Celtic are at Pittodrie on Saturday for the lunchtime Scottish Premiership kick-off against Aberdeen. It’s a must win match for Brendan Rodgers’ side and the breaking news today is that Aberdeen today sacked their management team led by for Celtic midfielder Barry Robson, following a run of poor results including the 1-1 draw at home to Dundee last night.
In a statement published on the official Aberdeen FC website, the club confirmed the decision to remove Robson and his staff with immediate effect. The statement reads as follows:
Barry was appointed as interim manager in early 2023 and, after an impressive run of seven consecutive victories, was awarded the role on a permanent basis, during which time he won two SPFL manager of the month awards.
He led the team to third in the Scottish Premiership, qualifying for the UEFA Europa Conference League group stages, the first time in 15 seasons the Club had reached a group stage.
The Club invested heavily to rebuild the squad during the summer in preparation for a busy schedule on four fronts. This helped to produce some extremely credible European performances and progression to the Viaplay Cup Final in December.
However, league results and performances over the course of the 2023/24 campaign have been well below the expectations set. Following our failure to defeat Dundee at Pittodrie last night, the decision was taken to replace the management team.
“Although it has been a difficult call, the Board felt the change was necessary and in the best interests of Aberdeen FC,” Chairman Dave Cormack said.
“Barry earned the right to be Aberdeen manager and knew the high level of expectation we had when he took the role. We gave Barry as much time and support as we possibly could in the hope, and expectation, he could return us to the league form we witnessed in the spring of last year.
“There is a talented squad of players at the Club which makes our current league position unacceptable.
“With 17 games left in the league and still in the Scottish Cup, this change is necessary to help us refocus on our ambitions for the rest of the season.
“It’s important we thank Barry for his significant contribution to Aberdeen as a player, a coach and manager. He’s a good man who worked extremely hard in everything he did for us, and it goes without saying that we wish him, and Steve, our very best.
“The Club, as a business, is in good shape. We have no bank debt, significant commercial growth, record season ticket and AberDNA membership sales. We also have an evolving player trading model that is allowing us to invest significantly more in the football operation than the operating income we generate.
“But, as chairman I accept responsibility, along with the board, for the managerial upheavals. It’s exhausting for everyone to go through, not least our fans and the managers who gave their all and lost their jobs.
“We have asked First Team Coach Peter Leven, assisted by Scott Anderson, to lead training on an interim basis.”
Names such as Neil Warnock, Alex Neil and Neil Lennon have been mentioned with the local Aberdeen evening paper going with Warnock as a stand-in boss until the end of the season.
What impact that this news will have on Celtic this weekend remains to be seen, but the job needs to get done and the three points are absolutely essential. Aberdeen have a trip to Ibrox next midweek, so maybe they can get their act together for that one, just like the last time they were there!