Last Night’s Revelations Have Cast The Celtic Manager In An Entirely New Light.

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Ange Postecoglou sat in front of the media on Thursday last week and said that he was focussed on nothing but the game on Saturday. On Saturday afternoon he told the fans and the media that he was going to take some time to enjoy the occasion and would be focussed on his family and friends. Amazing that this man has such focus.

Because according to reports today – and I firmly believe this is the first strategic leak out of Celtic on this issue – he told Dermot Desmond and the board on Saturday night that he wanted to go to Spurs. When I got up this morning, they had the broad outlines of his contract in the reports; two years with an option for a third.

So the deal was done. Everything but the signature on a piece of paper.

So whilst that man was invoking Tommy Burns his bags were already packed.

The question arises as to whether you believe the strategic leak, and I certainly do because not a single piece does not fit perfectly into the picture we can see emerging here.

Ange Postecoglou refused to commit to next season at Celtic.

Every newspaper in England was running the story that he’s going to London.

Yet, officially, Spurs hadn’t made an approach yet. We all know that’s a steaming pile of bullshit, because you do not crawl out on the limb and start sawing it merrily behind you unless you know the safety net is there.

This wasn’t a guy finding out he’d made the final shortlist and deciding to chance it, and I wrote that yesterday. The London press says this is a done deal and they are closer to the action with better sources than Jackson and this ragbag mob up here.

Signing a manager to a club is a complicated business. Even if you like the cut of their jib, negotiations aren’t done in a day or a weekend.

If he signs a contract at Spurs today or tomorrow, as is now virtually certain, the wheels had to be in motion before Saturday and so the implications of his informing the board on Saturday night are, of course, enormous as a result of that.

Our manager has been tapped, and he’s gone along with it.

For how long? Days? Weeks? We’ll never know that. But what we can be absolutey certain of is that Spurs “official approach” story is a despicable fraud, and I truly and sincerely hope that Celtic issues a robust response to that.

Their conduct here has been abysmal, but then so has the conduct of Ange Postecoglou.

How can you tell the board you want to go to a club which is yet to formally offer you the job? And how is it possible to make that decision in a single evening, during a party, with all the blanks filled in for you so you know there are no surprises waiting?

The logical answer is that you can’t. That’s not how it works. Daniel Levy has burned through a half dozen negotiations already and if you’re just another candidate then telling your current boss that you want to go down and work for him when he’s not made you an offer is an act of utter folly, and Ange Postecoglou, as we all know, is not a stupid man.

He’d have had to have known the scope of the offer.

He’d have had to have known that the terms were acceptable.

So serious talks have taken place already, way before the game, and our club was a secondary consideration, and so, by implication, was the treble bid because had we not been playing Inverness in the final it’s abundantly clear that the split focus of the manager would have imperilled us, and that is only multiplied if he’d already discussed this with his coaching staff.

If he takes the backroom team with him then that’s as close to the Brendan Rodgers scenario as you can get; those who say what Rodgers did was worse because he did it mid-season should be grateful, as we all should, that Spurs never put this to the test whilst we still had trophies to win because none of us knows what the manager would have done in those circumstances, except in one crucial respect; he left Yokohama for Celtic in exactly that fashion.

We have been royally grafted here, and in some ways this is even more egregious than the Rodgers escapade because although he left us with all the issues still up in the air and without even a coaching staff, few inside Celtic Park were surprised at the development.

That had been telegraphed so far in advance, in private and in public, that the shock of it was only about the timing and not the fact of it.

It’s the fact of this, not the timing, that is truly abominable.

Because yeah, this season’s business was done, but for the first time in my living memory our club has been one step ahead and planning in advance and all those plans are in ruins. The summer was just about sorted. The transfer business in and out was agreed on. The trip to Japan is set in stone, and he was to be the centrepiece of that.

Worse, by far, the season ticket campaign – laughably titled “We’re All In” was fronted by the manager and that is one of the reasons those tickets sold out in record time.

We are all entitled to be pissed off about those things, but inside the club?

People must be absolutely livid.

In normal circumstances I would say that issues that happened in our house would stay behind closed doors; I’m not so sure that will happen here.

There are too many things about this that frankly stink to high heaven. I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if we don’t make an official complaint against Spurs for what is so blatantly an illegal approach, and I wonder if the club’s public response to this will be to issue a statement outlining their understanding of these events.

