Celtic fans protest outside Paradise after Ross County loss

After being dumped out of the Betfred Cup by fellow Premiership side Ross County, Celtic fans have descended on to Celtic Park, furious with Neil Lennon, Peter Lawwell and the players. Karla Louise Hallett has more.

Under increasing fan pressure to deliver results, Sunday’s loss to Ross County in the Betfred Cup may have been the final straw for supporters with Neil Lennon.

With Celtic fans already up in arms regarding the club’s current form, the last thing that Neil Lennon needed was to see his side dumped out of the Betfred Cup – a competition that they’ve won for four consecutive seasons. Unfortunately for Lennon, Celtic were unceremoniously dumped out of the competition by fellow Premiership side Ross County and with tensions already high, things have begun to boil over. Furious at Lennon, Peter Lawwell and a number of the players, fans have descended onto Celtic Park in a fury, with Celtic having won only two of their previous 10 matches.

While Lennon and the club’s hierarchy are taking the brunt of the abuse, with chants of “Lennon Out” and “Sack the Board” ringing out in a rage-fuelled chorus outside the stadium, the player involvement in the situation cannot be overlooked. The match against Ross County – who sit ninth in the league – displayed a clear lack of teamwork and preparation amongst the squad, with former Celtic players having come out to criticise players and tactics. Most recently, Pat Bonner was heavily critical of the team after the embarrassing Europa League defeat to Sparta Prague on Thursday, saying:

“The difference between the two teams was that Sparta played as a team. They all looked as though they were there as a united group.” 

Thousands of aggravated Celtic fans have taken to protesting recent club goings-on outside the stadium, even though Glasgow is currently categorised as a Tier 4 area under the Scottish Governments coronavirus tier system, making mass gatherings completely off-limits. Law enforcement have been deployed in large numbers, with a police helicopter providing a flyover, showing that Police Scotland have no time for these scenes whatsoever. Furthermore, a number of pundits and football personalities have condemned the protests, with former Celtic striker Chris Sutton saying:

“The people protesting outside Celtic Park can’t call themselves Celtic fans. True Celtic fans wouldn’t be singing despicable songs about a man who has given the club the service Neil Lennon has. They are a disgrace.”

With the relationship between the club and fans souring more by the day and with results becoming harder to come by, there is an increasingly toxic atmosphere surrounding Celtic Football Club. Despite the club’s board publicly stating that they are backing their manager to the hilt, should they bow to fan pressure, Lennon may be facing an early exit from his second spell as Celtic manager. With a gruelling away tie against AC Milan to come on Thursday, it seems as though things with Celtic are going to get worse before they get any better and in a year that could see the club winning 10 league titles in a row, things are going to have to improve – quickly.

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