A ‘director of football’ is a very familiar sight in the modern game.

Employed by the hierarchy of a club to oversee the playing side of operations, they are the board’s eyes and ears in how the playing squad and management are working behind the scenes. As well as this, they are the ones responsible for implementing a clear philosophy for the football team and its staff to follow, so that if a manager does depart the club, then the key fundamentals will remain for whoever takes their place in the hot seat.

Celtic are going through a period of change with Ange Postecoglou leaving the club to join Tottenham Hotspur. The Australian, after winning Celtic their eighth domestic treble, is the first Aussie to manage in the English Premier League, with his old position in Glasgow needing to be filled as soon as possible.

When Postecoglou was appointed back in June 2021, the club was in complete disarray. The team was faltering on the pitch and the disconnect between the supporters and the board was seemingly chasmous. The new man in charge had to juggle being the manager with scouting, coaching, organising and goodness knows what else.

The closest equivalent that Celtic have to this director of football role is that of Mark Lawwell, who is the Head of First Team Scouting and Recruitment. Son of former chief executive and current chairman Peter Lawwell, the former City Group employee has been in his post since last summer, working closely with Postecoglou and his team to identify transfer targets for the first team.

The pair previously worked together at Yokohama F Marinos (who are a City Group side), with Postecoglou praising Lawwell when he was appointed to the role at Celtic in 2022. The Australia boss would have been a key cog in the arrival of Lawwell, as he waxed lyrical about him following his appointment.

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He said: “I was very keen for Mark (Lawwell) to join the Club and clearly I am delighted that he has accepted this important role and that we have been able to bring him to Celtic.

“Mark is someone who I worked closely with throughout my four years at Marinos, through which time we developed great trust and an excellent working relationship.  He knows the way I like to work, the way my teams play and the particular player profile which this requires.

Postecoglou added: “I know he will be a great addition to our team, leading our first team scouting and recruitment function and delivering on our key objective of identifying and bringing exciting, talented players to the Club.”

Lawwell is clearly a reputable individual, as you do not last nine years at the City Group without being good at your job. Despite this press release from Celtic, however, there has yet to be a sit-down interview with Lawwell since his arrival at the club over a year ago. This brings about uncertainty to the role that he is playing in the day-to-day running of the club, something that could have been addressed in a simple social media video or sitting down with a broadsheet newspaper.

Celtic should seriously consider a move to bring in a director of football. Having an individual in place who is the middleman between the manager and the board would be key for long-term continuity at the club, although their role must be outlined and clarified in order to avoid dubiety for all concerned.

Take the example of Brendan Rodgers, who has incidentally been linked with a move back to the club he managed from 2016 to 2019. When Leicester City came calling during his third season he chose to depart the club, along with a plethora of staff who he brought with him on his arrival. Following this, Celtic were left to pick up the pieces, with no clear strategy in naming his successor, both in the interim or permanently.

If a director of football had been in place at this point, then this process would have been much easier to navigate. A shortlist of names who fit the same philosophy as the manager who left would have been drawn up and maintained in case this situation ever arose, allowing the club to take swift action in naming Rodgers’ successor.

READ MORE: Ange Postecoglou's Celtic legacy is already secured

Feasibly, this situation should not and cannot happen again in the middle of a season, but without the security of a director of football at the helm, then the club leaves itself wide open at the prospect of lightning striking twice in this regard. There have been reports that Postecoglou is trying to bring John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan along with him to North London, but this surely will have less of an impact due to the timing of such moves.

This development may also be a positive in the likely hunt for a new manager, who will be given the freedom and power to bring his own assistants and coaches with him to the club. This was likely a stumbling block in the past, with potential candidates being put off by having to work with people already employed at the club. Now that this could potentially not be a factor, it may attract better managers to the soon-to-be vacant post.

It must be underlined, however, that Celtic are in a good place apart from this lack of vacancy. The club are set to compete in the group stages of the Champions League once again, with the riches that come with the team’s involvement in the competition. With the club in a healthy financial state and the team winning on the park, Celtic should look into a director of football in order to safeguard this success in the years to come.