TIME does not bring relief; you all have lied. If lockdown hasn’t yet sent you scurrying for the poetry books to find balm for a troubled soul then there’s still time.

But Edna St Vincent Mallay’s lament about the lingering pain of a lost love felt particularly prescient this week as a congratulatory message from Brendan Rodgers on Celtic’s Twitter account confirmed there has been neither forgiving nor forgetting on the part of the club’s support.

If the message shared on social media was an attempt to dip a toe into the waters ahead of a potential 10-in-a-row title party next summer for which Ronny Deila and Rodgers would be due an invite, it took only seconds to appreciate the level of toxins that are still floating about.

If the way that Rodgers winged it to Leicester 15 months ago left the Parkhead support feeling as though they had been scorned like jilted lovers, the comfort they have found in Neil Lennon’s clutches has done little to relieve them of their fury.

The depth of feeling was a reflection of the manner in which a support felt they had been betrayed; a betrayal exacerbated since Rodgers could do no wrong in the eyes of a besotted support until the moment of his sudden departure. Indeed, those of us with the temerity to suggest that a move from an openly ambitious manager had been in the offing since the previous August met with the same kind of nuclear reaction that this week’s tweet did.

The Northern Irishman was the first ever Celtic manager in the club’s 130-year history to be enticed away by the lure of a better offer in the midst of a campaign; a campaign that remained very much alive and kicking. If the haste to jump from a club whom he gushed about his affection for left his once adoring public cringing at how they had hung on his every word, it is still worth recognising that not everything was a silver-tongued seduction.

And it is impossible to overlook the part Rodgers played in this current chapter of the club as Lennon stands on the precipice of taking them to a record-breaking 10th successive title.

Rodgers rewrote the record books. And not just at Celtic but in Scottish football.

That first fabled Invincible season which culminated in a dramatic flash of lightning in the Mount Florida sky as Tom Rogic netted a late winner in monsoon conditions at Hampden will live in the minds of many Celtic fans until time immemorial.

The Rodgers era at Celtic was just shy of the three-year mark to make his tenure one of the briefest among the 19 men who have held the post permanently. But it was also unblemished in a domestic sense.

Only the most churlish among the Celtic support would ignore the clarification of his coaching credentials this term after taking Leicester into third spot in the English Premier League.

And notable this term just as it was at Celtic was the transformative effects on players who were pushed onto a different level.

Callum McGregor, surely a Celtic captain in waiting, might be the most obvious case in point but there are others, too; James Forrest and Kieran Tierney all excelled under Rodgers. In Odsonne Edouard, Rodgers identified a player with the potential to go on to perform at the very top level. Celtic’s outlay for the Frenchman was considerable but he will yield a significant return when there is an inevitable move away from Glasgow.

Celtic fans are not known for keeping their feelings to themselves; Fergus McCann was infamously booed in 1998 as he unfurled the Championship flag that had stopped Rangers winning 10 in a row.

Time has re-framed that chapter with a sheepish embarrassment now when it is recollected.

Rodgers will never be entirely forgiven by the Celtic support. Despite the success he enjoyed at the club he will never be held with the reverence and affection reserved for the likes of Martin O’Neill and Lennon because of the abrupt nature that marked the end of the affair.

But the time has come for supporters to make their peace with Rodgers and accept that his ambition was there all along if you cared to look for it.

Should Celtic deliver a 10th title this time next year, Rodgers will be due a seat at the party.


Championship clubs will meet on Monday to discuss proposals for a season in which they could play just 18 league games next term.

The fear is that the cost of widespread testing will be prohibitive for the resumption of a regular season getting underway. But the biggest fear of all is how clubs survive. Ultimately gate receipts and a resumption of football is the only real way to stave off the threat of clubs going under.

Suggestions that League One and League Two could be placed in cold storage until January could be catastrophic for some clubs who simply don’t have the economic buffers that would enable them to survive.

As we saw last weekend in the Bundesliga – a far cry from League One, perhaps – games behind closed doors feel soulless and devoid of any genuine tension.

But if it proves to be the

only way to get games played and keeping clubs afloat somehow, then every avenue needs to be explored to facilitate survival.