Celtic have confirmed that manager Ronny Deila will leave the Parkhead club at the end of the season.
The club released a statement on the website that suggests Deila has resigned rather than being sacked by the board.
It reads: “Celtic Football Club today announced that Celtic manager Ronny Deila has decided to leave the club at the end of the season.”
The Norwegian has been under relentless pressure following the failure to qualify for the Champions League for a second successive year.
Exits in the semi-finals of both cup competitions, including Sunday’s defeat to Rangers in the Scottish Cup, heaped more pressure on the beleaguered boss, as did the failure to pull clear of Aberdeen in the title race until recent weeks.
Many ex-players and pundits have voiced their concerns over the direction of the club under Deila, with some calling for him to be sacked.
Deila will remain in charge until the summer before embarking on a new adventure. In the meantime, he insists his focus remains solely on securing the Ladbrokes Premiership title.
He said in the club statement: “It is vital that the club comes first and instead of me being the focus, hopefully now the team and the club can be the focus as we enter this final important period of the season.
“It was an absolute privilege to be named manager of Celtic, such a wonderful football club, and I have enjoyed my time here immensely. I will never forget the welcome I received almost two years ago at Celtic Park from so many fans. When I joined Celtic I knew I was coming to one of the world’s great football clubs.
“There have been some great times and I am delighted that we have brought some trophies to the club.
“There have been some disappointments and times when we have not achieved what we had hoped for and I’m realistic and honest enough to admit that, but I know that the players, myself and my backroom team have always given everything we had to bring success to our supporters.
“Our fans are the heartbeat of the club. We have always given our best for them and I will always be a Celtic supporter too.
“My total focus now is on retaining our Premiership title and making it five-in-a-row for our great club and proving that we are the best in the country.”
Celtic chairman Ian Bankier added: “I would like to thank Ronny for his contribution to the Club and, on behalf of the Celtic Board, give him our best wishes for the future in everything he does.
“The club, as always, will give Ronny our full support until the end of the season. We will then make a decision regarding our next manager with the objective of remaining Scotland’s pre-eminent Club. I thank Ronny and once again wish him well for the future.”
THE SCOTSMAN ON SOCIAL MEDIA