At the end of December, just after the board had announced that Lennon would stay until “the January review”, a well know Celtic site said that Lennon had been retained because he was going to oversee a transfer window which would relaunch the title challenge.
Some of us openly scoffed at that.
It was perfectly obvious that this was Lawwell reaching out and trying to offer a justification for a decision many of us feared would be a disastrous mistake.
All our worst nightmares have been realised as we survey the landscape this morning.
A club locked deep in the biggest crisis it has faced in 30 years.
We are a dozen points worse off than we were when this month started.
Two key players have departed.
The central defender we needed to replace a first team player who got injured has not been delivered.
The club pissed about when it should have moved decisively to source his replacement, even on loan, and rested on its laurels with the one deal we thought we had over the line.
This allowed another team to swoop in and take him from under our nose.
The window which was supposed to relaunch our title campaign ends with that campaign in ruins and the board more despised than ever.
Their brilliant plan has not simply failed, it has failed momentously and so completely that the CEO has already announced his departure.
He is the first domino to fall. He will certainly not be the last.
This window should be the final blot on his copybook, the final stripping away of all the artifice, all the pretence that he is some kind of strategic genius.
But I fear, with the current manager still in place, Lawwell has the room and the time to deliver one last dreadful mistake before he goes. It concerns me greatly that he is going to have a say in who replaces Neil Lennon if, that is, Lennon is to be replaced at all.
We should all prepare for the worst on that front.
The whole club reeks of failure today.
It wafts from the boardroom to the manager’s office to the coaching staff and onto the players.
Their own conduct has escaped some of the scrutiny that has been put onto the manager and those above him, but whilst it is entirely understandable that they no longer believe in Lennon they have shamed the jerseys and sullied their own reputations with their petulant attitudes and lack of fight for the club.
They have surrendered their title and much of their professional pride with it.
A handful of people at the club, most particularly the ever excellent John Paul Taylor, have come through this with any degree of credibility.
This morning the rest of the club looks hollowed out and ruined.
The fans haven’t been this disillusioned since the White’s and Kelly’s were in charge and a lot of reputations are never going to recover.
That was supposed to be the month that turned this season.
Some of us always feared it would end as it has, with the title challenge snuffed out.
None of us anticipated that we’d be in this sort of mess though.
What an epic shambles this is.
The standard question at the end of a window is “are we stronger than when it opened?”
Often that’s a difficult question to answer; this time there’s not the least debate about it.
We are weaker on the playing side, but where we are especially deficient is in leadership.