You can join the Superbru competition without making any payment as we have a few generous donors who have covered the cost of entries for others. The important point is to get entries at this stage- please add your real name so we can match up your payment with your entry (don’t worry we do not publicise any of this).

If you want to donate without playing, that can be done too. All monies raised will be going to Sean’s Trust which provides for local children with needs and is run by the partner of an ex-CQN’r.

Please encourage as many to enter before Saturday at 12.30 when Sevco play Livi. You need to make around 6 predictions every weekend (before each match is played) . You can predict weeks in advance and, provided you do not lock your predictions, you can change and revise them according to form.

We will announce the prize money once we know what we have collected.

So get busy entering, making a donation, and getting your predictions in. We had 60+ participants last season- We are nearing 50 already. The more entries we receive the bigger the sum handed over

July 29, 2022 8:23 am


Happy payday to most of the monthly-paid folks on here too!

Hope all is well with you-only two more sleeps till flag day…

Jobo Baldie
July 29, 2022 8:34 am

Mahe, another really interesting lead article, thank you. Hard to argue with what you say and bringing in a couple of already established top players, even with the wages they attract, would be ideal. The problem is in finding those. We clearly cant pay someone double what our current top wage earner (wonder who that is, actually – Callum? Joe?) but surely theres a way of having a couple who earn maybe 20% more than our ‘normal’ceiling?

Prestonpans bhoys
July 29, 2022 8:48 am

Morning all

Maha says ‘Ok with breaking the wage structure for one or two deemed special talents’.

Personally I wouldn’t have a problem with that strategy however it can be divisive. Players will look at these ‘special talents’ and expect them to be at optimum, now that’s not possible. Do they get picked all the time irrespective of form.

Anyway taking away the staff issues, its a non starter with this PLC. The most expensive element of the club will be direct running costs. Those DRC’s cut into their bonuses so although you point out the potential benefits on the field from having these special talents, that’s not how they are wired. Remember they were dragged through the coals over the minimum wage😱

July 29, 2022 9:08 am


IIRC,the board said that paying everyone a minimum of the Living Wage would cost £500k. Made me wonder just how many were being paid substantially below that level.

Or maybe they were just lying to us again?

St tams
July 29, 2022 9:09 am

Mahe, very good article.
I was expecting us to bring in 2/3 top players this close season to slot into the team . Very disappointed that this has not happened and don’t see happening now. We had a chance to really build on something, with the permanent signings of CCV and Jota.
Good strong left full back , left sided centre half and def mid , were all needed and we have the funds . Instead we have went with punts again,
I know there is still time . But don’t see it happening.

July 29, 2022 9:29 am

Morning all…agreed St Tams it ain’t happening but to be fair we’re really only a few months into a project started in vain a year ago. Dom went pretty quickly after him and Ange tied the knot, Ange had no knowledge of most of his players or his backroom staff, a couple of pre-season injuries along with signings he (perhaps) never asked for, a whole load of points dropped before we even knew the season had started…the list goes on and on until the Japanese Bhoys came in in January and then we fired ahead properly. Now we’ve got a team, with issues I grant you, but we’ve got a successful season under our belt, a couple of new signings that should go straight in. The signs are positive, for me anyhoo.

July 29, 2022 9:36 am

SFTB…just PayPal’ed £30 fees for me and Wee McCaff for first half of Season’s predictor. I think I’ve gifted it but if there’s any fees added let me know, I’ll cover it!!

Bada Bing
July 29, 2022 9:53 am

I think Ajeti, a £13 million signing for West Ham,and unfortunately on to us,will probably be our top earner….

July 29, 2022 9:55 am


To take one element of the article, the likes of Salah, Eric etc have/had world class teammates and therefore that “extra” superstar ingredient to the team can be indulged.
At the elite level If you’re say an Andy Robertson earning £100k? do you down tools cos the star man is earning three times that?
You’re more likely to give a nod of appreciation for pushing wage levels up all round to maintain some level of parity that benefits you.

We already have potential riches in playing terms, particularly Reo, Kyogo and Jota with the younger Liel and Matt behind. These are the guys that should be paid accordingly.
Henrik stayed not only because of the appreciation of the club but because he was also well paid. I’d rather our limited resources were invested in a core group not a one off.

We have more prosaic problems than looking for a talisman signing.

