Neil Lennon to receive 'continuing support' as Celtic board stand behind under-fire boss

Neil Lennon has received a strong vote of confidence from the Celtic board amid mounting pressure on his position following a dismal run of form.

Neil Lennon has received the backing of the Celtic board. (Photo by Giuseppe Maffia / SNS Group)
Neil Lennon has received the backing of the Celtic board. (Photo by Giuseppe Maffia / SNS Group)

A faltering campaign both domestically and in Europe has led to calls for Lennon to be sacked with supporters staging angry protests outside Parkhead for a second week running following Sunday’s 1-1 draw with St Johnstone, which left the defending champions trailing 13 points behind rivals Rangers in their pursuit of a record 10th consecutive title.

It followed a shock Betfred Cup exit at the hands of Ross County the previous Sunday, which came after a second consecutive 4-1 mauling at the hands of Sparta Prague, which saw the club eliminated from the Europa League.

In all, Celtic have won just twice in their last 12 outings, conceding 28 goals, but majority shareholder Dermot Desmond and chief executive Peter Lawwell have thrown their support behind Lennon.

A club statement read: “In light of the ongoing speculation regarding the position of our football manager, Neil Lennon, the Board of Celtic Football Club wishes to make clear its continuing support for Neil and his backroom team.

“The Board recognises and understands the importance of winning the league championship this season and that, as Neil himself has made clear, recent performances and results have been disappointing. The Board is committed to delivering success for Celtic supporters.

“The Board has carefully considered the current circumstances and the challenges that we are faced with, not least the pressure on the management and players to deliver the tenth championship in a row that is so important to us all. Equally important is to continue to operate according to our club’s values. The Board has come to the conclusion that our collective objective is best served by continuing to support Neil and his team as they seek solutions for those challenges.

"Neil has the support of the players and staff at the club. He understands the pressure and the environment. As his outstanding record as a manager, captain and player demonstrates, he knows what it takes to be successful at Celtic and he has delivered success with many of the current squad of players, who understand his method and approach.

“Whilst it has been suggested that it is time for a change, at this stage in the season the Board believes that Neil and his management team are best placed to turn the team’s performances around and lead us on to success. The Board continues to work closely with Neil and his team to support them as they seek to do so and progress will be reviewed in the new year.

"The Board wishes to take this opportunity to thank all Celtic supporters for their support during this challenging year. The response of the support to the challenges that we all face together has been magnificent. It is therefore important to make clear that the Board has never, as it has been inaccurately reported, referred to any Celtic supporter as 'entitled'.

"The Board recognises the range of views expressed by our supporters and the strength of those opinions. Whilst there may not always be agreement, there is certainly a common goal – the success of Celtic Football Club – and we will continue to work together to seek to achieve that success.”

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