Atlanta United striker Giorgos Giakoumakis has sensationally claimed that he was “forced” out of Celtic.
The Greek international admitted that he didn’t get along with manager Ange Postecoglou and he suggested that he would not have left Parkhead of his own volition:
“I never regretted a moment. I was sad that I had to leave Celtic. I was living a life there. I was like a god for the fans. My connection with them was really special, and it was sad, but I had to make my decision.”
“My last month in Celtic I was suffering because of some people at the club. I didn’t receive the respect from the people or from the club. So actually, I think they forced me to go out.”
Fans on X are very much split down the middle in terms of where they stand on Giakoumakis’s comments:
Definitely the board at fault. 100%
— Scotland has been a colony since 1707 (@Anon1994_) November 7, 2023
He was rotten thank God he’s away 👊
— Tony Findlay (@TonyFindlay3) November 7, 2023
I miss that guy.
— Diceman (@Diceman85572461) November 7, 2023
— Mikie Bhoy (@MikieBhoy67) November 7, 2023
Ange could have rotated Kyogo more and got both on when games where won, but he had an issue with Giakoumakis that cost us a good striker, but until we lose Kyogo it won’t be an issue
— Robert Wozniak (@RobertWozniakFc) November 7, 2023
Nothing went wrong at the club. Kyogo was absolutely flying – it's that simple.
— SC (@ghodsgift) November 7, 2023
Celtic could not agree a new contract with the striker
When Giakoumakis mentions a lack of “respect”, he is likely referring to the contract dispute he was embroiled in prior to leaving for the U.S.
The forward signed a five-year deal when he arrived from VVV Venlo in the summer of 2021. However, he is believed to have taken a wage cut under the proviso that he would be offered better terms following a good first season.
Giakoumakis likely feels that promises were broken as, despite some injury problems, he scored 17 goals in 29 appearances when Celtic won the title and League Cup in 2022.