Neil Lennon resigns as Celtic manager

Ross County defeat proved to be the last match of his second spell as manager of club

Celtic manager Neil Lennon looks dejected during the Scottish Premiership match against Ross County at the Global Energy Stadium in Dundee. Photograph: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire

Celtic manager Neil Lennon looks dejected during the Scottish Premiership match against Ross County at the Global Energy Stadium in Dundee. Photograph: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire

 

Neil Lennon has resigned as Celtic manager with the club 18 points behind the champions-elect Rangers in the Scottish Premiership. The 49-year-old has been under pressure for months but had previously maintained he would not quit.

His departure comes after Celtic’s defeat at Ross County on Sunday left Rangers seven points from title and heightened the prospect they will secure the prize at Parkhead on 21 March. Since returning to the club in 2019 Lennon has led Celtic to two titles, two Scottish Cups and a League Cup.

There was widespread expectation he would leave at the end of this season. John Kennedy, Lennon’s assistant, is likely to take charge for the remainder of this campaign.

A club statement said: “Celtic Football Club today announced that Neil Lennon has resigned from his position as football manager with immediate effect.

“Neil has served the club with distinction as both player and manager, delivering numerous successes, most recently completing the domestic treble in December.

“In his second period as Celtic manager, he has achieved five trophy successes, to add to his three League titles and two Scottish Cup victories in his first period as manager.”

Lennon has been subject to vociferous criticism from a section of the Celtic support for months. He returned to the club in early 2019, following the departure of Brendan Rodgers to Leicester. Lennon, a decorated player with the club, also managed Celtic between 2010 and 2014.

When seeking what would have been a record-breaking 10th title in succession, Celtic have failed to win 11 of their 30 league games. There was an exit from the Champions League at the qualifying stage at the hands of Ferencvaros, with County also responsible for elimination from the League Cup.

Celtic’s recruitment has been widely criticised, as was a January training trip to Dubai that led to a raft of negative publicity and forced the isolation of 13 players – plus Lennon – for a draw with Hibernian.

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