Parkhead boss issues ultimatum
Rodgers calls for more ambition or he’ll quit
Brendan Rodgers: ‘You have to test yourself (pic: SNS Group)
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers says his time will be up at the club if his ambitions to build further success is held back by the board.
First strains in his relationship with the Celtic board emerged over the transfer policy this week when his number one target – John McGinn – left Hibs for Aston Villa for a reported £2.75m.
Rodgers was left frustrated that the Celtic board failed to stump up the cash that should have been within their budget.
“I spoke to John at length,” Rodgers told the media yesterday. “But he was already gone to Villa. It was just to wish him all the very best. It is a great move for him, disappointment for us of course. Especially when he is a lifelong Celtic supporter.
“But he is joining another illustrious club with a great history and wonderful training facilities and a good manager and an opportunity to go play in England.
“He has developed a lot these last couple of years. He is a good age, a prime age at 23. I was given an indication of where he was at so it was just a call out of courtesy really. He is a young man that I would like to see do well. He is very committed to his profession and a very good player.”
In a stark warning that he may leave Parkhead, Rodgers said he will never be happy with standing still. “Yes, my job is done then. Terminado. Gone. That’s the challenge,” he said.
“You have to test yourself to the limit. You have to be courageous as a club. “It’s a joy to work here. I love my life here and enjoy being the manager here. But it’s no good if I just sit back and get comfortable. Being comfortable is the enemy of progress.”
Rodgers expressed his respect for major shareholder Dermot Desmond, chief executive Peter Lawwell and chairman Ian Bankier, but has called on Celtic to be “courageous”.
He said: “Dermot, Peter and Ian all want what’s best for Celtic. Critically, they are major shareholders and run the club. I have to respect that, and I do.
“My ambition is for Celtic. Every manager is ambitious but for me it’s inherently about the club. We’ve done a double treble, been invincible in one of those seasons, set a British record for unbeaten games. “We don’t want to stand still. How do we improve?
“I totally respect how difficult it can be, the financial side is tough at times. I have a huge respect for the board here. Absolutely.
“They have run the club strategically very, very well. Me coming into here and what I have seen in the last couple of years, I have real good relations with every one of them.
“There is not an issue there at all. My focus is on doing the best for Celtic. Deep down I am a supporter but I am also a professional manager. I also look for the help that is needed to take the team to the next level if that is what the demand is. I will always push for that.
“What we need in the squad in terms of real genuine quality positioning will obviously cost you money. It doesn’t guarantee anything. What you would hope is that it would give you a greater opportunity.”
Following his success at Celtic, achieving double trebles, Rodgers has been linked with moves to other big clubs in recent months, notably Arsenal, but has shown commitment in taking the Scottish champions to the next level.
Rodgers is today set to finalise a one year deal for returning defender Emilio Izzaguire and secure Daniel Arzani on a two-year loan move from Man City.