CHARLIE NICHOLAS urged Celtic to act NOW and say Neil Lennon will not be in charge next season.
The former Hoops fans’ favourite has called on the Parkhead hierarchy to confirm the manager’s departure before the champions are officially dethroned.
Rangers need just seven points to win their first title in a decade – and end the Celts’ bid for a historic tenth successive crown.
Lennon has seen his side struggle since their tame 2-0 loss to Steven Gerrard’s men in October and hopes of a recovery were dashed in the 1-0 defeat at Ibrox on January 2 when the visitors dominated for an hour, but the game turned with Nir Bitton’s red card which was compounded by a freakish own goal from Callum McGregor.
The ill-fate Dubai trip and the subsequent controversial Covid-19 fall-out saw the Hoops falter to three consecutive draws against Livingston (twice) and Hibs as the flag edged towards Govan.
Following further defeats against St Mirren and Ross County, Nicholas, speaking to the Daily Express, said: “Celtic need to make an announcement to say that Neil Lennon will be going at the end of the season.
“They need to do that to take some of the edge off Rangers and before they win the title.
“I know Neil will probably disagree with me, but that is my view.
“I just don’t think they can keep him in place because a lot of the Celtic fans wouldn’t accept it.
“Neil has been the fall guy and an announcement that he is going would stabilise the fans to see who they would want as his successor.
“I am not looking for a gigantic statement, but in protection of Neil Lennon there should be one, saying Neil will complete the season and a new manager will come after that.
“If that was to happen, then I think the Celtic fans would accept that because the team can’t keep going on as it has without any real long-term plan.
“Celtic have to take an edge back from the dominance that Rangers have just now.”
Nicholas added: “I don’t think Neil Lennon will still be the manager next season.
“I know a lot of the fans are asking why don’t they just get the new manager in now.
“The reason is simple, they don’t have a new manager to put in place.”