I’d like to welcome the Editor of World Football Columns – Martin Palazzotto to gibfootballshow, Martin is an outsider from a Scottish football point of view, no bias, no conspiracy just a fantastic writer. Here is his take on the Neil Lennon situation.

When I was a kid, like every other, I would go to my father whenever my mother said I couldn’t have something that I wanted.  If he said no too, well, that was what grandparents were for.  I think that’s where the legal appeals process originated.

Like my childhood self, Celtic manager Neil Lennon doesn’t enjoy taking no for an answer.  It’s been two months since the “Hassle at the ‘Castle” but Lennon has refused to give up the fight or his paranoid conspiracy theories regarding Scottish referees.

I mean, everyone has calls go against them but when you’re Celtic, part of the Old Firm, the most storied club in the land and there’s only one other team to worry about, Rangers, who are now chasing you rather than vice versa, thanks to the biggest snowfall the country has seen since Sean Connery first said “Hello Moneypenny” back in 1962, you have to believe you’re getting more than your share of the breaks.

However, after having a temper tantrum that 3-year-olds across the planet are downloading for pointers, the Hoops boss decided to appeal his automatic 2 match ban, handed down by the SPL.  The review board not only laughed in his face and denied his appeal, they slapped him with a 6 match ban.

I can’t remember how many times I protested a grounding, only to hear my mother say, “You don’t like being grounded for a week?  Fine, make it two!  Would you care to try for a month?”

Lennon and Celtic have claimed that his punishment is biased and unwarranted for a first offence.  Never mind that the league has had to listen to two months of whining and, when the club hasn’t been directly in their face, they’ve had to read it in the paper or watch it on television.  So, with Mommy and Daddy coming down hard on their red-headed stepchild, Little Neil has hared off looking for Grandma and Grandpa.

Of course, no one likes it when you go over their head, so the SPL has announced they are considering handing out yet another 6 match ban, this one for his criticisms of referee Willie Collum, made during his post match press conference after last week’s draw against Hamilton Academical.

If 12 games isn’t enough, would you care to try for the rest of the season, Mr. Lennon?

Unfortunately for the SPL and those Scottish fans not wearing green and white, Lennon is more stubborn than any 10 ankle biters and the mules they rode in on.  It wouldn’t surprise me if he takes his case all the way to the High Court Justiciary, to have his appeal heard by the Lord Justice General.

Of course, that might not work out so well.  The Right Honourable Lord Hamilton, while a Glaswegian, may have a soft spot in his heart for the Accies, sharing their name as he does, and being an academician himself.

Perhaps Lennon should first have a chat with another well known Scot, Ian Rankin, whose fictional Inspector Rebus was a huge Stones fan.  Then the Celtic manager might appreciate that you can’t always get what you want.

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39 comments

paul

January 20th, 2011

are you saying N Lennon should just except a 6 game ban and get on with it, if you are your off you head

January 20th, 2011

Whats the point in that article, waste of time reading it. Lennon is the only one prepared to take this lot on. As a fellow Northern Irishman, thats the way we operate, bunch of cheats, instituitionalised bigotry, plain and simple, make you sick if you let it.

mick derrick

January 20th, 2011

No mention of referees lying to the celtic manager about a decision (not to mention an attempted cover up-and said referee sacked). No mention of the other managers in the league being guilty of similar acts (see walter smith’s violent outbursts on youtube)and despite being repeat offenders never being banned for more than 4 games. No mention of the appeals process which yes, even referees who send sectarian emails are allowed to use to try and get their jobs back(Hugh Dallas). The bottom line is, the appeals process is there for a reason and is used by everyone (why should anyone take a punishment they feel unjust). This is a badly researched article and it is obvious the writer is an outsider from a scottish football as mentioned in your first paragraph.

annie

January 20th, 2011

This is a version of justice worthy of a Sharia state. You get mugged, you have the temerity to complain, you get your punishment doubled?! That’s the argument of an intellectual pygmy

January 20th, 2011

I’m saying he should have just accepted the 2 match ban and gotten on with it. Now, he’s just digging a deeper hole. Celtic is a large enough club, especially within Scotland, to effect change to the disciplinary system without shooting themselves in the foot. At this point, the Celtic board should be telling Lennon to bite his tongue and let the lawyers handle it.

