What to expect from Celtic now Lennon is gone

By David Walton

February 24, 2021

So ex-Celtic boss Neil Lennon is finally gone as we trickle into the eight remaining Premiership games we have left for the season.

It couldn’t have come any later in the day, but the decision has been made. Celtic will have a new managerial regime in place for the 2021/22 season. The club will finally be rejuvenated with a new Chief Executive in Dominic McKay too as we look like going through an overhaul.

With Lennon now finally gone, relief has swept over the Celtic support. It’s not a happy day for the club by any means, but it’s an important one. The first step in our road to recovery. Or second if you include Peter Lawwell’s intention to resign.

But now it’s time to look ahead and the direction Celtic are heading in ahead of what’s going to be another big year for the club.

In the short term, expect nothing but a damage-limitation exercise from the club. The Lenny bus has been ridden for as long as it could before being discarded. The main goal from the club, as things stand, will be to get itself to the end of the season without any more pride being lost.

That’s why John Kennedy will remain in the frame. It’s why he’s been given the managerial gig until the end of the season. And no, don’t worry about him potentially taking the job full-time. Eight wins in-a-row won’t earn him anything but a pat on the back and a thank you.

A three-month period of calm

The next three months are going to be fairly quiet from inside the club. So much work will be getting put in behind the scenes to nail down a proper managerial candidate for next season. All the while, supporters will be looking for some derby success in the final two Rangers games. Outside of those two matches, there’s nothing to get excited about for the fans.

Don’t expect any more major statements between now and the end of the campaign. Celtic will almost certainly be looking to keep things as calm as possible whilst the search for the replacement goes on. And even then, Kennedy will be given the respect he deserves as caretaker manager to get on with his job without outside distractions.

Celtic haven’t gone down the line in previous years of appointing a new manager during an ongoing season. Neil Lennon wasn’t appointed back in 2010 until the campaign was officially over. Ronny Deila, meanwhile, was allowed to see through his campaign before Brendan Rodgers was appointed five days later.

Kennedy will be given that same level of respect. It’s how this club operates.

Dominic McKay represents change at Celtic, but he needs to bring in a new manager / (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

McKay has to be involved in major decision-making

Make no mistake, new Chief Exec McKay will be making plans now. He’ll be in communication regarding the appointment of a new manager. There’s no way Celtic can get away with making a new managerial appointment in July after McKay’s scheduled start date. That’s far too close to the Euro qualifiers and indeed the season starting.

A decision will surely be made long before then, and the same goes for the club’s director of football. It looks as though Celtic are stepping things up in that regard already [Daily Mail]. McKay, again, will need to have a say.

Come the end of the season, expect some quick decisions to be made. The hard work starts now. And whilst you can expect a period of calm at Parkhead until the end of the fixture list, it’ll be all go from late May onward!

In other news, Chris Sutton has made an interesting behind-the-scenes Celtic claim.