Playing At Home


With little over a week now until the transfer window opens,thoughts for the average fans like us turn inwards. Never mind who the opposition are signing,we need to look after ourselves first. This is true whether you support the likes of Celtic,Man Utd,Inter Milan or The Buffs. For no matter how good or bad any business done by your opposition appears to be,it ain’t gonna make a blind bit of difference if you don’t get your own house in order first. 

In the case of Celtic,with five out of the last six trophies in the bag as well as twelve from the last thirteen titles,this should all be very straightforward. But Real Madrid won their latest European Cup on Saturday night with some of the best players-and probably the best manager-in the world in their side. They have decided that the best way to celebrate that achievement is by adding Kylian Mbappe in the summer. No resting on laurels when the best player in the world becomes available,huh?

That is unlikely to be the last of their additions during the window,even if it is likely to be the most significant. Arsenal,despite having their best two league campaigns in the last two decades,are feverishly trying to figure out which traditional No 9 is most likely to suit their set-up without upsetting their wage culture. Liverpool are in a quandary with their new manager and the possibility of Salah leaving-and he’s into the last year of his contract. Nunez is Nunez,and who can tell if things will ever come right with him. 

Man Utd are a mess,as are Chelsea. Man City might not need to buy at all,but probably will. And there is the trifling matter of 115 charges to be answered eventually. All over Europe,in fact,the new Financial Sustainability Regulations are starting to make clubs sit up and pay attention.  

Such matters are unlikely to affect Celtic anytime soon. The annual accounts run to June 30 and are likely to show the club in rude financial health,with cash in hand approaching the nine figure mark. Not even the greatest exponent of wishful thinking could spend that on new playing personnel in a short period of time,though Lawwell of course cost us a damn sight more than that over the years when he borrowed Moneyball from his local library. We Celtic supporters know to temper our dreams with a cold hard mixture of reality,pragmatism and bitter experience. 

So who will Celtic be looking to sign in the summer? Well,the simple answer is that none of us has a clue. And nor do the scribes and broadcasters,nor even our “in-the-know” Timternet bloggers. I know I certainly don’t,though if the rumour about Amartey is correct,you will hear me shouting from Swindon that he was available for eff all a year ago. We might not know the individuals,but we know the particular areas of the pitch that need strengthening. 

That though I’m going to leave until the week before the window opens. For now I want to touch on the vexed issue of our squad for European games. In a nutshell,we can register 25 players,and of those,eight must be locally born or trained (for three years) or under 21yo.–champions-league-group-stage-squads-player-registration-/#

 Which is where we come unstuck. For we don’t have eight players who fit the bill and are of sufficient quality for the domestic game,never mind Europe. Even our best in recent years,probably Johnston and Ralston,aren’t players who inspire trust in the Celtic faithful. In fact,none of our academy players have made the step up to established first-team player since CalMac and Kieran Tierney when Ronny Deila arrived a decade ago. In that time,we have missed out on local talent like Gauld,Ferguson and Hickey. And plenty of others. We have tried to sign Scottish players like Christie and Armstrong,but they were out the door pronto at the sniff of a payday or the possibility of picking up a pensioner in the Dorset/Hampshire rest homes. Even Griff,definitely our best Scottish signing since Broonie,couldn’t quite last the distance. 

The theee most frequently mentioned are Connor Barron at Aberdeen,Lennon Miller at Motherwell,and David Watson at Kilmarnock. The two teenagers are still under contract,while Barron is available now for a development fee. I don’t think it is wise that we sign all three as they are all midfielders,but I think a deal for Barron should go ahead,while I think an offer of around £4m would sign either of the other two. They are of an age where an automatic one-year loan back to the vendor would be ideal for all parties. Except that for us,it might be better to make that loan deal from when we are no longer in Europe! 

Now,here’s the big question,and the reason for this article. Is it right for Celtic to casually hoover up the top talent in the Scottish game simply to cover a shortfall in our own talent factory? How can we do that and then constantly bemoan the lack of quality in the Scottish game,telling everyone that the reason for our continued failure in Europe is that we don’t get to play decent opposition on a weekly basis? 

