Lennon named Bhoys boss

Fans' favourite lands Parkhead post permanently

Last updated: 9th June 2010   Subscribe to RSS Feed

I'm not going to comment on any individuals other than to say this, no one with any authority from this club has spoken to or offered the job of manager to anyone.

Celtic chairman John Reid
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Scottish giants Celtic have confirmed Neil Lennon as the club's permanent manager.

Lennon finished the end of last season at the helm after taking charge on a caretaker basis following Tony Mowbray's sacking in March.

The fans' favourite had a 100 per cent SPL record during his short stint, however, his record was tarnished by a surprise Scottish Cup semi-final defeat at the hands of Ross County.

However, following an extensive search Celtic have opted to give the ex-Northern Ireland international the chance to make his name in football management at Parkhead.

Celtic chairman John Reid proudly unveiled Lennon at a press conference on Wednesday while categorically denying they had spoken with anyone else about the position after Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni was linked with the post.

Reid also took the opportunity to thank the club's fans for their patience throughout the period prior to Lennon being named on a permanent basis.

Although Lennon's lack of experience has been called into question Reid is of no doubt that the 38-year-old will be able to bring the SPL giants success following a barren campaign of silverware.


"I just want to confirm today officially that Neil Lennon has been invited and accepted the post as manager as Celtic," Reid told Sky Sports News.

"I just want to thank a couple of people. First of all the Celtic supporters, as well as my fellow directors and Neil himself, for the patience and understanding they have shown throughout the last few weeks.

"I do that because we have taken some time in order to confirm Neil as manager. That should be a source of strength to everybody, not a source in anyway of doubt.

"This is a great club and it faces great challenges. The truth is that we are appointing Neil after the most careful thought, deliberation and scrutiny.

"If this had been a matter just about our heart then Neil would have been appointed within an hour of the vacancy arising, because in our heart we really wanted Neil Lennon to be our manager. I don't need to rehearse why. He's been a great player. He's been a great captain. He's been a great coach and he's been a great part of Celtic for so many years.

"But because it's such a big challenge we wanted to make sure that we did it with more than our heart. We therefore asked Neil to undertake the end of the season games in a situation which was pretty challenging. He faced up to that challenge and faced up to the opportunity. He did his talking on the park.

"Even then we went through a process of scrutiny. We considered, we debated and we maintained our dialogue with Neil throughout that. He knew what we were doing. On every occasion our head brought us back to where our heart had started.

"Therefore we have spoken to no one nor offered anyone this job through the course of that. We have kept Neil Lennon and we came back with our head to where our heart started in the first place. I'm absolutely delighted for that.

"I'm not going to comment on any individuals other than to say this, no one with any authority from this club has spoken to or offered the job of manager to anyone. Indeed no one has been spoken to about that job apart from Neil Lennon. I can give you that assurance."


Lennon has confirmed he has been appointed on a year's contract, just like previous Bhoys managers, with the option to extend the deal depending on the club's success on the pitch.

The midfielder, who made over 200 appearances for the club, has revealed everything was concluded late at night and he was simply delighted to be taking charge permanently following a successful career as a player.

Lennon admits the only thing he does not bring to the table is experience, however, he is open to the possibility of bringing in experienced coaching staff to help him learn the ropes early on.

"It's a wonderful moment for me. It's a wonderful moment in my life," explained Lennon.

"Things were concluded pretty late on the other night. I've walked down that tunnel many, many times when I came walking out on my own at twenty to one I've never seen Celtic Park like it. It was a beautiful night. The only light was from the moon and it was a special moment to know I was in charge of the football club. Very, very special moment for me personally.

"I'm ready and I'm looking forward to the challenge. It's a year's contract. It's open to renegotiation depending on how things go.

"Finally when I was told I was getting the job I was relieved, but overall delighted. It would be churlish to suggest I could do this job on my own. The backroom staff that I have in mind probably lack that experience to.

"I think I'm going into the unknown a wee bit. But in terms of what I know about the club, I don't think anyone else. It's just other aspects of the game that I need to work on.

"I think it's a priority to challenge for the title. I think it is every season. We know last season wasn't good enough, but the players showed me they do have it in them.

"In the last eight or nine games they showed a level of consistency that they maybe hadn't shown previously. I know I've got to hit the ground running.

"I want this place rocking again. I want the passion. I want the noise. I want the fans to be able to walk to the ground wanting the players ready to go to war every time they go on the pitch. Winning football games is the hardest thing to do."

