Gordon Strachan explains how Celtic complete transfers

By David Walton

January 5, 2021

Former Celtic manager Gordon Strachan has explained how Celtic complete their transfers amid criticism of the recruitment.

Celtic have struggled this season and sit 19 points behind rivals Rangers. In addition to that, we’re out of Europe and the Betfred Cup. Much of this can be traced back to a dreadful summer as many of the Hoops’ signings struggled to make an impact.

The results and performances have brought plenty of criticism to Celtic’s recruitment side of things. The likes of Steven Pressley (Daily Record) and Frank McAvennie (Football Insider) have called out the club’s work in the summer. McAvennie in particular has been scathing of Head of Football Operations Nick Hammond.

But Strachan, father of Celtic coach Gavin, has cleared up who makes the final decisionon transfers. And that man is none other than the manager Neil Lennon.

Speaking on the Football Pass show, Strachan disclosed just how transfers are done at Parkhead:

“There will be targets going on. There is a big thing on recruitment going on and bringing them (the coaching staff) targets.

“At big clubs everyone is analysed and more so in the last 10 years. People have this perception that at Celtic they say ‘that’s your players Neil, get on with it’. It doesn’t work that way.

“Recruitment come to you and say ‘we know four players, who do you want?’ and I know at Celtic the final decision will always be down to the coaching staff who picks the player. So many people have a say who brings them in. Ultimately the manager and coaching staff decide who they want to work with.”

Strachan claim on Celtic transfers does nothing for Lennon

It’s difficult to know whether Gordon was trying to protect Lennon here or not. But how it looks from the outside is that Lennon therefore has chosen all of these players. That he’s had the final say on all of them.

That doesn’t reflect too well on him. If he’s okayed the signings of the likes of Shane Duffy and Vasilis Barkas, that means he’s played a big role in our problems this season.

Of course, everyone at the club has to take their share of responsibility. Hammond, for example, has clearly been providing a list of players for Lennon to choose from. Who knows how poor the rest of the alternatives were?

Neil Lennon’s Celtic signings have been highly criticised / (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

What this does do from Strachan is clarify what goes on behind the scenes. It puts to an end this notion that Neil is told who he is going to sign – even if he doesn’t identify all of the targets himself.

But if the former Scotland boss believes he’s lifted any of the pressure on Lenny, he’s mistaken there. It only makes his summer recruitment job look even worse.

Here’s hoping this is something we put right in January. We have a long road to recovery ahead of us.

In other news, we discuss what could be next for the barely-mentioned Conor Hazard.