A year ago today Brendan Rodgers signed the papers, ordered the champagne in and kicked back to drink in a scenic Majorcan view.
That contract has been upgraded to a four-year one and while the view might not be a Spanish coastline, there is scarcely a cloud on the horizon. You can be sure there will be champagne on tap on Sunday evening as Celtic take formal reception of the league title. The potential is there for a Treble while and becoming Invincibles seems like a formality. Rodgers has been in anything but holiday mode.
The Celtic manager has put Celtic back on the map again, although he joked that he had a bit of a hard sell convincing his fiancé about a move to a club she had never heard of.
"It all came through, it got signed,” smiled Rodgers, who was named Ladbrokes Manager of the Year yesterday as well as the Scottish Football Writers' Manager of the Year. “I was in Majorca with my fiancee, Charlotte, overlooking Port Adriano in Majorca and we celebrated with some champagne. Charlotte hasn't ever been into football so she hadn't really heard of Celtic. But she loves it here.”
And Rodgers has revealed that the club has surpassed his own expectations of what the role would bring.
“It has been better,” he said. “I have to say. I never thought I could be this happy - in everything really. I have got great relations with the directors, a great working relationship and a real respect for Peter [Lawwell].
“On a daily basis we communicate. They have given me freedom to work and as a coach in the modern game it is very hard to get that. They offered me the ability to create and be the architect of the club and they have been true to their word. Absolutely amazing. I have constant feedback from Dermot [Desmond].
“I see the board regularly. I operate with Peter, we communicate, it’s very open, it’s very professional, he’s a good man, a very clever guy. Then I have got amazing staff. When I accepted the responsibility to come here to Celtic I knew what it was and I was very happy to take it and happy to live with that pressure because it’s a huge expectation at a club like this.
“It is a worldwide institution. There is always a demand on clubs like us here. But I think I am built for this type of challenge. I am really enjoying.
"The finances involved in the Premier League, and the challenge there, is huge. But it's about being happy and I've found a real happiness here. I could go elsewhere and be financially a lot better off.
"But I've learned through time and experience that it's more than that. I've done well in my life, I've been lucky, and for me it's about happiness. If you have that then that happiness give you energy. Then you'll stay longer and be more consistent, hopefully in a happier life."
Desmond has been criticised by supporters at times for being an absentee landlord, but it is a view that Rodgers was keen to put right, insisting that the majority shareholder has the club firmly at the forefront of his thoughts.
“Dermot wakes up in the morning and thinks of Celtic, he looks at everything Celtic, he goes to bed at night, everything Celtic,” said the Hoops manager. “He will be in contact with me on a fairly regular basis. It might only be three or four lines in a text offering encouragement and support, it might be a meeting in London, it might be a phone call, but it is constant. It is always there. I couldn’t ask for any more. There is a real, real trust to it.
“I can’t speak highly enough of them and if there is any reassurance that the supporters ever needed from one of their own then I will tell them. These are people and guys who have an incredible commitment to this club. There is a real feel, a real focus on the club and they are really passionate about the club moving forward.”
Meanwhile, Celtic’s old barrowfield training ground may seem a world away from the glamour and intrigue of the Champions League, but it is where Rodgers believed he can help elevate the club into the next tier of European football.
The Celtic manager spent an evening at the training facility this week with primary school kids, ensuring that there is no stone left unturned when it comes to getting everything turned constant progression.
Breaking the glass ceiling in Europe is ultimately where Celtic will garner not only respect but the financial rewards that will enable them to continue their upward trajectory. But it is now always in the transfer market where that will happen.
“It’s a huge task and it’s a huge ask,” said Rodgers. “The budgets are night and day different. The revenue streams are very, very difficult, but we have to push. We have to do our very best. It’s always going to be very difficult. I’m optimistic but I’m realistic. People go back to the era when Martin was here but there was a big financial input into the club and it’s nowhere near that now, with all due respect.
“How can we find a way? Can we find it through a football idea? Can we bring the club together with a philosophy that runs right the way through, that’s ingrained within the kids, through the developments teams straight on to the first team?
“Can we get as many of the boys from the academy base in there? Can we get an extra percentage from them, because you’ve got a [Kieran] Tierney, you’ve got an [Anthony] Ralston, you’ve got a [Callum] McGregor? If you get an extra one percent from those, does that give you the extra 10-15% that can push you on?
The vision and the view of the future is pretty clear here, in terms of where we want to go.
“However long I’m here I want to influence, where it’s required and in the most positive way that I can. I know what it means because I was an under-10 coach and if the first team manager acknowledged them, it meant everything. I’ve done a lot of coach education stuff here with the academy guys, not influencing how they coach, but the principles.”