Neil Lennon doesn't have power to influence 'smug, self-satisfied' Celtic board, claims ex-Parkhead star

Davie Provan blasts Parkhead board for lack of spending

Neil Lennon doesn't have the power to pressure the Celtic board into improving the team, according to former Parkhead star Davie Provan.

The Sky Sports pundit believes the club's regime have failed to strengthen their chances of competing in Europe by signing young players to develop too often.

Celtic were knocked out of European football on Thursday evening as Danish opponents Copenhagen won 3-1 at Parkhead after a one-all stalemate in the first encounter.

Neil Lennon watched his side lose to Copenhagen on Thursday. Picture: SNS

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What made the defeat sting even more for the home crowd was the fact that rivals Rangers had reached the last 16 the previous evening with an impressive 1-0 win away to Portuguese side Braga.

Though Celtic are set to march to nine titles in a row, and are odds-on favourites to win a fourth successive treble, Provan believes they should be setting their ambitions on the continent higher.

He wrote in his column for the Scottish Sun: "Peter Lawwell’s gang will happily see Jozo Simunovic take the rap for Celtic’s exit on Thursday, but there is a bigger picture.

"Thanks to this smug, self-satisfied Hoops regime this was an accident waiting to happen. The buy-low, sell-high trick might be doing wonders for the Bank of Celtic but it’s killing the team.

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"The Copenhagen defeat is another reality check for Celts.

"Already cannon fodder in the Champions League, they are now finding modest Europa League opposition beyond them."

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He added: "Neil has less power than Brendan [Rodgers]. While Rodgers would take Lawwell on, going above his head at times, Lennon is the junior partner in that relationship.

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"With Rangers right on Celtic’s case going into the winter break, I’m guessing Lennon would’ve wanted an upgrade in players in the window.

"With the Tierney money burning a hole in his pocket, Lawwell could have delivered.

"Instead, it was the same old script with two youngsters signed from leagues in Poland and Israel.

"For a club of Celtic’s stature, the real proving ground should be in Europe. This board has allowed the club to become an irrelevance in that arena."