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Celtic’s Neil Lennon – The truth behind the hate

14 May 2011 by

Having had a few days to reflect on the disgusting attack on Neil Lennon on Wednesday night at Tynecastle, and listen to pundits having their say on the events, I feel it is time to review why Neil Lennon is the most hated man in Scottish Football right now.

This is Lennon’s first full season in management in which he has reached two cup finals and taken the title  to the last day of the season. A pretty impressive achievement for any manager considering the state of the Celtic team he inherited just over a year ago, never mind one who is in his debut season. However none of this will be remembered when this season is looked back on in years to come, unfortunately it will be remembered for the vicious hate campaign against the Celtic Manager.

I have heard over the last few days, from respected pundits and ex players, that Lennon doesn’t help him self and has brought much of this upon him self with his touchline antics and comments in the media. So what have Lennon’s crimes been this season that warrant this intimidation he receives.

He has so far criticised the standard of refereeing in Scotland. He was sent to the stands in a game at Tynecastle earlier in the season, following  the sending off of Celtics  Joe Ledley . He had an handbags moment with Ally McCoist at Celtic Park following an Old firm cup game. He has challenged the authority than run the Scottish game, the S.F.A , hinting at corruption and foul play behind the scenes. And finally he has been accused of a lack of respect for accusing certain SPL teams for a lack of effort against rivals Rangers.

So as you can see Lennon by his own admission has been no angel this term, but this is a young passionate manager in his first season of management at the club he loves and supports, who has admitted himself he will have to learn to curb his touchline emotions. I however do not remember Roy Keane receiving such intense criticism when in his first full season as a manager he acted in very much the same way. Then we heard ‘well its Roy Keane he was a passionate, tough tackling, Irish International midfielder, whos just needs time to realise he’s no longer a player, and can’t act that way’. Can the same not be said of Lennon?

His accusation of poor standard of refereeing has been backed by many SPL managers, including Rangers Walter Smith, so that too can not be the reason why he is so hated.  His sending off at Hearts was by Lennon’s own admission ‘stupid and out of order’ but what manager hasn’t been sent to the stands for arguing a decision, remember Arsene Wenger at Old Trafford not so many years ago? So again it cant be for that.  His touchline argument with Ally McCoist was unsavoury, but both sorted things out in private after the game and said they had a difference of opinion but had shaken hands. Again which manager has never had a touchline row with an opposition manager or coach? Yet Lennon received a ban for his involvement, while McCoist was let off following an appeal, and if you watch replays of the incident Lennon embraces McCoist  initially before McCoist whispers something in Lennon’s ear and the Celtic manager reacts.

This leads me to Lennon’s questioning of unfair treatment by the S.F.A towards Celtic, now many claim that Lennon and indeed Celtic and their fans have a paranoid attitude towards treatment from the SFA, and they may be right. However there have been a few case to prove maybe Celtic have a point, the Jorge Cadete incident should be looked at for evidence, in which a S.F.A member was found guilty of with holding the Celtic players registration so he could have no involvement in the Old Firm derby. And this season it was revealed how a linesman was asked to lie by referees chief Hugh Dallas regarding a penalty decision Celtic were denied in a game with Dundee United, Clear proof of a SFA cover up. However weather Lennon’s claims of unfair treatment are correct or not isn’t the point, Jose Mourinho after the recent Champions League semi final with Barcelona, said the Spanish football organisation had a hidden agenda towards helping Barca. Maybe Mourinho himself is paranoid but the point is he didn’t receive death threats or nail bombs in the post for these comments did he?

So we have looked at Lennon’s ‘crimes’ this season and it seems many have been committed by even the greatest managers like Alex Ferguson, or Jose Mourinho. Criticising refs, touchline rows, questioning football authorities and even commenting of other teams commitment against your rivals ( see Kevin Keegan’s infamous ‘id love it…’ rant on Ferguson for proof of that ). Yet no other manager in my memory has received such a hate campaign like Lennon has, yes abuse from the fans at games, but that’s one thing. But bombs and bullets in the post and been attacked in the dugout? NEVER! So what is the real reason for the hate towards Lennon?

The truth is stark and saddening, Neil Lennon is a victim of a sectarian hate campaign which has nothing to do with his comments or antics as a manager but more to do with which religion he chooses to follow. Yet there seems a unwillingness from the S.F.A  and wider Scotland to admit this is the real reason and to act upon it.  Now again i will here people say Martin O’Neil managed Celtic and he was a Northern Irish catholic and he never received this abuse or hate campaign, so it must be Lennon. That is true but the problem Lennon had was he tried to play for his beloved Celtic while he represented his country Northern Ireland, something O’ Neil never did. Lennon himself never received any problems playing for Northern Ireland while playing down south for Leicester City, yet in 2002 he was forced to retire from International Football following death threats against him. This was only 18 months after he had swapped Leicester for Celtic, coincidence? I think not. Lennon had was now playing for a club with Catholic roots while playing International football for a country supported mainly by Protestants.

Nobody in Scotland in the year 2011 including the S.F.A or government wants to admit that this is the embarrassing and shameful reason for Lennon’s campaign of hate, but  sectarianism is still a huge Scottish society problem and until this is accepted and dealt with then this will continue to go on. The truth is if Lennon had been targeted because he was black or Asian then footballs highest authorities would have stepped in and maybe even shut the whole Scottish game down by now, but because it is a sectarian problem it again is not been dealt with. If Scottish football and even Scotland as a whole wishes to move forward from these dark days then this problem must be firmly addressed in the same way Racism towards black and Asian players and managers has been in England and across Europe.


76 Comments »

  • Kevin

    Agree wholeheartedly with the article. The general media response is disgusting, if not entirely unpredictable.

    Neil Lennon is bringing it on himself, in the same way that a woman wearing a short skirt is asking to be raped.

    Kevin.

  • BMCUWP

    Excellent article.

    This whole episode is now geting worldwide coverage. While it shames our nation,those who sought to excuse it,with their media pronouncements of “HE BRINGS IT ON HIMSELF” etc are more to blame than anyone.

    They pandered to the bigots.

    They encouraged the bigots.

    They took the bigot shilling.

    They will find that the cost of redeeming their integrity and their soul far outstrips any previous benefits.

    Hell mend them!

  • John

    Hi,

    Great article well written and factual allowing the reader to make their own judgement, well done!

    regards

    John

  • J \O'Donnell

    Tom your article couldn’t be more precise. Unfortunately your style of writing (actually speaking the truth) will never get you paid employment working for the Scottish press. Good luck!

  • Thomas Lennon

    Nial On Head. This is what the rest of the Media should be writing.

  • Geordie

    The attempt to draw a distinction between the backgrounds of Neil Lennon and Martin O’Neill is wholly unconvincing. What has happened to Lennon is totally unacceptable but it has been done by a few disturbed individuals, so it is highly dubious to use it to draw conclusions about the whole of Scottish football or Scottish society.

