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Cheers and tears as Celtic celebrate – and say goodbye

© Craig Williamson / SNS GroupDeparting players Nir Bitton and Tom Rogic bring out the trophy
Departing players Nir Bitton and Tom Rogic bring out the trophy

There were cheers and celebrations all around Celtic Park yesterday – but a few tears, too.

The Hoops were saying goodbye to two long-serving and popular players yesterday – Nir Bitton and Tom Rogic.

It was an emotional Rogic who spoke about his decision to leave, despite still having a year on his contract.

The Australian said: “I couldn’t contain my emotion, it was hard.

“This is a special club, and it’s been an enormous part of my life.

“I came here when I was 20, now I’m 29, and I’ve experienced so many memories in that time.

“It wasn’t a decision I took lightly, but I feel the timing is right.

“It’s a special season to go out on.”

© SNS Group
Celtic fans take to the streets (Pic: Craig Foy / SNS Group)

Bitton was delighted to depart Parkhead as a title winner.

After spending nine years with the club, the Israeli knows all about the club’s insatiable demand for silverware.

“When I signed for this club, I obviously knew the expectations were high,” he said.

“It’s about winning trophies, it’s about taking this club to the Champions League.

“I’m just happy to finish with this one.

“I’ve won a lot of trophies here, but I’ve also had a lot of ups and downs, and injuries.

“But this club is just about winning and after last season, the players who have been here knew how much it meant for the fans and everyone involved to bring this title home.”

Celtic’s Callum McGregor with the Premiership trophy (Pic: Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Motherwell were always going to play a bit part on the day their hosts were presented with the Premiership trophy.

But they weren’t helped by a sickness bug that swept through Fir Park, and played its part in their six-goal thumping.

Manager Graham Alexander, however, admitted they have to tighten up at the back.

He said: “Our defensive record is not good enough. Plain and simple.

“We have scored a lot of goals this season but we have to look at the structure.

“We have a clear idea of what we have to do to be better.”