DAVIE PROVAN reckons Neil Lennon is aware his tenure as Celtic boss is at an end.
The former Celtic star has watched as the season has unravelled at Parkhead with the club lurching from one disastrous result to another.
The sharp and unexpected decline in the team’s fortunes – with the champions 23 points adrift at the top of the Premiership – has brought fierce criticism from the frustrated fans. The 2-0 Betfred League Cup exit against lowly Ross County provoked unruly scenes outside the stadium in November.
There was another demonstration following the 1-1 draw with St Johnstone a week later where two more valuable points were squandered.
Defiantly, the Irishman has insisted he will not quit the post after returning for a second time in February 2019 to replace Brendan Rodgers after his swift departure for Leicester City.
Provan, writing in his column in the Scottish Sun on Sunday, stated: “I don’t buy the idea Neil Lennon lost the plot at last Monday’s media conference.
“Ten days in isolation gave him plenty of time to think it through.
“The scattergun attack was that of a man with nothing to lose. He knows it’s over for him.
“I agreed with much of what he said. In particular, the hypocrisy of politicians who gave their tacit approval for the Dubai trip.
“But, even allowing for his barney with Andy Walker, dissing Andy’s Celtic career was a cheap shot.
“Without Walker, Celts wouldn’t have won their Centenary Double of 1988. Top scorer that season, the striker’s 32 league and Cup goals ensured Billy McNeill’s team would enter Hoops folklore.
“At £350,000, Walker’s transfer fee is up there with the best money Celtic ever spent.”
Provan added: “That directors haven’t already paid up Lennon’s contract suggests they’re struggling to get a proper replacement. Fortunate to get someone of Brendan Rodgers’ calibre after Ronny Deila, there is no obvious candidate.
“Eddie Howe? I can’t see the Celtic support buying into the former Bournemouth boss.
“Celtic’s immediate future rests with Dermot Desmond. Top coaches cost top dollar and that’s what it will take to get the right man.
“In the meantime, they should spare Lennon’s dignity by paying him up and removing him from the firing line. Otherwise, it’s going to get ugly.”