Project or Player?

I’m really hoping this article gets replaced by our own welcome to the new Swedish rock(i) at the back today, so this potential appetizer will be fairly brief.

We as a support tend to lump signings into groups and this window is the classic example. The early arrivals were all classified as projects, and starting with Rocki it was felt we now sign first team players.

I’m unsure if there’s an actual definition of a project,,,to me it’s a young or youngish player (22 and under) plying their trade in a lesser league. Given the SPL’s plastic pitches, bent refs and fixture computer, not to mention half full stadiums,,it’s a bit rich to think of another league as lesser but I suppose two giant clubs that regularly perform in Europe helps in that regard.

Being labeled a project suggests a learning curve, that the player has some tools in his locker but there remains a high chance of not making the grade. They aren’t ready for the first team when signed, they are players for later.

Is that necessarily true?

Regarding project players, over the last few months I’ve read comments such as,,,

What a finish from Oh,,

I’d start Odin, very tidy, he’s definitely got it,,

Great feet from Yang, he made that goal, he should play.

Abada himself was a project under my definition, and he’s earning praise, while I eagerly await the feet of Tilio dazzling the Tims and the opposition.

These projects aren’t just training and potentially learning, they are making a big impact in the first team now, right now.

When that happens, you’re not a project anymore, you’re a player. I’d certainly have Odin, Yang, and Abada starting come Sunday,,would put my faith in that youth.

So now we know when we go out and sign a 19-22 year old most of them come in and help straight away, is it fair to continue to label them as projects?

How about we just call them players?

Recently they’ve earned that right.

By Mahe

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
August 15, 2023 11:43 pm
August 15, 2023 11:46 pm

Salah to Saudi,
Mbappe to Liverpool,
They get the fee back next summer from Real.
All parties pretty happy.

August 16, 2023 12:12 am

We’ve had plenty of non projects like Gravesen, Lljungberg, Duffy, Keane and Wright but their project with Celtic did not last long

August 16, 2023 1:05 am

“Nah, the original Polaris, John McDonald. Even the huns called him that.”
You’ve probably heard this one Bobby.
While John McDonald was a player for the original iteration out of Govan, one of their club ‘legends’ passed away, and all the players attended the funeral.
A member of the press following the casket out of the church noticed that John McDonald was missing, and asked a relative of the deceased, “Where’s John McDonald?”
The relative replied, “He wasn’t invited.”
“Eh? Why not?”
“We were afraid he might dive in the box.”

Ah’ll get ma coat.😊

August 16, 2023 1:09 am

Messi scores again tonight in Philadelphia.

August 16, 2023 1:39 am

I made the fatal mistake of leaving the Marseille game at the last minute as they were coasting 2-0 over Panathinaikos. ( 2-1 on agg.). The Greeks score a penalty in the last minute, survive ET, then win 5-3 on penalties. So the revised draw is as follows, with only the AEK Athens/Dynamo Zagreb to be decided.

Maccabi vs Young Boys
Royal Antwerp vs AEK Athens/Dynamo Zagreb
Rakow Czestochowa vs Copenhagen
Molde vs Galatasaray
Sevco vs PSV
Braga vs Panathinaikos

August 16, 2023 1:49 am

100% Mahe, every new player is a project no matter their age or experience, they might not adapt. The scouting is looking at the minerals that make players not just their stats.

The new bunch all look quick and powerful.

Yang, Odin, Nawrocki have all hit the ground running. Gustav and Tillio we will see, but again it looks like a good window. Brendan will want a new keeper and LB as well as a striker now by the looks.

Huge squad, I think we will lose a few.


August 16, 2023 1:52 am

SFTB, stick in Junihio, Jarosik and Mccarthy.

Big players that couldn’t adapt.


August 16, 2023 7:34 am

Interesting lead Mahe,

Guess the “project” was part of that moneyball idea about ten years ago.

We sign “B” team players now though e.g. Bosun Lawal, Joey Dawson etc, who are looked on as development players.

