What a dreadful weekend that was. The final Celtic capitulation of a long, tiring league season occurred at Tannadice, handing the title on a plate to Rangers.
Rival supporters have come out of the woodwork, celebrating all over Glasgow and in towns across the country.
That’s caused its own controversy and reminded some Celtic fans used to nothing but success for the last decade exactly why we have no love for the team from Ibrox. It’s easy being part of a rivalry when we’re winning.
That feeling you’re experiencing today can be useful though. It can be what you hang on to when holding Celtic to account over the next six months.
The Celtic fightback has to begin today and has to be relentless.
We have the Scottish Cup to play for before May, but Celtic’s entire efforts will be going towards the rebuild and ensuring the first-team squad is in a position to challenge by the start of next season.
Next term will roll around quicker than we expect. The countdown to summer qualifiers can be quantified in weeks rather than months, leaving the club no time at all to put the personnel in place to deliver success.
Now that the league is finally mathematically over, Celtic can press on with the urgent business of making radical changes to the structure and staff. There’s no reason to delay now.
John Kennedy called for stability in his post-match comments yesterday but, for me, that doesn’t quite strike the kind of urgency we need behind-the-scenes at the club.
A sporting director has to be appointed as soon as possible, ideally over the next two weeks before the upcoming derby against Rangers. That will hasten the search for a new manager.
I don’t subscribe to the notion we have to wait until the summer to appoint a new head coach. If the right man is available to bring to Glasgow now – do it.
If we’re bringing in a coach already attached to another club, work out a way to announce he is leaving that club and coming to Celtic later this year. That kind of thing happens all the time in European football. Borussia Dortmund have already announced the summer arrival of Monchengladbach manager Marco Rose, for example.
Player recruitment can then ramp up too, with any incoming manager signing off on the targets identified by the club over the coming months.
Finally, if Celtic can make some sort of agreement with the Scottish Rugby Union to bring Dominic McKay in as CEO before July, that should also be done as quickly as possible.
None of this is panic, it’s simply what is required.
Celtic can’t afford for the board to sit on their hands for the next ten weeks navel-gazing over the disaster that was this season. The club needs direction, action and confident communication.
If the fightback doesn’t start today, if the club don’t take this failure seriously, we can probably kiss goodbye to a successful 2021/22 campaign as well.