Lennon is unsure of the academy approach to nurturing new talent
Neil Lennon has criticised Henry McLeish's report on Scottish football, downplaying the need for soccer academies and new facilities.
Former First Minister McLeish hit out at the present infrastructure and called for the creation of schools of football in a wide-ranging report.
But Celtic caretaker manager Lennon said: "I've been on courses where I've argued about it.
"And studies have come back to say academies aren't working."
In his report commissioned by the Scottish Football Association, McLeish says the present system is not working and calls for change and £500m-worth of investment to improve the country's standing in the game.
But Lennon, whose own club hope to develop more players like Aiden McGeady via their own new training facility at Lennoxtown, said: "The academies are not working.
Having facilities is great and it's probably important to the future, but they are not the be all and end all
Celtic interim manager Neil Lennon
"We haven't produced a regular first-team player since McGeady, probably, although we have a good crop of players coming through.
"I'd like to go back to the system when I was growing up.
"There were no academies in those days and Scotland, England and Ireland were producing top-quality players.
"Some people think academies are the way forward and a lot of them work on the blueprint from Clairefontaine in France.
"They are not as successful as people thought they were going to be.
"So maybe I'm right and everyone else is wrong, I don't know. It's just an opinion.
"Maybe that's something that needs to be addressed and the money maybe put somewhere else."
Lennon said that McGeady, Shaun Maloney, Darren O'Dea, Stephen McManus and Paul Caddis had all come through the Celtic system in recent years but that the club needed more.
Scottish Football Review explained
"I think that somewhere down the line, between 15 and 19, something gets lost and it needs to be looked at," he said.
"That might upset a lot of people working in academies, but that's my opinion."
Lennon thinks that the lure of big money is hampering the progress of young players.
"When I was growing up, I played for boys' clubs, the school and I played on Saturdays and Sundays," he said.
"I just played football and that's how you learned the game and, once you got to 15 and 16, you were moulded by professional coaches at clubs.
"I was a YTS and cleaned the boots - I served an apprenticeship.
"There was a hunger there, you got £28.50 per week and the following year you got £35.
"So you weren't in it for the money. You didn't have an agent. You were there to progress and I think players 20 years ago were a lot more hungry than they are now."
On the subject of facilities for football in Scotland, which McLeish described as woefully inadequate, Lennon retorted: "Facilities? So what?
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.