Appoint another mercenary who wins all before him


Brendan Rodgers departure midseason was disrespectful to Celtic and still has the potential to disrupt our ambitions for a domestic treble, but I was surprised at the scale of the hostility towards a man many thought could do no wrong just hours earlier.

The timing of his departure was terrible: a day before a league game at Tynecastle and four days before a Cup game at Easter Road, but I am convinced Brendan chose the moment.  He wanted a crack at Valencia (we had a better chance than the aggregate score suggests) and I suspect told Leicester to wait until after that tie was concluded.

I had already factored in that he had been working his ticket since August last year. The public John McGinn tantrum was not matched by any private confrontation.  Whatever he said to Moussa Dembele, that week was more disruptive and the public comments were clearly about an exit route.

Would you or I have left Celtic midseason for a job at Leicester, or anywhere, for £5m a year?  Chances are many of us would remain, at least until the summer, but the truth is that football players and managers move, irrespective of allegiances.  Jock Stein knocked back the Manchester United job to stay at Celtic, but there will always be only one Jock Stein.  We know this reality, so it should never shock.

The Telegraph tells us Leicester paid Celtic a £9m release fee.  Question is, do we want a new manager who is so successful that he moves for a huge wage in 2022, with millions more coming in in compensation that we ever paid him?  Or, do we want different problems in 2022?

It would be a struggle with another mercenary who won all before him, but we would pull through.  Give me an uncompromising, unconscionable, winner, leave badge-tugging antics for the kids to concern themselves with.

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  1. traditionalist88 on

    DAVID17 on 14TH MARCH 2019 12:56 PM


    Trying to make money on Managers. We have now reached peak Lawwell.





    Come on now, if he gets anything for Congerton you will surely have to applaud?!




  2. TRADITIONALIST88 on 14TH MARCH 2019 1:07 PM



    Whatever Peter makes on him he can keep.

  3. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Shameless Sevco appealing MoreLoss’ yellow for diving.


    No mention of the ones he should have got for holding his face and waving an imaginary card.

  4. !!Bada Bing!! on

    IMO Rodgers tried his best to #@$! Lawwell over,such was the breakdown in the relationship last summer.



    Shameless Sevco appealing MoreLoss’ yellow for diving.






    How come they are the only club allowed to appeal yellow cards?

  6. Fool Time Whistle on

    The Leaving of Brendan



    Like a jilted groom, we were embarrassed, hurt, angry & confused.


    We saw signs of disharmony but assumed good intent & deferred judgment.


    Like a marriage, we can have a tiff or days of mutually hurtful silence


    But the business of the house and home continues – doesn’t it?





    I was not surprised at the hostility shown to BR when he left.


    The hysteria when he was appointed was a sure sign that an abrupt departure would be taken badly by the same people.



    Like you Paul, in discussions with my son we both agreed that the departure just after the Valencia game was not coincidental. BR’s professional & personal drivers would make having a tilt at going further in Europe impossible to walk away from. He had no serious interest in treble trebles.



    But, as you say, that does mean that the time of his leaving was entirely of his choosing. His bleating that Leicester would not wait till season’s end for him is embarrassing & should have been beneath him. It also means that some doubt is cast on his other statements. This is a shame since it adds to the bitterness for some.



    In answer to your rhetorical question – a contradiction I know.


    We want a manager who will take us forward, win games & trophies, develop our youth players to 1st team standards & be honest. Not unlike BR in fact, but be smarter in Europe.



    The new normal is not managers that will stay with the same club for years – normally.


    Since Jock, the longest any manager has stayed with us is the 5 year Martin O’Neill reign. Most have been 1 year wonders such as Wim, Dr Jo, Barnes, Mowbray, Macari.


    I don’t expect that we will ever have a manager with Jock’s length of service ever again.


    There is another contradiction at play – it seems that the more you pay a manager (or player) the more likely they are to move on entirely when it suits them. Being rich beyond our imaginings only seems to make them easily bored or very single minded. For the rest of us, we do not have that level of financial freedom so we have to work our way through issues & get on with life.



