Lennon regrets Scottish Cup rant

Neil Lennon has expressed regret over the incident at the end of the Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Hearts at Hampden a fortnight ago which is likely to see him hit with another touchline ban, according to first-team coach Alan Thompson.

The Celtic manager will serve the second of his current two-match suspension when he sits in the Parkhead stand against Rangers tomorrow.

However, Lennon learned on Thursday he faces three more charges following the Jambos defeat which saw him run on to the pitch to confront referee Euan Norris over a late penalty award to the Gorgie side, and for comments later made on social networking site Twitter.

Lennon was again absent from the pre-match press conference at Lennoxtown yesterday but first-team coach Thompson passed on his gaffer‘s contrition.

“We have spoken about it since and Neil regrets his reaction after the game,” he said.

“He probably might get another ban, no doubt he will. But hopefully he will get a fair hearing.”

Rangers have even more problems heading into the final Old Firm game of the season.

Manager Ally McCoist revealed earlier this week he was leaning towards the idea of a move to the bottom tier of Scottish football after the club were hit with a £160,000 (€196,000) fine and 12-month embargo on registering players over 17 by the Scottish FA’s judicial panel.

The administration-hit Glasgow giants are not yet able to rule out the possibility of liquidation and a ‘newco’ Rangers could also face tough new financial fair play regulations, which the SPL clubs are set to vote on next week.

On the prospect of a move to the Third Division, McCoist said: “It’s a tough one. It might be the right thing to do morally.

“Is it the right thing to do for Scottish football? Probably not.

“Whether people like it or not, Rangers and Celtic are different because of the magnitude of the clubs.

“Supporters of other clubs, and some supporters of the Old Firm, say you can’t have rules for some and rules for others. “In an ideal world, that’s correct. I agree with that.

“But the fact of the matter is, would it be good for the rest of the SPL if Rangers went down to Division Three? That answer has to be no.”

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