Former Celtic manager Gordon Strachan has hit out at the media over the club’s manager delay.
Over 70 days have passed since Neil Lennon left the Bhoys’ dugout. Over that time, several names have become favourites to land the gig. Eddie Howe has been the consistent favourite, with the Sun declaring an agreement had been reached “in principle” back in early April [Sun].
Strachan, who has been through the recruitment rigmarole at Celtic, claims the panic is a media invention. In his column for the Herald, Strachan wrote:
“And of course, the media all want to know what is happening, but I’m not sure that the fans are all getting their knickers in a twist about it. Does any other business tell you what they are going to do? Do Apple tell you beforehand what they’re doing? Do they phone the local tabloid and give them the heads up so they can let the world know? No, they announce it.
“People are saying that Dominic McKay has to come out and say something. Why? Why does he have to say something? If you’ve not got anything of clarity to say right now, then there’s nothing to say.
“We have this notion that the fans need to be consulted on everything. No they don’t. No other business consults anybody.”
Gordon Strachan clearly hasn’t spoken to many Celtic supporters recently
“Did Celtic fans need communication when they were winning nine-in-a-row? No. Now they apparently do. But I don’t think it’s the fans that are like that, or are driving that. It’s the media, radio stations, TV stations. I think the fans are sort of shrugging their shoulders and seeing what it going to happen.
“As frustrating as [it] may be for the media, it shouldn’t overly concern the Celtic supporters.”
We’re not sure we agree, Gordon. As much-loved a commentator as Gordon Strachan is these days, this isn’t an accurate reflection of the feelings of supporters. As far as we can tell, from our forum, from feedback on articles and from our own love for the club, fans are frustrated and concerned.
While yes, the papers play up how long it’s taken, and we’ve talked before about how a delay like this is normal, it doesn’t mean fans aren’t bothered. Not in the slightest.
As for the communication point, it’s actually very naïve to suggest we didn’t need to hear from the club before. There were times when supporters were genuinely worried about the direction of Celtic. Failures in Europe and disappointing results featured in that 9IAR, regardless of how domestically successful we were. And during those times, it’d be fair to say the club were far more proactive in talking to supporters than they seem to be currently.
Unless we’re imagining it, fans are worried, and entitled to hear from the club that they invest their money and devotion to. To suggest that isn’t the case ignores the anxiety around Celtic Park just now. While it’s in some interests to keep the intrigue going, it certainly doesn’t help us in the fan-led media.
We’ve waited a considerable time, and yes, if we get the right man and results pick up, it’ll have been worth the wait. That said, though, it doesn’t excuse the way fans have been treated this season.