Neil Lennon was involved in what he described as a “bizarre” press conference ahead of Celtic’s Champions League Group G clash with Spartak Moscow at the Luzhniki Stadium tonight.
At Celtic’s hotel in Moscow a local journalist engaged the bemused manager in discussion about various topics including Rangers, Sir Sean Connery and former Celtic midfielder Aiden McGeady, now with Spartak, before a Uefa official eventually stepped in to prevent it all becoming too silly.
The Northern Irishman posted on his Twitter account afterwards “Well that was one of the more bizarre press conferences I’ve had to do.”
Lennon was asked if he would help Old Firm rivals Rangers, who relaunched in the Third Division this season after descending into administration, if he had e100million to spend. The former Celtic skipper jokingly responded: “Would I help Rangers? If I had that money you wouldn’t see me again, I would be in Las Vegas or somewhere like that! I have no idea how I would spend the money, I would invest it in the club and team and keep a little for myself.”
Lennon was also asked, on the theme of benevolent club presidents and owners, if he would approach Sir Sean Connery if Celtic had any financial problems. Almost incredulous at the random link between the Scottish actor and the Parkhead club, he replied: “You’ve done your homework, haven’t you? We don’t see us having too many financial problems. The club is run very well and we have to work within our means. We don’t have the finances of English clubs or a super-rich owner who is quite happy to plough loads of money in. We run the club as a business, we have a budget and a strategy set and we work within that and it has been very successful for us in terms of building a team for the future. But if you have Sean Connery’s number I will take it off you.”
Lennon at one point asked the Uefa interpreter of his Russian inquisitor: “Is he a real journalist?”