The first lesson Dom McKay, Celtic's incoming chief executive, will appreciate as he heads into the club later this month is that the atmosphere around what he does is tied unequivocally to what happens on the pitch.

McKay will not formally assume the chief executive position until June but will start work at Celtic Park on April 19th as he leaves his SRU post earlier than expected. Walking into a substantial and immediate workload might be that little bit easier if Celtic prevail against Rangers at Ibrox in the Scottish Cup the weekend immediately prior to his arrival.

The converse, of course, is true. Leaving Ibrox without a win will cast a pall over Celtic regardless of the fact that a new era is set to be ushered in with a changing of the guard on and off the park in key areas.

It is a decade since Celtic last went through a season without the popping of a champagne cork somewhere along the line and this season’s Scottish Cup is the last opportunity to avoid that particular indiscretion. Whether or not there is a Scottish Cup quarter-final to be prepared for under his regime is unknown without the help of a crystal ball but what McKay can account for is that Celtic will be back at Ibrox for a third time when they face Rangers on May 2nd in the final league derby of the season.

The likelihood is that it will be the last chance to prevent Steven Gerrard’s side going through the league season unbeaten. Such a feat wouldn’t match Brendan Rodgers’ Invincibles season when the Parkhead side won all three trophies but it would certainly run it close given that the last time any top flight team went through a league campaign without being beaten was 1899.

While all of this will influence McKay’s opening weeks in the job it will not be his remit to deal with what happens on the pitch. He will, though, have a say in just who does. Eddie Howe is expected to be the next high-profile arrival at Celtic in a move that will unify a support that have been disjointed throughout a turbulent campaign. Howe comes with a reputation for diligence, a young coach who is in a Brendan Rodgers mould in terms of his ability to getting the best out of players, meticulous in his preparations and commitment to the training ground. The biggest learning curve for Howe, as it will be for McKay, will be in the intensity and scrutiny that comes with both roles. Neither has experienced its equivalent.

The biggest question now, though, is when. With McKay incoming three months earlier, it would seem that the way is paved for Howe to be next up. Crystal Palace have made Celtic supporters uneasy in recent days with whispers that any exit of Roy Hodgson could yet put a spoke in their wheel. The understanding from south of the border is that Frank Lampard and Sean Dyche are on the priority list for Palace this summer. Nick Hammond’s exit from Celtic last week would free up roles for Manchester City’s Fergal Harkin as well as Richard Hughes.

Hughes is wanted by Howe with some of the delay behind the appointments more likely to be attributed to sorting out the lines of demarcation between both roles. The expectancy is that Harkin would assume something similar to Hammond’s post while the more experienced Hughes would be in a director of football position. But while Howe and Hughes have worked closely together at Bournemouth, Harkin is the new face into the mix. Establishing immediate and key responsibilities will be pivotal to a seamless transition to a more modern style of running the club.

And while the weeks between now and the end of the season can be best described as challenging for Celtic who have games against Rangers in addition to a midweek trip to Pittodrie against an Aberdeen side who have a new manager themselves to impress, the remit should still be to get Howe into the club as quickly as possible. He is unlikely to be stained by any slip-ups given the changes in personnel that will take place over the summer months. The quicker he has the opportunity to assess the playing squad and appreciate the complexities of his role ahead of a demanding summer and a campaign that could yet open the door to direct Champions League entry the better.

Players who have had substantial roles in the success of Celtic over recent seasons are expected to move on this summer with Odsonne Edouard understood to be unwilling to countenance any prolonged contract regardless of who the managerial appointment is. Similarly, Kris Ajer and Ryan Christie are expected leave this summer while Callum McGregor has once more been linked with a move to Leicester. Scott Brown’s salary will be freed up given his move to Aberdeen with the personnel changes freeing up the funds to orchestrate a dressing room rebuild.

Regardless of when the new regime gets underway the pressure will be there. For McKay and Howe it might be best to acclimatise to it as quickly as possible.