Report: Why John Kennedy is set to stay at Celtic despite Hibs speculation

By David Walton

April 20, 2022

Celtic assistant manager John Kennedy is set to stay at Parkhead despite speculation linking him with a move to Hibernian, the Daily Record reports.

Yesterday, the Scottish Sun stated that Hibs were taking yet another look at Kennedy despite the fact he rejected a move there back in 2019. With Shaun Maloney suffering a swift departure after only 4 months in charge, it appeared as though Ange Postecoglou’s assistant was back on their radar.

However, the Record believes that Kennedy is unlikely to make the move to Edinburgh. Firstly because Hibs are said to be on the lookout for an experienced coach with top-level experience. Whilst Kennedy has been a first-team coach for the past 8 years, he’s yet to do so as a number 1.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The Record also claims that Kennedy is close to Maloney and is unlikely to leave Celtic Park even if offered the job.

There has been plenty of anger from media pundits towards Hibs for their swift dismissal of the ex-Celtic winger. Chris Sutton branded the decision “ridiculous”.

Kennedy, however, has managed to slowly rebuild his reputation by being associated with Ange Postecoglou’s revolution this season.

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John Kennedy looks set to stay at Celtic under Ange

For some, Kennedy will always be a figure tainted by what happened last season under Neil Lennon. Given he also failed to impress when it was his turn to take over, not all supporters have taken to him this year.

Of course, Ange is clearly happy with Kennedy’s work. He saw enough from the number 2 to keep him around in the summer. We can’t pretend to know what the manager asks of Kennedy or indeed the rest of his backroom staff. But just as Kennedy was a target for criticism when things were going wrong, he deserves acknowledgment during times like these.

Some would see Kennedy departing as a chance for Ange to start bringing his own people in. However, again, there doesn’t seem to be an urgent need from the manager to do that. It’s difficult then to push that as something that simply has to happen.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The manager trusts Kennedy and so far it’s been a partnership that’s worked. If that’s to be split up due to him leaving for Hibs or any job, it would have to be considered a disappointment.

Ange would surely rather that he kept his coaching staff together. Especially given the busy summer that we’re in for.

So if Kennedy stays and snubs the Easter Road interest? That has to go down as a big positive.

In other news, Giorgos Giakoumakis looks likely to come straight back into Celtic XI for Ross County