Ex-Celtic man Lee Naylor was left stunned by November protests

By Euan Davidson

May 18, 2021

There was a point this season where Celtic managed just one win in 11 games. In all competitions, the Bhoys were floundering. Protest filled the winter air, as fans congregated [Herald] outside Paradise on two occasions.

It was an unusual sight. Admittedly, small protests against the board, via tifos and literature had become commonplace. However, an actual revolt was a sight to behold. In a decade of dominance, there were still rumblings of discontent, but this was mutiny.

And it was quite reasonable. This season was utterly dismal, and we’ll be counting the cost of the board’s inaction for a while yet. Even if normal service resumes in 21-22, the scars of this campaign will take a while to heal. If, that is, they heal at all.

Reflecting on this season, Lee Naylor joined Mark Wilson and Simon Donnelly for a chat on the Celtic Huddle Podcast. What’s more, he didn’t hold back when talking about the failures of 20-21.

Speaking about the awful form and the protests outside Paradise, Naylor said [Celtic Huddle Podcast]:

“That’s not Celtic. That’s not the Celtic I know, anyways. I never thought in my time that I’d see Celtic fans gathering outside the club, in that much disappointment.

“It wasn’t nice to see, obviously I don’t condone bad behaviour and violence, but that was the lowest point for me, to see that.

Asked about whether there were any positives to this season, Naylor curtly replied:

“Knowing who to get rid of.

“At least now you can rebuild, and rebuild to know who wants to be at Celtic. Clear out who wants to be there and who doesn’t, it’s as simple as that.”

Lee Naylor and Rio Ferdinand battle for possession / (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Lee Naylor doesn’t hold back, but nor should he: Celtic let supporters down this season

Essentially, just so he isn’t misconstrued, what Naylor is saying is that he didn’t expect fans to be so disappointed by the club, that they’d (rightly) protest. Just so we’re on the same page.

It’s clear Naylor took a lot from being at Celtic. Across the whole podcast, the former Wolves man drops “we” and “us” throughout. Signed by Gordon Strachan in 2006, Naylor was shortlisted for the Player of the Year honours in 2007 [BBC].

Over 4 years and 100 appearances, Naylor established himself as Strachan’s first-choice left-back, before his contract expired in 2010.

And, on this evidence, he’s clearly hurt by what the supporters have been through this season. Clearly, he counts himself in that number.

READ MORE: Beyond “they weren’t very good”; why it didn’t work out for this pair at Celtic