Monday 20 May 2019

Coyle, Moyes and Mowbray touted as Hoops power broker eyes up Strachan's successor


Only one man will decide on who'll be the next manager of Celtic and that's Dermot Desmond.

The multi-millionaire, who owns 29pc of the club's shares, was in Glasgow at the weekend for the draw with Hearts and would have been well aware of Gordon Strachan's decision to resign before yesterday's public announcement.

Desmond leaves the day-to-day running of the club to chairman John Reid and chief executive Peter Lawwell but has overseen the last two managerial appointments following the departure of Fergus McCann and the disastrous appointment of the Kenny Dalglish and John Barnes 'dream ticket'.

In 2000, Celtic made a very public attempt to bring in Guus Hiddink from Seville as manager before Desmond's intervention brought Martin O'Neill to the club and the start of a dramatic turnaround in the Bhoys' fortunes.

When O'Neill's time at the club was up, due to illness with his wife Geraldine, Desmond sought the opinion of the outgoing manager who recommended Strachan for the job.


The transition from O'Neill to Strachan was running to plan until a newspaper caught wind of the detail and splashed the story across the back and front pages on the day that Celtic lost the SPL title to Rangers when Scott McDonald scored twice for Motherwell.

Strachan was quickly ushered into the job before O'Neill took charge for the final time in the 1-0 Scottish Cup final win over Dundee United, but the new man got off to the worst possible start with a 5-0 hiding from Artmedia Bratislava in his opening game that closed the door on European football for the season.

A similar scenario awaits Strachan's successor with just eight weeks to go before Celtic join in the third qualifying round of the Champions League on July 28/29.

With the club's last two managers coming from England it's likely that Desmond will turn to that market again for Strachan's successor, with Owen Coyle, Davie Moyes and Tony Mowbray the front-runners.

Moyes and Mowbray are both former Celtic centre-halves while Coyle grew up in the Gorbals as a Celtic fan and has never hidden his love for the club during his goal-scoring days at 10 clubs that brought him one full international cap, against Holland before missing out on a place in the '94 World Cup squad as a Bolton player.

Yesterday's Wembley success with Burnley has hardly been an overnight success for Coyle who had managerial roles in Scotland with Falkirk, Airdrie and St Johnstone before being headhunted by the Lancashire club in November 2007 on a recommendation from former Rangers manager Alex McLeish.

Moyes would be the most eye-catching appointment and would create a similar effect to O'Neill who had plenty of Premiership admirers but was unable to resist the attraction of managing Celtic.

Seven years in charge of Everton has established Moyes pedigree with everything on his cv except silverware, which could be corrected on Saturday in the FA Cup final.

Moyes signed a lucrative new contract earlier this season but he could be tempted to Celtic where, like O'Neill, his profile would remain high.

The other significant contender is Tony Mowbray who made a major impact as manager of Hibs, developing young players such as Celtic's Scott Brown and Gary Caldwell.

Like West Brom, Mowbray's Hibs team put the emphasis on playing football 'properly' and his style would be warmly welcomed by Celtic fans.

Roy Keane, Mark McGhee and Craig Levein will have their backers, but the two Scottish options are unlikely to appeal to Desmond, while Keane's explosive spending and prompt departure from Sunderland would make Celtic wary of the new Ipswich Town manager.


On Sunday, Celtic face a Tommy Burns XI in a charity match for the former Celtic manager who lost his fight against cancer a year ago.

It's unlikely that a new manager will be in place by then but discussions are likely to be ongoing in Letterkenny on Thursday when the Celtic board of directors attend the club's Irish Player of the Year function at the Mount Errigal Hotel.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News