Celtic chief ‘feels for’ Warburton after Rangers exit

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Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has expressed his sadness at the departure of Mark Warburton from Rangers.

The Ibrox club – 27 points behind the Ladbrokes Premiership leaders after coming up from the Championship – announced last Friday night that they had accepted the resignations of Warburton, assistant manager Davie Weir and head of recruitment Frank McParland.

The trio subsequently denied they had resigned, but under-20s manager Graeme Murty was in the technical area for Sunday’s home William Hill Scottish Cup win over Morton.

Ahead of Saturday’s visit of Motherwell, Rodgers, who was manager at Watford when Warburton worked in the club’s academy, said: “I haven’t spoken to him as yet. I have sent him a message.

“It is obviously disappointing when any manager loses his job, especially when they lose it in the way that they did.

“I think it is worth pointing out when he played Celtic not that long ago, everyone was lauding the job he had done.

“He came into a club where Ally McCoist had been in before, a legend of the club and a good guy.

“They wanted to go a different direction with Mark, for whatever reason, and his job was to come in and restructure the club and the playing style and in his first year I don’t think anyone would have argued with that.

“The step up to the Scottish Premiership was always going to be difficult in that first season no matter what their budget would be.

“So I find it disappointing that after this period of time that he ends up losing his job because he is an outstanding coach and all his interest and passion for Rangers was to make them the very best they could be under the circumstances they were in.

“So I feel for him, Davie Weir, a good guy and real Rangers legend. Those two guys along with Frank McParland, they wanted what was best for Rangers and it is sad to see them go.”