Michael Nicholson admits his trip to Majorca to bring Brendan Rodgers back to Celtic was ‘the worst kept secret in Scottish football’ amid unveiling
- Rodgers has returned to Celtic after leaving the club for Leicester in 2019
- Nicholson went to the Spanish isle with finance director Chris McKay this month
- He said that the club have appointed a ‘top, top quality’ manager in Rodgers
Michael Nicholson admitted that his trip to Majorca to tempt Brendan Rodgers back to Celtic became the worst kept secret in Scottish football.
Mail Sport exclusively revealed Nicholson’s visit to the Spanish isle alongside finance director Chris McKay earlier this month to discuss a sensational return for Rodgers, who controversially quit the club for Leicester City in 2019.
And after getting his man, the CEO is in no doubt Rodgers will get the best out of Celtic’s treble winning squad.
Nicholson said: ‘Chris McKay and I went for lunch in Majorca – that was the starting point. That was perhaps the worst kept secret in Scottish football. Perhaps Chris’ sombrero and beach ball gave us away at the airport!
‘You always have to be ready for change in football.
Mark Nicholson has admitted his trip to Majorca to tempt Brendan Rodgers back to Celtic was ‘the worst kept secret in Scottish football’
Rodgers has been re-appointed as the Celtic boss after leaving the club for Leicester in 2019
Nicholson said Rodgers is the ‘top, top quality’ manager needed to take the side forward
‘When Ange (Postecoglou) left we knew we had to replace him with a manager of top, top quality and in Brendan we know we’ve got that.
‘We have invested in the squad over the last couple of years.
‘We have a very young, hungry squad. So we profiled managers through the process that could take us on and Brendan was the stand-out candidate.
‘Our priority was to bring Brendan back to Celtic – and we are delighted to do so.’
Rodgers has signed a three-year contract, which he has personally guaranteed he will see out unless he is sacked.
That pledge came after he admitted he regretted the hurt he caused when he walked out for Leicester four years ago.
The contract situation represents a departure from the norm with Celtic managers usually being handed a one-year rolling deal.
Nicholson believes the length of Rodgers’ contract represents a clear show of faith from both parties.
He said: ‘When Chris and I met with Brendan it was clear that there was a mutual excitement about what we could go on to do. This is a mutual statement of our commitment to that. That was important.’
Celtic are looking to kick forward in Europe after former manager Ange Postecoglou struggled
Europe is the one area Postecoglou fell short in during his otherwise exceptional two season reign.
Rodgers will be tasked with remedying that when Celtic start their second successive Champions League group stage campaign after finishing bottom behind Real Madrid, RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk last season.
Nicholson said: ‘The strategy has always been clear – to be a world class football club in whatever we do.
‘We want to dominate in Scotland and compete in the Champions League and that has been clearly stated for many, many years. So there is no change in that regard.
Rodgers enjoyed significant success during his previous spell with the Scottish champions
‘What we have tried to do for many years is continuously improve as a football club and to invest.
‘We have a sustainable model, a self-financing model.
‘We invest when we can for today, tomorrow and the long term. There is no significant change.
‘We all want the same thing, which is to win.’