    We can expect to see managerial changes every 3/4 years – in fact we should plan for it.


    All of which means that the systems that we understand that BR put in place need to be tuned up by every subsequent manager so that as a club, we are ready for modern managers as opposed to dinosaurs.




  7. Is the blog putting the feelers out for Mourinnho, arch mercenary?



    Maybe he fancies a “project”.

  8. If Morelos has indeed appealed his yellow card for diving, should that be allowed in exchange for him being cited for his 2nd half simulation and being offered a yellow for that?

  9. I’m done commenting on the rat.



    In recent days much has been made of our wage costs competed to Ajax and Porto. One glaring difference though is that Ajax have sold a player for £65 million and Porto have to say sold a player for over £40 million.



    We sold the best central defender in Europe for £12 million. We need to start demanding top dollar for our best players.

  10. Paul67 et al



    £9 mill for Brendan?


    If I’d known that I’d have got WITS to drive him to the airport personally.

  11. either you allowed to appeal a yellow card or not I always thought you were not, but sevco know different

  12. My thoughts on the managers position :



    I hope Lennon does both himself and the current squad justice. All being well I am sure he will taste success, and a treble is realistic. It is almost tangible.


    But everyone should surely know, it wouldn’t really be Neil Lennon’s treble. Sure he is now contributing towards it (hopefully).. but he entered the fray with a quarter of the season left.



    Looking at his credentials. Lennon’s core strengths are his passion, which transfers then in to the motivation of the players.


    He is a winner, therefore the will to win is strong.



    Beyond the above though, I am not sure how much substance there is beyond this.


    Whether it was Rodgers personally or the sum of all parts of the coaching team, Brendan was a coach that could identify things in players, and bring them on, develop them.


    That is a quality that we should be searching for in our next coach / manager.



    Ideally someone that is also tactically astute… which is where the likes of Marco Rose, you would think would fit the bill.



    In summary, I think we need to broaden our horizon’s, and essentially look beyond Neil Lennon as a long term appointment.

  13. I might be wrong but I don’t think Rodgers will ever manage a team that plays in Europe again and I think he’ll be happy with that scenario. A couple of seasons at Leicester before he gets the sack then moving onto another mid-table EPL team who are willing to pay him ridiculous wages.


    He was indeed a very good coach at SPFL level but was found out at European level. I’m not trying to be revisionist here but we were playing some pretty dire stuff this season until Ryan Christie came into the team and things changed virtually overnight.


    The perception that sevco were closing the gap was created by our poor performances during the first half of the season. Is Lenny the right man for the job? My heart says yes but there is this nagging doubt chipping away inside my head that says otherwise, but I have been wrong plenty of times before.

  14. mike in toronto on

    I’m of the mind that it doesn’t hurt to think ahead… so, been giving some thought to who might take over in the summer …



    If Celtic is going to make a mark in Europe, they need to start learning to play a different game than what works in Scotland … so, I think a foreign manager is the route to go



    Previously, I had fancied someoneLeko, but he has done so well at Brugge, and Belgian football is on the rise, so I cant see him moving to Celtic … but I can see Martinez/Maloney looking to get back into club football after the summer, so they are in with a shout…



    if we are going to think outside the box … how about Pelissier at Amiens? He has done wonders at a small club in a good league .. it is only a matter of time betore a bigger club takes a chance on him.



    A manager like him is a bit of a gamble for sure, but, I think the old Scottish way no longer serves us in Europe, so, if we want to step up in Euorpe, we may have to take a chance/ think outside the box a bit …

  15. mullet and co 2 on

    Badge kissers ? Are they not mercenaries? We had one of those.


    Rodgers realised his hype was being a Celtic Sup porter as he put it. Double treble yes but European advancement not really due to style of play.


    No one is telling me our board would have been saying no to £9m?


    How to answer the – Are you going to leave question?


    Don’t say I live it hear I’m a Celtic supporter this is a job for life and don’t take the MON route and not answer the question.


