Cut off from board and no money: Former manager delivers the truth on Celtic exit

By John McGinley

October 31, 2021

Former Celtic manager Wim Jansen has gone into the circumstances of his exit from Parkhead, more than 20 years after the event.

Jansen hasn’t spoken much about leaving Celtic in May 1998, in a move that surprised many following the glorious season that stopped the ten.

The Dutchman was a hero with the Hoops support after masterminding a league win with signed stars such as Henrik Larsson and Paul Lambert all becoming a huge part of the Celtic story.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

However, it has always been suspected that all was not right behind the scenes between Jansen and the Celtic board. And he has confirmed that to be the case in his new book Meesterbrein.

The Sunday Post carry quotes from the book today, with Jansen explaining: “The truth is, I hadn’t spoken to the board from January that season. Everything went through Murdo MacLeod. Of course, you cannot sustain such a situation. If you enjoy your job and what you do, it’s very easy.

“But if you don’t, it takes up a lot more energy. I wanted to continue to build a team at Celtic, but they didn’t want to spend any money.

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“If you want to keep improving and go higher up, you have to spend money. It got to a certain point that I didn’t want to wait for the next argument anymore. I couldn’t go any further.

“For me, a big decision like that doesn’t depend on success or sympathy – it depends on vision. Do you move forward, or do you want to stay still? My gut instinct told me to leave. And everything I do, I do by instinct.”

They are very interesting comments from an individual who, as a player, reached the heights of the European game. Clearly he didn’t think Celtic had a long-term view of how to consistently stay ahead of Rangers.

Following Jansen’s departure, Celtic went through a period of great change and it wasn’t until the unifying figure of Martin O’Neill arrived that the Bhoys were convinced to lay down serious cash. That brought success but also potential financial instability that Peter Lawwell took years to correct.

Photo by IAN STEWART/AFP via Getty Images

At Celtic there will always be the push and pull of risk and reward. Fans and managers will want a bigger playing budget. The figures in the board room will count the pennies.

In this modern era it should all be about efficiency and getting as much bang for our buck as possible. It’s not about what we spend but how we spend it. That’s the modernisation that the club needs to embrace in this decade.

In other news, Celtic confirm derby ticket situation; rival fans shut out of New Year fixture.