Former CEO Peter Lawwell gives interview on how Celtic recruited Ange Postecoglou
Former Celtic CEO Peter Lawwell has opened up on how Ange Postecoglou came to the club’s attention through the help of his son Mark.
Postecoglou has enjoyed a brilliant first campaign in the Parkhead dugout, securing the return of the Premiership title on Wednesday night.
However, things could have been very different around the club had Celtic’s move for Eddie Howe come off, with the Hoops board publicly pursuing the former Bournemouth manager.
But, of course, the rest is history, and Postecoglou is now part of the names who have delivered a Scottish Premiership title at Parkhead.
Speaking to Australian media outlet Keep Up, Lawwell credited one of the club’s latest appointments, Mark Lawwell, as the man who brought Ange to the club’s attention around three years ago, having worked closely with the former Socceroos boss in Japan.
The ex CEO also opened up on the process of appointment of Postecoglou, detailing the conversations between the Hoops manager and owner Dermot Desmond.
Lawwell told Keep Up: “He first came to my attention via my son Mark, who said a guy called Ange Postecoglou is the manager of Yokohama. This guy’s the real deal. That got my interest. I watched him carefully over that period. As CEO, I’ve always got a list of six names in the top drawer – you never know what can happen with the manager.
“Ange was on the list for three years – just before he won the league (with Marinos in 2019). I watched him, liked him. He won the league and had great success.
“In my initial chats with Ange, I got a really great impression. He was experienced, mature, had courage in his convictions. And having watched him over the years, he played football the right way. He was a football enthusiast, a football nut. He not only knows about Japanese, Australian and European football, he knew about Scottish football and Celtic, he knew the task that was (potentially) ahead of him. He knew Celtic.
“I’d spoken to Frank (Trimboli, Postecoglou’s agent) a couple of times in the process to gauge Ange’s availability and interest – we were looking (for a manager) from February onwards. Frank said he’d be interested, so we kept him in mind. When Eddie pulled out at the end of May, we went to the list. We agreed that I would speak to Ange, and Dermot would (separately) speak to him.
“Dermot had a Zoom call with him and called me back and said, ‘we don’t need to talk to anyone else’. He thought Ange was the real deal.”
It is crazy to think how different things could have been at Celtic this season had certain decisions gone through.
After such an incredible first campaign with the club, many fans will also have been left baffled about how Postecoglou hadn’t previously been given a chance at another side in Europe.
However, I am sure they are thankful for that at the same time, enjoying his success at Celtic.
Ange has created a special bond between himself, the players and the fans, which has arguably been unmatched in recent years.
Postecoglou will now also be working with the man who brought him to the attention of those at the club after Mark Lawwell was recently announced as the new head of recruitment.
So, it will be interesting to see that dynamic heading into the summer transfer window.