Today, Joe McHugh of VideoCelts dropped an atom bomb on us with the news that the man our media is being told we’re in “advanced negotiations” with, Ange Postecoglou, does not have the requisite coaching badges to work in a UEFA accredited country.
It sounds too mad to possibly be true, doesn’t it?
It takes at least a year to get a Pro License – Gerrard took 18 months – and you need the A and B coaching badges first … and they take even longer to get.
So we can probably appoint him in 2026.
That’s flippant, but let’s get serious here for a minute.
I presume he needed the European A license in 2008 when he went to work in the lower leagues in Greece.
Assume that he did.
Those licences have to be renewed every now and again, and let’s further assume that he has been attending courses in Europe intermittently to do that, which he hasn’t needed to do as he’s been coaching at home and now in Japan.
The badges he does have are apparently not recognised by UEFA … in a weird way, this helps to explain why a manager who so many people seem to like hasn’t ever had a top European job … because he isn’t qualified to do one.
As of January 2020 he certainly did not hold the Pro license, even if he had the rest, and a check online does not show any sign that he has even been accepted onto a UEFA Pro License course, which is the loophole Gerrard used when he went to Ibrox; he was still working on his badge.
UEFA makes allowances for this, with the caveat that you need to actually have started on the course and earned some credits; the application process alone almost certainly means that our “advanced talks” are leading to a fresh embarrassment.
Look, it’s possible that the sites online which keep this information haven’t updated it recently, or that UEFA now recognises those badges, although I’ve seen no report to confirm that.
But it seems, right now, as if we’re in even more trouble because even if he’s got the lower category badges he would have had to start his Pro License coaching courses almost immediately that the article was published to even be close to completing them … and there was a tiny problem, called COVID, which kind of upended things a wee bit for everybody.
A lot of the hours required for the course have to be spent on the training pitch and there are only a handful of places where the courses are held, and we’ve had lockdowns and travel restrictions galore.
It just seems inconcievable that he’s done enough to get the badge.
But … just starting the courses would give us an angle … but there’s just no evidence that he’s done that either.
I repeat; there is no indication that he has ever started the Pro License course.
I have reached a point where I would not be even slightly surprised to find out that Celtic has overlooked a detail as huge as this.
I have reached a point where one disaster bleeds into the next one and into the next one and leaves you numb.
But I admit, there is a part of me that finds that darkly hilarious … because I know there are people in our support who still cling to the belief that our upper echelon knows what it is doing, and it’s crystal clear that our board has been briefing the press about this guy for the last 24 hours.
If these reports are accurate – and really, it’s looks like a brick bunker of a story – then the next 24 will surely involve a climb down and backtracking even more humiliating that the Howe snub.
But if this is true, Celtic will just blame someone else for all the things they didn’t know and should have, just as they did yesterday.
What a laughing stock this board has become.
Hold onto your seats for the next 24 hours because they are going to be bumpy.