Neil Lennon suggests Celtic and Rangers held to different standard in disciplinary process

Just as they share the spotlight, it would appear Glasgow’s footballing big two are carving up the citations for retrospective punishments.

By Andrew Smith
Friday, 12th February 2021, 1:01 pm

And Celtic manager Neil Lennon understands Rangers calls for “consistency in the Scottish FA’s disciplinary process” and the Ibrox club’s contention there is “real confusion within the game regarding which incidents are cited or not”.

Rangers’ petition for greater clarity followed Kemar Roofe losing his appeal against a retrospective two-game ban for his challenge on St Johnstone’s Callum Davidson on Wednesday.

That came 24 hours after Albian Ajeti’s similar punishment for simulation - which resulted from the Swiss forward winning a penalty when coming into contact with Kilmarnock keeper Colin Doyle - was set aside after an appeal panel decreed it was “not proven”.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon concedes that his club and Rangers "seem to get scrutinised a lot more than other teams"

These two fast-track tribunals, follow Alfredo Morelos twice earning suspensions for stamps across the past two months, and are the only four such cases brought forward in this time span.

Lennon does wonder if all clubs are being treated the same as those from Glasgow. “People will say that we get away with a lot. And others will say we get punished a lot,” he said.

“I think the point Rangers are trying to make is that it has to be consistent for all the clubs, and not just the big two.

“To be honest, I don’t really know how the system works these days. You get three referees to look at incidents and then say ‘yeah this needs to be looked at or that needs to be looked at’. I don’t have an opinion on the Rangers issue, I had an opinion on Ajeti’s, which we felt was folly, from our point of view.

"It proved to be not proven which was always the case, we felt. It certainly wasn’t simulation.

“I think we are really high profile, the two clubs, and our lot seem to get scrutinised a lot more than other teams. It is the trial by TV. In the main, maybe they get the majority of decisions right and I think they got Ajeti’s right [in the end].

"I’m not going to comment on the Roofe one because it’s not my place, but in the main I think they get them right. We’ve had no real issues this season.

"I was surprised that Ajeti was charged and we feel it was the right result because he played [in Wednesday’s 4-0 win] at St Mirren and he’s not suspended for any game, so they came to the right conclusion.

“You watch football all the time and you see that type of contact on his foot [that Ajeti had]. Players will go down, whether they are trying to con the ref or whatever. I don’t encourage it but at that speed it’s really difficult to say ‘oh he fell over’.

"I looked at it a couple of times and thought ‘yeah that could be given by a referee, comfortably’. So what the issue was I don’t know.

"I think Albian was surprised, like we were. It sort of set a different precedent for an issue like that. If they are going to be consistent then they’re going to have to look at a lot of other incidents over the season, or as we go along in the games.”

READ MORE:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Irish and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Thank you,

Alistair Bushe

Editor