Video: Former Celtic boss Neil Lennon clashes with SFA chief exec live on air

By John McGinley

June 24, 2021

Former Celtic manager Neil Lennon has been debating pandemic protocols last season with SFA Chief Executive Ian Maxwell live on BBC Radio Scotland this morning.

Some Celtic supporters have been left upset with the perceived double standards of no Scotland players self-isolating in the wake of Billy Gilmour’s positive Covid-19 diagnosis.

Lennon was on talkSPORT earlier this week discussing the issue. Now he’s had the chance to go head-to-head with Maxwell in the BBC studio this morning.

Maxwell said: “The protocols haven’t changed over that period at all. The assessment hasn’t changed.”

The former Celtic boss challenged that, saying: “Ian, the protocols were changed when we got back from Dubai. They were. We ended up having to travel on five buses rather than two.

“The social distancing – we actually had the Scotland physio, who is the Celtic physio, take all the pictures on the buses and plane. We actually came back on a business class flight, two metres apart. Yet, from the photographs, the government intervened and said it wasn’t good enough. So the protocols were changed.

“There were 16 of us altogether who had to quarantine based on one positive case.”

Maxwell would again disagree anything changed mid-season based on his understanding.

However, Lennon continued to take the Hampden chief to task, which you can see in the videos posted to the BBC Sport Scotland Twitter account.

Neil Lennon Celtic excuses are tiresome but he has a point here

We haven’t had much time for the former manager’s excuses since leaving Celtic, however, he makes some good points here and it’s worth a watch.

Ultimately the trip to Dubai was a misguided affair from the club, but given they had permission and the goalposts seemingly moved following the return to Scotland, you can understand Lennon’s annoyance.

The Celtic manager would go on to explain that he suspects other clubs were not as detailed in their adherence to pandemic protocols as Celtic were.

No doubt it’ll be another day of Lennon in the headlines, but he deserves to be heard on all this. The Scottish FA and health authorities have to get it right ahead of the new season or the same old chaos could remain.

It’s not an exclusively Celtic issue.

In other news, Yokohama F Marinos set to replace new Celtic boss with Kevin Muscat.