Sunderland supporters could barely believe it when Lee Congerton was appointed as Celtic’s Head of Recruitment back in March.
The 43-year-old moved to the Scottish champions as a replacement for John Park – the former Chelsea chief scout reuniting with The Blues’ one-time academy coach Brendan Rodgers north of the border.
Rodgers stated that Congerton would bring ‘knowledge, experience and excellence to such an important area of our work’, per the Daily Record. Fans of his former club Sunderland, however, would be forgiven for scoffing at such high praise.
Congerton spent two years on Wearside as The Black Cats’ sporting director between 2013 and 2015, departing when Dick Advocaat was replaced by the more hands on Sam Allardyce. Though it’s fair to say he will not be remembered fondly. Sunderland’s recruitment has been famously disastrous in recent years after all.
Patrick Van Aanholt was the only one of Congerton’s signings during that two year period to earn the club a profit while the likes of Jack Rodwell, Will Buckley proved to be expensive flops.
Sunderland were also billed £9 million for infamous Inter Milan loanee Ricky Alvarez after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that they unwittingly triggered an agreement to sign him permanently – despite the club never actually owning the Argentine, per The Sun.
And Celtic supporters are perhaps now discovering why the Sunderland fans warned them about this ‘appalling appointment’.
£4.5 million Olivier Ntcham became Celtic’s most expensive signing in a decade (Scottish Sun) but has failed to fully convince. Jonny Hayes and Kundai Benyu have been anonymous so far while Odsonne Edouard, a loanee from PSG that Celtic have an option to buy permanently, has made just two starts.
You wonder when questions will start being asked of Congerton north of the border.