Neil Lennon did not mince his words today when asked about Bolingoli.
There is little doubt, from his statement, that the player has played his last game for the club.
That’s most definitely the correct outcome and nobody can have the least complaint about it.
Bolingoli’s statement last night was disingenuous bollocks, a mealy mouthed grovelling after the fact which suggests he’s very familiar with the old aphorism that it’s easier to say sorry than it is to ask for permission. If he thought anyone at Celtic Park – the fans included – would be in a forgiving mood, he seriously misread the situation.
He knew exactly was he was doing getting on that plane, and in not informing the club.
He has, in a very real sense, dug his own grave.
Lennon has spoken of a feeling of “betrayal” that runs through the whole club. He has indicated that the anger in the dressing room is palpable. He says that he would find it very difficult to welcome the player back. In that statement I think we see the definitive verdict.
Bolingoli is done. We’ve seen his last game for the club. That little cameo at the end of the Kilmarnock game will be the final time he kicks a ball for us. One of two things will happen before the day is out; his contract will either be terminated or he’ll be transfer listed.
It should be the latter, assuming we can find a buyer.
The club should not have to swallow a multi-million-pound loss because he has behaved like a reckless idiot.
I personally think Griffiths should join Bolingoli in being transfer listed, but Lennon didn’t comment on that breach which is still the result of an internal club investigation. It’s clear that his situation isn’t as cut and dried as this one, although it’s being taken seriously.
Lennon’s comments on Bolingoli are, far and away, the harshest I’ve ever heard Lennon speak about a player in his charge, and I include some of his press conferences at Hibs where he was sometimes scathing about his footballers.
“This is a rogue who has gone off tangent and has done something very very selfish,” he said. “We have been completely oblivious to this. I’m absolutely livid. It’s a total betrayal of our trust.”
When asked is the player could come back from this, he said “Put it this way I will find it very very difficult.”
Which is a diplomatic way of saying “he’s clearing his locker out.”
Even as Lennon was finishing up, the Scottish Government formally announced that three matches in the SPFL have been called off as a result of this incident and the one involving Aberdeen and Hamilton and Celtic’s next two fixtures, against them and St Mirren on Wednesday.
Other consequences might well follow before the day is out.
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