EVERY single professional club

in Scotland has been guilty of making a signing that could really only be described as Scheidt. There may have been worse players to arrive on these shores than the Brazilian Rafael, whose surname remains the most fitting of all the foreign imports we have seen over the years. But the how, why and what the bloody hell is going on here regarding Celtic shelling out £5m and

a bit for the defender in January 2000 highlighted the risk taken by any coach who signs anyone that he nor anyone else has actually seen on a football pitch.

John Barnes, for it was he, openly admitted at the time that Scheidt was signed based solely on him watching some video highlights of him playing, apparently magnificently, for Gremio in his homeland.

Celtic are far from alone here.

Many top clubs will admit quietly that the "prolific" striker they signed who turned out to be more Belly than Pele was recommended by an agent whose five minute DVD package of him made him look like a world beater, rather than a compulsive eater.

If only a man called Matteo Campodonico had been about back then. He may have saved Celtic and

a few others a small fortune and a lot

of face. Who he, you ask. Well, the Italian is the man who has transformed football, primarily how transfers happen and the scouting system,

in his own unique and, it must be said, lucrative way.

Once upon a time the trick to being

a scout was to notice everything and at the same time stay un-noticed. They would go to actual games incognito as to not alert the opposition to watch players in the flesh to run their expert eye on whoever was in his club's thoughts.

This changed in the 1990's. Soon videos would arrive from agents pushing their players. They were soon promoted to DVDs. It was a far from perfect system for all sorts of reasons. This is where Campodonico, a self-confessed football fanatic comes in.

You've probably never heard of Wyscout, the business he started and is CEO of. However, your club has. It so happens to be the most used website in sport. It has been dubbed "the speed-dating of football" and that's not a bad description.

Paul Hartley, the Dundee manager, swears by it. Stuart McCall name dropped the site recently, while Celtic have been involved right from the beginning.

Basically, it is a database used

by the biggest names in football.

The information contained within includes 273,000 player profiles, 124,000 full games archives, including reserve matches, from 150 leagues in 80 countries. However, for those who like a stat, there are 42 million of what they call "actions" such as crosses,

free-kicks, saves, dribbles for coaches, agents and the players to pour over.

And these numbers get bigger by

the hour.

You can even study a failed interception or a poor back pass, and who would not want to do that? Yes, this really is a football nerd's dream.

While negotiating his car through the tunnels of northern Italy, the chatty and likeable Campodonica tells me how the most important football thing on the web came to be.

"I was a player myself, although not at a high level, and my coach would show videos of Roberto Baggio to

teach us. It was on VHS, so it's long ago. It always stuck with me and when I stopped playing, the thought occurred to me that I had something to build upon.

"A friend and I decided to tape all the Italian games at the weekend and offer them to clubs as a scouting tool. The videos which came before would be put together by agents. They were highlights packages. Let's be honest, anyone in the world can look a brilliant player in five minutes of their best moments.

"We showed every aspect of the game and were sure we could provide

a professional service. The first club to get involved was Genoa, which thrilled me because I'm a fan."

Things then moved at pace.

After Genoa, almost every club in Serie A used what was now called Wyscout; it began life as Sport Video Service. Then the internet became a thing and in a short space of time, Campodonica was the go-to man for almost every top European club, including those here

in Scotland.

"We have an agreement with the Scottish Premiership that all their clubs has access to the site," he said. "I was involved very early on with John Park (head scout) at Celtic which was a great thrill for me. He is a good man, working for an amazing club and was very helpful at the start when we were building the database. John gave us a lot of ideas. I know that there is not so much money in Scottish football and the clubs have to buy carefully. In the past, if there was say a Croatian or Polish player interesting one of your clubs, they would have to wait days, sometimes weeks, to get a video of the player. Now it is available online and immediately, and we show everything about the players. Not just the good bits, but everything."

The clubs, associations and agents pay for the service, but don't think this is an advertising piece. Campodonica and his people don't need any help.

Over 1000 games per week are uploaded. There are close to 500 clubs who are customers, which include

85 per cent of those involved in this season's Champions League, plus eight out of every ten coaches in last summer's World Cup logged on to scout the opposition.

"It's a LinkedIn for football, "claimed its founder. "We provide videos and statistics for players who have slipped under the radar. I could not specifically point to any transfer

we were directly responsible for, but I know that many moves would not have happened without our information.

"There is also a transfer zone where clubs can look at transfer-listed players even if they have only been on trial. That is getting increasingly popular. For me, it's a hobby that has turned into a business."

You still hear of clubs signing players without anyone seeing them live. I've lost count of the amount of managers in Scottish football who, off the record, admit that their new star striker

"could be anything" because he was recommended by some bloke in the Balkans and that he 'looked okay on YouTube.'

Wyscout is a simple idea, but one that has revolutionised how transfers are conducted. "Just think," said Campodonico. "You could be sitting in a bar in Scotland and with an app on your phone you would be able to scout a player in Brazil."

If only Barnes had this tool back in 2000. He would have perhaps noticed that the Brazilian international centre-defender he was about to sign could not actually play football.