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Group stage a 'success' for Celtic

Celtic manager Ronny Deila and Virgil van Dijk in training

Deila’s side have yet to play competitively this season

15 July 2015
Last updated at
12:43




By Chris McLaughlin
BBC Sport

Champions League qualifying

Date: Wednesday, 15 July Venue: Celtic Park, Glasgow Kick-off: 19:45 BST

Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW & DAB digital radio

Celtic manager Ronny Deila says qualification for the Champions League group stages would constitute European success this season.

The Scottish title winners start their qualifying campaign with a home match against

Icelandic champions Stjarnen.

“We are, of course, the favourites to win this game, but we always respect the team,” he said of Wednesday’s game.

“The preparation has been very very good. We have no excuses and I’m very confident.”

Stjarnan

are already 11 games into their season while Celtic have been limited to

pre-season friendlies.

Celtic eased past another Icelandic side, KR Reykjavic, 5-1 on aggregate last season in the second qualifying round but then missed out on the group stages.

Nadir Ciftci in training with Celtic

Former Dundee United striker Nadir Ciftci is Celtic’s latest summer signing

They were reinstated after defeat by Legia Warsaw after the Poles played an ineligible player, but then also lost to Slovenian side Maribor.

Asked if making the group stage was his target this season, Deila said: “Of course. That’s a step forward.

“You have to be patient. If we get there then we can talk afterwards, but for now it’s all about qualification.

“The goals are the same as last year – qualification to the group stages and win everything in Scotland.”

Deila last week

added Nadir Ciftci

after paying Dundee United £1.5m for the Turkish striker.

Celtic have also signed central defender Dedryck Boyata from Manchester City, full-back Saidy Janko from Manchester United and goalkeeper Logan Bailly from OH Leuven.

“We have a very strong squad, but it’s a never ending story and we should always be on the front foot if something comes up,” Deila said when asked about the prospect of more summer signings.

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Celtic sign Belgian Boyata from City

Dedryck Boyata is set to replace Jason Denayer, who is returning to Manchester City

Dedryck Boyata (right) is set to replace Jason Denayer, who is returning to Manchester City

2 June 2015
Last updated at
12:40




By Chris McLaughlin
BBC Sport

Celtic have signed defender Dedryck Boyata from Manchester City on a four-year contract.

The Belgium international, 24, arrived in Glasgow on Sunday to become manager Ronny Deila’s first summer signing in a deal worth around £1.5m.

Boyata made six appearances for City last season but was unable to secure a regular first-team place.

Speaking on Celtic’s website, 

the defender described the Premiership champions Celtic as “a very big club”.

After moving to Manchester to be part of City’s youth squad in 2006, Boyata had loan spells at Bolton Wanderers and FC Twente between 2011 and 2013.

His only senior cap came as a substitute against Austria in 2010.

Boyata will effectively replace countryman Jason Denayer, who was on loan from Manchester City, while Deila is

keen to keep Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk.

“The manager came to see me in Manchester and I spoke to him about having me here and all the ideas he had for me playing for the team,” added Boyata.

“So I was very pleased with his plans and from that point I thought that moving to Celtic would be a good idea and we tried to do everything right for me to move here.”

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Celtic sign Belgian Boyata from City

Dedryck Boyata is set to replace Jason Denayer, who is returning to Manchester City

Dedryck Boyata (right) is set to replace Jason Denayer, who is returning to Manchester City

2 June 2015
Last updated at
12:40




By Chris McLaughlin
BBC Sport

Celtic have signed defender Dedryck Boyata from Manchester City on a four-year contract.

The Belgium international, 24, arrived in Glasgow on Sunday to become manager Ronny Deila’s first summer signing in a deal worth around £1.5m.

Boyata made six appearances for City last season but was unable to secure a regular first-team place.

Speaking on Celtic’s website, 

the defender described the Premiership champions Celtic as “a very big club”.

