Eddie Howe to Celtic saga leaves season-ticket campaign in even more trouble

By David Walton

May 30, 2021

The Eddie Howe to Celtic saga doesn’t just harm our on-field rebuild, but it also badly damages the recent season-ticket renewal campaign launched by the Hoops.

One of the key issues with the release of season-tickets for many was the fact fans didn’t know what they were buying into. The new manager had yet to have been revealed and fans didn’t want to commit before the new man was confirmed.

Granted, it looked as though it was going to be Howe. Everything was lined up for the ex-Bournemouth boss to take over and it looked certain to be either at the end of last week or the start of this week. Either way, he was effectively here and all we were waiting on was the announcement.

But Celtic have since been absolutely rattled by the fact that talks have now broken down. All of a sudden, fans truly don’t know what they’re buying into next season. The rumour is that Ange Postecoglou is going to be the next Celtic manager [BBC]. But there’s a major problem there for the Hoops – Celtic fans have barely heard of him.

It’s a totally unknown appointment and a massive risk given Postecoglou has never managed in Europe. Sure, he’s a title-winner in Australia and Japan, but that’s a massively different footballing environment to Scotland.

Eddie Howe Celtic saga is a massive blow for the football club

Yes, the focus must be to move on, but this will leave some lasting damage on season-ticket renewals. Sure, Celtic could appoint Postecoglou at the start of next week and tell fans “this is what you’re buying into”. But the problem is fans don’t know what on earth they’ll be getting. Not truly.

They don’t know Postecoglou as a football manager and don’t have a solid understanding of his philosophy. They would be buying season-tickets without a knowledge of how he’s going to try and rebuild this football club.

It was different with Howe. Fans knew what to expect. We all knew Howe was a progressive, forward-thinking coach that based his football on possession. He’s an attacking tactician who loves his sides to press from the front and be aggressive. That’s what fans were buying into. His Celtic side was one we all believed was going to be based on those traits.

The Eddie Howe to Celtic saga has wound supporters up / (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

With Postecoglu, fans are simply in the dark. And given the season we’ve just had, an unknown appointment is going to be an even bigger gamble than it normally would be. For some, it will come across as a cheap option. That’s perhaps just ignorance considering we know nothing about him. But perception matters most when it comes to season-ticket sales.

Supporters of course will have until 25th June to renew. That gives Celtic a massive opportunity to strengthen in the transfer window and try and give fans a glimpse of what they’ll be watching next season. The transfer market is a huge tool to bolster excitement for Celtic this year. They need to be working quickly to try and bring fans back on board. The Howe disaster wasn’t a good look.

Hopefully, that leads to the squad rebuild starting in swift fashion. However, Celtic had a big carrot for season-ticket renewals in Howe. The collapse of those talks now leaves them with a serious problem in trying to win over disillusioned supporters.

In other news, the one blockbuster signing Celtic can now totally forget about.