Mitigating Circumstances – Stephen McGowan reveals that Ivan Toney was inside Celtic Park ready to sign for just £6m

Those ‘Mitigating Circumstances’ we heard about yesterday have already started to emerge. Perhaps the most remarkable will be the first one and that comes from respected Celtic journalist Stephen McGowan from Scottish Daily Mail, speaking on the Graham Spiers Press Box podcast about the current situation at Celtic, the demise of Neil Lennon and who could be the next Celtic manager.

However the stand-out comment relates to last summer’s transfer saga involving the then Peterborough Utd striker Ivan Toney who was keen to sign for Celtic but ended up going to Brentford instead – where he has had a sensational season, signing on 31 August for the London club after keeping them waiting all summer as he held out for his preferred move to Celtic.

(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Brentford paid around £5m for Toney with add-ons taking this up towards £10m and so far this season he has scored 24 times and has had 9 assists with significant transfer interest from the Premier League – West Ham being the latest – and Brentford are looking at bids starting at £30m.

The player wanted to come to Celtic and had a bid arrived for Odsonne Edouard that met Celtic’s expectations then the French Under 21 striker would have got the move he thought was going to happen and we would have been speared his underwhelming contribution to the first half of the season.

Instead Celtic decided to hold onto an unhappy Edouard, send Toney back down the road with his tail between his legs and his hopes of playing for Celtic dashed and concluded the alternative deal to sign the much more reluctant Albian Ajeti from West Ham.

Photo: Andrew Milligan

Gavin Strachan worked with Toney at Peterborough and clearly wanted the player but the deal never happened due to the decisions taken in the Celtic Boardroom. Mitigating Circumstance number 1 right here.

Stephen McGowan speaking on the Graham Spiers Press Box podcast: “The one that sums it up best is Ivan Toney, who they had in Glasgow, actually in the building – who wanted to sign for Celtic and they could have got for £6 million. For whatever reason, probably financial, they decided not to commit and signed Ajeti.”

(Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email


  1. Another board failure, They not resigned yet? Desmond, gtf and take your alleged billions with you given how m,uch good they’ve done us