After moving to Manchester to be part of City’s youth squad in 2006, Boyata had loan spells at Bolton Wanderers and FC Twente between 2011 and 2013.

His only senior cap came as a substitute against Austria in 2010.

Boyata will effectively replace countryman Jason Denayer, who was on loan from Manchester City, while Deila is

keen to keep Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk.

“The manager came to see me in Manchester and I spoke to him about having me here and all the ideas he had for me playing for the team,” added Boyata.

“So I was very pleased with his plans and from that point I thought that moving to Celtic would be a good idea and we tried to do everything right for me to move here.”

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Ashley wants £5m Rangers loan back

Mike Ashley in the stand at Newcastle

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct controls Rangers’ retail operation

13 May 2015
Last updated at
08:00




By Chris McLaughlin
BBC Sport

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has called on the Rangers board to hold an extraordinary meeting to pay back his £5m loan to the Glasgow club.

Ashley, who owns a 9% stake in Rangers, has also asked the board to explain why the club has been delisted from the AIM stock exchange.

If the loan is paid back, the club will regain security over its branding, the Murray Park training ground and the club’s retail rights.

All are currently held by Ashley.

The move comes after the Sports Direct owner lost control of the Ibrox boardroom to South Africa-based businessman Dave King, who is awaiting Scottish FA approval to become the club’s new chairman.

That followed an EGM called by King in March, when shareholders backed the former Rangers director and his allies.

More to follow.

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Ashley premises probed in Gers case

Breaking news

6 May 2015
Last updated at
08:35




By Chris McLaughlin
BBC Sport Scotland

Police investigating takeovers at Rangers have searched the headquarters of Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct company in Derbyshire.

The Newcastle owner has a near-9% stake in the Ibrox club and has control of the club’s retail operations.

The ongoing investigation has already led to the

arrest of the former Rangers owner Craig Whyte.

“We can confirm that officers carried out a search of a property in Derbyshire,” said Police Scotland.

“As this is part of a live inquiry, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

Whyte bought Rangers from David Murray in 2011 for a nominal £1 fee, with the club falling into liquidation in July 2012.

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Ashley premises probed in Gers case

Breaking news

6 May 2015
Last updated at
08:35




By Chris McLaughlin
BBC Sport Scotland

Police investigating takeovers at Rangers have searched the headquarters of Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct company in Derbyshire.

The Newcastle owner has a near-9% stake in the Ibrox club and has control of the club’s retail operations.

The ongoing investigation has already led to the

arrest of the former Rangers owner Craig Whyte.

“We can confirm that officers carried out a search of a property in Derbyshire,” said Police Scotland.

“As this is part of a live inquiry, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

Whyte bought Rangers from David Murray in 2011 for a nominal £1 fee, with the club falling into liquidation in July 2012.

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Lennon and Boyce critical of SFA


22 April 2015
Last updated at
23:44




By Chris McLaughlin
BBC Sport

Former Celtic manager Neil Lennon says the Scottish Football Association will “open up a can of worms” by banning Inverness Caledonian Thistle’s Josh Meekings from the Scottish Cup final.

Inverness have

refused to accept a retrospective one-game ban

for Meekings for handling a Leigh Griffiths header in

a 3-2 semi-final win over Celtic.

If Thursday’s tribunal does not go their way, Meekings misses the final.

Fifa referees boss Jim Boyce also says a ban will set a “dangerous precedent”.

He added: “It doesn’t help us if someone gets banned. I don’t think that’s right. I don’t think he did it on purpose, the ball was going very quickly. It was reaction, but it was a clear handball, a red card and a penalty.

“I hope that he will play, the best players should always play in the final. I don’t think it is a positive thing to ban anybody.”

Referee Steven McLean failed to award a penalty against Inverness when Meekings used a hand to stop a goal-bound header from Griffiths just before the interval with the Hoops leading 1-0.

Bolton boss Lennon told BBC Radio 5 live: “How can you prove that is an intentional handball and how can you ban the player for that?

“It’s just going to open such a can of worms going forward.”

