By Frank McAvennie

9th Mar, 2021 | 12:57pm

McAvennie delivers damning verdict as 'untrustworthy' Penrice in line to join mass Celtic exodus

Ex-boss Neil Lennon should have demanded he be able to bring in his own backroom team as the current Celtic hierarchy can’t be trusted with recruitment. 

That is according to former Celtic striker Frank McAvennie, speaking exclusively after Football Insider revealed that head of recruitment Gary Penrice’s job is on the line amid plans for a summer overhaul at Parkhead.

In January, this also site broke news that head of football operations Nicky Hammond is under major threat.

Celtic’s transfer business in 2020-21 has been the subject of much criticism amid the disastrous performances of recruits like Shane Duffy and Vasilis Barkas.

Celtic could go in a different direction and Fergal Harkin and Matteo Tognozzi are among the names mentioned in connection with a potential new director of football role.

McAvennie demands that Penrice and Hammond be axed and that whoever is tasked with overseeing a rebuild gives the manager a major say in transfer decisions.

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He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “They [Hammond and Penrice] can’t be trusted to overhaul the squad, I wouldn’t think.

“Celtic will bring in a director of football. A good manager isn’t going to take the job unless they can get their own team in.

“Lenny came in because he wanted the job but once he won the cup and got offered the job, he should have said: ‘I want my own team in.’

“But he never got it. It’s vital if there’s someone coming up from England, whoever that may be, he’ll need his own team.”

Lennon resigned on 24 February, leaving his former assistant John Kennedy at the wheel.

Celtic have since surrendered the title to city rivals Rangers after a 0-0 draw against Dundee United on Sunday.

In other news, Football Insider understands that Martin O’Neill will be sounded out for the vacant managerial position at Celtic Park.