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. I’ve been a regular at Celtic Park for almost 40 yrs. I know things have changed hugely with the internet and the ability it gives us to talk openly to a huge number of people but I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Celtic support (or at least the representation on here) so united in our opposition to the board. I hope this message is getting back to them they need to take this seriously.



    If they don’t April and May is going to be a shock for them, at the very least Mr Lawell’s bonus is in jeopardy.



    It’s like Victorian times where the owner of the workhouse is telling the workers that they are lucky to have a job.

  2. 67 European Cup Winners on

    31003 on 22ND JANUARY 2021 4:13 PM


    Passion gets the better of me


    i get frustrated with the state of our team and I just keep writing (like I am now)


    So will say forgive the drivel



    and carry on




  3. DESSYBHOY on 22ND JANUARY 2021 4:20 PM


    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.



    You forgot to mention the charity work






    I kind of agree with you.



    I’m asking paul67 to say it more clearly

  5. How sad that it has came to this. Our CEO ,who i was once a big fan of (one of the best remunerated in British football) reduced to flying kites in a blog to see what way the wind blows.


    Its a gale peter and its not behind you



    Paul, do you actually think that there are enough celtic season ticket holders who will swallow this shameless act of trying to control the narrative? This is a real question.


    A well informed blog with a lot of excellent true celtic supporters contributing


    has turned into Pravda. what a shame



    Peter, you may have been a true tim earlier in your lucrative career with celtic but


    as lord action wrote


    ‘Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’


    i could go on, but apathetic now



    time to go, 2 x season tickets will be up for grabs

  6. 31003 on 22ND JANUARY 2021 4:20 PM



    Exactly what murderwell did to the huns last week almost got a similar result but for another one of them pesky honest mistakes!

  7. 67 European Cup Winners on

    MURSHEEN on 22ND JANUARY 2021 4:33 PM


    From the heart – i feel your frustration – and agree





  8. Look – what does Paul actually know about what’s going on – it’s not as if PL has got into his ear 😞

  9. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    4 more months of this gruel – all the way thru to May, omg, not looking forward to that at all, plus I have no faith whatsoever in this board to do the right thing – get the right man, none, so its apathy from now until May, the light at the end of the tunnel will be the sevconians coming towards us singing, dancing and laughing,



    thank you Peter and Desmond.

  10. I really can not see the logic in the proposed , delayed overhaul.


    It does not make any sense, on any level.



    The team has slowly regressed under Neil Lennon.


    To allow him to continue in charge ,will ensure that the team will continue on their downward spiral.



    Players knowing the manager is Dead Man Walking will not be focused….they will get worse.



    The manager who is Dead Man Walking will not have focus….the players will be allowed to get worse.



    The new manager would inherit a team less fit , less sharp etc.



    New manager would be starting from a position so low , that it would take at least 3 transfer windows to sort out.



    It would also mean that any players we may wish to sell ,would be worth much , much, less than before.





    What could be the reason for the bizarre ” fix it later” holding position?



    Are our board that incompetent?



    The only logical answer I can come up with is ..


    Are the board trying to quell the constant noise about who the next manager will be, to allow them to go find and appoint the next manager….. sooner rather than later and long before the season ends.



    However if our plan really is to implement a solution in the summer…


    I fear our time wandering in the football wilderness will be of biblical proportions.



    The Onlooker

  11. 79 caps 2.48…… No… He had to be begged to play Tierney…. That most certainly was a John Collins decision not a ronny D decision who didn’t think he was ready…. Collins luckily was proven correct

  12. when we are having this overhaul lets hope there are no more jobs for the bhoys/pals/ex employee’s within the scouting , Lennoxtown , coaching etc

  13. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Respect to you Pablo for your continuing provision of this blog.



    Despite routinely being subjected to personal abuse, “liar”, “puppet”, “mouth piece” (albeit by a tiny minority only) you never take the bait or (publicly) the hump.



    Good for you.



    Sobering but unsurprising leader today.



    This isn’t going to get fixed quick (and possibly not even fixed to a level we all can accept).



    So I suppose we need to buckle in for a fairly lengthy period of justifiable collective frustration punctuated by the occasional classless outburst.



    A match and a victory would be a small help.



    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith

  14. TIMMY7_NOTED on 22ND JANUARY 2021 4:26 PM.


    I agree.


    This is perceived as the most pro board blog, by most, on the internet.


    So, if this is the reaction on here, you can imagine what it’s like elsewhere.

