Stan Petrov delivers verdict on Scott Brown's "really frustrating" Celtic departure

By David Walton

March 31, 2021

Celtic great Stan Petrov has labelled Scott Brown’s departure “really frustrating” as he called for the new manager to be surrounded by leaders.

Brown confirmed his Parkhead exit last week in a shock move. The Celtic midfielder will move to Aberdeen in a player/coach capacity. The opportunity to become Stephen Glass’ number two clearly proving too tempting to turn down.

Celtic stated that they tried “desperately” to keep a hold of our iconic captain. However, it looks as though the opportunity to jump into senior coaching so quickly is what secured the deal.

Petrov, meanwhile, believes Celtic need leaders to help make the appointment of a new manager go smoother. And as he spoke on the Celtic Huddle podcast about Martin O’Neill’s arrival back in 2000, he couldn’t help but show his disappointment over Brown’s departure.

“He brought big characters into the team to make the job easier. If you look at Martin O’Neill’s side you had Chris Sutton, Alan Thompson, John Hartson, Neil Lennon – huge leaders. He didn’t have to do much, the boys were leading because we had so many leaders.

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“When a new manager comes he ahs to analyse it and understand what the situation is. At the moment, we’re about to lose one of the biggest and most charismatic leaders in our history in Scott Brown. We’re talking about a person who has won 22 titles, who has become an idol for many fans.

“We’re about to give him somewhere else to show what he knows and how he leads. And we don’t keep him? This is really frustrating to see. But we need to wait and see whether this is true or whether they can do something about it (the lack of leaders).”

Stan Petrov makes good leadership point; but difficult to blame Celtic for Scott Brown’s exit

Some have definitely directed their ire towards Celtic for Scott Brown’s departure. Chris Sutton similarly questioned the Hoops’ efforts to try and keep him last week [Daily Record].

However, it’s difficult to know what Celtic could’ve done more to keep him. You can bash the club for many things this season, but the Brown saga isn’t one of them. An offer was clearly on the table to keep Scott that wasn’t taken. Yes, we could’ve bumped it up to two years instead of one, but there was no guarantee Brown was going to still be performing by that stage.

Celtic were also correct not to guarantee Brown both constant first-team action or a place on the new manager’s backroom team. That should be down to the new manager and him alone. It isn’t for any of the higher-ups at Parkhead to make a verdict on.

Scott Brown is heading for Aberdeen (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

So Brown leaves for Aberdeen with Celtic having made their offer to keep him. He was given as much time as he needed to make the decision, and he has done. Any criticism or highlighting of the Hoops’ handling of this feels harsh.

But Stan makes a great point about the lack of leaders and how securing some gave O’Neill a bit boost. With Kris Ajer and Shane Duffy set to depart in the summer, we’re lacking natural leadership. Chris Jullien won’t be back until the season is well underway either. If Callum McGregor is given the captaincy, vice-captain candidates will be rather thin.

So we’ll see how the new boss addresses that particular concern.

In other news, watch Mohamed Elyounoussi’s superb match-winning assist for Norway yesterday.