Celtic have reappointed former manager Brendan Rodgers to replace Ange Postecoglou. The 50-year-old moved for Leicester City midway through the 2018–19 season, much to the chagrin of many Celtic supporters. During his first stint in Glasgow, he won seven titles, including back-to-back domestic trebles. Rodgers is once again the highest-paid manager in the history of the team according to his new agreement, which exceeds the terms of his previous Celtic contract. The board of Celtic will support Rodgers in the transfer market so that he can win at home and play in the Champions League. He takes the position of Ange Postecoglou, who joined Tottenham Hotspur after winning three straight league titles and a domestic treble the previous season. Despite rumors that he might follow Postecoglou at Spurs, John Kennedy will remain at Celtic as assistant manager, and Stevie Woods, Gavin Strachan, and Harry Kewell will continue in their roles as first-team coaches.
“I am beyond thrilled to be going back to Celtic, and I am beyond thrilled about this wonderful opportunity. It was a pretty easy decision for me and my family when I was given the opportunity to be invited to rejoin the club,” new Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers said. “We’ve had some wonderful times at Celtic in the past, and this will be my objective once more: to play fantastic football, make sure we have a team that everyone enjoys watching and eventually bring more success to our supporters. Ange has worked extremely hard over the past two years, and I will do everything in my power to keep Celtic moving forward as we tackle all of our domestic and European issues.”
“The players and staff at the club are really amazing and talented, and I am really looking forward to meeting them all and getting right to work,” he added. “John needed to be at my side while we continued. He is a highly good coach who I admire greatly and who I know well. He will be crucial to me and our players. The club is in excellent shape on all fronts, and I want to thank the board for having faith in me to move the squad forward. As we seek to deliver that success to our supporters, we will collaborate closely.”
“We are thrilled to have Brendan join our team as manager. He is a football manager of the highest caliber and expertise, and he has a proven track record of success,” Celtic chief executive Michael Nicholson said. “We looked at a wide range of applicants because the manager position at Celtic is appealing and much sought after. We are certain that by selecting Brendan, we have found the ideal candidate for Celtic. After speaking with Brendan and going over the club’s goals and strategy with him, I can see he is passionate about moving the team forward and building on our accomplishments. We are eager to collaborate in bringing success and progress to Celtic and our fans.”
Before flying to Japan for a tour in July, Celtic players will return for preseason practise at the club’s Lennoxtown headquarters. Their first opponent will be Yokohama F Marinos, a team that Postecoglou used to play for, on July 19. On July 22, they will play Gamba Osaka. Then, on July 26, Rodgers’ team travels to South Korea to meet Wolves at the Suwon World Cup Stadium. The team plays its first competitive game under Rodgers the weekend of August 5–6, when Celtic begins defending its Scottish Premiership championship before the start of the Champions League group stage on September 19–20.
Celtic was in disarray the last time they introduced a new manager since they had just lost the league to Rangers by 25 points and numerous players were out of contract. In taking over for Postecoglou, Rodgers inherits a team that is in good shape and has the potential to advance. As Celtic dominated, winning five titles in two seasons, the Australian made astute additions who have excelled. Fans will undoubtedly be concerned that Postecoglou may want to take some of those players to Tottenham if he returns, but if he does, Celtic will be able to collect a hefty sum that could then be used to strengthen the team in preparation for another Champions League run.
For more football news, click here