Let’s get it right – plenty of Celtic fans will have been a touch concerned to see John Kennedy being given the managerial job until the end of the season yesterday.
Like it or not, he’s a bit like marmite with the Hoops support. Some appreciate the years of service he’s given at Parkhead. Others believe there’s a House of Cards-like scheme going on behind the scenes with the Celtic assistant boss central to it.
But there is an overriding fear at the moment that this may not be permanent. That, should Kennedy do well and perhaps even win all eight remaining games, he’ll stay in the gig. That he’ll have proven himself to be good enough to lead us into battle next season.
You can see why there are fears of that. It’s extremely similar to Neil Lennon’s story after Tony Mowbray was sacked in 2010. Lennon managed to win all eight of his remaining league matches to take the league. Scary stuff. It’s an almost identical situation [The Guardian].
And of course, Lennon hadn’t worked with Celtic as long as Kennedy has when he took the gig. Lennon was brought in by Gordon Strachan in 2008. Two years later he was caretaker boss and ultimately the permanent manager. Kennedy, meanwhile, has been here for 11 years and has held several roles. The only backroom gig he hasn’t worked is as a manager.
So the concerns are valid. But we need to put them to bed, because the Celtic board simply can’t afford to insult the supporters any further.
Given the season we’ve had and the absolute incompetence both on and off the pitch, no more mistakes can be made. Yes, the club will have had their season-book intake by the time the summer comes around. But they can’t afford to do it on the back of a false promise.
Board can’t afford to insult the Celtic fans again; John Kennedy has no hope of staying in the role
They can’t dangle the promise of change at the club and then give the job to Kennedy. That would be a hellish hand to give to new Chief Executive Dominic McKay too. And, given he’s likely to still have a strong say on who comes in given his position, can you see him plumping for Kennedy?
You also have to take into account the Director of Football angle. Do you honestly believe a new DoF would accept the role if they had to keep Kennedy in charge? The likelihood is John will drop back down to a first-team coach if he can impress the new boss.
No DoF worth their salt would accept anything less. Especially considering Kennedy is totally unproven.
A winning run until the end of the season was never going to keep Neil Lennon in the job either. Kennedy won’t be able to do so with eight games remaining, especially when you consider the nature of the rebuild ahead.
We need to do all we can to stand by the interim man for now. Regardless of what you think of him. Getting some success back on the board and landing a couple of punches on our rivals would make for a more bearable end to the campaign.
But come the end of it, no matter what happens, Kennedy won’t stay on. The sheer financial and commercial impact that could have on the club will make certain of it.