NEIL Lennon has admitted he would welcome the chance for Celtic to complete an unprecedented fourth consecutive treble behind closed doors at a “hub” stadium as a curtain raiser to the new season. 

A sub-group set up by the SFA and SPFL Joint Response Group is examining playing multiple matches at a number of venues, which have been customised to comply with coronavirus social distancing restrictions, when football restarts.

Lennon’s side were due to take on Aberdeen in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden before play was suspended in March due to the Covid-19 outbreak. 

The Northern Irishman, whose side was awarded their ninth consecutive Ladbrokes Premiership title earlier this week, stressed he would rather play the fixture and, if they prevail, the final in front of fans. 

However, he has confessed if that isn’t possible that he will be prepared to complete the competition, and another potential clean sweep of domestic trophies, over the course of a few days at a single stadium. 

“If we can conclude it then great,” he said. “The maximum number of games we’d play in that now would be two if we overcome Aberdeen so it wouldn’t have a huge bearing on next season. 

“If it means playing the semi-finals at a hub behind closed doors to complete that then fine. At the minute we’d love to play any kind of football, not just the Scottish Cup.

“For a while, until we find a remedy to get fans back in, then behind closed doors is going to be the way to play football. 

“It’s not ideal, we know that, because it’s a huge loss, but we have to find that balance of the safety of the public and safety of the players and playing competitive football.” 

Lennon continued: “The SFA have been more or less saying they want the Scottish Cup completed and I’m sure the four clubs still involved in the competition (Hibernian and Hearts will compete in the other semi) would want that as well. 

“It would be fine to play it as a curtain raiser and maybe over the course of three or four days - Wednesday and weekend maybe - would be absolutely fine.

“It would be great to complete it and try and compete for another treble would be magic and I’m sure we’ll have plenty of time to prepare either way and if they can fit it in I’m all for it. 

“Would getting it finished be a cleaner way to do it? Possibly. Although, games of that magnitude you would like to play it in front of fans. 

“We are only talking about a maximum of two games for the clubs involved so it shouldn’t be an issue getting the games resolved.

“We will be ready and prepared for whatever eventuality the SFA come forward with, but all four clubs would have to agree.”

Lennon has been tuning in to German football – the Bundesliga restarted behind closed doors last weekend - and believes they have paved the way for other European countries to resume playing competitively. 

“I enjoy watching the Bundesliga,” he said. “I saw Cologne v Mainz which was a really good game considering there were no fans. It was good to see live football back but the main ingredient missing was the atmosphere. 

“I felt the players in all the games I watched over three days made it a good spectacle, but the novelty might wear off on that. 

“It’s a bit surreal and it has a training game feel to it despite the fact they are important, competitive games. I’m not sure how long that scenario would last before people demand the gates are open again for fans. 

“But I’m hearing the weekend went well for the German clubs and that they will continue like that and then look to open stadiums again in September.” 

Lennon added: “We’re gearing for June 10 and I’m hoping to get some sort of clarity on what we can and can’t do with the players from that date on in terms of training in small groups to start as they’re doing elsewhere and hopefully opening it up. 

“We’re being directed by the government and health authorities. If we can do it then great, but if not we’ll have to accept it and move on and concentrate on the future.

“We’re taking it day by day, week by week. With all good intentions of getting back to some sort of normality but until then we need to adapt to what we’re being told to do to avoid a second wave. 

“There might be inevitability about that and it might be we have to shut down for a while and continue in the new year, I don’t really have the answer to that.”

Meanwhile, Lennon has stressed that securing qualification for the group stages of the Champions League after a three year absence will be as big an objective for Celtic in the 2020/21 season as completing 10-In-A-Row. 

“The supporters have been talking about 10 for a few seasons, but we have to take it as another campaign,” he said.

“The priority is always the league. Nine was a great season for us and we are really happy with how that went. We want to build on that and try and improve. 

“But we want to make inroads in Europe as well, so that and the league are the priorities for us. There will be a lot of talk and anticipation going into the new season, so hopefully we can get back to playing soon.

“The league is our priority as it is every campaign and you then take each competition as it comes. We will be going all out to try and win everything again. 

“But Europe is always a great place to see where we are. If the Champions League qualifiers are our first port of call next season we will endeavour to get our preparation as spot on as we can. 

“In the last few years we haven’t made the Champions League but I was delighted with the Europa League run and that experience of playing at that level will stand the players in good stead going into this season.”

Lennon is hopeful his Celtic players, who have the chance to become the first in history to win 10 straight top flight titles next term, will be able to cope with the demands on them. 

“For me, getting the ninth title was massive, so to get it over the line the pressure has lessened a little bit for next season,” he said. 

“Whether it has increased for the player, psychologically we will have to wait and see. We won’t talk too much about the number and focus on what we have been doing for the last nine years and that’s being consistent and winning the league.”