A day after conceding the SPL title to Rangers, Celtic manager Gordon Strachan has confirmed his resignation. In the considered view of the Guardian’s Ewan Murray, said announcement was a forgone conclusion because “Gordon was hated by the Celtic support.”
Supporters dislike it being said but Maritn O’Neill’s background as an Irish Catholic, a Celtic man, endeared him to them. His replacement was a spiky Presbyterian from Edinburgh, someone who enjoyed terrorising them on the field when part of Alex Ferguson’s all-conquering Aberdeen team. One punter back in those days even attempted to lamp the flame-haired Strachan during a visit to Glasgow’s east end.
At Celtic he has been blunt with the Scottish media, his on-screen comments frequently barbed; a factor which was used by his detractors as evidence that he was a poor ambassador for the club. Still a distasteful attitude towards the fourth estate hardly did Brian Clough, or Ferguson, any harm “ Scottish football supporters were never previously renowned for defending the press.
Every one of Strachan’s achievements at Celtic was done against a backdrop of financial cuts; the club are all-but debt free whereas debts stood in excess of £30m when he arrived at the club.
Strachan’s demeanour for weeks has hinted he was for the off. He may well have been on the verge of resigning a year ago when he could have gone out on a legitimate high. Time will tell how history remembers Gordon Strachan at Celtic. Their supporters are about to discover the merits of what they wished for.