The Celtic Loan Approach – Long Term Pain?

Before the game last night, there was quite a heated discussion on BBC Radio Scotlands Sports-sound show on the Celtic loannee approach, Tom English was asking what was the point and was it having a bad impact on promotion from within and folk like Peter Houston and Pakki Bonner were talking of the benefits and the expectations from bringing in expensive ( in transfer value) loannees in short term deals. The impact on the Scottish game was also discussed with comparisons of Ryan Christie and Lewis Morgan having to leave Celtic to get game time being raised and asking who does this benefit in the long run..the clubs, players, everyone, no-one.

Eventually host Richard Gordon called an end to it but it was a good listen and no quarter was being given by anyone so it wasnt just paying lip service to fill the time.

I duly headed for the game and then suffered like the rest of us.

One of the post match thoughts that kept filling my head was “Why didn’t we start Edouard up front?”. My reasoning being he is our player and a natural centre, unlike Burke who is a loanee winger we are trying to help convert to play through the middle. I could only surmise Edouard still isn’t fit but even then I asked “Why doesn’t Brendan get what he can out of Edouard from the start then swap hin out?”.  Brendan does seem to prefer going with the alternative first rather than last judging by recent games.

Please do not think Im in any way anti Olly Burke. I think hes a great player and has been very good for us…but ( you know there was a but)….how can Brendan Rodgers demand his Celtic players “have to learn how to play in Europe” if he doesn’t ensure he plays them as often together as possible?  At present Olly Burke is 99% certain not to be here next season. Same also goes for Timo Weah, who whilst a great talent, is keeping other Celts like Mikey Johnston from getting experience at the highest level. Again, how does Mikey Johnston learn if he gets overlooked for a 5 month loannee player?

We have constantly berated the signing policy and process at Celtic Park but being specific, I think its time we ask if theres any point in Loanees apart from an emergency ( dont tell me needing 2 strikers was an emergency when we only started the season with 2 ..that was self inflicted stupidity!). This is nothing against the guys we have on loan, or previous talents like Paddy Roberts. They may be nice to look at, but long term, its an ever decreasing circle and eventually its all going to come crashing down.

There is another way of course, sadly however with the Board demands for profits ( that currently seem to go nowhere bar the bank!) and the fans demand for 10 in a row, then its doubtful we will try it, least not for a few years yet..imagine, imagine this…imagine we actually went full in on promoting Celtic youth?

Lets take 2 clubs from smaller leagues in Northern Europe, both with a true football pedigree but with smaller finances in this modern football age.

Lets consider how they have prospered in taking alternative approach  in recent years  –

Lets play Celtic vs Ajax…whos worth more?


Approach: Loannees and Player Sales

Celtic Squad Budget value : 91,45 Mill. €


Approach: Promote from Within

Amsterdam Squad Budget368,75 Mill. €


Thats right, Ajax’s squad is valued at 3 times our own.

Couple of questions..

  • Can you name the Ajax Manager?
  • Can you name many Ajax Players?
  • Can you name the Ajax Chairman?


If money is the be all and end all, which seems to be our Boards aim, then the figures above would make poor reading.

A final footballing thought….just compare our current loanee approach that was numbed so easily the other night against a La Liga side in Valencia, with this note from our old friend Daniel Storey on Football365 regards  Ajax vs Real Madrid

Ajax had 19 shots and almost double Real Madrid’s number of efforts on target. They are unfortunate that they faced the European champions and the European champions of getting it done.

Still, take a moment to appreciate Ajax’s bright new future. Even if it does end in a raft of expensive exports, that is how a club like Ajax must flourish. Develop, sculpt, sell and reinvest. Their matchday squad on Tuesday contained seven players aged 21, one aged 22 and another aged 19. De toekomst is helder.






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Desi listened to the same broadcast which was quite good even if they didn’t know what position Valencia were in their own league which made me think they hadn’t bothered to do any preparation. Before our game I thought we had a good combination of loanees, guys who had come from our academy (Forrest, McGregor, Johnston and Tierney) good Scottish acquisitions( Brown, Bain,Christie) and buts ( Sinclair, Izzy, Boyata and Simunovic).After the game I just don’t know where we are going.So what is your argument, why do talented young players happily put themselves into the Ajax Academy but not Celtic’s… Read more »


Pakki ?

The bottom line is the the team that played Vakencia isnt the team that qualified. Loannees will get us to 8, which is importan, but after that we’re back to square one.

Noel Skytrot

Ralph, I’ve stated this many times on the site and have been berated for it. I get that it’s difficult to attract players of a certain calibre to Scotland particularly when there are financial offers that can set players up for life on offer elsewhere. In my opinion the ” custodians ” need to deviate slightly in financial terms and try and lure some quality to CP, we’ve got a lot to offer as a club.


