Peace rejects Celtic approach

Last updated : 08 June 2009 By Iain Bate - Wba-mad Editor

Albion chairman Jeremy Peace has revealed he has turned down an approach for Baggies boss Tony Mowbray from Celtic

After weeks of speculation, and rumours that Mowbray had already agreed to join the Hoops, Celtic’s chief executive, Peter Lawwell’s initial approach has been rebuffed by Peace.

It’s believed that although Mowbray has a release clause in his contract the Scottish giants are yet to meet that figure with Peace adamant the Baggies boss plays a major part in his future plans.

“After two weeks of speculation, I have finally received a call from the Celtic chief executive, Peter Lawwell, requesting permission to speak to Tony,” Peace revealed this afternoon.

"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.

"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."