Eddie Howe? John Kennedy? Who is going to be the next Celtic manager?

So who is going to be our next Celtic manager? To be honest, I haven’t a scooby doo and neither do the pundits or the bookies. As a wise man once said, speculation is not knowledge. It wasn’t too long ago that Roy Keane was a shoe in particularly when someone put two and two together and got the answer, Nicky Butt. Last week Eddie Howe had agreed in principle but apparently some unforeseen massive stumbling blocks have since emerged.

Credit: Photo by Matthew Impey

The only bit of hard information we have is that Eddie Howe’s people have since let it be known that he is not interested in returning to management before the summer, whenever that might be. If we are pursuing him and he was interested, that wouldn’t preclude him from signing a contract with a start date some time in the future.

However, next season is so important for us that we need a new manager in place as soon as. If Eddie Howe doesn’t understand that, his due diligence is sadly lacking and, in my book, that alone should rule him out of being our next manager. Of course, it maybe that Eddie Howe wasn’t that close to signing or wasn’t even approached. In which case, the outcome is still the same. Thanks Eddie but no thanks, we move on.

In the ideal world, we would appoint a big(ish) name now, which gives him time to prepare for next season. Looking at the runners and riders in the managerial stakes, not too many of the feasible options are what you would call big hitters. There is none that would unite the support and draw a line under this mess of a season both on and off the park. Hence, the options are either we wait until such a person emerges or we appoint someone now, who wouldn’t initially enjoy the universal support of the fans, and hope it works. That’s the dilemma, stick or twist?

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Photo: Jane Barlow

My hunch is we will stick with John Kennedy for the moment. Don’t forget, if you believe the bookies, he is second favourite after steady Eddie to get the job on a permanent basis. I know sticking with JK, either on an interim or permanent basis, would not be well received by all but as I say, which appointment would? Unfortunately, Dermot Desmond is all out of silver bullets.

There are some positives from JK’s reign. He comes over very well and did a great job of attacking those COVID cowboys from Govan and the astonishing double standards of the SFA. On the park, we seem to be playing with a bit more belief and conviction, and are creating chances and, as of Saturday, putting them away. We are more composed at the back and Welsh looks a player.

READ THIS…Celtic Manager John Kennedy’s Mind Games and the Rangers Inferiority Complex

JK has stabilised things and he deserves credit for that. Is he the long term answer? It’s too early to say. If he gets the chance, it will depend on performances for the remainder of this season and the qualifying rounds of the Europa League. It will also depend on when and what big names become available.

Who knows, it could be that Dermot Desmond has already ordered a replacement silver bullet from Amazon. Until then, the speculation will continue.

Chris Wotherspoon

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk


  1. Oh aye john kennedy.give me a break.hes as dull as dishwater.never a coach never mind manger.jog on

  2. It’s hard to know what to believe or ignore at the moment eh? Either a big secret Howe announcement will be made after the game against therangersclub or he’s apparently met with Crystal Palace (although I have only seen that on FootballInsider) and what’s the story between Hughes, Harkin, all that stuff? One mistake we may have made here is not getting a DoF in place. If we had done so, there wouldn’t be any rumours about Howe wanting to pick his boss in theory, if someone already had just been brought in. But is that the case? And speaking on the DoF job, this should probably be in place before the manager so what’s happening with it?
    You’re right in that we need someone in place asap. They will not have time to form their own team and negotiate Ch League qualifying rounds if they are only starting at the same time as they kick off. Howe must know this. He either is keeping it quiet and will be unveiled before end of April or if the club have even a sniff that he’s talking to other teams and keeping us dangling, move on very swiftly. pay a recruitment agency more money to get better candidates and if the board have a dream hitlist, get a head hunting agency to put the feelers out that Celtic would pay their compensation if they want to quit and join us. Don’t sit around waiting to see who’s free, be proactive. So all will be forgiven if Howe is actually coming and starts within 3 weeks or if not, delete his number, move on swiftly and leave him to basement EPL with no sniff of Europe. 3 weeks. After that, we’re done waiting