Background on Ange negotiations, Brendan, what’s needed


Celtic were aware Ange was interested in the Tottenham job for at least two weeks.  The writing was on the wall before his agent travelled to Glasgow for the final league game of the season.  A rear-guard action continued to no avail.

What’s more, attempts to sign him up on a long-term contract were rebuffed for a year.  Ange was always ‘happy’ with the way things were.  With a manager rejects more pay on the basis that he is happy, it is a bit like your significant other telling you they are ‘fine’.  You might not know what’s coming your way, but when it does, it will not be a surprise.

Despite knowing he preferred to reject more money on the basis it would inhibit his exit options, Celtic hoped to resolve the situation.  This was on the basis on Ange’ age and profile.  At 57, he was on the circuit for a long time without troubling clubs with bigger budgets.

English clubs often have a snobbery for achievements in Scotland, especially when they are not replicated in Europe, where over two years, Ange bettered only Ferencvaros, Midtjylland, Alkmaar, Jablonec.  The negative column has Leverkusen, Real Betis, Real Madrid, Leipzig, Shakhtar Donetsk and most painfully, a preseason Bodo/Glimt.

Until he was able to move the dial in Europe, Celtic hoped Ange would sail below the radar of most in England, and definitely thought that a ‘big six’ club out his reach.  All that changed when Tottenham recruited Scott Munn as chief football officer.  Australian Munn goes way back with Ange and was his backstage pass to the top tier.

Despite that European record, I cherished our former manager.  He was personable, understood and shared our club’s values and played attractive, successful football. In London, he replaces a permanent manager who was on £15m a year, I expect he’ll be on a salary of around £10m – for half that, I’d knock out Tottenham Quick News.

This is the football business, we did not miss a beat when he left Yokohama midseason.  If you take umbridge at a manager who left one club to come here, then left us at a more appropriate moment, football is not a sport for you to follow.

The Third Season Problem

What do Jose Mourinho and Ange Postecoglou have in common?  All their successes come in the first two seasons in the job.  Neither has won a league title in a third or later season.  This glass ceiling is echoed in Ange’s four-year tenure as Australia manager, where he won the Asian Cup in his second year but did little to trouble his memoirs afterwards.

Ange and Jose are both impact managers.  Both will transform your club, but equally struggle to reinvent themselves in the Alex Ferguson manner.  A friend (And CQN’er) has long expressed a concern that this is because opponents eventually figure Ange out, and that he is unable or unwilling to pivot.

It is moot now.  No matter who follows, our expectations of another treble next season under Ange are forever fixed, but let’s be clear, we have lost Ange Postecoglou (57), not the reincarnation of Jock Stein.  He is replaceable and although there are huge risks with any appointment, there are reasons to be hopeful.


Let’s say the obvious.  If he gets the job, we get behind the manager and move on, bigger picture, and all that.  For now, he’s not for me.  I am troubled by his recruitment record (Dembele was on the slate before he arrived and Sinclair had already played for him) and by his credentials as a team player (I have just deleted a lengthy explanation of this as it might make backing him near impossible).  The manner of his exit is of less consequence.

Who next?

Celtic thought they had the managerial recruitment game mastered when Brendan Rogers arrived in 2016.  When they returned to the market in 2019, the rules had changed, there were no candidates of Rogers’ quality, indeed, there were no new candidates who inspired confidence they could succeed in bossing Glasgow’s unique challenges, a scenario Neil Lennon coped with.

Ange Postecoglou was plucked from obscurity because Celtic were determined never again to be left without options they could get behind.  He was a Mark Lawwell nominee, even before Mark joined to become head of recruitment and scouting.  We will explore what’s needed in the position in more detail in the days to come, but for now, I am happy to find another manager with a low profile in the UK, on the ground experience in a value market and a desire for a crack at the Champions League.

We move on.

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  1. Enzo Maresca anyone? What’s his background?



    SFTB – was reading back and saw your ‘shower/job’ quip. Well played. Made me and my lurking dad chuckle.

  2. Aipple – I posted the following on Maresca earlier this morning:



    Putting 2 and 2 together, Paul suggested we would be looking at City Group for our next manager. The one being touted is, of course, Maresca from Man City. Doesn’t seem that long since we were looking at him along with another Man City appt as football director.



