Celtic’s annus horribilis continues. Last week they were rejected by their No.1 managerial target Eddie Howe after the former Bournemouth boss had kept them dangling on a string for over three months and now UEFA have confirmed that their second choice, the Greek-born Australian Ange Postecoglou, does not possess the necessary qualifications to be offered the job.

The 55-year-old, who is still in Japan with current club Yokohama F Marinos, has been a coach for 25 years but only nine months of that time has been spent in Europe during an unsuccessful spell with Greek Third Division club Panachaiki. As a result, he doesn’t have updated A & B UEFA licences or the highest qualification, the Pro licence, which UEFA insist are mandatory for managers taking charge of European top-tier clubs.

Celtic have asked the governing body in Switzerland to grant the 55-year-old special dispensation from having the required paperwork, arguing that his quarter of a century in the Asian game should be sufficient to allow him to replace Neil Lennon as the permanent manager at Parkhead. Even so, their appeal could take weeks to be heard, with the result that Postecoglou would miss the beginning of pre-season training.

The club, who have still to appoint a director of football or head of recruitment, will need to strengthen their squad for 2021/22, although who will make those decisions with the top three positions vacant remains to be seen.


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The Celtic players who aren’t on international duty at the Euros are due to report back to Lennoxtown a fortnight today, with Lennon’s assistants John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan now likely to once again be in charge of preparations after UEFA revealed that Postecoglou’s case will not be heard until later this month.

“Mr Postecoglou does not currently hold the UEFA Pro Licence,” they said. “A recognition of competence procedure has been initiated [following Celtic’s appeal]. In general terms, the duration of the whole process depends on the requesting party, meaning if they provide all required documents in due course. The process could take several weeks. We don't have any further information to provide you with at this stage.”

Lennon parted company with Celtic for the second time 14 weeks ago today. Chief executive Peter Lawwell is due to step down on June 30 following the club’s first trophy-less campaign in 11 years.