Celtic should not trust Nick Hammond to rebuild their squad, says Kris Commons


Kris Commons says Celtic’s head of football operations Nick Hammond should not be trusted to rebuild the Hoops’ squad.

There is expected to be a huge overhaul in players this summer with the Parkhead side failing to find a consistent run of form this term.

And Commons insists Hammond must take part of the blame with big money signings such as Shane Duffy, Albian Ajeti and Vasilis Barkas failing to make an impact since their arrival.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Commons said: “Whether or not Neil Lennon remains in charge is another matter. It seems that, in all likelihood, the board will allow him to see things through until the end of the season.

“But, in the bigger picture, and in terms of how the club move forward from here, it’s the lack of vision and direction coming from the boardroom which is most alarming.

“Nick Hammond is the head of football operations at Celtic Park. He oversees the club’s scouting and recruitment department.

“Was it Hammond who sanctioned a combined £10million outlay on Vasilis Barkas and Albian Ajeti? Or a £2m loan fee plus a hefty wage packet for Shane Duffy?

“The £3.5m wasted on Patryk Klimala is another case in point. Ultimately, Hammond is the man who must carry the can for this litany of woeful signings.

“With Ajeti and Duffy, and the way they fell out of favour at West Ham and Brighton, some people have suggested that Celtic now only sign players who are warming the bench for other clubs.

“For me, though, that misses the point. Scott Sinclair wasn’t exactly doing much for Aston Villa prior to Celtic signing him in 2016. The rest, as they say, is history.

“In terms of players being cast aside by clubs down south, there’s nothing wrong with exploring that particular market if you know what you’re looking for and have a good eye for a player.

“But therein lies the key problem in all of this. Collectively as a club, Celtic have lost their eye for a player. Ultimately, managers are only as good as the players coming through the door.

“Regular readers will know my views on Celtic’s recruitment and just how poor it has been over the past few seasons, so I won’t go over old ground.

“Instead, it’s what lies ahead which now takes on huge importance because even the most ardent Celtic fan must now admit that this season’s title race is done and dusted.

“The club are facing their biggest rebuild in a generation and fans have absolutely no idea who is going to be trusted to oversee the whole operation.

“Typically, it would be the chief executive who would work together with the manager to appoint a new sporting director.

“But will Peter Lawwell still be there next season? Or will he be told to step aside? The truth of the matter is that nobody knows.

“Given his track record, I wouldn’t trust Hammond to spend a penny of that money when it comes to rebuilding this squad.”


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