Celtic manager Neil Lennon has this afternoon hit out at an article in this morning’s edition of the Daily Record written by Keith Jackson.
Jackson, who was only weeks ago rumoured to have been banned from Ibrox Park for an article he wrote, published a piece with the headline ‘Do that again and I’ll lose it’ in reference to comments made by Lennon after Celtic’s 2-0 win against Hibs at Easter Road.
The article in question claimed:
Neil Lennon bit his tongue at Easter Road yesterday despite being infuriated by a decision to chop off a Celtic goal in the first weekend of the new season.
The Parkhead boss did seek out the SPL delegate to ask why ref Iain Brines and his assistant Stuart Macaulay had ruled out a strike from captain Mark Wilson which would have left Hibs two goals down before the half time break.
…Lennon did not feel the need to open up last season’s wounds with another public blast at officialdom. When told that TV evidence showed the decision to flag Wilson offside [or offisde as the DR printed]was a blunder, Lennon said: ‘I believe so and I did ask the delegate about it. But he wasn’t sure. I’m not going to make a big issue about it, not just yet anyway. I’ve been warned.’
Lennon added, ‘It was a well worked goal. The decision went against us but he got it wrong. That’s it.’
So the question must be asked – What the hell are the Daily Record and Keith Jackson playing at?
After last season’s incidents which saw Neil Lennon assaulted on the touchline at Tynecastle, sent parcel bombs and bullets – is the blatant use of a distorted and inflammatory headline, a less than subtle attempt by the Record to enrage those morons, cretins and thugs who targeted Lennon over the course of 11 years further – just to sell newspapers?
We all know the tactics that some newspapers use to get a story – reference: News of the World – but to resort to such a massive distortion and set an inflammatory tone in the headline, the Daily Record are fuelling the fire that engulfed Lennon last season.
This afternoon Lennon released a statement via the Celtic official website. It read:
“NEIL Lennon today expressed disappointment at a Scottish tabloid newspaper over its reporting of his post-match comments, which suggested that the club had cried injustice over the decision to disallow Mark Wilson’s goal against Hibernian.
His disappointment was exacerbated, given the fact that it was an incident he barely remarked upon in a lengthy post-match media conference.
Speaking to the official Celtic website, the Celtic manager said: “Obviously it is very disappointing yet again that my words have been distorted in this way and that the tone of the headline and the article bear absolutely no resemblance to what I said.”
It is not known if Celtic will take any action against the newspaper or demand a retraction.
But one journalist who was at the press conference at Easter Road after the match, rubbished the article by Jackson.
Freelance Sports broadcaster Eilidh Barbour said on her twitter page on hearing of the Daily Record article: “Shocker. Was at the presser and this is nonsense!”
She added: “Lenny made a joke about it but no malice. TBH don’t think Jackson writes the headlines for his stuff.”
We could all claim or speculate into the reasons behind such a massive distortion of Lennon’s comments, but the facts are Keith Jackson and whoever produced the article headline need to take a serious look at themselves, as they look to profit from one man’s suffering further.
This latest article in regards to Neil Lennon certainly continues to prove my case, which I reported on the ESPN Soccernet site last week: http://blogs.soccernet.com/celtic/archives/2011/07/is_the_scottish_media_stirring.php