CELTIC have got their man … now Peter Lawwell could be about to get his plan.
The management structure the chief executive would like to see implemented at the Hoops involves a director of football with a coach and assistant working beneath him.
Ronny Deila has been identified as the man to look after the playing side of things, with John Collins a strong contender to become his lieutenant.
The final piece of the jigsaw, and a vital one at that, is the director of football, with current football development manager, John Park, one of the men whose name has been mentioned.
If this departure from what has gone before – with a manager, assistant and coaches working on every aspect of the running of the club, from training, to picking the team, identifying signing targets and having an input into contract negotiations – is what Deila is walking into, he will not be fazed.
Indeed, it is what he has been accustomed to in Norway, where he operated under director of football, Jostein Flo, successfully enough to take Stromsgodset to the championship for the first time in 42 years.
So, while the culture, media scrutiny and expectation might all be new to the 38-year-old, the working structure which appears to be evolving will not.
Davie Hay has made the switch in reverse, going from managing Celtic to becoming a coach at Lillestrom.
Like Deila, he led the club to the Norwegian title, and retains links with the people he met and worked with during his year in Scandinavia.
So, Hay – who also has knowledge of being a director of football with Livingston – is perfectly placed to consider how Deila will make the transition.
He said: “I was used to having been the boss of Celtic, involved in almost everything.
“With board approval, the manager ran the club, the playing side, agreeing contracts, negotiating transfer fees, and identifying new players along with the scouts and bringing them in.
“Then I went to Norway in 1989. I knew things were done differently there, but not as differently as it turned out.
“I was the coach. That was the extent of my responsibility. The general manager dealt with everything else, from the day-to-day running of the club, to contracts and even selling and buying players.
“Everything financial was his domain.
“I actually enjoyed the fact I could focus entirely on training, playing and winning.
“Once a month, I sat down with the general manager to discuss things like training times and travel arrangements.
“But, that was it. I still don’t know to this day who earned what among my players.
“I was not involved in recruitment, or anything like that, which managers in this country take for granted.”
That was fine until Hay came home for a few weeks’ holiday during the mid-season break.
When he returned, he discovered his top player, Jan Age Fjortoft, had been sold to Rapid Vienna, without so much as a call to inform him, let alone ask if the sale met with his approval.
“I was stunned to discover Jan Age was no longer there when I got back to Norway,” recalled Hay.
“When I asked why I had not been consulted, I was told simply, ‘That’s not your job’.
“Worse still, the guy they had brought in to replace him – again I had no say in this – was no good.
“I could see that straight away in training, and he never played for us.”
Despite this, Hay’s side – minus Fjortoft – went on to win the championship, a feat they have never repeated.
“Eventually, I did become comfortable with the way things were set up,” he explained.
“The only thing I wasn’t happy with was the issue of player recruitment, and I decided to come home after one season.
“But those are the parameters under which coaches work in Norway, and they accept this.
“Deila would have had such a set-up at Stromsgodset with Jostein Flo the general manager, and it clearly worked well, given their success.
“Can it transfer to here, if it’s the way Celtic want to go? That’s down to the individuals involved.
“It’s certainly not for everyone. But the Scandinavians seem to be happy with it.
“Perhaps we will see recruitment of players being left to Peter Lawwell and John Park.”
Hay believes the right assistant will be a key element in the new management team, and said: “Lillestrom actually picked my assistant before I got there – a local lad – and we had a great relationship.
“His knowledge of the game there helped me enormously.
“John Collins has been mentioned as a No.2 to Deila, and I can understand why.
“He knows Scottish football, which is something which can be tapped into by the new manager.
“Also, I’ve watched John coaching young players in his role with Scotland, and was impressed.”