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Neil Lennon resigns as Celtic manager amid ‘difficult season’

FOOTBALL By Mirror | February 24th 2021
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Europa League - Group H - Celtic v Lille - Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland, Britain - December 10, 2020 Celtic manager Neil Lennon [REUTERS/Russell Cheyne/File Photo]

Neil Lennon has resigned as the manager of Celtic with immediate effect after all-but surrendering the Scottish Premier League title to rivals Rangers.

The 49-year-old leaves his post almost two years to the day that he returned for a second spell in the hot seat.

Celtic are currently 18 points off Rangers in the table with only eight games left to play after a disappointing defeat to Ross County on Sunday.

An official statement from Lennon on the Celtic website read: "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.”

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Scottish Premiership - Celtic v Rangers - Celtic Park, Glasgow, Britain - December 29, 2019 Celtic manager Neil Lennon as Rangers' manager Steven Gerrard looks on [Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith/File Photo]

In addition to their domestic struggles, Celtic were dumped out of the Europa League after finishing bottom of their group, and were eliminated from the Scottish League Cup at the second round.

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However, it was only in December that Lennon led the club to the third leg of a prestigious treble for the 2019/20 campaign, by winning the Scottish Cup final, which had been delayed due to coronavirus.

It was the fourth time in a row that Celtic had won the treble - a world first.

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.”

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