Chris Sutton fears Celtic will not be in a position to compete next season after the decision-makers at the club dragged their heels on making significant changes this term.
Supporters could see the writing on the wall for the Neil Lennon reign and ten-in-a-row as early as last autumn. However, Celtic persisted with a policy of denial, hurtling the club into oblivion.
Sutton reckons that failure to react could end up costing a new manager a shot at finding immediate success again in 2021/22.
Speaking to The Daily Record, the former striker said: “Celtic can no longer hang about. There are 11 weeks until the European qualifiers and the clock is ticking.
“I still can’t quite believe the way they wrote this season off. You look at the likes of Chelsea getting rid of Frank Lampard before Christmas and then making a real fist of the remainder of the campaign at home and in Europe.
“Celtic seemed to roll up the white flag as soon as it seemed 10 in a Row was gone. But the longer they’ve waited the tougher the job has got.
“Fans might need to accept next season is already beyond them. The new manager will need time even if it’s a precious commodity in Glasgow.”
Celtic fans must have the stomach for the rebuild
Whether it’s Eddie Howe arriving at the club, or someone else, Sutton is right about one thing – the new manager needs time.
Celtic fans will always demand the best, that’s only right. However, we must have the stomach for a prolonged fight back against Rangers, if indeed our hopes for next season are already dashed.
I don’t subscribe to the notion we are doomed next season, personally. I can see a scenario where Celtic are reinvigorated by a new era.
However, if it doesn’t turn out like that, we do need to hold on to signs of improvement and take small positives out of any progress.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be fuming at the Celtic board if it transpires they have messed up the club long-term, but that wouldn’t be Howe’s or anyone other newcomer’s fault.
If the damage has already been done, let them sort it out.