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Favourites to become new Celtic manager

The favourites to become new Celtic manager has been revealed by bookmakers Sky Bet following the departure of Neil Lennon on Wednesday.

Lennon has resigned with his side currently 18 points adrift of Rangers in the Scottish Premiership table and just a few games away from winning the title.

The 49 year old took charge for a second spell in February 2019 when Brendan Rodgers left and led the club to two titles, two Scottish Cups and a League Cup.

However, Celtic are too far behind their Glasgow rivals in their bid to win 10-straight titles and fell to a 1-0 defeat at struggling Ross County on Sunday.

Neil has served the club with distinction as both player and manager, delivering numerous successes, most recently completing the Domestic Treble in December. In his second period as Celtic manager, he has achieved five trophy successes, to add to his three League titles and two Scottish Cup victories in his first period as manager.

Current assistant manager, John Kennedy, will take interim charge of the team.

“We have experienced a difficult season due to so many factors and, of course, it is very frustrating and disappointing that we have not been able to hit the same heights as we did previously.

“I have worked as hard as ever to try and turn things around, but unfortunately we have not managed to get the kind of run going that we have needed.

“I have always given my best to the Club and have been proud to deliver silverware to the Celtic supporters. The Club will always be part of me. I will always be a Celtic supporter myself and I will always want the best for Celtic.

“I would like to thank so many people at the Club who have given me so much and I would also like to thank my family for their love and support. I wish the Celtic supporters, players, staff and directors nothing but success for the future.”

Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell added: “I would like to pay tribute to Neil for all he has done for the Club in his second spell, delivering our eighth and ninth successive league titles, the Quadruple Treble and winning the last five available domestic trophies.

“Neil has always been and will always be a true Celtic man and someone I will always hold in the highest regard.   

“I have watched Neil fight many battles over many years, on and off the field, with a courage and tenacity few could match. Even this season, he has fought so hard and worked tirelessly to turn things around.

“While this season has not progressed as we would have liked, it cannot diminish the character or integrity of a man who has given the Club so much.

“Personally, it is a sad day for me to see Neil leave the Club. Neil is a man of quality and decency, he is someone who will always be part of the fabric of Celtic and someone who will always be welcomed at Celtic Park.

“On behalf of everyone at the club, and personally, I would like to thank Neil for his work as our manager and I wish him and his family good health and continued success in everything they do.”

Celtic’s principal shareholder Dermot Desmond commented: “Neil is a Celtic legend both as a player and manager. He has given so much to the Club, and with his success over the last number of years – including winning a Treble in his own right – he will be very difficult to replace.

“We thank Neil sincerely for all he has done for the club and we wish him every success going forward.”

So, who are the favourites to become the new manager of Celtic? Find out what the bookies not on gamstop say below…


Frank Lampard, who was most recently sacked by Chelsea, is reportedly said to have no interest in becoming the new Bournemouth manager, Football Insider understands.

A source with knowledge of Lampard’s situation told Football Insider he does not want to be in the running to take over at the Vitality Stadium.

He is keen to assess his options before returning to management after leaving Chelsea last month.

Sky Bet odds: 10/1


An insider recently revealed his stance amid the reported links three weeks ago with the Celtic managerial role.

It’s claimed that the former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle boss was set to get the job over at the Scottish Premiership side.

60-year-old Rafa departed his Chinese Super League side, before quickly being installed as the betting favourite to become Celtic’s next manager.

Spanish football expert Guillem Balague believed at the time that Rafa Benitez will be looking to “rest” after leaving Chinese side Dalian Pro, where he still wants to take some time out remains to be seen, though it would be something for him to think about.

Benitez has been dubbed as one of the best tacticians in the modern era with most of the sides he’s previously managed consistently reaching the latter stages of the Champions League and Europa League.


