Neil Lennon
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 06: Neil Lennon, Manager of Celtic reacts during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and St. Johnstone at Celtic Park on December 06, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Neil Lennon went on an incredible rant today as he portrayed Celtic as the victims of bullying and believes there is an agenda against Celtic. In an unbelievable press conference, this is what he had to say, “I think that’s remarkable and I think it totally blows out the water the way the trip, the training camp has been portrayed by certain quarters of the media, by certain pundits, and by certain government officials as well.”

”We did not abuse any ‘privilege’. We did the right things. We were absolutely, totally professional. We had a little drink in the afternoon on the day off: completely allowed, no law breaking.

”Yet we come back to this barrage of absolute hypocrisy. It’s not as if they were doing a conga in the dressing room and dancing to Baccara – or travelling a train journey from Glasgow to London with Covid. The fallout from this has been way too much – there’s a bit of bullying going on.”

Lennon also emphatically claimed that there was nothing illegal about the pictures that appeared online from Celtic’s trip to Dubai, ”The players were sitting in a bar. For me, they weren’t on top of each other, they were sitting in a bar, they were outside. In our bubble, having a beer. For half an hour.

”This has been made out to be something that it’s not. And like I said, it’s not like we were doing a 20 man conga which was lauded by all on sundry because Scotland qualified for the Euros. Our players weren’t behaving like that at all.

”And like I say, 80 per cent of them are T-total so for anyone to call it a jolly, it’s totally disrespectful to them as professionals and the way they conduct themselves as men.

”There was nothing wrong with the photographs, and by the way it’s illegal to take pictures in Dubai without someones consent.

”However, we weren’t hiding anything, we were sitting there on our day off, having travelled all through the night, which is also our problem not anybody else, but it’s impossible to do any training the next day so they were given some down time. We all were.”

That is a lot to break down. One thing is obvious, and that is Neil Lennon feels he can create a siege mentality in his squad by making it seem like it’s Celtic Vs the world. Jose Mourinho has perfected this to an art form, and no doubt the Celtic manager felt this is the only weapon left in his arsenal.

However, just because Lennon went on this incredible rant does not mean the rest of us need to give him (or Celtic) a pass. Just a retelling of the facts should be enough, and that is exactly what I intend to do.

After all, were Celtic bullied in the summer when they were handed the title despite a quarter of the matches remaining? Wonder what Neil Lennon’s reaction was to Hearts, Partick Thistle and Stranaer being demoted despite matches still to be played?

Were Celtic bullied when they got away without a points deduction despite Boli Bolingoli breaking COVID rules to go to Spain in secret and then being a part of the Celtic squad after returning without telling anyone? The Sun broke the story and you would have to wonder what would have happened if no one in the media picked it up.

Were Celtic bullied when they got away without revealing what their internal investigation of Leigh Griffiths due to a lockdown breach where the player threw a surprise birthday party for his girlfriend came up with? After all, this is what Lennon said, “The club are doing an ongoing investigation. I’m not convinced it’s a big issue. Hopefully, it’ll be resolved in the next couple of days.”

Were Celtic bullied when despite Hibs objection, their recent fixture was pushed by a couple of days to make way for the Dubai camp?

Were Celtic bullied when despite all the breaches, Celtic could participate in the fixtures despite other clubs not having the same privilege to do so?

See I did not even need to mention the Dubai trip. However, what is abundantly clear is that what Neil Lennon said today did not come from a righteous place. Instead, it was a deflection, nothing less and nothing more. I doubt it will have the effect that Lennon would be hoping for here.

After all, Jose Mourinho is a tactical mastermind, while Lennon *ahem* does not do tactics.

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