By Frank McAvennie

19th Feb, 2021 | 6:50pm

McAvennie slams 'Big Mistake' by Celtic after Tommy Johnson reveal

Celtic made a “big mistake” by not allowing Neil Lennon to bring in Tommy Johnson in a recruitment role last summer, according to Frank McAvennie.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Parkhead hero slammed the Hoops’ hierarchy for not letting Lennon bring in his own men behind the scenes.

Johnson, who scored 18 goals in 36 games for Celtic as a player, told the Celtic Huddle podcast he met with Peter Lawwell about the possibility of joining the club but Nick Hammond ended up being appointed as the club’s recruitment chief.

This site revealed last month Hammond’s future at the club is uncertain as Celtic are planning huge changes in the summer.

Cheif executive Lawwell is retiring and will be replaced by Scottish rugby’s Dominic McKay.

Asked whether it was a mistake by Celtic to not bring Johnson into the fold, McAvennie told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “I think it was a big mistake.

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“One thing you can say about Lenny is he never got his own people in. I think that’s wrong in any managerial job, you’ve got to bring in your own people.

“That was a big mistake from Celtic, when he won the league last season he should’ve demanded he bring his own people in. He can’t talk to John Kennedy, he can’t talk to Gavin Strachan, he can’t talk to anyone.

“They were talking about John Hartson going in because John was pals with him. That would’ve been a good shout and Tommy would’ve been great, I know Tommy, he’s a great lad. If he says he was asked to go in, I believe him but they said ‘no’ and I don’t know why. They could’ve just given him a contract for the season.

“It’s a strange one. You’ll never work out the goings-on upstairs at Celtic.”

In other news, Alex McLeish has tipped Ryan Christie to join a Premier League club after Celtic talks reveal.