Ex-Celtic man Chris Sutton is right: Lennon's future is a board decision

By Euan Davidson

January 22, 2021

Ex-Celtic striker Chris Sutton has claimed that Neil Lennon’s job security is up to the board.

Insisting that Lennon was a fighter, Sutton claimed in his latest Daily Record column that he doesn’t blame the manager for staying.

Neil Lennon’s future at Celtic looks to be hanging by a thread after a run of 7 wins in 22 games. Simply put, that isn’t the kind of form that’s acceptable to the Hoops faithful.

The personality of Neil Lennon splits the support down the middle. There are many arguing that he’s not equipped to manage the club successfully. Others, meanwhile, love his passion and his siege mentality, imploring others to keep the faith.

Sutton looks like he’s somewhere in the middle. Obviously, the two are former teammates, and the ex-Blackburn Rovers striker even offered a personal anecdote attesting to Lennon’s character.

He said:

“Neil is a good friend. He was there for me and my family when my son James nearly lost his life after being born prematurely and he supported me.

“I find having an opinion on him tough at times, but that’s my job.

“If it was me, I would have walked to protect my legacy, but everybody has to make choices based on how they see them.”

Chris Sutton chats to Celtic manager Neil Lennon / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Ex-Celtic striker Chris Sutton makes feelings very clear

Sutton commented:

“The club he’s devoted nearly half his life to he doesn’t want to give it up. I get that, we would all feel this way, would we not?

“When Neil walks out of the door this time, it will be for the last time in an official capacity. That will also hurt.

“Whether you feel he could save it or think he is doing an awful job and it’s beyond him, you cannot say he is not committed to the club.

“He’d have to be dragged kicking and screaming out of there. You can’t employ a fighter who never gives up and then expect him to stop fighting and give up.

“It’s why it’s not down to him. This is not a decision for Neil, anymore. This is a decision for the hierarchy.

“It’s not down to Neil. It is for those at the top.”

This is a particularly hard moment for Celtic fans

I don’t think there’s anyone in the Celtic support who enjoys what Neil Lennon’s going through.

For many, Lennon encapsulates what the club are all about. A working-class hero making good at his boyhood club. Standing firm against sectarianism, working through the constant threats, the violence.

Nobody, even the strongest Neil Lennon critics, are taking any joy in this whatsoever. Much like the argument over Scott Brown’s usefulness going forward, it’s heartbreaking to see icons falter.

That’s where we find ourselves with the Celtic boss. But Sutton is right; the board hired a stubborn fighter. The fans loved him and continue to love him for that exact quality. So expecting him to resign is foolish.

As for the board, well. We’ve been clear on our feelings on this website. What happens next is their call to make, but when season tickets are being sold again, they’ll know exactly how the supporters are going to feel. One way or the other.