Brendan Rodgers the new favourite to replace Ange Postecoglou at Celtic

Playing Hardball with Daniel Levy, The Rodgers Rumour, John Kennedy’s dilemma and big bucks for Celtic stars…

Ange Postecoglou told us at the weekend that he’s off on holiday tomorrow with his family and is very much looking forward to that. There is apparently a season de-brief meeting scheduled for today to review the season in which Celtic ended up winning a world-record eighth Treble at the weekend with the 3-1 win over Inverness Caley Thistle in the Scottish Cup Final.

Apparently Ange Postecoglou will NOT now attend that meeting and has already informed Celtic bosses that he wishes to leave the club to take up the vacant post at Tottenham. There is speculation that Celtic will be looking for similar levels of compensation that they received from Leicester City in February 2019 – around £9.5m – if they are to grant Tottenham permission to speak to the current manager of Celtic Football Club.

Spurs CEO Daniel Levy may well be forced into paying a higher compensation sum than previously thought given that Ange Postecoglou is only on a one year rolling contract and his wages you would expect would not be at the levels Celtic were paying to Brendan Rodgers, who also signed a contract extension which strengthened Celtic’s hand when Leicester City formally asked for permission to speak to Rodgers. The key factor in all of this though is time and Tottenham don’t really have it.

Daniel Levy, the Tottenham Hotspur chairman looks on during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Tottenham Hotspur at Carrow Road on May 22, 2022 (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Indeed after being rejected elsewhere David Levy finds himself in a similar position to Celtic back in May 2021 when Eddie Howe after keeping the Celtic Board hanging on for around a hundred days, decided against taking the Celtic job and a quick-fire solution had to be found and that’s when Celtic looked to Ange Postecoglou.

Brendan Rodgers is the new favourite to be the next manager of Celtic

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Rodgers took many of the backroom staff with him when he did that sneaky midnight flit to Leicester but one man who was offered the chance but rejected it in favour of remaining at Celtic was John Kennedy. Kennedy has worked under Neil Lennon, Ronny Deila, Brendan Rodgers and Ange Postecoglou and reports today suggest that the Australian wants to take Kennedy to Spurs with him. There has also been speculation linking Kennedy to the Hearts job.

John Kennedy speaking to the media including The Celtic Star

Incidentally twice in recent months Ange Postecoglou skipped doing pre-match media duties and John Kennedy stepped in to cover. The first time it was apparently due to Ange wanting a break from the same old questions, which everyone bought, but there was no such explanation the second time, which was before the recent game against St Mirren. Maybe that was an early sign that Ange’s head was starting to turn?

Other than Kennedy there has also been some speculation that Harry Kewell will be joining Ange Postecoglou at Tottenham and given he arrived at Celtic on Ange’s invitation to work with him there might be some merit in that rumour, although none of this is anything more than speculation at this stage.

Celtic’s Australian coach Harry Kewell leads a training session at Lennoxtown. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Certainly John Kennedy’s attachment to Celtic is long-term and he would have to think long and hard about giving up the career he has made for himself at Celtic Park. However does he now believe that his own time for the top job has arrived and if the Celtic board overlook him for a box-office replacement, amid one strong rumour that Brendan Rodgers could be coming back, would Kennedy be prepared to work under a new manager (or indeed a returning one) rather than take the opportunity to go to the Premier League with Ange Postecoglou?

What both Rodgers and Postecoglou proved is that Celtic need an elite coach and while the Board have been very supportive of John Kennedy over a long period of time will they believe he has what it takes to be an elite level football manager, particularly when there are many other top names around who might be very keen on a few years at Celtic?

Ange Postecoglou’s route to Tottenham from the J-League to the Premier League via 5 trophy wins in two remarkable seasons at Celtic is some story if you step aside from the bitter disappointment that the Celtic support all be feeling because it’s over for Ange at Celtic.

Ange described himself as ‘a joke appointment’ at the weekend when looking back on his arrival in Glasgow but pointed out that the Celtic supporters gave him their backing from day one, as indeed was the case. The Spurs fans might not be as welcoming as they look at a guy with Scottish Premiership and J-League experience getting the job ahead of the likes of Luis Enrique, whose CV certainly reads better that Postecoglou’s. But a few years at Celtic has changed all of that and that in itself makes the Celtic job an attractive proposition or an elite coach with an eye for a top job in England, via a successful stint in Glasgow.

It’s probably something that many Celtic supporters will disapprove of but the hope that we get a great manager in and he’s happy to stay for the long term is unrealistic to say the least.

Ange Postecoglou, at 56 had been enduring the Covid restrictions in Japan, and getting nowhere in his ultimate dream of managing in Europe. Circumstances at Celtic opened that door for him and if he can now go onto fulfil his lifetime ambition and remember he’s had 25 years as a football manager working up from the bottom, then you would think that the vast majority of Celtic support will wish him well.

Ange has transformed our club from top to bottom and he has signed players that excite the support and add greatly to the balance sheet. He also said at the weekend that there were players in the Celtic dressing room at Hampden celebrating the Scottish Cup win and the Treble who would not be at the club next season and he has taken repeatedly in recent weeks about some of our top stars leaving.

One report claims that Kyogo could join Ange at Spurs with a transfer fee of £25-30m being mentioned and Reo Hatate remains a likely candidate to attract similar big bids. If both were sold for £25m each that is an incredible financial windfall for the club and again it would allow us to recruit players who perhaps previously would not have fancied playing in Scotland because they’d see the route that Hatate and Kyogo would have taken to get their moves to England.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds 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


  1. Damian Gallagher on

    Can’t see a Rodgers return myself. I don’t think Lawell would back that, along with a large section of fans ( myself being one of them ), that believe a rat, is a rat, is a rat. At least Ange had the decency to wait until the end of the season before jumping ship, as it appears to be, going by media reports. I would prefer a more imaginative appointment. Maybe someone like the Bobo Glimpt manager, who plays a similar style to our current set up?

    • I think the man who knows the team inside out is John Kennedy! As he has worked so close too Ange he knows exactly how he operates, and could continue with what he has learned from Ange, and could carry on, with a few tweaks for himself Yes he has had his hand in the jar before, and did not cover himself in glory,but what he has learned from Ange, must give hime a fighting chance. Only my thoughts, but he is there of required. HAIL HAIL.

  2. A week ago I’d have been livid at the thought of BR returning as manager but as big Ange (Good luck big fella your going to need it) has proved – in football money ALWAYS matters most….


  3. If Brendan wants a job I’d be offering him less than he had the last time he was here.My preferred guy would be the Bodo coach…no chance of the average height of the team being about 5ft 7 ins with him.Ange was such a brilliant manager he went into a Cup Final with a midfielder playing at centre back. We were lucky it was a Championship team we were playing. He was also lucky the buns gave Gio a job.I know the hard of thinking will find it hard to admit that,but,that’s the truth of the matter.