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AFP
February 25, 2021

Lennon quits as Celtic boss after dismal campaign

Sports

AFP
February 25, 2021

GLASGOW: Neil Lennon resigned as Celtic manager on Wednesday with the Scottish Premiership club 18 points behind bitter rivals Rangers in their bid to win a historic 10th consecutive league title.

The Northern Irishman took charge for a second spell in February 2019 and led the club to two league titles, two Scottish Cups and a League Cup.

But he has been under pressure all season as problems mounted on and off the pitch, with Hoops’ fans calling for his head as their dream died.

Celtic flopped badly in Europe and defeat to lowly Ross County on Sunday left Steven Gerrard’s Rangers just seven points away from landing the club’s first title for a decade.

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

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

Lennon, 49, said in the statement he had worked hard but had been unable to turn the club’s fortunes around.

“We have experienced a difficult season due to so many factors and, of course, it is very frustrating and disappointing that we have not been able to hit the same heights as we did previously,” he added.

Assistant manager John Kennedy will take interim charge of the team until a permanent successor is appointed.

The Celtic hierarchy, led by chief executive Peter Lawwell, who is standing down at the end of the season, stood by their manager long after realistic hope of catching Rangers was gone.

But Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Ross County, who started the game bottom of the table, proved the final straw.