My first thought when stories first began circulating about Steven Gerrard to Ibrox was “you’d be off your head to take that job”. Since then the story has gathered momentum and mixed views, but now it is official.
It occurred to me that this is more than just a gamble. This is all about PR for the Ibrox club.
They need a positive headline after two trophyless seasons in the top flight. The fans are at the end of their tether and they need season tickets sold in the next couple of weeks.
Gerrard is still a popular figure in football. Even now in his player retirement days.
Celtic have gone through management mayhem over the years themselves. They have chosen inexperienced candidates as well.
I’ll admit though that this does bring some interest to the Scottish game as the coverage has shown so far. You could argue that this might even benefit viewing figures.
Gerrard’s success has of course yet to be measured because he has no experience. However, a name such as his is a huge draw for the Ibrox club.
Alongside popular figureheads already present such as Brendan Rodgers, Neil Lennon and Steve Clarke, Gerrard will add to that mixture of known faces. I’m not concerned by his appointment though.
In fact I will be watching closely with interest. I welcome this move.
The big question for the Ibrox club is will they get their house in order? To throw a respected ex-professional into his first managerial role with turmoil continuing in the background could be potentially damaging to both parties.
We’ve already seen the casualties from Ibrox since their reincarnation in 2012. Ally McCoist, Kenny McDowall, Stuart McCall, Mark Warburton, Graeme Murty, Pedro Caixinha and of course Murty once again.
That’s all in the space of six years and now Jimmy Nicholl is holding the reigns until Gerrard takes over. Now as I’ve pointed out before, Celtic have had their own managerial misfires.
These were brief moments in time though and there wasn’t the ongoing circus behind the scenes to contend with either. As a business Celtic are very stable.
They’ve cut their cloth accordingly and continue to do so. If the challenge improves in the coming seasons from other clubs in Scotland then Celtic will raise the bar.
I wouldn’t suggest that the club are sitting on a pile of cash. What I would say though is that they have been very prudent, invested wisely and still have room to expand if the environment changes.
Brendan Rodgers hasn’t spent a great deal of money on players in the last two years. He did inherit a large squad and whittled it down accordingly.
That is bound to continue this summer. He might spend, but equally he has shown there isn’t a need to break the bank.
Gerrard could turn out to be an instant shot in the arm for the Ibrox club. His appointment will certainly generate attention from outside of Scotland.
Unless of course it all goes south like everything has thus far for the new Ibrox club. You could say it can’t get any worse, and yet it can if this backfires.
With stronger challenges this season from Hibs, Kilmarnock and Motherwell, Gerrard doesn’t just have Celtic and Aberdeen to contend with. It could be a real popcorn season ahead.