Biggest touchline bust-ups after Neil Lennon v Jim Duffy

It was the top of the table clash that promised much but delivered little '“ at least until a mass brawl in injury time.

 Hibernian manager Neil Lennon on the touchline.
29/03/17 LADBROKES CHAMPIONSHIP HIBERNIAN v MORTON EASTER ROAD - EDINBURGH Hibernian manager Neil Lennon on the touchline.

Hibs v Morton, first against second in the Scottish Championship, was a by-and-large uneventful goalless draw that did nothing of note to alter the promotion picture.

A late challenge by Kudus Oyenuga, described as a leg-breaker by Easter Road boss Neil Lennon, sparked heated exchanges on the touchline.

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Lennon later claimed Morton manager Jim Duffy offered him a square go, and Darren McGregor was sent off in the melee after going head to head with Oyenuga, though there appeared to be minimal contact.

Duffy rushed out an official statement so popular that it crashed the Morton website, denying offering Lennon a fight in such stark terms, on the basis he ‘isn’t 12 years old’.

But where does this spat rank in terms of other fiery encounters?

Lennon v McCoist – March 2011

No ‘square go’ in the history of football has ever had as much impact as the head to head between Neil Lennon and Ally McCoist in the so-called ‘Shame Game’ six years ago.

A Mark Wilson goal had given Lennon’s Celtic the edge in a Scottish Cup replay that sparked ugly scenes and one of the most contentious pieces of legislation ever enacted in the Scottish Parliament.

Lennon and McCoist had to be separated by stewards and club staff after clashing at the end of the 1-0 Celtic win.

Then First Minister Alex Salmond convened a summit to discuss the behaviour of fans, players and coaches following the Old Firm fracas.

That led to the passing of the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act, which tightened the laws around football fan’s actions at and around stadiums.

Many felt the law criminalised supporters, and there are still moves underway to repeal the law at Holyrood.

While it was a bigger issue than just one game, there was no doubt that the Lennon v McCoist clash was a catalyst.

Butcher v Lennon – August 2012

A feisty encounter that is perhaps most notable for what we didn’t know – the Youtube footage shows a clearly riled Butcher.

Danny Lennon, much the smaller man, was at St Mirren when he engaged Inverness manager Butcher in some verbals at the end of a 2-2 draw.

Lennon makes an offhand comment which sends Butcher apoplectic with rage, the Inverness boss having to be held back by his assistant.

On his way back the dugout, Butcher explodes again, keen to close the distance between him and his adversary.

Lennon later brushed off the interview, saying that it was a bit of craic and that he had the upmost respect for Terry Butcher.

John Robertson v Czaba Laszlo – December 2004

Czaba Laszlo ended up Hearts manager, with a mixed record under controversial former owner Vladimir Romanov.

But he was in the opposite dugout from the Tynecastle club in the winter of 2004, when he was in charge of Hungarian club Ferencvaros.

In a tie at Murrayfield, Laszlo ended up in an altercation with furious Hearts boss John Robertson on the touchline.

Although the two later buried the hatchet, with club legend Robertson praising Laszlo, they were far from fast friends in the Uefa Cup match.

Robertson was censured after being accused of kicking the Hungarian manager during their brawl on the sidelines.

Jim McLean v John Barnes – October 2000

Jim McLean was a Dundee United legend, as long serving manager and chairman.

It was in that latter role that McLean’s bust up took place, although strictly speaking it was in the tunnel rather than on the pitch.

After stepping down as manager, McLean had a troubled time in the boardroom role he had held concurrently with his coaching duties.

In 2000, he took issue with the questions asked about his manager Alex Smith by BBC reporter John Barnes.

After swearing about the nature of the question, McLean stalked Barnes off camera, attacking him while uttering the immortal words: “Don’t f*****g ever offer me that again.”

Michael Stewart v A water bottle – December 2009

An ill-tempered game at New Douglas Park saw Hearts, managed by the aforementioned Laszlo, reduced to nine men.

Stewart was one of those sent for an early bath just after half-time, and furiously headed up the tunnel.

The now-broadcaster was shown in ‘You’ve Been Framed’ style footage taking a furious swing at would we assume was a water bottle, before falling on his backside.

Slapstick moment rather than fracas, but this moment is never not worth revisiting for another watch.

Bilel Moshni v Everyone – May 2015

This also didn’t strictly take place on the touchline, it took place on the pitch, the touchline, the tunnel, and even en route to the team bus.

After a humbling defeat over two legs to Motherwell, Rangers failed to gain promotion to the SPFL Premiership at the first time of asking back in 2015.

This seemed to hurt the Tunisian defender more than anyone, as he aimed his ire at Fir Park hero Lee Erwin.

After a poorly aimed kick, Moshni planted his feet and caught Erwin with a left hook that wouldn’t have looked out of place at Madison Square Garden.

Fraser Kerr of Motherwell also got involved as he tangled with Moshni, who was already a cult hero among enemies of Rangers for his antics.