By Thomas Hanlon
(Thomas Hanlon has been a season ticket holder since the 1994/1995, he currently sits in the Jock Stein Upper and the last time he checked was NOT Harry Brady)
I had written article for the site last week titled “Small Time In What We Do”, I felt moved to write because of some of the frustration I felt with the club’s (as I perceive) lack of Strategy. After I had submitted it, the news came through that we had a bid accepted for David Turnbull of Motherwell. I had said that it was wrong that we should “low ball” clubs with offers for their players and I was glad that Celtic were going to make that statement look foolish by completing the signing of one the SPFL’s most promising players.
The fact that the deal has not gone ahead on this occasion does not seem to be the clubs fault.
It is obvious that we cannot compete with the EPL when it comes to money and prestige, it is also true that at only 19 if Turnbull’s move doesn’t work out he would still be young enough to “rebuild” his career elsewhere AND have the benefit of a life changing financial deal.
I contest that while that is true , it is still my opinion that our transfer business is flawed.
My Dad and I were talking about this deal and he remarked that “we can’t appear to close anything”. I would say that is fair comment, I would say that with our Financial disadvantages in situations like this, the onus is on the club to move quickly. Could the Turnbull deal have been done quicker? Yes I would say. We all know about press speculation but it is the general view that we enquired about Turnbull in the weeks before and at around the million pound mark.
I would say that we need to move decisively in these situations, once opening bids are rejected it is likley that other clubs will note our interest in a player.
John McGinn, Christian Picinni, David Turnbull are three players we have missed out on, you could add Scott McKenna to that list. Even with the players we have signed, things seem to drag:
Jack Hendry (I know) Patrick Roberts, Scott Sinclair, even the Edouard and Ntcham deals seem to drag (how many “transfer sagas” can you name?)
All of this in my eyes is empirical evidence that there is something wrong with the way we try to sign players.
All of this appears to fall at one man – Peter Lawwell.
What are the reasons for this?
- Does he micro manage every detail?
- Does he not trust our scouts judgement?
- Does he consider transfer values and wage values areas that he is an expert in?
- Does he view his role in almost Presidential terms?
My own view (and I wager this is not a minority one) is that Mr Lawwell has been at the club too long.
- I don’t believe there is enough scrutiny of his role (or roles)
- I don’t believe that his performance presents Best Value
- I don’t believe it is in HIS best interests to create a more modern structure and delegate responsibility.
- I believe that until this is addressed, we will continue to see Transfer windows like last summer.
That is unacceptable.