Celtic fans can relax – Neil Lennon has no intention of walking out on the club despite the recent sectarian attacks on his family home.
Lennon is currently under 24 hour police surveillance after a second threatening letter was sent to his home from his native Ireland.
The 39-year-old former Celtic midfielder has already had bullets sent to him through the post and a suspicions package, intercepted, both from Ulster.
His sideline spat with Rangers coach Ally McCoist and strike El-Hadji Diouf last week could yet land him in disciplinary trouble with the Scottish FA.
And Rangers fans have complained to both the FA and Glasgow police about Lennon’s behavior in the derby win, including allegations that he made racist remarks to Diouf which Diouf himself has denied.
Speculation about Lennon’s future intensified last weekend when Celtic coach Alan Thompson claimed his close friend could quit at the end of the season.
But Lennon’s agent Martin Reilly has now firmly refuted those worries despite the off-field problems currently besetting his client.
“He was a winner as a player and he’s a winner as a manager,” Reilly told BBC Scotland’s Sportsound programme.
“As far as quitting as a manager goes, it’s not in his nature. We won’t even talk about Neil’s future until the season is over.
“We will have these discussions at the end of the season, but all Neil wants to do at the moment is concentrate on his job.
“He’s got a contract to fight for, a six-month rolling contract, so he’s got things like that to sort out in his life but he’s got to put up with all this stuff off the park as well.
“He certainly hasn’t spoken about quitting or walking out on the club, but I dare say it must have gone through his mind because it’s certainly gone through mine.”
Meanwhile Celtic and Rangers have agreed to a set of measures designed to combat trouble in future Old Firm games after the chaotic scenes at Parkhead last week.
The new deal was agreed at a meeting hosted by Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond involving the two clubs and representatives from Government, police and the football association.
The two clubs meet again in the Co-operative Insurance Cup final at Hampden Park on Sunday week with another league clash to come before the end of the campaign.
The clubs have now reached agreement on a number of measures which include:
- The creation of a stand-alone pan-Scotland police football intelligence unit as part of the ongoing review of police forces in Scotland.
- Greater enforcement of existing legislation to deal with sectarianism and drink related offences.
- The establishment of a task force comprising senior police officers, Government representatives and club security personnel to deliver more consistency in policing of football matches across Scotland.
- A detailed academic study into the extent of the linkage of football to violent crime committed domestically and in the community.
- Celtic and Rangers will commit to playing an enhanced role in a partnership approach to encourage responsible drinking.
- A re-enforced code of conduct for players and officials.”
A statement from Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell and his Rangers counterpart Martin Bain said: “At the summit we stressed the considerable efforts our clubs make, individually and collectively, on a daily basis to deliver real benefit to people and communities in the west of Scotland and beyond.
“It is our intention to continue and build on that work. As leading clubs we are acutely aware of our responsibilities on and off the pitch.
“Many of the issues raised at today’s summit go well beyond football and are a matter for society as a whole. We can be part of the solution and that is why we put forward these suggestions today.”
In Celtic team news, the club has confirmed that Swedish international defender Daniel Majstorovic is out for up to two months after breaking a toe in his right foot.
Majstorovic picked up the injury in the 2-0 league win over Hamilton last Saturday and will miss the Scottish Cup quarter-final at Inverness this weekend and the Co-operative Insurance Cup final against Rangers on Sunday week.
A statement on the club’s official website, www.celticfc.net, read: “Daniel Majstorovic could be missing for up to eight weeks after picking up an injury in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Hamilton.
“The big defender was forced to come off at half-time and was replaced by Thomas Rogne. After the match, it was discovered that he had suffered a fractured right toe.
“And following a specialist consultation, it’s been estimated the Swedish international will be out of action for six to eight weeks.”