The players we are discussing in the lead to my way of thinking are good prospects, young players who have shown a lot of potential with their current team, tick all the boxes in “our model”, and with the right development will become regular first team players and in a few years, a target for richer clubs.

My idea of moneyball players are like you say Liel Abada, Matt O’Riley etc, players that show real potential can add value to the team and develop to be good, great or elite players.

We’ve seen all of the above in the last ten years.

The idea that we are currently relying on these prospects has a positive and negative side.

On the positive side, these bhoys staking a place in the first team so quickly shows our “model” is working.

Yet having to rely so heavily on prospects with only two weeks of the window remaining shows our transfer policy isn’t working.

However we all know the Board’s priority is cash over the football team, same as it ever was…

Hail Hail

August 16, 2023 9:54 am

I’m wondering how long it takes for a medical in order to sign a player. When is Lagerbielke going to be finalised. If he arrived Monday surely he had his medical yesterday. Any medicals I ever had took a maximum of 2-3 hrs but I appreciate these were no where near what a footballer gets even so has it been completed. Come on Celtic let’s get on with things. Another injury scare this morning with Reo isn’t good news. Let’s get some positive stuff from the management team here. How is it medicals can be completed in the last hours of window but it takes forever at present.
Seems we are a rumour only club at present. All ifs buts and maybes. Not good enough. Where are the signings. The keeper of interest is gone. Move to next one wherever he may be. A left back. Is the French guy the only one out there. Forget KT. That’s media talk.
The last thing we need is a winger and one at the height of a smurf surely is.
To coin a phrase. Time is running out.

August 16, 2023 10:24 am

Auldbhoy67 @ 9:54 am,

Yes, Gustaf Lagerbielke is interesting, he played for Elfsborg on Sunday so he can’t have been in Scotland long, we seem to do things differently these days, Nawrocki was at Lennoxtown for quite a few days before he was officially announced.

With CCV and Reo out again it seems like our injury plight from last season continues.

We are in a weaker position than the start of last season, we have sold 45 mn of quality players this year already, that’s four top players gone as well as losing Mooy.

I’m still optimistic but whatever way we cut it now this has been a poor window, players coming in and getting pre-season preparation is crucial.

Hail Hail

August 16, 2023 10:49 am

Systems have a huge impact on outcome.
Playing systems implemented properly can be the difference between failure and success.
Lennon and Lawwell’s shambolic playing and management system in the loss of the ten are a clear example.
We now appear to have returned to the previously disastrous Lawwell management system.
64 million dollar question is does BR have the ability to overcome such a difficult environment?
The corrupt landscape of Scottish football already makes it difficult without the adversity in our own house.

August 16, 2023 11:16 am

fan @ 10:49 am,

Spot on.

When BR got his way we won trophies made money and added real value to the squad

When PL got his chance to dictate we ended up getting Lenny as a manager and a disastrous and very expensive time as you say.

Then Ange got his way we won trophies made money and added real value to the squad.

BR is currently making the best of a bad job, we have to hope DD really does have his back.

Hail Hail

August 16, 2023 11:26 am


ATHINGOFBEAUTY and I were discussing our transfer window yesterday. Similar to your points. Where are the players we were “trailing”,why the delay in signing previously cut and dried deals,etc.

Reminded me of BR’s first window. His initial target? Scott Sinclair. Deal agreed,clubs player,managers and agents all happy. Yet-no signature! Last minute deal so he could only make the Hearts game from the bench!

Hmmm,I wonder what the common denominator can be,given the speed we worked at in the last three windows?

Well,if it walks like a duck,etc. I fear that dead hand of Lawwell,and even if I’m wrong,his very presence breeds suspicion.

Just Sayin’
August 16, 2023 11:58 am

PL was in the building when BR engaged in the lengthy signing on process. No medical required!

One assumes he took some convincing. With guarantees of non interference high on the list.

Until BR tells us so It cannot be a serious accusation that somehow PL as non exec Chairman is delaying medicals, registrations etc?
Where does the authority for this meddling reside?

