Alan Thompson Opens Up On Celtic Exit & Reveals That He’d “Love” To Return As Coach

Former Celtic midfielder and coach Alan Thompson, opened up on the difficult period that he experienced in 2012 when he was sacked from his role with the Hoops.

Speaking to BBC’s Scottish Football Podcast, Thompson said that leaving the club he played for on 227 occasions was “tough,” as he faced issues in his personal and professional life. The Englishman was sacked by close friend and former team-mate, Neil Lennon, after delivering the first league title of his spell in charge of the club.

Thompson subsequently went on to coach at Birmingham, Blackpool and Bury. However, it was not an easy time for the ex-England international. “I was out of work and going through a divorce, which was tough,” he explained.

“I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I was having a tough time personally and then it was tough after that. I’ve come through it now and looking forward to the future.”

Celtic won the Scottish Cup in 2011 and the Scottish Premier League in 2012 but Thompson quickly lost his position at the club. As a result, he admits that he didn’t speak to Neil Lennon for a period, but he said that there is now “no problem” between the pair.

“Was there a period where we didn’t speak? Yes,” Thompson told the podcast. “He’s got his reasons, I’ve got mine but there’s absolutely no problem whatsoever now.”

In terms of the future, Thompson said that he would “love” to return to Celtic as a coach some day, whilst he talked up Neil Lennon’s impact at Parkhead: “To have the influence he’s had as a player and a manager, it’s not surprising, knowing the character that he is. Who knows what happens next season? If they go and do the 10 [league titles in a row]he’s up there with Jock Stein and Martin O’Neill in my eyes, but that’s another nine or 10 months away. He’s going to play a massive part in the season, even though he can’t get on the pitch. Fingers crossed he can go on and get that magical 10.”

About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up in Bournemouth with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. Still living on the south coast, I have a season ticket at Paradise and also travel to European away matches when possible. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were/are sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are available on Amazon.

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