By Doug Ward

22nd Jun, 2021 | 3:10pm

Neil Lennon backs Celtic to challenge Rangers for title despite financial hit

Ex-Celtic manager Neil Lennon has offered a bit of insight into his former club’s financial situation despite claiming they can challenge Rangers for the title next season.

Lennon left Celtic Park in February after playing a vital role in Rangers winning their 55th league title last season.

The Northern Irishman was one and a bit titles away from Celtic’s 10th in a row and his exit left the Parkhead club in a huge mess with his replacement – Ange Postecoglou – taking over 100 days to appoint.

Despite Postecoglou finding there to be too much pressure managing Australia, never managing in a European top-flight and not having the right coaching badges, Lennon still feels his former club can put up a fight with Rangers next season.

“There’s not the pot of money that was there before the pandemic hit but I think financially, they’re still in a strong position and obviously, the Champions League games come very, very early,” Lennon said, as shown in a clip on talkSPORT’s Twitter account on Tuesday.

“If they make that then the whole seasons opens up but if not, I still think consolidation will be a moot point for them.

“I think we’ll go and try to win the league and I don’t see any reason why they can’t.”

Lennon’s claim smacks of complete and utter delusion.

He’s openly admitted the club’s finances have been hit by the COVID pandemic and with key players like Odsonne Edouard and Kristoffer AJer regularly linked with moves away, the Bhoys are bound to find it hard to replace them.

If Celtic don’t have enough money, how can they seriously launch a bid to beat Rangers in their quest for an unprecedented 56th league title?

John Bennett has recently confirmed the Gers won’t be forced into selling any of their key players this summer [Glasgow Live] so how can Celtic really expect to put up a fight with us when they’re likely to have a worse playing squad next season than last?

And in fairness to Lenny, Celtic probably have a worse manager than him in the dugout too.

We’ll let them continue with their delusions throughout the summer but once the football starts again and the first Old Firm of the 2021/22 season kicks off in August, we’ll show them who’s the boss.

In other Rangers news, the Gers are increasingly worried about Gerrard after an offer from a Premier League club.