2021 has so far been a year to forget for everyone associated with Celtic. The Bhoys have relinquished their grasp on the title and as a result, a host of faces are losing their jobs.
Neil Lennon has already stepped down as the team’s manager while Peter Lawwell is going to retire at the end of the campaign to be replaced by Dominic McKay.
With Lennon’s departure, there will be a new manager in the dugout for the 2021/22 season. Their goal will be clear; usurp Rangers and make Celtic great again.
That may sound a little like a mantra right out of the Donald Trump book but hopefully, the Hoops boardroom will avoid controversy, something the former US president never shied away from.
Celtic’s number one target in recent days, however, has been a rather contentious point of debate among supporters. Roy Keane had emerged as the favourite for the job last week with Football Insider revealing an interview had taken place.
Though, fresh reports over the weekend specify that a move is now less likely to occur.
A Celtic source has since helped to clear up the Keane rumours. Speaking on Sunday’s A Celtic State of Mind podcast, co-host Kevin Graham revealed:
“We are getting played, us a fan channel, and other fan outlets with the rumours that are being kicked about and certain leaks to the press. It’s extremely clear to me that there’s a split in the boardroom on who they want as the next Celtic manager.”
Graham added: “There’s a side for Keane and a side for anybody but Keane. For me, looking and knowing where the rumour of where Harkin, Keane and Butt came from, I think it is quite clear that person doesn’t want Roy Keane anywhere near Celtic Football Club, and that’s why it was put out there.”
Reliable voice Paul John Dykes responded: “I think the important thing is to say that at A Celtic State of Mind, you appreciate that someone is actually giving you information with an ulterior motive. And that’s why it’s sometimes so difficult to manage that.
“So I remember days before I mentioned on the podcast, sending it out (The Roy Keane rumour), and you came back to me and said, ‘Well somebody in our boardroom wants to test the water or wants Roy Keane blown out the water‘, which basically did happen.”
Dykes concluded: “I mean if you were to do it in terms of a popularity vote, the vast majority of Celtic fans that I seen on the back of the podcast and on the back of the tweet where like ‘No chance I don’t want to go near it.”
If the Celtic boardroom is indeed split on who the next manager should be, it doesn’t particularly bode well.
That being said, the theory that leaks are coming from Celtic in a bid to generate the general feeling among supporters can be seen as a good thing.
Dykes admitted last week that the idea of Keane becoming the new manager had gone down like a led balloon among supporters. It can’t be a coincidence, therefore, that just days later he’s moved down the pecking order and become less likely to join.
Those on the board who did want Keane have evidently been dealt a huge blow. However, for supporters, it’s excellent news that they’re being consulted.
It’s being done in a sly way but if Celtic are to come back from this disastrous season, they will need to avoid yet more toxic energy. Hiring the right manager would put the smiles back on supporter’s faces and avoid a repeat of 2020/21.