Celtic manager Neil Lennon is now ODDS-ON to leave the club before the start of next season after Peter Lawwell announced he would retire at the end of the season.

The Hoops boss has been under pressure this season with his side 23 points behind Rangers at the top of the Premiership table. Lawwell had given him public backing despite fan uproar, but Paddy Power now say the Northern Irishman is likely to be shown the door before the end of the current campaign having 'lost an ally' in the boardroom.

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Spokesman Paddy Power said: “Finally, someone is laying down the Law at Celtic. Next, they’ll need to lay off the Lenny. 

“Some might say after nine consecutive titles, and approximately 400 cups, in a decade isn’t a cause for crisis. But there’s definitely trouble in Paradise.”

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The same bookies also have captain Scott Brown at even money to leave the club this summer as a major shakeup seems inevitable. Celts assistant John Kennedy recently hinted the club could offer Brown a new playing deal for one year but with Lennon on a shoogly peg, nothing seems guaranteed.

Paddy Power have also installed Spaniard Rafa Benitez as odds-on 8/15 favourite to replace Lennon should Celtic relieve him of his duties.

READ MORE: John Hartson has his say on Peter Lawwell Celtic retirement as he he points to 'abuse and Rangers catching up'

We told recently how former Hamilton boss and current Preston manager Alex Neil had been backed into a frontrunner for the role following an influx of bets on the Scot.

Meanwhile club majority shareholder Dermot Desmond has revealed he tried, in vain, to keep Lawwell from leaving his post. He said: "When Peter told me he was considering retirement, I did my utmost, unsuccessfully, to dissuade him. Celtic Football Club owes a major debt of gratitude to Peter Lawwell, who has made a unique and transformative contribution to our Club. I have been privileged to work with many CEOs and Peter ranks up there with the best of them.

READ MORE: Dermot Desmond reveals he tried to convince Celtic chief to STAY before announcement

"Over the years, Peter was sought after by many English Premier League clubs, but his love and commitment to the Club and Scotland were more important to him. Since 2003, under Peter’s tutelage, Celtic has achieved incomparable domestic success and the number of trophies is unsurpassed by any other Club in Europe.

"Peter’s expertise and professionalism have been recognised by UEFA where he has been an outstanding contributor, to the benefit of both Celtic and Scottish football. I have had a first-class relationship with Peter over the years, speaking daily and often multiple times daily.

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"The Club and I will miss his wisdom, energy and unwavering devotion to Celtic FC. I cannot adequately express my thanks and appreciation to Peter for all he has done for Celtic FC."

Lawwell will be replaced by Dominic McKay when he leaves this summer.