PETER Lawwell, the Celtic chief executive, tonight vowed to give Neil Lennon the funds he needs to strengthen the Parkhead club’s squad this summer and insisted the treble treble winners will be even stronger next season.

Lawwell offered Lennon, who took over from Brendan Rodgers on a temporary basis when his compatriot left for Leicester City back in February, the position following the William Hill Scottish Cup final win over Hearts at Hampden.

The Northern Irishman has admitted a major rebuilding job is required in the close season and has been helping the Glasgow outfit’s recruitment team scout players in recent weeks even though he was unsure if he would be kept on.

Asked if money would be made available to Lennon to bring in targets, Lawwell said: “As always. We still have a core of players on long-term contracts, there will be players who’ll leave, and we always have the intention of coming out stronger than we go in. That’s still our intention this time.”

Lawwell praised the job that Lennon, who successfully steered Celtic to their eighth consecutive title at the start of this month, had done since succeeding Rodgers and revealed the Parkhead board had intended to offer him the job regardless of whether he delivered the treble.

“It’s a fantastic day, a fantastic achievement, probably never to be repeated,” he said. “In our moment of need, Neil stood up to the plate. He's done a fantastic job in difficult circumstances and really when you look at his credentials, he's made for Celtic. He's a Celtic man, he knows Glasgow, he knows what’s required and he's a winner.

“At this point in terms for looking at the squad, there’s no-one I've worked with who has a better eye for a player. So we’re delighted to announce he’s been offered the job and over the next few days we’ll work out the details. I think it's better to do that tonight to kill the speculation.

“Today was a big occasion for him, but Neil would still have been the manager, no matter what happened today. I'm sure he’ll be positive, but we just need to work out the details. We have to work on that (the length of contract).”

Asked about the negativity towards Lennon becoming the Celtic manager for a second time among a section of the Parkhead support, Lawwell said: “In terms of Neil as a candidate, there’s no-one better. He has earned the right to be the permanent manager of Celtic, based on the recent performance and who he is as a manager. Going back is irrelevant for us.”

Celtic have been linked with, among others, Rafa Benitez, Jose Mourinho, Davie Moyes and Andre Villas-Boas, recent weeks as the rumour mill has gone into overdrive, but Lawwell defended the decision not to offer him the job full-time until after the final.

“We were waiting until the end of the season,” he said. “We gave Neil that respect because we wanted clarity and focus in terms of delivering the treble, which we’ve now done. We’ve had approaches, but haven't spoken to anyone and clearly we won’t now. He’s a man that can take the pressure.

“It was really tough and he said himself he came in at a difficult time. We were eight points ahead with 11 games left, but it wasn't his squad, he had big shoes to fill and a treble to win. But he did fantastically well.

“We also need to pay tribute to John Kennedy, who has brought us continuity in terms of the discipline and structure, and Damien Duff who has been a real find and has done exceptionally well."

He continued: “It (the treble treble) is historic, probably never to be achieved again, and when you take time to sit back and reflect on it’ it's an unbelievable achievement.

“Brendan takes a lot of credit for it, we probably wouldn’t be here today if it wasn't for him. In terms of his magnificent period as manager we’ll be forever grateful to him. But Lenny stood up, he's done a fantastic job and we’re delighted to have him here.”