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Sir Kenny Dalglish: If Celtic choose the wrong guy, they’ll only end up bang in trouble again

© SNS(From left) Peter Lawwell, Neil Lennon, Scott Brown and Nick Hammond have all seen their time at Celtic end this season
(From left) Peter Lawwell, Neil Lennon, Scott Brown and Nick Hammond have all seen their time at Celtic end this season

With the chief executive coming to the end of his time at the club, the manager gone, the club captain going and now their head of football operations resigning, these are uncertain times at Celtic.

The search for Neil Lennon’s replacement in the dugout appears to be reaching the stage where we are all expecting an announcement in days rather than weeks.

A number of candidates have been mentioned as contenders, from Roy Keane to Enzo Maresca, Chris Wilder to Eddie Howe, Steve Clarke to Frank Lampard.

According to reports, Howe is now in the driving seat.

But until something is signed and sealed, it’s all speculation. Nothing can be taken for granted.

What we do know for sure is that Nick Hammond has left his role.

It’s understood he was involved in recruitment, and that is such an important role at any football club.

This position is yet another key role needing to be filled.

Peter Lawwell is leaving and his replacement, Dominic McKay, has been chosen.

But we still don’t know for sure who will replace Neil and Nick. And we don’t know who will succeed Scott Brown as club captain.

A lot of unpredictability remains, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of work going on behind the scenes.

Supporters, however, want everything instantly these days, and jobs filled within 24 hours.

A football club can’t operate that way. There needs to be due diligence done with every appointment.

Conversations and homework need to take place to rule people in, and rule others out.

I don’t think the club’s major shareholder, Dermot Desmond, would ever rush any important decision, and rightly so.

But there is a huge carrot to dangle in front of any new manager, namely winning next season’s SPFL Premiership.

© Craig Galloway/ProSports/Shutterstock
Eddie Howe

Thanks to the excellent European results achieved by Rangers and Celtic in the past few years, our UEFA co-efficient has risen.

Because of that, the title winners in season 2021/22 are almost certainly guaranteed direct entry into the Champions League group stages.

That would be absolutely massive, given that it will be worth in the region of £30-million, making it the richest prize in the history of Scottish football.

With all of this in mind, I’d imagine the new manager of Celtic will want to get started on the job as quickly as possible.

He’ll want to get on the training field, assess the players, assess the staff and get a feel for the football club, and the demands that come with it internally, and externally from the supporters.

He will want to find out exactly what he needs to bring in to improve the squad.

He’ll need to have serious conversations with several players to see if they want to be with him in this new era, or move on.

Does he already have a captain at the club, or does he need to buy a captain? That will be a huge call.

So there is plenty of work to be done.

But the Celtic hierarchy mustn’t rush the decision.

If you choose the wrong guy, then you will end up bang in trouble.

There is also still plenty to play for in this campaign. The Scottish Cup is up for grabs, and that is a great prize.

If a new man isn’t in place by the end of the season, and caretaker boss John Kennedy wins the cup, would that put him right in the frame?

You’d have to say it wouldn’t do his chances any harm.

But, again, only the Celtic hierarchy will have the answer to that question.

It’s also still to be seen if the club will appoint a technical director. Again, will that come first or will the new manager come first.

Is the manager picking the technical director, or is the technical director involved in picking the new manager?

Who will have the final say on player recruitment?

These are things that all need to be ironed out, and it will still take a wee bit of time before the Celtic supporters know it was all worth the wait.

It’s been a difficult season for everyone at Celtic.

But when the key positions start to get filled, the fans will want to see light at the end of the tunnel and be optimistic the new arrivals can help bring the title back.