Celtic board's major John Kennedy decision should be passed over to new manager

By David Walton

May 20, 2021

With John Kennedy finally ending his time as Celtic interim manager, so much focus will go onto his own future.

We all know what’s happening with the managerial situation. It looks as though it’s going to be Eddie Howe, with the most recent reports claiming that he’s waiting for his Bournemouth staff to become available before he’s announced [Daily Record].

But as Howe gets round to assembling his new team, there are still major question marks over what’s next for Kennedy. The man who’s been working with Celtic since 2009 as a scout. The man who’s held every backroom position possible up to and including assistant and interim manager.

The big question is whether he’ll still be part of the backroom team. Many fans want Kennedy gone and quite rightly too. It’s difficult to push the idea of a fresh start when you’re keeping someone who was highly responsible for last season’s decline in the dugout.

If the new manager is forced to accept Kennedy in some form, then it’s not a rebuild. Not truly. You can’t claim to be stripping the club from top to bottom then telling your new manager he has to find a role for someone from the previous regime.

If Howe is going to be the next Celtic manager, he needs full autonomy over his coaching staff. If he values Kennedy and thinks he’ll add something to the team that he doesn’t currently have – fair enough. But if he doesn’t feel he’s a great fit, this simply isn’t a move that should be enforced on him.

John Kennedy can’t be enforced on the new manager

The board need to pass this decision onto the incoming Celtic boss. If they don’t, it’ll only continue the disconnect supporters have with the club. The idea of the rebuild is to totally rid the club of anything that even resembles the failure of this season. Unfortunately for John, he’s been a strong part of what’s gone wrong this season.

Granted, chances are this will indeed be the new boss’ decision. After all, when Brendan Rodgers came into the club, Kennedy had to pass an interview with him. The decision was entirely in Rodgers’ hands and he clearly liked what he saw from the former interim boss [The Scotsman].

But just because Rodgers was a fan doesn’t mean Howe will be. He may not fit into the philosophy of the new man or he simply may not have the personality that Howe likes. If that’s the case, Kennedy has to go. There can be no insistence from the board.

Former Celtic interim boss John Kennedy / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

You can’t imagine Howe would even want the job if there weren’t assurances being given over staff regardless. No manager worth their salt would take the Celtic gig if it meant they were being informed of people who must be involved in their set-up.

That there has been no clarity on Kennedy’s role for next season says a lot. No reports of him being part of Howe’s team is pretty interesting to say the least. Granted, he has been linked with the new sporting director role [Scottish Sun].

If Howe doesn’t want him, it wouldn’t surprising if an alternative role down the Parkhead food chain opened up for him. But so long as the decision is that of the new manager and the new manager alone, that’ll be a positive sign ahead of the new season.

In other news, a Celtic youngster will be in action live on the Sky Sports cameras tonight.