Succession at Celtic


I have no doubt this morning’s press reports on Celtic’s plans for the months ahead are correct.  We are told the club “is planning an overhaul of their football operations in the summer that would see significant changes to their set-up.”  There is a great deal you can surmise from that statement.

“Overhaul… of football operations”, “significant changes”, leaves zero doubt Neil Lennon will be moving on and suggests wider changes are likely.  It is also safe to assume Neil is on-board with this and has agreed to remain in charge until the end of the season, or a suitable replacement arrives.

Neil would not go through this torture were it not out of a sense of responsibility towards the players, several of whom he personally convinced to stay for this ‘important season’.  Malicious talk of holding out for a payoff is well wide of the mark.

What is also clear is that Celtic are not happy to appoint any manager who is prepared to come to the club right now.  This precludes those out of work, or those who are not prepared to ‘Do a Brendan’ and leave their current project with trophies still to be won and lost.

The new industry is not always as helpful.  Last night reports that betting was suspended on Eddie Howe getting the job received plenty of clicks.  Eddie has his eyes on a different target and will almost certainly pick up an English Premiership job this year.  He is as likely to come to Celtic as another fantasy appointment, Mauricio Pochettino, was, before choosing Paris when he could have made his home in Glasgow.  If only it was that easy.

If we take the ‘Get real’ suggestions off the table, I know the photo fit you are working with.  Someone who has over-performed in a different environment, who is technically razor sharp and can bring knowledge of a value market.

They will have a successful track record, one that is short enough that they have not already moved up the food chain, but one longer than Ronny Deila’s mercurial rise at Stromsgodset.  We now know that the skills required to achieve one season of spectacular success is Norway does not automatically equip a manager for what on paper looks an easier task.  The Goldilocks candidate, enough of a spectacular record, but not too much that they have already got their move.

The quick fix if Neil leaves is John Kennedy as interim or someone, like Ronny, who cannot believe he’s been offered the Celtic job.  Or let Neil complete the season and attempt to add the Scottish Cup and leave his second term trophy report reading 6 out of 8.  I am not recommending either option, it’s too complicated to sit on the outside and suggest a fix with any conviction – not matter how convinced this is an easy one, it’s not.

If Neil remains until the end of the season it will not be because he needs the money, or because he deserves the respect of a Celtic hero (although he does), it is because the business of succession has to be settled.  My preference would be to spend these months doing reconnaissance; better to do it right than to do it early, but the galleries have loved a blood letting since the Colosseum, we know how it works.

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  1. Coneybhoy, It is a risk but one which this time around I’m willing to take. I’m loath to give up a cracking seat but there always seems to be a few empty seats around my area apart from big matches, not clear if its people not turning up or actual empty seats. Sadly I could see us drop to 35k if we do not have a new exciting management team in place before the end of April.




    Nice talking to you and you are correct regarding the bouncers :-)

  2. There should have been succession planning since October 2020, and here we are. Ronny Deila won two successive league titles, and was cheated out of a treble by the MIBs. He was also not supported by the Club against dinosaur players, who were unwilling or unable to adapt to modern methods. What makes anyone think that Celtic have the desire or will spend the required amount on the badly-needed restructuring from top to bottom. The jury is out.



  3. P67, I wish I could believe that this board is capable of such focused planning for next season.



    I’m past the point of no return, I’ll believe it when I see it and until then I won’t believe any squirrels here or in the MSM.



    Talking of a quick fix is just wrong IMO, this has been going badly wrong for months and thats the reason why a quick fix won’t now work. As ever the board have backed themselves into a corner, one which will cost us more in the long term, I want them gone.

  4. Absolute garbage. Pro-board, PR pish Paul.



    And the idea that Lennon is doing right by the club and that he’s enduring some kind of “torture” – your word – is insulting to the supporters who’s money is paying this failure another four money salary.



    Here’s a prediction; you can forget the Scottish Cup. How long has it been since Celtic had a trophyless season? That will be his legacy and this board’s.

  5. So Lenny till the end of season,what a thought 2nd 3rd or 4th that is our fate.


    Failing to plan is planning to fail ,what a useless shower our directors are .

  6. So succession is only a distressed strategy when it all goes tits up then Paul67 and the ‘unreasonable’ (who spotted this long before the guaradians it seems) must just suck it up and experience a team in major decline. Oh but they might turn up for a cup game? Neil himself continues to fall apart as his relationship with the fans deteriorate too?



    Strikes of more hubris and complacency by the board and evidence of being unconscious at the wheel as visible for all to see.



    We have many more acts of this pantomine to play out this season it seems. None of them entertaining.




  7. So it’s only the football operations which are being reviewed – so that will be business as usual for PL and the board

  8. Paul



    “Neil would not go through this torture.”



    This is a man with a self-disclosed history of poor mental health.



    Two questions.



    1) Why is he being allowed to put himself through this torture?



    2) What kind of employer allows him to do so?

  9. In the name of the wee man.



    More pain for us and Neil to the end of the season.



    Disgusting, Disturbing and Embarrassing.



    The only winners are our rivals.



    If true it’s another reason why we need to sack this board immediately.



    How far detached are they from not only the day to day running of our club but the feelings of our fans.






    D :)

  10. Go tell the Spartim on

    Utter folly, this isn’t an astute plan it’s a concocted mish mash written on a fag (cigar perhaps) packet.



