Lennon wants clarity over SFA rules

PA Sport
Celtic boss Neil Lennon wants SFA rules on post-match comments in 'black and white'
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Celtic boss Neil Lennon wants SFA rules on post-match comments in 'black and white'

Neil Lennon has called on the Scottish Football Association's compliance officer, Vincent Lunny, to "spell out the guidelines" for managers.

The Celtic boss was speaking after his Kilmarnock counterpart Kenny Shiels and St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas found themselves in hot water with the SFA this week over post-match comments.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's William Hill Scottish Cup fourth-round tie at home to Irn-Bru Second Division side Arbroath, Lennon said: "I don't know where, as managers, we draw the line. I do have a lot of sympathy for all managers in that situation. So we need the disciplinary procedure spelt out to us in black and white."

Lomas was handed a six-match ban for his reaction towards referee Iain Brines over a decision during his side's draw at Parkhead this month, with a suspended two-game punishment also invoked.

Lennon's comments though, pertained more to Shiels who was issued with two notices of complaint by Lunny, one of which was for allegedly breaching three disciplinary rules as a result of comments he made in a radio interview and newspaper articles following their defeat to Inverness on November 3.

One of the accusations was that Shiels made comments that "impinge upon the character of a match official by suggesting that the match official may bear a grudge against you should you answer a question relating to decisions taken by him". The Killie boss also faces a misconduct charge for being sent to the stand for dissent during last weekend's defeat by St Johnstone.

Lennon added: "I think Vincent Lunny should come and speak to managers because at the end of the day we are the ones who are brought up in front of him and the SFA disciplinary panel. I think Vincent needs to spell out the guidelines, what we can and can't say regarding referees in post-match interviews.

"I don't know if Kenny was offensive in any way in his post-match interview or to the referee, but we will end up talking in cliches then because we will be protecting ourselves."

Lennon admits it would be "fair to say" Celtic fans will see a different side start against the Red Lichties than they will against Spartak Moscow in their Champions League Group G decider at Parkhead next Wednesday night.

The Hoops need a better result against the Russians than Benfica get against Barcelona in the Nou Camp. The former Celtic skipper said: "Obviously we have Spartak in mind but I will be putting out a strong team tomorrow. It is important to keep momentum going for Wednesday night."

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