Unbelievably, former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is set to become the highest-paid manager in Scottish football history.
After coming so close to winning the title with Suarez, Gerrard and co. in Liverpool’s 2013/14 campaign Rodgers was sacked last year following a run of just one win from nine games but is now the odds-on favourite for the Celtic job.
The Glaswegian giants are currently searching for Ronny Deila’s replacement and appear set on making Rodgers their man. Celtic’s Irish billionaire owner Dermot Desmond confirmed yesterday that the process of securing the club’s new boss was moving swiftly and could be completed within “four or five days”.
Brendan Rodgers will have to turn his back on around £10m worth of severance money following his unexpected Anfield departure to take the role but he is on the verge of accepting Celtic’s offer.
The news came as a shock to the footballing community when the decision was announced, though no-one was more shocked than sky pundits Theirry Henry and Jamie Carragher:
Whilst Celtic cannot compete with Rodgers’ £100,000-a-week jackpot settlement from Liverpool, the Scottish champions are prepared to stretch the club’s finances to tempt Rodgers back into the management.
Reports suggest that a formal offer was made yesterday which would supposedly dwarf the deal Desmond agreed with Martin O’Neill; the Irish coach was taking home more than £1m a year during his time in charge.
It’s set to be a bumper pay-day for Brendan Rodgers, who can validate his decision to take time out from the game and wait for the deal-of-a-lifetime to knock on his door. Rodgers recently revealed that he had been approached by ‘five top clubs’ during his hiatus from management, rejecting each of their propositions:
“I have had five opportunities since I left Liverpool to get back into work, all at clubs I really respect,
“But I just felt I wanted to take some time out. It is very intense when you are in the game.”
Rodgers was hesitant to reveal the five clubs that had approached him, although left the door ajar for speculation. The Northern-Irish coach provided all the pieces of the puzzle in his recent interview which – when coupled with some ‘astute research’ – allows us to derive the five clubs ahead of Celtic who have approached Brendan since his Liverpool departure:
No prizes for this one – Rodgers explicitly stated that he had discussed regaining control of his former club. Having spent two years in charge of the Welsh club, he was hot-favourite to return to the Liberty Stadium after Gary Monk was relieved of his duties early in December.
“I spoke to Huw Jenkins, the chairman and people I know well, but I made it clear and I was pretty open. Swansea is a wonderful club and there were also a couple of other Premier League clubs I could have gone back to.”
Rodgers’ first heavy hint, implying that two of the four remaining clubs that approached him during his period in the managerial wilderness reside (or rather resided) in the Premier League.
Villa made an appalling start to their Premier League campaign, with Tim Sherwood testing the patience of the Villa hierarchy after his side became the anchor of the table, seemingly too heavy to haul from the depths.
Sherwood lost his job just three weeks after Liverpool parted ways with Rodgers – the ex-Liverpool boss quickly became the bookies favourite to attempt to rescue the Birmingham club from relegation.
Rodger’s cited an escape from the pressures of management as a major motivation for not returning to the game and there are few jobs in the game that would’ve posed a more stressful prospect than Aston Villa this season:
“It is very intense when you are in the game. I enjoy the scrutiny and life of being at the leading edge of the game, but the opportunity that presented itself when I left Liverpool gave me the chance to go away for the first time in five years.”
If you’re looking to avoid the stress of the modern game, then perhaps turning down the opportunity to manage Aston Villa is a wise decision.
Sunderland have a habit of hiring managers on a short-term basis having burnt through three since 2013. When Dick Advocaat stepped down from his post with the Black Cat’s on the very same day that Liverpool announced Rodgers dismissal, the timing seemed all to perfect.
It is rumoured that the Dutchman had expressed his desire to leave the club and was treading water in the North-East until the Sunderland board could find a replacement. When Rodgers became available, Advocaat was allowed to depart to make way for his replacement.
Brendan will have certainly considered taking the Sunderland job, but perhaps it felt like too much of a step down after the heights of Anfield. His decision was quickly swept under the carpet as Sam Allardyce moved in to rescue the club from relegation.
Rodgers expressed that he had been keeping his options open for a move abroad, not ruling out any potential positions in foreign leagues:
“It can be at home or abroad. It is just about finding the right opportunity, one that will excite me to go in and somewhere I can help make better”
Valencia were clearly desperate to replace Nunu Espirito Santo, to the point where they looked to a man with no first team managerial experience to bring the Spanish giants out of the darkness – it’s a shame hiring TV pundit, Gary Neville didn’t turn out to the be the stroke of genius they were hoping for.
Rodgers, fluent in Spanish, is likely to have been approached by Valencia board members, proposing he take the helm at the Mestella.
Queens Park Rangers
“I am open. It is where I feel I can go in and make a difference: a job that will excite me. It doesn’t have to necessarily be at a top club.“
QPR have been yo-yoing between England’s top flight and the Championship for the past 5 years and have been seeking strong management to properly establish themselves in the Premier League.
With a successful track record – establishing Swansea as a top 10 side in their first season following his playoff victory the previous year – Rodgers would appear to be an ideal candidate for the London club.
When the floundering Chris Ramsey was removed just a month after Rodgers, the door appeared to be open for the Northern-Irish boss to revitalise the club. Perhaps it was too soon for a return to management, particularly to the vacant high-pressure post with the Hoops.
“He’s a great manager. He has proved it at Liverpool and he’s a worthy candidate for Celtic, as all the other candidates are.”
Dermot Desmond, Celtic Owner
Desmond’s revelations have altered the dynamics of Scottish football dramatically. Celtic now await Rodgers’s answer as he weighs up whether he wishes to become the highest paid manager in Scottish history… or spend a few more months on the golf course.