Earlier today, I got sent the latest article from Stephen McGowan, the long-time “go to guy” for Peter Lawwell on news involving our club.
The news this time was fairly positive; it suggests that Eddie Howe has moved past the “thinking about it” stage and is getting ready to commit his future to Celtic, and that what he’s doing right now is building his backroom team.
If true, this is the most promising update on this we’ve had in four weeks.
We should assume that this has come from inside Celtic; McGowan is one of the very few “in the knows” out there because he is one of the very few who can lift the phone and get the CEO on the other end of it.
Say what you want about the rag he works for; McGowan knows his stuff.
Eddie Howe’s backroom team is currently at Bournemouth, of course.
It may be that he’s willing to go with others he knows outside of the club, but McGowan has highlighted his continuing wish to have Richard Hughes alongside him in some capacity.
It may not be as Director of Football, but I suspect he’ll be there.
Some reports suggested that Howe and Celtic might be waiting to find out if Bournemouth made it the EPL before negotiating with their staff; that would have been ludicrous.
McGowan’s piece suggests that the deal is close to be struck – the one between Howe and the club anyway.
Whether or not that means we’ve negotiated with Bournemouth already remains to be seen … but Howe’s decision will almost certainly be independent of what happens in England, otherwise he and our club are messing about and making this deal reliant on on events elsewhere and I can’t see us agreeing to that, and I doubt he would expect us to.
Howe himself must know by now the size of the job and the size of the challenge, and that the clock is ticking. I don’t think he wants to wait to get started; I don’t think he can really afford to.
He, like the people running the club, knows that time is running out.
And it sounds as if he’s just about made up his mind.