Lennon apologises as another threat is made to his life


After another Rangers defeat to Celtic, as Celtic manager Neil Lennon now makes it four wins, one draw and one defeat against Walter Smith, the Northern Irishman has been linked with another death threat, this time from the significantly loyalist area of Saltcoats in Ayrshire.

A suspect package addressed to Neil Lennon was intercepted by mail staff, and led to the evacuation of the Royal Mail Delivery office in Saltcoats at lunchtime today. Bomb Disposal experts were called in to examine the package, however it was confirmed later that the threat was a hoax.

This is the second threat that Neil Lennon has received after an Old Firm match since becoming Celtic manager.

Strathclyde Police confirmed that the sorting office in Chapelwell Street was evacuated after the discovery of the suspect package at 12.15pm. The street outside was closed to traffic as a precaution and neighbouring shops were advised to keep customers inside, according to the Daily Record.

A Police spokeswoman said, “The package was examined and the incident is being treated as a hoax. Enquiries are ongoing.”

A Royal Mail spokeswoman stated, “A suspect package was found by a member of staff at the delivery office this morning and police were called. The police evacuated the delivery office and the Post Office which is connected to the building. Police took away the package and the building was reopened at 2.15pm.”

Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell said, “Clearly, this most recent sickening event in a long line of threats to Neil and his family is extremely worrying. This demonstrates the intensity and pressure which Neil endures as the Celtic manager. However, he has coped with these issues incredibly well during his short time as manager, showing what a strong character he is. Indeed, it is extremely sad that Neil has had to contend with such issues for more than a decade, both as a Celtic player and manager.

“No-one in any walk of life should have to live their life in this way and those responsible should be condemned. It goes without saying Neil and his family will continue to receive every support from the Club. We know Neil will also have the full backing of all our fans as he and the Club did on Wednesday evening. While these events are very concerning, we would ask that they continue to back the Club in this positive Celtic manner. While the authorities and other commentators have taken a close interest in recent football events, we would hope they would give similar attention to also condemning such actions.”

Lennon has been under 24-hour security since the Old Firm match ended, with his house protected by security hired by the Parkhead side. And with the recent threat, even if it was deemed a hoax, the protection detail is expected to be continued for the time being.

Meanwhile Neil Lennon missed this morning’s press conference, with Alan Thompson taking the presser in his place. Thompson stated that the manager had apologised to the Celtic board for his part in the clash with Ally McCoist at the end of the Scottish Cup win over Rangers at Parkhead.

The Celtic coach said, “Neil apologised to the board regarding the events after the game on Wednesday night and the board have accepted that. From our point of view that’s finished and I know Walter has said that as well. I am saying now that Neil has apologised now so that makes it public.”

Thompson was asked by the assembled media why Lennon was absent, “Neil had a lot on his plate in the last couple of days and he thought it was right to stand out the way for a day or two. He has had 24-hour surveillance outside his house two days in a row protecting him and his family and he thought it was right to step out of the way.”

Source: Daily Record


About Author


Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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