About a week ago, a pro-board Celtic fan site wrote an article talking about how late in the day we usually make managerial appointments.
The writer is often accused of being Lawwell’s unofficial spokesperson.
I found the article a little ridiculous and more than a little disingenuous because we live in a different football era from some of those appointments and what seems, looking back, to be a late hire was actually nothing like it.
Until the last 15 or so years, football didn’t really kick off until August, and so whilst a July appointment is completely unthinkable there were no four rounds of Champions League qualifiers to navigate back then.
Even so, I am old enough to remember the appointments of Venglos, Burns and Jansen – all brought to the club in July – and nobody was calm.
Today, Gavin Berry published a nearly identical piece, full of the same ridiculous arguments.
Did he nick it straight from the Celtic site in question?
Apparently, yes, but another explanation is that he was “gifted” the piece by someone at our club.
It’s as if the original piece didn’t have the traction someone wanted it to have, and they decided to promote it again, this time through the megaphone of a mainstream title.
Since when do you get that rag making excuses for us in this way?
There are so many things wrong with the premise of that piece.
Firstly, as has already been said, we start the season in July now, not August, with vastly important games in that month, which means that pre-season starts earlier than ever as well.
Moreover, how many of those appointments were in the same summer as a major international competition? How many of those managers faced a full squad rebuild?
How many were playing for an automatic Champions League Group place the following year?
And here’s the kicker; every single one of those appointments was made over a summer.
The search didn’t start in February, as it has in this case, which makes this simply inexcusable. Only in the case of Martin O’Neill was there a clear need for a managerial hunt to take place before the previous campaign was finished, and it is beyond belief that anyone would try to sell us on the idea that the way we’ve messed about here is either normal or acceptable.
On top of that, this isn’t just the managerial hunt.
We knew we were looking for a director of football and other next-level hires in December last year, we are six months later still struggling to get a deal for one over the line.
Last week we were briefing the press that we were almost there. Today we’re telling the media that we’re relaxed about appointing one somewhere down the line, at this rate well after the manager is in his job.
I’ve been watching this club for the whole of my adult life; I’m 44 and I have never seen a shambles like this in all of that time. Never.
The scale of the dysfunctionality is breath-taking and a little bit scary if I’m being honest, so too is not knowing what fresh hell this will throw up at us next. We’re certainly going to appoint the 55-year-old coach whose 25 years in the business has never yielded a job offer from a European top flight club.
Someone at Celtic wanted that article out today.
The people running this club really do think that we are absolute morons who will swallow anything they toss us.