THE Chris Sutton-Neil Lennon Ibrox row has taken a bizarre twist with reports BT Sport could broadcast the Govan club’s home Europa League clash against Sparta Prague in November from Celtic Park.
The strange switch has been revealed as one of the possible moves being considered by the satellite giants after the former Hoops duo were denied entry to the club’s ground to work as pundits before the home side’s 2-0 loss against Lyon on Thursday night.
Sutton and Lennon were prevented from doing their job after being told they were a “security risk”, a situation that was mocked by Sutton in CQN yesterday.
BT Sport wanted the ex-Parkhead double-act to cover their old side’s 5.45pm kick-off against Real Betis in Seville from a studio at Ibrox stadium before being replaced by Ally McCoist and David Weir for the 8pm start for Steven Gerrard’s side against the French aces.
GOVAN AND HELL…Chris Sutton at Ibrox before he was designated as a “security risk”.
This is a regular occurrence from the broadcaster who reverse the roles when the Govan club are away in the early game as they make Parkhead their base.
That will be the case the next time the Glasgow teams play on the same night in the Europa League on November 4 with Ange Postecoglou’s men facing Ferencvaros in Glasgow at 8pm after their city neighbours have played Brondby at 5.45pm.
McCoist and former team-mate and ex-Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes will cover the Denmark encounter while Sutton and Lennon will take over for the Hoops’ meeting with the Hungarians.
It is highly unlikely Celtic will view McCoist and McInnes as “security risks” and they will be given the green light to go about their duty for BT Sport.
The next time Postecoglou’s men are in action in the early game is on Matchday Five when they line up against Bayer Leverkusen in Germany and Gerrard’s club host Sparta Prague later in the evening.
IT’S GOOD TO TALK…Neil Lennon in the studio.
BT Sport – who paid £1.2 BILLION for the rights to the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League until 2024 – are considering how to deal with the highly unusual situation.
When Sutton and Lennon were barred during the week, the sports channel had to swiftly reschedule and bring in ex-Celt Stiliyan Petrov to take over media duties from their London HQ.
One option that could come into play to prevent an embarrassing action replay would be to cover both games from Parkhead, despite Celtic being away from home and the Govan outfit at Ibrox.
According to a Sunday Mail report, a BT Sport source said: “If this scenario comes up again then the safety of our staff is paramount.
“However, the cost to us doubles if we have to set up two studios, so it’s more economical to have just one base.
“Therefore, one option being considered is simply to set the studio up at Parkhead. It seems ludicrous considering we won’t have the fans arriving for the game as they will be at Ibrox. Something would be lost and Ibrox Stadium will miss out on the exposure of a full house on a European night which makes great viewing as it showcases a magnificent arena to the world.
“But we could be left with no option. At a time when Stewart Robertson has said they are looking for more money to be invested in the Scottish game it doesn’t make much sense to be upsetting a major UEFA stakeholder.”
* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Livingston v Celtic this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.