Support are just the ticket for Lennon...

NEIL LENNON today issued a rallying call to Hoops fans to turn out in their numbers next season.

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The Hoops fans have packed out Parkhead in the Champions League
The Hoops fans have packed out Parkhead in the Champions League

Despite not having the draw of an Old Firm derby, Celtic supporters have still turned out in force their team canters towards retaining the SPL title.

Around 43,000 season tickets were purchased at the start of the campaign, with the Bhoys playing to sell-out home crowds in the Champions League.

And even though the Dundee win on Sunday attracted 39,959 punters, the Celtic manager was quick to praise the fans' commitment to the cause this term, while asking them to continue that next campaign. He said: "We have 43,000 season ticket holders just now, which compared to a lot of other clubs is huge.

"If we can get anywhere near that for next season, it will be brilliant.

"They are not coming to every game, but they are paying for their tickets.

"I am sure there will be a lot of people questioning if they want to renew their season tickets or not.

"We can't do any more than what we are doing, getting to the last 16 of the Champions League with a squad that was built with not a lot of money.

"We may be able to invest a little bit heavier in the summer and hopefully that will attract a few more people coming to games."

Thanks to the success of the Hoops' Champions League exploits, the club are on a sound financial footing, with £20million coming into the club over the last year.

The importance of the cash simply cannot be underestimated, as the majority of clubs in Scotland continue to tighten their belts.

"It gives me huge satisfaction," said Lennon, "because of the climate we are in, because of the experience it has given myself and the players.

"You get an enormous amount of pleasure out of it. The club is stable now for the next three or four years and the debts are well manageable.

"I might even get a few quid to spend, although the flip side is that we will lose a couple of players, if not more, during the summer anyway.

"We are financially robust and the majority of that is down to the efforts of the players.

"It is something that is new to me. As a player all you think about is success. But as a manager you have to think about the future of the club and where we will be in three years.

"We are in the midst of a recession and the economic climate in Scottish football is not great, so for us to have the season we have had is fantastic."

Lennon also revealed Scott Brown will sit out Celtic's next run of games, with the skipper potentially set to return for the final few weeks of the season.

He said: "We will have to wait and see whether he requires surgery. If he does then you are looking at four to six weeks.

"That would give him to time to come back and play, but we haven't had the full report back from the specialist."

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