Celtic initiative causes transfer headache for SPFL club

By Euan Davidson

January 11, 2022

The existence of the Celtic B Team is making transfer deals harder for SPFL clubs, according to Clyde assistant Alan Moore.

Moore, no.2 to Danny Lennon, believes that prior to Celtic and Rangers putting B sides in the SLFL, it was easier to loan players from Glasgow’s big clubs. In the past, Celtic youngsters have found game-time and experience in the lower reaches of the SPFL. Ewan Otoo, for example, was at Clyde towards the end of the 20-21 season.

However, Moore believes that it’s limiting clubs like Clyde when Celtic can give young players the SLFL experience. In fairness to the Hoops, the B Team has been extremely helpful in developing young talent. Owen Moffat and Joey Dawson have made first-team appearances.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

That said, the Hoops have made players available to SPFL sides. Kerr McInroy spent the first half of the season at Airdrieonians. Jonathan Afolabi is at Ayr United, while Luca Connell is at Queen’s Park.

Moore gave his take on the situation, saying [Daily Record]: “I would expect some [players] to come in but it’s a case of whether we can get them in or not.

“January is very difficult to get players in who will improve the team. You don’t get players from Celtic or Rangers anymore due to their ‘B’ teams in the Lowland League.

“We are trying our best.”

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Interesting perspective from Clyde, as Celtic B Team forces SPFL clubs to change their plans

For me, there’s two ways to look at this. On the one hand, you could say Celtic don’t owe SPFL clubs anything, and you can’t just rely on the Bhoys to loan out all and sundry to the lower reaches of the professional pyramid.

Alternatively, history shows that Celtic and Rangers have prolifically loaned players out to clubs like Clyde, and that as the two biggest teams with the best resources, they owe something to the rest of the SPFL, in a sense. Not only that, there have been plenty of examples where Celtic loaning out young players to the likes of Clyde has been beneficial to all parties.

It’s an interesting debate no matter how you slice it. But Celtic probably weren’t thinking about Clyde et al when they pushed for a B Team so aggressively. From our perspective, it makes perfect sense. In a B Team, the coaching is at a high standard they’re accustomed to, the facilities are excellent, and the tactics are consistent with the first team.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

It’s no wonder clubs like Bayern Munich and Barcelona have been role models in that sense. Sure, you can loan out players, but monitoring their development close-up probably puts them in better stead to make a mark in the first team, long-term.

It’s also been another source of interest for Celtic supporters. Fans have been making their way to Penny Cars Stadium to watch the B Team. Or, they’ve been tuning into streaming platforms, as they did on Sunday when Celtic played Caledonian Braves.

Essentially, Celtic don’t owe anyone anything. But you can also see where the likes of Clyde come from. It’s a swift change in approach, and ultimately clubs who rely on Celtic, Rangers etc for players are going to have to change tack.

But that’s on them. For Celtic, developing talent is the priority here. There’s a new way to do that, so why wouldn’t we use it?

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