Heated driveways and raised temperatures

I understand that there was a board meeting at Celtic on Friday.

Moreover, I am told that Dermot Desmond attended the meeting physically, a rare enough event for the globe trekking billionaire.

My source said “Deila didn’t spare Lawwell”.

I found it interesting that Dermot Desmond appeared to have been very well briefed about the players Celtic had signed.

He had some very pointed questions about specific acquisitions.

Desmond wanted to know who had signed this player and that player.

He also wanted to know why the squad had so many central midfielders and I think it is fair to say that some folks in the room were surprised at the extent of his knowledge.

I understand that the affable Norwegian took this opportunity to set the record straight from his perspective.

I do realise that what I have been told by an in the room source is at total variance with what the current Celtic manager is saying in public.

Perhaps there is a confidentiality constraint upon him.

If there is then he cannot mention that there is one.

The upshot of what I have been told is that the meeting on Friday was not good for the Celtic Chief Executive.

The very nice chairman of Celtic Ian Bankier was also asked some tough questions by the Irish billionaire.

Desmond reminded him his duties of oversight etc.

I asked my source what he thought would happen next and his answer was that “Dermot is looking for a name”.

I asked him to clarify and he said that the Desmond is seeking a manager who is “box office”.

My understanding from this conversation is that this executive search is being led by the Irish billionaire and his inner circle rather than the Celtic Chief Executive.

This morning I phoned around people within the football management village in England .

The consensus view among them was that Celtic was a poisoned chalice because of the belief that the Chief Executive was the de facto Director of Football at the club.

Of course, such an accusation has been strenuously denied by the man with the heated driveway.

However, perceptions are important and that was the view that was being proffered to me this morning.

Consequently, potential successors to Ronny Deila might not be interested in putting themselves forward for the Celtic job.

Given Friday was probably his last opportunity to set the record straight as he saw it the Norwegian also had some pointed observations about several senior members of his squad.

Three players were named and characterised by the manager as acting like spoiled children.

The picture he painted was of a clique of disaffected players who seemed to put themselves above the greater good.

One player who he did mention in favourable terms was young Kieran Tierney.

The fullback had apparently resisted any attempts to recruit him into this sulking group.

He also referenced the resistance of the senior pros to the dietary requirements of a 24-hour athlete was referenced by Deila.

The picture painted to me was of a manager who felt that he could not trust those who should have been shoulder to shoulder with him.

If this is a fair reflection of the facts on the ground then it is difficult not to feel for the amenable Norwegian in those circumstances.

After another stumble in the league yesterday against Ross County then the only hope for the Parkhead club is that they limp over the line.

Of course, a defeat at Tynecastle to Hearts cannot be ruled out given the current form of the men in Hoops.

Indeed, if Celtic need to take something out of the last match of the season then you wouldn’t bet your heated driveway on them delivering on the day.

On the basis of what I have been told I have binary expectations of the Desmond camp apropos their continued involvement with Celtic.

Interesting times…


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