Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 2 August 2014

Lennon wants to re-ignite Celtic

Celtic manager Neil Lennon

Neil Lennon may not be on millionaires row when it comes to the bumper salaries of big name football managers but he’s still counting his blessings after agreeing a new deal at Celtic.

The Hoops boss has doubled his wages at Parkhead by signing a new 12-month rolling contract.

However, he’s not quite in the rich league yet as the former Northern Ireland international’s salary is now thought to be worth only £200,000.

The wages of Lennon and his coaches, Alan Thompson, Johan Mjallby and Garry Parker, are understood to have totalled no more than £400,000.

It’s loose change compared to the massive earners in more lucrative environments such as the Barclays Premier League where Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has £6m a year to comfort him when trophies are out of his reach — that’s £115,000 a week.

While Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City also throw the millions at their managers, Lennon might want to consider international management where England boss Fabio Capello pockets £8.5m a year — even Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington is on £450,000 a year.

Lennon, who would have picked up better wages as a player, has been given incentive-based bonuses but his salary is still remarkably low, particularly in the light of a series of high-profile security threats last season that sparked fears he would leave the club.

However, the 39-year-old who guided Celtic to Scottish Cup success, is hungry to bring the league title back to Parkhead and he wants to repay the fans for the support they have given him.

“I would like to record my thanks to our supporters,” Lennon said.

“The backing they gave to me and the team last season was absolutely tremendous.

“Clearly there was a lot involved in last season and their contribution was immense.

“I said when I was appointed manager that we wanted to re-ignite Celtic Park and make it the place it should be — one of Europe's finest, most atmospheric football arenas.

“There is no question this happened. There were numerous occasions last year when the fans’ unique backing played such a crucial role and I know that we can build on this for next season.

“I know that myself, the board, my management team and all my players will be doing all we can to ensure that our fans have a team they can be proud of.

“We want to provide our fans with entertaining, attacking and professional football but ultimately we aim to deliver silverware.

“Work begins now on striving to bring domestic trophies to Celtic Park and on having some success in Europe.

“We have already begun looking at the squad for next season. Whoever comes into the squad I know they will be joining some very talented players here who share my appetite for success.”

Lennon, who was “absolutely delighted” with his new deal, added: “I have had 10 great years connected to Celtic.

“I will be doing everything I possibly can to ensure we bring our fans more success.”

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