  • kerry donnelly

    Loved it!!! I feel this article has said what the last 1000’s before it hasn’t had the guts too! Scotland is loosing its fight agents sectarian ism , look at neil lennon for proof of this. All I hear about is its the way neil gives an interview that people don’t like him,,its the way he ‘growls’ in the dugout that people don’t like him,, its not the way he celebrates a goal that they don’t like.its his face that says ‘I’ve got one up on the huns.’ They don’t like! Come on!!! How can one man be the figure of so much hate? Its a pantomime,,all be it not a funny one. The press and media are having a field day here,,but not pointing out that this is a religious problem,not football. Why report if ur not going to report the full reason and not the reason that they have made up in their fluff heads! I would go one further and say let’s change the 5th of November from guy fox night to neil lennon night, that’s how out of hand this is getting!

  • Malky

    Congratulations! Somebody is telling the truth – unlike the sectarian Scottish media!

  • peter

    well said my man.Q E D

  • steven gibson

    No one in their right mind would suggest that there are no anti Catholic Bigots in Scotland. However where I do strongly disagree is the suggestion that what has been occuring is a reflection of an endemic anti Catholic and institutional problem. This is simply not the case. The fact is that this is about a minority, on both sides and to imply that ‘Scotland’ as a whole supports those who have been sending bombs to Lennon is. in my view utterly offensive. Its time for the silent majority (and vast majority) of Scottish people to stand up and be heard, and loud and clear, over those who hate and condemn one another and us all. I am not a bigot, neither is hardly anyone I have ever met and I am sure hardly anyone is. Do we say that the so called ‘real IRA’ represent the majority of Ireland? Either in terms of numbers or institutions? Of course not. Well the same applies to Scotland. Let’s keep this issues, without minimising it, in perspective. The bigot’s are the tiny minority. That’s got to be remembered.

  • Gordon

    Says it all really, well done for speaking the truth with the evidence to back it up.

    Gordon

  • Al

    Then why wasn’t Martin O’Neill subjected to a similar campaign if this is all about, as you insist, a ‘sectarian campaign’?

    The fact is Lennon is a bigot and has used sectarian language himself when he spat on a Rangers scarf then uttered ‘orange b*st*rds’ at the Rangers bench.

    The attack on him at the Hearts match occurred right after his triumphalist display towards Hearts fans as Celtic scored. Did he really need to do that?

    Clearly, since he’s no stranger to Scottish football, he knows there’s some muppets out there, the lunatic fringe, so why does he set out to antagonise people like that?

    Lennon was forced from the Northern Ireland international team after he stated his support for an all Ireland football team and as a man from that part of the world he surely couldn’t have been naive enough to think the extremists in that part of the world would not take any issue.

    You also appear to think sectarianism is a one way street.
    George Best received death threats from the IRA back in the day.
    Nacho Novo received death threats and bullets in the post because he played for Rangers.
    Fernando Ricksen received death threats and bullets in the post because he played for Rangers. Fans threatened his son and wife.
    Davie Robertson received death threats through the post because he signed for Rangers.

    Referee Willie Collum received death threats from Celtic fans.
    Celtic fans attacked Hugh Dallas at Celtic Park then attacked his house throwing a brick through the window while his young family was inside.

    The personal details of referee’s have been posted on Celtic forums leading to threats being made.
    Referee’s children attacked by Celtic fans.

    And today, in the press, a woman’s phone number address was posted on a Celtic forum by a fan thinking it was the guy who attacked Lennon. She’s so far received over 2000 phone calls with various threats from r*pe to threats of cutting her throat and has had to leave the house for safe police custody with her young daughter.

    If you must dip your toes into sectarianism north of the border you could at least do some research on the subject.

  • steven gibson

    Evidence? Of what? a few mad extremists, that’s it.

  • thomas

    people like steven gibson are a big part of the problem and steven sad to say there are a majority of people in scotland who are just like you

  • trueblue

    kerry one up on the huns erm thats been banned by nil by mouth see its ignorence like yours that will keep this going on for ever but lets not kid our selves its not one way traffic here singing of the murdering scum the ira doesnt help or calling us huns or orange bs im neither im no bloody german or supported the nazis in any way ..but must admit what goes around comes around act like a ned always a bigger ned round the corner waiting on you

  • Malky

    Steven Gibson,
    There are none so blind as those who will not see! Face the truth.

  • John Kerr

    Brillant article. Can I see Keevins, Trainor, or Jackson writing something like this? No chance!!

  • Ivor

    I agree with the main thrust of your piece and I would like to enlarge,a little, on some aspects of what has happened:

    Lennon wasn’t subjected to any abuse or violence when he played in England 1987-2000 and 2007-8. I think this is sectarianism with a capital S – whilst captain of N.Ireland (2002) he received a death threat. Lennon has been sent bullets and bombs – bullets were also sent to Celtic players McGinn and McCourt who happen to be from Northern Ireland too.

    Explosive packages have also been sent to prominent Celtic supporters Trish Godman and Paul McBride. Not only is it Lennonphobia[TM] but also Celticphobia[TM].

    Some Scottish footballers have been disciplined for posting hateful remarks,about Lennon, on Twitter.

    Neil Lennon I suggest you return to England, there, as you know, they treat managers according to their ability, and not by what religion they follow/don’t-follow or where their birth place happened to be.

  • Billy B

    Great article and spot on. About time somebody had the balls to tell it like it is.

  • Popes11

    Great article but a little word of advice, if you ever apply for a job in Scotland do not include this blog on your cv! Wish there was more writers like you out there.

  • GWG

    Good article …. and as near the truth that anyone will read from the media.
    However may I point out the comparison between MoN and Lennon is… MoN has a very sharp legal mind and the media knew it hence he became a even richer man thanks to the scummy journalist that tried to spin total non-sense about him… just ask the Daily Record.
    But as I said a really good article and agree with a poster above that you need not apply for journalistic work in the best wee bigoted country in the world
    awe the best……

  • Bunbury

    This will not end well unless an impartial, non-Scottish investigation occurs. Sad but true. The English people reading this don’t realise a)- just how lucky they are to be free of this religio-tribal nonsense, and b)- how big an influence this is north of the border.

    I moved to get away from it.

  • Mark

    Those of you commenting on here who still believe it is a minority problem, you only need to look at comments on neil lennon hate pages on facebook and comments on videos of neil lennon, you only need to hear the ibrox crowd from the latest old firm match to hear the rangers fans calling neil lennon and w**ker during the week that he was found to have been sent REAL bombs. You only need to hear the hearts fans shouting “your scum and you know you are” to neil lennon after he was attacked. You need to see all of this for yourself to know that it is a million miles away from a minority problem. Its truely frightening.

  • BMCUWP

    STEVEN GIBSON 1200

    Not representative?

    Which cocoon are you inhabiting?

    Walk into any pub,say-Neil Lennon-and you will get a reply along the lines of what they have been spoonfed by the press,and conditioned to make.

    Walk into any supermarket and hear the blue-rinse brigade trotting out the same line.

