Celtic manager Ronny Deila has decided to leave the club at the end of the season.
The 40-year-old Norwegian’s position had come under increased scrutiny following Sunday’s William Hill Scottish Cup exit to Old Firm rivals Rangers, and his summer exit was confirmed on Wednesday morning.
“It is vital that the club comes first, instead of me being the focus,” the Norwegian said, speaking on www.celticfc.net.
“Hopefully now the team and the club can be the focus as we enter this final important period of the season.”
— Celtic Football Club (@celticfc) April 20, 2016
Celtic have an eight-point lead over Aberdeen with five games to go in the Ladbrokes Premiership, but some angry Hoops fans demanded Deila be sacked immediately after the penalty shoot-out loss to Mark Warburton’s men.
The Parkhead side’s hierarchy was understood to be concerned by the lack of progress under Deila during his two-year reign, with the former Stromsgodset boss also reportedly left weary by the constant speculation over his future.
Deila, who was on a one-year rolling contract, acknowledged he had encountered some “disappointments” during his tenure, but said he had always given his all.
“There have been some disappointments and times when we have not achieved what we had hoped for and I’m realistic and honest enough to admit that, but I know that the players, myself and my backroom team have always given everything we had to bring success to our supporters.”
He continued: “It was an absolute privilege to be named manager of Celtic, such a wonderful football club, and I have enjoyed my time here immensely.
“I will never forget the welcome I received almost two years ago at Celtic Park from so many fans. When I joined Celtic I knew I was coming to one of the world’s great football clubs.”
Deila led the Glasgow giants to a league and cup double last term and is aiming to deliver the club’s fifth straight Scottish Premiership title.
“My total focus now is on retaining our Premiership title and making it five in a row for our great club and proving that we are the best in the country,” he said.
“Myself and the players will be giving everything we can to achieve this and I know that starting on Sunday we must all unite and drive the club on and really go for what we all want as Celtic supporters – to be Scottish champions once again.”