It’s ALL down to the scouting system (or the lack thereof). Our planet is FULL of young, skillfull, determined, budding footballers. The PISH about anyone not wanting to join us because it’s too fucking cold, we don’t pay enough, et cetera is just that, PISH. In Scotland alone, but also in most countries, we have layers and layers of footballing talent. Many of whom would fucking die for the chance of pulling on The Hoops. Maybe we can’t see the wood for the trees? Any player, with the pre-requisite of proven talent, who’s a TIM by heart and nature should… Read more »


The bottom line is Rodgers isnt going to do (and hasnt done) anywhere near as good as lennon in Europe. That was another embarassing display and there plento more to come. Just not this season. Lennon was operating in Scotsville and managed some pretty decent results. Thing is Lennon told them to fuck off when he was told lawell and co would be signing all the players from now on. To have the money we have got in the fucking bank doing fuck all is shocking for a team of celtics size. This has got nothing to do with loanee… Read more »


I agree that Edouard should be our main man up front .I can only assume Brendan didn’t want to rush him back . Maybe he thinks Sunday has greater priority?


Do not get the mindset, if we had gone with John McGinn they would have shipped out Christie to ABZ for a small transfer fee, when he had been outstanding for them on his loan spell
Patrick Roberts was outstanding, where is he now?

Benjamin Lynch

Cartvale, PR7 is in Girona, Spain recovering from injury. If reports are accurate, the reason he isn’t wearing the Hoops this season is because Man City backed out of selling him to us at the last minute. They probably wanted to see if they can get a better price from an EPL team in Jan (not knowing he’d be crocked during the window) or this summer. I do think the club will make another run at PR7 this summer, and given how his season has gone, I find it difficult to imagine that his market value will be higher than… Read more »

Benjamin Lynch

I don’t think anyone can seriously argue that we don’t give our youth players the opportunity to be promoted and play significant minutes to the young players we have developed internally or signed as development projects from other clubs (including Christie, Simunovic, & Scott Bain in this group). I would also take those squad values with a pinch of salt for a couple reasons: (1) a lot of Ajax’s players seem to have increased in ‘market value’ exponentially shortly after signing for them. This seems to be a case of changing perceptions more than anything, and the fact that our… Read more »


The only way we can develop in Europe is to bring through our own players. I think last season Ajax didn’t qualify for any European football.This season the did well in the CL and 2 seasons ago they got to the Europa league final.
They di bring through better players than us though.

gordon ross

They say “there is a first time for everything” well this is it for me,i’ve got to agree with Tom English,there is no point taking in as many loanees,developing them and sending them back to their clubs better players.Burke looks like he will get us goals but wouldn’t Johnstone and Aitchison,not do the same?When is the next Tierney,Kennedey,White,Aitken or Gemmell goingto come through the ranks?

Benjamin Lynch

We should be seeing Okoflex and Karamoko Dembele soon. Would not be surprised if we see Dembele in the coming weeks after he turns 16 later this month. But look, I do think there is a place for loan signings in the squad if there’s a legitimate reason. In my mind, those reasons are: (1) short term loans to provide cover for longer term injuries. Bringing in Weah to cover for Griff made a lot of sense, as did bringing in Burke to cover for Arzani. Playing Weah and Burke ahead of other guys is a legitimate question though, but… Read more »


Benjamin, I was aware where Roberts is today, my point is what did his loan add to the future. We are a big fish in a small pond, but bringing in loan players is a short term fix. The board look for cheap options Ronnie Delia being a case in point, they have stood still whilst Sevco were in. The lower divisions and there appears to be no plan, except the return of the so called Old Firm This is a foolish stance as Celtic need European football to have any creability. BR, Lenny and Chesney have done well considering… Read more »

“Bringing in Burke to cover for Arzani. “ is a perfect way of summing up our planning..a loan to cover a loan. If we wish to rebuild every year ( and at the last minute no doubt) rather than one big sale every 18 months then we must, and i include Brendan, accept is the side will never gain the experience needed to grow and develop as a true European side. We know Boyata is leaving in summer..lets get the Ajer + One partnership playing at the back as much as we fact when games 2 or 3 up… Read more »


The hard facts relating to loan and home grown players . If Brendan does not give the loanees adequately playing time , then parent club will either call them back or will be unlikely to deal with us in the future . Unfortunately in this economic climate , not many Scottish clubs have the resources to develop young players , unlike when we had a reserve league. I include our own club to a certain degree , how many players have we ourselves loaned out for game time , experience and evaluation. AS stated previously the disadvantages to home grown… Read more »

SFA unfit for purpose

Just been announced that not enough of ‘the people’ took up Daves offer , so he is in the clear.
No need to buy anyones shares , after diluting them.
Takeover panel have been steamrollered , lessons learned.
Aye right.


DK’s a despicable character but he does know how to beat the system and stay out of jail. Takeover panel proved to be absolutely toothless. Only big Mike seems to have his measure


So, yet another FANtastic comment fucking disappears?
Arseholes like Weered Walloper, Mike the fermer and Monti ‘close but no cigar’ will be ‘heard’?
Fuck this.
Like me or loathe me, this fuckin’ site will be diminished, just as many of my musical chords often are.




