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. Just when you thought the people allegedly running our club couldn’t make a bigger clusterfeck of it, hey presto, they prove you wrong!


    So the manager is toast but not yet! We’re restructuring but not yet! We have something to tell you all but not yet!




    Do we pay people for PR and communication?


    Or do we still think the support button up the back?


    Let’s be clear about this, the board should have known long, long before now that things had to change.


    Even if 10 had been won, we would have needed a reset, as 11, 12 or 13 would have had no real appeal as the now mythical 10!


    The results since Ferencvaros have been abysmal and should have seen the manager relieved of his duties in the hope that the 10 could have been salvaged.


    Paul as ever tries to paint a pretty picture, saying we don’t want to lure someone away from their present club!


    Pardon my language but that’s pure fantasy island bollocks!


    This is supposed to be professional sport, when money talks, people walk!


    Tell me again when Mr Stein, our greatest ever manager was appointed?


    That’s right January and no there were no mid seasons breaks in Dubai back then.


    The old regime of Whites and Kelly’s were self serving arrogant bandits but they didn’t hang on until the end of the season to get their man!


    Of course by getting our new man now that would give him the chance to win the SC just like Mr Stein.


    Instead we’re allegedly allowing a dead man walking another chance!


    If the board are so generous and understanding I await with bated breath the offer of them paying all our STs for next season out of their own pockets!


    What day proves is just how big a mess we’re in and how out of touch the board really are.


    The vague, vague prospect of jam, not tomorrow but in six months time must be right up there with the biggest attempts at a snow job of all time.


    These people really are clueless and of course cowardly too.


    If you have something to say, no matter how unappealing to the support that something might be, like Kennedy until the end of the season, come out and say and do it!


    This craven way of letting things appear is quite frankly appalling.


    The manager is toast but Lawwell is the man in Glasgow that should be carrying the can because our failings go above the manager.


    Any “restructuring” that does not include the lazy, arrogant, non achievers in the boardroom is not worth anything because it might cure a symptom but not the underlying cause.


    The board’s failure to address the corruption in the Scottish game back in 2012 and led to us losing the fabled 10 in a row to another financially doped up entity in Govan!


    Our poor record at CL qualification has lost the shareholders and club millions in achievable revenue while our CEO has amassed a fortune.


    All this has to change or our club will stumble on.


    Peter might have been the answer 20 years ago he is not the answer now.


    MON our second greatest manager was the answer 20 years ago, sadly the game has moved on and he would not be the answer now.


    We need new blood, people out to make their name in the boardroom and the dugout.


    I sincerely hope that Dermot spends some time on this and puts in place a new regime and plan for the next decade not the last!

  2. MadMitch or MM if you prefer :)



    Agreed. There is only one way the squad is travelling just now and that’s backwards. Even if we can’t get our preferred manager in until the end of the season we MUST do something about our performances now. And doing nothing isn’t something.



    I imagine training must be terrible these days. Knowing the manager is away, the league has (most probably) gone, performances are dire, some players want away, some will be getting blamed for not trying/wanting away/playing poorly etc.


    Add to this you will feel standards have dropped, as well as your own performances…



    I don’t imagine it’s the happiest of places right now.

  3. Bhoy From The Boyne on

    Shocking PR/management of a crisis, shocking succession planning & shocking communications to fans who ultimately pay for everything both in cash & emotions.




  4. The hand of God on

    This used to be a great Celtic site now it’s quite frankly a joke…Paul is like the a top union official who was a thorn in the side of the management until they invited him to join them.

  5. Imagine we appoint a new manager weeks before the champs league qualifiers and realise he was available for the past 6 months.



    Nonsense to suggest we cant act until the seasons end.



    Expectation management of the clumsiest kind

  6. If what Paul is saying is anywhere near the truth then we’re in a worse state than I thought.


    The house is on fire but instead of putting it out we’re buying fireworks and enjoying the view.



    BARRYBHOY on 22ND JANUARY 2021 1:51 PM



    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.







    Absolutely – 100% agree. It is a completely and utterly nonsensical position to adopt.




    If true – reeks of blinkered stupidity.












