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Rodgers given assurances over playing budget

By May 23, 2016No Comments

By Craig Turnbull

New Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers says he’s been given assurances that if the right player becomes available the club will do everything they can to get him.

Celtic have been prudent in the difficult financial climate of Scottish football, with the club’s recruitment strategy being to buy low and sell high under predecessor Ronny Deila.

Rodgers, who has been used to large sums of money to spend at Liverpool and Swansea in the cash-rich Premier League, insists there are no concerns over his budget at the Scottish champions nor did he think it was a step down to join the club.

He did play down suggestions though that he was after his former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.

“I think Stevie is enjoying his life in America. He’s doing fine over there,” he said at his first press conference as Celtic boss.

“I’m comfortable with everything.

“I have come from a market and I am now in a different market.

“For me to come out of the Premier League and come here is certainly not a step down.

“The lure for me was coming to Glasgow Celtic.

“This is one of the biggest clubs in the world and it was all about helping them progress them to where they want to go.

“I know I won’t have the same budgets but I have been given enough assurances that if the right player becomes available and we can afford them and if we identify a player that is the right fit then we can get them here.”

Celtic clinched five in a row this season but have missed out on Champions League football in the past two years, which ultimately cost Deila his job.

Rodgers message to the fans, who turned out in their thousands at Celtic Park to greet their new boss, is he is determined to continue dominating Scottish football and ensure a return to the group stages in Europe’s premier competition.

“The message is that we will do our very best,” he said.

“I have been a Celtic supporter all my life.

“I am very lucky to be able to step out of the stands and onto the sidelines and manage the team.

“So hopefully they will understand that when they have that passion and emotion and involvement with the club, myself and the staff and the players will be doing everything we can to meet the challenges that have been set for us.

“We want to dominate in Scotland and qualify for the Champions League.

“We will need them to do that.

“This is an incredible football club and the support here is phenomenal.”

Celtic have struggled to fill their stadium with fans being turned off by the football being offered up under Deila, Rodgers says he wants to bring an expansive style of play to the club and attract supporters back in their numbers.

“I need to get those stands full again.

“The top tier of the Lisbon Lions stand has been closed or empty and it is my job to get people in here again and inspire the supporters to come back and watch a game of football that inspires and excites them and is about scoring goals and winning.

“Ultimately that is what we want to do and if we can do that then we will be on the right track.

“People would talk about maybe the level but Celtic is one of the biggest clubs in the world.”

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