NEIL LENNON insists Celtic were “thrown under the bus” as he accused the Scottish government of double standards.

The Hoops boss was left mystified and annoyed at the widely differing reactions to coronavirus protocol breaches which he describes as “unacceptable”.

The champions, along with Aberdeen, were hammered by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon with Premiership games being postponed following incidents involving the blundering Boli Bolingoli and eight Pittodrie players.

Lennon saw matches against St Mirren in Paisley and the Dons in Glasgow cancelled after the inexplicable action of the Belgian defender who made a secret two-day trip to high-risk Spain and then ignored quarantine guidelines when he returned.

George Edmundson and Jordan Jones, of Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side, were suspended earlier this week after being fined by police for attending a house party on Saturday night.

On this occasion, a statement from the Holyrood bosses COMMENDED the Ibrox club for taking “swift and decisive action”.

A puzzled Lennon, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “I can’t comment on what the Rangers boys did. What I can comment on is the reaction from the government, which I find bewildering.

“Considering the way they treated us after the Bolingoli incident, there seems to be double standards at the minute, as far as we’re concerned.

“You’d need to ask the government that. For the spokesperson, I found it strange, to say the least. We, as a club, did and I’m sure our supporters did, as well. I’m not happy about it. We were thrown under the bus.

“We were subjected to privileged footballers, yellow card and blah, blah, blah. We have been treated in one way and other clubs have been treated another by the government and that’s unacceptable from our point of view.”

Former Parkhead team-mate Chris Sutton blasted the government in a blistering attack in CQN yesterday.

Lennon also gave his clear and concise views on a situation involving Jeremie Frimpong after he was visited last month by a female from America who was alleged to have ignored self-isolation restrictions upon arrival in Scotland.

SPFL chiefs made it clear there had been no discrepancies and the Hoops gaffer remarked: “It’s a non-story. Jerry didn’t break any rules.

“I have to question the timing of the story because we were aware of it a few weeks ago. And since then he’s had about half-a-dozen tests where he’s been negative.

“We talk to the players weekly about what they can’t do. It’s not easy for them, especially ones who are living on their own.

“There is enough pressure playing football. Having to be restricted in your movements can be difficult for them. But it’s just something we have to adhere to until things start to get better. At the minute, if you look at the UK, things are getting worse. So, we have to be really on point with it.”

Lennon has seen Celtic hit by the virus in recent weeks with Odsonne Edouard, Nir Bitton and Hatem Abd Elhamed all sidelines following positive test while on international duty with France and Israel while Ryan Christie was also forced into quarantine after being deemed to have been in contact with Scotland team-mate Stuart Armstrong, who was a victim of the bug.

He commented: “We’re three or four months down the line since what happened with Boli. We’ve been very rigid on it. The players have been very rigid on it. In our bubble, we’ve had no positive tests, so the players are being exemplary at the minute.

“The reason we lost players was that they went out of our bubble. Three of them picked up the virus. Ryan Christie didn’t pick up the virus, but he still had to miss out due to protocol, which was bitterly disappointing.”

Lennon has a host of first-team players heading out for international commitments next week and he added: “It’s a huge concern.

“What you can’t have is a repeat of what happened the last time. It was pretty damaging to us as a squad.”

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Sparta Prague this evening – only in your champion CQN.


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