    A nauseating arrogance.


    A Hunnish trait if ever there was one.



    HH jg

  8. James Forrest


    I have stopped visiting your blog, because of the Hun trolls you allow to post, especially Ted the turd. I however agree with your comments on this occasion

  9. Gene at 3:49



    I’d suggest the board are finally admitting there is a fire but we’re waiting until May to dial 999.

  10. 67 European Cup Winners on

    JAMES FORREST on 22ND JANUARY 2021 2:04 PM


    As mentioned before – you and I are on the same page


    The difference today is paul67 has given us a dose of reality



    What I read from paul67 is this……


    It looks like Eddie Howe has said no


    Promoting from within is a non starter


    Other manager we have considered are not keen


    We need to hang on to this chaos because at the moment there is no other option



    so the situation is worse than you think


    the club are not sitting on their hands making calculated decisions on Nls future


    there is simply no other option



    and that is the dose of reality – and why Paul67 – today – has hit the nail on the head



    Now that is as they say in the good old USA is a real cluster f–k




  11. 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.”




    Have we been told that? Who by?



    I suppose it will be amusing to see how the club and P67 spin it when we start next season with someone like Jack Ross in place and Duffy still in our starting 11, oh and 1 striker up top

  12. glendalystonsils on

    I cannot imagine any senior club with a vestige of ambition suffering such a disintegration and not acting immediately and decisively . The football world must be laughing at us . Sentiment and old fashioned loyalty went out the window a long time ago.




    You read my mind mate, and to prove it, here’s the latest article, with no link.






    If you were capable of analysing Celtic as a complete neutral, what would you see right now?



    I’ve asked neutrals this because I am incapable of viewing them that way, and I’m not surprised at the answers that I keep getting back.



    “Shambles” is the nice way to put it.



    There is an idea being spoon-fed to us by those who would defend the manager, the CEO and the board, and the idea is that we’re showing Lennon support because he’s earned it and that this reflects well on us in the wider footballing world.



    Celtic does not “rush to judgement.”



    Our board does not “pander to the mob.”



    They take a long-term view instead of chasing short-term headlines.



    It’s all very nice and reasonable, because it makes our club sound nice and reasonable.



    It’s also complete and utter bollocks.



    Look around the footballing landscape and tell me what you see.



    Because even as I was writing another piece, Neil Harris has been sacked by Cardiff after six defeats in a row.



    This is the sport where Claudio Ranieri won a once-in-a-generation title with an unfancied club and less than a year later was fired by them for a poor start to the following campaign.



    This is the world in which managers who have won Champions Leagues have been fired for not winning domestic titles.



    Where domestic title winning managers have been fired for not winning Champions Leagues.



    A world where some clubs take a perverse sort of pride in avoiding relegation every year because they sack any manager who looks like he might take them down.



    It is a world where clubs with ambition act with ruthlessness and without delay in the face of any perceived threat, and those clubs never have any shortage of candidates willing to work for them.



    We tell ourselves repeatedly that we are the most important people to the club.



    But our perceptions of Celtic aren’t what will decide our immediate and long term future; the perceptions of those outside of our club will have a far greater impact on where we’re headed right now than anything that we can do as fans will.



    I believe the rest of the football world is looking at us in disbelief.



    When people within the game, but outside Celtic Park, look at us at the moment they do not see a club which is showing commendable loyalty to a long-term servant. They don’t see a board of directors that refuses to bow to the mob, and which shows admirable restraint in standing by their man.



    We can kid ourselves on about that as much as we like.



    But what those people really see is a club paralysed by indecision and ineptitude, weakness and fear.



    They see a board that persists with a manager who has clearly failed, and who most of them would never have even considered employing at their own clubs. They see a board that has frozen in the face of the first genuine challenge in years.



    They don’t see Celtic as a massive institution and an attractive prospect.



    They see a board which is limited in its thinking and lacking the slightest ambition.



    They see one that cannot communicate any sort of hopeful vision to its own supporters and instead deals with placemen in the media and amongst the bloggers to lower expectations and get us to accept the unacceptable.



    And this is the view that will make it harder for us to attract any quality candidate to our club.



