This morning’s newspapers are all full of stories about how Lennon offered his “support” to Ibrox when he spoke to the media recently on discipline issues.
Now, they are gilding the lily a little bit in making his remarks more expansive than they actually were … but their reporting is more or less on the nose. Lennon did, indeed, suggest the Ibrox club is hard done by.
And I listened to that, and I asked myself, “What in God’s name is he playing at?”
Lennon has suggested that their issues and ours are broadly comparable; this is not even close to being accurate or true. Our issues are of an entirely different sort than the ones faced by the club across the city.
Lennon has given succour to Ibrox’s contention that there is some kind of bias against them; Lennon uses a discredited version of the “big two” argument – as in, the “big two” get more scrutiny than other clubs – which has them rolling in the aisles elsewhere.
Outside of Glasgow, every other club thinks the “big two” get treated very leniently.
Lennon comes off sounding as if he’s promoting “Old Firm Inc.”
What he is saying is based in the fact that more games from these two clubs are shown than are shown from others … but that’s because too many people in Scottish football are still obsessed with this “only two clubs matter” nonsense, which Lennon himself is as good as promoting.
Ibrox’s players get away with murder on the pitch.
I am glad we have a process which seeks to address that, but there are underlying reasons for the leniency they are shown on the park which nobody seems to want to address.
In agreeing with them that the compliance process is itself suspect is stupidity on a grand scale.
The Ibrox club wants that process abolished, so that when their players commit thuggish assaults in front of referees they have no need to fear retrospective action.
When their players have been cited recently they’ve fully deserved to be; Lennon has given credence to their claim that they’re being put upon and hard done by, when the truth is they banked six points on the back of decisions which spared their players during the actual games … Morelos scored a winner in one of those games although he shouldn’t even have been on the park.
In light of that, I don’t want to hear a Celtic manager defending their wailing and whining that the player got sanctioned after the fact. Nobody is taking his goal off him or the points that goal won.
Their anger over it smells artificial to me, like something done so that questions wouldn’t be asked of why Morelos wasn’t sent off in the match … and why Roofe also stayed on although a panel has found that he too should have been shown the red card.
This afternoon, Gerrard has claimed that Lennon’s comments prove that there is a “consensus” on the issue … but there isn’t and Lennon had no business setting up that claim. I repeat, the Ibrox club wants the current system abolished … if Celtic supports that this is the first that I have heard of it.
Our players did nothing wrong and were cited incorrectly.
Their players deserved to be sanctioned.
Celtic supports the current system, but wants to see greater transparency in it.
The Ibrox club wants rid of it.
So quite what Gerrard thinks there is consensus on is a mystery to me, but I understand even less why Neil Lennon is standing up for Gerrard’s club and giving the impression that we agree with them.