Heid Blow as Thistle terminate ex-Celt Gary Caldwell’s contract with immediate effect

GARY CALDWELL has today had his contract terminated by Partick Thistle. The former Celtic defender recently spoke about returning to Celtic Park on Wednesday 25 September for the Betfred Cup quarter final tie against his old club but that will now not happen for Caldwell after today’s decision from the Thistle board.

The official statement released by Partick Thistle on their website stated: “Earlier today, the board of Partick Thistle Football Club informed manager Gary Caldwell that his contract has been terminated with immediate effect,” and promised more details to follow.

Speaking just after Celtic’s shock defeat to Cluj in the Champions League and just as his struggling Thistle side were given the toughest of draws in the Betfred Cup, away to the Treble Treble winners, 37 year old Caldwell outlined his thoughts on the pressures of playing for Celtic, especially after some bad results.

“When you play for Celtic, it’s just what happens. One bad result can bring the whole world down on top of you,” the Partick Thistle boss told the Scottish Sun.

“To be a player or staff member at Celtic, you have to be ready to stand up to that and have the mentality to deal with it.

“The reality is Celtic have won every competition in Scotland for the last three years. Nine trophies is an unbelievable achievement.

“They have qualified for the Champions League group stage some seasons and have been knocked out in others. They didn’t play well against Cluj, but everyone should know by now that it’s not easy to qualify.

“The criticism and furore that’s come on the back of that defeat is just classic Celtic. For me, this so-called crisis won’t last too long but, as players, all they can do is try to ride it out.

“I remember what that can be like. I was criticised every week! I think back to my debut in the league, when we won 4-0 against Kilmarnock. I gave the ball away at one point and Killie really should have scored, but didn’t.

“It was a slack pass into midfield which they pounced on. We got away with it and won comfortably — but afterwards my mistake was questioned by everyone.

“There were people phoning into radio shows to say I couldn’t be a ball-playing centre-back for Celtic. I just thought, ‘Wow’. Yes, it was a mistake but the criticism that came my way opened my eyes to what it was like to play for Celtic. The negativity blew me away.

“The harsh reality is that if you want to play for Celtic, you need to be able to handle that pressure. You have to be thick-skinned and shrug off every bit of negativity that comes your way.

“I took so much criticism when I was at Celtic, but I brushed it off because I wanted to become better — and thankfully I had a manager who believed in me.”

Sadly though for Caldwell he clearly didn’t have a board of directors at Partick Thistle who believed in him and today they took action to remove him with immediate effect.

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder by and is 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 editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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