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Published: 10:43 | 20/4/16

Deila to leave Celtic

Ronny Deila is to leave Celtic at the end of the season.

Deila led Celtic to a League and Cup double last season and the club are on course for a fifth consecutive title, sitting eight points clear of Aberdeen with five games remaining.

However, a poor European campaign – they failed to reach the Champions League group stage and finished bottom of their Europa League group - coupled with the loss to Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-final has increased the pressure on the Norwegian and he has decided to leave the club at the end of the season.

"It is vital that the Club comes first and instead of me being the focus, hopefully now the team and the Club can be the focus as we enter this final important period of the season," Deila said in a statement.

"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.

"There have been some great times and I am delighted that we have brought some trophies to the Club.

"I was delighted in my first year to bring our fans a League and Cup double and enjoy some European nights at Celtic Park, and I am pleased this season to be well in contention to win another Premiership title.

"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.

"I would like to thank everyone who has supported me so well at the Club. The fans have been magnificent during the past two years. Our fans are the heartbeat of the Club, they have always given myself and the team such amazing support and always created such a great atmosphere. We have always given our best for them and I will always be a Celtic supporter too.

“I also want to thank Dermot Desmond, Ian Bankier, Peter Lawwell, the players and my staff. They have given me everything.

"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. 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."

Celtic Chairman Ian Bankier added: "I would like to thank Ronny for his contribution to the Club and, on behalf of the Celtic Board, give him our best wishes for the future in everything he does.

"Ronny is a fine man with strong values of honesty and integrity. He has had some success, which we have enjoyed, and I know all our fans will back Ronny and the players as he looks to bring us more success in the shape of a second League title.

"We are all Celtic supporters and we all know that there can be disappointments in football, but I know Ronny is a man who has given his very best to the job and someone who will always care passionately about the Club.

"The Club, as always, will give Ronny our full support until the end of the season. We will then make a decision regarding our next manager with the objective of remaining Scotland’s pre-eminent Club. I thank Ronny and once again wish him well for the future."

Former Celtic manager Neil Lennon has expressed an interest in returning to the club, while David Moyes and Malky Mackay have both been linked with the position.

"Ronny has given everything to Celtic during the past two years and we thank him for his contribution to the club," Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell said.

"He is a man of real humility, someone of tremendous character, and I personally wish him nothing but success for the future."

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