  15. Who wrote the Article !


    Paul67 or Burnley78



    Did we not get told, Hearts got over 80 applicants for the managers role, knowing they were being relegated


    Reportably some big names as well



    And Celtic, cannot attract a top class manager – why is that, should be a key question

  16. I wonder if the season ticket deadline day for renewal Will fall , before all the new changes are made , nah that wouldn’t happen would it .

  17. So now we are commending clubs that have sacked managers after a few months and encouraging Celtic to e more like them



    Dearie me

  18. NORRIEM on 22ND JANUARY 2021 4:46 PM


    Who wrote the Article !





    Paul67 or Burnley78







    Did we not get told, Hearts got over 80 applicants for the managers role, knowing they were being relegated





    Reportably some big names as well







    And Celtic, cannot attract a top class manager – why is that, should be a key question



    Norrie, it’s what we are being programmed to expect……

  19. Hotel de Paris on

    At the recent AGM the Chairman stated that the Nomination Committee (he is also Chair of this) regularly consider potential new Board Directors. If this is true then it seems that they have not identified any suitable candidates since the token appointment of Sharon Brown in 2016.



    The other members of the Committee are Desmond (although he doesn’t attend Board meetings) and Tom Allison.



    A thing that has always bugged me about the now infamous Hampden shower appointment:


    After the game, Lawwell was quoted “We had a mini board meeting right after the game. Dermot’s here. Dermot, myself, the chairman (Ian Bankier) and Tom Allison decided what to do. So a Board meeting was held in the Hampden stand at which Desmond attended. According to the Annual Report (y/e 30 June 2019) there were 7 Board meetings held during the year, Desmond did not attend any.

  20. To make it more insulting to our intelligence, there are actually a tiny % of football coaches employed at any one time, far more not in work.

  21. No issue with Paul67’s leader. Seems a fair reflection on where things are at and it’s his view. All this nonsense about Celtic propaganda is childish.



    However, we cannot afford to wait until Summer to make changes. The team is in a rut and Neil cannot be given more time to get us out of it. We need fresh leadership now. It’s the only way we can improve our league form, have a chance of winning silverware this season, and most importantly get ready for the CL qualifiers.

  22. Why doesn’t Peter take out the CVs he threw in the drawer and read them over? He’s got nothing to lose

  23. The bottom line will renew their ST for next year. That will be the real gauge. It will be stick or twist between telling them to do one and your ticket sold to someone else and you left with no option. That will be hard for some but I am sure we will have a solid answer here.




  24. 31003



    He can’t, he working from home and they’re at Celtic Park.


    Damn this pandemic!

  25. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    CROPPYBHOY on 22ND JANUARY 2021 5:09 PM



    Howdy – this is mental, isn’t it?

  26. onenightinlisbon on

    Obviously Desmond and the board want the completion of the “old firm” is back campaign. Sevco will prosper whilst our board sit back and not only allow it but actively encourage it though their lack of ambition. How many of us will renew with this sort of policy in place?

  27. Go tell the Spartim on

    How many log ins does PL have?



    As someone said you can’t afford to sit still in football, we are def not idle but we’re going in the wrong direction and momentum is hard to change



    What did Bayern do? You know a properly run club that dominates in only a way we can dream of.

  28. The lack of urgency on the part of the Board suggests that they are not unduly concerned about not winning the league.



    It might even suggest that thy can see an upside to not winning the league.



    We are truly blessed to have these people running the Club.

  29. Is the following timeline plausible ? Would we rule it out given the diabolical amateurism we have seen so far?



    Jan’; NL to leave at end of season. Thank him for his efforts and allow him to cement 2nd place and compete for Scottish cup



    Feb- April – Sevco tail off a little bit because the league is won and they are pretty average anyway. They win the league by 6-10 points. Celtic win 1 or 2 of the Glasgow derbies & the Scottish Cup (on current form unlikely, granted)



    May – NL is offered new deal to manage Celtic in the showers at Hampden as “he has earned the right to win the title back”




  30. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    ERNIE LYNCH on 22ND JANUARY 2021 5:15 PM


    The lack of urgency on the part of the Board suggests that they are not unduly concerned about not winning the league.






    True – and you could have said the same five months ago.






  31. one possible upside of huns winning the league is that Gerrard and Beale will get a gig down south as the guys who stopped the 10



    Huns will end up with McInnes as they pay back debts

  32. The more my mind skips in and out of reality ….



    I see Steve Clark. And malky McKay one or both somehow being involved !



    Then the hebbie jebies take over .

  33. They say that during this ongoing pandemic it is difficult to make and release a new movie.


    Oh no it isn’t


    Coming to a Cinema near you


    Carry On Lenny IV




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