Graeme Souness could've backed Roy Keane for Celtic job without degrading Scottish football

By Euan Davidson

April 15, 2021

Graeme Souness is trying to tell Celtic supporters what would be good for them, and apparently that’s Roy Keane.

In some interesting quotes, the former Rangers player and manager insisted that a Roy Keane managerial reign would boost Scottish football. Because that’s Celtic’s responsibility, as opposed to hiring the best person for the job.

Souness, who works as a pundit for Sky Sports, knows the Irishman relatively well. The Liverpool legend has lived close by the ex-Manchester United man, and they’ve talked about football plenty.

Speaking to Irish outlet Off the Ball, Souness said [11.12]:

“I’ve spoken to him about returning to management and he’s very keen to do that. I’ve said to people close to me, can you imagine how good it’ll be if it’s Roy Keane v Steven Gerrard in Glasgow?

“All of a sudden it’s not just Scotland and Ireland and a wee bit of England talking about Scottish football. The whole world would be talking about it. So for Scottish football, it would’ve been a great thing.”

Souness (L), Roy Keane (R) / (Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images)

Alternatively, Celtic would’ve made a mistake hiring Roy Keane

We’ve talked about Roy Keane and his suitability for the Celtic job a number of times. We don’t want to sound like Graeme Souness talking about Paul Pogba, here, and repeat ourselves.

However, on this point, raising the profile of Scottish football. That’s incredibly disrespectful to the Scottish game, is it not? The idea that Scottish football is only enjoyed hyper-locally is demonstrably utter nonsense. Celtic alone have supporters dotted across the world, from the Pacific coast of North America to Japan, via the Middle East and mainland Europe.

Celtic Supporters Clubs have been opened by European Presidents [Sky Sports]. Even in New Zealand, according to the Daily Record, a football tournament of genuine interest is being played out between a CSC and a Rangers supporters club.

Souness himself was hired by Turkish side Galatasaray after his spells at Rangers and Liverpool. To talk as if hiring Roy Keane would’ve spared us from the antipathy of the wider world is an utter joke.

Surely, hiring the best manager, winning trophies and competing in Europe would put us on any “map”. Certainly, it’d be more effective than a potentially disastrous managerial reign?

Souness isn’t a bad guy, and he can talk sense. His public support of the Rainbow Laces campaign, for example, deserves credit [Sky Sports].

Surely, though, he must know this is banal rubbish that only serves to denigrate the Scottish game to viewers south of the border. If Souness genuinely believes that only pockets of fans in close proximity care about our game, he’s more out of touch than anyone.

READ MORE: Celtic show classy display of solidarity on a significant anniversary.