The Celtic Boss Is No Longer Committed To The Club. We Cannot Ignore That.

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That, yesterday, was not the straight-talking Celtic boss we have come to know and respect.

If he was committed to Celtic he would have said so once the final whistle had blown and there were no more games for the season. I said on Thursday that he would only be able to avoid the question for so long; yesterday, with nothing else to distract us, he was asked it straight out, and nothing short of a straight answer was going to suffice.

That was the moment, and instead of giving that answer he came off sounding like a third rate politician or a guy who’s been caught climbing out of someone else’s bedroom window.

Look, there are some questions you just can’t dodge your way around like this. He ran out of room to dodge yesterday. He was the one who said that he was focussed on only the game. In the aftermath of that game these questions were not only reasonable but essential and they are the kind of questions where any evasion is an answer all by itself.

There are some things about this that absolutely stink.

I’m not saying he’s wrong to want to explore the option of talking to Spurs; he has that right.

Celtic have rights too though, such as the right to enjoy cup final weekend without this hanging over us.

The right to the protection a long-term contract would have given us and which he and his agents have obviously not wanted to sign. I understand there will be interest in Ange; if he had signed a deal like that I wouldn’t have cared if he left the next day. That is the minimum we deserve for plucking him out of relative obscurity and backing him like no other boss in history.

Our plans for next season are already in place … that guy made those plans.

And now he’s not going to stick around and put them into motion?

This was allowed to dominate the last week, and whilst I appreciate that’s not entirely his fault, there were ways that it could have been handled a Hell of a lot better than it was. He has known far more than he has let on about what’s been happening in the background, and I don’t feel any desire to pretend I believe otherwise.

He stood there yesterday and tried to do his dance when, officially, he doesn’t even have an offer from England or anywhere else at this moment in time. All of it is hugely suspect.

As I said the other day, as much as he sat there at the press conferences before the game and said his mind was only on the match, it’s clear that his agents have been busy boys in the last week.

Yesterday he sounded very much like a man who knows exactly what has been happening behind the scenes.

He must be confident it’s a done deal.

Because how does he even start to row back from this if he’s not got something solid lined up?

What’s his next move?

Pretend none of this happened?

Oh I know some of our fans would be happy to ignore what’s now blatantly obvious if by some chance he happened to stay, but let’s recognise that he had a chance to commit to the club and didn’t do it.

There’s really no way to spin that.

If you asked your significant other if he or she was committed to the relationship and they hesitated, obfuscated and skirted around giving you a direct answer you would be wise to conclude that one of you would shortly be packing their bags.

It doesn’t matter what happens next, that relationship is not going back to the way things were.

When someone doesn’t answer a question like that then things have irrevocably changed. He is not committed to the cause; this is what led to Juranovic and Giakoumakis being sold when they were both one year into long term deals.

He emphasised that point himself; when someone’s not 100% on board then it’s time to move them on.

So the relationship Ange had with us is over, whether he stays or not.

A fundamental shift happened yesterday,

And you know, this leaves us with one Hell of a decision to make.

It would be better, in light of yesterday, for the club to sit him down and offer him a new deal and if he doesn’t sign it then we’ll know what we have to do.

If he goes down to London for an interview at Spurs I genuinely don’t want him to come back.

I very much doubt that anyone at Celtic will feel differently.

Because how can he come back?

That would leave us sitting fearing every managerial sacking down there, and the media would have an absolute blast milking that for all it was worth.

Without his signing a long term deal we’re leaving our club at the mercy of events.

It’s ludicrous to expect the people who run our club to accept a situation like that.

None of us should be put in that position, and especially not the fans.

Come Monday, he needs to be asked to commit, to sign a long term contract, and if he won’t then I would prefer that by 5pm we’re officially in the business of appointing someone new.

The announcement needs to be made, giving us all closure.

We’re Celtic, this is not a one-man cult of personality and someone is only as good as their most recent service to us.

When he evaded the question about whether he is committed to Celtic, his utility to us came to a shattering end.

It is clear that yesterday was the closing of a chapter, and the sooner we start moving onto the next one the more secure the house will be.

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  • Andrew Lamb says:

    This article is spot on James,I agree with every word.It was actually in the prematch interview I realised he is gone. He couldn’t look the interviewer in the eye. Listen,I don’t blame anyone for being ambitious and to be given a chance at his age to make serious money .My problem with it is if the 12 months rolling contract was his idea then this has all been planned and we were always a stepping stone to the EPL, which leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. Looking at the Rodgers situation I think what Ange will do is every bit as bad,Rodgers might have been there for the long term if he had been backed financially whereas it looks as if Ange was always short term. I,ll say something else that might ruffle a few feathers the invincible team would beat our present team I have absolutely no doubt about that not all Celtic fans think we are brilliant and if he goes we need as a club to get rid of anybody whose commitment is in question. The only way we can go forward with Ange is if he wants to commit if not get rid off today.

