What was the moment when a managerial appointment like the one we’re about to make became truly inevitable?
When Eddie Howe rejected our offer? I think not.
I would trace it further back than that, to before Brendan Rodgers, to the decision Peter Lawwell made in the summer of 2010.
The date was 9 June and he handed control of our club to a rookie boss, Neil Lennon.
That was the moment when we started to think the unthinkable.
A good argument could be made for the hiring of Lennon on an interim basis when Mowbray went, but I have never accepted that there was the slightest merit to giving him the job on a permanent basis.
It was a terrible decision, but I remember that the general reaction amongst our fans was much more positive than negative.
That’s when the board started thinking it could do this kind of thing.
It’s when expecation management really began.
Giving the Celtic job to a rookie was an unpardonable disgrace.
I have not trusted the judgement of certain people at our club since.
The reason I was so horrified at the sight of Lennon being unveiled again on an “interim basis” in February 2019 was that I knew it would give people at Parkhead ideas about giving him the gig again, and so it proved.
We now know, of course, because they’ve “boasted” about it often enough, that Lennon was “always in their thoughts” for after Rodgers left.
A board which is thinking this way was always likely to go for someone like this after the Howe deal collapsed, if indeed the Howe deal was ever a serious pursuit in the first place and not simply a means of delaying until fans were so desperate that they would swallow this.
Rodgers was an aberration on the part of this board.
The more I look at the Howe situation the more convinced I am that Celtic were so “relaxed” about the time it was taking because they were wary, anyway, of bringing a high profile manager in and letting him rebuild the club the way he wanted it.
Far better to keep control where it’s always been, save for that brief period when the Irishman was far and away the biggest figure at Parkhead.
When Lennon was appointed in a Hampden shower that was the proof that our directors had crossed over from aiming high because they knew they could go low and get away with it.
I really do love our support for its optimism and sense of fair play and decency at times; this is not one of those times.
Because we’ve gone from Rodgers to Lennon to this and the direction of travel is perfectly obvious.
If this experiment fails –I am convinced it will – our downward drive and this constant lowering of expectations will definitely make appointing the next manager of our great club easier.
If they think we’ve swallowed this one, they’ll think we’ll tolerate anything.