    A very preliminary search on Google as to what happened to him after we went for Ange throws up this. He was appointed manager of Parma in 2021 who were expected to win promotion. By November the following was announced:



    “After hours of speculation around Maresca’s fate, it was announced this evening via a statement that Maresca has been relieved of his duties as coach of the first team.



    Former midfielder Maresca had been brought in over the summer following relegation from Serie A.



    He had been working in the Manchester City Under-23 team for the 2020-21 season, while before that worked as an assistant manager at Ascoli, Sevilla and West Ham United.



    The 41-year-old lasted only 14 competitive games on the Parma bench, winning four, drawing five and losing five.



    His team scored 18 goals and conceded 21, so the 1-1 home draw with Cosenza proved the final straw after a humiliating 4-0 defeat at Lecce on November 7.



    Sky Sport Italia report Iachini has already agreed a contract to June 2023 in order to take over from Maresca at the Stadio Tardini.”



    Doesn’t sound like they had much faith in him as a manager. He then returned to City as part of the first team staff, not as Guardiola’s no.2 as often suggested. Rodolfo Borrell got that gig in 2022.

  3. If Eddie Howe was wanted 2 years ago, and Rodgers was the answer in 2016 then Graham Potter should be the answer this time around. Similar in style to Howe & Ange, on the rebound from a big club down south like Rodgers

  4. Great article. Very little to argue with



    Ange showed what’s possible in a short space of time if you get smart talented people together all pulling in the same direction and making full use of what we have at Celtic

  5. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “in 2019, the rules had changed, there were no candidates of Rogers’ quality”




    Presumably all these guys were duds, then!:


    “We had approaches from many, many agents, many representatives of managers across the board. How credible it was, you never really know. We put them in the file, just left it and kept our word to Neil, really.”

  6. So it’s a big no for Brendan from Paul.



    I notice he mentions Ange’s 5-1 loss to Bodo Glint. Knutsen has many admirers, has won cups and titles in Norway, has had some terrific European results but is he a big enough character/personality to rule in Glasgow?


    Ajax reportedly looking at him as Celtic40Me has mentioned before.

  7. My reading of the Rodgers comments are that Desmond will consider him but Peter doesn’t want. Peter would most likely prefer someone cheaper who can turn players around for £££. Would be interesting to know who’s really pulling the strings. Ultimately DD will decide but I hope Nicholson is his own man.

  8. “for half that, I’d knock out Tottenham Quick News.”



    In two decades of enjoying CQN, your finest moment Paul.



    Without prejudice, Brendan’s not for me.



    Moving on with Celtic on my mind, HH.

  9. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “there were no new candidates who inspired confidence they could succeed in bossing Glasgow’s unique challenges”




    Does that include Ange, Paul? Or was he not considered? Seems strange if he wasn’t, being that we had known about him for “a number of years” and had been “prominent in our thoughts for some time”…….

  10. kevinlasvegas on

    Good article Paul.



    We got lucky with Ange, worked wonders but…….



    Now onwards to the future and being more gaurded with my emotions towards the next manager.



    No matter who we believe in the Brendan story he does seem manipulative so that alone is a now.



    We are still in a good place, lots of sellable assets if need be, great depth in squad and they are fit as a butchers dog. Champions league etc. So it’s a great opportunity.



    Not really had my head turned by any of the named mentioned.




  11. I’ve waited until he has officially gone .



    First let me start by saying that I was wrong about Ange .



    I said that I thought his appointment would all end in tears .


    I thought he would be a failure .



    Domestically I was wrong .


    On a European level he didn’t improve us.



    His initial signings of players he knew from a cheap market in Japan were good .



    From then on it has been mediocre to poor .



    McCarthy , Abilgaard, Bernabei , Ideguchi,Siegrist, Kobayashi , all have proven a waste of money so far .



    The. new contracts to Forrest and Bain are bewildering.


    Especially when CCV,Kyogo and Hatate were not beneficiaries of improved and extended contracts .



    If he comes back in for those players , he has been planning to sabotage us .



    If he pillages our back room staff .



    Any goodwill I have for him will evaporate .



    He is gone .



    This provides and opportunity to recruit an upgrade .



