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. lets all do the huddle on

    the board are taking advantage of the lockdown to carry on this charade while coining in the cash



    they know there wont be 60000 in the ground to pile the pressure on, nor mass gatherings outside the ground which they couldnt ignore with all the publicity those things would generate



    so all we have is social media and downmarket radio phone ins which they will just ignore



    what a bunch of greedy cowards




    Cheap shot, apologies are offered, understand I’d they’re rebuffed



    Accepted, no problem at all 👍

  3. lets all do the huddle on

    and im so disgusted that i wont be accepting the Page 3 podium award i have just won

  4. prestonpans bhoys on

    Agree Lenny has to go but the other two clowns carrying the title of Chairman and CEO must go too😈

  5. Go tell the Spartim on




    Thanks 👍🏻 I should know better just because we differ.



    If he’s staying why aren’t we getting in players, surely a loan CB is doable, and that should be the very least we should be getting

  6. I can’t help thinking that the interaction between The Great Desmondo and Peter Lawwell over appointing a new manager must be very similar to the interaction between Neil Lennon and John Kennedy when discussing a possible substitution.

  7. DOWNFORSAM on 22ND JANUARY 2021 12:53 PM


    Anybody else moving on from anger to apathy?



    I was there at the final whistle against Ferencvaros. What too you so long ? :)




  8. “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.”




    What an absolutely dreadful thing to say on so many levels. What arrogance. What disdain. How dismissive.


    Not happy to appoint any manager who is prepared to come to the club right now or any manager who is out of work???? That might be the worst thing I have read by Paul and I have been on here since the start.

  9. The Star above The Crest on

    I’m sure I read somewhere that the hapless Lawwell said he’s always planning 2-3 seasons ahead. If he needs the rest of this fiasco of season to find a manager then that means his planning claim is a lie. Saying the don’t want a manager who would leave his current club is a lie. Its football, people break contracts all the time, its why we have transfer fees. Lawwell has been caught napping, his arrogance has caused this. The man’s been a disaster for Celtic and I for one can’t wait for him to go. I’d dispute whether he’s even a Celtic fan. He’s as bad if not worse than the Kellys.

  10. Go tell the Spartim on

    I imagine the conversations are akin to the vultures in Jungle Book



    Wad you wanna do


    I don’t know what do you wanna do

  11. JAMES FORREST on 22ND JANUARY 2021 1:27 PM






    Are you saying appointing a football manager is a tougher challenge?



    No I’m saying it’s different.

  12. I honestly believe our boards inertia could turn a drama into a crisis here.



    We could hand the initiative to sevco for the next 3 years +.



    For anyone who disputes this, did you expect the league table to look like this at the start of the season?



    Disgraceful dereliction of duty.

  13. CELTIC40ME:



    How? How is it different?



    You identify the candidate you think is he best fit. You approach that person whether he’s in work or out of work. You ask him if he’s willing to talk. If he is you do whatever deal needs to be done. If he’s not in work you obviously don’t even need to negotiate with his club.



    Businesses do this all the time. Football clubs do it all the time.



    Why are we different from them? What’s the issue? What’s the X Factor?

  14. Saying Celtic would preclude any manager that is out of work just now is madness. Brendan Rodgers was out of work when we got him. There are lots of brilliant managers not working just now that would massively improve Celtic if we had to show the ambition to go for them. Admittedly a lot of them might not want to come but why would we automatically rule out the likes of Lucien Favre, Ralph Rangnick, Eddie Howe, Ernesto Valverde, Thomas Tuchel, Leonardo Jardim, Marco Silva etc.


    If we can sell the project and the opportunity to develop a massive club like Celtic that has underperformed in Europe for many years free from the interference of our accountant de facto Director of Football I think that would be an interesting project for many top managers. Particularly if it comes with Brendan Rodgers levels of renumeration. However I expect us to go for someone like Jack Ross or Steve Clarke.

  15. 67 European Cup Winners on

    JAMES FORREST on 22ND JANUARY 2021 12:29 PM


    Normally i get your views/opinions as they are similar to mine


    But today i think you called it wrong – its the first time in a month Paul67 as shared a view and an opinion


    You do not need to agree (on this occasion I do agree with Paul67 – first time I have said that in a month)


    But at least it’s better than the nonsense we have been getting since we collapsed



    The bad news from the piece today is we ain’t got anybody lined up and don’t get your heart set on a good manager like Eddie Howe – the reason why today’s blog is good is because it is a dose of reality


    Much improved from the bit we had earlier about should we play Ewen Henderson on the right of midfield !! (low point of this blog for me)



    On another note Joe Biden’s speech as got me all liberal and diplomatic – listening to the other party without aggression – you need to chill (I know on the subject of Celtic its really tough)



    Hail Hail




  16. P67 is insulting our intelligence.



    Let’s overlook the fact that Celtic should always have a dossier to hand of up and coming football coaches, much like we scout young potential players regardless of we’re ok for that position.



    Lawwell and Desmond have been on notice for many months now, since August, that they may need to replace Neil, so we’ve had ample time to succession plan.



    And the inference that no one at Celtic is in a better position to lead Celtic from the dug out is a damning judgement on all our full time coaches currently employed.



    No. I’m afraid this is about Desmond and Lawwell simply being unable and unwilling to conceded that we the fans were right in October. They can’t admit that and so we’re told Neil must stay till the end of the season.