    IT’S OUTRIGHT BIGOTRY WHICH SHOULD NOT BE TOLERATED,MUCH LESS APPROVED OF, IN A SO-CALLED CIVILISED SOCIETY

    Don’t sweep it under the carpet,saying it has always been like this.

    Look in the mirror. It’s not just for reflection,it’s for correction too.

  • gavh

    Very good second article on a very interesting topic.

    It’s disgusting to see Neil Lennon being put through all of this, he is nowhere near a bad person he has been very successful in his football career. Being a Leicester fan Lennon was a class act in the midfield alongside Savage and Izzet, and he was one of many players who made Leicester City into a difficult team to beat in the 2000 era.

    But bombs and getting attacked in your own dugout is simply disgusting, hopefully the people who have been arrested are actually behind all this fiasco.

    Neil Lennon is an excellent manager and has done very well at Celtic, he shouldn’t be driven out of the club because of death threats. That’s my views on this shocking sitution.

  • dirtymac

    In the gym yesterday a couple of guys (in their 40s) were discussing the incident at Tynecastle and the various threats etc. Sadly, their take it was: “ach, he’s Irish”, “he’s a bloody Catholic who cares” and “he’s a ginge”.

    This was in Dundee and the two guys are both Utd fans. Sickening proof that this is not an ‘Old Firm’ problem, but a much wider issue, i.e. societal.

    It’s quite clear that many in their generation are still of the ‘No Irish allowed/tolerated’ opinion. Essentially there’s evidence that within Scotland and certainly within football, the issues highlighted in various report on institutionalised racism/bigotry are rife.

    As long as people aren’t willing to accept there’s a problem (Steven Gibson) it will persist.

    Good article, btw.

  • SFTB

    Excellent article cutting through the BS which has been peddled by mainstream press journos (Traynor, Keevins, et al) and the broadcast rent a gobs (Nevin, Gordon Smith, Craig Brown etc;). Unfortunately, it will count against you in any attempt to seek promotion up the Scottish reporting scene.

    Geordie

    The “few disturbed individuals” line will only wash if you confine your analysis to the extreme acts of sending parcel bombs.

    It was a Hearts fan who attacked Neil at Tynecastle. He was attacked in Glasgow by two students, one of whom was an Aberdeen supporter. He was roundly booed on his first touch in his first match for Celtic by Dundee fans, before he ever had a rep of any sorts in Scotland. So get rid of the nonsense that he is a snarling, argumentative, wind-up merchant who gets up people’s noses. He may be all of that to some fans, but that is the excuse the bigots will reach for to cover the deeper, darker root of their hatred. There are plenty of those combative characters in football. Who is attacking Ian Black, Dougie Imrie, Lee McCulloch, Gavin Skelton etc; in the street. Where are their bombs?

    3 stands at Tynecastle, containing thousands of Hearts fans applauded his assault as it happened and for many minutes afterwards. Thousands of others in pubs throughout the country applauded the act too. They applauded the act of physical assault on a man who had received parcel bombs over a period of months and has had to have round the clock security for his family. They could have been applauding an attempted murder.

    It is those actions that demand analysis.

    Steven Gibson

    Not every Scot is a conscious anti-Catholic sectarianist or anti-irish racist; it would be ludicrous to assert it and is, therefore, equally ludicrous to lead that as a defence. Too many people in Scotland award themselves a pass on the charge of having sectarian or racist tendencies. For such an issue, you cannot award yourself a clean conscience. People from the abused minority have to tell you that you have good anti-racist or anti=sectarian credentials.

    Too many sentences this week started with the variant on the old racist line, “I am no racist but I just don’t like the way they….”.

    The “Who does Neil Lennon think he is?” line has been peddled by the media from the beginning when he got an unprecedentedly severe sanction for his first offences as a manager. Contrast his dealings with Walter Smith’s physical battle with a policeman and Mixu Pataleinen. Contrast it with Craig Brown who has physically attacked two persons in separate games this season. Contrast it with the sanctions applied to the 2 whisperers, Ally (let off) and John Boyle (hefty fine).

    No; not all Scots are conscious racists. But, rather than seek to admonish yourself from the charge, why not seek out a few friends from minority groups and ask them if you are ever guilty of institutional racism or stereotyped thinking.

    Do you, for example, think that closing down RC schools would solve the problem?

    Do you believe Neil brought it on himself?

    Do you think it is just a West of Scotland issue?

    A yes to any of the above should at least see you sending your “clean bill of health” award back for a second opinion.

  • Mike Bhoyle

    Something we all knew..but couldn’t , eloquently, put it into words the way you have.
    Well written, factual and controlled.
    Nice work my friend….

  • Mark

    What an excellent, well-argued article, Tom. Congratulations.
    Sectarianism and bigotry is a Scottish – not just west of Scotland – problem. And it is still rife in the North of Ireland.
    Can you imagine any club manager down here in England having to suffer what Lennon has?
    The reason Neil Lennon has been subjected to this despicable treatment by so many in Scotland (including the media and SFA, as well as morons from the clubs well known to be founded on bigotry) is that he is not prepared to simply acquiesce in what has always gone on in Scotland. By standing his ground and calling things as they are he has lifted the lid on a can of worms, and exposed Scotland’s shame to the world. This has made a lot of people uncomfortble. And it has made him persona non grata. “How dare a Northern Irish Catholic come here and expose our cosy little way of operating?” That’s why people want to drive him out.
    All power to his elbow. He is no saint, but he is a man of his convictions. The sort of guy cowards don’t like.

  • Gary

    Geordie,
    you are one of many many people who have said “What has happened to Lennon is totally unacceptable BUT” see that BUT word im sick of seen it,there should be not BUT’s after “What has happened to Lennon is totally unacceptable,disgusting,sickening or what ever discription is used,end of.
    Great article.

  • tinytim

    Thr real menace of scottish thought is not religion, football or any of the other issues discussed. It is “THEY BRING IT ON THEMSELVES”. Throughout scottish history this has been and acceptable saying to justify violence against woman, racisim, bigotry and many others. This is too justify the reasonable reaction of the instigator. If we take what has happened to Neil & transfer it to public life would it be acceptable if you rubbed up someone the wrong way, they jumped over your head & the judge explained that you “Were asking or it”. The responce from those who feel Neil deserved this is laughable & in many ways child like.

  • gold

    an example of the medias approach to this situation was clear the day after the hearts game. the newspaper with 3 letters had around a dozen pictures online, now they did critisise what happened but 3 of these pictures should Neil Lennon looking like he was the one causing the problems, including one that looked like he was kicking the guy. any person with half a brain that saw the incident would know this was NOTHING to do with Neil’s actions.

