January 11th, 2021. Celtic sit 21 points behind Rangers.
Tonight they drew at home to Hibs following a Covid outbreak that occurred just after a trip to Dubai during a global pandemic and a national lockdown in Scotland.
The manager Neil Lennon was absent from the game as he had to isolate. With or without him in the dugout, it was another lacklustre display that sums up Celtic’s season.
This season has been an unmitigated disaster for Celtic aside from winning last seasons Scottish cup to seal a historic quadruple treble. That momentous day in the history of the club will be a mere footnote to the season given the state of affairs in the league so far. Rangers have been relentless and ruthless. Both words that were so often second nature to use when discussing Celtic.
Peter Lawwell is a chief executive who earns a hefty seven figure salary. He may well argue that 9 league titles in a row showcases why he earns such a salary however in my opinion his time at Celtic is up. His legacy will be this season. The capitulation is embarrassing for a club of Celtic’s stature on the park. The omnishambles of Celtic’s PR off the park is equally as grim for Lawwell and the club. More pertinently, it’s a slap in the face to the fans of the club in their thousands.
Then, there is the owner Dermot Desmond. In a recent interview with the Athletic, he claimed that this current Celtic side would beat Martin O’Neill’s side with Henrik Larsson in attack.
I sincerely hope Dermot was referring to a game of FIFA or Among Us because this Celtic side wouldn’t get near O’Neill’s side. To use another sporting analogy, it would be a cricket score. Larsson vs Duffy and Barkas would be a footballing massacre.
Add that comment to the speculation that suggests Shane Duffy’s salary is of a similar nature to that of Brendan Rodgers and you’d be forgiven for thinking Celtic and Desmond decided to turn what should have been an odds on title success for Celtic given their financial power over Rangers into a self imposed Harry Houdini style challenge by placing self made obstacles in their own path.
The Celtic board stated that things would be assessed in the new year. If you look at that assessment on paper, it would read: 2 games and 1 point in 2021. 21 points behind their biggest rivals. A failure of epic proportions.
The club need to rip things up and start again. A clean slate is needed more so than ever after Dubai. That clean slate needs to see a change in the managerial hot seat and crucially in the chief executive’s hot seat at as well.