Football

9 Pivotal Moments On Celtic's Journey To Becoming A 'Banter Club'

9 Pivotal Moments On Celtic's Journey To Becoming A 'Banter Club'

From the quest to ten in-a-row to a shambles, it's been quite the year for Celtic.

They have had a disastrous 12 months in every way imaginable, something that doesn't look like ending anytime soon.

They have become a laughing stock, or to put it another way, they can now be labelled with the dreaded term 'banter club'.

Here are nine pivotal moments that have resulted in Celtic dipping to such an extent.

Brendan Rodgers leaves for Leicester City

This is where it all started.

Celtic looked set to dominate Scottish football until the end of time with Brendan Rodgers as their manager, rarely being troubled on the domestic scene during his near three years in charge.

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He was replaced by Neil Lennon in February of 2019 after leaving Leicester City. While Celtic would manage to win the title in the following two seasons, the gap between themselves and Rangers was narrowing.

That all began with Rodgers' departure.

Leigh Griffiths has a party

Fast forward to August of 2020, Celtic have just returned to competitive action for the first time in five months after the previous seasons was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Scotland were still very much in the midst of some tight restrictions when it came to dealing with the virus. It probably wasn't a great time for Leigh Griffiths to throw a house party to celebrate his girlfriend's birthday.

Posts appeared on social media showing he had broken social distancing guidelines. The club would 'remind him of his responsibilities'.

Boli Bolingoli jets off to Spain

Speaking of covid restrictions, leaving Scotland to go abroad at this time meant that individuals would have to quarantine for two weeks upon their return.

Boli Bolingoli wasn't too concerned with the rules. Having been given a couple of days off by the club, he jetted off to Spain without informing anybody. He would then fail to self isolate upon his return, even playing in a fixture against Kilmarnock.

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The defender was only caught out after images were circulated of him on board the flight, being handed the 'maximum sanction' that was possible under club rules by Celtic. The Scottish Government even threatened to suspend the league at one point.

He would be shipped out on loan to İstanbul Başakşehir soon after.

Neil Lennon goes on a mole rant

By the time October rolled around, Celtic were actually in a decent spot. They had performed well in the league heading into the Old Firm game against Rangers, although defeat in that one was a blow to their title hopes.

They weren't helped by the fact that their team for the game had been leaked to the media that morning, something that infuriated Neil Lennon. He labelled the actions of the mole in question as 'disgusting':

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Somebody within the club is doing us in basically and that's disgusting I think. We'll try (to get to the bottom of it) and work at it. It makes my job a lot harder.

I keep talking about a sense of privacy around the club but that doesn't seem to be the case with some people. It's very disappointing.

It wasn't long before Celtic's form dipped dramatically.

Mohamed Elyounoussi and his phone 

Things were so bad on the pitch by November that not even the substitutes were entertained.

Mohamed Elyounoussi was caught using his phone while sitting on the bench after coming off during the club's Europa League defeat to Sparta Praha, something that did not go down well with Chris Sutton.

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It's scandalous. Is he committed to the cause, is he committed to the club?

Totally unacceptable...

I'd fine him two weeks ages for that.

The player would apologise for the incident, although he claimed he was checking the score in the other game in that group featuring AC Milan and Lille.

 

The fans protest to demand Neil Lennon's sacking

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Celtic fans have had enough of the team's dire form by the end of November.

Huge numbers of their supporters took to Parkhead to demand that Neil Lennon be sacked, something the club fiercely resisted for some reason.

Celtic stuck by their man, much to everyone's surprise and the fans' anger. However, he would not see out the remainder of the season.

 

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The squad goes to Dubai

What better way to get the fans back on side than to piss off on a holiday in the midst of a massive coronavirus surge?

Neil Lennon and the first team squad jetted off on a trip to Dubai in early January. Pictures would circle on social media that looked less than flattering, with Scotland's First Minister saying the club had questions to answer over the trip.

In what was an entirely predictable twist to the tale, with the manager and a massive 13 players having to self-isolate after a member of the squad tested positive for covid. Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell would later admit that the trip was a 'mistake'.

Contender for understatement of the year.

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Turned down by Eddie Howe

Neil Lennon would lose his job at the end of February, with the club putting John Kennedy in charge for the remainder of the season.

While parting ways with a manager is never ideal, doing so at this stage of the season should ensure they had plenty of time to have a new manager in place as early in the summer of possible.

Not for Celtic.

They essentially spent the remainder of that season pissing up against the wall in terms of their managerial hunt, although they would eventually zero in on Eddie Howe. Everyone assumed it was a done deal, but after weeks and weeks of negotiations, the Englishman eventually turned down the gig.

This left Celtic scrambling to find an alternative, eventually appointing former Australia coach Ange Postecoglou. The appointment did not set the pulses racing in Glasgow.

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Signing Joe Hart

The final step in any club's descent into banter status.

SEE ALSO: The Rapid Rise Of Liam Scales: From Arklow Town To The Doorstep Of Paradise

Liam Scales

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