Neil Lennon today hit back at Celtic's Clydesdale Bank Premier League rivals after describing the absence of his players on the PFA Scotland player of the year awards shortlist as a "smack in the face".
The Celtic manager argued it was "abysmal" and ridiculous" that none of his title-winning team had made the top four after their run to the last 16 of the Champions League.
Lennon revealed there was "ill will" in his dressing room after Michael Higdon, Andrew Shinnie, Leigh Griffiths and Niall McGinn secured more votes from their fellow SPL players than anyone from Celtic.
And Lennon could not contain his own anger after viewing the democratic outcome as a snub to his players, despite Victor Wanyama making the young player shortlist.
Lennon said: "It beggars belief that we make a semi-final of the League Cup, final of the Scottish Cup, win the championship, make the last 16 of Europe, beating Barcelona, beating Spartak Moscow, putting the country on the map again, and I think the outcome of those votes belittles all the efforts of the players. I think it's abysmal.
"Are people voting for the best player in Scotland or the most improved player in Scotland?
"There's a huge difference in my eyes and that's not taking anything from the candidates that were nominated.
"They have all had fine seasons, but to not have one Celtic player in that group is unbelievable."
Lennon's side sit 15 points clear of Motherwell ahead of their trip to face their nearest challengers at Fir Park on Sunday.
He added: "I'm not sure if the way things have been portrayed this season as a foregone conclusion in the league, and a one-horse race and all that nonsense, has had any bearing on the voting.
"But it's never easy winning titles, I know that from my own experience, regardless of the competition or perceived lack of competition from outside parties.
"We had to contend with a really early European campaign, under a lot of pressure. No-one gave them a prayer, no Scottish team had ever got 10 points.
"We were still very strong domestically as well and it takes a lot to do that.
"I'm very disappointed that none of my players have been recognised for that.
"I think, for all their efforts and for putting Scottish football back on the map in a positive way, I think it's a smack in the face for them."
PFA Scotland chief executive Fraser Wishart yesterday pointed out that a lot of Celtic players had received votes but that the nominated players had been the outstanding members of their teams.
Motherwell striker Higdon, the SPL top scorer, has hit 25 goals while Shinnie has struck 15 times from an advanced midfield role for third-placed Inverness.
Griffiths has netted 25 times for a Hibernian side who are in the bottom six, while McGinn has been similarly talismanic for a similarly-placed Aberdeen team with 20 goals after being converted to a central striker following his release by Celtic.
Lennon said: "I have no idea what way the voting goes but you can't tell me that (Fraser) Forster, Wanyama, Kris Commons, Kelvin Wilson, Gary Hooper, weren't in the forefronts of people's minds when the votes were made. It's ridiculous.
"There is a lot of ill will in the dressing room now. The players are very, very disappointed with the outcome. They have performed heroically.
"There was a lot of anger in there, and bewilderment. And I totally understand that."
Lennon received more welcome news from yesterday's announcement when Wanyama declared he wanted to stay at Parkhead next season.
Celtic will now step up contract talks with the Kenyan midfielder and striker Gary Hooper.
Lennon said of Wanyama: "He's never intimated that he wants away. The reality of it is different but we will do all we can to tie him down on a long-term contract.
"He's a wonderful player, he is only 21, and he has got so much more to come.
"He only has a year left on his contract but the club is working hard in the background to give him a deal that will satisfy everybody.
"Gary has a year left, we offered him a contract which has not been signed, so we're hoping to come again. Talks will be resuming in the next couple of weeks."
Celtic have also begun attempts to persuade their fans to pledge their future backing by announcing a #100 "reward" for season-ticket holders, with prices starting at #50 for under-13s.
Lennon said: "I think it's a brilliant gesture from the club. It's a massive undertaking but in these difficult times the supporters have been amazing and it's really a thank-you to them for all their support.
"And I think it's a big incentive for them to come out and buy their season tickets again."