Celtic have not had the best run of luck signing players recently it’s safe to say.

The bhoys signing of Marvin Compper along with the likes of Charly Musonda and even Kundai Benyu have been a mystery to the support.

When people hark back to the 90s, they rarely remember Celtic in a positive light. The turmoil at the club and lack of success until the 97/98 season is there for all to see.

BUT that didn’t mean Celtic didn’t have their fair share of exciting talent on display and had it not been for the scouting system – Celtic may never have stopped Old Rangers from stealing the history books.

The Daily Record has done an outstanding piece with former Celtic Scout Andy Ritchie who was one of only two men doing the scouting at Celtic in the 90s.

Andy has been personally responsible for some fantastic buys such as Pierre van Hooijdonk, Cadete, Di Canio, Andy Thom, Mark Viduka, Paul Lambert and Johan Mjallby to name a few.

Lifting the lid on his time at Celtic, Ritchie spoke highly of Paul Lambert and gave us a behind the scenes peak at how his transfer to Celtic came to be.

“I had known Paul since my days at St Mirren. So prior to Tommy being sacked he had asked me to speak to Paul. We needed a holding midfield player as we kept losing goals to Rangers through the middle. So I contacted him and spoke to his wife Monica as well. They wanted to come home.

“Tommy and me were in the sauna on a Friday night and I told him Paul had been on the phone and wanted to come to Celtic. Tommy turned to me and said, ‘You’re going to have to do it with someone else, Andy, because I’ll not be here’. Two weeks later, he was sacked. But Tommy’s replacement Wim wanted Paul as well.

“I knew the player had a clause in his contract that he could go for five million deutsche marks, or around £1.2m. The deal was on, but then came a problem. Jock had told Wim he had to see a player himself three times if he cost more than £1m. But Wim said, ‘Why do we have Andy here?’ Right in that Celtic turmoil, Rangers made a better offer.

“But Paul had shaken hands with me. That’s the mark of the man.”

Paul went on to create a formidable partnership with Neil Lennon and won ten trophies at the club and getting to the UEFA Cup Final back in 2003.


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