  • Plane

    Geordie and Stephen, i think you two really don’t realise the extent to which this infiltrates our society. And it’s incredible the number of rangers “fans” who, while not condoning this behaviour, also fail to condemn it. I can’t believe that such a vast number of these people, my friends, my colleagues, would still feel such vile hatred towards a Neil Lennon. They seem to wholeheartedly believe that he “brings it on himself”.

    http://forum.rangersmedia.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=187534
    Have a look at that or any number of Ranger’s forums and you will see that the vast majority have an unhealthy disgusting hatred of the man without justification. Of course forums aren’t a gair representation of the whole fanbase, but in reality there’s still an alarming hatred of the man

  • eion woodwars

    well written mate, afraid most of it will fall on deaf ears,they dont want us in scotland! Lennons only crime is irish Catholic,full stop.

  • Alan Clark

    I agree that Lennon should not be treated this way regarding parcel bombs and being attacked on the touchline. But I am sorry, I do not know one person who hates Lennon because he is a Catholic.

    Personally, I passionately dislike Lennon for a large number of reasons, his religion has NEVER came into it. Of course there will be SOME that are like that, just like there are SOME still living that love the KKK.

    Most teams despise Lennon, and that is the story. Are you saying that all these teams are anti-Catholic? Nonsense.

    He was a scumbag of a player, spitting on a Rangers scarf and shouting “Dirty Orange Bastards” (caught on TV) to the Rangers fans at Ibrox just two of many examples. As a manager he has stirred up hatred in Scotland, questioned the referees to the extent they had to strike, been sent to the stands for a horrible verbal attack on the officials, has tried to have a fight with Ally McCoist, he has tried to wind up the Rangers support at every opportunity, and he has accused teams of not trying against Rangers (IMO the reason it was so fiery at Tynecastle on Wednesday)

  • Mark

    What an excellent, well-argued article, Tom. Congratulations.
    Sectarianism and bigotry is a Scottish – not just west of Scotland – problem. And it is still rife in the North of Ireland.
    Can you imagine any club manager down here in England having to suffer what Lennon has?
    The reason Neil Lennon has been subjected to this despicable treatment by so many in Scotland (including the media and SFA, and followers of clubs with a history of questionable signing policies)is that he is not prepared to simply acquiesce in what has always gone on in Scotland. By standing his ground and calling things as they are he has lifted the lid on a can of worms, and exposed Scotland’s shame to the world. This has made a lot of people uncomfortble. And it has made him persona non grata. “How dare a Northern Irish Catholic come here and expose our cosy little way of operating?” That’s why people want to drive him out.
    All power to his elbow. He is no saint, but he is a man of his convictions. The sort of guy cowards don’t like.

  • John

    Aye right Alan.

    Or maybe the reason it was so fiery at Tynecastle was because they were getting pumped.

    You do a remarkable job of ignoring all the arguments in the article, in order to continue spouting the big lie that “he brings it on himself”. Shame.

  • Plane

    Alan you don’t seem to have read that article at all. Either that or you have the thickest blue tinted specs in existence. How has he “stirre up hatred”? What are your reasons for hating him and not Diouf, the man who’s been fined for spitting on people on a few occasions, including a young ball ball, someone who says “**** you and **** your broken leg” to a player when he is lying on the floor injured. This “scumbag” view you have of the man is greatly exagerated and many of it is fabricated from thin air.

    As this article rightly points out, it’s stemmed from sectarianism, and the hatred has spread from there, seemingly to the majority of the RANGERS support. I’m just astonished that since the attacks, the rangers fans’ hatred of him seems to have intensified, whereas any good person would at least have the common decency to cut the guy a break, at least for a while.

  • Rise Above It

    Guys….
    Get a grip, what has happenend to lennon over the last few months is totally unacceptable, the bombers will get 15 years and the clown who jumped out of the stand, is in remand, he will no doubt be dealt with harshly, and rightfully so……but your club embraced the bigots at the start of the season, the antics of your board, management and fans in October / November were shameful and will be remembered for a long time to come. Suddenly John Reid is a hero (what is it they say about politics being showbiz for the ugly people and the players deep seated need to be loved by pandering to the lowest of the low?). Celtic cannot claim to be all inclusive, non political then be political and uber irish (see the front cover of the celtic view released around 17th March this year). Fair doos, your tactics of throwing mud over the years have worked, but now, people are looking at the behaviour of your fans and also lennons touchline antics. I would say, be careful of what you wish for, because you might just get it, lets not kid ourselves and hide behind the ‘political’ arguement, if you someone can be an anti-irish racist, then someone else can be an anti-British racist….think about it.

  • J. McPhee

    John,

    Well done John, I am sadden for you fellow Catholics having to live day in day out in a sectarian hate society. Fortunately for us the Green Brigade living in Canada we do not experience the same oppression and bigots of your society. Hard to believe this is still happening in 2011. I have many protestant friends that I play with on the pitch and share drinks with after the games.

    Although I have never been to Scotland, I am deeply moved by my Celtic heritage.

    Hail Celtic

  • Jim

    Couldn’t disagree more.

    Whilst I agree that attacking or threatening Neil Lennon is unacceptable there is much of this that IS of Neil Lennons own making.

    People dislike him because of how he acts, that’s why they sing songs against him, with no religious undertones, at grounds all around the country. He is quite simply a person that others dislike, irrespective of his nationality, religion or combination of both.

    Some people are like that, for example, El Hadji Diouf. People dislike him because of how he acts. Does that make people who dislike him racist, or are you allowed to dislike him because of his actions?

    Unfortunately I’m quite sure I’ll be branded a bigot for making such a comment about Neil, and a racist for making comments about Diouf, you’re not allowed to just dislike these guys because that’s how they make you feel, you have to be a bigot/ racist, couldn’t possibly be anything else!

    Why does it HAVE to be bigoted to dislike him, why can’t it just be that the guy is dislikeable?

    If he was a normal Joe Bloggs and acted in a pub the way he does at the football ground I’m sure you all know what the consequences would be. Everyone else needs to learn how to act whilst in other peoples company, and lots of us know that when you move into management you need to learn to act differently too. I’m not in the public eye, but quite obviously the same thing applies. Neil thinks he can just be a normal fan and voice his opinions without due concern to anyone else.

    Until he learns to act appropriately in public and express his opinions in a more diplomatic manner he’ll remain a figure of hate.

    ANYONE who did the same would be disliked, irrespective of religion, nationality or whichever side of the old firm fence they sat on.

    Let me re-iterate however, disliking the guy and singing songs to that effect are one thing, bombs, attacks etc are an unacceptable other.

  • thomas

    alan you don’t know anyone who hates neil because he is a catholic, come on pull the other one, by the way a very honest article tom

  • Alan Clark

    John, Plane and thomas – If you don’t think Lennon brings all this shite to himself, where have you been the past few years? It seems every week he says something stupid in the media. And yes, I do not know anyone that hates him because of his religion thomas, hence why the many Northern Irish Catholics who have been involved in Scottish football haven’t had all this.

  • Donny

    Good article Tom,
    Just curious if the same can be said for the hatred of Aiden McGeady at every ground in Scotland?Brought it on himself did he?
    Before the rightous blues come out at Do you know the reason why he is playing for Ireland?Also note that there are numerous non scots playing for Scotland.

