Celtic feared for Lennon's safety

26 March 2012 01:47

Celtic have revealed it was their own security staff who advised Neil Lennon not to sit in the stand at Ibrox after being sent off at the interval during Sunday's 3-2 Clydesdale Bank Premier League defeat by Rangers.

After complaining to referee Calum Murray about his performance in the tunnel, the Parkhead boss was ordered to the stands but watched the second-half from the media room. Afterwards an angry Lennon claimed his dismissal was "a joke" then said: "I can't sit in the stand for my own safety, that sums things up in this country."

A Celtic spokesman said: "Further to certain media reports today, for clarification, Neil was advised by Celtic's own security and operations staff not to enter the stand or directors box area at Ibrox at yesterday's match. He was then provided another area by Rangers in which to watch the match".

Lennon was raging when Hoops defender Cha Du-ri was sent off by Murray for a challenge on Lee Wallace.

The Parkhead boss spoke to Murray going up the tunnel and was then called into the official's room where he was sent to the stand, although he watched the second half from the media room on Celtic's advice.

Lennon said: "My sending off is a joke. I don't think I deserved to be sent off. My staff are very angry about it, my players are angry and disappointed.

"I spoke quite quietly and coldly to the referee in the tunnel. I didn't swear and didn't point any fingers. I told him I wasn't happy with his first-half performance.

"I was speaking to the match delegate after the game and their version of events are different from mine but I've got witnesses to back me up. Alan Thompson (coach) and our PR person was there, a couple of other members of staff and players.

"I do my team talk at half-time, I walk back out and got called into the referee's room.

"I have been deprived of doing my job properly when my team needed me. I am very angry about that."

Source: PA