    It has nothing to do with the environment we play in or the lure of bigger money elsewhere; this is about those outside the club seeing a lack of direction and a total lack of self-belief, which is what has come across most in the last few months, that and either an acceptance of failure or an inability to see when something is going badly, badly wrong.



    I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again; the first and most important act is to remove the manager.



    To demonstrate to the world which is watching that Celtic will not accept this level of decline, this reversal in fortune, that we take ourselves more seriously than that.



    We have standards and we expect, and indeed demand, a certain level of success.



    Taking ourselves seriously means that others will take us seriously too.



    How are you supposed to look at this ongoing farce and believe that this is a club with a vision and grand ideals for itself?



    The impression we give off is precisely the opposite of that.

  14. Andy Patons Mullet on

    The more things change the more they stay the same, Kellys and Whites all had their time, now in a microcosm its Lawell and Desmond. Until physically (metaphorically speaking) removed from office by the next new heroe, the custodians [sic] never pay heed to the Celtic support as it would appear that they can be emotionally blackmailed into decisions, weak leadership and all that.



    But putting that to the side will NL resign no, as it will be (I imagine) his last gig at top level management. So Pistol Pete will get away with status quo without fan pressure as we cant get into games to demonstrate otherwise.



    To say we [Celtic] would not get a top level manager is complete nonsense and is that continuation from previous appointments that the club have played on (Scottish League etc), all complete nonsense, MON was shining brightly at Leicester when we took him. Money talks and we have the £9m Leicester paid for Rodgers to use…..If there is the ambition to put the club on the right path then all our targets and markers should be to be a recognised team that can compete in whatever European competition we qualify for. And for that we need to recruit the best manager out there that we can afford – and the accounts tells us that we have the money to do it. This squad with the right management in place strolls this league. Rodgers showed what true professionalism in football can be achieved, time to that back.

  15. Absolute garbage total garbage,



    Lenny should be chased down Celtic way for his performance, verging on the amateur, to say he will stay as if he is doing the club a favour



    This is nothing but evidence of lack of forward planning nothing else, we have known since the start of the season that is of all seasons was going down the tubes



    He should have gone after Ferencvaros, not just the result but the post match comments where players were thrown under the bus.



    If an August departure was too soon for some then definitely after October with the derby and spartak results



    The Scottish cup is currently suspended so may not be played until a far later date post season end, on current form we have no chance



    Club holding their cards until season end with media stories of all sorts of fantasy mangers so we are temped to renew ST’s



    Strong indications we won’t get in stadium until 2022 anyway, so the renewal PR will need to really up their game



    However to summarise are we to be greatful to Lenny for staying till season end?? How our standards have dropped



    Professional clubs don’t operate like this and you well know it

  16. The Battered Bunnet on

    So, we’re giving ourselves four or five months to recruit the next manager. Great.



    How did we get on the last time we had 4 or 5 months to recruit a new manager?



    Must have been a ton of applications, some active search and selection, a really impressive shortlist of candidates interviewed. No?




  17. Hotel de Paris on

    Well run operations rarely require a complete overhaul. A sad indictment of many years of mismanagement while paying a lottery jackpot size remuneration package to the man at the helm.

  18. Just to let you know, I’m doing somebody a favour……for £24,000 a week…….happens all the time…

  19. We drew with Livingstone who are managed by a ned. 😂



    I believe he joined Livingstone a few years ago to help out.



    How worse can this get.



    D :)

  20. If the Celtic board think we need an overhaul, does that make them pantywetters? Negatrons? Tadgers?



    Any other insults we’ve used on here?

  21. 67 European Cup Winners on

    AN DÚN on 22ND JANUARY 2021 2:18 PM


    Like James Forrest i am with you on our predicament


    But today you and JF are missing the point


    Paul67 is actually telling us we are fu–ed



    There is no plan B there is no January review there is no line of top coaches applying to manage celtic (or to work with PL)



    My view we should not shoot the messenger


    In fairness to Paul67 he is telling it like it is – and for that should be applauded



    We are in a pickle…….




