Celtic Football Club manager Neil Lennon has claimed he has been ‘demonised’by the Scottish media .
The Northern Irishman made the observation in an article in The Scotsman today in which he revealed that he ‘deeply regretted’his post-match behaviour after his team were knocked out in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup, and said he would be writing to referee Euan Norris to apologise.
The paperreported that Lennon felt his “persona is unfairly represented”, pointing to the friction between Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini during the Manchester derby on Monday.
Lennon suggested that if he behaved in that way it would have attracted widespread condemnation.
‘I saw the greatest manager in the game [Ferguson] having a spat with Roberto Mancini and people enjoyed it, enjoyed seeing Sir Alex show that passion, that he was up for the fight,” he said.
‘I enjoyed it. Two managers sticking up for their own team. Has there been a huge public outcry about what happened? No. They talk about a bit of a spat – big deal.
‘When we do it up here, it’s two pages full and I get singled out, I get demonised, I’m this snarling sort of presence on the touchline.
‘I don’t think I get a fair deal at times. I see it so many times. I have seen managers on the pitch remonstrating with referees before, some of them a lot more experienced than me.
‘Yet they don’t think they get half of what I get. I just think I should be cut a bit more slack at times.
‘At times we do get lost in the game but if you take that away from us, you are going to have robots on the touchline with their hands in their pockets. You can’t take away the human element from managers.
‘There are times we get angry and aggrieved and make mistakes in that aspect of the game but I think I get a rough ride.
‘Over the course of the season, up until the League Cup final, there was not one thing I did wrong. We had the incident at Ibrox [no further action was taken against Lennon after he was sent to the stand at half-time by referee Calum Murray] which I have had the hearing for.
‘So we are talking about one incident so I don’t think I have to change that much but I will temper those actions if I can.”