Leeann Dempster: Hibs boss Neil Lennon did not goad Hearts fans

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Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster has leapt to the defence of Neil Lennon after the club’s manager was struck by a coin during Wednesday night’s Edinburgh derby.

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The home side had just had a goal disallowed for offside in the dying minutes of the 0-0 draw when the incident occurred.

Lennon, having celebrated the assistant referee’s decision in the direction of the home support in the Tynecastle main stand, then hit the deck after he was struck by the object.

Former Hibs captain Gary Caldwell suggested on BBC Radio Scotland’s coverage of the game that his old Celtic team-mate “sometimes brings it on himself”.

However, Dempster disagreed that her head coach did anything wrong as she vehemently defended his behaviour.

Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster with her manager Neil Lennon. Picture: SNS

Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster with her manager Neil Lennon. Picture: SNS

Speaking on Jim White’s show on talkSPORT, she said: “Irrespective of what a manager does track side he does not deserve to be hit by an object and if others or the league deem any manager’s antics to go beyond the realms of what is acceptable then that will be dealt with.

“But remember we are in the entertainment business here as well. I’m sorry I do not support anyone who says the manager having an interaction with supporters in that manner deserves to be hit by an object.”

Asked by White if Lennon’s “goading” was a part of the entertainment, Dempster argued: “Well I am going to disagree with you because I don’t think that’s what he was doing.

“I think you just have to look at the circumstances. Neil said last night we know what the interaction is like when he goes there. And he’s human like everyone else.”

READ MORE - Neil Lennon says he wants to meet face to face with fan who threw coin at him