But then,consider this. What happens when we don’t sign them? They aren’t going to hang around waiting for years for us to come in with an offer. The days of the likes of Pat Stanton or Stevie Murray are long gone. If we don’t sign them,they will be off elsewhere. The recent success of young Scots in Italy has woken up the European scouting network,all hoping to find the next needle in a haystack. We don’t have it all to ourselves anymore,and we have to be proactive. If we think they are good enough and will be a value signing for us in a position where we are short,then by all means we should be making him ours. We certainly don’t want to see another John McGinn heading south for peanuts while we sat on our thumbs,do we?

But yet,that nagging question. Is it really fair for Celtic-or R2ngers-to hoover up the talent and then cast the rest of the league as responsible for holding us back by not developing a competitive squad? Or do we say-“Love to help,but we need to look after ourselves first.”

The realist in me says that it is not fair,not by any standards. But the pragmatist in me says that is just tough. They are where they are in the food chain,and we have our place in too. Bitter experience tells me that we will sit on our hands and throw mud at a wall of overseas teenagers to see where it will stick. 

The idealist in me hankers back to simpler days when Shuggie Edvaldsson was an exotic signing. And when Scottish football was competitive domestically and in Europe. But I was in my teens then,and those days are gone. And to meet our squad obligations for Europe,I suggest we get Barron and Miller. 

But that then throws up the biggest question of all,and I think it’s one that UEFA need to consider. Is it right that teams need to sign certain players who tick certain boxes when the buying club has little reason to believe that they will make an impact in the first team? It has been introduced for very good reasons,but it would be interesting to know how many promising young careers at provincial clubs have been filleted by a move to a bigger club for those reasons only,doomed to stagnate and wither on the bench. 

For the reasons I’ve mentioned above,I think UEFA need to re-examine the whole issue of clubs signing players to tick certain mandatory boxes. But they won’t. They’ve got their own box-ticking exercises to worry about. 


Above article by BMCUWP

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June 5, 2024 12:13 am


You can read our article on a resolution for improving refereeing standards here.
Join the growing numbers of our readers who have had enough of referees In hun scarves.

June 5, 2024 12:14 am

The Sentinel Celts Charity Drive has nominated Blood Cancer UK as the recipient for funds for the six months to 31/07/2024,and we are getting close to achieving our LATEST TARGET.
We have set up a GoFundMe page for those who have some spare cash to donate,even from a lucky windfall or finding a tenner in the street.
Click on the link for more details,including how to donate.
Please give generously to a very deserving cause. Although our first targets have now been achieved-and many thanks for your generosity!-we can always hope to do more.

Margaret McGill
June 5, 2024 2:02 am

It’s good to spend your own money vicariously in the hope of entertainment

Bada Bing
June 5, 2024 8:00 am

Daily Mail reports that the package the Hoops are discussing with the Portuguese giants is in the region of £3.5million. That is nearly half of what the initial agreement was with the same report stating Rodgers’ men propose to pay £3m up front, with add-ons adding a potential further £500k plus a percentage of any sale

a better deal for Bernardo…

Bada Bing
June 5, 2024 8:01 am

BMCUW- I heard Barron wouldn’t sign for us…….

June 5, 2024 8:25 am


His call,I suppose. I’m totally in favour of players deciding to move wherever they choose.

Bada Bing
June 5, 2024 8:54 am

Celtic in particular……

June 5, 2024 9:05 am


We can’t really complain about McCann and Judas being turncoat wee basterts then get pissed off when the likes of Barron or Shankland,etc,decide they’d rather not sign for us for “cultural” reasons. Very much a Scottish problem,but there aren’t many players either who go from Real Madrid to Barcelona. And after what Sol Campbell went through,I don’t think there will be many future moves between Spurs and Arsenal.

of course,the enmity there is mainly football-based. Not the case in Scotland,sadly.

Jobo Baldie
June 5, 2024 9:21 am

Good morning, friends.
Good article Bobby, thank you. I can see some merit in the thinking of UEFA regarding home grown talent. But you’re right, most of those become squad fillers only.
Looking at it the other way round, teams are limited to ‘only’ having a maximum of 17 multi million pound purchases superstars. If they want to I crease the A squad beyond 17, locally produced players must fill the remaing spaces.
We’ve come pretty much full circle from the old ‘3 foreigners rule’.
Looking at Celtic for next season I’d guess our likely home grown players would be McGregor, Bain, Welsh, Forrest, Taylor, Ralston and possibly Kelly and Frame.