I agree PL is not a helpful presence, being the divisive personality he is.

There are over two weeks left of the window.
Two seasons ago things were a complete shambles and then we signed CCV, Jota and GG on the last day. Turned out well enough domestically, Europe, of course, was the same old scene.

If we have made no progress in a fortnight then whinge away, but it’s all sound and fury not signifying very much at the moment.

Just Sayin’

Bluegrass celt
August 16, 2023 12:05 pm

The two Aussie centre backs are slower than our signing policy!

August 16, 2023 12:05 pm


Gonna be a bit late for any of us to say “I TELT YE” when there’s eff all we can do about it. Like,ten minutes after the transfer window

August 16, 2023 12:08 pm

Auldybhoy…a completed signing with a delayed announcement is still a completed signing. It’ll make no difference if they announce it today, tomorrow or Friday, other than to soothe the anxieties of the panicky support! There’s no bad news being published about Lagerbielke and he has admitted he’s likely to sign! Marketing and Social Media is all nowadays, it’s likely there’s a damn good reason for the silence…hopefully!

August 16, 2023 12:13 pm

Just Sayin

‘Until BR tells us so It cannot be a serious accusation that somehow PL as non exec Chairman is delaying medicals, registrations etc?
Where does the authority for this meddling reside?’

Indeed, they have been told this countless times that PL has zero influence but they still continue to howl at the moon. There is no reasoning with them. Best leave them to it.

August 16, 2023 12:13 pm

when is a player a project🤔 IMHO when the manager says they are. Brendan is on record stating these guys, Odin, Yang etc are for the future, in other words, projects but could step up if called upon to do so. Now not wishing to second guess Brendan I’d say, IMHO again, that he didn’t envision a situation where he had to utilise them quite as early as he has had to. Now a couple may impress him enough to make it on the bench more often in the SPFL than he anticipated but the current squad as it stands is nowhere near ready to try and at least compete in the CL, by that I mean Celtic not being viewed as cannon fodder.

August 16, 2023 12:21 pm

Why do people believe the Chairman Peter Lawwell has no influence?

Who is telling us that?

Sure Fergus changed the role of Chairman to a non exec but since the first of that ilk, Frank O’Callaghan, they’ve had an important role.

Ian Bankier as a puppet was the exception.

This is from the official Club statement…

“Peter Lawwell commented: “As a lifelong Celtic supporter it is a great privilege to be asked to take up the position of Chairman, having already been part of our great Club for nearly 18 years.

“These are exciting times for the Club and I look forward to contributing to the well-being and success of the Club.

“Our objective as ever will be to grow and further develop the Club across all areas. Led by an excellent Chief Executive in Michael Nicholson, and Chief Financial Officer Chris McKay, the Club has a high-quality management team in place.

“I will be offering my support and guidance to the Board and executive management team to ensure that we continue to drive the Club forward and protect and promote the interests of our supporters.”

Celtic Chief Executive Michael Nicholson added: “We are delighted to welcome Peter as Chairman and I look forward to working with him as we continue to progress and develop the Club.

“Peter has a wealth of experience in the football industry at a domestic, European and global level, which is invaluable to the Club going forward.

“Our collective objective is to create a world-class football club that our supporters can be proud of, competing at the highest level, with a strategy based on growth and continuous improvement.”

Where does it say he’ll have zero influence?

Hail Hail

August 16, 2023 12:26 pm

A relevant conversation on Twitter about the wage ceiling that impacts on the players Celtic try to recruit.

Increasing the wage ceiling allows Celtic to shop in much the same Aldi/Lidl market as before.
Marks and Spencer and Waitrose further out of reach than ever.

That has never changed over past 10 to 15 years.

I got a cracking electric pepper corn grinder from Lidls a couple of months ago so there are useful players to be found in that market.

August 16, 2023 12:27 pm

What a belter of a goal for Sam Kerr for Australia!

August 16, 2023 12:28 pm


Just Sayin

‘Until BR tells us so It cannot be a serious accusation that somehow PL as non exec Chairman is delaying medicals, registrations etc?
Where does the authority for this meddling reside?’

