The Celtic board have every right to fear the unknown right now.
There are several staff members at Celtic who have played a tremendous role over the years, whose futures are uncertain.
For example, John Kennedy. Yes, he’s not everyone’s favourite person this year, least of all Frank McAvennie’s. To many supporters, he’s part of the Jobs for the Bhoys culture that’s held us back. The culture that led to Neil Lennon being given the job, and heritage roles for the sons of former Celtic men. Gavin Strachan is eyed with similar suspicion.
There are others, though, who are part of the furniture. Consider Stevie Woods, Celtic’s long-tenured goalkeeping coach. Chris McCart, the club’s Head of Youth Development since 2008. The latter have revitalised or given careers to the likes of Craig Gordon, Fraser Forster, Kieran Tierney, Callum McGregor and countless others.
Ex-players like Danny McGrain [Celtic FC], Darren O’Dea and Stephen McManus have been part, or are part of the coaching and youth set-ups. Long-tenured scouts like Peter Houston and Tosh McKinlay hold important roles at the club.
They might all have to go. Peter Lawwell is, of course, already on his way out.
Dramatic as it sounds, top coaches these days have their own established backroom teams. While a few long-term names might survive a “cull” of sorts, it seems unlikely that the next Celtic boss won’t be given some degree of control. Because, as we saw, a divided coaching staff does not yield results.
Celtic board will need to give carte blanche
Ideally, you’d have someone come in and work with the existing framework. But with root and branch change at the club, nobody is really safe in their job. An incoming Director of Football, for example, will likely have their own people in mind. Especially when it comes to recruitment and scouting.
That’s not something that could sit well with the Celtic board. This is by no means an attack; they’ve had years of success and will have fantastic working relationships. That’s something to admire, in a sense; continuity brought 9IAR and a Quadruple Treble. Consistency doesn’t last forever, though.
There’ll be some nervous faces around Lennoxtown, especially as the manager and DoF hunt go on for what seems like an age.
It might be time to change things up across the board, though. If not entirely wholesale change, then an overhaul at the very least.
From a playing side, many of the current squad won’t be pulling on the Hoops in 21-22. Scott Brown being the most obvious example. Whether the board see his leaving as a missed opportunity or a chance to indicate that change is coming to supporters is not something we’ll likely know for sure.
Either way, it’s going to be a summer of incredible drama at Celtic Park. The board may have to cede control like never before. The question is, are they up for that?