    • Effarr says:

      The 12 months rolling contract denies Celtic good compensation. He could have signed a long term tomorrow and left on Tuesday, so he was callous in denying Celtic a fee. As for
      financial security: I would think that £40,000 a week with constant extensions for a few years for an overweight 57 year old man is not bad security, especially when professional people on less than a tenth of that can have very comfortable lives after retirement.

      After all, Kieran Tierney at 19 years of age was able to buy his parents a house on Celtic’s wages. I remember when the Lisbon Lions were considered well paid when they only had a 30% wage higher than myself. I agree also about stopping the deifying, although he got more than even Stein got.

  • Johnny Green says:

    Me….heh boss, thanks for seeing me, I would like to apply for a rise in my wages.
    Boss…..And what’s the main justification for this request
    Me……well I’ve worked hard and produced the good on a regular basis
    Boss…… okay we will consider those factors when determining our offer, anything

    Me…..Oh aye, I love it here and I don’t want to leave

  • PK says:

    Behave yourself. 2 yrs ago they said it would be yrs before Celts would catch the rangers. 5 trophies outa 6. 8 th treble. 2 champions lge qualification and cracking football. You should be writing an article thanking ange for the last 2 yrs. never mind painting him as someone who is sneaking about. True football fans will appreciate him. While the professional moaners will continue to spread their negativity.

    • James Forrest says:

      I don’t know where you got the impression that I either didn’t appreciate him or wouldn’t write such an article, which for the record I certainly will.

      I’ve responded to this pragmatically and sensibly. I think you might need to calm down some lol.

  • JimBhoy says:

    If he stays he stays goes he goes. All the best to him. We move on.

    I suspect he is just looking for the best contract he can get at Celtic and we will see Ange here for another 3 seasons. He can do better than Spurs and it seems their fans are already making it known they do not want him.

    He might get European football at Spurs be looking for that top 5 finish each season and a good cup run.

    • James Forrest says:

      Yep very well could be an effort to get a better deal out of us, and if he gets it I’ll be only slightly less happy than he is!

  • Anthony Collier says:

    You sound like someone trying to promote an argument. Leave the man alone he has worked a miracle since taking over. Be grateful that he came to the club.

  • Frank says:

    What exactly would you have said in his position given that he didn’t want to diristract from the occasion?

  • Bunter says:

    I hope Ange really enjoyed holding up the silverware yesterday. I hope he loved hearing his name sung by our wonderful supporters. Because if he goes down the road to Tottenham, it will be the last time he’ll ever experience this sort of joy, passion and love. And unfortunately for him, in a short space of time he’ll be sacked by Levy if he doesn’t achieve success.

  • Malc says:

    Sad but true, I can find reason at all to disagree with you James. The last 2 years have been a blast, but all good things come to an end.

  • eamon kelly says:

    This article is way over the top. How can he sign a long term deal and then exit a few weeks later. I don’t see how he could have handled this differently if we accept he has a right to decide on his career path.

    • James Forrest says:

      The issue is fairly simple to understand.

      A long term contract protects Celtic from exactly what Spurs are doing. A desperate club, at the end of their short-list, no European football and a toxic environment, is out of options except to try and poach our manager on the cheap. If he’s fool enough to go that’s on him, but we should have had that safeguard and don’t. If he signed a deal and left the following day, we’d net high seven/low eight figures. The very fact of that would have stopped Spurs in their tracks. They aren’t going to sell this guy to some of their fans as it is. A long-term deal is a sign of commitment to getting the club the best outcome.

      • eamon kelly says:

        Thanks for the reply James. I think if he turns down spurs we might hope (and expect) that ange would sign a long term deal. However he jumped to the top of spurs list v rapidly. I don’t think we could expect ange to sign a long term deal when there us a real possibility of the spurs move happening for the very obvious financial and integrity reasons.

  • Dave R says:

    Is there any evidence that the club have actually made any improved or long term contract offer to him?

    Why on earth would a manager who is straight into the Champions League move to a basket case of a club like Spurs with no European involvement and no involvement in transfer dealings apart from photocalls with the chairman’s choice of purchases?

  • Gerrard Duffin says:

    It looks like it

  • Johnno says:

    So the 2 year managerial curse for ourselves is about to strike us yet again.
    I must admit to feeling a sence of betrayal from Ange, especially as I had bought him so much, even moreso when so sceptical in the beginning.
    Can even understand his wish by the looks of things to head for the EPL, with London looking like his preferred destination, and only really waiting upon confirmation now.
    Still not totally convinced that spurs will be the club even if strong favourites at present, as palace and moyes won’t be at West ham next season either imo, so Ange may well have a few offers to consider.

