Odd Craig Levein comments shown up by Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou in superb response

By John McGinley

March 18, 2023

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has rejected the assertion that the Bhoys and Rangers have to move to England for other Scottish football clubs to be successful.

Former Hearts boss Craig Levein came out with some odd comments earlier in the week suggesting that he would move the Bhoys to another league and have them pay £50m a year back into the Scottish Premiership, to the clubs that were left behind. [Daily Record]

But Postecoglou, who has experience in delivering big success after a barren period in Japan and different league structures such as a salary cap in Australia, reckons people in Scottish football should be aspirational, not seek to destroy what is here.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Ange Postecoglou wants to see Scottish aspiration, not destruction

As quoted by The Scotsman, the Celtic boss said: “In Japan, it was the first time the club I was with had won the league in 15 years. I’m not saying it is easy to do. In many cases it is a really massive jump. But you are either aspirational or not. If you want something to improve, you don’t bring it to its lowest common denominator. You’re not really achieving anything with that.

“People in this country are really passionate about their football, really passionate about their football clubs, I get that. It is only two years ago that St Johnstone won two cups. My underlying feeling – and this is not just about Scottish football or football in general, but life – is I think it is always better to be aspirational than any other way.

“How many championships have Bayern Munich got in a row at the moment? Forever and a day there will be opinions on the game. And it is good theatre, great to grab your bucket of popcorn and listen to, but it’s not on my radar. I’m not in that head space.

“People are just so in the moment. When was the last time Rangers and Celtic met in a Scottish Cup final? That tells you something. All this stuff is in the moment because we happen to be dominating the competition. In terms of the broader discussion around Scottish football, if the suggestion is that the best way to improve is to take away the highest standard you have within the game, then I don’t believe that.

“If you want to raise the standards then you try and attain the highest standard that already exists. So try and build teams up to that rather than give everyone a lower bar. Mate, I lived in Australia where there is a salary cap, where there is equalisation and, let me tell you, there is no one in Scotland that would enjoy that walk for one second.”

If more people in Scottish football subscribed to Postecoglou’s way of thinking, the game here would probably a lot better off. Negativity seems to reign in this country – it’s always about tearing others down than building the game up. The Celtic manager is spot on with his comments here.

It’s undoubtedly frustrating for other clubs to see so much Celtic success at the moment. If I were an opposition fan I’d be hating it. But they have to ensure they are making good decisions and maximising their opportunities. At the moment, I can’t see many of the top-flight clubs doing that.

In other news, Celtic team news vs Hibs: Ange misses 2, predicted XI, Easter Road injuries.