The people running our club aren’t daft, and they aren’t going to tolerate being taken for absolute mugs or Celtic being treated like this. They know that the on-the-record version of how this has all gone down is not worth a damn.

This morning’s stories are surely only the first step towards our getting a fuller accounting of this into the public domain.

The only thing that could prevent that is that those inside Celtic might see the principal task as repairing the damage that’s been done and getting on with that instead.

In many ways I hope that’s what comes about.

We learned something here.

The next manager of this club must not be of the badge kissing variety. We have to view this the way we view signing players from now on; we’re not hiring messiah’s, we’re hiring mercenaries … and if the shelf life of a Celtic manager is now to be two or three years, then so be it … just so long as they are successful ones.

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  • Joe says:

    “Pissed off” nonsense. Successful managers exactly. Ange was a football manager when he came and left. Wasn’t a Celtic fan is now but not like us, however, his family comes first and he is doing what’s best for him and his family.

  • Tony O’Neill says:

    Edward makes a good point………

    But Guys having read all your comments,Let’s just move on.


  • Frank McEleney says:

    Well its great to see someone who shares the same views as myself on the whole Ange saga. I see little difference in what Brendan has done and what Ange has done, Like yourself I also believe talks have taken place so for all his badge kissing once again its all about the individual.

  • Brian Kane says:

    I totally agree with the comments kissing and banging his chest after every final now he does this then not coming out in public and telling the fans is shocking and he knew all along that he was going to leave . He was at Glasgow Airport yesterday morning to catch the first shuttle to london and back last night

  • Anthony McGonigale says:

    I find it very strange that the gruesome twosome Lawell and Desmond haven’t made a statement explaining why they didn’t tie Ange down to a lucrative long term contract. Did they actually make Ange an offer ? Every time Lawell gets involved the sh-t hits the fan, the man is like a disease you can’t shake off.

  • Ian MacDonagh says:

    Sadly I do agree with the general tone of this article.Postecoglou has brought a lot of success to Celtic over the last two years and he will be very much missed.He has been a good manager but he has certainly not been a great manager like the immortal Jock Stein who brought vast success over thirteen years.
    It is not surprising that Postecoglou moved on to find another challenge and huge wealth with Tottenham FC.I think that he should have been more honest and less devious towards the end and I hope that we may soon find a good new and established manager who will bring more success to a club whose fans are so generous and supportive.

  • Jim McMail says:

    Great piece, hope the truth comes out, he fucked us over, took us all for mugs.

  • Peter says:

    I have had my suspicions about the whole business of Ange moving to THFC confirmed by this article. It is clear that the last 2 or 3 weeks have been a charade, a theatrical act that we, the Celtic fans believed, in my case until a few days before the Scottish Cup Final. Deals of this kind are days of negotiations. When news emerged late on Sunday night that the move had been confirmed my suspicions and this article underlined them. A great article, thank you.

  • Nancy Moffat says:

    Absolutely correct! All his badge slapping and quoting Tommy Burns total play acting! He didn’t give a monkeys about Celtic or the fans… just used us as a stepping stone to an English club. I for one certainly don’t wish him well at Spurs. Some fans saying he is better than Rodgers as he stayed till the end of the season but obvious now if Levy had insisted he go there sooner we wouldn’t have seen him for dust! Totally disingenuous! Biggest concern is who he will try to take from Celtic now.

    • Charles Mclean says:

      The board must make sure, he doesn’t take any of the squad with him. Another double crosser has left the club hh

  • Thomas Stuart Handling says:

    We have been Royaly shafted by Ange and spurs. (Can’t believe that he has gone down to them, absolute nobody in the grand scheme of things won nothing of any note ever) bang out of order and he has gone way down in my estimation as a person. Crash and burn ya back stabber. HH

  • Thomas Carroll says:

    Yes yes

  • Thomas Carroll says:

    Yes ,he knew n board were informed.He didn’t walk out till season was finished.He stayed,supported players to the end, got treble.He remained focused on job in hand to be done.He should no t be criticised,unlike Rodgers.Football is a business and money talks.To address players n managers leaving to England,Celtic need a long term strategy to prevent this.I wish everyworldwude Celtic fan estimated 9MWould pay £20 at least per year or more if affordable to buy quality players,Club pay their wages.Money ring fenced,work with Club ,not buy it over.If necessary Dermot give 40% of Club ownership to fans.Is that similar to Barcelona?

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