Former Celtic forward Chris Sutton is surprised at the length of time it took the club to appoint a successor to Lee Congerton. The former head of recruitment departed Celtic Park in early May for a new gig at Leicester City.
Celtic took their time to find a replacement before announcing Nick Hammond on a “summer period” contract. Hammond’s actual role hasn’t been confirmed yet but it is anticipated that he will work in a similar way to Congerton.
The Englishman won’t formally start working for the club until the start of July and that is one of the questions that Sutton is pondering in his Daily Record column.
He wrote: “Nicky Hammond might just turn out to be Celtic’s most important signing of this summer.
“But why on earth has it taken so long to get him in the door?
“Why is he only going into the club’s most important summer recruitment drive in years on July 1 when the first qualifier is on July 9? And why is he just a short-term appointment?”
Sutton isn’t telling us anything we don’t already know. Fans seem a bit bemused too about the nature of Hammond’s contract and the fact he hasn’t actually started working yet.
This summer was always going to be one of the busiest for the club in recent years. The number of players departing the scene after successful periods meant that recruitment was key.
Everybody knew back in January that it was going to be a busy transfer window so it seems crazy that Celtic weren’t more prepared. Yes, we didn’t know who our manager was going to be, but recruitment meetings were still ongoing.
Hammond himself shouldn’t be judged until he has given us something positive or negative to talk about. However, the short-term trial basis of the move and the fact he doesn’t start until next month raises serious questions.
As with most transfer windows, judgement should be made once it closes on September 1st. But Celtic have big games in a matter of weeks and there’s a lot of work needing to be done.