  • 100% Fenian

    TOM – Brilliant article – truthful and straight to the point

    Alan Clark

    I agree that Lennon should not be treated this way regarding parcel bombs and being attacked on the touchline. But I am sorry, I do not know one person who hates Lennon because he is a Catholic.

    OH SO THERE IS A BUT is there – That usually means that everything that comes before the but is bullshit and what you really want to say comes after. In your case the whole statement is bullshit.

    Personally, I passionately dislike Lennon for a large number of reasons, his religion has NEVER came into it. Of course there will be SOME that are like that, just like there are SOME still living that love the KKK.

    So you dislike Neil ‘GHOD’ Lennon. I love Neil Lennon, he is a gentleman. He was one hell of a player and he is already a fantastic manager. He will only get better and that scares you bigots – you dislike him cos you are a bigot and the worst kind of bigot as you are trying to hide it and justify your hatred and bigotry

    Most teams despise Lennon, and that is the story. Are you saying that all these teams are anti-Catholic? Nonsense.

    You are talking nonsense once again – there are NO catholics that support any other club other than Celtic…., OK maybe Hibs – They are the only 2 grounds in Scotland’s senior football that you will not hear “on no pope, billy boys, famine song etc and most of the lower leagues and even junior football are rife with bigotry and sectarianism. I give you Airdrie, Harthill, Armadale for example

    He was a scumbag of a player, spitting on a Rangers scarf and shouting “Dirty Orange Bastards” (caught on TV) to the Rangers fans at Ibrox just two of many examples.

    I think you will find he is human – lesser mortals may have responded in a far more violent manor – a la Eric Cantona. If they had to endure the vitriol and hatred that our legend of a manager has.

    As a manager he has stirred up hatred in Scotland,

    When. Only a bigot would think this way

    questioned the referees to the extent they had to strike

    Wrong again. The refs went on strike as a bargaining tool to try and get another bigot, hugh dallas, off with his sectarian and child abuse ‘joke’ charge

    been sent to the stands for a horrible verbal attack on the officials,

    Lies again. Were you there? do you KNOW what was said? I think you will find, once again that Neil told the truth and the bigots didn’t like it

    has tried to have a fight with Ally McCoist

    There was clear provocation by sally – what about the let off for pappa brown at murderwell and the £2500 fine for john boyle in a worse incident?

    he has tried to wind up the Rangers support at every opportunity

    Let’s face it – that is not difficult. A broken TV was enough to spark the biggest scale riots seen at a football match in britain. You like to give it out and can’t take it back springs to mind.

    and he has accused teams of not trying against Rangers (IMO the reason it was so fiery at Tynecastle on Wednesday)

    It amazes me how one individual can be so deluded. Look at the facts of this season with a clear head and apply logic. If you still see the same result then I would be able to see daylight through your ears.

    I JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH

    HAIL HAIL

  • Lorraine Kane

    I am so sad to read some of the comments today,Neil Lennon is hated for this and for that , No one is saying you should like Neil that is your choice, just like it is his choice to say what he believes is true. The people doing these things should be condemned and not given excuses for what they did. I dislike Diouf for what he did spitting on people and his treatment of the poor footballer who broke his leg, would he deserve this kind of abuse NO and i would come out and condemn the people who were doing it, I hated what happened to Novo it was wrong. such hate in people makes them weaker but it is making the Celtic family stronger.

    And as for the person saying Neil was winding the Hearts fans up look again he turned to his own dugout to celebrate

  • Bobby Brown

    So Tom Woodward 25 years old and hoping to get in to working in football journalism thro experience rather than getting a degree!

    Well here’s the first lesson, go outr and do some proper research rather than telling lies and half truths.

    Let’s be clear about Lennon’s catalogue of ‘crimes’ that lead him to be detested by many who love their sport.

    In a Celtic jersey at Ibrox Neil Lennon spat on a Rangers jersey. Neil Lennon in the same game shouted sectarian abuse at the Rangers dugout. That is reason alone for rangers fans to have a long memory.

    However, this year in Scotland pre-season at a Celtic supporters rally Neil Lennon declared he was ‘going to war’ with the SFA and referees. It was a deliberate strategy on his part to create a ‘seige mentality’ and it has backfired on him.

    Again in a celtic tracksuit this year he has acquired the worst disciplinary record of any manager in memory alienating clubs up and down the country.

    At Dundee United he spat venom at a fourth official cursing and swearing. He was reported by the police for his behaviour. (By the way, it is a lie from Woodward that Hugh Dallas told someone to lie.)

    At Tynecastle he was sent to the stand for spitting venom and cursing and swearing at a fourth official.

    At Ibrox the police commander asked the referee to report him for his behaviour.

    He has gone out of his way to abuse Rangers players with his bitter twisted contorted face.

    Another lie from Woodward displaying his personal bias is to say McCoist was let off. McCoist was found to have no case to answer.

    Lennon then precedes to accuse other teams of lying down to Rangers ( Celtic 9 in one game against Aberdeen kinda blows that one out the water )

    Neil Lennon does not deserve death threats, fake bombs , toy guns. No-one ever brings that upon themselves. The individuals who did that are criminal morons.

    As for his unkempt tramplike appearance at press conferences, his despicable foul mouthed behaviour on the touchline, his open hatred for Rangers and referees, His constant greetin’ about poor celtic being victimised – well is it any wonder he is detested by many who look for role models in the game.

    Most people care not where he comes from, but that aside he is British.

    Most people care not what religion he is.

    Most people detest his loutish, foul mouthed behaviour – full stop.

    Tom Woodward – Wannabee journalist ? For the Celtic View maybe.

  • dirtymac

    100% Fenian – totally agree

    Unfortunately, the crap that idiot spouted has become accepted fact due to a complicit media.

    By complicit, I mean institutionally bigoted.

  • SFTB

    It should be amusing to hear the bigots on here struggling to provide reasons to themselves for their irrational level of hatred for Neil Lennon.

    It should be, but it is too serious for that.

    Go ahead and dislike any guy you want. Just keep it to yourself in future and poison no one else with your dehumanising rhetoric.

    You have a long way to go in examining your motives.

    You cannot award yourself a badge as a person free from prejudice and bigotry. Only the people you encounter can award you that accolade.

    John, Plane, thomas & Bobby Brown- Take this challenge! Read out the views you have just espoused to a Catholic or Celtic supporting friend ( I will make the hopeful assumption that you have some since you are all avowedly NOT anti-catholic) and see if they give their approval to your views.

    I look forward to your replies

  • Theo Jones

    Complete nonsense.

    I am Scottish, and have lived and worked throughout the world. I was raised a protestant, my wife was raised a catholic.

    The vast majority of Scots are like us. We are not anti-catholic. We frankly couldn’t give a crap either way – we are just sick to death of seeing you green bigots and blue bigots bringing our game and country into disrepute.

