Ally McCoist has branded Neil Lennon’s press conference yesterday a “disaster” and claimed that the tirade was one of Scottish football’s biggest own goals.
The Celtic manager launched an astonishing blast on the criticism which the Parkhead club have received since their trip to Dubai for training.
The Celtic boss missed the 1-1 draw against Hibernian and the goalless draw against Livingston at Parkhead as he was self-isolating following the club’s controversial mid-season camp.
Lennon, assistant John Kennedy and 13 players had to self-isolate after Christopher Jullien tested positive for Covid-19 and chief executive Peter Lawwell subsequently admitted the trip was “a mistake” and apologised to Hoops fans.
Rangers icon McCoist has since slammed the SFA for “double standards” over the treatment of Celtic and now he has reacted to Lennon’s comments.
He told talkSPORT: “It has just been a PR disaster. I can’t remember an own goal like that for a long time.
“I won’t lie to you, I watched the press conference TWICE because it was incredible.
“Where do you think Neil was going with his attack? Everybody got it.
“The first minister got it. The SFA got it, the Scotland national team got it.
“Margaret Ferrier got it, the Scottish MP, for travelling up and down on a train
“I saw the whole interview from Neil. I can’t agree with Neil.
“It sounds as though his chief executive Peter Lawwell can’t agree with Neil because he apologised.
“He came out and said something completely different – he came out and apologised to the fans for not having 13 players available.
“Andy Walker and I did the Rangers-Celtic game.
“The final whistle blew and I turned to Andy Walker and said ‘I cannot believe that they are jumping on a plane in an hour and a half to fly to Dubai.
“He looked at me and shook his head.
“Even then we knew this had the potential to become a disaster.
“And it IS, make no mistake about it.
“You think of Celtic this year, going for ten in a row. The signings they’ve made, the signings they haven’t made, in terms of [Fraser] Forster, or resigning [Craig] Gordon.
“Going to Dubai, Covid, shooting themselves in the foot. It has just been an unmitigated disaster for them.
“The vast majority of the public up here think Celtic got it absolutely WRONG going to Dubai.
“They are trying to hide behind that they didn’t get anything legally wrong.
“I don’t know and I really don’t care if that is the case. The fact is they shouldn’t have gone – that is the bottom line.
“They say they didn’t do anything wrong.
“Think of their supporters – some of them on furlough, some of them can’t see their families.
“And they are sitting watching the boys round the pool, having a beer.
“I know they haven’t done anything wrong.
“But it is not a good look, a terrible image at the very least.
“I just think ‘what an own goal it is from Celtic, it is absolutely remarkable.”