    Ange has been an amazing manager for ourselves, and done such a wonderful job with the success and the joy of watching the style of football produced over the past 2 years, and will forever remain greatful for what he achieved and gave us during that time, especially with the shambles he inherited.

    Yet the nagging question was starting to arise,
    Just how good of a manager is Ange really?
    Could he really have taken us to the next level in European competition?
    Questions we will possibly never get the answers to now, yet the questions will remain.
    We never seen Ange ever make any tactical changes to team set up or subs, and never needed to within Scottish football.
    Yet was sticking with the same approach next season, would it have gained the same success, especially within the CL?
    Or is Ange only a one trick pony in the way Martin O’Neill was in playing?
    Such questions may not be answered with ourselves now, but certainly Ange will get the answers far quicker within the EPL.
    We still remain a club that has to continue to keep moving forward, and still a number of issues have arisen over the past number of weeks that need to be resolved, weather Ange stayed or goes, the issues within the playing staff remains the same.
    For the sake of the club, this managerial issue needs to be resolved very quickly, as much work still has to be done before next season kicks off.
    Would like to think everything can get resolved by next weekend, as expecting the Ange departure tomorrow imo.
    One thing I still remain very confident about, is Ange will never experience anything like he has with ourselves, which will always be his loss not ours

    • Hear We Go Again says:

      I agree as in I think the SPFL just aren’t as good as Celtic and Rangers and the players that Ange brought in were enough to raise the bar but certainly some better players are needed if you want to get past next hurdle.

  • Bill says:

    By the way I’d we do return to the City group coaching tree keep an eye on Lee Carsley, trained under Pep like Arteta, managed the City youths now managing the England U21’s. I wouldn’t like to be his first experiment in senior management but he could be a possibility. (Still hope Ange stays by the way!)

  • Kevin Mccloskey says:

    Read your great articles for years and this is just bitter spurned lover stuff – I hold nothing against Ange for exploring his options. If he decides to then commit to us, then that’s completely fine and mature.

    • James Forrest says:

      Catch yourself. I posted a response to McGowan’s piece the other day; THAT was “bitter spurned lover” stuff.

      This is an honest to God cold-blooded assessment of what is right for Celtic. That is all it is.

  • Sophie Johnstone says:

    Bottom line for me is Ange has always said what we want to hear which I’m afraid we swallowed hook line and sinker a la Rodgers.Yes he has to consider his family but he spoke about them being uprooted to follow him.but here less than 2 years into his job at Celtic he uproots them again.With Rodgers it was bad tales of loyalty,with Ange it’s pumping his chest to the fans,nonsense about “you’ll be surprised how long I’ll be here” (didn’t think be only another 3 months.Angw another smooth talking snake oil salesman

  • Eldraco says:

    I need to row back here. I was told no chance, then again with Ange everyone is asking the wrong guy it’s Frank trimboli we should track, Ange has always hidden behind him with anything to do with business always one step removed.

    That said ,one look at lawell and Desmond after the final whistle tells you it’s over.

  • Hear We Go Again says:

    As much as I don’t want Ange to go, his comments about enjoying the moment, how can the moment for the fans be enjoyed if he’s non committal , surely he knows what he’s doing but rather than saying on Saturday he’s staying and giving fans something to cheer about. I totally agree with main post your either committed or your not. No if buts or coconuts. So who then? Steve Clark, Moyes, Graham Potter or Moyes maybe Strachan don’t think O’Neill would do it.

  • henry says:

    I think you’re being a bit harsh. He won’t have been talking to them with Celtic’s approval, so they are maybe feeling each other out. He doesn’t want to commit either way until he sees the lie of the land. We all do this on our jobs, why should he be not afforded that right.

    If he does go and I think he will(a) he’s picked the wrong club and (b) we should hire Bodo Glimt’s manager as a replacement.

  • Bhoy4life says:

    From the start uv said the contract he was on wasnt a problem, now it is?
    If he goes, I wish him well, he’ll certainly need all the help going in the worst lge in the world for patience.
    He owes us and the club nothing, he’s earned our respect.

    • James Forrest says:

      when we hired the guy on a one year rolling contract we had NO IDEA whether he’d be a success or not.

      It was logical then. It is not logical now.

  • Patrick says:

    While I understand the emotion, we gave him a one year rolling contract so if it didn’t work out we could quickly move on without paying out. That should have been fixed one year ago after year 1. It was not. If he decides to stay then i for one will be 100% behind him if he leaves thank him for his work and find a new manager who can build on it. I feel no betrayal or no anger. Let the guy decide what he wants to do next if it is us great – if not let’s find a new manager to take us to the next level

    • Mark B says:

      Disappointed as he didn’t talk straight. Prefer if he said I’m leaving with grace. I commend him for the great work but not really that different from Brendan in terms of leaving ….slightly better timing but still not talking straight is poor. Very poor. We also have a squad full of his signing last from Asia we could be in serious trouble if they are unsettled now.

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