The Ronny Deila Story – Celtic’s Bizarre Two Seasons under the Norwegian Manager

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An awful lot of water has flowed under the bridge since Ronny Deila was the Manager of Celtic. We now have perhaps the opportunity, having in the meantime seen the very good and the very bad, to analyse Ronny in some sort of historical perspective.

He was the Manager for two seasons 2014/15 and 2015/16. During that time, he won three Scottish trophies out of six – two Premier League titles and one Scottish League Cup, and in the other competitions, he reached the semi-final stage. Semi-final defeats are always hard to take, but one could argue that as one of them went as far as a penalty shoot-out and two others saw Celtic on the wrong end of draconian refereeing decisions at vital stages of the game which swung the balance, we are entitled to say “hard luck”.

The Honest Mistake at the Scottish Cup. Semi Final. Inverness Caledonian Thistle versus Celtic. Josh Meekings blocks Leigh Griffiths goanward bound header on the line with his hand, it was some save to be fair to him!

Of his two seasons, it is generally accepted that 2014/15 was a great deal better than 2015/16 – yet on both occasions, Celtic ended up the champions of Scotland. And then he was sacked

Ronny’s record in Europe varied from the disappointing to the shocking. There were one or two games that were acceptable, and one that was a brilliant game of football between Celtic and Inter Milan reminding supporters of both teams of better days, but there were also some real shockers against opposition that could best be classed as moderate. Ronny also has the unwelcome distinction of having been beaten TWICE in the Champions League qualifying stages after the first team to beat Celtic were disqualified on a technicality!

Celtic manager Ronny Deila arrives ahead of the Scottish League Cup Semi final match between Ross County and Celtic at Hampden Stadium on January 31, 2016.. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty images)

Before Ronny arrived however, Celtic were in a strange position. They had won the Scottish League in 2014 (but also inflicted some really sub-standard performances on their supporters in the domestic Cup competitions) and Manager Neil Lennon suddenly left, it still being uncertain whether he jumped or was pushed. No real explanation was ever forthcoming, but the general perception, rightly or wrongly, was a dispute about the budget with the belief that Mr Lawwell and the Board were reluctant to sanction “marquee signings”.

Continued on next page…

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About Author

I am Celtic author and historian and write for The Celtic Star. I live in Kirkcaldy and have followed Celtic all my life, having seen them first at Dundee in March 1958. I am a retired teacher and my other interests are cricket, drama and the poetry of Robert Burns.


  1. The Great God Pan on

    I wish you would all get off this guys back.
    Ronnie was a very good Celtic manager and coach. Success is measured in many different ways and he successfully prepared the ground for others. He was not fully supported by our pathetic board, but Ronnie forced Celtic to increase their fitness program and enabled many players to improve their skills. His tactics were good and his support for the players was excellent. Lennon does not compare to him in any way and Brendan benefited from his policies and worked to improve the. Lennon failed to do so.
    IMHO Ronnie is always welcome back at Paradise and I am grateful for what he did.