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Boyd: Old Firm can't afford top men
Published : 22 Apr 2010 20:08:00
Tom Boyd believes the Old Firm may end up with Neil Lennon and Ally McCoist as managers next season because they cannot afford a top boss. Lennon was placed in charge of Celtic on an interim basis last month following the sacking of Tony Mowbray and is favourite to land the job permanently. McCoist has long been lined up to succeed Walter Smith as Rangers manager and could do so as early as this summer, with the latter refusing to confirm whether he plans to stay on. Neither Lennon nor McCoist have any managerial experience and the Old Firm have traditionally attracted top coaches from the UK and abroad. But both clubs' finances are currently such that former Celtic and Scotland captain Boyd does not envisage that happening for the foreseeable future. "I think it's probably a cost thing," said Boyd, speaking as he opened the latest branch of Cheque Centre in Bellshill. "Trying to buy real experienced managers at the top level, I think would be out of both Celtic and Rangers' price league. "So that's not an option. But you've got a couple of lads here who are desperate to get into management. "There's no better place to start, give them that chance, and see what they can do." And former Parkhead defender Boyd was keen to point out experience was no guarantee of success, as Celtic proved this season. "They went with Tony, who has been about," he said. "Obviously, that didn't work out. "I'm sure they'll be weighing it up very, very strongly, to see whether Neil would be the right candidate for the role or whether Neil, with somebody else - somebody with plenty of experience - would be the ideal team." Boyd, who spent 11 years at Celtic, played alongside Lennon at Parkhead for three years before retiring. Even then, he saw the qualities that marked the Northern Irishman out as a potential manager. Describing them, he said: "His desire, his ambition, his fight, his ability on the football field - which is something I hope that he would take into management." Lennon has won all four of his Scottish Premier League games in charge but oversaw one of the biggest humiliations in Celtic's history when they lost to Ross County in the semi-finals of the Active Nation Scottish Cup. Boyd backed Lennon for the job but believes he must secure second place in the SPL to stand any chance of landing it. He was less optimistic about the futures of many of the squad, questioning their attitude during the Ross County game. "That was something that was sadly lacking, as well as ability," he said, admitting an clearout may well be needed. "You need to get players with drive and desire and passion to be able to succeed. "Neil will hopefully be able to instil that in some of them." As well as the players, the board have also come under fire for a perceived lack of investment this season. Boyd defended them, adding: "The board have put money there but there'll obviously need to be more for the new man coming in." The current season - which is set to be the first without silverware for seven years has been one of Celtic's most miserable of recent times. But Boyd claims he remembers worse. "I have been there; I've got the t-shirt," said Boyd, who played for the club between 1992 and 2003 and almost saw the club go bust in his early Parkhead career. "A couple of seasons, we didn't even finish in second place. "The first three or four seasons that I was at Celtic, we were third, fourth on occasion. I've been in worse situations."