CELTIC manager Neil Lennon last night expressed hope Scottish football can emerge from the coronavirus crisis unscathed and remain as strong as when the shutdown started.

Clubs across the country have been facing up to uncertain financial futures since the SFA and SPFL Joint Response Group took the decision to suspend the game from professional to grassroots level.

Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack last week warned that no club could survive six to nine months without football and Hearts owner Ann Budge has asked players to take a 50 per cent pay cut.

Lennon admitted that he sympathised with the plight that many Ladbrokes Premiership clubs were now facing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and was keen to see them survive and flourish again in future.

“There are great guys out there throughout the game and plenty of good football people,” he said.

"So it is important that we keep these clubs afloat and we maintain the Scottish game as it is because it is strong, or it was strong until this current situation arose.

“It was a really good product we have had for the size of the country. So must try all we can to keep it that way if at all possible.”

Elsewhere, Lennon revealed the lack of clarity about when the 2019/20 season will finish and when the summer transfer window will be open has made planning for the future difficult.

“We’re just working day-to-day,” he said. “You can’t have a fixed date in mind for anything at the moment as it’s impossible to know.

“All the clubs want the season finished and all the countries and associations want that. We’re no different.

"But we can’t put dates on things and a lot of clubs are going to need financial remuneration from associations, eventually. I don’t know what is going to happen in the next few weeks. It’s too hard to predict.

"There is no point in me coming out and saying this, that and the other is going to happen as we just don’t know. We will be guided by government and associations.”

Asked about what the Parkhead club could do regarding Mohammed Elyounoussi, Fraser Forster, Craig Gordon and Jonny Hayes, whose deals expire in the summer, Lennon confessed their hands were tied.

“We can speak with them, but in terms of what we can do going forward, we don’t really know what we can and can’t as yet as the season is yet to finish,” he said.

“There are so many imponderables. I keep hearing that word unprecedented used a lot. But it’s the perfect word for the situation in which we find ourselves in at the moment as there are so many different outcomes and circumstances which could happen.”