“That is it Jane. Neil Lennon has walked off.”
Celtic boss Neil Lennon walked out of an interview with the BBC prior to watching his side drop more points in their pursuit of Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership table.
Livingston held the Hoops to a 2-2 draw, leaving Lennon’s side 20 points adrift of Rangers with two games in hand.
In the press conference, Lennon blasted the Scottish government and the media for ‘hypocrisy’ regarding Celtic’s trip to Dubai earlier this month.
After telling Macintyre that he had said ‘everything I wanted to say on Monday’, Lennon took exception to the following question: “Was it your representation on Monday or was it the club that you were representing? Did you have to run by Peter Lawwell what you said at that media conference on Monday?”
“Kenny, you are still asking me about the interview,” replied Lennon.
Lennon proceeded to confirm that he had spoken to Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell about his press conference on Monday before insisting that he was not concerned about his position at the club.
‘You’re bringing it up again’
Having moved on to discussing Livingston, Celtic’s opponents on Wednesday, Lenno grew frustrated when Macintyre once again brought up Monday’s press conference.
“You are bringing it up again, Kenny,” he said, which led to the following exchange prior to Lennon exiting the interview.
Macintyre: Is it not important, Neil, in terms of the title race? People will say you are just being realistic that it may be beyond you now but a lot of people will say that is defeatist if you like?
Lennon: Everything about my press conference was realistic. That is the way I talk to you guys all the time. If some people don’t like it, fine.
Macintyre: What is your understanding of where you are at this club? What do you think you need to do to stay at this club?
Lennon: Win football games.
Macintyre: Do you think you’re one defeat away? I mean that was what I was talking to you about the review. The uncertainty you are working under must be tough?
Lennon: I am not working under any uncertainty. Until I am told otherwise I will just do my job as best as I can, which I wasn’t able to do the last couple of week. Is that us, yeah?
Macintyre: That is it, Jane. Neil Lennon has walked off.
The full Sportsound interview can be heard below. It begins at 49:45.
PODCAST: Build up to, and reaction after, Livingston and Celtic’s draw including interviews with Neil Lennon and David Martindale plus the latest on Kilmarnock’s £1m loan applicationhttps://t.co/cDH1KVGHff
— BBC Sportsound (@BBCSportsound) January 20, 2021
Talking to presenter Jane Lewis, Macintyre said he didn’t want to upset the Celtic manager but insisted they had a duty to “try and dig into some of these issues.”
“Clearly, he didn’t want to go there so he and the media officer just walked off,” said Macintyre.
Sky Sports also confirmed that Lennon had declined an interview with them prior to the Livingston game.
After Ciaron Brown’s opener, Celtic turned the game around with goals from Mohamed Elyounoussi and Nir Bitton before Jay-Emmanuel Thomas’ second-half leveller.
Celtic’s woes were compounded when Scott Brown was shown a red card five minutes after coming on as a substitute when for lashing out at Jaze Kabia.