RONNY DEILA may in time come to appreciate the irony of being hung out to dry over a signing policy he was never fully in control of. There are myriad other reasons why Deila and Celtic will part ways in the summer – his inflexible tactics, contentious selection policy and, ultimately, too many poor results, especially in Europe – but any list of his failures during two seasons in charge will almost certainly include his inconsistent and erratic transfer record.

A total of 23 players have signed for the club since Deila moved across the North Sea from Stromsgodset in June 2014, either on loan or permanent deals. Pinpointing success stories is not easy. Craig Gordon, already training at the club before Deila’s arrival, would be one, as would Jason Denayer’s loan spell from Manchester City, and the first few months of Erik Sviatchenko’s tenure. Some players have impressed in spells, such as the former Dundee United duo Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven who have faded after a strong start. Others like Stefan Scepovic, Mubarak Wakaso and Tyler Blackett have done little to enhance either theirs or Deila’s reputation during largely forgettable spells.

It is not a record that many managers would promote on their CVs too near the top. Deila, though, cannot be held entirely accountable for so many unproductive signings. Celtic have moved into an era of transfer by committee, with signing policy and structure heavily influenced by input from chief executive Peter Lawwell and chief scout John Park. Deila, of course, has continued to shoulder the burden of blame for those that haven’t worked out, whether he was instrumental in their recruitment or not. Such is the life of a modern manager in these austere times.

Having shared input on signing policy maybe becoming increasingly prevalent and prudent at many clubs, but there is a worry it may also prove an impediment. Within minutes of Celtic announcing Deila’s pending departure, the names of potential successors were being sprinkled liberally like confetti at a wedding. The prospect, though, that they may not have complete control of signing players could put some off, according to former striker Chris Sutton.

“I don’t know the transfer policy but we all have our ideas about what’s going on,” he said prior to his round at the John Hartson Foundation golf day at Mar Hall. “When I spoke to Ronny earlier in the season he said he gets a say. So you have to take him at his word. But it’s clearly a problem.

“Would David Moyes want the job? Would someone of his ilk want it if he doesn’t have control of what they want to do? That’s a problem and it makes it not easy to choose who the next manager could be. But it’s always a privilege to manage Celtic and the quality of football is that bad now – and that was glaring in that wake-up call at the weekend – that it’s actually not a bad job to take because it can’t get much worse”.

Sutton was not surprised that Celtic have decided to make a change in the dug-out, believing for some time that Deila was not the right man for the job. He even felt that losing on penalties to Rangers in Sunday’s Scottish Cup tie may well prove to be a blessing in disguise in the long run.

“Had Celtic won on Sunday and went on to win the double it would just have been papering over the cracks,” He added. “If he had stayed, Rangers’ biggest asset next season would have been Ronny Deila. So Celtic needed to change. And the sooner they do it the better.

“People say Deila is a good coach but he doesn’t have the ability to change things. Celtic only have one way of playing. And that’s a problem when players hide or don’t have confidence to play that way. It doesn’t matter how you win but you have to be adaptable. And Celtic haven’t been.”

Deila made a big play of trying to make his players fitter and healthier when he first arrived two years ago, famously changing the menu in the club’s training ground and getting rid of chips and fizzy drinks. Sunday’s game – when Rangers looked by far the stronger and faster team – was further evidence that his revolution hadn’t worked as planned.

“I don’t want to keep panning Ronny but he came in and promised high intensity, high pressure football based on fitness,” noted Sutton. “So fast forward two years down the line, for them to perform in such a manner is hard to defence. You get time in your first year. We all understand that. But clearly there’s been a downward spiral, a regression.”

Sutton hoped whoever comes in will be able to galvanise the club and quickly. He added: “The worrying thing for me is going forward. The Champions League qualifiers are less than three months away. How is this team going to improve in 10 weeks? Celtic need to get back to having an identity because, unlike Rangers, they don’t have one at the moment. Whoever the new manager is, I believe he’ll do better than Ronny with this set of players; he could hardly do worse.”