BE PREPARED. That’s the Scouts’ motto devised by Robert Baden-Powell over a century ago. Go further back and United States founding father Benjamin Franklin was equally frank in his assessment that “failing to prepare is preparing to fail”.

When Celtic lost Brendan Rodgers to Leicester City midway through the 2018/19 season, you might say the Parkhead hierarchy lived up to one of those slogans. The reappointment of Neil Lennon in the immediate aftermath of Rodgers’ flight in the night, the whole offering him the job on a permanent basis in the showers after that season’s Scottish Cup Final triumph, all had an air of hastiness; it didn’t feel well-thought-through and reasoned. Celtic had not prepared for this eventuality.

For generations to come, children will sit toasting marshmallows around campfires hearing of the horror story of the season that followed, when the former Celtic captain oversaw the demise of a squad that would meekly relinquish its decade-long grip on the Premiership title to Steven Gerrard’s Rangers side. Amidst the lore of lockdowns, the wretched “R” number, and the queasiness of Covid compliance, the scout leaders with a “P” for pandemic sewn onto their uniforms will regale their pupils with this sorry tale.

There was much fretting among the Parkhead faithful, and much baiting from their opposite numbers, over the length of time it took the Celtic hierarchy to appoint a successor to Lennon. And when heir-apparent Eddie Howe passed on the opportunity and the former Australia national team manager Ange Postecoglou was unveiled, there were many preparing for failure again in the Parkhead stands. But, this time, it looks like Celtic did their homework.

After an inauspicious start to life in the Parkhead hotseat (failing to qualify for the Champions League, defeats to Hearts, Rangers and Livingston in the league), the Greek-Australian has turned around the fortunes of the club and their march to wresting back their title from Govan appears to be unassailable. That piece of silverware will join the Betfred Cup in the Parkhead trophy room, which had become eerily sparse following three consecutive domestic trebles.

Despite unprecedented success on the domestic front, Rodgers had become increasingly frustrated with the lack of investment in his first team and progress on the European front. Ironically, it came as little surprise when the Northern Irishman headed for the Premier League in February 2019.

Likewise, despite leading Rangers to a first league title since 2011, Gerrard saw the opportunity to move to another of England’s middling top-tier sides as too good to turn down and in November last year he likewise took a hike in the night to take the reins at Aston Villa. He has since lamented how little he was given to spend in the preceding transfer window.

With the Premiership title in sight, Champions League group stage football (and the fortunes that accompany it) almost guaranteed, Celtic must now be preparing to provide Postecoglou with the right arsenal to build on his fledgling successes in Parkhead. The overhauled squad at his disposal now, whilst having shown greater steel than the one that flopped so miserably in the quest for 10 in a row last term, is not even as strong as the one Brendan Rodgers ditched three years ago. And the Champions League has not stood still since Celtic last joined the party in 2018.

That’s why the announcement this week of a new head of first team scouting and recruitment in Mark Lawwell should be received as a hugely positive step. After the furore surrounding the departure of Neil Lennon, and the derision towards Lawwell’s father, Peter, the erstwhile chief executive of the Parkhead club, over what appeared at least to some extent to be the appointment of “his man” in Lennon, the announcement of his son in this crucial role at the club may have raised a few eyebrows among the browbeaters amidst the Celtic support.

But it shouldn’t. If someone by any other name was appointed to the club after a decade in the same role at City Football Group, the umbrella network that manages the football-related business of, amongst others, Manchester City in the Premier League, New York City in MLS, Melbourne City in the A-League and Yokohama F Marinos in the J-League across three continents, then they would be welcomed with open arms.

Postecoglou’s experience at the latter club in Japan has already proven to be a useful tool in the Parkhead side’s transfer policy, with Kyogo Furuhashi in particular proving to be a revelation since signing from Vissel Kobe, with Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda and Yosuke Ideguchi also joining from the Far East. Lawwell’s connections likewise could prove crucial in balancing bang for buck in an increasingly saturated transfer market.

Celtic’s squad requires substantial reinforcement to have any chance of competing in the Champions League group stage next season – even finishing third in their section would be punching above their weight as a pot-four side. If Lawwell can tap in to that network he has developed over the past 10 years across the globe, perhaps he can unearth further hidden gems who would fit in to the development model the club currently operates under and allow them to continue to build for years to come.

It's certainly a positive step that shows Celtic’s desire to be prepared. As a scout, I am sure that Lawwell always operates under that mantra.