Celtic’s pre-season planning is just about complete.
You can’t be a Celtic supporter and have missed that.
Over the last 24 hours, everything’s fallen into place.
Matches have been confirmed against Leicester, Barcelona and Inter Milan.
Somebody, somewhere, has made decisions. Somebody, somewhere, has told Ronny what the future holds.
As I said yesterday, I suspect he’s keeping his job, and that’s been communicated to him loud and clear.
I had hoped that our club would steer clear of “glamour friendlies” around about the time of the Champions League qualifiers; the manager resisted it these last two years to allow him to focus on the important stuff. It did no good, of course, but he got what he wanted.
This year I feel pretty relaxed about it, mostly because the games are so glamorous! Yes, even the one against Leicester City, which normally wouldn’t have got the blood pumping at all. But when we play them at Celtic Park in the first of these games we’ll be taking on (if form stays current) the English Premier League champions.
It’ll be a Battle of Britain tie!
That’s pretty sexy on its own, but it has nothing compared to the prospect of taking on the finest team in world football … and in Dublin, to boot!
Then there’s Inter Milan, at a venue to be decided … if we’re going to play pre-season matches then these are the sort we should play. Testing, searching, games which provide more than just a challenge. These games are dazzling, but they are also a taste of the kind of games we hope to be playing if we reach the Groups.
To get the invite to this competition was something in itself. Could we realistically have turned it down?
Of course not, especially as the Leicester game and the Barcelona matches were on offer as part of it.
Any manager coming in would be crazy to want us to pull out of such games, and I would imagine the money on offer will be pretty sweet too.
Yet I cannot help thinking that this level of forward planning, in March, is a sign that big choices have already been made inside Parkhead.