Manager hunt to begin
Lennon resigns as Celtic boss after poor season
Out: Neil Lennon (pic: SNS Group).
Neil Lennon has taken charge of his last Celtic game with the Parkhead boss resigning after a disastrous league campaign.
The shock weekend defeat at Ross County has prompted the change which disillusioned fans have been demanding for months.
Assistant manager John Kennedy will take over on an interim basis.
In a statement to the stock exchange this morning, the club said: “Celtic PLC confirms that first team manager, Neil Lennon, has resigned and will leave the Club with immediate effect.
“The Club would like to thank Neil for his outstanding contribution during his time at Celtic as manager. John Kennedy will assume the role of interim manager effective immediately.”
Among those linked with the job are current Scotland boss Steve Clarke, Chelsea legend Frank Lampard, ex-Liverpool chief Rafa Benitez, former Everton boss Roberto Martinez and the ex-Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe.
Lennon has overseen a calamitous attempt to secure ten-in-a-row, Celtic currently 18 points behind champions-elect Rangers.
He has served the club for nearly 20 years as player, coach and manager but that didn’t save him from the fans’ ire as what they had hoped would be an historic season lurched from one bad result to another.
Celtic were dumped out of the Champions League qualifiers by Ferencvaros, eliminated from the Europa League with two games to spare and defeated by Ross County in this season’s League Cup.
It was their performance in the Premiership, though, that angered the fans.
Lennon, 49, has been under immense pressure for the last five months but majority shareholder Dermot Desmond and chief executive Peter Lawwell, who leaves the club in the summer, refused to cave into the supporters’ demands.
The board seemed prepared to let him stay until the end of the season, though the disastrous result in Dingwall has finally brought the situation to a head.
Lennon returned to Parkhead for his second spell in charge in February 2019 when he replaced Leicester-bound Brendan Rodgers.
He successfully guided the Hoops to an unprecedented ‘quadruple treble’ in December’s delayed Scottish Cup final, adding yet another piece of silverware to his Celtic collection as he became the first man in Scottish football history to win a domestic treble as both player and manager.
Unfortunately for the 49-year-old, despite winning five trophies in his second spell as manager, it seems the disastrous pursuit of a record 10th successive league championship is how he will be remembered by a number of the Parkhead faithful.