There’s an old joke about becoming a millionaire buy owning a football club which suggests that in order to succeed , you have to start off as a billionaire.
Thats not what Dermot Desmond signed up for, and so as he makes his mind up over which way Celtic go forward , there are many things he needs to consider.
And new CEO Dominic McKay should be at the forefront of any decisions, although Desmond will be wary of handing over too much power too soon.
After all, look what happened the last time he took his eye off the ball.
McKay will have to work with the incoming management team on a daily basis, whereas Desmond will only phone them when there’s nothing on the telly, so it’s only right that the CEO has if not the final say, a significant level of input.
There are a couple of roads the club could take, one is to try to compete at a mid level UCL range, with group stages and maybe a knock out tie or two every season, with the funds earned used to buy ready made first team players, the obvious benefit being that a team that can compete at that level would surely be well ahead of any domestic competition, but there is a problem in attracting the first wave of players, in that it requires considerable investment, as those players won’t come to Glasgow for the money currently on offer, and the weather isn’t particularly great either.
That kind of rules out a big name manager, who will want to make a short cut or two on the path back to domestic superiority, which probably means we can forget about the Lucien Favre’s and the Rafael Benitez’s.
They , by definition, are out to develop their own reputations, and although a by product of that is a successful team, they are well aware of the penalty of failure in Glasgow, and there’s not exactly a winning team already in place.
The current squad are divided into a number of cliques, and as one of them seems to be entirely consisting of players who want away, that’s not a selling point for anyone.
What we need is a manager and coaching team that will attract players on the strength of their reputation and name, that also knows exactly what they are getting into, who are prepared for the long haul.
Quite possibly, that is why one option is a trio of Keane and maybe Duff and Butt.
Keane has the strength of personality to deal with outside issues, and the SFA/SPFL influence on the game has to be faced down, including the laissez faire approach to “rangers “, concerning both their refreshing financial policy and their unique and world beating test and trace system in dealing with Covid protocol.
Thats without mentioning dodgy linesmen, referees, and official investigations into rule breaches.
One chap, passing by Murray Park, I still call it that to remind them of who killed their club, overheard a scouse accent saying “I can’t believe what we’ve gotten away with “, over and over again, although that should soon hit a brick wall whe Mike Ashley ringfences whats left of their money before Dave king spirits it away to South Africa.
Duff, well respected and admired as a coach by the players who want to be at Celtic would be ideal for the training ground, with Nicky butt , who developed Marcus Rashford, having enough of a rep to lure top English youngsters, surely now the priority as Brexit removes the vegetables from our shelves, as the way forward.
Stories from the ranch indicate that it will take at least three or four years to get rid if the malaise that has struck over the last year or eighteen months, and whilst Lennon, Brown and Lawwell have to be held accountable for that, or at least questioned as to how it came about, other sources hint that it would have been a hell of a lot worse had we not had those three in charge.
On the surface, that’s maybe hard to believe, but some of the details that have emerged are positively alarming, and it has to be stressed that they are not the fault of management.
However, it was their job to deal with it, although perhaps that particular mountain was just too high for them. In fact, it was probably too high for anyone.
Just how the problems came about though, is a matter for another day.
We cant change the past, but we can determine the future.
Another option is the Director of Football /head coach route, which suggests that Celtic will raid Manchester city for their under 23 coach and current head of football operations.
That, however , lacks the box office appeal of the former trio, although would probably be much more of a modern plan.
Then again, just because it’s modern doesn’t make it better, but it does mean that the club are trying to move forward, and maybe adopt a set up similar to that of Dutch giants Ajax, which utilises it’s own academy , and has done with great success domestically and internationally.
There is certainly an influential group within the club who feel that it is worth taking a step back to take two forward, and given the lack of Celtic minded players at the club just now, and the havoc they have caused, then they certainly have a strong case.
I’d favour the latter, but it would take longer, and with the uncertainty that comes with a global pandemic it’s maybe better to go with the devil we know in Keane and a supporting crew.
But it’s not what I think that matters.
It’s what is currently being discussed at the highest level of the club that matters, and there are more changes than what are outlined above planned.
Even those in the boardroom are facing an evaluation of their contribution so far and plans for the future with the club.
For the changes to be so radical, one can only assume that Desmond is furious with how things have panned out.
But let;s hope that he keeps a cool head while he ponders the next step.
Otherwise he could end up being the first man to be really pissed off that he’s a millionaire.