June 5, 2024 9:32 am


or Figo !

June 5, 2024 9:41 am

Talking of young home grown talent what ever happened to Dean Murray and young Morrison the goalie. I thought both these young guys had potential and at one point so did Ange and Brendan or they would never have seen the first team bench let alone play.

June 5, 2024 9:47 am


CL squad rules mean that we have to have an active / functioning / productive youth system — not a career service for ex M/well journeymen.

CL squad rules mean that we can go local / we need to work the SPL market hard and we need to keep working it to make the most of our chances and put money back into the local market — we need to spread the wealth and help the SPL become the best league that it can.

Buying local removes some of the pitfalls that have captured / befallen some of our recent recruits / recent big money recruits so it would help us as well as the selling clubs.

Consequently — to me it is a no brainer.
Talent pipeline / succession planning — if required loan them back to the selling club and then take them on tours to get them playing with their prospective team-mates.

Big issue out there / any squad we build or any team we put on the park — two elements to it.

How much should it have cost — what resources should we have spent to pull it all together?
How much should it be worth — what improvements have we deliver to the players we have?

A starter for the team — worth £10mill or a big wage if they are a Bosman.
A squad player with lots of potential — worth £5mill plus a good bonus structure.
A project with a couple of years to go — get them in early so we pay £2.5mill rather than £5mill.
B team prospects / potential to be club trained — work that market to the max.

We need to finally realise how big a club we are in T/O actuals and T/O potential.
We need to stop being scared of our own shadow when it comes to finances.
Go early / Go big / Go high end / Go local / Go strategic.

Make the most of every transfer we are involved in.
We need to stand up to our full height.
No more PL excuses or SPL cringe.

June 5, 2024 9:57 am


I think Figo put a stop to moves between the clubs. There had been a few before then,Schuster being the most prominent one that I can think of. And he was some player,btw.

June 5, 2024 9:59 am


Dane Murray seems to have dropped off the radar. Not been seen for about two years. Very strange.

June 5, 2024 10:27 am

BMCUW @ 9.59

Young DM saga — just about everything that is wrong regarding our youth development.

I think that he suffered a bad injury / out for the best part of a season.
The other element is the lack of news / updates from the youth set up — on him and others.
People come to the fore and then they seem to drift back into the shadows.

Aug 2021 — DM @ 18 looked like a prospect / looked to have the talent to make it.
Tough gig coming in at the last minute to fill a CL / EuL jersey but he gave it a good go.

Then silence — if he has hasn’t developed then that is down to us.
If he has lost his way after a bad injury then that is down to us.
If he has fallen of the rails due to hormones / attitude / swally then that is down to us.

Not every good 18 year old makes it — just a case that most of ours don’t.
Any progress being made by our 20 year olds seems to being made on loan.
Youth / B Team squad ethos seems to be very poor — the St Ninian’s Glee Club / High School Musical attitude seems to be heavily involved.

We seem to have a team of Chad Hogans looking for their next hot tub party.
Not conducive to producing fully functioning CL starters plus you have the midgies.

Last edited 1 month ago by Madmitch
St tams
June 5, 2024 10:48 am

Good article Bobby.
I would sign the 3 guys you mentioned and leave Millar on loan at Motherwell.
Our academy is not fit for purpose and we would be better off scrapping it and hoovering up young talent from other clubs.

As for individuals not prepared to sign for us, I’m not having that. I know for a fact that Shankland would have signed for us, missed the boat now though.

Dane Murray has had a horrendous last 2 years with injuries. He signed a 2 year extension to his contract a few weeks ago and is contracted to 2026, he doesn’t turn 21 until the end of the month.

June 5, 2024 11:03 am

BMCUW @ Down South

You have gone native — cap doffer to the stars.

Politics — a bit selective don’t you think?
I wonder when the Burton’s Commandos / Death Cult diary aged 32 and a quarter will start again?

