At the end of his first season in charge at Celtic Park – in the summer of 1992 – Liam Brady had overseen the outgoing of a succession of fringe players who had spent some time in the reserve side.
John Hewitt moved to St Mirren; Anton Rogan to Sunderland; Dariusz Dziekanowski travelled south to Bristol City; Andy Walker to Bolton Wanderers; and Martin Hayes was given a free transfer.
On this day in 1992, Brady brought in three players in whom he hoped would strengthen the side. Stuart Slater came in from West Ham – where he had been a team-mate of the Celtic manager – for a Celtic record fee of £1.7 million. Rudi Vata, a versatile Albanian defender from Dinamo Tirana, was signed for £200,000; and Andy Payton arrived from Middlesbrough in a straight swap for right-back Chris Morris.
Liam Brady was obviously very hopeful that his new charges would be successes with their new club but just how well did they do? Well, let’s look at their playing records;-
Rudi Vata; Rudi had a 4-year spell at Celtic Park but made only 44 full appearances plus 12 as a substitute. A disappointing return?
Stuart Slater; Stuart only lasted one season at Celtic Park – 55 appearances and 3 goals – before being transferred to Ipswich Town for £750,000. The playing figures are not what the manager – and indeed one assumes the Board and the fans – expected for the outlay.
Andy Payton; Andy lasted 15 months at Parkhead, making 46 appearance and scoring 20 goals before leaving for Barnsley. Those figures show a reasonable return for the decision to bring him in.
NB By the time Andy Payton left, on 24th November 1993, Lou Macari was in the managerial chair and it was his decision to move the striker out. Payton went down to Yorkshire in part exchange for Wayne Biggins.