Oh and, er, just as a digestif (a sort of drink-oriented Nota Bene) I consider this. Triple sec. It may refer to a triple-distilled drink like Wodka 155. It may refer to a Champagne, or even a Prosecco in terms of triple-dry. OR it may apply to 3 fucking clowns who contact each other privately but spout on here whilst pretending to be individuals; triple-SECtioned? Well cop for this, fannies, Ha Ha Ha, one a piece. PS The fermer’s too auld, the Walloper’s a waster, but ah could mibbaes fit the other cunt in….but he’d probably gulp! He’s done it… Read more »

I have to disagree with your final sentence


PAX Vobiscum Vinny with the emphases on the last four letters. SCIAF: The Scottish CATHOLIC International Aid Fund. Raising millions of pounds EVERY year for over-sea’s aid, working their balls off to help end poverty in Africa: Helping people in Ethiopia, South Sudan and Malawi, providing food for the desperately hungry, providing safe clean water to drink. The wee box appeal £3.4 million raised in emergency aid, ordinary Scottish Catholics doing everything they can EVERY YEAR, to help alleviate poverty, feeding the poor and hungry, that is over and above the homeless and hungry here in Scotland. My favourite is..… Read more »


Mike, typical pish, and I wasn’t singling out Catholicism as you do. The whole fucking lot of religions are divisive AT BEST.
You CHOOSE selective ‘good deeds’ by Catholics.
How about offering birth control in Africa to avoid the need to help the starving children? Oh, sorry, how un-Catholic of me!
Get a fucking grip and DO NOT DARE to lecture me on a ‘faith’ I rejected after being fucking near brainwashed by it.
HH the Celtic FC, not the PLC, and FUCK ALL religions as they do FUCK ALL for humanity, despite what you think you believe.

TIC TOC… Let me remind you…

You singled out Catholicism when you made the statement “fuck the pope”. No mention of any other religious leader eg Jewish or Hindu or Islam et cetera, or, as normal folk would write, etc

You spout this anti religion pish every few weeks…
Are you stuck in a loop or just out of ideas.
I know what my money would be on…


Vinny, Its not pish, all of it is true, its well documented, if you care to seek it out. I chose to highlight Catholicism as its the only religion that I have had life experience off, I would not talk about something that I had no knowledge of, just as I would not berate or criticise it. Why would the Catholic church introduce birth control in Africa when it is against its teachings, rightly or wrongly that is its fundamental belief. People are free to believe whatever they choose to believe, or not. All I can say is that in… Read more »


Well, thank fuck for that! I can now go forward in life with confidence, knowing that I’ve been ‘analysed’ by a Catholic. Oh, wait……….. FC not PLC and my thanks to the guy/gal whom originally coined it. PS Mike, I’m pretty sure you’re a good guy. I REALLY don’t want to fall out with you about our respective beliefs. I don’t really want to fall out with anyone on here. I’ve, rightly or wrongly, been fucking hammered on here, and it’s no big deal to me. Reading between lines, I’m pretty cool with my own observations and conclusions. Stood at… Read more »

Stevie D

Who missed the penalty(s) at Ibrox then?


Sadly, there’ll be a few wives waking up with black eyes tomorrow in loyalist Ayrshire.

Stevie D… The impartial referees missed some but not all 🙂

Stevie D
The Cha

Loanees to me should be to cover for short term absences or if a club can’t afford permanent signings. Neither of these apply to us, apart from perhaps Griffiths, although sadly even that may be a permanent absence. I’m also not sure of the economic sense of signing loanees at £1-2m a year, as opposed to a good quality permanent signing at £5-10m. Over a 5 year period the outlay is the same but what you get is vastly different. If the player turns out to be a disaster then you’re quids in with the former, as there’s less cost… Read more »


getting a loanee in with a view to buy makes perfect sense. Then if they are minging (like about 80% of our signings in the last few seasins are) they can be told to fuck off.

The Cha

Benkovic, Weah and probably Burke don’t fall into that category.

Sometimes you just have to take the risk because if someone comes in and tears it up then he won’t be signing permanently.

If Dembele was signed on loan then he would have left for nothing,


read my post again. I was on topic with the loanee topic and gave a third option you missed. The most important one. I Never rules out permanent signings


weah is there because we can afford pemanent signings of that quality and Benkovic is cover for short term absence. Then again maybe we are going to spend another two years with no centre half.

Fred… Alternatively they could just be asked to leave…..


i am always in favour of improving our current signing policy. That would be for celtic btw


All options that improve on the current shambles are acceptable.

Agreed… He’s a wee lad… Ffs

Iljas Baker

Desi Mond, you said something about the players learning in Europe:Here’s a major revelation: Brendan always blames his players and says they need to learn from their defeats but he never blames himself and says he needs to learn. He always says the step up in Europe is difficult as they have better players. This is true but why doesn’t he say “it’s not a league campaign, it’s a knockout over two games. They might be more expensive and more skillful but anything can happen in football in knockout games, it all depends on tactics. We’ve studied other “small” teams… Read more »






After a bright start, the last 30 minutes of the first half have been brutal!!

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