Real Madrid B – 1993 until 1995 – 65 games, 26 wins, 18 draws, 21 defeats, 40.0 win %
Real Valladolid – 1995 until 1996 – 29 games, 5 wins, 10 draws, 14 defeats, 17.2 win %
Osasuna – 1996 until 1996 – 11 games, 3 wins, 4 draws, 4 defeats, 27.3 win %
Extremadura – 1997 until 1999 – 92 games, 36 wins, 26 draws, 30 defeats, 39.1 win %
Tenerife – 2000 until 2001 – 46 games, 23 wins, 11 draws, 12 defeats, 50.0 win %
Valencia – July 2001 until 1 June 2004 – 162 games, 88 wins, 41 draws, 33 defeats, 54.3 win %
Liverpool – 16 June 2004 until 3 June 2010 – 350 games, 194 wins, 77 draws, 79 defeats, 55.4 win %
Inter Milan – 10 June 2010 until 23 December 2010 – 25 games, 12 wins, 6 draws, 7 defeats, 48.0 win %
Chelsea (interim) – 21 November 2012 until 27 May 2013 – 48 games, 28 wins, 10 draws, 10 defeats, 58.3 win %
Napoli – 27 May 2013 until 3 June 2015 – 112 games, 59 wins, 28 draws, 25 defeats, 52.7 win %
Real Madrid – 3 June 2015 until 4 January 2016 – 25 games, 17 wins, 5 draws, 3 defeats, 68.0 win %
Newcastle United – 11 March 2016 until 30 June 2019 – 146 games, 62 wins, 31 draws, 53 defeats, 42.5 win %
Dalian Professional – 2 July 2019 until 23 January 2021 – 38 games, 12 wins, 8 draws, 18 defeats, 31.6 win %
Total – 1,148 games, 565 wins, 275 draws, 308 defeats, 49.2 win %

Sky Bet odds: 9/1


The Spanish football coach is a former professional player turned manager of the Belgium national team.

Martínez played as a defensive midfielder and began his career at Real Zaragoza, and won the Copa del Rey with them. He spent a year at lower league side CF Balaguer, before joining for Wigan Athletic.

He was a regular first team player for six years, the longest period of time he spent at one club. During his time there, he won the Football League Third Division and the Football League Trophy. He moved to Scottish side Motherwell, then to Walsall, before signing for Swansea City in 2003. He became club captain and helped the team to win promotion to League One in 2005. He moved to Chester City in 2006, and was again chosen to be captain.

In 2007, he retired from playing to become manager of Swansea City, leading them to promotion from League One as champions. He then returned to Wigan Athletic in 2009, helping the club avoid relegation for three consecutive seasons. In his fourth season Wigan were relegated, but won the FA Cup in 2013 for the first time in the club’s history. At the end of that season he became the boss of Everton. In May 2016, he was sacked as their manager, and became Belgium’s head coach on the 3rd of August 2016. He guided them to third place in 2018 FIFA World Cup, their best-ever position in the competition as well as holding first place for Belgium in the FIFA World ranking since 2018.

Sky Bet odds: 8/1

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Clarke played for the likes of St Mirren, Chelsea and the Scotland national team, winning three major trophies with the Blues towards the end of his career.

After retiring as a player, he moved into coaching and worked at Newcastle United, Chelsea, West Ham United and Liverpool.

Clarke has since been a manager at West Bromwich Albion and Reading. After a spell coaching at Aston Villa, Clarke was appointed Kilmarnock manager in October 2017. In May 2019, he was appointed manager of the Scottish national team, leading the team to UEFA Euro 2020, their first major tournament for 23 years.

Sky Bet odds: 6/1

www.fanbanter.co.uk – Fan reaction to the latest football news, gossip & funnies


Eddie Howe has been linked with many clubs for the manager’s position for however long he stays unemployed.

The 42-year-old guided the Cherries to more than 450 games across two spells spanning more than a decade but stepped down this summer following the club’s relegation to the Championship.

Their five-year stay in the top flight ended despite a 3-1 win at Everton on the final day of the season.

Howe also made more than 300 appearances as a player in the famous red and black stripes.

Howe was initially appointed AFC Bournemouth caretaker manager in December 2008, with the club sitting on -17 points at the bottom of the Football League.

Against all the odds he secured their safety and followed it with promotion from League Two the following season.

After a brief spell in charge of Burnley, a masterstroke from owner Maxim Demin bought Howe back to Dorset, and he then proceeded to achieve two further promotions in three seasons, leading the Cherries to the Premier League, where they remained for five years.

Sky Bet odds: 3/1

www.fanbanter.co.uk – Fan reaction to the latest football news, gossip & funnies


John Kennedy will be staying on at the club as their interim manager after being associated with the Lennon regime. The former Celtic and Scotland defender has been blamed for the club’s defensive frailties in 20-21.

However, if Damien Duff is to be believed, Celtic have accidentally landed themselves a top interim manager. The ex-Celtic and Republic of Ireland assistant, has been full of praise for Kennedy in the past and spoke enthusiastically about him in an interview with The Celtic View in January 2020.

“Let me tell you, working with John Kennedy, that man would stay at Lennoxtown until 8 or 9pm at night!”

“I might have said I was getting used to a 9-5 when I first started coaching, but when I moved up to the first-team, I was more from 8am right through until who knows when.”

