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Shining some light on Celtic’s Eddie Howe saga

With Celtic recently back in the market for a manager a couple of versions of what went on during the spring 2021 appeared.

Apparently Celtic were duped by double dealing Eddie Howe then rescued by the combined wisdom of the Lawwell family to bring Ange Postecoglou to the club. Both yarns should be treated with huge portions of salt.

Firstly Howe had no intention of managing Celtic or anyone else in May or June 2021, Celtic cut the timeline too fine for Champions League qualifiers but that has never really been much of a priority for those inside the club.

Howe was interested in Celtic but not the timescale from the board. If he had wanted the job he’d have been hands on for the final few months of the season rather than keeping out of the way on the south coast. He was taking a year out, a risky process, but in November 2021 he took on the Newcastle job from Steve Bruce with relegation looking very likely. Next season Newcastle will play in the Champions League.

When reality dawned tales were sent out about Howe being unable to convince his backroom staff to move to Scotland. Especially since he had no intention of being at Lennoxtown in June with a rebuild required before being dropped into Champions League qualifiers.

One man brought Postecoglou to Celtic- Frank Trimoboli, his agent. And surprise surprise he doesn’t stop. Not content with his client being at Celtic he started pushing Postecoglou to EPL clubs, after a certain length of time Spurs decided to bite.

In December 2020 Peter Lawwell ordered a managerial review at Celtic, or was perhaps ordered to carry one out. Three months later he concluded that Neil Lennon was the best man for the job. One defeat too many against Ross County and Lawwell was left without his dream manager.

Only the incredibly gullible would come to the conclusion that three months later Lawwell decided to enrich his legacy by bringing in Postecoglou from left field. Why wasn’t such an inspired decision taken during the managerial review?

After six months under his new Chairman the Australian opted to look for the next stage in his journey.

With Bournemouth relegated at the end of the staggered 2019/20 season Howe’s departure was announced with an open letter to supporters on August 1:

After what has been an incredibly challenging few days and following extensive talks between myself and the club I can confirm that we have collectively come to the decision that it would be in the best interests of AFC Bournemouth for me to leave the club by mutual consent.


It is difficult to put into words what Bournemouth means to me, both as a town and as a football club. Having spent a total of 25 years with the club as both a player and a manager, this decision – made together with the club – is one of the hardest I’ve ever had to make. However, although the affection and love I have for this football club will always remain, we collectively feel that now is the right time for the club to go in a new direction.


Our journey together over the past decade has quite simply been an incredible one and I feel immense pride at what we’ve achieved together in that time.

In June 2021 after 10 months out of management, with a number of EPL clubs including Everton, Crystal Palace and Spurs changing manager Howe remained out of the loop. He stood his ground to take 12 months out.

After being so attached at distant Bournemouth there were doubts about his suitability to step in at another club, an established EPL club put in the hands of a youngish manager who had succeeded out of the spotlight at sleepy Bournemouth.

In the end Newcastle came calling, Celtic had Postecoglou on board with both clubs looking forward to the group stage draw for the Champions League at the end of August.

Reflecting on why Howe and Celtic didn’t work out The Mirror claimed:

Celtic had waited and waited for Eddie Howe, putting off negotiations until the summer at his request.


But the 43-year-old produced a shock when he announced he would be turning down the opportunity to take control of the Scottish giants, citing “reasons outwith both his and our control”.


It remains a mystery why the former Bournemouth boss decided against the move, but according to BBC Sport, the breakdown in talks centred around assembling his backroom team.

The real reasons never surfaced, strangely Celtic issued a statement about Howe almost three months after Lennon had resigned.

The backroom staff issue seems a convenient red herring, when Howe was first sounded out shifting trusted staff members 500 miles north would have been known from Day 1.

After the turmoil of spring 2021 Celtic have returned to winning ways, it seems that managerial stability is unlikely to return with a robust club structure required to minimise the turbulence of change.

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