Neil Lennon victim of 'Scotland's shame' say Celtic

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell has called for Scottish society to address the "fundamental issues" which he feels are behind "vile, sustained and relentless attacks" against his club and manager Neil Lennon.

Lennon was last night the subject of an alleged assault at Tynecastle and a package containing ammunition was found at Celtic Park today.

In a statement, Lawwell said the Tynecastle incident "brings shame on Scottish football and again highlights the fact that Scottish society must address fundamental and serious issues which lead to outrages of this kind".

He added: "It is intolerable that any football club, or individual, going about their lawful business in the name of sport should be subjected to this ongoing campaign of hatred and intimidation.

"This is Scotland's shame and it is high time Scotland addressed it."

THE CELTIC STATEMENT IN FULL

"Last night's appalling attack on Neil Lennon brings shame on Scottish football and again highlights the fact that Scottish society must address fundamental and serious issues which lead to outrages of this kind.

"Apart from last night's events, this week alone we have seen seven people arrested at our training ground following an alleged firearms incident and I can also confirm that this morning (Thursday) another package arrived at Celtic Park which appears to contain ammunition.

"This has been removed and taken by police for further forensic tests. We are the only club to be the subject of such vile, sustained and relentless attacks.

"It is intolerable that any football club, or individual, going about their lawful business in the name of sport should be subjected to this ongoing campaign of hatred and intimidation.

"This is Scotland's shame and it is high time Scotland addressed it.

"Since moving here a decade ago, Neil Lennon has had to endure prejudice and violence both as a player and manager, having suffered no such problems elsewhere. In doing so, he has displayed a strength of character and resilience which deserve respect from all who oppose the campaign of intimidation against him.

"He is a man who is proud to be the Celtic manager and is someone who simply wants to be able to carry out his role in the same way as every other football manager can.

"Clearly, Neil will continue to receive every support and protection from Celtic Football Club.

"We are deeply appreciative of the intensive police efforts to address the criminal offences that have come to light.

"All right-minded people will surely condemn these actions but, as a society, we must also address the underlying factors that lead to such behaviour."

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