    It’s ridiculous and the damage done to the club will be immense. All to protect the ego of our major shareholder.



    We’re in big trouble and next season already looks in jeopardy.



    Roll on renewal time because that’s when our voices will be heard.

  17. One of the worst ever from Paul67.




    Succession plan should have started in Sept/ Oct. A CEO paid millions and has no plan and and doesn’t know what to do.

  18. Garngad to Croy on

    James Forrest 1:48pm



    We are Celtic FC playing in Scotland not FC Barcelona. No one wants the Job if they did , they would be there now.

  19. To think we’re now unable to beat Livi reserves and yet Lennon will remain in post !



    How the hell did we descend so low in our professional standards ?

  20. JAMES FORREST on 22ND JANUARY 2021 1:48 PM



    I was replying to a post about succession planning. Very different for a club like Celtic and it’s manager and a PLC our size in a different sector and it’s CEO

  21. Just had to read the header again.


    “Neil has agreed to stay on”


    Does he think he is doing us a favour.


    All he is doing is destroying our credibility

  22. GARNGAD TO CROY on 22ND JANUARY 2021 1:57 PM


    James Forrest 1:48pm


    We are Celtic FC playing in Scotland not FC Barcelona. No one wants the Job if they did , they would be there now.




    Lawwell has done a number on you.


    That’s the way he wants the fans to think.

  23. Just cant see us waiting till end of season.Giving that mob all the positivity for months.Get a top manager in asap and give the fans and the players hope..and give the 4ats in the press pack somethin else to write..sorry exaggerate about.

  24. WINNINGEMMELL on 22ND JANUARY 2021 1:56 PM


    Who would like to manage the most hated team in Scotland ?



    Steve Clarke puts his hand down




    You are 100% wrong mate, but you post in a reasonable manner so allow me to answer in the same way.



    This is not a “dose of reality.” It’s spin. It’s propaganda.



    The article is trying to sell us on a disastrous idea which will paralyse this club for four more months and jeopordise not only the next campaign but quite possibly the next few years. Lennon should not get one more minute in this gig, he has blown in spectacular fashion and I do not believe that any interim choice, no matter whether it comes from outside the club or within, could possibly be a worse option.



    Lennon’s presence in the dugout guarantees four months of division and growing anger amongst the supporters. It destabilises the dressing room further. And it wastes the one thing we still have left; time. To pretend that this is part of some cohesive strategy is simply fraudulent.



    For the article to have any basis in reality we have to know that circumstances in the summer will be materially more beneficial to us than they are right now, and the fact is we don’t know that. This club could be in full-on freefal by then. Season ticket sales might have tanked. Lennon might have disintegreated completely and walked, or the club might have been forced to sack him anyway.



    Whichever managerial “targets” there are could be staying in their current jobs or could already be lining up new ones. Until the manager comes in it’s pointless to rebuild any other part of the footballing operation because that’s a job the manager should have an input into … I could go on and on and on, but you already know all this stuff because it doesn’t take a once-in-a-generation mind to see the holes in this “strategy.”



    If season ticket sales tank, we’re limited in our budget which limits our range of options even more. If we go along with this plan as outlined we’re spending much of the summer rebuilding the coaching staff and the structures around him, and in the meantime the clocks ticks down inexorably towards European qualifiers.



    How much deeper can the hole get? Oh, much, much deeper than this.



    The new guy, whoever he is, faces a momentous rebuilding job, in a matter of weeks probably, and as I don’t believe there is any way we’re going to get through Champions League Qualifiers without the benefit of being in the Champions Pathway we’re looking at the Europa League groups and a tough fight to get there with zero margin of error for the new boss.



    Fail to qualify for those, and we’ll be lucky if we’re in the third tier tournament and the reputational damage as well as the financial costs will be even more momentous.



    This is the gamble and it’s the biggest this club has taken in eons. It is an act of lunacy.

  26. Garngad to Croy on

    Lambert14 2:02pm



    That will be why I won’t be renewing my season ticket then, wow he’s good !

  27. GlassTwoThirdsFull on



    There are a couple who would be considered ideal appointments, and who would be able to get on the list for top jobs in any country in Europe.




    Yeah – seems like we used to be able to attract quality candidates but not now……..


    And yet clubs like Southampton, Wolves and Norwich can go to Europe and appoint a high quality coach.


    Of course if we had bothered to make some sort of effort two years ago when we were in a much better place we might have been able to do even better.

  28. James Forrest is absolutely right. Waiting till the end of the season to appoint a new manager would be even worse than appointing Joe Venglos a couple of days before the season began. Joe did not have to have a major clear-out, which is what is needed at Celtic. It is beyond belief.

  29. Isn’t the first paragraph and the first three lines of the second of far more importance than whether Lenny stays or goes?

  30. Cant believe what I have read in that article, its a thoroughly depressing state of affairs.



    We are being asked to swallow that there is a long term strategy in place when there is no evidence of this over the last few years, especially this season?



    Just a blanket statement that Eddie Howe will not consider Celtic so stop mentioning him. Really? What an attempt to manage expectation from PL, it’s like a race to the bottom !



    The consequences of this could be horrendous. We are not a shoe in for second at all, thousands of season tickets will not be renewed and a cheap managerial appointment will have to rebuild a squad in little to no time to challenge for the title. Brutal.



    Happy Friday !!




  31. CELTIC40ME on 22ND JANUARY 2021 12:48 PM


    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.




    Hiyya Peter

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