Lennon told the Scottish Sun: “It’s important that we put a general message out that these chants have no place around our club. To be honest, we are better than that as a club and we always have been, we just don’t need it. We are and always have been a club open to all and we do not have issues around sectarianism. We have our own values and traditions but they do not include these chants. We don’t want them at matches and they must stop.”
With Superintendent Eddie Smith, a former referee, reportedly responsible for reporting the chants to UEFA delegates and the SPL after matches with Rennes and Hibs, elements of the Celtic support rounded on Smith claiming that he is ‘anti-Celtic and anti-Irish’.
Despite the allegations towards Smith from an element of the Celtic support, Lennon called on those fans to stop dragging the club into the gutter and to stop the support of the IRA.
Lennon continued: “The real tragedy is that we know that it is just a tiny minority of people who would choose to make these chants, but however small, this tiny minority need to stop. I know it is what the overwhelming majority of our fans want.”
“Obviously we can’t pre-judge any of the investigations that are now underway. Yet I know Peter Lawwell said at the AGM I was at last month that the chants had to stop and it’s important now that we reinforce that message.”
It is reported that Lennon was speaking about the Celtic supporters group, the Green Brigade who are housed in section 111 of Celtic Park an area of the stadium designated a singing section by the club. Given to them by the club at a time when the group were actively protesting against Dr. John Reid as chairman of the club and its members criticising the board.
Lennon added: “The irony is that the section of fans we are talking about have added a new dimension and vibrancy to Celtic Park. We know even within that section that it’s only a tiny group of fans that are involved in this. I feel that 95 per cent of what these fans bring to the game is positive and adds real atmosphere, but we need to make sure all the negative stuff is removed.”
“All we can do is keep our own house in order and do the right thing. That’s what I, the club and our supporters have to do. Our support has one of the best reputations in world football and this has been recognised over the years. It’s really important we maintain this great reputation and do not allow it to be tarnished by this tiny minority.”
Source: Scottish Sun