Yesterday, Neil Lennon went on the offensive when Aberdeen’s incoming chairman – more on him later today – mouthed off.
Lennon mounted the sort of defence of the club and our players which we have come to expect from the man. Lennon is a warrior, and he will never allow us to be bad-mouthed or talked down or treated unfairly. He fights for his players to the hilt.
Whatever doubts I may once have harboured about Lennon as a manager, the idea he would be a shrinking violet, that he would hide when blatant injustices were being done or people were trying to blacken our name, was never amongst them.
Lennon was always going to be our greatest advocate.
But Neil Lennon should not be our sole advocate. That man must not stand alone. His attack on the Aberdeen chairman yesterday was fired at just one of the snipes our club has had to endure in the course of this campaign so far, and Lennon has stood up to them all.
He should not be made to do it alone.
Whilst I am not in favour of us having a rabid board which hits back at any perceived slight – perceived being the appropriate word – nor do I want one which hides behind its manager when it should be standing tall with him.
This one is a no-brainer.
This is a club chairman taking a shot at one of our players, in public, and calling him a cheat.
That’s a matter for our own directors, and not just the man in the dugout.
As welcome as it was to hear Lennon respond, an official slap-down from the club carries more weight and is of profoundly greater significance, and it was due here.
Neil is right, you can’t let another club’s most senior official say that sort of thing about one of your players. The SFA should be stepping in to discipline him for bringing the game into disrepute, which is exactly what those comments do.
But Celtic must not allow one of our players to be slandered and called a cheat. Whatever the Aberdeen chairman is up to, he should be put on notice right now, by those running our club, that there are lines you don’t cross and he just did.
Honestly, that tweet was so like something that Sevco would have sent out … this is the second time in a week that another club official has gone off the deep end with something that could have a Level 5 press release targeting Celtic. The first was Hearts’ ranting nonsense blaming Celtic fans for the crush incident at Tynecastle; that club was obviously doing deflection at a time when they are floundering and need to throw their fans some scraps … but Celtic let them get away with that, publicly anyway, in spite of it being an obvious slander on our support.
It is high time this board came out of hiding.
They are always quick enough to join the celebrations, such as on League Cup Final day, but for the rest of the time they treat fans with contempt – Resolution 12 being a case in point – and allow others to get away with murder.
Of the “official” side of Celtic only the excellent Supporter Liaison Officer and the manager ever punch back. Unofficially, of course, are the blogs … but the real power is in a statement from the boardroom and on these two matters we’ve had dead silence.
It’s not good enough.
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