Celtic Shows No Imagination Or Ambition Whatsoever In The Way It Makes Key Appointments.

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Last week, I sarcastically congratulated Darren O’Dea on getting through Celtic’s rigorous recruitment process in his appointment as “player development manager.” That process which has given us John Kennedy, Stephen McManus and a host of other ex-players. Today I was not in the least bit shocked to see Jonny Hayes and Charlie Mulgrew in the frame as Under 18 boss.

The general feeling being expressed online to those who raise concerns over this is “so what?”

This is, after all, as they say, standard practice at clubs across the world, and this is true, up to a point. It is not true of most of the major clubs, those which aim to be world class and don’t just use that phrase as a deflection tactic when talking to fan groups.

Celtic talks about being world class, about building a world class football department. But we don’t actually take that seriously. We don’t act like it. We don’t go out and find the very best people that we can. We continue to be run like a mom-and-pop operation, and you cannot run a swanky department store with a corner shop mentality, and that’s what we try to do.

Am I saying these guys are not up to it? I have no idea whether they are or not. But I do know that Charlie Mulgrew has never coached a football player in his life, so he’s got none of the experience you would want from someone in that role.

Hayes at least works with young players right now, at Aberdeen, but he’s only just gotten his badges and is very much at the start of his career. Neither of these guys is remotely qualified enough to justify such an appointment.

It reeks of laziness. Of cronyism again. Of a lack of imagination.

No “rigorous process” would have arrived at these guys, just as no rigorous process would have arrived at O’Dea, or McManus or Kennedy … the problem here is not just these individuals being linked with this job but what it says about the whole structure at Celtic Park, the whole way we go about our business. No rigorous process would have landed us with Michael Nicholson or Mark Lawwell either, and as much as anything else that’s my problem with this.

That’s what these names mean to me. They mean more of the same.

They mean that nobody at Celtic Park ever learns, or seeks to change the processes by which we do things. I think part of the problem here is that some of the people making these types of decisions don’t want us to go shopping around for “the best in class” because if they did bring in top operators in one area people might finally start asking why we don’t have them right across the boards … and that might threaten some people’s cushy numbers.

What troubles me most about this is that the manager has recently spoken about how his responsibilities involve bringing through young players to the first team squad; if the boss is really going to provide more opportunities then our academy has to start churning out a much better class of footballer than it currently does … you can have the best manager in the world at the top of your club, and the most dedicated to youth, but if the structure underneath him isn’t first rate then that guy is doing nothing more than pissing in the wind.

If our club is committed to bringing through more youth players then it needs to build an operation which makes their development a key priority. Throwing highly important jobs within that structure to The Friends Of The Man stinks to high heaven when placed next to that objective.

I know people will defend it regardless. But we’re nowhere near having the kind of operation at Celtic which those at the top of the house claim to want for us. This doesn’t bring us even one step closer to the sort of improvement we need.

It’s amateur hour. Again.

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  • Jim Mci says:

    Totally agree.
    Last genuinely class head of youth we had was the great TB.
    What did he have?
    Loads of experience, masses of enthusiasm, respect from all and sundry and the total skillset to do the job.
    That’s the calibre of person we should be aspiring to hire

  • John Copeland says:

    If Celtic FC had the vision of top European clubs ,we would go all out ,full bore ahead to recruit proven quality people of the class of Henrik or Lubo or Nakamura to our training staff ? Can you imagine what that would do to morale , to reputation and enticement of playing staff to the club ? Being trained and coached and advised by players who have the world class reputations for excellence at the club would open up all kinds of advancement and ambition for Celtic FC ? Where is the problem ? It’s certainly not financial ! It’s most certainly not quantum mathematics !

    • Paul says:

      Just because you were a hood player doesn’t mean you will be a good coach. Roy Keane is a prime example

  • Eldraco says:

    No idea if these guys a friends of the man or not but like i said the other day i want them spending 100 million right across the board players depts and staffing, the best for the 100 million and we recoup it in 3 years . Why not.

  • Effarr says:

    Maybe Celtic is just trying to silence them by stopping them from getting a job with the BBC or Radio Snyde Mind you, it`s a pity Kennedy didn`t fancy the punditry lark.

  • Brian Buchanan says:

    All rings true – the idea that those regarded as ‘Celtic Men’ are as good as it gets is prevalent at this over- sentimental club. That’s why it can’t defeat clubs with a fraction of its turnover in Europe. No ambition, defensively parochial

  • Paul says:

    I have no problem giving ex players coaching roles within the club, but do it properly like Ajax.
    If you have no coaching experience, put them in charge of the under 7’s.
    Marc overmars was the undet 6 coach at Ajax. As he gained experience he got moved up. That’s the way it should be

  • Jim Duffy says:

    Don’t know why you bother to bring this stuff up James,like everything Celtic do wrong as a club boils down to this inept,head in the sand ,second rate bunch of chancers we call the board.Unfortunately nothing will change because no one will bother to take action against the board ,we’ve been saying this about liewell and desmond for god knows how long now and still they are at the helm,so like I said why bother bringing this up ,this board are omnipotent and we as fans are helpless to change matters unless we take drastic action,which with 60000 season tickets being sold means we do nothing.

  • James McAllister says:

    Totally agree it starts at the foundation if that’s not strong then that whole structure ain’t gonna be any good even if u have the best tradesmen and foreman on the job that house will subside and who gets the blame for that… the director’s of that company that’s who!!!

  • michael cunningham says:

    Spot on this time.

    Same old…… Same old.

  • Pat says:

    Surely it is worth trying them out at that level and if they are good they can move up.

    Every coach that got to the top started somewhere, it’s not as if they have been given a job with the first team.

  • Kevin Dunne says:

    The world class clubs you refer to have a hellava lot more money at their disposal ,when our last manager comes in most people said same thing ,who the F is he ,and what did we get from him ,some great players some fell under same bracket WHO , played some fantastic fast attacking football , doesn’t always have to be big names ,how many BIG names have failed and been sacked .they csn have success at one club ,then get big move and it falls apart ,names dont always guarantee successful

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