"Celtic were brilliant"; Eddie Howe finally explains summer decision

By Euan Davidson

November 10, 2021

Eddie Howe has finally spoken out about the drama between himself and Celtic Football Club, after rejecting the club in the summer.

The new Newcastle United boss explained his reasoning behind turning down Celtic in the summer. And, he says, there’s absolutely no bad blood between himself and the Bhoys.

Howe looked all but certain to join Celtic after weeks of speculation. In the wake of Lennon’s departure, it was the former Bournemouth boss who looked primed to lead a new era at the club. His style of play, reputation for beating big teams and his experience, even at 43, excited supporters.

However, it didn’t work out. And now we know why.

Howe said [via Daily Record]:

“The problem is that I didn’t change my mind at the last minute.

“I have not spoken publicly on it because there have been a lot of things said that have been totally untrue. [Ultimately] I couldn’t get my backroom team together to go to Celtic for a host of different reasons.

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“I didn’t want to take a job of such size, and knowing the job needing to be done, on my own, I knew what was needed. So there was no change of mind, I was open and honest with everyone connected with the club.

“Celtic were absolutely brilliant and I was open and honest all the way through. No problems with Celtic whatsoever.”

Imagining a world where Eddie Howe manages Celtic seems surreal now

We’re talking about a matter of mere months ago that it looked like a foregone conclusion. Eddie Howe would come to Celtic. It genuinely seemed set in stone.

Of course, it didn’t happen. The Englishman is now at cash-rich Newcastle United, who have practically unlimited resources. From a neutral perspective, it’ll be interesting to see how a manager who’s (largely) thrived on small budgets handles the millions on offer.

Sure enough, it’ll make for fascinating viewing.

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Not that Celtic fans care too much about Howe, though. But this should be the point where any remote tension between the Hoops support and Howe ends. It’s utterly pointless.

He didn’t want to come up here with a settled team around him, knowing the challenge. It’s absolutely fair enough. We weren’t strung along for weeks by him.

Perhaps there’ll be a tinge of regret, though. Ange Postecoglou arrived by himself. Now the supporters absolutely love him, and feel confident he can win silverware with us – and soon.

What could’ve been. Nobody will lose any sleep, of course. But it’s still fascinating to think about the parallel universe where Eddie Howe manages Celtic.

Read more: Ange Postecoglou today outlined the next stage in his Celtic development mission