Neil Lennon recalls anguish over team leaks during second Celtic stint

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.”

Paul Gillespie

Get Callum McGregor’s book absolutely FREE when you sign up for Weekly Lottery on Celtic Pools.

About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.


  1. Jim O'Rourke on

    Makes me sick to my stomach thinking someone from within could go against the Celtic for personal gain

  2. You’re doing it again! Talking out of your backside!
    You seem to forget that Neil lifted the club droppedin the mire by a greedy, lying Rodgers as he ranaway to a big payday, despite trying to convince everyone that he was going NOWHERE! “How could I leave Celtic?” “This is the best job in the world and my dream job”!
    Then one Tuesday couldn’t get out of town fast enough to cash his cheque, albeit at a Mickey Mouse pub team!
    Lennon picked those pieces up and not only kept the team focused on the league, but also went on to win the Scottish Cup, thus securing a historic and unprecedented third successful treble.
    The following season, the same Neil Lennon won the treble all on his own, going down in history as a manager securing a FOURTH successive treble, and completing Scotland’s only big club, a second historical nine in a row.
    Any believing for a second that the SFA/SPFL were going to allow a tenth title in a row has their head up their butt!
    Interviewed as Celtic raised the fourth successive Scottish Cup to indicate the fourth treble was now complete, SFAs Maxwell actually commented stating, “next season is a very big season”. When asked to explain he said, “Celtic will be looking for a record breaking tenth title, but rangers will have something to say about that, I’m sure”.
    Like Jim Farry and Hugh Dallas, the lowest of the low before him, he was making it clear, Celtic were NOT winning #10 on his watch!
    To that, add the fact that a few players got greedy, were looking for bonuses BEFORE they secured anything, and it’s easy to see why Lennon failed.
    Neil Lennon is down in Celtic history and folklore for all time.
    A true Celtic ICON, for eternity.
    The follo

  3. David Potter on

    My sympathies tend to be with Neil. He was badly let down during the Covid season (a dreadful, surreal experience) by quite a few players, some of whom did not even give the impression that they were interested in Celtic. To an extent, one can say how difficult it was for foreign players to play in Scotland during a pandemic – but only to an extent. Football meant all the more for the fans during lockdown, especially because they couldn’t get to games. I blame the players whose heart was not with Celtic. I could name names, but just look at the team lists in that season, and a few names will immediately spring to mind.

    Neil on the other hand deserves nothing but praise for the way he took over in 2019. The 2019 Scottish Cup final was one of Celtic’s best, and Neil deserves loads of praise for that, and there wasn’t an awful lot wrong with the 2019/2020 season either. People who attack Neil Lennon sometimes have short memories.