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Rebuilding Needs to Start Now at Celtic – July may be too Late

25 February 2021


Its been over 24 hours since the news officially broke that Neil Lennon had resigned as Celtic Manager. After the story was leaked to the tabloids the night before. Yesterday there was wall to wall coverage of his departure within the MSM, Click sites and genuine Celtic Fan Media outlets. Sky Sports News lined up a number of ex players and podcast hosts to discuss Lennon’s departure while John Hartson was a guest on the football show to give his thoughts on his former team mates departure.

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By now all if not most websites will have written about the departure and the debate has started on who should replace him, which might make good chit chat conversation but will have little substance. The new management vacancy at Celtic will get plenty of tabloid inch columns between now and when the position is filled but until then we will have to put up with constant rumours and half-truths a bit like when players are linked in and out of the club during the transfer windows.

Social media is where most fans turned to yesterday and even in his departure Lennon managed to split the supporters opinion. Many wished him well and remembered the massive amount of success he has had at the club as player and manager but for others being in charge during this season and failing to win 10IAR remains unforgivable.

The club now needs a complete rebuild from top to bottom. Still drunk on success of 9 league title winning seasons and a quadruple treble, the Rangers borrowed and once again put the new club on the brink of bankruptcy to stop the 10 and it has worked and it gives me no pleasure to say they have improved both domestically and in Europe while we have gone into reverse at high speed.

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A conversation has to take place now with Scottish Rugby about incoming CEO, Dominic McKay to get him in before July when he officially takes over from the departing Peter Lawell. The clear out should also include members of the board, our head of recruitment and some of the coaching staff along with a large chunk of the current playing squad who have failed miserably this season to even challenge for the title.

But all this upheaval will not help during the summer with European campaigns kicking off mid-summer with a backdrop of uncertainty of how and when fans will return and the whole season book sales issue and the clear out may take longer than we like for the stability of the club. We may also have to wait till after the Euros for the announcement of a manager, coaching team or director of football which seems to be the in word at the moment.

Celtic’s PR and Media team have been poor this season in communicating with fans about the failures on and off the park, now is the time to reverse that and start meaningful communication with the Celtic support to tell us what the plan is to rebuild our great club and the rebuild time scale to insure Celtic become the most dominate club again in Scotland and set out a blueprint for progression in Europe and a plan for the development of young players which has always been at the heart of Celtic’s core structure since Jock Stein’s rebuilding of the club in the sixties.

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Covid 19 vaccinations may now be the game changer that finally gets fans back into stadiums, we now need Dermot Desmond to return from his exile and show that he has the clubs future at the forefront of his thoughts starting by getting the new CEO in now and let Peter go on gardening leave till he officially retires from the Celtic hot seat. The clock is ticking and time is not on our side.

Andrew Milne started More than 90 Minutes in 2001. He has written for numerous publications and online about Celtic.  He is a former newspaper columnist with the Daily Ireland and the man behind celticfanzine.com. He is host of the Celtic Soul Podcast & Celtic AM pre-match events at Malone’s in Glasgow on match days and follows Celtic Home & Away. He is a season ticket holder for Celtic FC and the Republic of Ireland. He is also P.R.O. of St. Margaret’s CSC, a member of the Celtic Trust and the Celtic Graves Association. When not following Celtic he spends his time DJing.

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