Celtic confirm Brendan Rodgers return as manager; Rodgers replaces Ange Postecoglou, who joined Tottenham; John Kennedy remains at the club as assistant manager with Stevie Woods, Gavin Strachan and Harry Kewell as first team coaches
13:22, UK, Monday 19 June 2023
Celtic have re-appointed Brendan Rodgers as manager on a three-year deal.
The 50-year-old won seven trophies during his first spell in Glasgow, including back-to-back domestic trebles, but left for Leicester City midway through the 2018/19 season – much to the frustration of many Celtic fans.
Sky Sports news understands Rodgers’ deal is above his previous Celtic contract, making him the highest-paid manager in the club’s history once again.
Celtic’s board will support Rodgers in the transfer market to help him deliver domestic success and compete in the Champions League, Sky Sports news has been told.
He replaces Ange Postecoglou, who won back-to-back league titles and a domestic treble last season before joining Tottenham Hotspur.
John Kennedy remains at Celtic as assistant manager – despite links to join Postecoglou at Spurs – with Stevie Woods, Gavin Strachan and Harry Kewell remaining as first-team coaches.
“Celtic returns a very simple decision”
Rodgers – who had also been linked with the Leeds United job despite planning to take an extended break away from the dugout – said: “I’m really happy to be back at Celtic and I’m huge excited about this great opportunity.
“When I was given the privilege of being asked to join the club again, it was a very simple decision for me and my family.
“We’ve had some great times at Celtic before and this will be my aim again, to deliver good football, ensure we have a team we all love to watch and ultimately bring more success to our fans.
“Ange has done some brilliant work over the last two years and I will do everything I can to maintain Celtic’s momentum as we face all our domestic and European challenges.
“We have a hugely impressive and talented group of players and staff at the club and I’m really looking forward to meeting them all and then getting down to business.
“I wanted John to be with me as we move forward. He is a very talented coach, someone I know well and respect and he will be very important to myself and our players.
“The club is in fantastic shape at all levels and I would like to thank the board for putting their trust in me to take the team forward. We will work very closely together as we strive to bring that success to our supporters.
“Let’s get to work!”
Celtic chief executive Michael Nicholson added: “We are delighted to welcome Brendan as our new manager. He is a football manager of genuine quality and experience, with an established track record of delivering success.
“The role of Celtic manager is attractive and highly sought after and in the process we considered many potential candidates. In appointing Brendan we are confident that we have identified the best candidate for Celtic.
“Having spoken to Brendan and discussed the club’s strategy and objectives with him, I can see the passion he has to take the club forward positively and build on what we have achieved.
“We look forward to working together to deliver growth and success for Celtic and our supporters.”
Peter Lawwell, Chairman of Celtic said: “Throughout the process of identifying the new Celtic manager it was clear that Brendan was the excellent choice and we are very pleased to have appointed him on a long-term contract.
“We wanted a proven winner and that’s what Brendan is and I and everyone else at the club look forward to working with him again to continue to drive Celtic forward.
“He is someone who knows the club so well and has experience of the big challenges at Celtic, domestically and in Europe. Brendan is acutely aware of what it takes to be successful in this role and we know that he is happy to be back with us.
“Brendan is a top quality manager. He has delivered before for Celtic and we are confident that through his many qualities he will do so again.”
What is the Celtics schedule?
Celtic players will return to pre-season training at the club’s Lennoxtown base before heading to Japan on tour in July.
Postecoglou’s former club Yokohama F Marinos will be their first opponents on July 19, followed by a match against Gamba Osaka on July 22.
Rodgers’ side will then head to South Korea to play Wolves at the Suwon World Cup Stadium on July 26.
The club’s first competitive game under Rodgers takes place on the weekend of August 5/6 as Celtic begin their Scottish Premiership title defense before the Champions League group stage gets underway on September 19/20.
What awaits Rodgers in Glasgow?
When Celtic unveiled a new manager, the club were in turmoil after losing the league to Rangers by 25 points and had several players out of contract.
When Rodgers comes in to replace Postecoglou, he inherits a team in strong health with an opportunity to take them to the next level.
The Australian made astute signings who have impressed as Celtic dominated, winning five trophies in two seasons.
Fans will certainly be concerned about Postecoglou returning to try and take some of these players to Tottenham, but if he does, Celtic will be able to demand a hefty fee which can then be reinvested in the squad, as they prepare for another crack at the Champions League.
Kyogo Furuhashi was one of Postecoglou’s first signings after he looked to the Japanese market, and the striker looks set for a top club.
The 28-year-old finished last season as the Premier League’s top scorer and, with just two years left on his current deal, it would not be surprising if his former boss tried to tempt him to north London.
Players like English language, Daizen Maeda and Cameron Carter-Vickers is under contract until 2026 and Something the deal runs until 2027, so they may be harder to prize away from the club.
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