SCOTT BROWN has confirmed he will leave Celtic at the end of the season to accept a two-year contract at Aberdeen, as CQN reported earlier today.
The Hoops captain, who will be 36 in June, will join his former Hibs team-mate and close friend Stephen Glass who took over as boss at the Pittodrie outfit earlier this week.
Brown, who won a landslide TWENTY-TWO honours at the club after Gordon Strachan paid £4.4million for the midfielder from the Easter Road outfit in 2007, has made the momentous decision to quit Paradise, despite the offer a 12-month extension on the table.
A CELTIC MAN…Scott Brown is all smiles as he wins the Scottish Cup in December – his 22nd honour at Parkhead.
In an emotional statement on the club website, the former Scotland international ace admitted: “It was a privilege to sign for this great club all those years ago and it has been an absolute honour to play for and captain Celtic for so many years.
“I would like to sincerely thank Peter (Lawwell), Dermot (Desmond) and the Celtic board for their tremendous support over so many years. We have always enjoyed a great relationship and always worked closely together to bring our fans as much success as possible.
“I would also like to thank the great Celtic managers I have had the good fortune to work with and also so many team-mates and, of course, the Celtic fans who have given me such phenomenal support and backing over the years.
“I have always given my best to the club and always wanted the best for our fans. We have enjoyed some fantastic moments and success together, dominating the game in Scotland so regularly and enjoying some great European nights.
ON THE BALL…Scott Brown in control.
“It is a huge decision to leave this magnificent club, which has been such a massive part of my life for so long, but this is a new opportunity for me and a new chapter. Celtic will never leave me and the club will forever be in my heart.
“We still have work to do this season and that will, of course, as ever be my full focus as we try to bring our fans more success.”
Chief executive Peter Lawwell said: “Scott Brown has been the heartbeat of Celtic for so long and without doubt, the most influential figure in the Scottish game across the past 15 years.
“With more than 600 appearances for the club, he has made an imprint on Celtic which puts him in the company of our other true greats – and with a legacy to match.
KEEP CALM…Scott Brown is in charge.
“When he chose Celtic over others, we were, of course, delighted. We knew we were getting one of the country’s finest talents and he in turn a chance to take to the stage and be part of Scotland’s biggest club. He took this opportunity with both hands, but I don’t think anyone of us would have imagined just how successful he was going to be. Ever since signing, he has lived and breathed the club and our cause – day after day, across a decade and a half, giving his heart and soul to Celtic.
“As every Celtic manager in the past 15 years will testify, as well as being a hugely talented player, Scott’s effort, his drive, his work ethic and his will to win, are an example to us all. He has been a pivotal figure in delivering such a sustained period of dominance for the club and for that, I know every Celtic supporter will be so grateful to him.”
Lawwell, who will retire from his role in June after 18 years in charge, added: “It goes without saying that we were desperately trying to keep Scott at the club, but while, of course, we are very saddened by his decision, we understand and respect it fully and wish Scott and his family nothing but success, health and happiness for the future.
BLACK MAGIC…Scott Brown in the change strip against Kilmarnock earlier this year.
“We know Scott will continue to give everything to the club until the end of the season and, as he always does, will be working tirelessly to bring the club and our fans further success.
“I know our fans will miss Scott in a Celtic jersey and fighting for our badge, something he has done for so long. However, there is no doubt he will forever be remembered at Celtic as our captain, leader and, indeed, a legend.”
Remarkably, Celtic have now seen their chief executive, club captain and manager leave this season with Neil Lennon departing last month.