Oh well …

June 5, 2024 11:42 am

We are of a generation that witnessed Charlie Nicholas and Paul McStay make their debuts for Celtic. Oven ready at a young age with the talent and personality to make the Celtic jersey a very comfortable fit. Local bhoys, Celtic fans. That was over 40 years ago, and counting. Both Aberdeen and Dundee Utd could field very talented young Scottish players at the time.

Tierney was allowed to develop when it was a one horse league, with our historic principle rival away retrieving footballs from Angus hedges.

There will be 101 reasons for the demise of the talented young Scottish footballer. Opportunities, financial, coaching, facilities, negligence, are just five of them.

Celtic still retain over 60 players on the payroll. Our first team matchday squad allows for 16 to get stripped. Included in those 60 players there are a significant number who could be poster boys for the recent recruitment failure : Lagerbielke, Kobayashi, Holm, Kwon, Bernabei, Tilio, Kenny. And then there is the case of James McCarthy. Not one from Kilbirnie, Kilbarchan, or Kirkcaldy.

Solutions ? Not my remit and above my pay grade. The executive suits can answer the question, they pay the wages, the support provide 70% of the cash for those wages.

Perhaps Celtic should purchase a financially distressed lower league club down south, and use it to recruit and develop young talent in a suitable playing environment ? What we are doing just now is not working and neither Lennoxtown nor an expanded Barrowfield will change that.

June 5, 2024 11:57 am

JD @ 11.42

Team down south — great idea.
We could start with Carlisle and build from there.
Might offer a way in to the EPL or at least the Championship.
Great way of giving game time to potential talent and experience to a younger coach.
If they were ever to make the EPL — then we could milk them for loan fees.
Plus G40 would always be the home of the club / brand / group.
With a great CL opportunity every season.

Sounds even better the more I type.
Growth agenda — 5 year plan to make a difference.
Hat tip ..

Current squad numbers — we are a bit wasteful I will give you that.
But it is the nature of the beast — we have had a change of manager so these things happen.

Matchday squad — 20 are stripped not 16.
BR has talked about a working first team squad of 23 — 3 x GK / 2 x outfield players.
Looks a bit small given injuries and illness / absence.
Might bulk it up with B team and youths.
However 23 is not enough.

AP seemed to be working with 26 or 28.
Same spine as BR but with a few utility players to add depth / resilience.

As for the deadwood / projects — that is what happens when AP leaves a list of possibles and we just buy the lot of them.

It is not their fault — it is our lack of planning / slack attitudes.

The 2023 punts and projects — quite a lot of talent in there if we were to put in the effort to develop them. Other teams with less resources would put in the effort to develop from what they have rather than going to the market for every squad need.

June 5, 2024 12:07 pm

JD @ Part 2

Youths and B Team — better coaching / preparation / support will deliver results.
If it can’t then our scouting / recruitment / player retention need improving as well.
We cannot be hopeless at everything — surely not.

As for better facilities — they are now the norms of top flight football.
They make it easier to keep the training / coaching relevant in poor climates.

Once they have finished a B/field they can build another full sized indoor pitch at L/town.
Interested to see who we are getting our indoor arena from?

The roof beams / trusses involved look very trad / very expensive.
Rubb would appear to be the market leaders in low cost indoor space.
If PL has gone out to his pet Civils for a higher cost solution then a few questions would not go amiss.

Rubb UK — their Sunderland project looks good.
Plus they have put up a very large multi sport building in the 6 Counties.

Indoor football training facilities | Design & install | Rubb UK

Some interesting stuff.

June 5, 2024 12:11 pm

Napoli announce the ambitious hire of Conte on a three year contract as manager.

The ambitious bit is the three years. Race between him and Mourinho to the tin tack.

June 5, 2024 12:26 pm

Carlisle Utd — on the slide.

EFL / Div1 was too much for them and they lasted a year.
Next season it is back into EFL / Div2.
Some same level as Fleetwood.

T/O — around £5mill.
Wages — around £3.5mill.
Cash in the bank — £2mill plus seemingly in June 2023.
Financial position — have had their challenges recently.

Would 4 loans from us make a difference?
Some young coaches and analysts?

To me — worth a phone call.
DD must have some mates that would want to get involved.
Easier for the SFA to deal with that us getting frisky with AR in ML5.


