Ange Postecoglou on AEK Athens knock-back the day before Celtic job offer

The latest edititon of The Howie Games Podcast featuring Ange Postecoglou is a brilliant listen with Ange opening up about the manner in which things progressed very quickly during and shortly after the Zoom call with Dermot Desmond ahead of his appointnent as Celtic manager in June 2021.

Dermot Desmond has already spoken about his first conversation with Ange in an interiew on Celtic TV last season but it’s fascinating to hear Ange’s perspective on the way he was appointed as Celtic manager.

Photo: Jeff Holmes

And of course you have to say that the Lawwell’s – first Mark then Peter who was convinced of the merits of Postecoglou by his son and when Eddie Howe eventually turned the Celtic job done, the outgoing CEO got Dermot Desmond on board enough to give Ange a call that turned quickly into an interview then a job offer. Here’s Ange’s take on all of this in his own words, where he talks about being rejected by AEK Athens only the day before Celtic came calling.

“I’ve logged on the call and spoken with Dermot Desmond. We had a great discussion, he’s a great man, he kind of knew all about me which gave me some reassurance. I got comfortable really quickly.

“They had done their research, not just about me as a manager, but the way I played my football, which was really important to me.

“But we hit it off really well. We had about a 30-40 minute conversation and he signs off by saying: ‘Brilliant, love it, hang-up I’m going to set up a call with our CEO and our chairman in ten minutes time. We’ll send you the link and you chat to them. If they’re happy, I’m happy.’

“Now I’ve gone off the call, right? Georgia’s come in, she’s trying to grab Max and Alexi they’re running around, she’s trying to get dinner organised. She comes in and asks ‘what happened?’ and I go: ‘look I might have this totally wrong, but I think we have a chance here.’ She says ‘really?’ and I go: ‘Unless I’m totally out of the loop here I think there’s something going on.’

Ange Postecoglou Unveiling – Celtic Park Celtic new manager Ange Postecoglou poses for a photo at Celtic Park Glasgow. Picture date: Friday June 25, 2021. Photo: Jeff Holmes

“In the meantime Frank (Trimboli) called me to ask what’s going on and I went: ‘Mate I think it went well, he wants me to talk to the CEO.’ As soon as I said CEO he hung-up on me, because he’s then making his calls to see what’s going on.

“Within ten minutes I had the hook-up with the CEO and the chairman. Again, I had a really good discussion with them, even less time, probably about 20 minutes.

“They kind of again signed off with: ‘I can see why Dermot really likes you and we think you’re the right man. We’ll speak to Frank and we’ll get this going. And again I’ve just closed the computer and I’ve gone: ‘What the hell is going on mate?’

Photo: Jeff Holmes

“This is Celtic, this is one of the biggest, most famous, football clubs in the world. A club that I’d known as a kid that people would talk to me about. I know what nights at Celtic Park are all about, they sing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.’ It’s like one of the most famous football clubs in the world and here I am potentially being the manager.

“Again Georgia’s come in, her head is rattling asking what’s going on, and I go: ‘I think they’re going to offer me the job! I don’t understand it but I think that’s what’s going to happen.’ Frank rings me about half-an-hour later and tells me it’s happening and that they’re going to make an offer. Away we go.”

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

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