Scottish Daily Mail
CELTIC CALL FOR PATIENCE IN NEW BOSS HUNT
Celtic urge fans to be patient
CELTIC last night broke their silence on the protracted hunt for a new manager by admitting they understand fans’ frustration over the delay.
As Sportsmail first revealed, Eddie Howe is piecing together his backroom team ahead of his appointment as new Parkhead boss. And while his arrival is close, an exact timeframe — and the reasons for the hold-up three months on from Neil Lennon’s departure — remain unclear.
Responding to the growing unrest of a support impatient for positive news after a season of relentless woe, Celtic issued an update yesterday.
It read: ‘The club is working hard to complete the appointment of the new Celtic manager and relevant football staff and will be doing all we can to confirm this as soon as possible.
‘Rightly, there will always be a huge appetite for information from our supporters — unfortunately we are not able to make regular public comment on this matter, but we fully understand and appreciate the need to complete this process as soon as we can.
‘We also acknowledge and understand the frustration of our supporters during this process, but our objective, of course, is to ensure that we secure the best candidate possible to take the club forward and this is our focus.
‘We will update all our supporters through our club communications’ channels as soon as we are able to.’
Former SRU chief operating officer Dominic McKay will assume full control as chief executive when Peter Lawwell retires at the end of June.
The club have yet to issue seasonticket renewal forms — with the process delayed to dovetail with the momentum of a new manager’s arrival — and prices are expected to be cut after this season’s dismal campaign.
‘We are now in a transitional period in respect of our chief executive handover,’ added the update. ‘Peter Lawwell, our CEO, is working closely with incoming CEO Dominic McKay on a successful handover to ensure that we are ready for next season across all aspects of the club, with considerable planning and preparatory work already undertaken. ‘Importantly, Peter and Dom, along with colleagues, plan to have met with all our main supporters’ groups by next week. Engagement and dialogue with all our supporters is crucial to everyone at the club. ‘We also aim very shortly to make an announcement on season tickets. Clearly there are a number of issues concerning the return of supporters to matches and we hope to give our fans as much clarity as possible in terms of the proposals for next year. ‘Ensuring that our fans can return to Celtic Park is a major priority and we are working closely with all the relevant authorities to be ready, when given the go ahead, to safely welcome our supporters back to the stadium.
‘We have not been able to deliver the kind of season we have become so used to and after such a sustained period of success, we sincerely understand the disappointment and frustration of our supporters.’
Shane Duffy, meanwhile, has issued a message on his Instagram page thanking Celtic fans for their support during ‘a tough year on and off the park’.
The Republic of Ireland defender’s loan spell has been cut short after a disastrous spell in Glasgow.
Badly affected by the death of his father, Duffy (left) endured a torrid time on the pitch before losing his place and has now returned to parent club Brighton.
Seagulls manager Graham Potter said yesterday: ‘He’s had a tough time. Sometimes in football, things don’t go as you want them to go. Shane’s had some tough challenges off the pitch, losing his father just before he went to Celtic was a huge challenge for him, as you can imagine.
‘From our perspective, he’s always welcome here, he’s been a fantastic servant for this club, well-liked in the dressing room, so it’s important for us now to help him get back on his feet and to put him in an environment where he feels secure and enjoys his football and that’s what we will try to do for the next couple of weeks.’
Duffy still has two years left on his contract and Potter revealed there will be discussions as to whether he wants to stay and fight for his place or seek firstteam football elsewhere.
He added: ‘He’s like quite a few guys, so we have to sit down and plan and see where everybody is at, because some players feel that they need to go and play and some players are happy being here.’