One for the da’s in the room.

16 roads
June 5, 2024 12:51 pm

No idea why the club is trying to sign a player who couldn’t get a start in the first team.. unless of course said player is being lined up as a replacement for O’Reily?

Downgrade no matter which way you look at it.

The Celtic way I suppose.

Mike in Toronto
June 5, 2024 1:32 pm

Bit quiet on here … everyone away lining up to see Taylor Swift?


June 5, 2024 1:35 pm

Player recruitment / squad development — you have to shoot ahead of the duck.

Also known as planning for the future — PB has shown enough to offer hope for next season and the future. He offers a player profile that we don’t have in our current CMcG / RH / MOR trio.

TI also offers stuff we don’t have / OTH as well / BL as a callow + plooky youth …
That would be energy / defensive nous / a desire to tackle / water carrier duties.

MF was poor this season — we are doing the right thing trying to improve / deepen the mix.

ernie lynch
June 5, 2024 1:48 pm


‘of course,the enmity there is mainly football-based. Not the case in Scotland,sadly.’

Political Post.

Final warning.

June 5, 2024 2:02 pm

Can we not just agree that Sunak is just a complete erse.
A Vis character made flesh in all its finest glory.
A public schoolboy paid for by the NHS.

June 5, 2024 2:09 pm

Football economics — very current test case …

The ex Sheep that is SMcK — what is he worth to us at the moment?
27 going on 28 — EPL experience / NT starter / available as a Bosman.

What could / should we offer as a signing on fee — no transfer involved.
What should we offer as a weekly wage and how should it be structured?

Based on the current squad he would be a starter for us come August.
So what is he worth to us and would this be consistent with his value elsewhere?

I think he is good enough — he would add a lot to our squad.

Bada Bing
June 5, 2024 2:31 pm
This arse covers the Walk on the 12th,live on GB News……shame

June 5, 2024 3:24 pm


What’s he looking for? Sponsorship?

Big packy😉😉
June 5, 2024 4:08 pm

Afternoon all and JIm and Magua that GB news is the most obnoxious news programme on this earth another true story 😉 😉

June 5, 2024 5:51 pm

Big Packy

Evening, Packy.

Hail Hail.

por cierto
June 5, 2024 6:36 pm

  “Celtic changing the banners around the stadium”

Looks as though we are going to ruffle more than a few feathers eh? :)))

por cierto

Last edited 1 month ago by por cierto
June 5, 2024 7:13 pm


I hope all the figures in it need updated this time next year.

June 5, 2024 7:22 pm

Bada 2:31
The comments on that are braw.

Bada Bing
June 5, 2024 7:25 pm

Leftclick- a bellend

Big packy😉😉
June 5, 2024 7:26 pm

Hi Magua quiz question bet you don’t.get it which team won the European 1967 cyber pint for the right answer 😎😎👍

Prestonpans bhoys
June 5, 2024 7:30 pm

Inter Milan, cyber G&T 🍸

A thing of beauty
June 5, 2024 7:31 pm

Interesting chat about Bernardo and whether we should sign him. I see 16 roads feels it’s a lot for a player who doesn’t start. We need to remember that in a lot of the big games including champs league he was a starter. We also need to remember that O’Rileys numbers for assists and goals were not great in his first season. He took time to become a regular and in fact was out the team a lot in season 22/23 when Arron Mooy was preferred. He has come on leaps and bounds under the coaching of BR and he will do the same for Paulo Bernardo. If a Portuguese under 21 captain says he is willing to sign for us then I’m not sure what we are waiting for.
I feel when I watch him that I’m not sure what his best position is and he could definitely impact the game more going forward but I trust BR to sort that in the close season and he’ll be an able replacement for O’Riley. Maybe not with the amount of assists and goals but he’ll provide more steel that will allow Hatate (or his replacement) to be more of a ten.
I see MM taking about McKenna. Three seasons ago I would have been a no. I’m not even sure if I’m a yes as I like to think we can get better but we do not have an infinite budget and it’s hard to sign players in our league. He’s left sided and helps with the Scottish quota. That’s why I think we’ll make a move. Same applies with Armstrong.

