UEFA suggest possible delay in Celtic sealing deal for Ange Postecoglou

Celtic’s timescale to appoint Ange Postecoglou now appears to revolve around obtaining essentially a waiverer from UEFA over the 55-year-old not holding the Pro Licence required for coaches in frontline roles at the highest level of European football.

Yokohama coach Ange Postecoglou is wanted by Celtic (Photo by Mohamed Farag/Getty Images)

This documentation is required over the 55-year-old not holding the Pro Licence that is mandatory for coaches in frontline roles at the highest level of European football.

Postecoglou holds the Australian Pro Licence – the highest grade in Asia – but this is not recognised by UEFA as an equivalent to their Pro Licence and UEFA have confirmed that the Australian’s prospective employers have “initiated” the procedure to obtain “a recognition of competence”. Celtic are confident that his 25 years in management, with five years as national coach of his homeland, and spells at current club Yokohama F Marinos, as well as Brisbane Roar and South Melbourne make this a formality.

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However, it could be a drawn-out process - raising the possibility of Postecolgou not being in place for the Celtic squad’s return for pre-season training on June 18. "The process could take several weeks,” a UEFA spokesperson said. “We don't have any further information to provide at this stage."

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Football Coaches Australia executive director Phil Moss downplayed suggestions that the coaching licence issue could undermine Postecoglou’s prospects of a move to Celtic. “Would it be a deal breaker? I’d like to think it won’t be,” he said. “On an interim basis you can bridge the gap between AFC qualifications and UEFA qualifications. During the time you keep the interim certificate valid, you are completing your UEFA Pro Diploma. Currently our AFC Pro diploma relates to UEFA A Licence.”

Celtic, meanwhile, have described as “nonsense” a swell of rumours over the past 24 hours that talks to agree a compensation package with Yokohama for Postecoglou have broken down. Instead, it is believed that these negotiations are firmly on course to be concluded successfully and that only the fine print still remains to be signed off, certain Australian media outlets even claiming that this is already the case.

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