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Neil Lennon blasts the Scottish government and media in explosive press conference

Neil Lennon

“There’s a bit of bullying going on.”

Celtic manager Neil Lennon hit out at critics of his team’s recent Dubai trip as he labelled the abuse from the training camp fiasco as “absolute hypocrisy”.

The reigning Scottish champions flew out to the Middle East earlier in the month after a 1-0 defeat to Rangers in the league. The Hoops were granted permission to conduct the trip by the Scottish government.

Neil Lennon

In the aftermath of the trip, several Celtic players had to self isolate after positive cases popped up within the squad. Lennon and 13 first-team players had to miss the team’s previous clash against Livingstone owing to self-isolation.

Assistant manager John Kennedy revealed that here had been “slip-ups” in social distancing and club CEO Peter Lawwell also admitted that the Dubai trip was a mistake and issued an apology to the club’s supporters.

Neil Lennon press conference.

On Monday, Lennon returned from self-isolation and faced the media in a fiery mood.

He criticised the media, pundits and the Scottish government just days after Lawwell had publicly apologised for the trip.

“Another player has been deemed positive, it is someone who is self-isolating,” he said.

“Everybody’s negative, the whole squad is negative bar, two players.

“I think that’s remarkable and I think it totally blows out of the water the way the trip, the training camp has been portrayed by certain quarters of the media, by certain pundits, and by certain government officials as well.

Russian club Spartak Moscow troll Celtic over their controversial Dubai trip

“We did not abuse any ‘privilege’. We did the right things. We were absolutely, totally professional.

“We had a little drink in the afternoon on the day off: completely allowed, no law-breaking.

“Yet we come back to this barrage of absolute hypocrisy.

Celtic

“It’s not as if they were doing a conga in the dressing room and dancing to Baccara – or travelling a train journey from Glasgow to London with Covid.

“The fallout from this has been way too much – there’s a bit of bullying going on.”

Lennon doesn’t feel an apology is warranted for Dubai trip.

Lennon also refused to apologise for the trip and felt that the fans were the only ones deserving of that sentiment.

“My apology is to the fans because 13 players and three staff had to isolate which is ludicrous.

Neil Lennon

“I’m not apologising for anything else.

“I’m not apologising for going out there and training for a week. I’m not apologising for the players having a day off.”

Lennon: There’s an agenda.

Lennon also questioned the need for so many of his players and his staff to self-isolate and claimed there was an agenda against his team.

“There’s seems to be some sort of agenda being driven here,” he added.

Rangers

“We played very well at Ibrox, we didn’t deserve to lose the game, we were the better team.

“We’ve come back and we’ve been absolutely decimated by these rules. I’m not convinced they’re a public health issue, it seems political in my opinion.

“Nobody has got Covid, our protocols were perfect.”

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