J1MBO79

January 20th, 2011

A well rounded and objective view point ? indeed Sir, indeed ! i would regard this article as no better than the childish light that it has attempted (very poorly) to portray NL in. Inept trash

January 20th, 2011

I never accused Lennon of being the only child on the playground. But since you bring it up, I often gave cmy mother cause to ask whether I’d jump off a bridge (bite your tongues!) if all of my friends did.

Yes everyone has a right to appeal but the point is that if he did it with respect for the system, rather than flouting it in the media, they might be more lenient. Would you lop four games off his sentence if Lennon was trashing you in public?

I think the word is maturity.

paul

January 20th, 2011

well i wouldnt see walter of ally except this. obviously a rangers supporter. the fact remains the SFA were proved in pulic to be exactly what everyone though it was. they are still the same buarocrats than in years gone by were anti- celtic/catholic. the SFA lied to us and were caught , how many more times have they done that and not been caught. this is the head of football in scoland , lying , covering up , fixing etc. we cant let this go on and if we do we deserve all that happens. celtic f.c are single handedly keeping the other clubs in the league afloat. now and now is the time to push so as we can get out of this league and set up. maybe if the clubc decided to ot only bhoycott the kilmarnock game but bhoycott an away match wth ever team in the league. also i would like to add is about the silence being so deafening from the SFA and other cubs about the recent bullets sent to players n manager of celtic. wasnt it just a few weeks ago that the SFA was referring celtic to as a “MEMBER CLUB” well as a so called member club , tht is keeping footall alight all by it self and paying your wages , we dont seem to e gettin to many people within the SFA or scottish football condemning such outrageous behaviour from supporters of “THEIR CLUB!!”

Alberto

January 20th, 2011

Absolute pish

January 20th, 2011

Martin your not just saying ” he should have just accepted the 2 match ban and gotten on with it. Now, he’s just digging a deeper hole. Celtic is a large enough club, especially within Scotland, to effect change to the disciplinary system without shooting themselves in the foot. At this point, the Celtic board should be telling Lennon to bite his tongue and let the lawyers handle it.”

Your tone used describing the very little factual details about the issue doesn’t come across as very unbiased.

Your tones consist of clear contempt at Celtic & Lennon and you are using they’re actions to beat them with.

There are serious issues you have failed to raise and i wouldn’t hesitate to put this down to the wish to create debate and controversy just as much of this countries media do today.

Limited amount of factual information for me brings me to my conclusion.

J1MBO79

January 20th, 2011

unjustifiable, garbage chat.

January 20th, 2011

Martin @ January 20th, 2011 6:02 pm –

Respect for the system?????

This being teh same system that screwed Lennon, your having a laugh right?

Andrew

January 20th, 2011

In defence of Martin, it’s not up to him to repeat everything that’s happened between the SFA and Celtic throughout the year, we’d be talking of a 5000 essay if he did that. This piece was actually written for his own website for a side column but he was inspired by something else and decided not to use it.

I thought the good people that visit here might want to read it. From knowing Martin I know he’s no biased at all towards either side. He was just interested in the story.

The views he expresses are not mine either…It seems to have sparked a response though :)

January 20th, 2011

Last note on this mince – Does Gib on the domain name refer to UTTER GIBberish?

January 20th, 2011

Andrew @ January 20th, 2011 6:11 pm

” The views he expresses are not mine either…It seems to have sparked a response though ” Smiley Face & All.

Mission Accomplished then????

Andrew

January 20th, 2011

There really wasn’t a mission at all mate. Just a shame to let something that someone’s wrote go to waste.

If people want to agree then great, if they don’t then great.

That’s what writing is all about surely, expressing opinions.

And Martin has certainly done that :)

Oh I leave smilie faces all the time btw

Phuck T Esseffay

January 20th, 2011

utter pish

Andrew

January 20th, 2011

surely it’s only utter GIBberish if it was me that wrote it?

January 20th, 2011

Why does it say he isn’t biased at the top ? The article is biased and has no evidence for lennon/against the SFA. No mention of the liar refs, secterianism and the god aweful decisions. Don’t act non-biased, I’m biased and I’m admitting it, and you are biased against or a poor writer.

Al

January 20th, 2011

The tims should look up Confirmation Bias and have a good read on it. Sums them up perfectly. The whole of Scottish football is fed up of their immature whining.

David

January 20th, 2011

You obviously don’t follow the spl closely and watch both Celtic and Ranger’s games regularly as your viewpoint seems lifted from media hearsay. You come across as being really quite ignorant of the huge cultural divide in Scotland centring around Sectarianism which has been proven to be present within the SFA the governing body who you speak of.

