ANGE POSTECOGLOU believes Celtic’s controversial joint venture with Rangers in Australia will be good for his club and Scottish football.
A number of supporters of both Glasgow clubs have reacted angrily to the news that the rivals will face each other in the Sydney Super Cup in November, during a break in domestic football for the World Cup.
Sections of both sets of fans told their clubs to “shove” the friendly plans during their respective cinch Premiership matches on Wednesday night, but the fixture has already been announced for November 20.
Former Australia head coach Postecoglou had spoken of his pride at the prospect of taking his Celtic team back to his home country before it was confirmed that Rangers would be among the participants along with Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers.
Asked about the negative reaction, he said: “I’m disappointed with that, mate… jokingly.
“No, look, I’ve said since day one that I’m not going to tell the supporters what to feel and what not to feel.
“Selfishly I’m delighted. I’m all over the promotional stuff which means I’ll hopefully still be in the job by then!
“Look, I’d love to take this team there to show people the football we can play.
“There are a lot of our supporters in Australia – I know, I’ve lived it – who will be snapping up tickets and changing whatever holiday plans they had to come watch us play.
“I can understand some people have different views on it.
“But from my perspective I’m not going to tell people how they feel. But I have some selfish self-interest in this.”
He continued: “I’m going to feel super-proud to take this team to where I grew up.
“It’s massive for Australia but I think we’ve got to grow the game here for Scottish football.
“We’ve got an opportunity with a lot of interest in our football club, not just in Australia but Asia.
“Every other big club around the world takes advantage of that so why wouldn’t we take advantage of the fact we have got an unbelievable opportunity to keep growing the interest and popularity of this football club?
“That’s not just in the commercial sense – which is obviously a big part of football these days. But I will guarantee you we will gain new supporters of this football club.
“We are an all-inclusive church, mate.
“We welcome people from far and wide, which we do, and I think taking the team to that side of the world is positive for us but also positive for Scottish football.
“People know what I’m like, I’m not going to go there and treat it like a friendly.
“I want people to see us playing fantastic football and get everyone talking about our football club.
“I have no doubt it will be an unbelievable event and the atmosphere will be cracking.
“Our supporters will make is a special occasion like they always do.”