Harald Brattbakk warns new signing that Celtic are no ‘stepping stone’

Harald Brattbakk has responded to Yang Hyun-ju’s view that Celtic are his ‘stepping-stone’ to a bigger league, and the former Hoops striker believes the South Korean’s comments have been ill-advised.

21-year-old Yang signed a five-year deal after sealing a £2.1 million transfer from Gangwon earlier this month, but Brattbakk has suggested that he lets his feet do the talking.

(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone

“This is a classic example of perhaps not having the right people around you,” said Brattbakk when talking to Boyle Sports. “I understand what he thinks, but sometimes what you think is not what you should be saying. The supporters are the ones who come to see you every week, it’s wise to leave things unsaid.

“If he wants to use Celtic as a stepping stone, then that’s fine, but you don’t need to say that. He just needs to show everyone his mind is with Celtic. Clubs like Celtic need to be getting these players when they are young and full of potential, because it is a smart business model to take. For the player, the motivation is to play as high as possible and the clubs should look at player development as a business case.

“Celtic should look at every young player as a business case and the players should have good enough advisors to tell them what to say at the right times. I just hope Brendan can put a good team together and do well in Europe, because that is the way they can keep producing strong players and be financially viable.”


Stopping the ten

Harald Brattbakk was a goal-scoring machine prior to signings for Celtic at the end of 1997. During his second spell at Rosenborg, he netted 146 times in 155 games throughout four consecutive league-winning campaigns for the Norwegians from 1994 to 1997.

Brattbakk was the predatory striker with the look of a choirboy, who doubled up as Rosenborg’s accountant, but it was inevitable that his exploits in front of goal – particularly with 9 goals in 14 Champions League games – would eventually attract attention from beyond the Tippeligaen.

Ipswich Town, Birmingham City, Newcastle United, Benfica, Anderlecht and Standard Liege were all interested in signing Brattbakk, who fell in love with Scotland after visiting Glasgow for signing talks with Celtic in October 1997. However, the Parkhead side had to wait until Rosenborg’s final European games before concluding the £2.2 million deal.

This European promise delayed the transfer due to Rosenborg’s unexpected 2-0 defeat of eventual winners Real Madrid kept the Norwegians in the hunt for qualification until the final group match on 10th December 1997. Brattbakk, in the form of his life, scored one of the goals against the Champions League winners.

When the Norwegian finally signed for Wim Jansen’s title-chasers, Brattbakk admitted that it had been Davie Hay who has instigated the transfer. Despite Hay having been fired by Jock Brown by the time Brattbakk arrived in Glasgow, it was Hay that the incoming striker continued to call for advice.

Although Harald never quite recaptured his prolific form in the green-and-white hoops, he will always be fondly remembered for a four-goal haul against Kilmarnock in February 1998, and also for his clinching goal against St Johnstone the day we stopped the ten.


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