Celtic have been warned against bringing in "islands of staff" alongside their new manager by a prominent English football executive.

Talks remain open with former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe but it's widely reported the reason the deal is not yet done is Howe's insistence that Richard Hughes joins him as a director of football at Parkhead.

Adrian Bevington, a former managing director at the FA and England national team, insists there's a growing trend with new bosses in the modern game.

And he's warned against allowing Howe to bring an "entourage" to Celtic if he's announced as the club's new manager.


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He told BBC Sportsound: "I'd like to think if I was in charge of a football club, as an owner, I'd want the CEO, and if the CEO is not experienced in football I'd want someone in my board management team with a great deal of football industry knowledge, so they can work their way around that.

"That doesn't mean you reduce the strength of the manager or head coach to have someone like a Richard Hughes, a trusted ally around him.

"What I am against is massive islands of people coming in, entourages with managers.

"They create islands within a club and it's very costly when they leave. Let's be honest, managers in the main nowadays don't stay a long time at football clubs.

England manager Fabio Capello (right) chats with FA Director of Communications Adrian Bevington
Bevington has worked with a number of England bosses, including Fabio Capello

"What you're trying to do here is build a long-term, sustainable model, which means when players are signed they fit the club's model.

"If the manager changes, you're not ripping all that up again and spending a huge amount of money to bring players in that suit the next manager, or the next manager, or the next manager."

Bevington has dealt with Hughes in his time as a head of recruitment at Middlesbrough - and he's got nothing but plaudits.

"My experience of Richard was wholly positive, so I can understand why Eddie wants Richard with him," he added.

"What we're talking about here is a much bigger-picture issue that goes beyond any individual appointment of a head coach or a manager and bringing their trusted associate with them."

Former Rangers scout Ewan Chester, an ally to Walter Smith during his Nine In A Row run, pointed out that the Ibrox club are showing there is another approach.

Manager Steven Gerrard has taken the club to new heights in Europe and, this season, domestically with the Premiership title - after working under two different directors of football.

Chester said: "The one I’d refer to is the one at Rangers, where the current manager has had two directors of football.

"You’d expect the director of football to be the constant and maybe have three or four head coaches in his period at the club.

“At Rangers you have a manager who is a big personality. Mark Allen left. Ross Wilson, who I know from England and is very good at his job, has come in and it seems to be working well."