Ange Postecoglou admits he ‘will forever’ be a Celtic fan after Tottenham move

Ange Postecoglou insists he “will forever” be a Celtic supporter after leaving the Parkhead club for Tottenham.

The London club ended days of speculation by appointing the 57-year-old Australian as their new head coach on a four-year deal.

Postecoglou – who won the domestic treble with the Hoops this season to make it five trophies in two campaigns in charge – replaces Antonio Conte at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

In his parting statement on Celtic’s official website, the former Australia manager thanked the club’s majority shareholder Dermot Desmond, chairman Peter Lawwell and chief executive Michael Nicholson as well as the supporters as he reviewed his time at the cinch Premiership club.

He said: “I would like to sincerely thank everyone at the club for everything they have given me.

“In particular, Dermot, Peter and Michael and the Celtic Board have shown me tremendous support in every aspect of my time at Celtic and I will forever be grateful for this.

“They brought me to the club and I have worked so closely and so well with them for the past two years, I will always have a special relationship with them.

“They wanted me to extend my time at Celtic and while I am so respectful and understanding of their position, a new opportunity has been presented to me and it is one which I wanted to explore.

“It was an honour to be asked to be Celtic manager and during my two years I have given everything I have to deliver success to our supporters.

“Culminating in the treble at the weekend, my players and backroom team have been brilliant for me on this journey.

“They have given us all some fantastic moments through their energy and effort, creating real quality, winning football.

“Our supporters have been magnificent to me and I thank them for the way they have embraced me during the past two years.

“My ambition was always to give our fans a team they could be proud of, a team people talked about and I think we have achieved that.

“Celtic is a phenomenal football club and so much more – and I will forever be a supporter of this great institution. I wish everyone connected with Celtic nothing but continued success.”

Nicholson described Postecoglou as “a great football manager and a good man”, who has “served the club with such energy and determination and delivered a phenomenal level of success”.

He said:  “I would like to thank him for all he has given us and I wish Ange and his family the very best for the future in everything they do.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou (centre) celebrates with the league trophy
Postecoglou (centre) celebrated with the Premiership trophy last month (Jane Barlow/PA)

“Of course, we wanted Ange to stay with us at Celtic and while there is real disappointment that we are losing him, he has decided he wants to look at a new challenge, which we respect.

“As treble-winning champions, the club looks ahead with confidence to the future, with many exciting opportunities ahead.”

Lawwell was equally praiseworthy of the former Melbourne Victory and Yokohama F Marinos boss.

He said: “Against any measure, Ange has delivered a fantastic level of success to Celtic and we thank him for his brilliant contribution to the club during the past two years.

“We were delighted to bring Ange to Celtic.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou celebrates
Postecoglou won the domestic treble with the Hoops this season to make it five trophies in two campaigns in charge (Steve Welsh/PA)

“He is a special manager who has had success wherever he has been and someone who brought to the club attacking, stylish and winning football in the best traditions of Celtic.

“Of course, we are disappointed that Ange has decided to leave the club and we did all we could to keep him with us well into the future, but he wanted to take this new opportunity and we wish Ange well in this and everything else he does.

“Now our focus is very much on ensuring we move forward positively and do all we can to ensure that we maintain our dominant position in Scottish football and also prepare for the exciting European challenges which lie ahead.”