Neil Lennon should be careful what he wishes for with Celtic fans

By Euan Davidson

February 5, 2021

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has repeated his insistence that the club have missed supporters.

This is true of every football club, certainly. However, there’s nothing quite like a packed Celtic Park on match-day. Or, on away days, when an impassioned travelling support sees the Bhoys through difficult games on inferior pitches.

Yes, it’s certainly true that we’ve all missed out. It’s been nearly a year since supporters were last allowed into Paradise.

Ahead of tomorrow’s match between Celtic and Motherwell, Neil Lennon spoke about the edge the fans give his side. Lennon said [via PLZ]:

“We’ve touched on it many times. I think the fact there’s no fans there has a huge detrimental effect on not just the players but on the club itself.

“There’s plenty of other examples of it around the UK and Europe. Subconsciously, we just don’t get that edge, that drive from supporters you would normally get. I think that has been a huge factor on our home form.”

Raucous: a packed Celtic Park / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Celtic boss Neil Lennon is right, but it’s not a valid excuse

Neil Lennon would be absolutely spot on here, if it wasn’t the case for literally everyone else. Across the leagues, nobody is allowed to welcome supporters into stadia. There’s a global pandemic on.

While it’s nice that Lennon is recognising supporters (God knows they’re recognising him), it seems more than a little cynical to pin the failures of the season on the fans.

It’s not like supporters have been invisible. From fan media sources like ourselves, to protests and banners and everything in-between, it’s been impossible to ignore the Celtic support. Our expectations are pretty clear, it’s fair to say.

Yes, it absolutely helps the players when a capacity crowd is making some noise for the Bhoys. But our absence doesn’t excuse Lennon’s failings as a manager. Other clubs have thrived with a lack of atmosphere, while in the English top flight, the difference has been pretty much unnoticeable.

It just feels like yet another excuse. While there is partial validity to it, these comments just feel like lip service to placate Celtic fans. Long story short; it won’t work.

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