Indeed, they have been told this countless times that PL has zero influence but they still continue to howl at the moon. There is no reasoning with them. Best leave them to it.
Told by who exactly? Is DD on record stating this or perhaps our elusive CEO Nicholson? Has Brendan said as much? I can’t recall anything coming from Celtic 100% affirming that PL is in no way involved in transfer in and outs. All we have to go on is stuff posted on blogs. Perhaps 3 or 4 quality oven-ready players signed in the next couple of weeks would go a long way to reassuring the skeptics amongst us that PL isn’t somehow having a malign influence on transfer dealings again.

PS Remember how we were all assured that under no circumstances would PL be installed as chairman of Celtic? How did that one work out?

Skeptical as feck CSC

August 16, 2023 12:28 pm

Englandshire 2 Aussies1

Just Sayin’
August 16, 2023 12:30 pm


And mumping about it gets anyone where?
Apart from high anxiety.

Not as if the contributors of SC are an important enough voice that can effect change.


Of course he has influence, he wouldn’t be here otherwise, but where does it say he controls executive functions?
That’s MN’s and CMcK’s responsibility.

August 16, 2023 12:30 pm

I rest my case…..

August 16, 2023 12:31 pm

Chairbhoy…this part “I will be offering my support and guidance to the Board and executive management team to ensure that we continue to drive the Club forward and protect and promote the interests of our supporters.” means exactly as it says. His role is support and guidance. He’s not a policy maker (or breaker). He has no executive power. He is an experienced PLC-er who knows the Club, Scottish fitba and European fitba inside out – probably even more intimately than that! If he didn’t have the barraload of shit attached there would hardly be a better candidate for the job. Unfortunately, he’s a bag o’ lies and greed. His brief from The Despicable Mr Desmond will be a matter for them and them only and we can only guess and surmise at what conditions Nicholson and Brendan are working under. As always…time will tell!

August 16, 2023 12:31 pm

The Sassenachs are going to win this aren’t they?
All the top ranked big guns on the other side of the draw knocked each other out.
Englandshire’s luck in international competition draws is incredible.

August 16, 2023 12:33 pm

Just Sayin’ @ 12:30 pm,

With all due respect I don’t understand the question.

Do you know what executive functions are?

Hail Hail

Just Sayin’
August 16, 2023 12:36 pm

Planning, Organising, Staffing, Coordinating, Controlling, Directing, Reporting and Budgeting

August 16, 2023 12:36 pm


Good lead article. I’ve always felt, that age should be no barrier to playing in the first team. If they’re good enough, they play. Of course, some youngsters burst on the scene, make an immediate impact and fade away. Then again, there are players like Paul McStay. Paul made his debut at Pittodrie as a callow youth. He scored on his debut and never looked back.

Just Sayin’

Good points. Big Peter should never have been allowed into Celtic Park again. In any capacity. I don’t think that Dermo would allow Lawwell to interfere in football matters. I most certainly do not believe that BR would allow such a scenario to unfold.


Translation of PL’s statement:

“I am delighted to be back at Celtic Park again. As before, I will continue to screw as much money as possible for myself, and make no apology for doing so. Unfortunately, this time around, I will not be allowed to help my pals over at Ibrox. This of course, causes me great pain, but sure, the money is a great comfort, and will help to soften the blow.”

Hail Hail.

August 16, 2023 12:44 pm

McCaff @ 12:31 pm

Well, it doesn’t read to me as zero influence

If a Chairman of a football Club has zero influence then what is he doing in the role?

Surely the role of the Chairman of a PLC is to Direct policy.

Surely one of his main assets in his role at the ECA and UEFA is to be “In The Know”, if he hears something that will impact Celtic football club he should be directing policy for the best outcomes Surely.

Hail Hail

August 16, 2023 12:44 pm

“I will be offering my……… guidance to the ………executive management team to ensure that we ……. promote the interests of our supporters.”

Aye, right you are, Peter.

