Here is today’s press conference in full:
Peter Lawwell: “Good Afternoon. Thanks for coming to this press conference at short notice. We would just like to clear up the speculation that has been doing the rounds. I can confirm that Brendan Rodgers will be leaving Celtic at the end of the season.
“Obviously it isn’t what we hoped for, but these things happen and Celtic Football Club will continue. I would like to thank Brendan for his efforts, and for bringing us a memorable season. The search for the new Celtic manager is already underway. I think that Brendan would now like to say a few words.”
Brendan Rodgers: “Thank you Peter. I would just like to take this opportunity to say how much I have enjoyed this season and the honour of being Celtic manager. However, I feel it is now time to move on.
“I have made no secret of my wish to return to the Premier League, and although I haven’t got a post lined up – especially the Arsenal one – I think I will maximise my chances of getting a top job by committing myself full time to living in England. Once I am there, I can utilise my networks and show the sort of mentality the clubs are looking for.
“Celtic is a great club, but there is limited scope for further growth and to meet my personal ambitions. That is no disrespect to Celtic, it is just the nature of Scottish football. I need a bigger challenge year-on-year, ideally in a more competitive league and with regular, ideally almost-guaranteed Champions League football.
“Some of you will speculate on whether the lack of competition from Rangers is a factor in all of this, and I can only leave you to dwell on that point.
“I know my decision will disappoint the fans, but I felt that I owed it to them to explain my choice in public.”
Peter Lawwell: “We won’t be taking any questions, but pleased he advised that there will be an important announcement about our Co-op loans and the European Commission’s state aid investigation later today. All subsequent queries should be directed to our lawyers. Their contact details are now available from our media office. Thank you for listening.”
IN YOUR DREAMS, ill-wishers!