    I suspected he was going when he went to fans after we defeated the Huns at Hampden in the SC semi , and then repeated it at Tynecastle .


    After we clinched the league .



    I don’t really care that he personally has gone .


    It’s the pillaging that reeks .



    I bumped into him in Eusebis deli last week .


    My wife wanted a selfie with him .


    I refused to take it .


    I knew what was coming .


    Oh ,and the tub thumping of his chest to the fans at Hampden .



    He’s another conniving politician .



    Pidgeon holed alongside the like of Boris Johnson.




  12. Interesting that Brendan Rodgers is being mentioned.



    After the character assassination by Celtic you’d think he’d have had enough of paradise.



    In the summer of 2018 DD had a choice, back his Manager or CEO, he choose the CEO – big mistake as it happened but what would change his view now?



    Hail Hail

  13. PAUL67



    Mentions Brendans recruitment, barkas and ayeti were did Brendan get them from, bernabei, kobayashi, Mccarthy, etc etc …….



    I rember something along the lines of “a new winger, we’ve got hundreds of wingers”……..



    Celtic good, Brendan Bad…….

  14. Paul 67:



    ” If you take umbridge at a manager who left one club to come here, then left us at a more appropriate moment, football is not a sport for you to follow.”




    In a nutshell and with a touch of humour :-)

  15. kevinlasvegas on

    Not buying it Tinytim.



    We all fell for it.



    Nothing like bojo.




  16. For absolutely no rational reason that I am aware of, Graham Potter sounds like an excellent choice.



    Cheerio for now.







    PS Ange`s departure has certainly meant that the normal end of season decline in posts has not happened!

  17. 67 European Cup Winners on

    Agree on Brendan


    I’m a fan – but we were never told the real reason for his departure


    I suspect (just my opinion) there was a clash with Peter Lawwell


    Brendan’s ambition was greater than Peters


    But Peter had good reason to be suspicious


    Brendan did not cover himself in glory recruiting footballers


    So like Paul67 not for me at this moment in time



    Interesting today to see Peter Lawwell making statements on the departing Manager


    Peter has been quiet for a few months


    I thought he was allowing Mr Nicholson to do the job he is paid to do


    I hope this is not Peter taking a hands on role with recruitment


    Also Mr Nicholson now has 2 Lawwell’s to work with


    I hope he is comfortable and confident to deal with Lawwell’s in stereo



    Since Peter departed the CEO job our recruitment has been much improved


    This could be Mark Lawwell doing his job


    It could have been Ange influencing the process


    It could also be Mr Nicholson being a bit more commercially “relaxed” to get the deal done


    Either way we have enjoyed a successful time with new players



    Peter Lawwell has been brilliant for Celtic but this does not mean he is great at everything


    I hope Mr Nicholson is not outmaneuvered and he continues to have an influence on our next Manager



    Remember Peter lost John McGinn by not going that extra half Million


    Let’s not go back there




  18. MARSPAPA @ 12:43 PM,



    Spot on, while Brendan Rodgers made it clear he wanted John McGinn, PL was working the informal arrangement in his son’s City Group connection to bring in Arzani on loan.



    BR wanted to bring some excellent additions to the squad and was thwarted.



    If he was given the cash that Neil “eye for a player” Lennon got, we’d have been basking in the UCL Pot 3 megastream and polishing our ten in a row.



    Hail Hail

  19. Paul 67,



    “This is the football business, we did not miss a beat when he left Yokohama midseason. If you take umbridge at a manager who left one club to come here, then left us at a more appropriate moment, football is not a sport for you to follow.”





    I understand that, but who publicly unequivocally said ” I will stay here as long as Celtic want me ”




  20. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Maybe an opportunity for BR to get that “dream job” in China! Nobody to ” block the move” this time. Wonder why they didn’t just stump up the release amount like Leicester ………

  21. quadrophenian on

    That war and peace club statement is a bit of a riddy; like a love note from a jilted lover.


    Mike Nicholson: “Of course, we wanted Ange to stay with us at Celtic and while there is real disappointment that we are losing him, he has decided he wants to look at a new challenge, which we respect…”


    It’s not about a new challenge: It’s about him making huge money in the biggest football league on the planet.


