‘It’s absolute nonsense’: Neil Lennon attacks Hibernian owner Ron Gordon’s call for clubs to be docked points for breaching Covid-19 rules
- Neil Lennon hit out at Ron Gordon for claiming clubs should be docked points
- The Hibernian owner called for punishments for clubs breaking Covid-19 rules
- Lennon fired back and warned Gordon players can step out of line at any club
- Celtic’s Boli Bolingoli travelled to Spain and failed to quarantine on his return
Neil Lennon shot down calls on Monday night from Hibs owner Ron Gordon for clubs to be docked points when players breach the rules on Covid-19.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon administered a yellow card to the Scottish game when Celtic defender Boli Bolingoli travelled to Spain and failed to quarantine on his return.
That followed the controversy when eight Aberdeen players visited a city centre bar before two tested positive for the virus.
Neil Lennon shot down calls from Hibernian owner Ron Gordon for clubs to be docked points
Accusing the players concerned of ‘jeopardising the whole game’, Easter Road chairman Gordon said he would support points deductions for clubs when players defy guidelines.
However, in a clear nod to last month’s incident when Hibs had to apologise to Ross County for the last-minute cancellation of a pre-season game when coronavirus test results came back late, Lennon said: ‘It’s absolute nonsense. People with glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.’
Warning Gordon that players can step out of line at any club, he said: ‘(They) certainly could. We have to take a rain check on that, I think.
Celtic defender Boli Bolingoli travelled to Spain and then failed to quarantine on his return
Gordon (centre) wants clubs to be punished should they breach rules concerning coronavirus
‘From what I’ve seen on this, the goalposts keep getting moved time and time again.
‘We’ve made it pretty clear to the players and the staff and the people around the club what’s permitted and what’s not. Until that changes, we have to adhere to that.’
Former Rangers and Kilmarnock striker Kris Boyd and ex-SFA chief executive Gordon Smith have both joined Gordon in calling for a change of the rules to allow future points deductions in the event of players breaching Covid regulations.
Challenging the narrative that clubs should be punished for individuals breaking the rules, however, Lennon added: ‘People say the club should take responsibility and we have held our hands up. It was something that was outwith the club’s control.
But Lennon has now hit back and warned Gordon that players can step out of line at any club
‘We have worked tirelessly at the forefront of getting the game up and running. Yes, there is a bit of finger-pointing and a lot of hysteria surrounding it.
‘But we have done all we can as a club to adhere to the protocol as best we can. It’s up to the players.’
The SFA have charged the eight Aberdeen players and Belgian left-back Bolingoli with bringing the game into disrepute, while the SPFL have opened separate disciplinary proceedings against Aberdeen and Celtic for alleged breaches of testing regulation.
‘I am disappointed for the club,’ said the Celtic boss.
Bolingoli remains in self isolation pending the outcome of an internal disciplinary procedure
‘We have been at the forefront of getting the game up and running in terms of procedures and protocols.
‘It’s down to the actions of one individual really.
‘If we are accountable we will have to accept that and hold our hands up, take it and move on.
‘What we don’t want is the game to shut down again or any more mishaps, if you want to call it that.
‘Two clubs have been embroiled in this and it’s unfortunate for the club, players and staff.
Lennon has denied Celtic have received any loan bids from Ligue 1 club Amiens for Bolingoli
‘We will continue to set the highest standards we possibly can.’
Lennon, meanwhile, denied there had been any loan bids from French club Amiens for Bolingoli, with the £3million signing from Rapid Vienna remaining in self isolation pending the outcome of an internal club disciplinary procedure.
‘There is no sort of conclusion on that (the disciplinary matter) just yet – but there will be,’ said the Celtic boss.
‘There haven’t been any bids for him that I am aware of.
The SFA charged eight Aberdeen players and Bolingoli with bringing the game into disrepute
‘He’s still quarantined in his home, and that ends on Thursday.
‘We’ll assess what happens after that over the next few days. We’ll speak to (chief executive) Peter Lawwell and the board and we’ll make a club decision on that.
‘The player has made a mistake, the club has been punished for it, and we’ve all had to deal with the fallout from it as best we can.
‘Now it’s time to look forward and to get playing football, which we all want to do.’
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