DCSIMG

Strachan confirmed as O'Neill replacement

Key facts

• Martin O'Neill to leave Celtic after Saturday's Scottish Cup Final

• O'Neill is leaving after five years at the club to care for his wife

• Gordon Strachan will take over as manager from 1 June

Key quote

"It has been an honour and privilege to have served the club and its supporters during that time and being part of Celtic history." Martin O'Neill

Story in full

Celtic have announced that manager Martin O'Neill will leave the club after Saturday's Scottish Cup final and will be replaced by Gordon Strachan, who will take over from June 1.

O'Neill, who has been in charge at the club for five years and led them to three SPL titles, is to take a year off from football to take care of his wife Geraldine, who is ill with lymphoma. O'Neill's assistants John Robertson and Steve Walford will also leave.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell said: "I can confirm we are delighted that Gordon has accepted the manager’s position at Celtic and I think he will do very well for the club."

Confirming O'Neill's departure, a statement from the club said: "It is with great reluctance that Celtic plc today announce that manager Martin O’Neill is leaving the club for family reasons after five years in charge."

O'Neill said: "I am leaving Celtic purely for personal reasons and I am extremely sorry to be departing in such circumstances.

"I would like to thank sincerely Dermot Desmond and the Celtic board for giving me the opportunity to manage this fantastic club five years ago.

"It has been an honour and privilege to have served the club and its supporters during that time and being part of Celtic history.

"My time at Celtic has been most rewarding and I have been privileged to have worked alongside a large number of very talented and committed people throughout the club."

Celtic chairman Brian Quinn said: "Martin's contribution to Celtic has been quite immense. He has played a central role in the club's enormous success over the past five seasons and he goes with sincere best wishes from everyone associated with the club."

Quinn added: "Whilst it will come as a great disappointment that he is leaving, we fully respect the reasons behind his decision.

"He has continued working for the past 18 months despite great pressure and personal stress. I've said many times that people often underestimate the emotional attachment that Martin has for Celtic, and that strength of feeling is undoubtedly reciprocated by the fans, staff, players and the board.

"He had proved himself one of the great Celtic managers and his place in the history of the club is assured. He goes with our gratitude and best wishes."

 
 
 

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