Wigan appoint ex-Celtic star Kolo Touré as new Manager

Former Celtic defender and first team coach Kolo Touré has been appointed Wigan Athletic First Team Manager, after signing a three and a half year deal with the Championship side. Kolo came to Celtic at the twilight of his playing days but was retained by Brendan Rodgers as a valuable member of his backroom team, leaving with Rodgers who took most of his staff with him when we left Celtic for Leicester City in February 2019.

Kolo was hugely popular with the Celtic players at the time as this video illustrates…

The former Ivory Coast international joins Wigan from Leicester City, where he was operating as First Team Coach working under his former Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers.

Wigan’s Chief Executive Malachy Brannigan was clearly pleased with his new appointment.

“We are delighted that Kolo has become the new manager of Wigan Athletic Football Club, and the Board are pleased that he believes in the vision of the Club and wants to be the man to take us forward,” he told the official Wigan Athletic website.

“We received a high calibre of applicants for the manager’s job in recent weeks, in a very thorough recruitment process as we looked to appoint the right person for the role.

“From the earliest of conversations we had with Kolo, it was evident to us that he had instantly bought into the values of the Club – with his enthusiasm, knowledge and immense desire to work and be part of Wigan Athletic shining throughout the process.

“There is no doubt that this appointment is an exciting one for the Football Club. Kolo is a manager who wants to play a positive brand of football and will strive every day to make the Club stronger.

“The work starts immediately with the first team squad, as the season is just a couple of weeks away from restarting.

“As a Board of Directors, we look forward to working closely with Kolo and his team as the work begins collectively to establish Wigan Athletic as a Championship Club.

“I am sure that all Latics supporters will get behind the appointment of Kolo Touré, give their backing to the staff and the players, as the Football Club begins a new, exciting era – starting at Millwall on December 10th.”

Wigan note that Kolo Touré has worked with world class football managers such as Arsène Wenger, Roberto Mancini, Jürgen Klopp and Brendan Rodgers in an illustrious playing career. Touré is joined by Kevin Betsy and Ashvir Johal, with both joining the backroom coaching staff at Wigan.

The team are currently at a training camp in Turkey and the three new appointments will be heading there to begin work, looking to drag the Latics out of relegation trouble.

Photo:Simon Bellis

The former Celtic defender said: Kolo Touré said: “I would like to thank all of the fans, players and staff of Leicester City Football Club, Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, Susan Whelan, Jon Rudkin and of course Brendan Rodgers for making me feel so welcome for so many years.

“The experiences that I have amassed under Brendan Rodgers have been invaluable and I’m sure they will help me in this next chapter of my career.

“I am extremely proud to be named Manager of Wigan Athletic. Wigan Athletic is a big club with hugely passionate fans. Together, we can continue to make the right steps forward.

Photo: Michael Regan

“I’m excited to work with this talented group of players and staff, and immensely look forward to my time ahead.”

Kolo, an Invincible at both Arsenal and Celtic, has previously commented about where he experience the best atmosphere in his football career. “The atmosphere was unbelievable. I think the greatest I’ve ever experienced in my career was in Scotland at Celtic Park,” he said, as reported by The Celtic Star.

Best of luck to Kolo at Wigan.

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 editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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