ANGE POSTECOGLOU and Dermot Desmond appear to be an award-winning partnership made in Paradise.

From day one – June 10 2021 when the Greek-Australian agreed to become Celtic manager – the team boss and the club’s majority shareholder have bonded to form a relationship that has propelled the team to the brink of fresh glory.

Back-to-back Premiership titles and League Cups have been delivered and the Hoops are 90 minutes away from the eighth treble in their history when they take on Inverness Caley Thistle in the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden a week on Saturday.

SUMMIT MEETING…Dermot Desmond and Ange Postecoglou have an informal chat at Parkhead last week.

It’s been an intriguing and enthralling journey since Desmond first made contact with Postecoglou, then the head coach at J-League outfit Yokahama F Marinos, via a Zoom call while Eddie Howe continued to swither over a move to Scotland.

One of the last things Peter Lawwell did in his role as chief executive was to react to information provided by Mark Lawwell about the possibilities of the former Australia World Cup gaffer.

The plug was pulled in the two-month pursuit of ex-Bournemouth boss Howe and the search was focused elsewhere.

The club owner and the possible successor to Neil Lennon were put together, Desmond was impressed and Postecoglou was convinced – and the new manager was on his way.

It wasn’t exactly a problem-free welcome to a foreign land for the new team chief as the Hoops, after limping in 25 points off the pace in their woeful attempt at a world record-breaking tenth successive title the previous term, lost three of their first six league games at Tynecaste, Ibrox and Livingston.

Postecoglou recalled: “It’s been quite a two years since that first talk with Dermot. We’ve accomplished so much in that time.

IT’S GOOD TO TALK…Peter Lawwell, the former Celtic chief executive and now chairman, has a chat with club owner Dermot Desmond.

“It was a lot different when I walked in, but we have done a lot, from the success we have had on the field to the players we have brought in. The way we play our football and the general feeling around the club, the connection with supporters, has been a credit to everyone.

“From my perspective, I couldn’t be happier with the support I have received to try to get this club back to where it’s been before and was for a long time. The fact we could do it really quickly is a credit to everyone.

“Dermot was the first person I spoke to with regards to the club. He’s very influential and has been very supportive, personally and within the club – particularly when we didn’t have the smoothest of starts.

“It didn’t last very long, but was still a difficult beginning. During that time, he was immensely supportive of me. I knew he and the club would have my back until I got the club to where we needed to be.

TRUE GRIT…Ange Postecoglou looks grim as he watches Celtic lose in his first-ever league game against Hearts at Tynecastle on July 31 2021.

“I enjoy a great relationship with Dermot and his family. He’s a very important part of Celtic and has been for a long time. It’s been great I have been able to repay that faith he showed right from the start.”

Postecoglou and Desmond, portrayed as the club’s Godfather, had a face to face meeting last week which set some tongues wagging. But it is far from usual for the pair to have communication, even if some of the time it is via a telephone call or a laptop.

The 57-year-old manager, speaking to the Daily Record, continued: “We are in regular contact and that’s because Dermot loves Celtic, he loves talking about the games and how the club is going in general.

“It’s not like I have to update him with everything, that’s what I do with Michael Nicholson.

“He lets us get on with our roles of running the club. I don’t know if he’s in contact with me more or less than previous managers. I don’t know if I’m a favourite or not! But he has treated me very well.”

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE CHAMPIONS…Ange Postecoglou acknowledges the fans after Celtic had secured their second successive title at Tynecastle on May 7 2023 with a 2-0 victory.

Postecoglou takes his players into their penultimate Premiership encounter of the campaign when they play Hibs at Easter Road before the curtain comes down on Flag Day in the east end of Glasgow against Aberdeen on Saturday.

Then the attention will turn to the national stadium a week later with the domestic clean sweep within touching distance.

The gaffer added: “We have done what we needed to do and won the league.

“We want to enjoy our last few games and that’s what we will do, while also preparing for the Final.

“We have only lost one game. We haven’t lost 15. It’s not like we have to go back too long to know what a win feels like.”

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report and best action images from Hibs v Celtic this evening – only in your champion CQN.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author