SFA to investigate over Neil Lennon's gesture to Rangers fans

SFA compliance officer Tony McGlennan will look into Neil Lennon's behaviour at the end of Hibs' 3-2 win over Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday.

Hibs manager Neil Lennon gestures at the Rangers supporters after his side equalised at Ibrox. Picture: SNS.

However, any investigation into the Easter Road manager’s conduct, when he gestured at the Rangers support behind the away dugout, will not be until later in the week as McGlennen will first deal with “fast-track” submissions, such as Rangers’ appeal against Ryan Jack’s red card in the same game.

Referee John Beaton’s report has already been submitted to the SFA but it’s not known yet whether the match official
mentioned the matter of 
Lennon’s celebrations.

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Police are also probing “threatening comments” made against Lennon.

Events took a sinister turn yesterday when Lennon was again the subject of threats of violence on social media.

Twitter posts apparently show a user claiming he would “shoot” Lennon, and adding that he was “serious” about the threat.

Police had earlier received complaints over Lennon’s conduct during Hibs’ victory
over Rangers on Saturday but the former Celtic manager has denied any wrongdoing. A Rangers fans’ group also released a statement condemning Lennon for conduct “not becoming of any football manager”.

BBC Scotland yesterday posted film of Lennon celebrating the goal on their website with the warning that “some people may consider some scenes to be offensive”.

Now scrutiny has fallen on threats made towards Lennon on social media.

“Police Scotland is aware of offensive and threatening comments that have been posted on social media concerning a named individual and enquiries are on-going in connection with this,” a force spokesperson said.

Police earlier confirmed they were making enquiries
following the complaints about Lennon after what was another controversial meeting between the sides.

Rangers midfielder Jack was sent off following a clash with Anthony Stokes, who escaped further censure after an early booking for tangling with James Tavernier in the opening stages.

Rangers have already submitted a “notice of intention to submit a claim for wrongful dismissal” in a bid to overturn the red card received by Jack. Their appeal, which must be lodged by 3pm today, will be looked at as part of the governing body’s fast-track disciplinary process.

Lennon will need to wait longer to learn his fate – if indeed any action is taken at all. The Hibs manager insisted he had no concerns about his celebrations after Simon Murray’s 20th-minute equaliser. When it was suggested Rangers assistant manager Helder Baptista had spoken to police about him, Lennon said: “I didn’t make a gesture, I celebrated a goal.

“If they are unhappy about it they can come and tell me. But I shouldn’t get into trouble for doing that.”

Lennon has a two-game suspended ban hanging over him following a touchline clash with Morton boss Jim Duffy last season. The ban would be triggered if Lennon was found guilty of misconduct before the end of 2017.

Former Dundee United manager Mixu Paatelainen was handed a suspended two-match ban for similar celebrations, although more prolonged and aggressive, in front of Dundee fans in April 2016. An SFA disciplinary tribunal ruled he had breached rules by “shouting and gesticulating at away supporters’’.