Opinion: Celtic Must Act Now to Remedy the Dysfunctional Football Department at the Club

Celtic Review – What Review? What was new in this bland statement from the equally bland Celtic Chairman?

Can anyone remember anything said by this man which reflected well on the club ? OK! Hands up… who even knew who he was! He has NOT been a chairman who has fought the Celtic cause during his ten years tenure. TEN YEARS! Wow!

What was his position on their ‘Resurrection’, Res 12 , financial doping at Ibrox, the GASL as a “fit and proper” person to be chairman of a football club. He has been the Lord Lucan of Scottish Football and today he has continued as he started – saying nothing!

Celtic supporters have backed the club to the hilt in what was to be a ”season like no other ” –  well, it has certainly turned out that way – but not in a way we expected. No access to the stadium, watching soulless games on TV,  seeing their team meekly surrender their title before Xmas, endured countless intelligence-insulting remarks from the manager after countless displays of tactical naivety, suffered insults from the manager and Board for daring to protest at the team’s/manager’s below par performances and  cringed at the Dubai PR disaster and the resulting, oh so predictable, aftermath.

One ray of sunlight – a promised, overdue review of the football operation, delayed and delayed – then this! Haud me back! This is more insult piled on the previous insults from the club. We are told that that club won’t act hastily! We obviously have a different definition of “hasty”. Supporters have been “reviewing” the club and manager’s performances since he was “hastily” appointed in the warm glow of the Scottish Cup win in 2019.

Many, many supporters, while supporting Neil Lennon as player and manager, were adamant that he was NOT what Celtic needed in the wake of Rodgers’ departure. We were grateful for his stepping in at a time of crisis – but not many saw him as a long term appointment.

Trophies have still been won – but who can honestly say that the team is improving? Some of the tactical naivety displayed in European ties, against supposedly inferior opponents, has been cringe-worthy – and obvious to anyone with eyes to see that, apart from the occasional result (Lazio), we were on a downward spiral in Europe.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Domestically we continued to win – but not dominate in the manner we had shown in the Rodgers’ era. Where we once treated the Ibrox team with contempt and won repeatedly, home and away, under Lennon THEIR record against US is now superior. And how many Celtic supporters are truly confident that this will change under Lennon’s leadership?

This season Lennon has put the blame for poor results on Covid (as did the chairman, Ian Bankier, in case you had already forgotten him – easy to do), the media, the fans, the protesters and the players. He has even named some players and thrown them under the bus yet others who are palpably inept (Duffy) are protected and coddled. This is not inspiring leadership. And one name was missing from that list of blameworthy candidates. Did you spot it?

The Board’s “hasty” decision in appointing Neil Lennon in the face of considerable supporter concerns has led us to this position today.

. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Now that Peter Lawwell has decided that he wishes to leave and spend more time with his bonuses we were expecting major changes. But it appears that we are about to squander the months between now and the new season by doing … nothing.

A new CEO, a Director of Football, a new coaching team – this is what we need NOW. Waiting (not being “hasty”) until the Summer before planning for Europe and the new season is madness – or even sabotage. From the outside looking in it beggars belief that we are NOT acting NOW to remedy the dysfunctional football department at the club.

But perhaps I am being “hasty” in my judgement?

James Mills


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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

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