Asian Football Confederation speak out on Celtic, Postecoglou and licence issue

By John McGinley

June 5, 2021

Asian Football Confederation technical director Andy Roxburgh has given his backing to incoming Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou and provided context to the coaching licence problem.

Celtic are reported to have agreed compensation with Yokohama F. Marinos, paving the way to appoint the 55-year-old.

Roxburgh, who managed the Scottish national team in the late 80s and early 90s, is adamant the issue surrounding Postecoglou’s lack of UEFA Pro Licence doesn’t reflect on his ability as a coach.

UEFA have confirmed a recognition of competence procedure has been initiated, which Celtic are said to be relaxed about. Postecoglou currently holds the highest licence available in Asia.

Roxburgh provided more context on the situation to The Scottish Daily Mail today. [05/06 print edition, page 113]

He said: “I know Ange very well. We think he is a top, top guy. He has been very successful both at club and international level. Ange was at my last two elite coaches forum events and spoke very well. I would describe him as strong, clever and progressive. Those are the words I’d use.

“It’s just the fact this is a process that UEFA go through and we can’t influence it in any way, shape or form.

“We are about to have negotiations to try and have equivalence of the licences. In other words, a recognition of licences so that people can move freely. But it hasn’t quite happened yet. It will hopefully happen in the next six months.

“FIFA has now agreed there is a very clear process of how to check everything. So UEFA go through the process. It’s frustrating if you are lined up to do a job and have to face it, but it’s not about the individual here. It’s about the various cases they get annually and the process.”

Licence issue will be quickly forgotten if Postecoglou starts well at Celtic

A lot of the issues surrounding Postecoglou – his lack of European experience, the licence, his backroom staff etc – will be quickly forgotten if he gets into the job and provides results.

Much of this drama is happening in a vacuum of information and updates. If Celtic can get him in the door, present him effectively to the support and back him with recruitment then fans will get on board.

Incoming Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou doesn’t have a UEFA Pro Licence / (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

The anxiety around his appointment is understandable. It can’t be denied he will be under pressure from the start. Arguably though that’s the club’s doing, rather than his.

I’m hoping he can quietly go about his business, get the official thumbs up from UEFA and put a winning team on the park.

Fingers, and everything else, crossed.

In other news, second Green Brigade protest banner in two days unveiled outside Celtic Park.