Celtic confirm Fran Alonso leaves to manage in United States

Celtic have confirmed that Fran Alonso has left the club to take a new role in the United States, as revealed on The Celtic Star yesterday afternoon. Moving from the SWPL1 to perhaps the top league in the women’s game in the NWSL is a huge leap for the popular coach who has done a fabulous job at Celtic and is one of the rare breed of managers who leave the club in much better shape than he found it.

Celtic released the following statement on the official Celtic FC website:

Fran Alonso leaves Celtic after four years

Celtic Football Club today announced that Celtic Women’s team manager, Fran Alonso will be leaving the Club to take up an excellent opportunity in one of the top female leagues in the world.

Fran has been the Head Coach of Celtic FC Women for almost four years, having joined Celtic in January 2020 from Lewes FC Women. He will now join Houston Dash FC, a leading club in the American NWSL, as Head Coach.

His appointment at Celtic coincided with the team turning professional and he has overseen a real transformation at the Club and delivered unprecedented success on the pitch. Winning the League Cup in 2021 was only the second major honour for the team and the first silverware in over 10 years.

This was followed with back-to-back Scottish Cup successes in 2022 and 2023, while two second-place finishes in the Scottish Women’s Premier League also facilitated the Club’s first two experiences in the UEFA Women’s Champions’ League.

He leaves the Club in a great position, competing strongly again in the League and through to the semi-finals of the Sky Sports Cup.

Fran Alonso said:

“I was not born a Celtic supporter but I will definitely die as one and I will support Celtic for the rest of my life. The Club, the team, the people and the Celtic community has been everything to me during the past four years and has lit up my life. It has been a wonderful adventure.

“The values, the spirit and the ethos of the Club has been everything to me and I am so proud to have held the position of Celtic manager. I am very sad to leave Celtic and it was a really hard decision to make. However, the new opportunity in America is one that I dreamt about since I started coaching in the women’s game and I know our Celtic supporters will understand.

“During the last four years I have given absolutely everything to Celtic, on and off the field and I am delighted that we have made history in so many occasions – our very first UEFA Champions League qualification, our very first Scottish Cup, our first win in the UEFA Champions League, three trophies won, and managed to be just minutes away from winning our very first league title.

“I would like to thank everyone at Celtic who has given me such brilliant support. How you all make us feel is indescribable.

“I would like to thank all the players over this four years who have given everything for me and for the badge, and also thank you to my backroom team who have always walked the extra mile to help the team, on and off the field.

“Thanks to the directors and management at Celtic who gave me the opportunity of coming here and, of course, thank you to the best fans, who have really supported us in the hard times, have been behind us no matter what, and created atmospheres that will stay in our memories for the rest of our lives. 

“I leave knowing that the Celtic women’s team is in a much better place than when I first joined, and I am sure, with this terrific squad we have built, it will go from strength to strength. I wish the Club and the team all the success, I will always be supporting you from abroad. C’mon the Hoops!”

Celtic chief executive Michael Nicholson (centre) Photo: Jeff Holmes

Celtic Chief Executive, Michael Nicholson said: “I would like to sincerely thank Fran for the fantastic contribution he has made to the development of our women’s team. Under his leadership, our group of players has grown into an exciting and successful team – one which has delivered some great achievements and a team which continues to gather more and more support.

“Fran has played a pivotal role in establishing Celtic FC Women as one of the major forces in the Scottish game, a position we will be doing all we can to maintain and further improve on. We will also look to build on the progress that the team have made on a European level over the last couple of years.

“While we are hugely disappointed to lose Fran, everyone at the Club sincerely wishes him every success in his new challenge. The work on identifying his successor has already begun and we will make an announcement on the position as soon as possible.”

It’s going to be a tough job replacing Fran, that’s for sure.  Hopefully the new manager will be driving a hard bargain with the club when it comes to the budget available for new signings. Alonso was an outstanding operator in the transfer market and was able to assemble such a strong group of players over the past few seasons on an absolute shoestring budget.

Celtic need to show ambition here.

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 editor@thecelticstar.co.uk


  1. This part “Celtic need to show ambition here.” is a joke right? If the suits had shown ANY ambition for the women’s team Fran would have won the league and we would be the dominant force in Scotland , without him we will see just how much he made us punch above our non -commitment from the board , i predict we will promote from the existing staff as that’s the cheapest option , Hail hail .

    • i have followed the womens team for several years @ east kilbride and airdrie,every player have given 100% @ every game,,,,they stand for every thing good about CELTIC FOOTBALL CLUB..i have only seen one 1 director @ a game..(the only women on the board)..a big thanks to fran, his backroom staff and his players…HAIL HAIL,,bella ciao..