Summer Recruitment

Yesterday Celtic announced that they’d brought Nick Hammond in board. He was previously Technical Director at West Brom and Director of Football at Reading as well as their Youth Academy Director.

His role at Celtic is said to assist with “recruitment across the forthcoming period.” “Initially across the summer period” sounds anything but permanent though.

One would assume if it goes well, his position may be extended. The club have also said to have known him for some time so perhaps he has done some other work for the club in the past.

His long term association with Reading of two decades earned him the Technical Director role at West Brom in 2016. He worked in that role whilst the managerial position was filled by Tony Pulis, Gary Megson and former mentor, Alan Pardew.

Following Pardew’s exit in April 2018, Hammond left West Brom soon after. Since then he has been in the wilderness or perhaps even doing some work for Celtic.

He’ll know Brendan Rodgers from his time at Reading as well as being a goalkeeper under Tommy Burns when he was mansger there. So there are some Celtic links there which have most likely been utilised by both parties.

Of course he has his work cut out for him as Celtic strive to sort out their summer recruitment. The transfer window has been open for about ten days and the only movement involves those players who have departed.

As was mentioned to the media, some clubs are still on holiday and unable to do business even though Celtic may be champing at the bit. There’s part of me trying to remain calm about that whilst another part is getting twitchy.

Obviously, the big story was about David Turnbull and a reminder of the John McGinn saga from last summer. Whilst one is not linked to the other, it is nonetheless a headline that has continued to paint the club in a negative light.

This whole transfer saga has been played out in the media to a capacity crowd. Aside from the player getting what he wants, I’m not so sure it does player or employer any good.

After a series of twists and turns in this on/off transfer, it emerged last night that a move to Celtic was back on. I’m not sure what to believe at this stage.

The player’s representatives turned down Celtic’s original offer. Celtic made their position public after Motherwell went public about the whole transfer.

The player’s agent came back to the table days later only for Celtic to walk away. That seemed to be the end of it and the player checked in with Norwich City.

A transfer south seemed all but confirmed as this week progressed . Then last night news started circulating that the player was more interested in a move to Celtic.

All I’m waiting for now is for Pam Ewing to wake up and Bobby to emerge from the shower. What a farce.

We don’t know all of the facts around this drama, but Celtic’s statements have been pretty clear. Peter Lawwell, Scott Brown and John Kennedy have all been fairly frank about the player’s choices.

I have no complaints about Celtic’s stance on this. However, its not entirely clear if they’ve changed their original offer to get nearer the players demands.

Brian McClair signed for Celtic 36 years ago yesterday for mere £100,000. The then 19 year old Motherwell player enjoyed four years at Celtic before earning a big move to Manchester United.

That deal was brokered quickly and McClair had an extra season under his belt. If Turnbull turns out to be anywhere near as good a player as Choccy, he’ll enjoy success at Celtic and elsewhere if he plays his cards right.

Right now, I’ll believe nothing until he’s signed on the line. Celtic have to focus on other targets as well and hopefully Nick Hammond will be able to assist with that.

The team does not require major surgery, but it does need defensive reinforcements. We can put out a back four or three but it lacks experience, long-term reliability and backup.

Pre-season is under way and the squad has lost several players through contract expiry and loan deals ending. However, there are still a number of players yet to kick off their Celtic careers properly.

I rhymed these off last week in another article when Turnbull’s original deal looked almost done. I felt that another midfielder wasn’t of the greatest importance, but that he might provide some new energy.

What a week this has been. When I see him training at Lennoxtown I’ll believe it.

I’m sure if it goes through, Turnbull will be in for a roasting off his new teammates. I look forward to hearing all about that.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

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