    This whining article falls into the usual trap -it’s all about us and them. if you don’t support Neil Lennon and his bigoted antics, you must be a “hun”… or if you don’t support the hate chanting Ibrox crowd, you must be a “tim”.

    Here’s an alternative view for you… We, the majority of Scots HATE YOU BOTH. We don’t belong to EITHER of your pathetic tribes, and we just want you both to piss off and let us enjoy football, without the baggage!

  • Tom Woodward (author)

    Hi just wanted 2 thank everyone for their views and comments on my piece, obviously when i wrote i knew there would be a reaction and a debate about it, and it is at the end of the day my opinion. i have never claimed all Celtic fans are angels, and all Rangers fans are bigots, but the piece was wrote about why Neil Lennon is been targeted. I know people will dislike Lennon for his personality, and that to me is fine, but the man is been attacked,threatened and indimidated for a totally different reason! and the truth is if it was just because he was a horrible person then why were bullets sent to Nial Mcginn and Paddy Mccourt, like i said in the piece Irish Catholics playing for Northern Ireland and Celtic! whats their crimes this year? Please explain to me what they have done? They are Catholics playing for Northern Ireland and Celtic just like Neil Lennon did, nd until the majority of scottish society accepts this and condones it fully then it will never move on. Celtic and Rangers could offer so much to the premier League in England, both are fantastic clubs with unbelievable and passionate supporters, and its sad that England will proberbly never experience this because of this out dated bigotry.

    And to say this is not a problem in society in Scotland is absurd, after Lennon recieved bombs in the post, fellow pros were sacked for there comments on twitter about it. This would not happen in England if a manager recieved bombs in the post and thats a fact. The mere fact people in the media and in wider society generaly are even trying to justify these actions because of Lennons behaviour asa football manager just proves the scale of the problem in Scotland.

    Its fine to hate Neil Lennon for been Neil Lennon, but he its easy to hide behind that and say thats the reason for his victimisation. I have myself shouted at opposition players and managers at football games, i personally cant stand el hadji diouf for example, but id never condone an attack on him on the pitch by a supporter, death threats on him, bombs sent to him, and then say oh well he has brought that on himself because of the way he acts on the pitch! it would be unacceptable, full stop!! I dont like diouf in the same way people who have commented on here dont like Lennon, and i would give him some banter for 90 minutes, aftr that it should end.I would not abuse the man in the street if i saw him! So please if you dont like Neil Lennon the person, then thats totally fine, but dont try use his personality and actions as a person as a justification for this hate campaign

  • gutworm68

    Rubbish. Bertie Peacock played for Celtic and Northern Ireland and was highly respected in his home town of Coleraine. Lennon is totally unlikeable. He really helped himself with his idiotic comments today.

  • thomas

    sftb don’t know what you mean i’m a celtic man have been for 65 years as well,so me and plane should’nt be on your list to reply
    all the best thomas

  • stevie buchan

    This problem will never go away, as a rangers fan I do not condone bombs and bullets being sent to anyone but lennons actions (cupping his ears at ibrox for a start) asks for trouble, as for singing, from the 2nd minute of the hearts Celtic game IRA songs were being sung so its not just rangers! Back to the death threats….. remember nacho novo??? Cars vandalised, address put online so Celtic fans can pay him and his newborn son a visit, R.I.P novo written on a fence, being punched in broad daylight in front of his family,

  • adam rush

    How many points did Rangers drop as a result of “honest mistakes” by refs ?
    ans: none
    It was almost a year into Smith’s return to Ibrox before Rangers conceded a penalty-in fact getting a pen against Rangers borders on the impossible !
    How many red cards should Lafferty have had this season-at least 4 ! Rather like Gascoigne.
    When Rangers went to Tannadice they got THREE pens,when Celtic went there they had a stonewaller refused (as usual) and had a valid goal disallowed !
    Inverness kicked Celtic off the park and were allowed to do it by a referee who’s anti-Celtic bias was blatently obvious-rather like Willie Collum at Hamilton.
    At Aberdeen within 4 mins of going 0-2 Rangers got the inevitable pen thanks to a lovely dive by Weiss.
    At Killie Rangers were 0-2 and immediately the ref contrived 2 ridiculous Rangers pens
    At Inverness Rangers got a draw with another dodgy pen
    Against St Mirren Jellylegs dives and Rangers steal another 3 pts
    This sort of thing would drive a saint into a raging maniac.Neil Lennon
    under this kind of provocation has shown unbelievable restraint.
    Scottish football has to be the most corrupt in Europe and I’m astonished that this farcical state of affairs is allowed to persist.The good old Protestant Ascendency has to be maintained by ANY MEANS NECESSARY.No wonder Lennon gets angry !
    McCoist,Bougherra,Lafferty and Craig Brown all get away with it.Not so Mr Lennon.I wish Celtic could get out of your repulsive Secret society league and I offer NO CONGRATS to Mr Anti-Football (Messi’s words not mine) on the theft of yet another title.
    Just once I’d like to hear Smith acknowledge the support that Rangers get from the referees but I guess that’s done down at the LODGE.

  • Simon

    (Yawn)Here we go,playing the “sectarian” card yet again.RC’s in Scotland just love this ‘victim’ status they have,it gives them an identity.Quite simply,if Lennon was a dog,he would have been put to sleep a long time ago. He is a rabid,out of control animal.His religion is irrelevant.

  • Rob James

    Total rubbish its because he is a northern Irish catholic, Celtic have had Catholics from all over the world playing for them.None of them have received the abuse that Neil Lennon has.Celtic have also had other northern Irish catholics play for them and their national team without any significant problems.So your Martin O’Neil comment falls flat there.I have no idea why paddy McCourt and Niall McGinn have been targeted.Since we don’t know the source of their threats then i ain’t going to speculate.

    The death threats made towards Neil Lennon when he played for Northern Ireland came from a more sinister source.They came from Northern Irish Loyalist Paramilitaries,death threats were wrote on walls of his hometown Lurgan.So that had nothing to do with Scottish society and is irrelevant to what has happened recently.

    The recent events in Scotland are despicable and should not be tolerated by any society.We have had incidents in the past involving players from both sides of the old firm but nothing on the same scale as recently.So if Scotland was such a intolerant place towards Irish catholics as you say why hasn’t it happened before?

    You would think it would be common place, if Scottish society is so intolerable.Other Scottish teams have catholic origins and have had Irish catholics and protestants play for them yet none of them have had bombs or bullets.I’m not joining the he brings it on himself brigade I’m just disagreeing with the Irish catholic part.

    For me the abuse Neil Lennon suffers from fans at football is on a par with what other controversial players/managers have received in the past. Again though it doesn’t make it ok,no player,manager should be subjected to torrents of abuse.We have had death threats and bullets in the post before in Scottish football to other players.What has happened to Neil Lennon is most definitely the worst ever.