We look to have very thin cover in our vulnerable areas of the team.
I agree with St Tams – centre defence and centre mid do not look strong enough.
The left back position remains to be seen.

I hope the focus is on recruitment there.
Our summer signings ( 3 loans and AB) have cost c£17m?
I’d say there is room for another purchase and loan with option.

Ange said last week is more to come.
We have a month to find them.

July 29, 2022 10:20 am

Good morning all. HH

July 29, 2022 10:22 am

Morning,WEEFRA. Up early again? Does that mean it’s time for breakfast-or brunch?


July 29, 2022 10:39 am


Meant to say my car passed its MOT yesterday. No cost, whoopeedoo.

July 29, 2022 10:39 am
July 29, 2022 10:41 am


Your car is wearing better than I am! Well done.

But since your grandson works for Kwik-Fit,I assume that he gave it a good once-over beforehand,while you were doting on your great-granddaughter?

July 29, 2022 10:46 am


I personally think that such a rigidly enforced wage structure has held the club back since Lawwell tried to dour out Bobo.

There is a place for the star in a show,in football as well as in every other form of entertainment.

Think back to when Roy Keane demanded to be the first player to be paid £100k a week. He knew he was worth it,his team mates did too. And so did Alex Ferguson.

Who,as soon as Roy signed his new contract,told the club that he,Alex,was the most important person at the club-and got an increase to £120k per week!

Fergie didn’t accept second prizes. But the players know who gets them their bonuses.

July 29, 2022 10:51 am


Recovered from your day of bacchanality with BRRB?

He can railroad anyone off the straight and narrow,that fella. Long may it continue.

July 29, 2022 10:57 am

Nope had him briefed in case I needed new tyres. MOT station Said I would probably need 2 new tyres for next MOT with the perishing. They tyres have only done 8000 miles and car done 580 miles since last MOT. Honestly. HH

July 29, 2022 11:01 am


Quite sure that your grandson can give you the best advice on that,but cars need to be used. I’d maybe be looking at the engine oil,as I doubt you are running it enough to get the temperature up. But you’ve been in driving work for far longer than me,so teaching my granny how to suck eggs.

July 29, 2022 11:08 am


Mick, the car is 10 years old and has only done 26,000 miles. Genuine.

July 29, 2022 11:12 am

Right brunch getting put on, Mick not telling you what I’m cooking cause you’ll fall out wi me. Fook it square sausage. Might have a black pudding anaw. HH

July 29, 2022 11:16 am


That’s you and me fell oot!

July 29, 2022 11:17 am


Yes excellent day with that scallywag BRRB.

A lovely pint of Guinness in The Vogue also.

I made it home in one piece, I think, but Mrs L may differ 🙄🙄

Hope your well 🍀🍀

July 29, 2022 11:21 am


Did she ask you the world’s most stupid question?

How many pints have you had?!!!

As if you would have a clue.

That’s what friends are for. We help each other the following day by piecing together the day before. Works for me,most of the time.

July 29, 2022 11:33 am



July 29, 2022 11:40 am


Or the world’s 2 worst statements;

I’m just away out for a pint !!!!!!!


I’m away for a couple of pints !!!!!

It’s amazing what you say when heading out 😁😁😁


Even more amazing the replies you get 😜😜😜

Prestonpans bhoys
July 29, 2022 11:47 am

Wife stopped asking how many pints I have drank, its not the pub that does the damage, its the ‘tea’ on the supporters bus😂

July 29, 2022 12:52 pm

We are now up to 53 members- hoping for 7 more before 12.30 tomorrow

Join CQN Sentinels, my Scottish Premiership league on Superbru! You can find my pool here:


or by downloading the Superbru app and searching for the pool with code:


July 29, 2022 1:31 pm

Good afternoon all from a very warm Shawlands. I hope you are all hale and hearty.

July 29, 2022 1:44 pm

Many thanks for all Superbru entries and donations. BMCUWP has listed the payment details below. A wee reminder that there are entries that have been paid for by donors who do not wish to participate so we can accommodate some others without cost.

We now have 56 members- let’s try to get above 60- would welcome a new entrant using the Gary Postecoglou entrant name from last year

July 29, 2022 3:07 pm

Another wee distraction – a Fantasy football site just for SPFL


July 29, 2022 3:38 pm

I am not sure Fenerbache is a footballing model that is worth using as a benchmark. It looks as though the last title they won was in 2013-14, hardly an inspiring record.

