Celtic make Mowbray approach

Click to follow

West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace has confirmed Celtic have made an official approach for manager Tony Mowbray.

Speculation has been rife the former Hibernian boss was the man Celtic wanted to replace Gordon Strachan but the Baggies had previously denied there had been any contact.

However, Peace today said: "After two weeks of speculation, I have finally received a call from the Celtic chief executive, Peter Lawwell, requesting permission to speak to Tony.

"I made it absolutely clear that Celtic's approach was not welcome because we have an ongoing project at Albion in which Tony is an integral part."

Mowbray has a compensation clause in his contract which is believed to be in the region of £2m.

Swansea revealed last week Celtic had made an approach for manager Roberto Martinez but he is poised to complete a move to Wigan this week.

A return to the Scottish Premier League is likely to be attractive to Mowbray following Albion's relegation back to the Coca-Cola Championship last month.

However, Peace, who confirmed there is a compensation clause in Mowbray's contract, believes the former defender has unfinished business at The Hawthorns.

He continued: "Tony's style of play is a key factor in that project and the supporters have very much bought into it, as everyone saw by the terrific reception the fans gave Tony and the players after our final home game against Liverpool.

"It is also reflected by the fact we have already sold more than 16,000 season tickets for 2009/10.

"We inserted a compensation figure when Tony signed a new contract 16 months ago to ensure that the club would be suitably recompensed in the event of any other club seeking his services.

"Most people would regard it as a fair figure. It was inserted in the contract in good faith and is non-negotiable because we don't want to lose our manager.

"Celtic have been made aware of the compensation figure and, if they agree to pay this, only then will I speak to Tony to get his thoughts on the situation.

"Until and unless that happens, as far as we are concerned, it is business as usual as we plan for a very important season ahead of us.

"We hope this is the end of the matter as we do not need any further, unwelcome distractions for the job in hand."