Celtic boss Neil Lennon has made an unexpected admission about Dermot Desmond, the largest individual shareholder at Celtic.
It is not uncommon for football fans to crave for the good old days when money was not as big a part of the game as it is today. But the reality of the matter is that today it is a global phenomenon and sooner or later, most football clubs were always bound to turn into a business.
Fortunately, that is not something that you generally associate with Celtic. Most associated with the club seem to have a passion for the club and while it is not always easy to spend freely considering the financial strain of competing with the European giants while playing in Scotland. All things considered the club has done well though and is challenging for a tenth straight Scottish league title, something that has never been achieved in history.
The man in the manager’s hot seat for this historic campaign is Neil Lennon. And the Celtic boss believes that those like Dermot Desmond are big reasons for the continuous success of the club over the years.
Speaking with The Scottish Sun, Neil Lennon said of the largest individual shareholder at Celtic:
“It is great to have Dermot’s backing. He’s been so good to me, and for me.
“We do talk on a regular basis, so he’s got his finger on the pulse of the club and the team.
“We talk at length the day before a game or we analyse the game now and again.
“He made it clear and we didn’t shy away from it, that he didn’t think the performance against Ross County was good. If you are open and honest with Dermot and straight, you get rewarded for that.
“He’s a very intelligent man and he’s done unbelievable things for the club.
“If you have him as a support or an ear then it gives you a lot of comfort, particularly in a heavily pressurised job like this.
“And that has been forged over a long time. I’ve been at the club for 20 years.
“I was manager here for four years in my first period and now I’m into my third season.
“It’s not as if there’s a comfort there, he keeps you on your toes.
“He likes high standards and he likes high standards of performance from the players and staff.
“He doesn’t make unrealistic demands of you or unrealistic expectations.
“If you go through a bad period he’s the first one to pick up the phone and talk to you and support you and, likewise, when we have great results he’s there to congratulate you.
“If there’s something that he’s not happy with then we talk it through and look to improve on it.”
Originally starting with about a 14% stake in the club, recent reports from the BBC suggest that he currently owns more than 30% shares in the club. And it is good to hear that it is something that he has a passion for and not just another business asset that he is eventually hoping to sell for a profit.