Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou and his honesty over transfers is a culture shift at club

By Euan Davidson

July 23, 2021

It isn’t to say Celtic have had dishonest managers, but there’s a certain kind of honesty Ange Postecoglou exhibits regarding transfers that’s genuinely refreshing.

Pressed for his response to various transfer stories, the Greek-Aussie boss spoke like a fan. He’s eager, and he’s frustrated that more can’t get over the line quick enough. That isn’t to say another thing either, that in the past, we haven’t had managers who are fans of the club. Anything but.

It’s just that after months of worrying about whether we’d get a ‘Celtic man’ through the door at Parkhead, we’ve gone for something entirely different. Yet, the frank honesty exhibited by Postecoglou still feels entirely revelatory, somehow.

For example, how many managers would admit to being kind of a control freak? Or, saying words to the effect of “yep, our best player might be leaving. I hope he doesn’t. I know what you know.”

Even talking about having multiple targets – this is straight-shooting, non-patronising stuff from a football manager. It’s notable only because it’s so rare.

The key positions Celtic must strengthen to keep Postecoglou happy

I’m not going to pore over everything Postecoglou says or doesn’t say, and compliment it. Not professionally, at least. But the early signs here are nothing but encouraging. Postecoglou is a guy that talks like a fan does, and he knows who he’s addressing.

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In politics, there’s the old adage of voting for a candidate you’d want to have a beer with. Or, one you could imagine wanting to have a beer with you [The Atlantic]. It’s about appealing directly to the kind of people who should be interested in what you have to say, and how it affects them.

Conversely, in football, especially since the turn of the millennium, there’s been an innate corporate speak used by managers. Postecoglou seems to avoid that entirely, and it’s why supporters are connecting with him.

For Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou, plain-talking works after years of bungled communication

It strikes at a larger point. Communication between the club and the supporters has been dismal, and to a degree, still is. At least, where the board are concerned, plenty aren’t happy about the messaging they receive.

With the manager though, that seems different. Really, you have to wonder how much of that was part of Dom McKay’s decision to bring him to the club.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Twitter, statements, emails; all that stuff has nothing to do with Ange Postecoglou as a football manager. But the new CEO has brought in someone who talks in plain English, is honest about where the club are in bringing in talent, and what his goals are.

Sure: if Celtic get off to a terrible league start, none of this will matter. It’s a results business, and that’ll be a prime concern of the Celtic manager, nothing else.

But even if it’s an unintended side effect of his reign so far, fans are buying in. Primarily, because they like transparency from the man tasked with leading the team out every week.

Sometimes, it is just that simple.

In other news: was this intentional or accidental genius?

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