Jim Boyce addresses Fifa

Jim Boyce is Britain’s Fifa vice-president and the head of Fifa’s refereeing committee

Celtic

have written to the SFA

asking it to explain why McLean and his officials did not award a penalty and send off Meekings.

Boyce told BBC Scotland he understands Celtic’s grievance, but disciplinary action against the officials in question is a matter for the SFA.

“Every week we have handball situations where referees make a decision,” said the Fifa vice-president.

“In this particular game, there was a referee, an assistant referee, one of these people behind the goal line and there was a fourth official and none of them made any decision.

“So I can’t believe that they’re going to suspend a player for a handball.”

The SFA did not wish to respond to Boyce, who stressed he was speaking in a personal capacity and not on behalf of world football’s governing body.

Since the SFA overhauled its disciplinary procedures in 2011 and employed Vincent Lunny as the first compliance officer to enforce the new protocols, players have been retrospectively punished for violent conduct and serious foul play.

Lunny, who was replaced last year by Tony McGlennan,

said the rules also allow

for action to be taken over any potential sending-off offence, including preventing a goal by handling the ball.

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Scottish FA opposes Team GB for Rio

Scotland midfielder Kim Little in action for Team GB

Scotland midfielder Kim Little played for Team GB at the London Olympics in 2012

4 March 2015
Last updated at
12:35




By Chris McLaughlin
BBC Sport

The Scottish FA is firmly against the idea of Great Britain football teams competing at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

The

English FA would like to field a men’s and women’s team

for the Games, but the SFA fears participation would threaten the country’s independent status within Fifa.

It is understood it would not, however, stop players from competing.

“We have been consistently clear in our opposition to Team GB,” an SFA spokesperson said.

The Scottish game’s governing body explained that its opposition stems from the “threat it poses to our independent membership of Fifa and also our representation on the International Football Association Board.”

At the London Olympics in 2012, Team GB entered football sides in the men’s and women’s competitions.

No Scots were included in the men’s team, but midfielder Kim Little and defender Ifeoma Dieke made it into the women’s squad.

Welsh FA president Trefor Lloyd Hughes revealed

he is “livid”

about the English FA’s plans to enter two Great Britain teams at Rio.

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Rangers chairman Somers steps down

David Somers

David Somers was appointed chairman of Rangers in November 2013

2 March 2015
Last updated at
07:06




By Chris McLaughlin
BBC Sport

David Somers has resigned as Rangers chairman only days before his future in the position was due to be voted on by shareholders.

The move was confirmed in a statement to the Stock Exchange on Monday.

An

extraordinary general meeting is being held at Ibrox

on Friday, when the future of the current board is to be decided.

It is unclear if chief executive Derek Llambias and finance director Barry Leach will also go before Friday.

The

EGM

was called by shareholder Dave King, who has tabled resolutions aimed at ousting the current board and appointing himself, Paul Murray and John Gilligan in their place.

Somers, 66, had been chairman since October but has faced numerous calls to step down by fans who have been protesting for change.

He said in a statement: “I have worked in the City of London, the world’s greatest financial centre for decades and enjoyed considerable success.

“When I was approached about the chairmanship of Rangers, friends warned me that the world of football has different rules and codes of behaviour.

“I now know that is a gross understatement.

“I am a non-confrontational man and have always tried to bring harmony to boardrooms and with stakeholders.

“At the risk of antagonising my army of critics, I would point out that Rangers managed to pay its bills and avoid going under during my tenure.

“These critics might not agree with how we achieved this.

“I look forward to alternative solutions from whoever is running the club in the future.

“Despite the personal attacks on me from various sources, I genuinely wish the club the very best in the future and I am confident that with such a passionate and vociferous fan base they will be restored to their former glories.”

Director

James Easdale recently resigned

from the board, giving his reason as a lack of support from the club’s fans.