Additionally, Duff spoke to Open Goal about his ex-colleague’s qualities, stating that Kennedy was hamstrung by Neil Lennon.

“I would always end up over-analysing, then end up saying nothing at all. I was always just conscious of, especially when you are working with someone like John… John Kennedy is without doubt one of the best coaches in the world.

“It comes down to detail, his detail is second to none, I’ve never seen detail like it. Some coaches can be like Ray Charles and not see things that are going on in the game whereas John doesn’t miss a trick. He sees the problem, “how are we going to fix it?”. Absolutely frightening.

“Like I said they’d be lost without him. Him and the gaffer, the gaffer is the best man around up there. I worked a lot with John, spent a lot of time late into the night watching games. I guess that I… built a nice bond with him. Listen I sound like his agent, clubs are going to be chasing him but like I said he is so class.”

Sky Bet odds: 5/4

www.fanbanter.co.uk – Fan reaction to the latest football news, gossip & funnies

Fans reacted with the favourites to become new Celtic manager revealed, see what everyone had to say below…


@queenmachine67: He shouldn’t have been allowed to resign at the end of February!!! He should’ve been sacked in October when we still had the chance to salvage the season. Kennedy and Strachan need to follow him out the door, we don’t owe Kennedy a job for life.

@neilslaught66: A regrettable and wholly avoidable chapter in the club’s history. The executive team must carry the can for permanently appointing him, for mismanaging him and for failing to relieve him of his duties many months ago. A lamentable standard of amateurishness.

@OllieMcClellan: Thanks so much for waiting until the season was completely gone before getting rid of him (and pretending it was a resignation in the end).

@johneamonn27: Too little too late. A “true Celtic man” wouldn’t have held the supporters in such contempt for the last 4 months, a support who unfortunately seen this car crash happening a long time ago

@CelticGossip: It is sad that it has come to this but it is the right decision. I would like to thank Neil Lennon for all he has done for us and for all he endured from our enemies over the years. It is now time for others responsible for this debacle of a season to consider their positions HH

@uddybhoy1: An unfortunate , to put it mildly, ending to Neil’s time . However, the best move for all .Still like to wish him all the best for the future and thanks for his many years service and success.A hugely important time now, that the Club need to get right.

@Steve91392532: Thanks Neil, did great but recent times, the desire was lost, should have made this decision 4 months ago. The club messing about has cost us the title and the club will soon feel the ramifications of it.

@philipslattery: His legacy will always be here. As a player and a manager. But that doesn’t paper over the fact that this season has been a monumental shitefest and as manager has to take the majority of responsibility.

@Duffy9057: Should have gone in November. Been a wonderful servant for the club, but not good enough for 10IAR. Next appointment in the summer is crucial.

@m__dc: What a relief, a sign of intent to move forward. Watching my team for the past 5 months has been depressing, please lift the mood @CelticFCand appoint a modern, forward thinking coach to inject life and harmony back into our club.

@e13763511: A shame that it has come to this and no doubt there will be good and bad on here regarding NLs time. Decent player, stepped in as manager when the club needed him, successful on and off the pitch. it had ran its course it’s now time to get out trophy back. Next season starts now

@EddieMa12080010: He can’t be blamed for the board’s ridiculous decision to appoint him not once, but twice. However, he put his own greed and self interest ahead of the clubs in arguably the clubs biggest ever season. For that he will never be forgiven. Kennedy and strachan should’ve too.

@MarkusOneillius: Lennon finally gone. Can only assume we have someone lined up in summer to takeover if giving it to Kennedy till the end of season. Eddie Howe would do nicely but knowing Celtic will be announce Jack Ross on June 21st to kill everyone’s buzz

@dannyh677: 5 months too late. He should of gone after the Sparta Prague games or at the very latest the cup defeat to Ross County. The Board also need to be held accountable for letting this shit show continue that long. Clear the Board next

@biggbo100: Eddie Howe would be obvious appointment for me. Free agent, had a good rest will be fresh and ready to go, worked on lower budgets, track record of developing younger players and good with the media. Ticks a lot of boxes

@toca63: A very sad day, thanks Neil for all you have done for our club over the years.

@ChuckMccaughley: I wish Neil all the best for the future, the club must NOT rush into appointing a new manager, this season is finished apart from a cup, we want someone to lead for the next 5 years with immediate impact so as to nip the slight rise of our neighbours

@DeeTheTim: Bittersweet. But long, long overdue. Board fucked him over majorly. Should have sacked him a long time ago.

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