Football News

Why Celtic “modern-day great” Scott Brown turned down Spurs and Newcastle

By Harry Edwards

Published: 15:34, 27 April 2020

Celtic midfielder Scott Brown has revealed he once turned down the chance to leave the club for Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United.

Brown joined Celtic from Hibernian in 2007 and over the past 13 years has grown to become synonymous with the Scottish club, making 566 appearances so far.

In that time, the midfielder has helped Celtic dominate Scottish football, winning nine league titles – eight of which came consecutively – six League Cups and five Scottish Cups.

Neil Lennon, who reunited with Brown at Celtic when he replaced Rodgers in early 2019, described him as a “modern-day great” who “keeps churning out magnificent performances.”

Could Scott Brown have left Celtic? Five things to know…

  • Scott Brown signed for Celtic in 2007, moving from Hibernian and spurning rumoured interest from Rangers and Reading.
  • He is now captain and has been key in a trophy-laden era for the Glasgow club.
  • But Brown has admitted he could have left in 2010…
  • …after Tottenham and Newcastle made their interest known.
  • But the midfielder pledged his future to Celtic when Lennon, then in his first of two spells coaching the Bhoys, offered him a five-year contract extension.

Brown is also currently Celtic captain and looks set to lead the club to another league title, once the method for deciding the Scottish Premiership has been confirmed.

But the midfielder has revealed things could have been a lot different, had he followed interest from England in 2010.

The summer of 2010 was a turning point for Celtic as they watched Rangers win a second consecutive title while also finishing the 2009/10 season trophyless for the first time in seven years. The campaign had also seen the sacking on Tony Mowbray, replaced by Neil Lennon on an interim basis, although he was later handed the role full-time.

And Brown admitted the appointment of Lennon, coupled with a new long-term contract, convinced him to snub the likes of Tottenham and Newcastle.

“I’ve had opportunities to go down the road and turned my back on them,” he told BBC of his commitment to Celtic.

“When Neil got the job, I had the chance to go to Spurs and Newcastle. The club had done a lot for me and I wanted to stay. I enjoyed playing for Celtic and winning trophies.

“Neil offered me a five-year deal and I jumped at the chance of it.”

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“Can anyone see us being caught?”

Although some European leagues are hoping to restart their seasons in the near future, much doubt surrounds the culmination of the Scottish Premiership in particular.

Already in Scotland, the Championship, League One and League Two have been brought to an end due to the coronavirus pandemic with positions, including promotion and relegation, decided on a points-per-game basis.

There is a suggestion the same could happen in the Premiership and, should that be the case, Brown insists it would not put a dampener on Celtic’s league win.

“No,” he replied when asked if Celtic’s glory would feel diminished.

“We’re 13 points clear with a great goal difference and eight games to play. Can anyone see us being caught?”

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