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Modi keen on buying Rangers stake

Lalit Modi

Lalit Modi’s representatives have made contact with Rangers’ football board chairman

6 February 2015
Last updated at
15:07




By Chris McLaughlin
BBC Sport

Lalit Modi, the first commissioner of cricket’s Indian Premier League, has expressed an interest in buying a large shareholding in Rangers.

BBC Scotland has learned Modi’s representatives made contact with the chairman of Rangers’ football board, Sandy Easdale, earlier this week.

The groups talked about the potential sale of the 26% stake Easdale controls.

It is believed a price has already been discussed. And a meeting could take place as early as next week.

Modi was banned for life by the Indian Cricket Board of Control

after they charged him with misconduct relating to financial irregularities.

Recommended article: Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.
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Loan prevents Rangers being wound up

Rangers' football chairman, Sandy Easdale

Sandy Easdale is Rangers’ football chairman

5 January 2015
Last updated at
10:11




By Chris McLaughlin
BBC Sport

Rangers’ latest crisis loan was taken to avoid being wound up by HM Revenue and Customs, BBC Scotland has learned.

It is understood the Scottish Championship club received a seven-day notice letter at the end of December for the payment of national insurance.

Rangers announced on Monday that Sandy Easdale had given a loan of £500,000.

The shareholder and chairman of the football board’s money would be used for general working capital over the next few days.

Rangers International Football Club also

confirmed that it had received an £18m takeover approach from American financier Robert Sarver.

He has been given until 2 February to make a firm offer for the Glasgow club.

Two groups of fans have subsequently made share purchases in the club since the owner of

Phoenix Suns basketball team 

made his approach.

And those moves by

Douglas Park’s group

and

Dave King

mean the American is unlikely to succeed in a takeover in its original form.

Robert Sarver

Robert Sarver is believed to be willing to work with fans groups and other businessmen

Announcing the latest loan to the Stock Exchange, a statement said: “The facility is being provided by Alexander Easdale, a shareholder in the company and director of The Rangers Football Club Limited, the wholly owned subsidiary of RIFC.

“The facility will be used by the company for general working capital purposes over the next few days.”

A spokesman for Sandy and James Easdale, his brother and business partner who has a seat on the plc board, declared the latest loan had been the only option for Rangers.

Jack Irvine, an Easdale family adviser, said: “Once again, Sandy has stepped up to the plate with this half million pound loan from his own pocket.

“Whilst we welcomed the recent share purchases by Dave King and Douglas Park and his consortium, this unfortunately did not put any funds into the club.

“Sandy was the only option for this cash injection at such short notice. The Easdale family remain totally committed to achieving a satisfactory financial future for Rangers and they hope all parties can work together in the future with that common goal.”

Lewis Macleod in action for Rangers

Midfielder Lewis Macleod was sold by Rangers to Brentford

Rangers

sold prize asset Lewis Macleod to Brentford,

with the deal for the 20-year-old midfielder being completed immediately after the opening of the January transfer window.

“Alexander Easdale will make available to the company up to £500,000 on a fee and interest free basis and it will be secured against the income from the sale of player announced on 2 January 2015,” added Rangers’ statement.

“The directors of Rangers, having taken advice from their nominated adviser, WH Ireland plc, believe that the terms of the facility are fair and reasonable as far as shareholders are concerned.”

Meanwhile, Rangers have promised a further announcement in response to Sarver’s interest.

“There can be no certainty that an offer will be made, nor as to the terms on which an offer may be made,” said a statement.

It pointed out that, under takeover and mergers regulations, the 52-year-old must announce if he is going to make a firm intention to make an offer for Rangers by 2 February.

Should he make such a bid, he “will be required to clarify his intentions”.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Professional Football League is satisfied that no default event has occurred in relation to the winding-up order.

A default event, according to the SPFL’s rule E20, occurs 28 days after a tax bill is due.

