It was interesting to see the review that Celtic FC issued this week. Obviously the £5.9m loss was a bit of a shock considering how well Celtic have been doing in recent seasons and the major transfer fees they have received for Tierney and Frimpong. I can only assume that these deals were not recorded in the period relating to the review. One aspect that wasn’t clearly related was what Neil Lennon’s position is and if he’ll continue as manager next season.

I know he’s had a lot of criticism from groups of Celtic supporters but I think this is totally normal in football when a club is not performing at the expectancy level deemed appropriate by the fans. I think it’s unfair on Neil but over the years I’ve seen many examples of this being the case. You only need to consider the news that was being posted last week that many Liverpool fans wanted Juergen Klopp sacked because Liverpool had lost 3 games in a row and were falling behind in their league championship challenge. For this to be even considered a possibility was unbelievable when you consider what he has achieved in his time at the club. A League title, the 1st for 30 years, a Champions league and a Club World Championship.

A Football manager can offer be a bizarre position and although some of those that are sacked have benefited greatly financially, it still makes it a difficult role to perform in a relaxed manner. If you look at the Scottish Premiership, 3 of the bottom 4 clubs have removed their managers already this season and the pressure has been mounting on the officials of both Aberdeen and Celtic to remove their managers even although both clubs are currently in the top 4. Both Lennon and McInnes have been totally outstanding as bosses of their clubs over the years but because of one poor season the pressure mounts on them to be removed as is the case with Klopp.

The fans need to made aware that things can turn around, especially when both Lennon and McInnes have proved they know what is required and have previously demonstrated this over many seasons. One of the best examples of how this is achievable is the story relating to the best manager who has ever operated in the UK, Alex Ferguson. He was appointed as Manchester Utd manager in 1986 and prior to an FA Cup match with Nottingham Forest in 1990 he hadn’t won anything yet with the club. This match was prior to a run of 7 games without a win and banners having been displayed at Old Trafford calling for him to be sacked. Forest were favourites that day and were actually the holders of the trophy but a late goal from Mark Robins saw Utd go through and indeed, they went on to win the Cup that season.

From that turn around when he was at a low ebb with the fans and his reputation being seriously questioned around the English football scene, Fergie went on to win 13 League titles, 9 Cups and 2 Champions Leagues. If ever there is an example of sticking with a manager, this proves to be the best one. It’s obvious that this has been a very bad season for Celtic, but Lennon has good experience in the game and needs time, as Fergie had, to turn around his squad and rebuild the team going forward to offer a future challenge for the title. Already, you can see changes he’s making to both the personnel and system being operated and there appears to be an improvement albeit, it’s still in an initial process.

Regardless of what anyone thinks, the feelings of the fans were essentially characterised by their desire for success this season. It was a big demand and aspiration of Celtic fans to win 10 in a row as it was equally that of the Rangers fans to stop it and achieve their 55th league title. I firmly believe that if Celtic were currently 15 points clear at the top there would be an equally large movement by the Rangers fans to have Steven Gerrard removed from his job. He’s a total hero at the moment but that’s because he’s fulfilling the expectations of all Rangers supporters. Not long ago, Neil Lennon was in that position but when things aren’t going to plan, the fans quickly show their disapproval.

It was extremely disappointing to learn of the behaviour of the 5 Rangers players who breached the national COVID regulations last weekend. The statement made by Steven Gerrard said the club were disappointed in the behaviour of the players. I’m pretty sure that anger and frustration would have been his more natural reaction to how these players behaved. The fact that two players, Jones and Edmundson have been severely punished for their actions and have certainly put their Rangers careers in jeopardy should have delivered a message to these players that what

they were doing was extremely unacceptable. The word that has been expressed most of the time from people discussing what these players did is ‘stupidity’ and perhaps that is the aspect that they will best use as their defence when Gerrard engages them in a face-to-face discussion.