  22. 67 EUROPEAN CUP WINNERS on 22ND JANUARY 2021 3:52 PM


    JAMES FORREST on 22ND JANUARY 2021 2:04 PM



    As mentioned before – you and I are on the same page



    The difference today is paul67 has given us a dose of reality




    What I read from paul67 is this……



    It looks like Eddie Howe has said no



    Promoting from within is a non starter



    Other manager we have considered are not keen



    We need to hang on to this chaos because at the moment there is no other option




    so the situation is worse than you think



    the club are not sitting on their hands making calculated decisions on Nls future



    there is simply no other option




    and that is the dose of reality – and why Paul67 – today – has hit the nail on the head




    Now that is as they say in the good old USA is a real cluster f–k







    If that’s what Paul67s message means why not just say that? Why talk in riddles?

  23. Eddie Howe is just more blowing smoke.



    Is he the only candidate out there? Of course not. Are other managers available? Yes.



    Could we take one who might even have a job at the moment? Yes we could, it was done to us not that long ago. And Paul can spare us all the disloyalty guff about Rodgers; he was unhappy at the circumstances he found himself working in and Leicester made him a better offer.



    Somewhere, out there, is a better manager than what we have, sitting in a job where he’s not fulfilled or happy, where he’s not being backed as he wanted to be or was promised … this is not a matter of finding someone who is fundamentally disloyal.



    If our club shows a scintilla of vision and ambition we are perfectly capable of getting a top name. If we don’t show that kind of vision – and we won’t whilst certain people are there – we will get what we deserve; another placeman, another Lawwell stooge, and pay for it as we have this year.



    Twice in my lifetime the club went out and brought in the absolute best choice we could get and both of them delivered a treble in the first campaign. That’s no coincidence.

  24. I know the follically challenged ‘St Mirren fan’ is taking pelters for suggesting John Hughes could have taken over from NL on BBC last night.



    I actually agree, Hughes to the end of the season would have been fine by me, solid manager, great positivity would have lifted the team, guaranteed second and a fresh face to get behind in an otherwise awful season



    The only problem is that at the first sign of a positive run of form they’d have appointed him full time !!







  25. Watched the Liverpool Burnley game last night.


    Loved Sean Dyches defensive set up


    2 full backs and 2 centre backs


    All good defenders who moved out en masse when the ball was cleared


    Seemed happy to let ‘pools full backs fire in crosses, which they defended with aplomb


    Simple and effective

  26. glendalystonsils on

    JAMES FORREST on 22ND JANUARY 2021 4:00 PM.



    Nice sack Patrick Viera after 5 successive defeats. Nice , a team who are never likely to win Ligue 1 or the CL but who have pride , ambition and a hunger for betterment .



    Are we really to believe that our standards are so high that we are taking no chances on hiring someone who isn’t the new Jock Stein? All the while hanging on to Lenny because caution is a sacrifice worth making ?


    Utter urine .

  27. Watch for the justification of this season by the statement of, we have enjoyed a decade of unprecedented success, which will divide and inflame things further.

  28. Go tell the Spartim on

    Cheap Pete ((c) Ray Singh Carr) and the tadgers



    Has a good ring to it ?



    We’re doing NL a favour but he’s not doing us one

  29. We are not a well run club….fact


    We played a team ( Livingston) or insert nearly every other club in SPL were one of our players is earning more money than the whole of their squad collectively.



    We had 4 of our first team players in the first game but struggled to put a half decent team together to play them. Some of lads that came in done okay but struggled against journeymen pros.



    We bumble along praying to god that the next young guy we sign makes the grade so that we can sell him for £10 m more than he cost us.



    We can’t sign any player without making a major drama out of it



    Absolutely no forward planning or business acumen …..




    Could go on and on and on …..hope you all have a good weekend folks.

  30. Go tell the Spartim on

    Sorry Ray Winstone


    I knew it was you, along with


    Hun loving criminal 😂😂😂

  31. Succession…… Mmmm were was the planning with the near £300million extra revenue more than the huns. Yes that figure is correct 300 mill and look were we are behind them at start of next year when we should have been over the border and away .



    *300 mill more back of a fag packet calc since 2012

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