The regression of Scottish football

Neil Lennon’s departure from Celtic underlines just how low Scottish football has fallen.

If there was any uncertainty that the Scottish Premiership was in a state of decline, then Neil Lennon’s departure from Celtic has surely answered any such doubts.

In which other domestic league would a manager fresh from winning three consecutive championship titles suddenly feel the need to ‘seek a new challenge’? Admittedly, Celtic are hardly the football giants they once were, but surely any young manager would relish league and cup successes on a regular basis. Perhaps Lennon has seen through the cracks in Scottish football’s current situation.

If Lennon’s ambitions are to manage in England, then his prospects may be impeded. Winning the league by such a high margin in recent years does reflect a talented Celtic team, but it also illustrates a lack of competition.

Since the demise of Rangers, the Scottish Premiership has seemingly lost its edge. Even when the two Old Firm clubs graced the top division, it was still a two-horse race. Not a tranquil stroll. As a result, English clubs may question the 42-year-old’s credentials.

Many managers and players have tried to make the move from North to South into the ‘big’ leagues with little success. Gordon Strachan and Alex McLeish can testify to this. As for players, look no further than Gary Hooper.

Such instances are unlikely to attract quality players or managers into the Scottish comfort blanket which offers few opportunities for future progress. Maybe Lennon should take note of this.

Lennon's decision to leave Celtic suggests that he would rather risk ending up on the managerial scrapheap than continue ambling through the Scottish top division. Is this a risk? Only time will tell. In the meantime, much needs to be done to bridge the gap and improve the status of Scottish Football.

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