Clarity for Celtic fans at last after shock departure and weeks of silence

By Euan Davidson

October 15, 2021

How heartening it was for Celtic fans to hear two pieces of information from manager Ange Postecoglou today. The first is that he’s chatting with Michael Nicholson about future strategy. Secondly, he’s looking to bring in more of his own backroom staff.

The summer was full of talk about strategy. About long-term planning, making the future “world class”. Dom McKay arrived with a fantastic reputation for tailing around ailing institutions, and seemed perfectly built for a long stay at Celtic Park.

Of course, that never happened. McKay’s reign as CEO lasted just over a tenth of the time Christopher Jullien’s been out injured. On an entirely random Friday evening, the shocking departure of the ex-SRU man was confirmed. Conspiracy theories followed.

And since then, there hasn’t been a great deal of activity. The Plc report came out, confirming what we essentially knew; Celtic fans and their spending power still generate so much funding for the club. Despite a pandemic and the financial consequences.

It was easy to feel as if the rug had been pulled from under us. “Us”, being the vast swathes of Celtic supporters eager for modernisation at the club. The way Celtic operate, in many respects, feels extremely old-fashioned by modern standards.

Now, though, it appears the wheels are moving again. By Postecoglou’s own admission, his relationship with Michael Nicholson, the stand-in CEO, is stellar. The two are building for “sustainable success”, and working “hand in hand”.

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What we don’t know about Nicholson as a CEO-type is vast. However, Postecoglou has given us no reason to doubt his words thus far. If he’s excited, then we should be, too.

Can Celtic fans start to believe in the future?

What’s concerning, though, is how much of the team’s future is being tied up in the work of Ange Postecoglou. That puts enormous pressure on results, especially with the board showing their quick displeasure with McKay [Herald].

So much in football is uncertain. Often, it laughs at a club, manager or board’s plans. But with the squad Celtic have in place, a title tilt surely has to be on, even after an indifferent start to the season.

With all that in mind, is there reason to believe things are looking up for Celtic, from an organisational point of view? Are Celtic changing their approaches to meet the needs of modern football, or are they trying to use the methods from the 9IAR and Quadruple Treble successes?

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Examples being: will there be developments in the means of scouting and recruitment? Will new types of coaches be brought in, focusing on specific areas of the game? What about the infrastructure for Academy talents?

In terms of engagement with supporters, are the club going to go back to stonewalling fans, or continue the encouraging work from the summer onwards?

There are still a lot of questions, and the proof will be in what Celtic fans actually see from the club in the months and years to come.

At the very least though, these are encouraging quotes from Ange Postecoglou. After a season where there seemed to be no vision beyond the next match, it’s all much-needed rhetoric.

Read more: The latest on Celtic’s Josip Juranovic and his hamstring injury