UEFA Letter Irony Alert as Russell criticises Record for ’embarrassing’, ‘made up nonsense’

MOTHERWELL have every right to set the price that they want to achieve for their star asset David Turnbull although they do need to be careful not to over-play their hand as they did the last time Celtic came calling with a bid for Northern Irish keeper Trevor Carson.

In that instance Brendan Rodgers had asked Celtic’s goalkeeping coach Stevie Woods – who himself played for Motherwell – which keepers he’d like to work with. Woods gave his boss two names – Carson and Scott Bain and after a few Celtic bids were rejected for the Motherwell keeper – who apparently was distraught at missing out on the move of his career – Celtic looked elsewhere.

Carson didn’t get his move from Motherwell to Celtic

Scott Bain arrived and Woods’ judgement proved to be particularly sound with the former Dundee keeper forcing his way into the starting line-up for both Celtic and Scotland, he’s almost certain to start this evening for Steve Clarke’s Scotland side against Cyprus at Hampden.

What do we actually know about the David Turnbull story? Well, we know that Celtic have asked to be kept informed of any developments. Then later in same day the media, including the BBC, had the story that Motherwell had received two bids – from Burnley and Celtic each for £2m – and they were both rejected.

Another paper then stated that the Celtic Bid was for a lower sum that Burnley’s and there was another report that Celtic had not bid at all, just had asked to be kept informed.

Social media was full of ‘here we go again’ as the John McGinn saga from last summer was recalled. Indeed if you were involved at Motherwell yourself, you’d be factoring this into the equation as something that strengthens your own hand. Can Peter Lawwell really afford to suffer a similar set-back as happened with McGinn last summer?

John McGinn – the one that got away. Peter Lawwell lost out to Aston Villa

The clubs who did make a bid, Burnley and maybe or maybe not Celtic, could both have a reason to be pretty annoyed that Motherwell have apparently rushed to their friends in the press to tell them about the bids. Okay, we get that they are trying to start a bidding war to force up the price, and have already stated that around ten clubs have enquired about the midfielder, but surely there should be some aspect of confidentiality involved?

UEFA letter to Res 12 lawyer was edited then leaked to media.

Motherwell are well placed to access chums in the media quickly and efficiently. They have none other that Grant Russell on their staff, the former STV man (who famously published the doctored version of the UEFA letter to the Res 12 lawyer that was copied to both the Scottish FA and Celtic – someone edited out the New Club stuff in that official letter before leaking to Russell).

These are dirty games. Dirty, dirty games.


Last night Russell, these days the Communications Manager at Fir Park, jumped head first into the David Turnbull saga to shoot down a story that had appeared in the Daily Record that suggested that the player was keen on a move to Paradise. Now player pressure in the modern game is something that a selling club have to be very wary of. For instance the player could refuse to go to a club like Burnley and hold out for his dream move elsewhere.

In those circumstances the best deal that the selling club can get it the one from the club that the player wants to play for. The alternative of course is not to sell at all, but they miss out on the money and the player on his move. Motherwell know through their Carson experience how that movie ends.

So what did Russell say last night and what is the back story behind it?

The Daily Record published a story that Turnbull had told his mates that he wanted to join Celtic.

“No, he hasn’t,” Russell replied. “I don’t normally speak out on things like this. But this is made up nonsense and it’s embarrassing it has been lifted and repackaged as “news”.Source: David himself, not the made up ones.”

If we can put our Res 12 irony alert to one side, and try to trace this story back to it’s roots.
Video Celts this morning outlined some of this but never managed to take it all the way back to were it started.


Russell is referring quite obviously to the story in the Daily Record. Video Celts point out correctly that they picked up the story from the click-bait site Football Insider but failed to go back any further.

The actual story a few days started on the Rangers fans forum and after Football Insider picked up on the rumour from there, their subsequent article was used as back-up proof to the original contention on the same forum before being picked up by the Daily Record.

So as far as we are concerned, the facts appear to be Burley have placed a bid which has been rejected, Celtic may be in the same position but are certainly interested in the 19 year old, Motherwell want and probably need a bidding war and the Daily Record know sweet FA.

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 editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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