Another major Old Firm row is brewing after the Rangers Supporters Trust demanded that the Scottish Football Association investigates the recent behavior of Celtic manager Neil Lennon.
Trust chairman Stephen Smith has gone so far as to claim that Lennon, currently the target for sectarian attacks in Glasgow, is: “Out of Control.”
The claim has been slammed by Lennon’s lawyer who suggests all those involved with Rangers should look for problems closer to home after last week’s tempestuous Scottish Cup derby win for Celtic at Parkhead.
McBride is also furious that Scottish police have been asked to investigate alleged racist remarks by Lennon as his team beat Rangers 1-0 in the Cup replay last Wednesday.
Rangers had three players sent-off that night when Lennon was involved in sideline spats with striker El-Hadji Diouf, one of the three red-carded, and coach Ally McCoist.
Celtic boss Lennon is currently under police surveillance after more suspicious packages were sent to his Scottish home from his native Northern Ireland.
His lawyer McBride has branded the latest developments as shameful and called on the Rangers Supporters Trust chairman to withdraw their statement.
“If he puts out statements like that, there is likely to be an escalation,” said McBride. “I have never heard anything so bizarre in my life.
“We have a position where Rangers had three players sent off, four other players booked, one of the players manhandled the referee and another player allegedly assaulted a physiotherapist of Celtic.
“The Celtic assistant manager seems to have left his technical area about two or three times and they are demanding an investigating into Celtic.
“Frankly, what they should be considering are the problems they have in their own backyard.
“Why are we not having a proper investigation by the authorities into the fact that a Celtic manager is the subject of 24-hour security, there have been insults dobbed outside his house, he has had a nail-bomb sent to him in the post, he has been the subject of threats, a vicious internet campaign and bullets sent to him and two other players?”
Rangers have refused to comment on the statement from Smith and the Supporters Trust which also calls on the club to make public the details of a tunnel incident when the two teams played at Ibrox at the start of February.
“We consider that the management team at Celtic FC are out of control and, in our view, this is evidenced by Mr Lennon’s previous behavior at Tannadice and at Tynecastle, for which he received a four-match ban,” said Smith’s statement, referring to matches against Dundee United and Hearts.
“What we consider to be premeditated provocation and incitement of Rangers players and staff was continued last Wednesday evening in the tunnel in Celtic Park after the half-time whistle in scenes captured on Sky television.
“An incident in the tunnel at Ibrox in the 2-2 Cup draw in February had a direct bearing on what happened on 2 March. We are now asking Rangers to reveal precisely what took place and why this had such a major effect on subsequent events.”
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