Celtic’s bid to make Eddie Howe new manager ends in frustration

Why did Celtic want Howe?

In 11 years at Bournemouth, across two spells, Howe earned a reputation as one of the best young English managers, leading the south coast club to the Premier League from the lower reaches of the Football League.

Bournemouth stayed in the Premier League for five seasons, finishing ninth in 2016-17. They were relegated last year, but Howe remains highly regarded within the game for his progressive, possession-based playing style and the way he develops young players.

Celtic identified Howe in the belief that he could do a similar job to Brendan Rodgers, who introduced a new playing philosophy as well as delivering trophies.

Why did talks drag on for so long?

Because Celtic are in the midst of upheaval, with chief executive Peter Lawwell retiring next month after 17 years in the role — to be replaced by Dominic McKay, head of Scottish Rugby — and the club trying to appoint not only a new manager but also a director of football.

In an ideal world they would have had a firm structure in place so they could offer Howe a clear picture of how things would operate next season.

When Celtic approached Howe in March, having sacked Neil Lennon in February, the former Bournemouth manager made clear he was interested in the role but he also insisted that, if he was to take the job, he would need his backroom staff in place and to know how the chain of command would work between himself, McKay and the new director of football.

So what next?

Celtic will need to find a new manager — and they will need to act fast.

There are a number of vacancies in the Premier League at the moment, with Tottenham Hotspur, Crystal Palace and Wolves all searching for new managers.

Whether Howe now turns his attention to one of those vacancies remains to be seen.

(Photo: Christopher Lee via Getty Images)


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