Why Postecoglou Celtic contract detail is no big deal

By Euan Davidson

June 10, 2021

“Celtic sign Ange Postecoglou on a 12-month contract? Hardly the show of faith, is it?”

Here; it’s fine. From the outside, yes, it probably looks a little strange. In fairness, much of what Celtic have done over the last year or so requires forensic examination, from Dubai to… well, everything, really.

But this is par for the course. Since Martin O’Neill joined on a three-year deal in 2000 [BBC], one-year rolling contracts have become the norm at Celtic. O’Neill, himself, signed one of his own, in 2003 [Guardian]. Gordon Strachan, he of quick wit and being unable to leap over an advertising hoarding [YouTube], also signed one-year deals at the club [Glasgow Times].

I could go on. So I will. Tony Mowbray, who joined the club this week 12 years ago, signed the same kind of deal [Guardian]. It’s also worth tucking away for a rainy day that at the time, Roberto Martinez was being considered for the Celtic job.

Neil Lennon, Ronny Deila, even Brendan Rodgers; they’ve all started with one-year deals [Guardian]. To borrow a phrase from Montell Jordan, “this is how we do it”.

"Carl Starfelt to Celtic is a big possibility" | Swedish journalist Anel Avdić

So, why would Celtic change now? It’s worked successfully in the past, safeguarding the club if results don’t go the right way. But also, it means that if a manager is nabbed half way through a season, we’re due compensation. And, if we like them, we’re well-placed to offer a bumper deal should the circumstances dictate.

Ronny Deila: should it have been a lifetime contract? Who’s to say / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

There are other, more pressing concerns at Celtic

It may seem cynical, sure. Speaking personally, during my extensive working life I’ve signed one year contracts, albeit, not as Celtic manager. It does keep you on edge a bit, speaking from experience.

But it should also serve as motivation. Postecoglou will be more than aware that job security is on offer, but with the gesture of a 12-month deal, he’ll understand that short-term success he needs to gain confidence from the board. For the board’s part, they know they can just let his deal expire if things don’t go to plan.

Player contracts, though? That’s a very different story. Frustratingly, the likes of Ajer, Edouard and Christie have let their deals run, meaning we’re going to get far less for them than we should, provided they move on from the club. While yes, there’s a danger of that with Postecoglou, there’ll be further deals already written, missing a signature, should Celtic find themselves under rejuvenated fortunes with the Greek-Australian boss.

The club as a whole require further examination. Dominic McKay will be well aware that further challenges await him. Modernising the club doesn’t start and end with the appointment of a new manager.

That’s the real crux of things. As for Postecoglou’s 12-month contract? It means little.

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