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McCoist leaves Rangers manager post

Kenny McDowall and Ally McCoist

McDowall (left) will take charge of the Rangers first team following McCoist’s departure

21 December 2014
Last updated at
20:25




By Chris McLaughlin
BBC Sport

Ally McCoist has left his position as Rangers manager and the Scottish Championship club say he is now “on gardening leave”.

The 52-year-old handed in his resignation

earlier this month and had started his 12-month notice period.

McCoist remained in charge of the team for

the defeat by Queen of the South

and

Saturday’s win against Livingston.

“Assistant manager Kenny McDowall will take over his duties until the end of the season,”

a Rangers statement read. 

“We would like to thank Ally for all his hard work and dedication over the last few years, but we feel it is now in the best interests of all parties to move on.”

McCoist, who had been in charge at Rangers since the summer of 2011, was called to a meeting at Ibrox on Sunday by chief executive Derek Llambias and chairman of the football board Sandy Easdale.

He was told it would be best for the club if he stood down and was placed on gardening leave. The search for a new manager is under way but McDowall will take charge of the side in the meantime.


Rangers are nine points behind Scottish Championship leaders Hearts and the Tynecastle side can extend their lead to 12 points if they beat Cowdenbeath on Tuesday.

Pressure on the Ibrox boss intensified after

a surprise 3-2 defeat by part-timers Alloa Athletic

in the Petrofac Training Cup semi-final and, following the defeat by Queens, the manager admitted Hearts were now “strong favourites” for the Championship title and automatic promotion.

McCoist was believed to have become alarmed at the number of staff losing their jobs

at the club.

Bellshill-born McCoist was a Rangers player for 15 years as well as playing for St Johnstone, Sunderland, Kilmarnock and Scotland, for whom he won 61 caps.

He had been assistant manager at Ibrox under Walter Smith and stepped up as his successor while Rangers were still in the Scottish Premier League.

Administration and subsequent liquidation of the former company that ran the club resulted in Rangers playing in the fourth tier of Scottish football.

A high turnover of players ensued in 2012 and McCoist led the side to two consecutive league titles to get Rangers into this season’s Championship.

And, following the recent losses to Queen of the South and Hearts and confirmation of his resignation,

McCoist said he was “not sure” whether he would attend Monday’s annual general meeting

at Ibrox.

Former St Mirren player McDowall joined Rangers as first-team coach under Smith in 2007 and was promoted to assistant manager when McCoist became manager.

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Want something else to read? How about ‘Grievous Censorship’ By The Guardian: Israel, Gaza And The Termination Of Nafeez Ahmed’s Blog

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McCoist leaves Rangers manager post

21 December 2014
Last updated at
20:25

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Easdale hails Rangers’ Ashley deal

Sandy Easdale

Sandy Easdale says Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley wants to help Rangers

27 October 2014
Last updated at
12:30




By Chris McLaughlin
BBC Sport

Sandy Easdale says Mike Ashley should bring financial stability to Rangers and revealed there are no plans to change the manager.

The chairman of the football board spoke following reports Ally McCoist’s position could be under threat.

Mr Easdale also said the plc board acted in the best interests of the club by accepting Ashley’s £2m loan.

“Mike’s a very wealthy individual and he really does want to help the club,” said Easdale.

“I can only see it being a good thing,” he added on the day when

chief executive Graham Wallace resigned

from his post.

“The plc board did their duty and their due diligence accordingly and I would say they’ve done what’s in the best interests of the fans, the club and the shareholders.

“I would hope so [it will bring stability], we’ve got to look forward now. The fans have heard so much over so many years but I can only say we’ve got somebody who is interested in helping the club and we can only look at it as a positive thing.”

Sandy Easdale

“We’ve not got any ideas of changing the manager so that’s not on the agenda.”

BBC Sport understands the former managing director of Newcastle United, Derek Llambias, is likely to become

the new chief executive of Rangers.

Llambias is a long-term business associate of Ashley and will fly into Glasgow over the next 24 hours for talks about the position.

On the reports about the manager’s position, Easdale added: “I’ve not spoken to Ally, he is the manager and he continues to be the manager. We’ve not got any ideas of changing the manager so that’s not on the agenda.”

