Celtic continue to deal with the fallout from NeiL Lennon’s heated press conference
Neil Lennon’s passionate press conference continues to generate debate, and of the numerous remarkable statements made by the Celtic boss it was perhaps his message to Andy Walker that proved most controversial.
It was confirmed shortly after their return to Glasgow that defender Christopher Jullien had tested positive for Covid-19, which led to 13 players, Lennon and his assistant John Kennedy all being required to self-isolate.
The depleted side overseen by coach Gavin Strachan in their absence stumbled to draws against Hibs and Livingston.
Speaking to the media on Monday, Lennon said: “I want an apology from Andy because he is questioning my professional integrity, my players professional integrity and the use of the word term ‘jolly’ is quite crass and arrogant.
“He accused the club of being arrogant, we weren’t. We had no intention of being arrogant or rubbing it in anyone’s faces.
“We went out to do a good week’s work and get a volume of work we wouldn’t have got here back in Scotland. Until then, you won’t be getting anything from me or my players.
“Who is Andy speaking for then? Does he speak for the Celtic support?
“Is he all of a sudden a man of the people? Challenging the club’s social ethos.
“I’m not sure he’s in a position, he stood up there as if he was a Celtic legend and a stalwart of the club, putting the boot into me, the club and everyone else involved and I think he’s totally out of order.
“His opinion is false and it’s insulting.”
Writing in his Scottish Sun column, Celtic legend Davie Provan has sided with Walker in the war of words.
He said: “I don’t buy the idea Lennon lost the plot at last Monday’s media conference. Ten days in isolation gave him plenty of time to think it through.
“The scattergun attack was that of a man with nothing to lose. He knows it’s over for him.
“I agreed with much of what he said. In particular, the hypocrisy of politicians who gave their tacit approval for the Dubai trip.
“But even allowing for his barney with Andy Walker, dissing Andy’s Celtic career was a cheap shot.
“Without Walker, Celts wouldn’t have won their Centenary Double of 1988.
“Top scorer that season, the striker’s 32 league and cup goals ensured Billy McNeill’s team would enter Hoops folklore.
“At £350,000, Walker’s transfer fee is up there with the best money Celtic ever spent.”
Lennon’s side currently trail Rangers by 23 points in the title race, with the champions playing host to Hamilton Accies on Wednesday night.