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Omonia sack Neil Lennon

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Former Celtic boss Neil Lennon has been axed after just seven months in charge at Omonia Nicosia despite leading the side to the Cup last season and Europa League heroics.

After winning only three games, the club sacked Lennon early in the season.

Club spokesperson Andreas Demetriou told radio Super Sport FM Wednesday: “We have said many times that there is daily development in the team. No one escapes this process.

“As part of this process, the decision was made.

“The decision was made with the main factor being the instability of the team but also the fact we suffered four defeats in seven matches. Of course, these are not the only reasons, but they were the main ones.”

He said Omonia hopes to have a new coach before Saturday’s game.

“Our goal is for the new coach to have a personality…play attacking football and utilise our young talents.”

In a surprise move sending shockwaves reaching the UK, where Lennon is highly esteemed, Omonia Nicosia said Tuesday they had agreed to part ways with the Northern Irelander.

“Unfortunately, the ongoing competitive instability and the significant loss of points in the championship are the main reasons that made us decide to end our partnership.

“Mr Lennon has written his name in the history of Omonia and deserves respect and recognition of all of us.

“Our paths separate, but the memories of our collaboration will unite us forever.

“We sincerely thank Mr Lennon for his contribution and wish him every success in his future career,” Omonia said in a statement.

The news was extensively covered by UK media, with the BBC and outlets like The Sun dedicating space to the sacking of the former Leicester and Celtic player.

Lennon, 51, stepped into the Omonia job in March, his first time managing a club outside the UK and his first job after his departure from Celtic in 2021.

He signed a deal that would have seen him to the end of the 2023-24 season.

The former Celtic gaffer was called in to replace former Manchester United defender Henning Berg after the club had fallen into the bottom half of the league.

Lennon rekindled spirits in the dressing room and led the team to the FA Cup final against relegated Ethnikos Achnas.

Omonia won the Cup in a penalty shootout after playing 120 minutes with ten men, as defender Abdulahi Shehu had been sent off four minutes into the game.

The Nicosia club entered the Europa League group stage after beating Belgium’s KAA Gent home and away.

However, the Cypriot side now sits seventh in the Division One table after a loss to Nea Salamis on Tuesday.

Despite recent heroics against Premier League giants Manchester United, they are bottom of their Europa League group.

Omonia had lost 2-3 to United at home after leading 1-0 at the break.

The following week, Omonia went close to earning an unlikely point at Old Trafford with an inspired performance from goalkeeper Francis Uzoho.

United midfielder Scott McTominay struck in the third minute of added time to seal a 1-0 win for Erik ten Hag’s United and essentially eliminate Omonia from the competition.

Lennon led Celtic to 10 major trophies across his two stints as manager, winning two league titles, two Scottish Cups, and a League Cup, having returned to the club in February 2019 following the departure of Brendan Rodgers.

In between his spells at Celtic, Lennon spent 17 months as manager of Bolton Wanderers before guiding Hibernian to the Scottish Championship title in 2017.