    A real and perfectly good challenge is to get some of the 22-odd players you had our club invest in to fit your game plan, to put together a respectable and accomplished run to the final stages of a Euro Cup; now that’s a big challenge in itself – to do summit in Europe – if it’s only football you’re talking about.


    Yes Spurs is a challenge but with otherworldly, personal financial rewards whether he wins, loses or draws.



    Totally charismatic. Ultimately predictable.


    Oo roo, mate.



    PS: If it’s a City Group appointment who has been around a bit, won some titles, worked with Asian players, knows and plays Ange’s formation and who gets what Scottish football is about, you really can’t argue with (tin hat on) Kevin Vincent Muscat (never played against us btw)!

  22. glendalystonsils on

    I’ve been struggling with an overwhelming desire to post something withering about Ange .Torn between his great contribution in the last two seasons, versus what’s come to light since the cup final .



    Now announcing that he’ll forever be a Celtic supporter is a statement too far .



    Really Ange? Despite wanting to dismantle the backroom team and (possibly) a key portion of the playing staff!?



    Well Ange , I’ll forever be a Celtic supporter and I will demonstrate it by setting fire to the the main stand , pouring weedkiller on the pitch and shiting in the league trophy .

  23. June 2022: “I’ll be here as long as the Club want me”



    February 2023: “You’ll be surprised by how long I’m here”



    June 2023: rejects Club offer, leaves.



    We get it. Just STFU along the way. No smoke needed blown up our arses.




  24. I am not overly fussed that Ange has gone. In truth I have always felt, and this is not to say he hasn’t done very well, that Ange was a touch overrated. I agree there is some evidence that he would struggle to keep things going into next season and beyond. European performances and results have also been underwhelming. He is a very likeable guy but in truth his results are what is expected of a Celtic manager. It is imo not a bad time for a refresh.



    Imo we have 7 first team players at a high level. Callum, AJ, CCV, Starfelt, Jota, Hatate and Kyogo. Every other player is replaceable and some including several squad played need to be moved on. Our squad as a whole can improve significantly. Callum will stay. From the other 6 i expect 1 or 2 to leave. This will provide the new manger with significant funds to add to what we already have. If Abada goes as well we could be looking at overall income of up to £50m from player sales.



    So a big summer ahead for Nicholson and co.

  25. Malachy Duffin on

    I can’t say i’m too perturbed about Ange heading off into vastly over-rated and cash rotten EPL. If he’s on 10 million a year, good luck to him. Does he need ten million? There is only so much tat that can fit in any one house.



    As someone posted on here earlier, managers in football will sooner rather than later get found out. Someone somewhere will figure out how to stifle the game plan and everyone then will copy it and with no plan B you are essentially snookered. I don’t think anyone will ever forget Rodgers Horseshoe of Despair. Rodgers was figured out, had no plan b and used the first excuse to bolt out the door, i’m convinced he thought that the whole season was about to blow up in his face, and who knows it may well have had he not scuttled off down the road. The signs were there at the end of this season that Ange was being sussed out too. Maybe that played a bigger part in his departure than anything else. Because if he was found out here in Scotland there is no way he’s getting a ten million jig in the EPL.

  26. fanadpatriot on

    Giakoumakis ,Jaranovic Ange ,have all left the club since January 2023 Why.?


    What has changed in the club since January ?

  27. Rodgers got plenty of cash to spend on players at Leicester – €250m on 13 players



    Only Tielemans, Fofafana and perhaps Castagne were good enough



    He seemed to have a particular weak spot for Keech central defenders. Westergard and Soyuncu are two of the worst signings I’ve seen in the EPL for the money he paid. He was still looking for a single decent one when he was sacked.



    Big wage bill too – 11th biggest in the EPL



    Sign him on a one year roller and keep him away from the bank cards if he’s to come back at all.

  28. When we were waiting for an answer from Howe the problem was “his” backroom team, who he was bringing with him, wonder how John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan felt then? So, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them both leave to join a guy who kept them in a job when it looked like the club wasn’t, por cierto

  29. He was a Mark Lawwell nominee, even before Mark joined to become head of recruitment and scouting.





    I’m sure you didn’t mean to do it p67, but this doesn’t reflect well on our executive.

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