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Champions League Qualifying Third Round

Celtic realise Lennon appeal

Celtic are set to become victims of their own success according chief executive Peter Lawwell, who expects manager Neil Lennon to receive numerous offers following the club's Champions League success.

Last Updated: 31/10/13 at 12:08 Post Comment

Neil Lennon: Could be targeted after guiding Celtic to the Champions League

Neil Lennon: Could be targeted after guiding Celtic to the Champions League

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Lennon took the helm at Parkhead in 2010 after the departure of Tony Mowbray and soon led the club to silverware, winning the Scottish Cup a year later.

A Scottish Premier League title followed in 2012 and the 42-year-old successfully guided Celtic through Champions League qualification before producing a shock 2-1 victory over Barcelona a day after the club's 125th anniversary.

Celtic retained the Scottish Premiership crown in 2013 and Lennon has endeared himself with the club's fans but prospect of offers from bigger clubs is a growing reality.

"Being realistic, that is one of the by-products of success," Lawwell told the Daily Record.

"Your people are courted and the most high-profile guy, the most prominent guy in that success, has been Neil.

"He's done a fantastic job and if he continues to progress, as he's still a young manager, I'm sure he will be courted at some point. I actually take a lot of pleasure in that, for him and us, and plan for the succession."

Attraction

Although Lawwell would delight in seeing Lennon remain at Parkhead, sourcing a successor for the Celtic boss is in the back of the chief executive's mind.

"Generally, no matter who you are talking about, commercial director or marketing director or finance director, as chief executive you have to be looking within the organisation for people to take over," he added.

"There is nothing specific. We're not looking for a manager.

"We're hoping that Neil will be here for years and years but it's just general sense you have to think about it."

Meanwhile, Lawwell's primary business is to find the club a Champions League venue for next July with Celtic Park, Hampden Park and Ibrox all set to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

"We're actually in discussions with UEFA about what options we have," he said. "The Aviva, Croke Park or maybe down south, a northern Premier League club.

"There would be a big support in Dublin. The stadium was full there when we played Liverpool in the summer so that would be great and there is a precedent in that we played at Old Trafford against Rapid Vienna.

"Murrayfield is a big attraction because it's near for the supporters, it's a fantastic stadium and that would be a high contender."

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