Standard Liege announced yesterday that former Celtic head coach Ronny Deila has left the club to join Club Brugge. Sporting Director Fergal Harkin addressed the media following the news, and it was clear that he was disappointed in losing Deila. As reported by Het Nieuwsblad, Harkin said ‘I came to Liège with Ronny to implement a three-year plan. Do I understand his choice? No, frankly not. He was at the biggest club in Belgium. I thought he should stay. Until the last moment I was also convinced that I could persuade him to stay. But he made a different choice’.
Deila was given a difficult situation when he took over at Standard in the summer. The club had little money to invest in players, with incomings mainly being through loans. The Norweigian head coach had been seeking assurances from the clubs investors, 777, on what would be done in the summer to help the side compete for the title in 2023/2024.
Despite losing some key players in Nicolas Raskin and Selim Amallah, Deila and Standard made it to play-off two and were in with a chance for top four for the majority of the season. However, their chances of European football have gone with Gent comfortably winning play-off two and thus claiming the only European spot available in the second play-off group. Standard did receive €2m in compensation from Club Brugge for Deila, but replacing him will certainly be difficult. Fans will also be concerned as to what this means for plans during the summer transfer window.