I’m disappointed Brendan has left Celtic for Leicester – I would’ve wanted him to at least have stayed until the end of the season.
I thought Brendan would wait a wee while longer, and get a club somewhere around the world that guarantees you Champions League football. But I understand that he, and the club, have probably made a decision to remove the uncertainty from the situation. The club can now move forward.
Let’s get one thing clear: Celtic are a giant club. One of the biggest in the world. Far bigger than Leicester. But that’s not the comparison – the Premier League is so far advanced of Scotland’s that it’s unreal.
There’s a point when you’re in Scotland when you say ‘I’m at a huge club here, but is it enough?’ Was the league still testing Brendan? It did for the first season or two, because it was fresh, but it mightn’t have felt fresh anymore. His best team was probably in his first season.
Where would he go with them next season?
Small things like having to play on three plastic pitches every season, which rattles him, or the fact that you can’t progress in the Champions League on the budget you have. European football has probably been the one disappointment for Brendan at Celtic but, without spending £150 million, I don’t know what more him and his coaching team could do.
You also have to consider the madness of being an Old Firm manager, where you spend 75 per cent of your time answering questions about things that have nothing to do with football, which can be draining.
It takes away from the beauty of the game.
Celtic will have seen this coming
It’s a blow to the club, but they’ve lost managers before and dealt with it. There’ll be a mad rush around the world now, of people wanting to apply to work at Celtic. The people behind the scenes at the club have seen it all before. They’re so good at their job, it’s like working with chess players.
They can see problems coming, they’ll have prepared for this – they would’ve known it was coming. There’ll be a lot of great managers they talk to. They’ve hired people before with links to the club, but also without links.
My only link to Celtic was getting booed every time I played there with Aberdeen.
The next appointment will say a lot about how Celtic see themselves. Do they keep playing the same way that Brendan had them – that might be a good idea. They have the means to buy players better than the rest of the division, so it’s a great job.
Would I be interested? No, no, no, no. If you’ve had such a good time at a club, like I did at Celtic, I don’t think I could re-trace my steps. Unless that’s the only place you’ve felt alive and it’s your club. Others have done it, but I’ve moved onto different things now.
I would’ve got a whisper of it by now if they wanted me back, as I talk to Peter Lawwell and Dermot Desmond quite often. It might have come up.
But they only talk to me about golf.