Comments (41)

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James Mccann says...

We keep hearing about experience but on what count? I could have put stronger teams out than Tony Mowbray and he had plenty so called experience. The balance has to be right in will to win every game, play the correct formation depending on who you are playing and know when to make the correct changes when things are not working. Neil Lennon can do all that with his eyes shut and I believe there are big things ahead for Celtic football club under Neil and his team. Hail Hail can't wait for next season!

Posted 13:18 11th June 2010

Ciaran Crawford says...

I feel in Lennon we have a great up and coming coach who will thrive in the environment of managing Celtic, he knows what it takes to be a success playing wise & can transfer this to the players as can Thommo & Mjalby. Let's be honest he can't be any worse than Mowbry, I just hope his status as legend isn't tarnished if things don't go so well. Hail Hail, Lennon's army are bringing the thunder.

Posted 11:39 11th June 2010

Sean O'connor (Celtic fan) says...

Great job on the role Lennon. Now bring back Keano!!!

Posted 04:41 11th June 2010

Neil Lafferty says...

Congrats to Neil Lennon and the Board,yes as numerous people have pointed out there is a distinct lack of experience with him,Thomson and Mjalby but the important thing is Lennon knows that as does the board and this has to be addressed. There is therefor a definite need to appoint a mentor but I don't think Baxter is the answer, we need someone whose abilities have been proven at the highest domestic level and can share the pressure when it it comes to crunch ties like Old Firm and dare I say Champions League Ties. He would not be far off the mark with a Walter Smith type but unfortunately there are not many of themgoing spare.

Posted 15:30 10th June 2010

Paul Berrich says...

Good luck neil, if there's anyone that can restore the fire and desire into the team, you're the man. Yes a more experienced manager would've been welcome but where did experience get us last season! You'll do us proud......HAIL HAIL !!

Posted 14:34 10th June 2010

Jim Brown says...

I can understand supporters concerns with having Lenny in charge of Celtic for next season as he is relatively inexperienced but let's face it the last manager had plenty of experience and look what happened there. Experience is no guarantee of success what you need is an ability to understand the given situation at the time and deal with it as needed. He has the committment, the passion, was a good international and club player and genuinley loves Celtic so he isn't just there for the money or as a notch on his CV. He has coaching experience and a third of a season as manager with a 100% record and succeeded to some extent where Mobray a far more experienced operator failed miserably. I think he and his backroom team will always try and do what is in the team's best interests and along the way he will make mistakes but mistakes can be made by any manager it's how you deal with it when it happens that counts. The Celtic support also needs to understand that there was a time when the Celtic board didn't need to look at candidates for the job as they CV's would have flooded in for a chance to manage Celtic. But I didn't see any big names or anyone for that matter come out and link or promote themselves with the job. I'm fairly optimistic and maybe this appointment wouldn't have been a few years ago but he is here and should be given the full support of the board, team and fans. Lets see where we are at the end of the season then judge him... I'm a Celtic supporter and realist in these times of change but I will be behind him and the team come what may.. Get behind the Hoops and roar them on..

Posted 12:49 10th June 2010

Nick G (Sunderland fan) says...

Neil Lennon will need to do a lot of wheeling and dealing during the next few weeks to turn Celtic into a team capable of taking the SPL title away from Rangers. He has lots of passion, but last season¿s Scottish Cup semi-final defeat at the hands of Ross County showed how much that counted for.

Posted 12:23 10th June 2010

Gerard Haddock says...

Brilliant to see Neilly get the job! Not just because he's from Lurgan, but because he is 100% the right man for the job at the minute. He knows exactly what it means to play for the jersey - he'll teach every single player what it means to be a true "hoop"!! Great attitude as a player, which I'm sure he'll transfer as a manager and on to his players. I've no doubt that he will be able to motivate all the players he has or brings in to give everything they have for the club and the fans. Expect to see glory days back at paradise. All the very best for the season Neil. Hail Hail!!

Posted 09:13 10th June 2010

Dominic Satny (Celtic fan) says...

I fear this is another disasterious appointment. Lennon does not have the required experience for the job. His record as caretaker for Celtic was good but the only meaningful game he managed was against Ross county which we lost. We were lucky to win the final Old Firm game against a very poor Rangers side. I wish Neil Lennon the best of luck. The only thing that can save us is an even worse Rangers team. Europe this coming season will be a complete embarrassment again. The Old Firm are so bad right now it must give hope to all the other SPL teams.

