CHRIS SUTTON admits he is puzzled over the situation Celtic find themselves this morning.

The anticpated announcement of Eddie Howe as Neil Lennon’s successor has collapsed just when it looked as though the Hoops were days away from unveiling the 43-year-old coach who has been out of work for almost 10 months since leaving Bournemouth.

The Parkhead club, though, stunned the football world with the bombshell news in a statement that Howe would not be coming to Glasgow, as CQN reported last night.

Former goal hero Sutton has urgent questions for his old club who have been without a full-time gaffer since Lennon departed on February 23.

John Kennedy took charge for 10 games while it was believed the jigsaw was coming together in the background.

HOWE DID IT COME TO THIS….a puzzled Eddie Howe.

The mesmerised media pundit said: “It doesn’t matter if the finger of blame gets pointed at Eddie Howe or the Celtic board. All that matters is Celtic are not left in a complete mess.

“It’s staggering how they have got to this point and no matter how you spin it, it’s certainly not a good look for the new chief executive Dominic McKay.

“He had to get Howe over the line, but now the club’s been left looking completely rudderless.

“I do smell a rat, though. There has always been the nagging question of why it was taking so long. I said last week that my first question for Howe if he took charge would be why has it taken so long?

“Now the big question is, has he taken Celtic for a ride? Was he holding out for a Premier League job all along? Has he been given the sniff of one?

“There are so many questions and it would be interesting to get Howe’s answers.”

Sutton, speaking to the Daily Record, continued: “There’s been a lot of talk about the backroom team and whether Celtic wanted to keep the likes of John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan.

THE END IS NIGH…Neil Lennon trudges off the Dingwall pitch after Celtic’s loss to Ross County on February 21 – two days before he headed for the Parkhead exit. 

“Then there is the other side that suggested Howe would have the power to bring in his own team, but for whatever reason it’s collapsed on the back of that issue.

“Surely Howe would have assurances from those guys that they were prepared to leave Bournemouth if he was telling Celtic he wanted the job?

“How can you go from just needing to dot the ‘i’s and cross the ‘t’s to sitting at the end of May without a manager?

“This is not how big clubs behave. Celtic are due to report back for pre-season training on June 17. They have a Champions League qualifier in 50-odd days.

“Yet right now they look like a shambles.”

The one-time England international frontman added: “Who is going to take this job? They can’t go back to Enzo Maresca as he’s off to Parma.

“There’s absolutely no chance they can pick up the phone and go back to Roy Keane.

“They palmed him off and we all know what the Irishman’s response will be if they ask him if he still fancies it.

“The writing was on the wall for Neil Lennon from before Christmas. The next manager should have been lined up so when he left the new man could come straight in.”

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