    But again this has come from individuals,not huge sections of society as lots of Celtic fans and media would like you to believe.The people that are involved have no place in any civalised society.I have no hatred towards Neil Lennon,i admire him in many ways for standing up to the bigots.I have no idea why the individuals involved have sent bombs and bullets to him and others you have to ask them their reasons.I certainly won’t make assumptions based on hearsay.

    But to make accusations that huge sections of Scottish society have hatred towards Neil Lennon because he is an Northern Irish catholic.For me that is irresponsible and misguided.If you truly want to have a debate on sectarianism within Scotland then you have to get all parties to believe they have a problem.Its not a one sided problem that most commentators seem to think it is.Once you have that then serious debate can take place otherwise its farcical.

    As for Neil Lennon i hope the individuals involved with the bombs and his attack are severely dealt with.I hope that is the end of this kinda disgrace within Scottish football.Do i think the verbal abuse at games towards him will stop no.Do i think Neil will be less controversial no and truthfully i wouldn’t want him to be.He is passionate about his club and football and that’s what makes the game the game it is.

    But i put this question back to you why was Nacho Novo targeted with death threats and bullets in the post?Why was Barry Ferguson abused at all football grounds in Scotland and attacked in Hamilton?Was it because Nacho is a Spanish catholic that played for Rangers?That Barry was a Scottish protestant that played for Rangers?Or is it that you have individuals in all countries that hate and are intolerant just for the sake of it.

    One last thing you talk about England and how this wouldn’t happen in England.Well that maybe the case but English football has its own demons as does English society.So maybe when racism and fascism is eradicated from English football you can take the moral high ground.Until then people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

  • Lewis

    AL. Your wrong and very hypocritical.

    It is, in fact, YOU that needs to get your facts right and i think you should have a long, hard look at yourself and your club. You are quite clearly a sectarian bigot as you’ve came on here and commented defending the case of the people who send bombs, bullets and the rest to an Irish-Catholic.

    TRUE BLUE. If you don’t like being called a “hun” then maybe you shouldn’t support that shameful club. you may not be a nazi but there is a sizeable element in your support that are so i’m afraid you’ve been tared with the same brush my friend. You are also quite clearly a bigot. You say that Lennon gets what he deserves when Tom states in this factual and fair article that there are many in the same position as him that act in the same way. Fergusson, Morinho etc.

    Superb article Tom. Unfortunately you couldn’t publish this in any scottish press, such is the way in this anti-irish, anti-catholic country

  • Rob James

    Adam Rush Celtic have just became the team in Britain to have the most penalties awarded in one season.I guess the masons weren’t working on the days Celtic were awarded those penalties.Real facts and the truth are something celtic fans don’t do.

  • Eddie

    Great article

    Its the truth that sets people free…not lies, deceit and indifference towards people of a certain religion

  • Solomon

    Lennon has had an agenda with the SFA and Referees since day one. It worked at Ibrox, when the referee gave a debateable penalty rather than face Celtic’s wrath for not giving it. Thankfuly justice prevailed and Big Mac saved it.This season, Celtic have had the benefit of most refs giving 40/60 calls in their favour. Perhaps the bigots dislike him because he is a mirror image of them. He is a Bigot. We all know that and you can’t deny it. That’s why you all love him. “I am Neil Lennon, we are Neil Lennon” say’s it all.
    He is the embodyment of all things Celtic. Rebellious, Anti-British, Anti-Protestant, Anti-Rangers, Combatitive, Loud, Rabblerouser. If you are offended by these points, don’t worry. They are only my opinions and I am entitled to them.

  • Bobby Brown

    Adam Rush

    Celtic 17 penalties this season – British record

    End of debate

    Neil Lennon – worst ever managerial disciplinary record in a season

    End of debate

  • Bobby Brown

    SFTB

    I have no problems with the catholic faith – either practically or theologically, nor should I

    I have never sung discriminatory songs at Ibrox – do not sing about anyone else’s religion politics or culture is my motto

    Most of my friends are Roman Catholic Celtic supporting people from the Republic of Ireland. More than comfortable going to mass with them

    I have seen Neil Lennon before he was manager of celtic at barrowfield watching the youths. Struck me as quiet and unassuming. No problems with him in that capacity.

    In a Celtic jersey or tracksuit he is a different character. Angry, bitter twisted contorted face.

    Foul language that encourages aggression and stokes up violence on the terraces.

    Verbally abusing rangers players at every opportunity, blaming everone else.

    and then the most important fact of all.

    At Tynecastle, a man had to be restrained by the celtic assistant coach, stewards and police from getting at Neil Lennon. That thug was a Hearts fan.

    Previous to this, when was the last time this happened to a scottish coach ?

    Only very recently in fact.

    At Celtic Park, a man had to be restrained by the celtic assistant coach, stewards and police from getting at Ally McCoist. That thug was neil Lennon.

  • chucky

    I hope you do some real research next time Tom before writing an article about something you seem to know very little about.

    FYI I wouldn’t just take the opinions of the main stream press and base arguments on there opinions. You should do your own research not somebody else’s.

  • John McGriffin

    Tom Woodward I firstly have to congratulate you in giving Celtic F.C the voice we have all been craving in the media and for that you should be sainted. Good to have someone “on-side”(if you pardon the pun!)

    I have been a Celtic fan for over 30 years but I am one of the minority who beleives Lennons behaviour has damaged the clubs reputation in Scottish/World football.

    I was initally happy for him to take over from Mowbary as he is Celtic to the core. But after this seasons display whilst he has done an excellant job he has made his job far more difficult with his behaviour.

    In his first season he has managed to get banned more than any other Scottish manager for his foul language and aggressive behaviour which is often mistaken for “passion” but if fan was to do the same in the stands would be banned from attending games.

    His questioning of intergrity of the officials publicly was illadvised to say the least to the point where referees (and their families) lives were being place in danger.

    Its too easy to place the blame on sectarianism and there is certianly a problem to address (especially in the west of Scotland) but unfortunatly
    Lennon revels in being the victim while happy to provoke the oppositon supporters show that the scale of the job is too much for him to bear.

    He will stay the Celtic manager as he has united the fans and the players, but if he continues to act in the way he has this season the problems off field will unfortunaly continue.

  • ali

    nice article man

    balanced, well thought and well written

    don,t take the criticism by others wear you down…you,ll take a hiding form the muppets no matter what you write

  • Alan Hume

    O’Neill was a regular for Northern Ireland, captaining the side at the 1982 World Cup in Spain which reached the quarter-finals and included defeating the host nation in Valencia. He played 64 times and scored eight goals for Northern Ireland between 1971 and 1984. He also won the British Home Championship twice as a player, in 1980 and 1984.

    TO QOUTE THE AUTHOR OF THE ARTICLE FROM ABOVE “Now again i will here people say Martin O’Neil managed Celtic and he was a Northern Irish catholic and he never received this abuse or hate campaign, so it must be Lennon. That is true but the problem Lennon had was he tried to play for his beloved Celtic while he represented his country Northern Ireland, something O’ Neil never did”

    Find this startling that you would use such a glaring lie to justify your argument. Martin O’Neill is a Legend in my eyes on and of the park- a hero of mine and I’m a Gers fan.