August 16, 2023 12:44 pm

Englandshire 3 Aussies 1

Just Sayin’
August 16, 2023 12:46 pm


Perhaps you’ll provide your understanding of executive functions….with all due respect.

Thirty years running ones own business gives one an idea.

August 16, 2023 12:49 pm

Just Sayin’ @ 12:46 pm,

Executive functions are a set of mental skills not a corporate application.

Planning, Organising, Staffing, Coordinating, Controlling, Directing, Reporting and Budgeting

The Chairman of a PLC would have influence on all of that, actually he’d have a fiduciary duty to ensure that was compliant.

Hail Hail

August 16, 2023 12:55 pm


Of course they have influence at policy level along with other Board members.

That does not mean they interfere in the actual recruitment process for each individual Celtic sign.

The CEO sits on that Board, is as big a Tim as any of us and if the policy was not in Celtic’s interest and could demonstrate why, then DD would be open to a policy change if it meant more income being generated if all he is interested is money.

This is where cognitive dissonance enters the thinking field.

What is Celtic’s greatest source of football income? The CL.
What makes Celtic an attractive proposition to prospects? Playing in the CL.
What adds to their resell value? Playing in the CL.
Not winning it, or in it after Xmas as that generates more income, just being in it.

So if all DD is interested in is money why not ensure Celtic qualify each year on year and ask what prevents what he wants (not PL) aligning with what the supporter wants.

I think more understanding of the policy and what drives it would be more enlightening than putting the blame on the persona rather than what influences THEM.

Just Sayin’
August 16, 2023 12:56 pm

Firstly PL is non exec.

A nonexecutive chair’s specific responsibilities generally can fall into four areas: managing the board, facilitating communication among directors and between the board and management, leading or playing a key role in CEO succession planning and leading the board evaluation process.

He/she does not direct the business.

I’ll leave it there.
There is no merit in to n fro discussion on how business, particularly that at CFC, is conducted.

August 16, 2023 12:59 pm

Just Sayin @ 12:46 pm,

Well done on the business, I wasn’t trying to be facetious.

Ran a business for a third of that time and it cost me my marriage and so much more, so hats off…

Hail Hail

August 16, 2023 1:07 pm

Chairbhoy…at no point did I use the term or even infer zero influence. I quoted his/your quote that stated he was there to support and guide the Board. That is his non-exec role. He has a wealth of experience at local and International level of fitba, he knows the transfer market and how it works. Perhaps it’s relevant or not but he has also in-depth background knowledge of the Abuse case which could be invaluable. On paper he would seem to be the most likely candidate for the job if an external recruitment process had been undertaken (maybe it was and there was no better candidates!)
In summary, I never used the term zero influence but I’d suggest he’s been brought back for exactly that!

Just Sayin’
August 16, 2023 1:08 pm


Fair do’s, no offence taken!
Can’t say it has been plain sailing but getting out at the sharp end at the right time helped.

Look forward to the debate on SC.

August 16, 2023 1:27 pm

Auldheid @ 12:55 pm,

Yes, first and foremost I was trying to challenge this “zero influence” ting.

To me it’s the same m.o. as Fraudgers the rat, Big Pedro will not be Chairman etc etc

Lot’s of bots spreading fake news but nothing official of course.

On the wider question of the executive roles, yes we all know what they should be and imo Celtic have been very light on executives for a PLC of their size.

We knew how he operated as CEO and we are expected to believe this Leopard has changed it spots as a Chairman, so much so that he’ll be Ian Bankier MkII – also known as the man who wasn’t there.

An example of how Celtic operated, Nick Hammond was Head of Football Operations, a senior role at a football Club.

He went down to close the deal on Toney with Peterborough United.

Afterwards Barry Fry took the pee… Nick Hammond came down but he didn’t bring any money.

Which control freak do you think was holding the money?

On UCL Qualification

We don’t get a lot of detail out of Celtic PLC accounts but one thing we do is the CEO’s KPIs.

One of these and a main aim of the Board was to qualify for the UCL group stage every year.

