Lennon regrets semi reaction
Celtic coach Alan Thompson has revealed Neil Lennon regrets his reaction to Celtic's Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Hearts.
Lennon will sit in the stand against Rangers on Sunday as he serves the second of his current two-match suspension for criticising referee Willie Collum following the Scottish Communities League Cup final defeat to Kilmarnock in March.
However, the Northern Irishman learned on Thursday that he faces three more charges following the defeat to Hearts which saw him run on to the pitch to confront referee Euan Norris over a late penalty award to the Gorgie side, which Craig Beattie converted to win the game 2-1, which came when a Marius Zaliukas shot hit the arm of Joe Ledley and then brushed against Victor Wanyama.
In his apparent frustration, Lennon tweeted soon after the game: "Referee told players he thought Wanyama handled...feel so sorry for players and fans..I think it's personal myself."
He then re-tweeted a comment from a Celtic supporter which suggested the club "pack our bags and get out of this league that is run by crooked SFA officials" and for that he will have to answer to the Scottish Football Association again.
Lennon was again absent from the pre-match press conference at Lennoxtown on Friday, but first-team coach Thompson passed on his gaffer's contrition.
"We have spoken about it since that incident happened and Neil regrets his reaction after the game," he said.
"It's one of those, we will just have to wait and see.
"He probably might get another ban, no doubt he will.
"But hopefully he will get a fair hearing when that comes around."
Thompson is "pleased" that Calum Murray will be the man in the middle on Sunday despite the official sending Lennon off at the interval for misconduct in the 3-2 defeat at Ibrox last month, in a match which also brought red cards for Hoops duo Cha Du-ri and Wanyama and Rangers defender Carlos Bocanegra.
The SFA decided Lennon required no further punishment but eyes are sure to be on Murray, who replaces Craig Thomson, who had been forced to pull out due to family reasons.
However, Thompson has no worries about Murray, saying: "I am pleased. I think Calum is a good referee, I've not had any problems with him in the past.
"He speaks to the players well and he speaks to us well and I have a lot of respect for him.
"That (Ibrox) has gone. I think it was a fair hearing and everything went well on Neil's behalf.
"Because it is Neil, everything gets blown out of proportion.
"Things like that have gone on for years and years and they will do for years to come but everything is over the top when it is Neil."
The former Celtic midfielder does not believes the crisis engulfing administration-hit Rangers will affect the Gers players when the first whistle sounds at Parkhead.
The Ibrox club were handed club were handed a £160,000 fine and a 12-month embargo on signing players by the Scottish Football Association this week for bringing the game into disrepute since owner Craig Whyte's takeover last May.
While Rangers will appeal that controversial punishment, the SPL 12 clubs will meet on Monday to vote on financial fair play resolutions which would have an impact on clubs who go into administration or face the prospect of liquidation - a scenario which has not yet been ruled out for the Ibrox club.
If passed, the new rules would mean a 'newco' Rangers being deducted 10 points for two seasons if accepted straight back into the SPL, as well as seeing league payments slashed by 75 per cent for three seasons.
Amid all that, it was confirmed this afternoon that Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy and the Blue Knights consortium had joined forces to submit a "substantial" written offer to the club's administrators Duff and Phelps to buy the club.
Thompson, however, does not believe all the off-field distraction and problems will hand Celtic an advantage.
"I wouldn't have thought so, knowing the players there and what they are all about," he said.
"They are playing for a big club and you can't afford to take your eye off the ball in big games because if you do, you could end up getting a spanking.
"So they will be coming on Sunday with the point of view that they have lost the championship and they will want to win the game.
"The financial situation and everything that is going on off the park, I'm sure that won't effect them come Sunday.
"They are 2-1 up on us in terms of the three Old Firm games we've had in the league so we will be looking to make amends on Sunday."
Hello, regular commenting on Orange News and Sport pages closes on Thursday 30 May 2013. We will continue to provide a commenting facility on major news and sport events on orangeworld.co.uk. Contact us via http://oran.ge/OWfeedback if you have any further questions. Thanks.