    I find treatment of Lennon outrageous. I think he likes the drama too much though and in a City like Glasgow, where hatred is everywhere and passions run a bit too high, the Manager shouldn’t be whipping up both sets of Fans- sad but unfortunately true. Still a poor show from the Bigots taking it too far- shameful:(

  • marie

    Thank God for truth and the searching for truth.Maybe those who are blinkered by hate will start to look into their hearts and seek to realise just what hell Neil Lennon has endured for many years.God forgive them for participating in this attrocity by their silence over sectarianism.

  • Dave

    Not being funny but at the end of the day, when it’s all said an done, he’s taken a club that used to be good, made them half decent again and is getting so much **** thrown his way it’s embarrassing. It makes me glad that I’m not Scottish. All this religious ********. Grow a pair Scotland and start treating people with different opinions to yours with the reasonable amount of respect that every person deserves. I appreciate it’s not every single scotsman/woman but when it’s all said and done it’s the idiots who make the headlines and the idiots who give your nation a bad name. Let him do his job. END OF.

  • Cammy96

    I personally have a strong dislike for Neil Lennon but simply because of the way he acts, He act like a N.E.D , A bully toward other managers, is not passionate but aggressive at the touchline and his comments after matches have been out of order. This though does not give anyone the right give death threats and send bombs to him. But the unprofesionalism shown by Neil Lennon also should not be tolrated for example, if was any other managers in the SPL was to encroach on the pitch by at least 3 or 4 yard and then proceed to turn and run a kick waters bottles toward a set fan would be given a lenghthy ban but because of who it was it was totally ingnored. The worst thing anyone could have done towards Neil lennon was to react to any of nonsense because he had already dug the hole for himself, but because of a minority of idiots this has given him and Celtic an excuse and a reason to make the cry of we are vitims in society and may i also add nobody in scottish football apart from celtic like Neil Lennon make him the common dinomonator in all of this, he alone in his first season has accused or annoyed at one point every club in the SPL so to say everyone in in Scotland is sectrarian and only hate him for these factor is a ludicrist arguement .

  • The Truth

    Yes, you are all correct Neil Lennon is whiter than white.

    A little fact for your article, Neil Lennon was sent death threats before playing for Northern Ireland after he allegedly made comments about wanting to play for a “United Ireland” football team. Now, as far as Ireland has come since their troubles it was far too early to be making comments like that! he played for Northern Ireland plenty of times while playing for Celtic before this incident and never received any death threats so what does that tell you?

    As for Anthony Stokes receiving bullets in the post I can also tell you that this was after his Dad erected a huge banner outside his pub in Dublin stating that the Queen of Great Britain was not welcome in his pub during her state visit? Good PR for his pub? Yes it maybe curried favour among the Republicans but it was an insanely stupid stunt as this was done after Neil Lennon, Paul McBride and Trish Godman were sent nail bombs in the post. What we have is a minority of idiots who think it is good or even funny to fan the flames, I wonder if Stokes’ Dad found his stunt funny after his son was sent bullets in the post? Surely anyone with half a brain should know that pulling off a stunt like that was going to be met with some form of retaliation?

    I am in no-way condoning the idiots who do these things but we all know that the element are there within both sets of supporters so why constantly fan the flames?

  • Trying to walk the middle ground

    Having read through the posts above, I have come to some conclusions.
    1. There is a problem with sectarianism in Scotland and it comes from both sides of the divide.
    2. The problem is caused by a small minority of Scottish society.
    3. Scotland does need to do something about the issues that arise in the widen aspects of society.
    4. 90 minutes of vitriol is often followed by opposing fans who also happen to be friends meeting in the pub for a pint and some post match banter.
    5. Statement 4 does not extend the rockets mentioned in statement 2.
    6. Neil Lennon is overflowing with passion about his club.
    7. Neil Lennon’s passion about his club is regularly presented by him as aggression, anger, religion based bias and a them and us attitude promoted by a desire to be seen as the victim.
    8. The actions in statement 7 are seen by opposing supporters and they will and do react to it.
    9. The threats, hate mail and attacks on Neil Lennon were committed by a very small minority of people, but they are still unacceptable.
    10.Plenty of posters on this blog are not interested in considering anything other than their own narrow view.
    11.Some Celtic supporting bloggers here would do well to read Jim McGriffins balanced view.
    12.Some Rangers (and other) supporters would do well to read Rob James’s post.
    13.Some people who make comments about Lodge members should identify which Lodge they are referring to.
    14.People who make comments about Lodge members whilst thinking Freemasonry would do well to research into the history of where Freemasonry came from and be thankful to the precursors of that organisation for leading the way to remove the people of this country from the yoke of state-sponsored religion and serfdom.
    15.The historical comments in statement 15 are statements of FACT.
    16.Scotland has had a very long history of tribalism, sometimes referred to as clannishness and sectarianism or religious bigotry, from both sides is another example of this, all-be-it totally unacceptable in modern society.
    17.The Green Brigade and The Blue Order and others of a similar vein elsewhere need to get over themselves and bloody grow up.
    18.The Roman Catholic sectors of society who wallow in their own self pity and wax lyrical about how everybody is against them ought to be ashamed of themselves and start acting like adults.
    19.The Protestant sectors of society who relish in the “We’re better than them because they’re in the minority and anyway they’re only Fen####n Ba#####s” ought to be ashamed of themselves and start acting like adults and also do some research into what exactly a Fen###n is.
    20.I have many Roman Catholic and Protestant friends who support both sides of the Old Firm and others who support neither and I am ashamed of this Scottish (though not uniquely Scottish) problem.

    Get your act together and act your age FFS.

  • TRFC

    YOU HAVE FAILED TO MENTION HIM SPITTING ON A RANGERS SCARF!!! Might have something to do with it.

  • Joel Arbuthnot

    You talk rubbish. Fans always backed Lennon at N.I. games after he signed for Celtic. There were a small few who would chant against him, however they were always immediately drowned out by Lennons supporters.

    As for his retirement, and recieving a death threat before playing Cyprus… Major Loyalist organisations in N.I. denied involvement, the N.I. fans didn't do it, the I.F.A didn't do it, the Orange Order didn't do it, the D.U.P. didn't do it, guess what, even Rangers F.C. didn't do it.

    It was an individual or a group of individuals. To use the actions of a few morons to brush over a ridiculously complex historical, political and anthropological issue with one issue would invite the criticism upon yourself that as a man, you are sexist and violent. As a football fan you are a thug. As an advocate of Celtic F.C. personelle, you hate the British Army… (see what I did there).

  • Iain Dunn

    Never read such garbage in my life. Lennon is an embarrassment to his club and Scottish football. He should go back to the sewer he crawled out of in Ireland. Scumbags have no place here.

  • Stephen Williams

    Not changed then Iain? Anyhow aside from that how are you?

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