How often did we fail to do that but the CEO still received a huge bonus?

In DD’s World UCL “profit” is small beer.

Luckily for us, the dynamic seems to be changing.

Hail Hail

August 16, 2023 1:31 pm

“I will be offering my……… guidance to the ………executive management team to ensure that we ……. promote the interests of our supporters.”

As a supporter, my prime interest ( other than defeating the new Govan iteration at every opportunity ) is gradual improvement in the Champions League Group Stage, and reaching the Europa.

So, Peter, why don’t you use your experience to guide the executive management team on how to address the yawning deficiencies in our team, at goalkeeper, full back, defensive midfield and center forward? Joe is done, Taylor is inadequate, we have no defensive midfielder worth a nickel, and we have zero cover for Kyogo for 6 weeks. Secondly, why don’t you guide them into achieving this rapidly, so the incomers can be integrated fully before the first European tie?

Oh! wait! You’ve never done that before? That’s right – you were happy with us playing a hapless Christie at center forward against Ferencvaros. Well, if Kyogo is injured, we will again go into Europe
( this time against the cream ) with a formation the result of failure to prepare. What have we done to ensure we do not again finish winless at the bottom of the Group, having conceded a barrowload of goals, and out of Europe by Christmas?

This is promoting the interests of supporters?

August 16, 2023 1:44 pm

McCaff @ 1:07 pm,

Thanks for that.

Perhaps we can put to bed the “zero influence” fake news and agree there are Chairman functions, non-exec functions, Director functions and execution functions at the PLC.

Please see my reply to Auldheid for my take on that.

We have to except that Peter Lawwell is undertaking the role of non-executive Chairman of Celtic, that he is a Director of the PLC and will be assigned his General roles and responsibilities and his specialist roles and responsibilities based on his experience internally and externally and his personal skillsets.

I’ll keep my counsel on the CA and as far as PL influence

We’ll see

Hail Hail

August 16, 2023 1:46 pm

Just over two weeks until we head to Ibrox and five weeks until the Champions League groups get underway. Not a lot of optimism in the air, is there ? Performance wise, it’s not been a great start, and now injuries to key players further darken the mood.

It wasn’t meant to be like this, was it. Brendan is back and he is armed with the biggest budget in the club’s history, even before the Jota sale . That may not have been the narrative but it was certainly the thought process.

Right now we can’t put a midfield trio on the park that is any better that Cifuentes, Cantwell, and Raskin. There is still time to fix that however. But will we ?

Twenty years of expectation management has turned us into quite a pathetic lot . Profit & loss before coefficient points.

Exhibit A. 29 year old quality players comes onto our radar and the first response is : no resale value, doesn’t fit The Model.
My response : f@k the resale value and f@k The Model. We should be putting the best possible team on the park and there has never been a better time to do so.

If the transfer window shuts and Celtic leave millions resting in the bank, that will be the biggest act of self-harm since the pre-Fergus days.

I have no idea if Lawwell still has a say in the day-to-day stuff. But, as far as I’m concerned he was, is, and always will be an absolute charlatan.

August 16, 2023 1:47 pm

Just Sayin’ @ 1:08 pm,


Had a meal with a pal of mine from college last night.

He is partime now but has been running his business for over thirty years

Not met anyone yet who said it was a complete ball

Hail Hail

August 16, 2023 1:57 pm

Magua @ 12:36 pm,



Hail Hail

August 16, 2023 2:10 pm


My last word on PL.

If more than 100 shareholders share your concerns, prepare a resolution for the AGM that will address their concerns based on his response to shareholders at 2011 AGM.

We either put up or shut up.

August 16, 2023 2:25 pm

Auldheid @ 2:10 pm,

Yes, it was a shame you didn’t get the opportunity at last years AGM, it would have put down a marker

As it happens my thoughts are we are in “it is what it is” territory.

Our only hope is that the The Rangers keep getting better and UCL pickings keep getting larger so the PLC will have no excuses for being parsimonious

Not that they truly have now

Have a good one….

Hail Hail