    Would I rather have £2.5m a year or £5m a year? Who knows? When you are already a multi millionaire then how many more 28 leg pairs of Hugo boss do you need?


    Is Steve Clarke a mercenary?

  16. mullet and co 2 on

    You should ask – would Neil Lennon take the job on a temp basis knowing full well he wasn’t getting it long term. More likely scenario than the one we have been told.

  17. Ernie Lynch from earlier



    Sorry to be pedantic but leaving the Customs Union was not mentioned on the ballot paper. Wronlgy I must say, but it was simply Leave or stay, a total balls up from start to finish and a disgrace to democracy full stop.



    Nice chatting




  18. POGMATHONYAHUN AKA LAIRD OF THE SMILES – agreed. And here’s the thing, Christie was getting nowhere near a starting place until the injuries stacked up. He would have been sold if a half decent offer had been made for him. It wasn’t BR that improved RC, it was regular first team football at Aberdeen.

  19. Mike In Toronto



    “The old Scottish way no longer serves us in Europe”.



    Not disagreeing with you, for disagreeing sake. But I don’t think that is the issue. Brendan Rodgers didn’t play an old Scottish way, either domestically or in Europe. In fact, if anything, Brendan’s failing in Europe was trying to play very good, good, and decent continental sides at their own game.



    And true it was suicide to watch at times. Playing out from the back continuously against PSG and Barca. But if you are talking about a style of football that was not the old Scottish way, then Brendan certainly attempted a more continental approach.

  20. Situations Vacant



    On a more serious note. When jobs such as Hamilton Accies becomes available, you hear reports about the club receiving 60+ applications, notes of enquiry. All sorts of nonsense like Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf get linked with the managers role.



    If the Celtic Managers position is known to be : Open. Then makes you wonder the sort of candidates that will be flinging their hat in to the ring.

  21. Very good lead article.



    The timing of the BR-exit is interesting, the loss to Valencia for me was key. I’m not sure if it directly triggered the events but it seems to be a factor. Going out of the Europa meant that BR and coaching team were pretty much done and dusted. But Puel’s then, recent record confounded by a 4-1 loss for Leicester must have been the ultimate factor.



    If there was no “confrontations over the transfer business then it really sounds like a huge breakdown in communication between the football club manager and the executive. Very Odd considering what was also going on with Boyata and Arzani at the time. It seems the left hand didn’t know what the right was doing.



    This needs to drastically improve going forward…



    Under these circumstances and sweetened by the 9M. No wonder Peter Lawwell granted Leicester City to speak to the coaching team.



    On the beginning note, the potential disruption… if we fail to get another treble and everything is now in place to secure it. It will have nothing to do with Brendan Rodgers or his coaches.



    It is high time the folk at Celtic Park took responsibility for what goes on at their Club.



    Hail Hail

  22. CB @ 4.59



    Valencia @ CP was a shameful display from a manager and a squad that looked as if they had other things on their mind.



    Valencia were / are not a good team.


    We were so bad that we made them look like world beaters.


    Along with the TFOD2.1 defeat it was BR at his worst.



    However we move on — no more strange line ups in difficult games.


    No more EU performances where we were collecting autographs rather than trying to be competitive. Hopefully we learn from this and aim for the next level.



    The squad needs a huge amount of work.


    As always it will be interesting to see what the squad investment will be?



    £20mill would be a great start.

  23. mike in toronto on

    King Lubo



    Given all the horrible things that have been done, and are still being done, in the name of democracy, I’m not sure that this is the biggest affront to democracy of late …



    big countries and companies routinely foment discord and/or subvert democratic processes whenever smaller, less powerful countries elect governments that the big guys dont like….



    after WW2, the CIA was largely ”credited with/blamed for’ (depending on your political persuasion) toppling the Syrian govenrement, and installling a military junta in 1949, although that is still debated.