And McCoist revealed he has held talks with plc chairman David Somers and Easdale.

“Having spoken to both gentlemen, they have confirmed to me that they want me to continue my job as Rangers manager,” he said.

McCoist also thanked Wallace for his work at the club and welcomed Ashley’s investment.

“The news of Mike’s involvement is good news. Of course it is good news,” he added. “I’ve said all along the club needs investment, so we’ve got it.

“Change is always a concern but I have been told that this change is moving the club forward, which is absolutely fantastic.”

Easdale also revealed that Ashley has “not intimated” to him that he wants full control of the Ibrox club. The Newcastle United owner has an 8.29% stake in Rangers and has an agreement with the Scottish Football Association that he will not increase that beyond 10%.

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SFA contacted over match-fixing threat

27 May 2014
Last updated at
17:28




By Chris McLaughlin
BBC Sport

The Scottish Football Association has been contacted by the National Crime Agency about a match-fixing threat to Wednesday’s friendly against Nigeria.

Scotland are playing Nigeria at Fulham’s Craven Cottage ground.

The SFA has released a statement saying it is liaising with the relevant authorities and is preparing for the match as normal.

Leading bookmakers contacted by BBC Sport say they are unaware of any specific threat to the game.

While they are exercising extra vigilance for any suspicious betting patterns, a spokesperson for one bookmaker said: “We’ve seen no evidence of the reported issues and we wouldn’t expect to.

“This sort of activity will be executed in the illegal betting market, and is unlikely to be seen in the UK or European regulated sector.”

The BBC has learned that no Scotland players are under suspicion. It is also understood a number of other friendly matches on Wednesday have been highlighted as games potentially at risk.

A spokesperson for the NCA explained: “The NCA will from time to time provide operational detail necessary for public reassurance purposes.

“It does not routinely confirm or deny the existence of specific operations or provide ongoing commentary on operational activity.”

Football’s world governing body, Fifa, added in a statement: “We are aware of the claims published recently.

“Generally speaking, we are not in a position to comment or provide information on any match-manipulation investigations that are ongoing so as not to compromise investigations, nor do we provide any comments as to whether or not any investigations are under way.

“It would only be after a decision has been taken by the Fifa disciplinary committee or Fifa ethics committee and first notified to the parties concerned that Fifa would be in a position to communicate the contents of that decision publicly.”

News of the threat came as a shock to Nigeria defender Efe Ambrose, who plays for Scottish champions Celtic.

“I’m surprised, just like everyone,” he said. “This kind of thing is not good, but I don’t think something is going on around this game.”

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Lennon parts company with Celtic


22 May 2014
Last updated at
16:59




By Chris McLaughlin
BBC Sport

 

Neil Lennon has confirmed he has left Celtic after four years as manager and will help the club find his successor.

It is understood the former club captain had been considering his position for some time despite

securing a third straight Scottish title.

The 42-year-old Northern Irishman told Celtic’s website: “I have supported Celtic all my life and the club will always be part of me.

“However, I feel the time is now right to move on to a new challenge.”

Lennon’s statement came after meetings with his representative, Martin Reilly, and Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell.

“It was an absolute honour to play for this great club, to captain the team and, of course, to become Celtic manager, a position which I cherished dearly,” he said.

“Of course, I am very pleased that I will be leaving Celtic as Scottish champions and with the club in such good health.

“I wish the club nothing but good fortune going forward. I will now assist the club in appointing my successor.”

Lennon took charge of the Glasgow club, who have yet to comment on the departure, in 2010, leading them to three league titles and two Scottish Cups.

He also took Celtic to the Champions League last 16, with a victory over Barcelona in November 2012 his side’s most high-profile achievement.

However, he had

concerns about his playing budget for next season

and is believed to have feared his present side would be unable to negotiate three rounds of qualifying.

Celtic chairman Ian Bankier had nothing but praise for the departing manager.

