Peter Lawwell’s impending departure at Celtic will come as a big blow to Neil Lennon’s hopes of remaining as manager.

That is the view of former Rangers and Scotland defender Alan Hutton who, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the Northern Irish boss only had a slim chance of keeping his job past the end of the season regardless of who was in charge.

Celtic announced last week Lawwell would be stepping down from his role after Football Insider broke the news on 16th January that the 61-year-old was expected to be one of several boardroom departures this summer.

Lawwell has been a close ally of Lennon during their time at Celtic Park and has defended the manager on numerous occasions during the Hoops’ difficult season.

The Bhoys currently sit 20 points behind Rangers in the Premiership title hunt and were knocked out of the Europa League after failing to qualify for the Champions League.

Hutton believes Lennon’s job was already under serious threat and suggested the chief executive’s departure would not help his cause.

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Asked if Lawwell’s departure was bad news for the Celtic boss, Hutton told Football Insider: “I think so, I think it’d be difficult either way, to be honest.

I think if Lawwell had stayed, possibly, I don’t know, it’s just my opinion but possibly it would have been time for a change anyway. It seems like there’s a lot of upset players within that squad.

“Things aren’t going well at the moment – you just have to look at Lennon’s interview where he said Ntcham has been wanting to leave for a couple of seasons. I mean, that’s not great, for a start, when your team are saying that.

Celtic

“He’s actually speaking about it, it’s coming out in the media, what he was talking about a while ago when he said a lot of players didn’t want to be the club, and it was about getting them out. We’re actually seeing it come to fruition now.

“So beyond the end of this season, I think it’s going to be very difficult for him to still be in charge.”

In other news, ‘I heard there was an argument at half-time’ – Football Insider pundit drops bust-up claim at Celtic.