Neil Lennon’s “Hands Off” Approach To Transfers Is Why We Takes Ages To Get Stuff Done.

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I don’t want to be writing a frustrated article today about our transfer business when we seem to be moving in so many positive directions, but I listened to Lennon today and didn’t particularly like what I heard.

His professed lack of knowledge about where our transfer business stands is one of two things; it’s either a deception or it’s real.

If it’s a deception, fair enough.

If it’s real, it’s a concern.

Last night was the deadline for bringing in an additional player for the Champions League qualifier against the Hungarian champions Ferencvaros.

We should have had a central defender in for that game; we’ve had months to close a deal for one.

We know who the club has put at the top of the list, but it’s dragging on longer than we’d like.

Nobody is panicking. But nobody seems in any great hurry to get business concluded either. Do we believe Keith Jackson, that our club is incapable of conducting two deals at one time, or do we imagine that people at Celtic are a lot smarter than that?

I could understand if Lennon was being discreet.

I could understand if he was involved in transfer talks but didn’t like to talk about it in public. But if he’s not directly involved in the deals it explains why they take so long. Lennon ought to be imposing himself on the talks. He ought to be not only informed of their progress, but pushing the deals along.

There is evidence for Lennon’s intervention getting stuff done. He was the one who’s personal talks with Ajeti brought that deal to a conclusion. The idea that he’s sitting out the talks between the club and Motherwell and effectively leaving his own fate in the hands of the bean-counters … it sounds absolutely ludicrous. Lennon should be the commanding figure at our club, providing the leadership at every level. He should be involved in all of it.

I believed Lennon today, and although there are signs of life at the club at last it is dismaying.

I believed him because Rodgers was forced to endure the same nonsense; with the non-football department setting the pace for the manager. Signings which should have been tied up in a bow were allowed to drag on and on and on.

The manager shouldn’t allow this stuff to go on without his direct involvement.

Rodgers visibly chaffed against it, but it was more fool him for putting up with it in the first place. I cannot believe that Lennon so readily accepts it, that he is so passive on issues of such momentous importance to his plans and his own vision for the club.

If we go out of the Champions League tomorrow the finger of blame will point in Lennon’s direction, but we’ve needed a centre back for many, many months and we’re still without one. He has made it clear that this was a priority part of the team.

So is it the fault of the board for not getting it done, or Lennon’s fault for not pushing for what he needs?

A bit of both, and the truly shocking thing is that if we do go out tomorrow there will be no Duffy and quite possibly no Turnbull either.

Lennon might have to sell that key earner after all.

This is the risk we take every single year now, one that we lose more often than not … and it has cost us tens of millions of pounds, because some of the teams who’ve knocked us out shouldn’t have been in our road. But we didn’t show that little bit of ambition which might have gotten us a different result.

The weaknesses exposed by Athens, Cluj and others were obvious and were allowed to go completely unaddressed. It cost Rodgers and it cost our club.

And it’s going to cost Lennon too unless he gets more involved.

Listening to him today you’d think that the transfer negotiations were none of his business … but it’s his job and reputation that Lawwell and others are playing with as they drag things out.

That’s his business alright, and it’s our business too.

I am happy with the business done so far and the direction things appear to be moving in; I repeat that again very deliberately.

But this idea that Lennon is not involved in that side of things is not only stupid but it’s dangerous too.

If he’s not involved, and letting other people run that side of things without his input, how do we know he’s not going to lose a key player whether he agrees with the decision or not?

He cannot just allow this stuff to go on in the background as if it’s none of his concern.

He needs to take this by the throat and get off the side-lines.

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