John Kennedy has confirmed the club are eyeing the third week of June to start pre-season preparations for UEFA Champions League qualifiers in July.
Celtic don’t yet have a manager in place and Kennedy again confirmed to media today he hasn’t been told anything about that situation by the club.
However, there are a number of experts who remain in key positions throughout the football department. It’s those staff members who have put together a plan for pre-season training and a provisional return date.
Kennedy explained in Friday’s press conference [YouTube]: “We’ve pencilled in dates because we have to. There’s a lot of staff around the club, here at the training ground, who have been here for a long time and are very good at what they do. They have to get things in place.
“It can be adjusted, but you’re talking around mid-June towards that third week in June would be the normal start back date, especially when you have the Champions League qualifiers mid-July.
“That’s pencilled in at the moment but that’s subject to change depending on who is making that decision.”
June starts on a Tuesday so theoretically the third week in June could mean 14th July, though the third Monday of the month is on the 21st.
It’s obviously unclear exactly what kind of pre-season preparations the team will go through at this point. There could be travel restrictions in place and a new manager will likely have his own preferences.
However, we do know a few key dates beyond Kennedy’s press conference comments.
Celtic will find out their second round qualifying opponents in a draw from Nyon, Switzerland on 16th June.
The first qualifier in the League Route kicks off on 20th or 21st July, with the second leg a week later.
There are also reports that the Bhoys will play at home to West Ham United in a friendly on 24th July.
So things are taking shape, even without a manager in place. I’m not sure if that’s a comfort or a worry though, to be perfectly honest with you.