J1MBO79

January 20th, 2011

Last Note on this site.
In keeping with the the tone of the erm, urguement(s) put forward by Martin. I suppose it wash also a childhood !!! mindset that any attention is better no attention. A very poor and silly move on the part of this Site, you have destroyed any possibility for credibility.

strathavenhoops

January 20th, 2011

the ban is ott but lenny will need to calm down a bit

Big G

January 20th, 2011

Terrible analogy, if you try to be clever at least try and sound intelligent and provide a bit more of the background on the issue then think of an appropriate analogy or better still, dont bother.

January 20th, 2011

@ban the rags, my only mention of Celtic was to raise the point that they are not pulling Lennon back before he does further damage to the side’s competitive chances. Whether they may be in the right or wrong regarding the calls made is immaterial to the subject matter.

Their manager is reacting by stamping his feet and and throwing a tantrum. Like a child. So that is how I’ve portrayed him.

@ banthe rags II: Whether the punishment fits the crime or not, Lennon’s way is not going to make matters better.

Yes, you respect the system, even if you don’t respect the people within it.

Hughie

January 20th, 2011

Your guttersniping useless turd.

January 20th, 2011

Andrew @ January 20th, 2011 6:15 pm

What about those who visit the issue for the first time, Does your site not have a responsobility to provide the necessary factual information for all?

I couldn’t see myself going onto BBC or SKY reading only half of a story, there would be teh main part as Martin has given accompanied with a summary of what has gone on to get to Martin’s point, Possibly even links.

This is what is referred to in the new media as ” Lazy Journalism ” and i’m afraid it’s the site itself that gets the tag

May 67.

January 20th, 2011

Martin Palazzo: Giving journalism a bad name.

Maybe he’s a miffed Inter Milan fan from way back!!! :D

mick derrick

January 20th, 2011

Also Martin this article implies Lennon washed his dirty washing in public but again you fail to mention the SFA issuing provocative statements through the media BEFORE the appeal was heard. If this had happened in an industrial tribunial for example, then the action would be dropped due to the person not being able to receive a fair hearing. You are also contributing to this demonising of Neil Lennon who remember is a first time offender and yet received an unprecedented 6 match ban. Shame that.

One Night in Lisbon

January 20th, 2011

Quite a compelling argument Martin when you put to one side:

- The penalty incident at Tannadice
- The subsequent lies
- The subsequent conspiracy to cover up the subsequent lies from Tannadice
- The attempted bullying of an official to keep secret the subsequent conspiracy to cover up the subsequent lies from Tannadice
- The blatant hand ball interception at ‘Hastle at the Castle’ that an NBA star would have been proud of, missed by the referee and his assistant
- The awarding of a PK in an Old Firm match, the incident of which, the official didn’t even see.
- The proven institutionalised anti-catholic bigotry at the SFA

That’s just from this season and there are others…the recent match at Hamilton being one.

Does this look like fairness and transparency to you?

Compelling argument Martin (not).

January 20th, 2011

Martin – I think maybe you should have done a little more research into what is going on in Scottish football. Regarding the SFA, the Henry Mcleish report (commissioned by the sfa) has stated that the organisation is not fit for purpose and “resistant to change”. Both the SFA president, George Peat, and Chief executive, Stewart Reagan, have agreed that major changes are required. Regarding referees, recently 80% of the referees failed exams on the laws of the game. In other words 80% of Scottish referees are not competent to referee a football match. The referee you mentioned in your article, Mr Willie Collum, was “fast tracked” by the former head of referee development, Mr Hugh Dallas, to grade one level. Many people feel that Mr Collum’s mistakes are a direct result of his inexperience. Regarding the referee ‘strike’, supposedly called due to the referees feeling that their integrity was being called into question. Mr Hugh Dallas offered Stewart Reagan, to call off the strike if an ongoing disciplinary case of sending sectarian e-mails through official SFA e-mail be dismissed. This begs the question, if Hugh Dallas has the power to call off a strike for his own personal benefit, what was the strike really about? my source is phil mac giolla bhain. Regarding the punishment of Neil Lennon. I don’t recall any statement by Neil saying that the punishment was biased or unwarranted. Celtic did say that it was “unprecedented” for a first offence. If I’m wrong then please direct me to the publication that shows this. I would say that the reaction of Neil Lennon are brought on by having to deal with incompetent referees and a football association that was out of date 20 years ago. Perhaps a little more research next time Martin.

cheers.

