Lennon thankful for European run

Scottish Premier League

Neil Lennon admits the loss of Rangers from the SPL has been tough but feels the club's Champions League success has been compensation.

Rangers found themselves in Division Three north of the border this season after going into liquidation in the summer, meaning the four Old Firm games, that are the highlight of both clubs’ season, would not take place.

The loss of revenue at Celtic Park, plus the fact that the fans have been deprived of the most important matches of the campaign, has been hard to swallow, with the Hoops struggling to keep their noses in front at the top of the SPL table.

But they have excelled in Europe and their historic victory over the mighty Barcelona will live long in the memory.

And it is the club’s run in Europe’s elite club competition that Lennon feels has been Celtic’s salvation this term.

“There is no doubt it has been difficult at times,” he said. “There has been an economic problem with not having the four Old Firm games this season, a lot of revenue and interest has been taken away.

“Getting through to the Champions League has been a sort of great substitute, certainly for the players and supporters, they have really enjoyed the campaign so far.”

The Bhoys will qualify for the last 16 if they achieve a better result against Spartak Moscow on Wednesday than Benfica, who face the Catalans, manage in the Nou Camp.


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