Scottish Premier League champions Celtic have parted with manager Neil Lennon, bringing an abrupt end to the former captain’s four-year spell as manager.
Having won five SPL titles, four Scottish Cups and two Scottish League Cups during a seven-year playing career, Lennon had enjoyed an equally successful stint as manager, leading the club to a further three league titles while adding another two Scottish Cups to the trophy cabinet.
Perhaps his biggest achievement was the Champions League run of 2013, which saw Celtic progress from a group including Barcelona, Benfica and Spartak Moscow to reach the knockout stages of the competition.
The defining moment of that exceptional run was easily the historic 2-1 win over Barcelona at Celtic Park.
Ultimately, the 42-year-old reportedly ran out of patience with the lack of money available for the playing staff and was concerned about the club’s ambition to succeed in Europe.
As per BBC Sport, Lennon released the following statement:
I have parted company with Celtic.
The club are in a very strong position and I wish the fans and the club all the very best for the future.
I can't thank Peter Lawwell and the board enough for their backing and support during my time as manager.
The nature of Lennon’s annual rolling contract meant speculation always surrounded his future with the Scottish giants. As a result, his departure may not come as a huge shock to many.
Was it the right time for Lennon to step down?
According to Alan Douglas of the Daily Mail, club legend Henrik Larsson is being heavily linked with the vacancy—the 42-year-old is currently in charge of Falkenbergs in his homeland of Sweden.
The announcement comes just weeks after assistant coach Johan Mjallby confirmed he would not be renewing his contract with the club.
There is no confirmation on what Lennon's next move will be.
Who should replace Lennon as Celtic boss? Post your thoughts below.