Andy Walker reveals his own Celtic mid-season 'jolly' after Neil Lennon's furious apology demand

Andy Walker was on Sky Sports duty – two days after being in the firing line from Neil Lennon over criticism of Celtic's trip to Dubai.

Sky Sports pundit Andy Walker is back on commentary duties his first Celtic game since Celtic and Hibernian on January 11. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

The Celtic manager railed against the former striker’s description of the club’s warm weather training camp in the Middle East as ‘a jolly’ and warned he would not speak to the broadcaster unless an apology was received.

However Walker is back on the gantry at the Tony Macaroni Arena for tonight’s Scottish Premiership match and said: "Let’s deal with facts. Celtic went on an ill-fated trip to Dubai – something they apologised for. The upshot of that was they dropped four points against Hibs and Livingston with a weakened squad – all of that self-inflicted.”

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He went on to explain: "There’s been a remarkable analysis of my use of the word ‘jolly’. In my personal experience at Celtic, I played under Billy McNeil and Tommy Burns – we went on a mid-season jolly. The purpose was exactly what Celtic tried to get – warm-weather training, no pressure, no games, a bit of down-time and have a beer by all means.

"But at the bottom of it, absolutely you work hard. If anyone wants to regard that as a stag do or an 18-30 that’s entirely up to them.

“My time at Celtic was the best of my career, I am incredibly privileged to play for that club and I was lucky enough to play beside some of my heroes so I think I know what is required for a season, for a quadruple treble, the Invincibles.”

The Sky Sports co-commentator added: “Celtic have a forlorn title hope and a very tough game against Livingston. Preparations have been far from ideal but they are up against the form team in the country, who could not be impressed by the job David Martindale has done?

"Nothing else but three points for Celtic will do for their fans tonight.”

While covering Celtic’s home match with Hibs last week, Walker criticised the trip and the “dismal governance” shown by the Scottish football Joint Response Group and Celtic hierarchy in allowing the training camp to go ahead.

Lennon hit out at his pre-match press conference and said: “The innuendo and the insinuation from Andy Walker that it was a ‘jolly’ - I can’t have that. I can’t tolerate that at all. That calls into question my professionalism, the professionalism of my players, my staff, the people who were out there helping us. It’s an absolute scandal.

"The fact that 80 per cent of my squad were probably tee-total … it’s a total distortion of the facts.

"And for him to go on a public platform and accuse the club of being arrogant, demanding an apology from the club, which we’ve done. Even then, it wasn’t good enough for him. I want an apology from him.

"You cannot go and falsify what went on with a total misrepresentation of reality.”

The Celtic manager did not speak to Sky Sports before the match which kicks off at 8.15pm and is live on Sky Sports Football and Main Event channels.

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