Football is a box office business and box office events grow a club. In that respect, Celtic are a little larger this month than last, with the fortnight-long interview process ahead of Brendan Rogers return as manager. Media interest in the club has grown, you will doubtlessly also have received questions from people with no interest in football enquiring, “Is he coming back?”
The most interesting question is, why has it taken two weeks? It was reported from the off that Celtic and Brendan had a meeting of minds. Both recognised they were low on better options, salary was notionally agreed, although the release clause details would have rattled the bone china.
Success or failure of a managerial appointment can come down to other matters. Eddie Howe insisted he would not come to Celtic without his backroom team, whom he felt were integral to his chances. For the first time in his career, Brendan will accept a job without Chris Davies, his deputy for 13 years. Chris’ reputation at Celtic was so high, Ange Postecoglou heard enough to take him to Tottenham. If not a red flag, this is certainly a concern.
For me, the most important issue is Celtic’s player trading strategy. We are in the business of buying, developing and selling players at a profit. Anything else will, at best, achieve short-term results but lead to eventual decline.
Ange Postecoglou instinctively understood this, which is why our squad is so full of potential and so valuable. He sold Juranovic and Giakoumakis in a heartbeat, knowing the inherent risk involved in signing replacements was part of a necessary process. If Brendan is not an evangelical convert to this doctrine, I anticipate trouble ahead.
Celtic have a multi-million-pound contract, Champions League football and a great managerial opportunity to offer. In return, Michael Nicholson is entitled to hold out for a firm commitment to the trading strategy used by ruthlessly aspirational clubs.