Celtic manager Ronny Deila has decided to leave the club at the end of the season. The 40-year-old Norwegian boss has come under enormous pressure following his side's penalty-kick defeat to their cross-city rivals Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-final on Sunday (17 April).
Deila said he has taken the decision to deflect attention away from his future and to put the focus back on the team, who are currently eight points clear of second-placed Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership.
"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," he said in a statement posted on the Celtic website.
"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."
Deila led Celtic to a League and Cup double last season and is on the cusp of winning the club's fifth consecutive Premiership title. Despite this, Deila has been criticised for failing in European competitions, while the recent defeat to Rangers has also damaged his reputation among Celtic fans.
"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," the Celtic boss said. "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."