IT’S been a really bad season for Celtic with some fans actually saying it ranks along with the worst in the club’s history. It’s really more astonishing as it came off the back of Celtic achieving records in terms of equalling nine in a row and winning four consecutive trebles.

Nobody could have foreseen what was going to occur this season and even although the playing season is now complete, Celtic are still going through a traumatic period whilst trying to appoint a new manager. It’s always a difficult situation to bring in someone when the end of the season is upon you but it wasn’t as if Celtic had been left in limbo.

Celtic removed Neil Lennon from his role in February and generally under these circumstances, the process of replacing the manager is well under way with discussions having already taken place before the current boss is removed. This was obviously not the case as we’re now over three months further forward with no successor yet appointed.

Eddie Howe was certainly first choice for the position but it’s rolled on so slowly that it’s obvious there were problems regarding the conditions laid out for his tenure. I fully understand from my experience working in football as an administrator and as an agent that there are a number of issues that need to be concluded for the matter to be settled.

These are salary, length of contract, accepted and agreed fellow staff members to work with and the expected spending budget for signing the players required. I don’t know why these could not have been agreed before Lennon was removed from his position so that Howe could have stepped in with time to spare before the season ended.

This would have allowed him to make a strong assessment of both the talent at his disposal and which positions require replacements going forward.

One aspect of the situation that was different from many cases we’ve seen over the years was that Celtic didn’t require to pay a fee to have Howe as their new manager as he wasn’t in employment. This should basically have made it easier to agree the terms of his contract and made it more affordable to bring in the backroom staff he required.

One aspect that has been mentioned is that he had stipulated who he wanted as his director of football. However, Celtic already had their own ideas on who should be appointed to this role.

My understanding is that Celtic feel that because the director of football position is actually above that of the team manager, he should not be in a position to dictate who gets appointed to this role as you cannot have an influence on the appointment of a superior in any business, and this includes football. I don’t know if this was what brought the discussions to a conclusion but it certainly could have been a crucial factor.

There’s been talk this week that former Australia manager Ange Postecoglou is now the main candidate and that Celtic are hoping to tie up the deal by this weekend. He could turn out to be a very good manager as I would never say that anyone should be decried in advance.

Football management is a strange role and it’s never easy to predict who will be a success or failure. His appointment is a risk though because he’s never played or managed a team in Scotland and will not be aware of the pressure that he’ll have to endure as an Old Firm manager.

I still feel that Roberto Martinez would have been the ideal candidate as he’s been a major success with Belgium, he’s played in Scotland, has a Scottish wife and he’d be bringing in former Celt Shaun Maloney as his assistant. This, I feel, gives an immediate positivity to the appointment and I don’t know why Celtic haven’t gone down that line. Or have they?


Scotland showed against the Netherlands on Wednesday that we can now compete against the top nations. Steve Clarke gets his teams well organised and efficient to cope with how the opposition play.

We weren’t at full strength for the game with certain key players having to isolate but, nevertheless, the performance was very good and certain players played their way into contention for a starting role.

Jack Hendry, David Turnbull and Kevin Nisbet now offer Clarke good options for the team although I still don’t feel they will be considered as first-choice players for the match against the Czech Republic.

I think the starting XI for this match will be Marshall, Patterson, Hanley, Cooper, Tierney, Robertson, McTominay, McGregor, Armstrong, McGinn and Adams.

There’s no doubt that the competition for places will now mean that the players will be highly motivated for each match as they’ll know that they need to perform well to keep their place. I’m still very positive about our potential to do well in the forthcoming Euros.