    File under propaganda / pish (you decide)



    Ashamed of those in control and for pushing this garbage.



    They have absolutely no clue whatsoever, business guru my arse

  11. TURKEYBHOY on 22ND JANUARY 2021 11:51 AM



    Anyone see Arlene. on Question Time,last night.Dear God.A bright Orange jacket,uniform style,and a huge red,white and blue crown brooch,adorning it.Just her Sash missing.




    I can’t look at her without thinking of Benny Hill in drag. Benny was a far better looking woman, of course. Had my season book since 1986. I won’t renew unless we see evidence of real change.


    My preference would be to spend these months doing reconnaissance; better to do it right than to do it early, but the galleries have loved a blood letting since the Colosseum, we know how it works.



    Why not the last 3 months and get the new manager in now. Unless of course it’s KENNEDY who is already there .Or someone cheaper more like.

  13. There will be no business without season ticket money,make it clear to the plc that that you will not buy a season ticket until the first team is the priority, that we have a modern and aware coaching team, that the plc board is modernised that the present CEO is removed, with a board focused on football and football success at home and in Europe.


    Get rid of the totally inept Committee on Executive Pay as a priority.

  14. So it’s Jack Ross and John Park,with Lawwell still playing Dr Evil under a different title? As we need to compete in the ‘value market ‘,after 35 years in a row ST holder, it looks like goodbye from me.

  15. So the board lied again when it said a review at end of January.



    Or were the playing with words.



    Either way they constantly treat us with disdain.



    D :)

  16. Dexter P. Bampot on

    Why on earth would we have any confidence that the decision to stick with NL is part of a focused plan for the Summer?



    Why would we not assume that we have no other options?



    We are invited to surmise that NL will accept that he is for the off. Why? Despite his comments last October he has reneged. What if he wins the cup?



    The fact fans have not been at CP is the only reason he has not gone. The disorder of a few people after the RC game led to Desmond and Lawell putting their own egos ahead of the welfare of the club.



    A delay to the summer will only result in us being ill prepared for next season and give Sevco a head start for 2 in a row. It also writes off this transfer window.



    To not change NOW- after a review which has been in the offing for 3 months, to keep the status quo any longer, is completely negligent.



    Season books should NOT be reviewed. Its there only way they will listen.



    The management of the club this season simply goes from one calamity to the next.

  17. Ray Winstone's Big Disembodied Heid on

    Regardless of when NL goes, nothing will change or improve while Cheap Pete remains interfering and sucking the life out of the club.



    Lawwell must go.

  18. Paul 67


    Extremely depressing article .


    So DD is not for budging on this one .


    Gonny teach us a real lesson here ,


    I’m starting to doubt this dodgy Irish billionaire is even a Celtic supporter.


    My message to Dermot , Peter and the rest of them . GTF

  19. Paul67



    What a surprise, they hadn’t thought about change last summer, ( neither did the support ) they hadn’t thought about change after European flop, and they still hadn’t thought about change when the wheels started to come off in in the SPL by September.



    Some people are on the pitch they think its all over.



    It is now CSC

  20. 100% spot-on analysis of the situation



    If the overhaul that’s being called for is needed then it would be stupidity of the highest order to rush to appoint the wrong manager now.



    Don’t compound our errors.

  21. JAMES FORREST on 22ND JANUARY 2021 12:29 PM



    Who said this?



    “Lennon the Man IS a hero of mine and he will be from now until the end of time.”

  22. A doze of much needed realism Paul



    The clamber to sack Neil is deafening, the suggestions on what’s next are no where to be seen.

  23. CELTIC40ME:



    Oh wow, you’ve got me now … you’ve rocked me back on my heels with that one …



    Oh wait, no you haven’t.



    “When the circumstances change, I change my mind. What do you do?”



    Lennon can GTF with the Commander in Leech.

  24. Overhaul in the summer,ffs, should have been done 6 months ago.


    So a new manager comes in in June, how much time does that give him to prepare for the Euros, if we get there, and how much time does thatgive him to assess players and get players in and more importantly, out.


    I hate to single out players but we simply must get Shane Duffy back to Brighton,now




  25. Given the league is gone, what do we achieve by sacking Lenny now instead of waiting until more, better candidates are available?



    What decent coach/manager is going to leave in January with a league to win?

  26. 67 European Cup Winners on

    Paul67 best piece in a long time


    You have hit the nail on the head


    Although i am disappointed you have dismissed Eddie Howe (meaning PL has confirmed EH is not an option)


    He would be my choice if he fancied it (obviously if he does not then he is not an option)



    One final comment, your copy and opinions on our Manager generates genuine debate, I would welcome a similar piece tomorrow on our CEO (but we both know that ain’t going to happen)




  27. Phil Mac regularly posted a cartoon, aimed at sevco fans.



    2 information windows were shown, one headed up ‘inconvenient truths’ the other ‘soothing lies’.



    I think we can safely say which one many CQN readers would be queueing at.



    More excuses, more delays

  28. This has been a tortuous season and we are led to believe that the torture will continue. What a way to treat your ‘customers’. There are loads of fans who don’t moan nor look at the blogs and this silent majority/minority will simply stop going.

  29. i know I’ll get pelters, but what if Peter Lawlwell is kept on as CEO, but with restricted powers, ie, no say in any football matters whatever, just watch over the money side of things. Then we get a manager who has FULL control of all football matter, that would do for me



    Ain’t gonna happen though





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