So a few facts are now in the public domain, the first of which is that our former manager was offered a new deal by the club – which would have protected us from a predatory approach and given us a real chance to recoup the fee a manager going to the English Premier League should be able to command. I’ll write more on what we did get later.
He turned that offer down. The club won’t elaborate on when that offer was made, but it’s my understanding that it was made well in advance of this weekend.
Still, Celtic wanted that information out there and they made sure the words didn’t just come out of Michael Nicholson’s mouth but out of Postecoglou’s as well.
It’s important to note that, because that confirms what a lot of us have been saying.
I barely glanced at Postecoglou’s statement, because frankly I couldn’t care less what he has to say at this point, for reasons I’ve made clear over the last couple of days.
Celtic always wishes managers well, even the ones we’ve sacked, so don’t read too much into what we’ve sent out in our official statement. It’s got the substance of wind and it’s about as real those letters that cabinet ministers trade with Downing Street after they’ve been axed.
Inside Celtic, there’s genuine anger about how this has all happened because we know it didn’t happen over a weekend.
We are well aware of the role in this played by Spurs, the agent and Ange Postecoglou himself.
If the reports from England yesterday are true, his agent was working to get him the move behind the scenes for many months, even as the man himself sat in at planning meetings, discussions about transfers, putting the finishing touches to the tour of Japan and that ghastly season ticket PR campaign “We’re All In”.
So don’t for a second believe that those in charge of our club aren’t mightily pissed off.
But they’ve obviously decided not to get into a public war of words with either the departing boss or the club which has basically tapped him. I’ll explain why I think we’ve done that a little later on, but part of the reason – and it should be obvious – is that it’s in our interests for this to look smooth and without rancour because we want this club to look strong and professional for the next guy.
And right now everyone at Celtic is thinking about nothing else other than hiring the next guy, which is where our focus needs to be. Frankly, there’s no time for anything else … but I am encouraged by the club stating that this process can’t and won’t be rushed.
It’s onward to the next step for Celtic, that’s what counts now, and it’s all that counts.
A retrospective on Ange’s time at the club is probably in order, but I am not going to write it.
There isn’t a single regular reader of this blog who does not know how I feel about Ange Postecoglou the manager; he is an outstanding, elite level boss and any club would be fortunate to have him in charge.
But I also believe that he’s gone to the wrong one, that his style of football, which has not worked for us in Europe, is going to be sorely tested in a league where Manchester City, Manchester Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and now Newcastle can all spend more money and are capable of beating the best teams in the world … and where he will not have the luxury of time to get it right.
He comes cheap. Relatively speaking.
Which is why Levy won’t necessarily feel that he has to give this guy too long to start showing results.
As one Guardian journalist put it yesterday; “If the worst comes to the worst, they can always usher him to the door and replace him with a more fashionable choice: a bald, middle-aged Dutchman or young German with a penchant for wearing BBC Two spectacles and controversial trousers.”
It matters not to us.
I won’t be keeping too close an eye on him any more than I do the players who’ve left. I think about Celtic 24/7/365, and anything not within this zip-code is a lesser consideration. The focus of all at Celtic now turns to our own future, and if we do this right and pick the right person that future is as bright as it ever was.
Go on Celtic, go and find us another winner.