Outgoing Celtic boss Ronny Deila believes the club find themselves stuck in limbo as they are “bigger than Scottish football” but don’t have the financial muscle to compete with the best in Europe.
In his final interview as Celtic boss – after the 7-0 thrashing of Motherwell and a fifth title in a row sealed for the Hoops – Deila said they would be up there with “Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona” if there was an opportunity to play amongst the Premier League teams.
Three failed attempts at Champions League qualification is part of the reason why Deila is departing Celtic as well as defeats to Ross County and Rangers in the Cups.
But Deila believes that if Celtic had the same backing as some of the Premier League clubs then they would be up there with the best in Europe.
“The potential in Celtic is amazing,” he told the club’s official website.
“The club is caught in a trap because it is so much bigger than Scottish football but if there’s an opening to play among the best teams like in the Premier League, they’d be up there with Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona.”
Deila reign in charge of Celtic will be greeted with a mixed response after the failures in Europe and disappointing performances domestically.
But the Norwegian hopes the silverware he did win and the opportunity he gave to young players such as Callum McGregor and Kieran Tierney won’t be forgotten.
“The communication between the first-team and the Academy has been important and of course we have won two league titles,” he said.
“That’s always the most important thing – to be the best in Scotland – and I’ll also take with me the positives from the European campaign last season when we went through the group stages and had two very good games against Inter Milan.
“These are the things I’ll be proud of and also, of course, Callum McGregor and KT. They have really got into the team and the team is young now. They’re getting experience and Celtic can only benefit from that in the future.”