Big packy😉😉
June 5, 2024 7:43 pm

PB nearly right you get some tonic but no gin 😎😉

June 5, 2024 7:58 pm

Big Packy

The correct answer is of course:

Celtic Football & Athletic Coy. Ltd. 1888. 😀

Hail Hail.

June 5, 2024 8:03 pm

por cierto/BMCUW

Can you imagine the absolute meltdown over Ibrox way, when Celtic win a -legal-55th league flag. They sure created a rod for their back with all the ’55’ malarkey.

Hail Hail

Bada Bing
June 5, 2024 8:14 pm

McKenna available on a Bosman😫

June 5, 2024 8:25 pm


Aye,but we will have to tear it down if they win the League Cup.

Rumours it is photoshopped.

June 5, 2024 8:36 pm


Hope all well.

I was mulling over replying to Mad Mitch re Scott McKenna but see A Thing of Beauty has beaten me to it.

McKenna seems to have been around forever and I was surprised to learn he was still only 28 and when we tried to sign him – around the time of the John McGinn non-transfer- I would not have been horrified and the fee we were reputed to have offered ( £3.5m ?) seemed about right. He struck me then and now as being more likely to have prospered in the Martin O’Neill era when Celtic fielded ‘no-nonsense’ stoppers who were above all big. I think back then I thought he also a touch of the Gary Caldwell’s in that when he had a bad day or night it would be calamitously bad. I may be doing his present self a disservice and I think he is probably superior to Liam Scales and so far I am not impressed by Nawrocki but…I am still not sure about McKenna even now. As with Idah and Bernardo I would be neither thrilled nor dejected if he does or does not come. Is he even on Brendan Rodgers’ radar though?

I saw mention of Celtic wishing to renegotiate Paulo Bernardo’s fee to half what had been previously agreed. As this earlier fee had been presented as being set in stone my first thought was that Peter Lawwell et al were up to something dodgy and that Benfica would reply ‘va se foder’ (Google can be wonderful) l. I am long past ever thinking that when applied to Peter Lawwell the phrase ‘I am sure he knows what he is doing’ has a positive connotation- if Brendan Rodgers wants him just bloody sign him even if I personally remain unsure that he is all that good and that even if his run in the 90th minute was almost the only good bit of play in the cup final a better player would have left Butland without an earthly with his shot. But I agree with ATOB that he’ll get pretty good coaching if he does join and like MM agree he has the potential to offer something fresher and more vital to a midfield that although populated by my kinds of player is also at times, well, a bit ‘languid’ .

Anyway. I’ve had an irritating working day so apologies for the grumpier turn this post has taken.


June 5, 2024 8:49 pm


In this day and age, ye can take nothing for granted.

Hail Hail

Mike in Toronto
June 5, 2024 8:55 pm

I’m hearing that Man City’s case against the Premier League related to APT’s is scheduled to start in June.

If successful, there would be no oversight or approval of contracts with related parties. IN this case, Man City’s sponsorship deal with Etihad (an arm of the UAE government, which owns Man City) gets reviewed and is counted at fair market value. If Man City was successful, they could value the contract at whatever amount is most benefical, thereby giving clubs that are owned by governements an upperhand, as they could also sponsor the club, without the agreements being subject to scrutiny, while smaller clubs, who had third party sponsors, would be subject to different/more stringent accounting and spending.

while 10 clubs are supporting the PL, at least one club (I would guess Newcastle, who are owned by the Saudis, and whose main sponsor is Sela – another Saudi entity) are supporting Man City.

A thing of beauty
June 5, 2024 8:57 pm

Jimbo 67,
Nothing grumpy about the post aside from the usual concerns about what the fat controller is up to. That’s not being grumpy, it’s being sensible. I feel like you, that if the price was set then we pay it. We do ourselves no favours for future deals if we are trying to shaft a club. Im quite sure if the roles were reversed we’d be screaming blue murder about it. Also, if we believe in the player and the manager wants to sign him surely we pay the extra £3m now rather than have a bigger sell on fee. Unless of course we are also struggling with FSR.

June 5, 2024 9:01 pm


I am sure that if it suited Peter Lawwell- my very own Spiny Norman- he would play some sort of FSR trick.


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