January 20th, 2011

@BantheRags yet again:

Is there any factual inaccuracy in what I have presented? Has Lennon not jumped up and down on the pitch, ranted at referees and then followed up with condemnations of their ability in the media?

The article is not concerned with whether the refs were idiots or made the right calls. It only examines Lennon’s reactions.

Better men than me have said that you measure a man by his conduct under pressure. Certainly having calls go against you, rightly or wrongly, causes pressure.

One has only to look to see that Neil Lennon does not exhibit grace under pressure. Others do. It is called maturity. It is also called sportsmanship.

That’s what this article is about.

January 20th, 2011

Right, I have a site of my own to worry about, so I’ll have one last word and then let you all get on with pillorying me.

I appreciate that Andrew stood up in my defence, although it was unnecessary. It’s good to have friends who wil do that, even when they may disagree with you.

I suspect that he wrote the introduction more to provide a link to WFC but since it seems to have eveeryone guessing where my sentiments lay, I’ll tell you.

I live in Florida but was born in Hamilton, Ontario Canada. So, as far as the SPL goes, I like to keep an eye on the Accies. Still, I sleep no better when they steal a draw against the Hoops than I do when they get pasted at Ibrox.

You may now recommence the lynching.

Nick

January 21st, 2011

Not a Celtic fan here but the clear bias throughout this article undermines any point you’re trying to make.

Garbage.

Andrew

January 21st, 2011

Not sure how you can call Martin bias, he couldn’t give two shits about Celtic or Rangers, so your accusing him of being a Rangers fan even after his explanation of his passive liking for Hamilton Accies because of where he is from?

pablobhoy

January 21st, 2011

martin are you Chick Young in disguise because youre story has no factual basis like the aformentioned Chicky boy

cassidy_bhoy

January 21st, 2011

Christ what a terrible article. The fact that you’ve written an article SUBJECTIVELY using exaggerated opinions rather than writing OBJECTIVELY as a supposedly neutral writer gathering FACTS and weighing them up relatively, means you are a TERRIBLE journalist/writer/overall DICK.

January 21st, 2011

I’ll tell you what.

Let’s talk about how bad the referees are. They make mistakes all the time and, what’s worse, don’t know they’re making them.

There is a way to eliminate every single officiating error, however, and to make sure none ever occur again. Simply play the matches without referees and let the players call fouls against themselves. The honour system works in another great Scottish game, golf, so why not in football?

Unfortunately, the players would likely be at each other’s throats in no time and the game would degenerate into hand to hand combat.

So, we need referees. They are necessary, in all their imperfection and occasional bouts of corruption, like it or not. The same goes for the disciplinary board. That they have screwed up or been partial to one side doesn’t give any player or coach license to act like a child and verbally abuse and threaten an official, as Neil Lennon did.

Whether Celtic had been jobbed by the officials or not, his lack of maturity put him in the wrong. He deserved a two-game ban, which is the MINIMUM sentence for any such offense, first or otherwise.

That he then pleaded his innocence based upon the referees alleged incompetence earned him a six game ban.

Had he instead come forward and said, ‘Listen, I admit I lost my head and I’m sorry. It won’t happen again. I will serve my two game ban but please take a good look at what went on out there and take steps to prevent it from occuring again,’ events would have been very different.

There would be no six game ban. At worst, he would serve the two match ban but the board might have taken his remorse into account and suspended the ban and levied only a fine.

Rangers have lost Kenny Miller, which takes a great deal of value out of those two games in hand they have on Celtic. Lennon’s continued antics however, see that advantage erased by his absence from a half dozen matches. If I were a Celtic fan, I’d be wondering just why the club isn’t binding and gagging him between matches to keep matters from worsening.

As grown-ups, we all know there are ways to get things done. Clench your fists, stamping your feet and hurling obscenities at people is not one of them.

Don’t misunderstand me. Neil Lennon is a very effective coach. He has his side in an excellent position and has put pressure on a far more experienced rival, in Walter Smith. It’s no wonder Celtic fans love him. That doesn’t make him exempt from humanity and the shortcomings inherent in being a member of the species.

When he acts like a three year old in front of tens of thousands of spectators plus television viewers and hurts his club in the process, he deserves to take stick for it.

That, too, is fact.

January 22nd, 2011

Absolute garbage, the opening “Martin is an outsider from a Scottish football point of view” says it all. Lazy hearsay and one of the worst articles I’ve read in a long time, he accuses Lennon of a lack of maturity yet the attempt at humour in this is well the attempt is the only thing funny about it.

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