Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether Celtic have an address in Kerrydale Street or Coronation Street. What a soap opera our hunt for a new manager has turned out to be! Of course,it is traditional on a soap opera to have so-called cliffhangers,the will he,won’t he type,who shot JR-or in our case,BR-and even the occasional marriage. Our marriage to Eddie Howe seemed to be all going to plan,but it seems that we will be left standing at the altar.
Of course,it is traditional for the jilted bride’s friends and family to rally round,tell her that he was a no-user and that she had had a lucky escape. At the moment,I feel like that jilted bride-except that like most jilted brides I don’t believe a word that I’m being told-otherwise I wouldn’t have been standing at the altar in the first place!
Leaving the analogies aside,we have to wonder how we arrived at this place. It is nearly six months since the patience and support of a lot of the fans for Neil Lennon ran out,following our abject display against the huns. A well-run club,even if having no intention of changing the manager at that stage,would have been reviewing the list of potential replacements. A CEO,one who saw his main interest as being that of the club rather than himself,would have been scouring the various leagues to check on clubs which appeared to be punching above their weight and investigating how their manager achieved it,would he be a fit for Celtic,etc. Which high profile managers with a decent track record are out of work? Or even checked through the drawers in his desk for the eighty or so CVs and applications that had been sent to him about 18 months earlier!!!
Not us,we doubled down until the inevitable came to pass,and even if four months late,it was nearly two months ago and we are actually further back in our search than we were at the time! You really do have to wonder at the imagination of the scriptwriters at our club,this is BAFTA quality. Of course,in last week’s episode of SOAP,Celtic-style,we all looked like living happily ever after. The club had got its hands on their man,the footballing structure was to be rebuilt,and the new CEO would be arriving early. This was music to my ears.
I’ve never made a secret of the fact that I wanted AVB two years ago,and that he will be available to join us at the end of this season too-and it would have been worth it just to have seen Ntcham’s face if that had happened!-but Brexit is a gamechanger in football as in so many other industries. We need someone with an intrinsic knowledge of the British game,especially the players outside the top top teams. Eddie Howe fitted the bill,and as I explained last week,his chances of managing near the top of the English game were being seriously squeezed. He was a good fit for us,and we were a good fit for him. Yet it looks as if it is going pear-shaped in the time-honoured Celtic fashion!
So why might that be? There are a number of possibilities here. The first is that Howe is having difficulty persuading his family of the benefits of the move,but to be honest,if you can’t be the boss in your own house,you’re gonna struggle in a dressing room! Or some of his preferred team might not fancy it. Celtic might not want him to install Hughes as his own Director of Football,and in this one I agree with their stance. The DoF should be independent of the CEO and the manager,while working and liaising closely with both. If he wants Hughes so badly,install him as a replacement for Hammond. No problem is insurmountable!
Even if the sticking point is Celtic’s refusal to bin Kennedy and Strachan,just sideline them. It’s not difficult!!
But back to Square One,where we were six months ago,and none the wiser. Meanwhile,we have a very important cup tie against our neighbours who have beaten us home and away already this season. We also have a departing CEO who might not really be departing after all,somewhat reminiscent of a certain shower scene-and Celtic fans have had their fill of us replaying famous shower scenes in the last couple of years! We are definitely at a crossroads at the moment-no manager,no defined management structure,a new CEO and a previous one playing the hokey-cokey,and the biggest squad rebuild probably in our history. Well run club,my arse,and Dominic McKay has his work cut out.
Confused? You will be! Tune in next week for the latest episode of a long-running saga which has long outlived its welcome.
Above article by BMCUWP