    less debated is TPAJAX – the codename for the US project aimed at overthrowing of the Iranian government in 1953, after Iran nationalized its oil industry. Documents that were subsequently declassified made it clear that the US and Britian caused the coup as they were concerned about the USSR getting its hooks into Iran …



    the list is, sadly, almost endless …

  24. The case for prosecuting Bloody Sunday ‘Soldier F’


    The soldiers of 1 Para weren’t just unapologetic killers, but unrelenting liars


    Douglas Murray




    It is more than 15 years since the Bloody Sunday soldiers last appeared in public. For months I sat in the room with them to watch their evidence at Lord Saville’s inquiry. And while Lionel Shriver is right that the sight of terrorists benefiting from an immunity denied to our soldiers is grotesque, there are competing qualms. Not only because British soldiers should be held to a higher standard than terrorists. But because, having watched all of the Bloody Sunday shooters testify, I can say with certainty that they include not only unapologetic killers, but unrelenting liars.


    As one soldier after another appeared before Lord Saville, it became clear that the soldiers of 1 Para were intent on spurning this last effort to get to the truth of what happened that day. Almost without exception they stonewalled, sticking to the testimony they had given in 1972, repeating claims that had been repeatedly disproven and, when in difficulty, pleading forgetfulness. Not a plausible forgetfulness, but a highly selective, implausible type. Their evidence was evasive, frustrating and self-damning.


    The Saville inquiry had promised immunity from further legal action to all witnesses who told the truth about their actions on the day. In that quiet inquiry room, one and a half decades ago, the soldiers of 1 Para might have come clean and admitted what they had done before sinking back into anonymity and retirement. Instead they stuck to their lies.


    For example, on the day itself, four soldiers — E, F, G and H — moved as a brick into one of the more concealed areas of the Bogside. By their own evidence they were responsible for at least half of the deaths that day. By the time of the Saville inquiry, soldiers E and G were dead, but F and H were not, were called and clearly reluctantly appeared. H was the soldier who had fired the most number of shots that day, including 19 he said he fired at a single window that did not shatter. But it was soldier F — who fired 13 rounds on the day — whose performance in 1972 and 2003 was most disturbing. It always seemed to me that if anyone was deserving of prosecution, then it was him.


    F started lying from the moment the shooting stopped. Like every other soldier who had fired, F was immediately asked to give the Royal Military Police (RMP) his justification for, and direction of, each shot. So in the early hours of 31 January 1972 F pointed on a map to a number of positions where he claimed to have fired at gunmen and nail-bombers. At no stage did he admit to firing at the rubble barricade where Michael Kelly had fallen, shot side-on in the abdomen. Yet while F was speaking to the RMP, at the nearby hospital a 7.62mm calibre bullet was being dug out of the spine of Michael Kelly’s body.


    In the weeks that followed the rifles of the soldiers who had fired were sent to a Belfast laboratory for testing. Realising that unmentioned shots would be traced to his gun, F chose to radically alter his story.


    So at Lord Widgery’s inquiry, several weeks after the day, F decided to recall firing at a ‘bomber’ at the rubble barricade. There was no bomber at the barricade. But the bullet that had lodged in Kelly’s body was indeed shown to have come from F’s rifle. And so at that earliest stage of the search for the truth, F’s first lie — and first murder — was exposed. And nothing happened. F stayed in the army and periodically received promotion.


    Under questioning in 2003, the short and stocky F — then in late middle age — was reduced to monosyllabic answers, generally of either ‘yes’ or ‘no’. He claimed to remember almost nothing of the day, despite it being his first visit to Londonderry and — by his own admission — the most shots he had fired on any deployment up to that date. Under devastating questioning, F was shown to have killed at least four people that day. One of them was Patrick Doherty, shot through a buttock as he was crawling away. One more killing which soldier F had ‘forgotten’ about when first questioned by the RMP.


    Then, while Doherty lay crying in agony, a 41-year-old man called Barney McGuigan stepped out from behind a block of flats to try to get help for the dying man. McGuigan was waving a white handkerchief. According to the testimony of numerous witnesses, including an officer from another regiment stationed on the city walls, soldier F — positioned on the other side of the road — got down on one knee and shot McGuigan through the head. No one who saw the mortuary photos of the exit wound in McGuigan’s face will forget what just that one bullet of soldier F’s did.


