Neil Lennon speaks out after resigning as Celtic manager
Celtic have confirmed that Neil Lennon has resigned as head coach with immediate effect.
Lennon, 49, was appointed for a second spell following Brendan Rodgers’ departure back in February 2019 and led Celtic to five pieces of silverware in the two years that have passed.
But the Bhoys’ 1-0 defeat to Ross County at the weekend left the reigning champions 18 points adrift of Steven Gerrard’s Rangers side at the top of the Scottish Premiership table.
Lennon – who also played for and previously managed Celtic from 2010 to 2014 – apologised to supporters in the aftermath of the loss and insisted he was still the man to lead the rebuild.
However, Lennon’s exit was announced on Wednesday morning and the Northern Irishman said it was ‘frustrating and disappointing’ to fall so short of expectations before wishing the club ‘nothing but success for the future’.
He told Celtic’s official website: ‘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.
‘I have worked as hard as ever to try and turn things around, but unfortunately we have not managed to get the kind of run going that we have needed.
‘I have always given my best to the club and have been proud to deliver silverware to the Celtic supporters.
‘The club will always be part of me. I will always be a Celtic supporter myself and I will always want the best for Celtic.
‘I would like to thank so many people at the club who have given me so much and I would also like to thank my family for their love and support.
‘I wish the Celtic supporters, players, staff and directors nothing but success for the future.’
Lennon leaves his second stint at the helm with two league titles, two Scottish Cups and a Scottish League Cup to his name.
Celtic’s current assistant manager, John Kennedy, will take over the reins from Lennon on an interim basis.
Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell said: ‘I would like to pay tribute to Neil for all he has done for the club in his second spell, delivering our eighth and ninth successive league titles, the quadruple treble and winning the last five available domestic trophies.
‘Neil has always been and will always be a true Celtic man and someone I will always hold in the highest regard.
‘I have watched Neil fight many battles over many years, on and off the field, with a courage and tenacity few could match. Even this season, he has fought so hard and worked tirelessly to turn things around.
‘While this season has not progressed as we would have liked, it cannot diminish the character or integrity of a man who has given the club so much.
‘Personally, it is a sad day for me to see Neil leave the club. Neil is a man of quality and decency, he is someone who will always be part of the fabric of Celtic and someone who will always be welcomed at Celtic Park.
‘On behalf of everyone at the club, and personally, I would like to thank Neil for his work as our manager and I wish him and his family good health and continued success in everything they do.’
Celtic’s principal shareholder Dermot Desmond added: ‘Neil is a Celtic legend both as a player and manager.
‘He has given so much to the club, and with his success over the last number of years – including winning a treble in his own right – he will be very difficult to replace.
‘We thank Neil sincerely for all he has done for the club and we wish him every success going forward.’
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