Posted 08:47 10th June 2010

Jim Gardiner says...

He He He, Reading all the above comments. They are exactly the same as when Mowbray got the job. The Celts fans are the most gullable in the world. Now they have a rookie who was a manic depressive last year. Now I dont wish that illness on anyone but all Celtic fans will be depressed during the coming season and more so at the end of it.

Posted 08:14 10th June 2010

Jamie Docherty (Celtic fan) says...

Just because he is a Celtic legend doesn¿t mean Neil is the best man for the job. Once again the board has cheeped out. Celtic football club deserves an experience manager that can recruit world class players and the supporters deserved nothing less.

Posted 00:11 10th June 2010

Damien Breen (Celtic fan) says...

Well done Neill, fully confident you can take the title back to where it belongs at Celtic park...... Takes a good Lurgan man to do it..... Good luck pal. Hoops down under.

Posted 23:03 9th June 2010

Steve Beck (Leicester City fan) says...

The comments seem a bit too one-sided to be true. He may be a celtic man, but he doesn't have the managerial experience for a club their size. I've followed his career closely and this seems like the cheapest option for Celtic. Blood and guts will take him only so far, can he outfox Walter Smith? I think it's unlikely.

Posted 22:46 9th June 2010

Andrew Doc (Rangers fan) says...

The managerial capture of Lennon is to do nothing more than please fans.They had been growing increasingly (and understandably) impatient at the time taken to fill the vacant post. Clearly Lennon has a complete lack of managerial experience,and this may well be evident by the way that next season goes.Most Celtic fans think Lennon is the man for the job simply because of his exceptional playing career, and how the team,under his guidance had remained unbeaten (albeit in the League) in his short stint as interim manager. These supporters fail to see that by the time Mr Mowbray was sacked the Scottish Premier League was near enough sewn up, and that Celtic were not under a great deal of pressure. Also, these are the fans who seemingly choose to forget that their team was eliminated from the Scottish cup by a Lower tier outfit whilst Lennon was temporarily at the helm.Perhaps the spirit in the Celtic dressing room is ascending, but from my point of view a more experienced figure should have been appointed. Moreover, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating.

Posted 22:26 9th June 2010

Alan Dick (Celtic fan) says...

Well done Lenny. The right man for the job.The league and the fans will now be returning to paradise. Walter, Ally & Co. R.I.P. your life as it was has ended, the bhoys are back. C'mon the Hoops. HAIL HAIL!!!!!!

Posted 21:48 9th June 2010

Patrick Mcbride (Celtic fan) says...

I'd just like to wish Neil Lennon all the best, a true Celtic man, he knows what is needed to put the bhoys back on top, where we belong, also all who doubt him will be eating their words, the players will perform for him, and like thunder the fans will applaud all the glory he brings. Neil Lennon born to manage Celtic

Posted 20:58 9th June 2010

Jim O'rourke says...

Can't wait for the start of the season. As Lenny says, we want our players to fight for the right to wear the hoops. Patience is a virtue and I am sure there are great things to come, Mjallby & Thommo are legends. Get rid of the rubbish and bring the title back to Paradise. Neil Lennon is 100% exactly what this club is all about. I hope the Director's feel the same and do not hinder him and his team winning the league by penny pinching. The supporter's faith & loyalty in these hard times must be repaid in full. C'Mon the Hoops !

Posted 20:46 9th June 2010

Charlie Connelly (Celtic fan) says...

Well done Neil, you are by far and away the man for the job. I watched your interview alongside John Reid and you know I believe you will bring back the thunder,and with that the fans. Good luck to you and your new management team.

Posted 15:15 9th June 2010

Jimmy Mccrory (Celtic fan) says...

He was always the man for the job.... and the board have made the right call this time. He's a Celt through and through and Hail hail to sucess for this season!!! The treble will do me lol!!! :D

Posted 14:43 9th June 2010

Steve Forsyth (Celtic fan) says...

I am delighted with the news that Lenny will be our manager next season. It is high time we had a manager that knows just what it is like to be a hoop. I temper my delight though with caution. If Reid and Co sensibly back him hewill truly become a legend. I would hate to see penny pinching and lack of ambition tarnish the image of a bhoy who has not only been very loyal and totally committed, but is a real supporter at heart. Hail! Hail!

Posted 14:13 9th June 2010

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