Last week they were knocked out of the CL on their own ground by Kiev…..a match in which their fans disgraced themselves by chanting “Putin” at the Ukrainian team.

For sure, they have tended to bring in a big name or two but it has not made them the dominant team in their league. Galatasaray hold that honour.

Further, Fenerbache was banned from European competition for two seasons in 2013 for involvement in domestic corruption.

Trying to buy titles, having disgusting and unruly fans and being involved in corruption is not a model for Celtic to follow. It seems to have been adopted elsewhere, leading to insolvency.

Building a successful team in Europe is a long term process for a club like Celtic….perhaps, it is even impossible. Synergy is the way forward for a club with limited resources. In other words, the team has to become much more than the sum of its parts. To me, that means Celtic must have a system of play rather than reliance on one or two stars. Very quickly most of Celtic’s stars will move off to the EPL, so we must rely on a system not the stars. Teams like Villareal and Ajax are better models for Celtic….each has a style of play and each has to deal with player churn as a result of their successes.

If Jota, Kyogo and Hatate turn in seasons like last year, how long do you think they will be at Celtic? Ditto for Calmac, or maybe not?


July 29, 2022 3:58 pm

Superbru now up to 59 members and the name of Garry Postecoglou lives on in our competition

I will start issuing reminders to make your actual predictions later this evening

July 29, 2022 3:59 pm


Totally agree.
As I said earlier, investment in our core group of potential stars may keep them here longer, a la Henrik, and is a much more sustainable model than a one off talisman who hopefully shines.

July 29, 2022 4:08 pm

Lunch this afternoon with the good lady.

Mrs L out the blue says “I hope the Lionesses win the tourney “

Well, flabbergasted or what, she hates football and has never talked about it !!!

You hate football? I said.

Yes, but I still want the Lionesses ???

I replied, I want them gubbed by the biggest score ever, and 10 mins later, want the Houses of Parliament( With all Tories, in situ) bombed, no survivors.

Got a few funny looks on the bus, and now in the garden, Napoleon Solo. 😜😜😜😜🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺

GontheGermansCSC 🍀🍀🍀🍀

Bada Bing
July 29, 2022 4:22 pm

Bankier stepping down 1st Jan 2023 the PL Fan Club will be getting all excited…

Mike in Toronto
July 29, 2022 4:29 pm


I’m hearing a few candidates being considered …PL , Neil Doncaster and Dave King.

July 29, 2022 4:41 pm
July 29, 2022 4:46 pm

We have reached the 60 figure of Superbru entrants- I can now start reminding over a dozen of you that you need to make your predictions by 12.30 tomorrow. You never have to “lock your picks” as, if you leave them unlocked , you can still change them in light of any developing situation, such as a righteous lightning bolt striking Ibrox and Murray Park

Prestonpans bhoys
July 29, 2022 4:47 pm

This is the important bit

‘Celtic has today announced that Ian Bankier is to stand down as a director and chairman of the club from 1st January 2023.’

So unlike Lawwell he’s off the board and not stealing a wage!!

July 29, 2022 5:05 pm

Prestonpans bhoys
He might get a job working in 1 of the kiosks ripping off supporters, would be right up his street 😀

Prestonpans bhoys
July 29, 2022 5:22 pm

He would try and sell a scotch pie as a steak pie😕

Well video celts announce a possible candidate, wait for it………the one and only Peter Lawwell😱. Now nothing would surprise me from that self serving PLC😠

July 29, 2022 5:23 pm

B.P. I don’t know if you have ever seen this picture. Croy Bus. From 1993/94 https://t.co/QqDw0SMUJi

Bada Bing
July 29, 2022 5:30 pm

Alexander sacked by Motherwell

July 29, 2022 5:35 pm

Bada Bing 1
He only signed a contract extension in January until 2025, should get a reasonable pay off I would of thought.

July 29, 2022 5:38 pm


Unlucky there,solid 2nd as advised each way.

The winner was obviously expected and was punted accordingly.

Enjoy the rest of your night.

big packy
July 29, 2022 5:43 pm

AFTERNOON/ EVENING ALL and JIM, JNP thanks for posting that, 2 cousins in that picture, pat and jim boyce ,,cheers pal👍