“Neil has given a huge part of his life to serving the club and we will always be grateful for all he has given us,” he said.

“Ultimately, Neil brought Celtic back to the top of Scottish football, re-introducing the passion and drive which we needed to succeed and, of course, keeping us there for the last three years.

“Neil has shown the club a huge level of commitment and effort over his four years as manager.”

With Lennon on a rolling contract, there had been annual speculation about his future and he is thought to have been close to leaving the club last summer.

West Bromwich Albion were believed to be aware of his availability before pursuing other targets, but are again seeking a new manager after the departure of Pepe Mel.

Lennon has often expressed his desire to eventually manage in the Premier League in England, but has been linked with the vacancy at relegated Norwich City.


Former Celtic defender Malky Mackay, sacked by Cardiff City last season, remains favourite to take charge at Carrow Road, with the Canaries having also interviewed fellow ex-Watford boss Gianfranco Zola and Neil Adams, who was given the job until the end of the season after Chris Hughton’s exit.

Mackay will be among those linked with the vacancy at Celtic Park, although the early favourite with bookmakers is former Hoops striker Henrik Larsson, currently in charge of Swedish outfit Falkenbergs.

Speculation had heightened this summer about Lennon’s position after his assistant, Johan Mjallby, confirmed he was leaving to “seek some different opportunities”.

While Lennon’s representative said that the Northern Irishman had “nothing lined up” at another club, Lawwell wished him future success.

“When we appointed Neil as manager, we did so knowing exactly what the club meant to him and knowing that he would give all he had to the job,” said the chief executive.

“He has delivered great success to our supporters domestically and has brought us back to the table in European football.

“We now embark on a new and exciting chapter for the club.”

A former midfielder who started his senior career with Glenavon in his homeland, Lennon played for Manchester City, Crewe Alexandra and Leicester City before joining Celtic in 2000.

He had a seven-year spell as a player at Celtic Park and returned as first-team coach in 2008 after short spells with Nottingham Forest and Wycombe Wanderers before taking over as manager in 2010 after time as caretaker boss.

 

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    Comment number 701.

    bryan cassidy
    1 Minute ago

    Impartial comments, firstly consider changing your name, the man has had bombs sent to him bullets through the post where he lives with his young family. Been evacuated from his home in the middle of the night, attacked during a game in Edinburgh and its all HIS fault unbelievable!!!!
    DJ Shadow, name these occasions where he was in your words hell bent on promoting and stoking the fires

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    Comment number 700.

    Macheadin Cov
    2 Minutes ago

    @696 there is no please for racism, sectarianism or bigotry in ANY walk of life, let alone football.
    No one deserves what he went through at Celtic and those found guilty, should be thrown in the big house for a very long time….
    As for his achievements at Celtic….did okay, but most peoples granny could have won the SPL with Celtic and the complete lack of competition in Scottish Football

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    Comment number 699.

    impartial comments
    3 Minutes ago

    TOM ENGLISH = PRO CELTIC. It is a well known fact that Tom English is a life long celtic supporter and close friend of Neil Lennon, why the bbc continue to give this ridiculously biased pundit the time of day. Join the campaign to get biased journalists out of the bbc. Tom English to be sacked, TOM ENGLISH = PRO CELTIC. Good luck Neil on your next job you will need it.

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    Comment number 698.

    Rab_
    6 Minutes ago

    To all the people saying Scotland is more sectarian, or that Neil Lennon has promoted sectarianism in Scotland, I ask if you are even from Scotland or have watched even a single SPFL match in your life? For the past four years Neil Lennon has been the victim of bomb threats, death threats and attacks. He has not once said or done anything remotely sectarian.

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    Comment number 697.

    iwasgonnasaythat
    11 Minutes ago

    I’ve not read any other posts so this may have been said already.Neil Lennon helping Celtic to find a new manager is a bit like Sir AF helping MU find a worthy successor. Lets hope he has better judgement than SAF!!

 

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