Three days and counting until Celtic runs out of any remaining benefit of the doubt. If we can’t close the Howe deal and announce it by 1 June, our club is a fiasco. That date is the final moment on which we should consider them out of excuses.
The football world will be on hiatus.
Whatever contractual obligations prevented us getting this done will have been met. The issues will be largely resolved. If things aren’t crystal clear by the close of business on 1 June then I think we can safely say that our club has gambled big time, in a manner that is totally unacceptable, on one candidate who hasn’t given us a commitment.
The clock continues to tick down.
Howe may well have his pen poised over the paperwork.
I hope he does. I think he probably does. But I could be wrong, and part of me wonders if I am because I do not trust the judgement of the people running Celtic at this moment in time.
But let’s, for a minute, continue to give us the benefit of the doubt. Say the Howe deal is done in every way that matters except for a signature on a piece of paper. Say we have a cast-iron guarantee that he’s on his way and about to be unveiled.
Even if that’s true, at this point Howe would need to have been working behind the scenes, even with no contract, for weeks if not months, for there to be the slightest chance that we’ll be ready for the European qualifiers.
If Howe’s coming in from a standing start we’re simply not going to be prepared. We need at least one centre back, a right back, a left sided midfielder and a striker.
That’s four signings – at a minimum – before we can approach the first rounds with any sort of confidence. In my view, there’s simply no way that Howe will be able to put all those pieces in place in such a short space of time.
Whether you agree with waiting for him or not, it’s already cost us.
Of course, it might well be that he has been working hard, and that we can hit the ground running.
It might be that the pace of the whole club is about to dramatically pick up.
But all season long, and probably for a lot longer, we have looked like bumbling amateurs … and that’s why so many fans are worried that this deal won’t get done … and why I worry that even if it does now, it has cost us in terms of the time it has taken and the damage that’s already being done.
The next campaign is now far harder than it ever had to be.