NEIL LENNON is aware that he speaks from a privileged position as manager of such a massive football club, and that Celtic will more than likely still be standing come the end of the coronavirus pandemic, whenever that may eventually be.

But even an institution like Celtic isn’t immune to the financial impact that has been wrought by the virus, and specifically the decision this week to postpone the return of supporters to stadiums, perhaps even for another six months.

For Lennon, that prospect is unthinkable, both from a sporting and a fiscal point of view. Indeed, unless there is a way to accommodate supporters before too long, he believes that there may be clubs who do go to the wall.

And even if Celtic aren’t among them, he is aware that there will still be a negative impact on his club.

“I don’t know what it will do from a financial point of view,” Lennon said. “It won’t help, that’s for sure. I do think there has to be a compromise.

“I do think it is safer to sit at a safe distance in an open-air venue than go and watch it in a pub or a restaurant.

“We need to find some smart solutions for this. Whether that is football as a sport or all sports.

“This isn’t good for the infrastructure of sport in the UK and the longer it goes on the more difficult it is going to become.

“I was looking at some head of associations on Tuesday saying there has to be some sort of compromise because, otherwise, clubs are going to be on the brink of extinction and it’s not just Scotland.

“There is £700 million in revenue that could be lost to the [English] Premier League and that filters into the Championship, League One and League Two.

“I know the Prime Minister is wary of the effect it could have on sport and there has to be some sort of dialogue between the FA, the SPFL and the government to find some compromise as we go forward because, if they are talking six months down the line, that’s no good for anybody, really. “Whether it be for football or any sport.”

Lennon hopes that selling off their best china isn’t one of the avenues that Celtic are forced to go down in order to mitigate the worst ravages of the ongoing situation upon their balance sheet.

“I try not to think that way,” he said. “But, at the end of the day, the board will do what is best for the club as an ongoing concern.

“It’s been difficult to predict and navigate what this transfer window is going to be like. There has been some money spent, but not in the bundles you’d expect.

“Clubs have been wary and the news on Tuesday may have made them more cautious, so we aren’t exclusive from that. That’ll be something Peter [Lawwell] and the board will be looking very hard at.”

One of the other challenges of the pandemic for Lennon, albeit on the more mundane side, is keeping his players occupied during their enforced mini-lockdown in Riga, with the squad unable to leave their hotel prior to their Europa League qualifier tonight.

“There was a team meeting on Wednesday afternoon where we went through things and analysed the opposition and the option was there to train a little bit longer, although not too much, just to keep them active,” he said.

“We were thinking about having a quiz on Wednesday night just for a bit of fun and to keep them stimulated.

“But the hotel is good. There are good facilities the players can use, and it’s not been too bad.

“It’s just being confined indoors which is something that is a bit for new for them.”

The match against Riga then and the chance to get out on the pitch is likely to come as something of a release for the Celtic players, and Lennon has warned his men that they will have to be on their mettle if they are to avoid another disappointing European exit.

“Defensively they are pretty solid and have kept some clean sheets of late,” he said.

“They have a few Brazilians in their squad and a good physical striker who usually plays an hour and then they change it.

“I think they’ll be a tough nut to crack. They beat Copenhagen in this stadium at this stage last season, even though they lost in Denmark and over the two legs, so they deserve utmost respect.

“They are a good side and are well drilled with a little bit of flair, although nothing we haven’t seen before.”