Eddie Howe's Celtic appointment: The moving parts that could account for perceived delay

One assertion that can safely be made about Celtic is that they move to the beat of their own drum.
There are a number of moving parts that account for the hold-up in Eddie Howe's Celtic appointment (Photo by MATT DUNHAM/AFP via Getty Images)There are a number of moving parts that account for the hold-up in Eddie Howe's Celtic appointment (Photo by MATT DUNHAM/AFP via Getty Images)
There are a number of moving parts that account for the hold-up in Eddie Howe's Celtic appointment (Photo by MATT DUNHAM/AFP via Getty Images)

Yet that might not account for the jungle - if you will - variety not already beating out news of Eddie Howe’s arrival as Celtic manager. Instead, a number of other thumping considerations, aspects too readily brushed over in the expectation everything would fall into place early this week, could be responsible.

Essentially, there would appear to be five, possibly six, moving parts within the process. Howe is believed to want to have all of these set as he takes office. That was never going to happen in an instant just because Bournemouth’s season is now officially over following their Premiership play-off defeat to Brentford at the weekend.

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He is understood to want to take coaches Stephen Purches and Simon Weatherstone from the south coast club, as well as their director of football Richard Hughes, the role envisaged for him at Celtic being heading up the club’s recruitment strategy. Right away then, Celtic have three separate contract negotiations with each of those individuals, as well as deals to be struck with Bournemouth that allow for their release from their current contracts with the Championship side. Celtic traditionally take their time with such delicate negotiations. A matter of days isn’t exactly an age, even if it might seem that way in the eyes of a support that, should not be forgotten, were demanding that Neil Lennon be relieved of his position and immediately replaced way back in November.

It was late February that the Irishman did eventually part with the club, but what followed brings with it a potential other current complication. As Lennon left, his erstwhile assistant John Kennedy stepped up, and stepped into the breach, as interim manager. It is understood that Howe is not against Kennedy having a role in the remodeled set-up, and that Kennedy himself believes he can offer value in providing a degree of continuity between two disparate eras.

Yet, what that could be, no-one that isn’t privy to the current discussions can possibly know. The links with Peter Grant, who Howe has known for two decades since the former Celtic manager was a player-coach as the young Howe earned his chops at Bournemouth, would seem to leave no obvious first-team coaching slot for Kennedy.

What has yet to be settled is the identity of the sporting director/director of football position that Celtic are understood to be intent on creating. A move they are making as they - to employ the word stressed by incoming chief executive Dom McKay in a forum with supporters’ group - “modernise”. Manchester City football partnerships and pathways manager Fergal Harkin has been consistently placed in the frame for that role for months now. Yet more recently, so has Kennedy. It is impossible to know what the man who will give the green light to the entire new structure in major shareholder Dermot Desmond is currently planning, and the exact timescale to which he is operating. Beyond that he will be engaging with Howe to ensure that what is decided satisfies both. From sources within the club it could even be that early next week could eventually be when that point is arrived at. Though, truthfully, no outsider really knows.

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