IT was a season that many Celtic supporters would have feared, but one that will now live long in the memory. Thanks mainly to the impact of the hitherto unheralded Ange Postecoglou, Celtic are champions of Scotland once again.

That seemed a remote prospect when the Australian arrived from Yokohama F. Marinos in June after Eddie Howe had eventually rejected the chance to replace Neil Lennon, a development that might have felt like a body blow at the time for the Celtic support, but will now feel like a bullet dodged.

The League Cup was delivered in December to hint at what was to come, and though a treble could not be captured, a double was still far beyond any reasonable expectations at the start of the campaign.

The upheaval of last summer is then but a fading memory, with Celtic fans looking forward to a transfer window where evolution, rather than revolution, is the priority.

Here, Herald and Times Sport take a look at how each area of the club has contributed towards that on-field success, and how they might look to consolidate that progress next season.


There is a maxim in football that nobody cares about the board when things are going well on the pitch, and there is little doubt that the success of Postecoglou as Celtic manager coupled with his ability to unite the club behind a common cause, has certainly shifted a spotlight that was getting a little uncomfortable for the club’s hierarchy.

The AGM back in November was something of a personal car crash for chairman Ian Bankier, whose aloof and befuddled demeanour when presented with legitimate supporter concerns over the disastrous tilt at 10 in-a-row and the infamous trip to Dubai only highlighted the disconnect between the board and the support further.

Incredibly, by then, Peter Lawwell’s replacement as chief executive, Dominic McKay, had already left the club, and there was not one mention of his name at the AGM. His temporary replacement – as he was then – was present, with Michael Nicholson eventually taking on the role on a permanent basis.

Despite some scepticism from fans around his close relationship with Lawwell, it is his close working relationship with Postecoglou that has won some of those cynics over, with frequent warm words from the manager also helping his cause.

If Nicholson backs his man – and new head of recruitment Mark Lawwell - in the transfer market again this summer, and Postecoglou enjoys a similarly stellar strike rate with his signings, then this year’s AGM may be an altogether more sedate affair.


The structure of the football department at Celtic has long been a bone of contention with supporters, with many feeling it was long past time for it to be modernised, and perhaps take in the role of a Sporting Director to allow their manager to focus on coaching the team.

Postecoglou himself spoke positively about the prospect of such a development initially, but as with the board, success on the field has rather shifted the focus away from such talk. After all, with the help of his recruitment team and his coaches, he seems to be handling the running of the multi-faceted football department just fine at the minute.

Mark Lawwell’s arrival, someone Postecoglou has worked with before at Yokohama F. Marinos, looks another positive step, while on the coaching side, the Celtic manager has dovetailed well with the staff that were already on the payroll.

John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan were rather tainted by their association with the calamity that was the previous campaign, but rather than bring in his own staff, Postecoglou has worked well with the men already in situ and values the work they are doing.

That unity has frequently been displayed when Postecoglou has cajoled his staff into appearing in his many manager of the month photos, highlighting the team effort that has gone into a successful campaign.

Early in the season, due to necessity rather than anything else, there were opportunities for young players in the first-team, and after a decent first campaign for the ‘B’ team in the Lowland League, Postecoglou may be hoping to bleed in some more youngsters during next term.

A word of praise too should go to Fran Alonso’s women’s team, who made history by competing in their first ever Champions League qualification matches, and who beat Glasgow City to lift the SWPL Cup.


Well, what can you say about Ange Postecoglou? The Celtic manager has defied his numerous sceptics in style, and vindicated the pundits and players from his homeland who assured the Celtic faithful that something special was in the offing.

The Celtic fans have fully bought into the direction that Postecoglou is steering their team, and he already enjoys demi-god status among them after putting them back on top of Scottish football even earlier than he may have expected.

The remarkable thing is that Postecoglou has managed to achieve that success from a point of chaos, almost entirely rebuilding a Celtic squad that was shorn of its top performers in the summer, re-shaping it in his image to succeed after a bumpy start - and with a fair bit of swagger thrown in for good measure.

He has had far more hits than misses in the transfer market, some of them succeeding spectacularly, and revitalised players who were already at the club. He deserves every bit of credit that is now coming his way.

That being said, there were one or two areas where he will be looking to improve. The cards were rather stacked against him when it came to European football this season, and he was afforded some leeway as a consequence, but he will certainly want to ensure that his team are ready to make an impact on the Champions League group stages after going out of all three competitions last season with something of a whimper.

All-in-all though, the appointment of Postecoglou has been a resounding success, mate.


What a difference a year makes. The Celtic dressing room is almost entirely unrecognisable from 12 months ago, and the players deserve huge credit for the way they have bonded and embraced one another to form such a tight unit in such short order.

Signings like Joe Hart, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Jota and Kyogo have been key, with others like Josip Juranovic, Carl Starfelt, Reo Hatate, Liel Abada, Daizen Maeda and Giorgos Giakoumakis playing crucial supporting roles too.

The man who deserves the utmost praise though for knitting it all together is new captain Callum McGregor, who has filled the void left by his friend Scott Brown and put his own stamp on the dressing room, earning gushing testimonies from his adoring teammates.

The impending permanent arrivals of Carter-Vickers and Jota are likely to be warmly received by the rest of the players, and it will be interesting to see how Postecoglou supplements this squad as we move through the summer.

That may hinge on moving a few expensive bodies out of the door mind you, and it would be no surprise to see the likes of Vasilis Barkas, Ismaila Soro, Albian Ajeti and even perhaps James McCarthy moved on to free up funds.


The pent-up frustrations of the previous season, where fans were forced to watch their team’s capitulation in the title race from streams in their living rooms, all came pouring out in the cathartic celebrations following the final-day mauling of Motherwell that put the exclamation point on Celtic’s Premiership triumph.

The supporters have a leader in Postecoglou that they can untie behind, and they have done so impressively. Postecoglou has made a point of emphasising that everything he and his team does is geared towards making the fans happy, and they have certainly done that.

One concerning area of course has been the increasing volume and frequency of pro-IRA songs and chants of ‘orange b******s’ from the terraces, unnecessary and outdated appendages to the matchday experience that sour it somewhat for the majority.

All-in-all though, the Celtic support have followed and backed their team with pride and passion this season, and after a shaky start, they have been richly rewarded for that unwavering support.