Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 1 November 2014

Biting Back: Neil Lennon cuts a figure of a general with no-one left to fight

Neil Lennon has been hugely successful with Celtic
Neil Lennon has been hugely successful with Celtic

The man who would be King at Rangers publicly talks up the very real possibility of Celtic winning 10 Scottish titles in a row, with their Ibrox rivals as mere bystanders. Celtic chiefs privately hope he succeeds in his bid for control of their great rivals and restores them quickly to Premier League status.

Truly, it is two moons in the sky stuff in Glasgow. At times, the bitterness consuming the clubs and their fans cast them as a football version of nature's age-old struggle between the snake and the mongoose, hellbent on mutual destruction. Now we discover they were mutually reliant all along.

Try as he might to rally his troops for the phoney war of the nailed-on title race, Neil Lennon cuts a figure of a general with no-one left to fight.

The competitive edge of the Scottish Premier disappeared down the divisions like the unaccounted millions that cost Rangers their status.

There is now real concern at Celtic Park, and beyond, that Rangers return to the top level may not be the formality it appeared.

The common belief was that Rangers, and the attendant Old Firm broadcast revenues, would be back for the start of the 2015-16 season. That scenario has become as unpredictable as the ongoing battle for power at Rangers.

Fans, normally, would be downright hostile to the candidate preferred by their biggest rivals, in this case former Rangers director Dave King.

But in the most perverse way no-one would have thought possible two years ago, Old Firm supporters have discovered they cannot live without that which they most detest.

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