Date:Saturday June 6 2009
It will be a great relief to Clarets fans if today's news concerning Tony Mowbray and the Celtic's manager role comes true.
BBC Sport believe that Celtic will announce West Brom's Tony Mowbray as their new manager, subject to compensation being agreed with the Baggies.It would appear a package of around £1m would secure the deal, although West Brom have told the BBC that there has not been any official approach by Celtic.
Mowbray played for Celtic between 1991-5.He also has Scottish Premier League managerial experience with Hibernian and took the club to two top-four finishes in 2005 and 2006.
If negotiations over compensation prove successful, BBC Sport understand Mowbray could be presented to the media at a news conference at the beginning of next week.
Speculation though in the last few days had still linked Owen Coyle with the job at Celtic despite his denials. Coyle had declared his intention to stay with newly promoted Burnley and manage the club in the Premier League rather than move to the SPL and manage the club he supported as a child. He announed this on the club's official website before taking a ten day holiday last weekend.
He said specifically:
'All I would say is the same I have said from day one; I am fully committed to the job in hand at Burnley Football Club.We have an unbelievable adventure ahead of us and we want to make sure that when the season kicks off we do our ultimate to stay in the best division in the world.I am so excited at the challenge and prospect of pitting our Burnley side against the best.'
Clarets fans though were still nervy and wanted a new Celtic manager to be named before Coyle returned from his holidays. It looks like today's news suggests that could be close to happening.
A number of managers have been linked with the role vacated by the resignation of Gordon Strachan two weeks ago.
Mowbray was the original front-runner before Owen Coyle was mentioned in the media just after our Wembley victory in the play-offs final against Sheffield United.
Graham Alexander recently said:
"We heard about the rumours virtually within a couple of hours of the final whistle at Wembley, which was a bit disheartening really. We had a fantastic season to celebrate but that was a little black cloud over us, thinking 'is the gaffer going to leave?`"
Nice of Celtic and the media to do that!(NOT!!)
Later Swansea's Roberto Martinez was another in the frame but has since been approached by Wigan. Motherwell's Mark McGhee was believed to have been the other main contender but other names linked have included ex-Portsmouth boss Tony Adams and former Celtic players Roy Keane and Henrik Larsson. Slaven Bilic was also believed to be interested in the Celtic job according to his agent and former Hoops defender, Rudi Vata. The ex-Everton and West Ham centre-back and current Croatia national team head coach is looking for a new challenge.
'Slaven is certainly available to talk to Celtic but we have not heard anything,' Vata told BBC Scotland.
Mowbray now looks though to be the clear contender and close to being confirmed as the new Celtic boss.
Let's hope so, so we can all relax and get on with the exciting close season as we prepare for the Premier League.
Date:Saturday June 6 2009
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