    Unusually, F’s first name is in the public domain. It is ‘Dave’. It is public because a number of witnesses heard it shouted. One wounded civilian lying on the ground heard the brick of four soldiers calling to each other. ‘I’ve got another one’ shouted one. And then, ‘We’re pulling out, Dave.’


    In 1972 Dave — F — committed perjury in front of Lord Chief Justice Widgery. He perjured himself again before Lord Saville in 2003. Perhaps on that disastrous day in 1972 he thought he was teaching the citizens of Londonderry some kind of lesson. Or perhaps — under what he presumed to be suitable cover — he just seized an opportunity to kill with impunity on British streets. It is true that few people are comfortable with retired soldiers being prosecuted. But if soldier F did indeed presume he could get away with murder that day, who is comfortable with that presumption proving right?






  25. Brexit sorry BR economics — what to do with the £9mill windfall?



    Full size indoor pitch x 2?


    One at CP and another at Lennoxtown?



    Or …



    9K m2 of an indoor fan zone behind the JS stand?



    Or …



    Small scale update of the Main Stand?

  26. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Pog- Ruggyman- i have often thought that the manager’s job,should be open to applications….

  27. mike in toronto on




    Was going to post about 4231, then I read Ernie’s post, and suddently football tactics just didn’t seem so important ….perhaps, pick up our chat a later time?

  28. Arsenal have been charged with failing to ensure their fans conducted themselves in an orderly fashion during the Premier League fixture against Manchester United on Sunday, the Football Association has announced.

  29. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    We’ve all heard it said often enough, “if only BR had stayed until the end of the season – he would have left with his reputation intact



    Personally I don’t think that had any chance of working, say if Leicester were to appoint an interim manger until the end of the season, the SMSM would have been all over that like a rash, and they would’ve pestered the life out of BR until he either denied or confirmed he was going to Leicester at the end of the season. They would have been at the players asking them if all this speculation about their manager was getting to them, and of course its inevitable it would have got to them, and chances are their form would have suffered as a consequence…



    So faced with an unsettled manager and an unsettled squad until the end of the season, or a clean break now with Lenny coming in, really there was one ever one choice to make, and maybe BR had already factored that into his thinking…maybe not



    Also, before going to Liverpool, Souness wanted to stay until the end of that season, he was chased out the door, and they never had a 9 Million Pound carrot waved at them, that didn’t work out too badly for the cardigan unfortunately…

  30. Paul’s blog raises an interesting dilemma.



    Stick or twist when sticking means fingers crossed leaving no choice but to twist.



    Recognise that the shelf life of a Celtic manager is no more than three years with a release clause for each year.



    In that time take a risk in salary offered that release would cover or offset considerably the salary cost if the manager is successful on two fronts where a dependency exists:



    1. results and



    2. player development to achieve them.



    To reduce the effect of churn that would inevitably arise if we jump board a manager merry go round, analyse what works and what doesn’t under the previous manager and keep the former and correct the latter.



    Formalise it in an ever improving coaching and best of management SYSTEM that is a constant but always improving regardless of who a new manager is.



    No more a manager bringing in his own team of guys. He works with a team of in house guys who are familiar with what has been working but are open to any new ideas a new manager might bring to the party and tweak the system.



    To have a regularly successful team on the park some form of stability is required. The consequences of BR’s departure have been softened by the availability of NL, but even had BR’s departure been delayed until the summer we still would be looking for two CBs, a RB anđ possibly another CF.



    That is a systems failure and if we can forget all the crap surrounding PL and BR and who did what to whom, we might even reach a general accord on what is in Celtic’s long term managerial interests that is independent of the personalities at the time.


    For it to work transparency is required which in turn requires Celtic to explain and sell their manager recruitment policy and how they intend to deliver it to the support.

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