Deputy First Minister John Swinney brands Celtic manager Neil Lennon’s Dubai defence “appalling”

The Deputy First Minister John Swinney has branded Celtic manager Neil Lennon’s comments regarding the club's trip to Dubai ‘appalling’ on Radio Scotland.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has been criticised by Scotland's education secretary John Swinney.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon has been criticised by Scotland's education secretary John Swinney.

Earlier this month Lennon along with the team made the decision to go on a controversial mid-season training trip which resulted in the Celtic boss, assistant John Kennedy and 13 players having to self isolate after defender Christopher Jullien tested positive for coronavirus.

Speaking on Good Morning Scotland on Wednesday, Mr Swinney said that he was “at a loss for words” following Mr Lennon’s comments made at a press conference earlier this week.

He said: "I am at a loss for words. I said a few weeks ago that it was a bad idea for Celtic to go to Dubai for this trip.

Mr Swinney said he was "at a loss for words" regarding the comments on Good Morning Scotland on Wednesday

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"It was not a great signal. I have no ill will towards Neil Lennon whatsoever but I think his comments were appalling."

Earlier in the month, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon raised her concerns regarding the controversial Dubai trip which led to an apology from the club's chief executive Peter Lawwell.

But speaking at a press conference this week, Mr Lennon refused to apologise stating that any insinuation that the trip was ‘a jolly’ was ‘an absolute scandal’.

He said: “I feel we have been harshly treated in terms of the amount of people that have had to isolate and the time they had to isolate as well.

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“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. It’s an absolute scandal.”

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