NICK HAMMOND has departed his role as recruitment chief in the latest Celtic shake-up.

The former Reading and West Brom director of football moved to Parkhead in 2019 to assist Neil Lennon in bringing in quality players to the club.

However, the one-time Plymouth and Swindon goalkeeper has been heavily criticised for a string of signings that have gone disastrously wrong as the Hoops have endured a catastrophic campaign with the historic bid for their tenth successive title in tatters far too early in the season.

Greek international No.1 Vasilis Barkas was brought in at £4.5million from AEK Athens around the time Swiss striker Albian Ajeti arrived in a £5million switch from West Ham. Both have been resounding flops.

Celtic great Davie Hay revealed in CQN earlier this week he thought ex-boss Lennon had been let down by the summer recruitment drive although he tipped midfielder David Turnbull, who cost £2.75million from Motherwell, for great things.

STRANDED…Vasilis Barkas is beaten for Livingston’s second goal in January – his last game for the Hoops.

Now the club have announced Hammond – whose official title was Head of Football Operations – has resigned.

It will clear the way for incoming chief executive Dominic McKay to revamp the club’s football structure, with the appointment of a new director of football understood to be top of his to-do list alongside finding a new manager.

The Parkhead club confirmed the exit of 53-year-old Hammond, who also had a stint as Swindon netminder, in a statement that read: “Celtic Football Club today announced that Head of Football Operations, Nick Hammond, has resigned from his position at the Club to pursue new opportunities.

“Nick joined Celtic in 2019, having previously held Director of Football and Technical Director positions at Reading FC and West Bromwich Albion FC respectively. He leaves with the Club’s best wishes.”

Chief executive Peter Lawwell added: “We would like to thank Nick for his contribution to Celtic across the past two seasons. Everyone at the Club wishes Nick the very best for the future.”

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