How Ange Postecoglou could be remembered as Celtic's £130m manager
And when it comes to the tangibles by which to measure his time in Glasgow, at the forefront should not just be silverware but spondulicks. Picking Celtic up at their lowest ebb in more than a decade to deliver back-to-back titles for a haul of five trophies out of six - capped by a second-season treble - with a delightful brand of football represent an outstanding return. Yet, just as meritorious is the fact that Celtic will continue to cash in on Postecoglou’s pristine promptings for years. The value of a superb managerial stint isn’t immeasurable. In the case of the 57-year-old it can be calculated in the multi-millions. The consecutive championships to which he guided Celtic were the route to guaranteed Champions League riches previously not available to a Scottish club in a decade. As a consequence, Postecoglou’s restoration of Celtic’s pre-eminence assured that they could bank two tranches of £35m from participation in the group stages.
The trousering of these sums was wholly reliant on Postecoglou creating a team from practically scratch across his first summer in charge. A period during which he recruited Kyogo Furuhashi, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Jota, Carl Starfelt, Joe Hart, Liel Abada, Josip Juranovic and Giorgos Giakoumakis. The core of his team completed with the arrivals of Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda, Matt O’Riley, Aaron Mooy, Alistair Johnston and Oh Hyeon-gyu in the subsequent 18 months.
The capture of such talent makes for a recruitment drive that has no equal for excellence in the recent history of Scottish football. In others looking on enviously about the now former Celtic manager parting with around £49m in transfers fees, it is overlooked that he financed his radical makeover with the £30m Celtic raked in from the sales of Jeremie Frimpong, Kristoffer Ajer, Odsonne Eduoard and Ryan Christie across 2021. His net outlay, then, was a far from exorbitant £20m. Indeed, the player levelling up derived from his astute dealings is little short of remarkable.
Nothing reflects that more clearly than the asset value of the squad he has left for his successor. A conservative estimate would place this in the £80m bracket. A £60m accumulation on £20m speculation, if you like. Chuck that in with £70m Champions League booty, and the sense that Postecoglou was both a silver(ware)mine and a goldmine for Celtic becomes inescapable. In future, he may come to be recognised as the club’s £130m manager.
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