Neil Lennon has been speaking about his anguish at team leaks during his second spell at Celtic Park a few years ago. Lennon returned to the club for a second time as manager back in February of 2019, after Brendan Rodgers left us in the lurch to join Leicester City, who have recently parted company with the former Liverpool boss.
Lennon took over on an initial interim basis until the end of the season, but was given the job fulltime in the shower room at Hampden Park after we defeated Hearts to lift the Scottish Cup that year. It was a completely underwhelming appointment and helped lead to the club losing in our quest for ten league title in a row.
However, during that time as Celtic manager, Lennon revealed that he had a mole either from the playing squad or around the staff more generally at Lennoxtown and Celtic Park. Speaking on BBC 5 Live’s Premier League Sunday show, the Lurgan man said: “Even at Celtic, in my second spell, we would pick the team a day before. Then the team would be out on the wires at like 7pm that night. You’re thinking ‘it’s coming from somewhere in the building’.
“Sometimes, even the players can do you in if they’re maybe out the team. It wouldn’t have happened 10-15 years ago but it’s such a common trend now. I am wary of naming a team a day before the game but it’s what the players like. We played Jonny Hayes (in September 2019), there’s absolutely no way anybody could have known we were going to play Jonny Hayes on the left wing. I swear, at 6.30pm (Saturday night before game) it’s all over Twitter.
He said: “I was raging, you are just giving the opposition an advantage here. Because either someone is getting paid money for it or they are giving it to a betting company, or this guy is feeding them a few. I don’t know. It was just so wrong on so many levels. It wasn’t leaked to the media, it was leaked to somebody and this guy would put it on Twitter. Even under Brendan, nine times out of 10 was bang on with the team.
The former Hoops midfielder even confessed that he threatened to get forensics onto the case to scare the mole off. He revealed that it worked for a bit, but then it eventually startwd again. “Somebody in the dressing room or the building is doing this,” he stated. “We tried all sorts to stop it. I said we are bringing in forensic computer IT guys to check your phones and blah, blah.. And it stopped for a while. But then bang it started again.”