Dominic McKay’s central role in the Postecoglou unveiling suggest that reports I’d heard last week that Lawwell has already left Parkhead were at least partially accurate, in spite of people within Celtic flatly denying to me that any such thing was going on.
I read carefully through McKay’s remarks today, and those of Lawwell himself and it seems clear to me that the former SRU man is now in charge, which at the very least suggests that important developments within the club are being kept hidden from the supporters.
Lawwell’s parting shot today was to wish both McKay and the manager well, which definitely does sound to me like someone already on the outside looking in.
Yet Lawwell’s parting shot contained at least one more two fingered salute to the fans.
Even now, he continues to insult our intelligence with the brazen suggestion that we’ve been tracking Postecoglou “for years.”
It’s a dreadful statement to make, one that makes our entire club look like an amateurish small-scale operation.
And what’s worse is that I think it’s misleading.
To be blunt, I don’t believe there is the slightest scintilla of truth in what he said today and only a mug would believe otherwise.
We’ve been tracking this guy where? When? Based on what? His successes in Australia? A handful of trophies with their Under 20 teams a decade ago? Or a single Japanese title bookended by finishing 12th and 9th?
Which part of his CV leaped off the page for Celtic?
And if his record was that impressive to them why wasn’t he given the job ahead of Lennon? If he’s such an outstanding candidate, why did we piss about for two months on Eddie Howe?
At best Postecoglou was the second choice here.
But was he third choice? Fourth choice?
Further down the line than that?
This manager we’d been tracking for years?
We’ll never know, but what we do know is that at no point was he first choice, either in front of Lennon or Howe.
We know Keane got an interview before Howe did.
We know we were definitely interested in talking, at one point, to Steve Clarke, so what exactly were we waiting for before we made our move for this elite level coach who we could have got for under £1 million, and with enough time for quarantine issues and UEFA paperwork no longer to even matter?
The club has been very lucky in a sense than the mounting anger over the way this has all been handled has taken the place of cool heads and forensic questioning, but that questioning is waiting for them on the other end of this and Lawwell’s latest stupid remarks have raised more of those questions than perhaps the club might have liked.
I don’t believe that Postecoglou was “on the radar” until very recently.
Because had he been we’d have known what the pitfalls were before we leaked his name to the press.
I am betting that people at Celtic didn’t even think about the Pro License issue until the bloggers started hitting them on the head with it, when the wheels of this were already in motion.
Just looking at how it’s all unfolded, it seems pretty clear that the club was being flatly dishonest when it said we were in “advanced negotiations” a fortnight ago.
We announced that hot on the heels of the Howe reversal because the board messed that up and wanted to change the story with the clock ticking. Even then, it’s taken us a fortnight to get the deal done.
I understand that Celtic’s PR department needs to sell this decision as the result of long-term thought and consideration, but I don’t believe that had they actually done any long term considering that an appointment like this would ever have been contemplated far less completed.
No club which actually did a proper search for a new managerial candidate would ever have arrived here, and I can write that with total assurance because no club in Europe has until now.
The one thing worse than lowering expectations is grossly over-inflating them.
It’s been over two months since I wrote the article which spelled out the ghastly fate that awaited us if Eddie Howe said no; a decision made in panic, an appointment made on the hoof, and this is exactly what I was afraid of.
Something cobbled together, without much thought, in a big, big hurry.
Even those willing to give Postecoglou the benefit of the doubt don’t really believe that he was in our thinking all along.
The best argument in the board’s favour that I’ve heard in the last fortnight, as all this has been rumbling on in the background, is that that we might well have stumbled onto the right appointment completely by accident.
In other words, no-one, not even those who’ve made the case for the Aussie, credits this board with the foresight they are claiming today.
No-one believes this was the result of calm deliberation and professional people doing a cold-blooded and rational analysis of what was required for our football club.
Lawwell’s nonsense is insulting because it’s not going to fool even the rawest Daily Record reporter.
Yet he thinks he can slip it past us.