Monday, April 16, 2012

Celtic boss Neil Lennon furious after another 'must win' loss

Celtic boss Neil Lennon blasted referee Euan Norris' penalty decision which led to Hearts winning their Scottish Cup semi-final on Sunday, claiming it was 'personal'.

The Hoops were denied a chance to go for an SPL and Scottish Cup double by Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Hampden.

Lennon was incensed by the decision to blow for the late penalty from which Craig Beattie scored the Tynecastle side's winning goal.

At full-time he stormed on to the pitch to confront referee Norris, who had given the spot-kick after a shot from Jambos skipper Marius Zaliukas hit the arm of Celtic player Joe Ledley.

The Celtic manager avoided the post-match press conference but used his Twitter account to blast Norris.

He tweeted: "Referee told players he thought [Victor] Wanyama handled...feel so sorry for players and fans...I think it's personal myself."

Later Lennon re-tweeted a comment from Celtic supporter which suggested the club "pack our bags and get out of this league that is run by crooked SFA officials".

Cases pending

Lennon, who has three disciplinary cases pending, had also been angered when Norris refused the SPL champions a penalty in injury time when Celtic players felt the ball came off the arm of Hearts defender Andy Webster.

Lennon was written to by SFA compliance officer Vincent Lunny demanding an explanation for his comments about referees ahead of an SPL game against St Johnstone at Celtic Park at the start of the month.

The Parkhead boss is fighting two other charges relating to criticism of referee Willie Collum after the Scottish Communities League Cup final defeat to Kilmarnock and his half-time dismissal by referee Calum Murray during the recent 3-2 SPL defeat at Ibrox.

After the defeat to Kilmarnock he accused Collum of making a "criminal decision" which "cost us the Treble".

Celtic coach Alan Thompson confirmed Lennon had also confronted Norris in the referees' room after the match.

He said: "I think he has been in, yes, but I wasn't there so I don't know what was said.

"We are all angry. We have just lost the semi-final of the cup when there were 92 minutes on the clock, it is frustrating."

Lennon continued to rage on Twitter, accusing a Manchester United supporter of talking "clap trap" when he suggested Celtic striker Gary Hooper had been offside for the Hoops' equaliser.

He then dismissed as "nonsense" a comment from a Celtic fan that the team "shouldn't be relying on decisions, the players weren't good enough".

He later added a good luck message for Hearts manager Paulo Sergio: "However I would like to wish Paulo and his team the best for the final."


IfYouKnowTheirHistory Rewind

Celtic Supporters Question & Answer Session in Dundee on 25th July 2010 with Peter Lawwell & Neil Lennon 

Quote provided by Celtic Talk, "The Home of Celtic FC Discussion"

This quote from Neil Lennon was given more than two weeks before the football season 2010/2011 had even started.

Question: Now that Rangers are in a bit more trouble than last season and given that the amount of "honest mistakes" that happened last season from the referees, will we do anything to combat the inevitable "honest mistakes" that will go against us this season?

Neil Lennon: Do you not remember me getting in Stewart Dougals face? I want to create a siege mentality, us against them, we are anti-establishment!
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