Neil Lennon could not have been more disdainful when he described Charles Green’s controversial assertion that the demise of Rangers was down to “bigotry” within Scottish football as “funny.”
Before Sunday’s Ramsdens Cup extra-time win over Brechin at Glebe Park, the Rangers chief executive suggested that the reason the Ibrox club were denied entry into the Scottish Premier League was due to bigotry and jealousy.
The Scottish Football Association’s compliance officer, Vincent Lunny, has written to Green asking him to explain his comments.
The Celtic boss, speaking ahead of tonight’s Champions League qualifier against HJK Helsinki at Parkhead, was withering in his response to the former Sheffield United chief executive’s remarks.
Lennon said: “The club have said that it is not worthy of response, so...
“I was golfing, I only read about it yesterday and I found it quite funny.
“He has only been here five minutes and he is calling us all bigots already.”
Lennon, who revealed that Kris Commons and Anthony Stokes will be given fitness tests as they try to shake off their respective ankle injuries, was asked if he still saw Rangers as his rivals.
“Not this season, no,” he said.
“The remit is to win the title and it will be no different whether they are here or not and if we can advance on the European stage all the better.”
In order to do that, Lennon first has to negotiate Celtic through their Champions League third qualifying round with the first-leg against the Finnish side.
The former Celtic skipper is aware of the importance of making it into the group stages of European football’s premier club competition but knows his side will have their work cut out against a team well into their domestic season and who beat Icelandic side KR Reykjavik 9-1 on aggregate in the last round.
“It is not the be all and end all but it is important,” he said.
“It is important for the players, the club, financially, obviously, and it is important for our supporters to get a feel for the European nights again.
“It is difficult, I am very wary of these games and I have been for quite while.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved