Put Neil on the road.....

Published on Thursday 6th May, 2010 by Celtic Trust

Jeanette Findlay gives her thought on the search for the new manager

It occurs to me amidst all the talk about who the next Celtic manager will be that the discussion should be less about who it will be and more about what he will do. I doubt there are many Celtic fans who would argue against a really big name experienced European manager who will be given a massive budget and lead us back to European glory- not that they will have to because that is not on the minds of the PLC Board. Given that our sights will need to be lowered (as the Board’s has since Seville) then maybe we should follow the practice of most recruiting employers (I suppose the shareholders amongst us can think of themselves thus) and think about what the new manager will be required to do – what is the job specification. Among the most immediate responsibilities he would take on, it seems to me, would be to make sure that Celtic Park becomes, once again, a place where our fans actually enjoy themselves, and where other teams fear to come. In order to do that, he needs to make sure that the predicted drop in season ticket renewals is much smaller than currently feared. There are elements of the reason behind a fall in season ticket renewals which he can do something about and some that he cannot. When people lose their jobs or their family circumstances dictate it, then they cannot follow Celtic in person as much as they would like to – not even Jose Mourinho can do anything about that. However, when people are discouraged by the failures of this season; when they have no faith in the current custodians of the club to do anything serious about it; when they are fed up being ill-treated by stewards; when they are tired of being hounded for trying to bring a bit of atmosphere to the games then they may decide to take a break and allow their mental health and their bank account to recover. The new manager could, if appointed quickly enough, do something about this. Admittedly he will be restricted by whatever budget the Board is allowing him. Even allowing for that, if the new manager could convince the fans that he is determined to recover our winning ways, first in the SPL and then in Europe once more then he might be given the support and encouragement to do that. The question is, can any of the candidates thus far discussed do this? Can Craig Levein do this? I would suggest not – but one man can. Neil Lennon could. If the powers that be at Celtic Park were to organise a series of road shows immediately after the end of the season, maybe a couple in Scotland, a couple in Ireland and a couple in England, and allowed Neil to set out his plan and to appeal to the fans to get behind him for a season then I think he would get a positive response. The impact on season ticket sales might be enough to kickstart a new campaign. The tail-end Charlies and glory-hunters who will disappear like snaw aff a dyke will go anyway, but the faithful Celt who is feeling the pinch or just feeling depressed, might not. It’s worth a try surely?


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