Rodgers: Sporting director is ‘absolutely critical’ for Celtic

The former Celtic manager was saddened to hear of Neil Lennon leaving the club.

Rodgers: Sporting director is ‘absolutely critical’ for Celtic SNS Group

Brendan Rodgers believes that Celtic need to appoint a sporting director as part of a new structure at the club as they seek to progress after Neil Lennon’s departure.

Lennon quit Celtic on Wednesday after a troubled season in charge and John kennedy has been put in interim charge of the first team.

Rodgers, who enjoyed unprecedented success as Celtic manager before leaving for Leicester City, thinks the club will now continue with a strategic review before deciding on the next step.

“I’m always saddened when anyone loses his job or moves on, in particular someone I can call a friend,” he said.

“It’s a tough day for him but when it all settles down, Neil’s an incredible legend of the club. He’s given so much service to the club, won so many titles. His legacy there will be intact forever.

“I think if you take a step back and you see how the club has been run for a number of years very successfully from a commercial perspective and there’s a lot of great work has gone on behind the scenes on that front. You only need to look at Celtic Park as you drive in and you see everything around the club.

“I think there’ll probably be an analysis now of the football department, in terms of the strategy around football and I’m sure that’s a process that’ll be well under way.”

The Northern Irishman is of the opinion that the setup he has at Leicester is ideal for today’s football and is one that Celtic should be seeking to replicate, with a director of football or sporting director in place.

Rodgers said: “I was one who was maybe a bit sceptical of that approach a number of years back but certainly at the highest level in particular, in modern day football, I think it’s a role that’s very, very important. If I look at my position here at Leicester, we have a director of football.

“The connection between myself, him and the chief executive is very clean, very simple. Between us we oversee the football department. I’ve got Lee Congerton here, who is a brilliant recruitment officer and we see the players that he’s able to bring in.

“That football department is important and I think the role of the sporting director, to look after the strategy for the club but to support the manager, is very important.

“The chief executive gets on with the running of the club, the commercial aspects, that long-term vision.

“I think in the modern game to have a director of football, especially a club like Celtic, I think it’s absolutely critical to have that.

“The manager has to be able to bring in the players that he wants to bring in. He’s accountable for the football results on the pitch so he has to have that say and that accountability bringing in the players. If he can work alongside someone as a sporting director then of course that will aid the football department.

“I’m pretty sure that would be something Celtic are looking at as the way forward for a club of their size and stature.”

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