This is the week that Eddie Howe will finally walk through the doors of Celtic Park as manager.
It is simply not tenable for this to take much longer.
The season tickets go on sale next Monday; if we’re not over the line by then the fans will vote with their feet.
Frankly, there’s a chance that some of them might anyway.
It remains to be seen. Howe’s appointment will have to come with some grander design behind it; there has to be a plan of greater scope here. I would be very surprised if it’s not a double announcement.
That will be significant.
The manager is only part of the structure and as we’ve seen in recent years, the structure itself has to be right for the manager to work to his maximum capacity. We don’t know if Peter Lawwell will be roaming about the club; I feel that we’ll be in a much better position when we’ve filled the manager’s job and the Director of Football one too.
The Director of Football is critical.
There is talk about us bringing in a technical director instead; I hope that’s not the case. The technical director is a glorified head of human resources for the football side of the business, and he’s in charge of certain aspects of youth development.
A director of football deals with everything in the football department short of coaching, from contracts to signing negotiations, and he works closely with the manager. They are distinct jobs and it’s obvious which we need.
There can be no further interference from the non-football people in what happens in the football department. The manager and the director of football are a partnership and they, together, should have sole control within the constraints of the budget.
This structure is needed because we’ve had too much of the professionals in the football department having to answer to the amateurs however good they might think they are.
Lawwell should never have been near to making contract decisions; the number of times he over-ruled what the manager and the coaches wanted is a long list, and well documented.
I am excited about Howe coming in, but I’m just as excited about a football department existing separate from the interference of the bean-counters. This is a long overdue moment in our history, and we need that individual in place right away.