Celtic have issued an Official Statement on their website following events during last night’s SPL game against Hearts. Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell made the following statement:
“Last night’s appalling attack on Neil Lennon brings shame on Scottish football and again highlights the fact that Scottish society must address fundamental and serious issues which lead to outrages of this kind.”
“Apart from last night’s events, this week alone we have seen seven people arrested at our Training Ground following an alleged firearms incident and I can also confirm that this morning (Thursday) another package arrived at Celtic Park which appears to contain ammunition. This has been removed and taken by Police for further forensic tests. We are the only Club to be the subject of such vile, sustained and relentless attacks.”
“It is intolerable that any football club, or individual, going about their lawful business in the name of sport should be subjected to this ongoing campaign of hatred and intimidation. This is Scotland’s shame and it is high time Scotland addressed it.
And Lawwell highlighted the continued campaign of hate aimed at Lennon since his move to Celtic over a decade ago, “Since moving here a decade ago, Neil Lennon has had to endure prejudice and violence both as a player and manager, having suffered no such problems elsewhere. In doing so, he has displayed a strength of character and resilience which deserve respect from all who oppose the campaign of intimidation against him.”
“He is a man who is proud to be the Celtic manager and is someone who simply wants to be able to carry out his role in the same way as every other football manager can. Clearly, Neil will continue to receive every support and protection from Celtic Football Club.”
“We are deeply appreciative of the intensive police efforts to address the criminal offences that have come to light. All right-minded people will surely condemn these actions but, as a society, we must also address the underlying factors that lead to such behaviour.”
Meanwhile Neil Lennon’s agent has said that his client will not quit the club. Martin Reilly said: “First and foremost, Neil is shaken about the whole thing, but he won’t be driven out of Scotland. Neil is concentrating on trying to win the SPL and the team has a Scottish Cup final to contest.”
Despite Lennon’s contract ending this summer, any discussions on his long-term future will be held once the season is over and that the Northern Irishman will not walk away from the club.
He stated: “At the end of the season I will sit down with Neil and if there are things that he’s unhappy about then I will try and fix them. He won’t throw in the towel. We need the police and authorities to find out who is behind these attacks and threats. Given the circumstances, what Neil has done this season is remarkable.”