Neil Lennon

Neil Lennon cautions Celtic fans to not walk alone following attack


Neil Lennon

What is happening to Scottish football? More to the point, what is happening to sportsmanship? If people are allowing themselves to get as upset as some fans did at Celtic's 3-0 match over Tynecastle something has gone wrong and needs to be fixed.

After Gary Hooper scored his second goal in the 49 minute, an enraged supporter raced out of the main directly toward Celtic manager Neil Lennon, commencing an assault that involved first-team coach Alan Thompson, and nearby police and stewards.

In the shocked aftermath Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan and his Scottish Premier League counterpart Neil Doncaster met yesterday to discuss how it could have happened.

On Wednesday night Lennon wrote on his Twitter page: "Don't let what happened to me tonight take the shine off a wonderful team performance... I don't walk alone."

But Lennon might want to consider a security detail at this point. He has been the target of repeated threats and

Lennon's assistant Johan Mjallby and Hearts boss Jim Jefferies told the irish Independent they would not blame Lennon from walking away from the game in Scotland.

Mjallby said: "He is a strong character, he has coped with much. The backroom staff are desperate for him to continue but no-one could blame him if he decided not to.

"I would never blame him whatever he does. I'm shocked and Neil must be even more afraid. What if he the supporter had something in his hand?

"But it is too early to say how Neil will react. I am shocked myself, I see it on television all over the world but I haven't seen it myself. We all have to look into this, a manager should be secure inside a football ground."

Jefferies also believes Lennon might walk away from his job if the threats to his safety continue.

He said: "For what he has had to contend with, I wouldn't blame him for walking away."

Meanwhile, two men were being held by Scottish police for questioning in connection with parcel bombs that were sent to Lennon and to two high-profile supporters of the club, including lawyer Paul McBride Queens Counsel.

The two men, who are said to be aged 41 and 43, were detained under the Explosives Substances Act after officers raided a number of properties in Ayrshire, Scotland.


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